My serve. 100 + MPH with video and radar

maverick1

Semi-Pro
I have used the Bushnell Velocity speed gun and now stick with the "Drak Speed Gun" because it is difficult to set up and doesn't read serves sometimes.
"Drak speed gun" LOL.
It is very appropriate. I bet their sales have doubled since this thread debuted.
 

skuludo

Professional
I've recorded my serve. Got the back and side view done. I just need to capture it. I'm not too sure on how to do it yet since 3 minutes and 30 seconds of footage took up 3.6GB.

I guess I would need to re-encode that file so it is smaller. Still figuring out how to do it.
 

boojay

Hall of Fame
Not bashing him, he obviously hits with good pace, but he has to show the whole motion, and make sure the ball lands in.
what if i post a vid of it going over 120+ mph? ;)

even standing right next to the radar gun, it'd be pretty hard to get that high. I've seen people try. I guess next time I need someone to hold the camera for me.
 

boojay

Hall of Fame
"Drak speed gun" LOL.
It is very appropriate. I bet their sales have doubled since this thread debuted.
that's exactly what i refer to it as!! lol we have to thank him and send mail to optics planet asking them for commission for drak.
 

bribeiro

Banned
Not bashing him, he obviously hits with good pace, but he has to show the whole motion, and make sure the ball lands in.

He won't post because his serve looks like a beginners serve, looks even worse than mine lol, and mine looks pretty bad.
 

boojay

Hall of Fame
He won't post because his serve looks like a beginners serve, looks even worse than mine lol, and mine looks pretty bad.
i don't doubt that your serve is absolutely ugly, but if you had taken the time to do some searching, you would've found the older vids i posted of my serve. i won't bother even posting them for you because you don't sound like a person who's worth having a conversation with.

(that, and because i'm lazy, but moreso the first reason)
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
He won't post because his serve looks like a beginners serve, looks even worse than mine lol, and mine looks pretty bad.
The way it looks, beginner or not-----if he is able to hit that speed and get it in is all that really matters. Schen Schalken (spelling??) had a nasty looking serve, but he hit it with good pace/spin and was a top pro.

I'd rather have a 120 mph serve that looks horrible, than have nice looking serve that goes 90.

I am more interested in seeing Boojay's motion now compared to what it was like a few months ago, and his placement. Also, what the ball looks like coming off his racquet, especially with how slow the ball appears on youtube.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
that's exactly what i refer to it as!! lol we have to thank him and send mail to optics planet asking them for commission for drak.
Thanks boojay! Appreciate it. I just noticed you guys have been calling it the "drak radar/gun". LOL
 

boojay

Hall of Fame
I am more interested in seeing Boojay's motion now compared to what it was like a few months ago, and his placement. Also, what the ball looks like coming off his racquet, especially with how slow the ball appears on youtube.
i can send it just to you drak, but i'm not posting it yet. email?
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
that's exactly what i refer to it as!! lol we have to thank him and send mail to optics planet asking them for commission for drak.
If you email them, be sure to include a signature campaign to rename it to SpeedDrakX 100+ , add a neon green light around its perimeter which glows with lightsaber sound effects whenever it measures a 3 digit speed, and says "You are in the circle of trust".
 

boojay

Hall of Fame
If you email them, be sure to include a signature campaign to rename it to SpeedDrakX 100+ , add a neon green light around its perimeter which glows with lightsaber sound effects whenever it measures a 3 digit speed, and says "You are in the circle of trust".
that sounds too cool, actually.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
If you email them, be sure to include a signature campaign to rename it to SpeedDrakX 100+ , add a neon green light around its perimeter which glows with lightsaber sound effects whenever it measures a 3 digit speed, and says "You are in the circle of trust".
LMFAO. Toon funny! But i like!!!!
 

doriancito

Hall of Fame
the movement seems very slow to have a serve with the speed stated, either the string tension was too low, yes less that 70lbs, even les than 55, or the radar gun wasnt working well, which i have some experience with.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
the movement seems very slow to have a serve with the speed stated, either the string tension was too low, yes less that 70lbs, even les than 55,
Coudl you please explain this, it is very confusing. What does string tension have to do with the speed the serve was clocked at?

or the radar gun wasnt working well, which i have some experience with.
Here you are correct. The speed shown by the radar is slow by about 3-5 mph. This was proven thru a formula, which calculates serve speed using a frame by frame of the video and distance traveled from contact with the racquet and ground. So the speed of the fastest serve (108 mph) was actually around 111-113 mph.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru

AJK1

Hall of Fame
drakulie, i've been studying your videos and i've noticed you don't have any follow through on your serve. It looks quite odd, compared to the pros, who have quite an extensive follow through. Is there a reason for this?
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
drakulie, i've been studying your videos and i've noticed you don't have any follow through on your serve. It looks quite odd, compared to the pros, who have quite an extensive follow through. Is there a reason for this?
Couple of things. When I first posted these videos, as you remember I had a bruise on the arch of my left foot, which turned out to be a small tear. Because it hurt, it did not allow me to:

1. Push off the way I normally do and land more in the court, and this resulted in:
2. Not allowing me to have a complete "follow thru" of my upper body (shoulders more square to the net).

In addition, I serve with lots of topspin. The result is that my swing tends to finish more to the right immediately after contact. So my swing has an "unfinished look".

This is a view I did after my first set of videos for someone who wanted to see my serve from the front view (more or less around the same time as the first set of vids).

You could see my swing is finishing more to the left. However, still has that unfinished look more to the front, as the racquet does not wrap around my left side like most pros.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SBNjkWFbzE

I have never really had that complete wrap to the left. Not sure why. Odd things is, that my backhand is similar, in that it looks unfinished as well.

By the way, do you have any idea as to why this might be? Since I posted the vids, lots of people have asked me the same thing. The above is the only explanation I could think of, as it is not a conscious decision on my part to follow thru the way I do.
 
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AJK1

Hall of Fame
Muscle memory probably has a lot to do with it, once we do something for a while our minds and muscles keep on doin' it. But if you're getting results don't change a thing i suppose. I was watching Federer's kick serve lately and he finishes half-way around his back! But with all his shots he has a huge follow through, plus he seems extremely flexible so he's physically capable of doing this.
 

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Here are some videos of me serving over 100 mph.

Some information before we begin:

Racquet : PS 85
String: Ashaway Kevlar Crossfire II , 16 gauge
Tension: 70 lbs.
Tennis Balls: regular Wilson/Penn balls 1-3 weeks old pulled out of my bag.
Shoe: Oscillates, LOL
Video Camera: Kodak 30 fps
Radar Gun: speed track II.

The back fence is a little over 21 feet from the baseline.

Here are two serves I took as soon as I got the radar gun. It was dark out but I just could not wait to play with my new toy. One is 103 MPH, and the second is 107 MPH.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2SC9Pmp-V8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvKjCsXQggc

Lastly, not sure if you could tell but I was unable to jump and explode into the ball as the arch on my left foot is bruised. As a result, I don't leave the ground and land inside the court as it was too painful.


Enjoy!
You have some unorthodox form, but hey, whatever works for you.
 
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Punisha

Professional
andy roddicks form is quite unorthodox and look how he can serve :p i dun mind it, aint the prettiest but results are what count... btw ive seen worse
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
You have some unorthodox form, but hey, whatever works for you.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I am however a little perplexed why you would say "unorthodox form" based on the two serves you used to make that assessment, especially since those two serves are in the dark and you can't see my service motion.

Here are some serves during the day:

105 MPH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYjOyfMicR0

108 MPH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNhhzaj3wc

105 MPH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9aNypGJRVc

If you still feel they are "unorthodox", to each his own. To answer your question, "yes they do work".
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
I have been working on my serve quite a bit the last few months and it feels a lot better than it did at the time I posted my serve videos. While I never thought my serve to be the equal of Drak's, I still fancied that I might be within 10 mph now. So I bought a SpeedDrakX radar, and placed it on the court in the "Drak" poistion, half way between the net and the service line on my side. The best speed I could register was 80 mph. One down the middle serve that registered only 72 mph looked like a very solid one to me. In 3.5 play, I would expect it to be an ace or a service winner. However, I was able to get a 92 mph reading by placing the radar gun behind a fence and serving at it from a closer distance.

The best forehand speed I could get(with a drop hit) was 73 mph. I used a pretty wild swing that I wouldn't attempt in a match.

I measured just one backhand(2h) and that was 55 mph.
 

skuludo

Professional
maverick1 is there any difference between the speed of serves when the tennis ball is soaked in water and one that is dry?
(Soak the ball in water and then smash it. Then once the water is gone the ball should be fluffy and damp)
 
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maverick1

Semi-Pro
maverick1 is there any difference between the speed of serves when the tennis ball is soaked in water and one that is dry?
(Soak the ball in water and then smash it. Then once the water is gone the ball should be fluffy and damp)
I have no idea. I haven't tried serving with a soaked ball. Does it matter? Why do you care whether a soaked ball is faster or slower?
I don't think I want to risk an arm injury trying to hit heavier balls.
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
Mav, Have you compaired the gun to the slow mo video of your video camera and formula?
Thanks
Mike
Mike,
I expected this question from you or 1 or 2 others :)
I didn't video tape these serves. It was <50 degrees with 10-15 mph wind, not very pleasant. I only went out there to try out the new Radar.

I definitely want to do this experiment. This saturday looks like an OK day. I might do it..well now that you asked, I WILL do it, and post back my findings.

My observations so far:
The range of this radar seems to be about 15 feet at best for a Tennis ball.
When I place it half way between the net and the service line(about 30 ft from me), I get distinctly lower readings(about 10 mph) than when I serve from 15 feet. The amount of slowdown through the air is consistent with the assumptions underlying the formula, but quite inconsistent with the experience of drakulie and boojay. It puzzles me how they were able to register such high speeds from such distances, especially boojay. I think boojay had something well over 110mph from a distance of almost 40 feet.
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
Mike,

I compared the radar with my formula today. For this purpose, I think it is best to use serves that went into the net. At least I know the distance fairly accurately, plus the angle of into-the-net serves is more directly towards the radar, so it is likely to give a more accurate reading. I assumed that I was hitting my serves 1 foot inside the baseline, so I used a distance of 38 feet to the net.
Radar was placed on the court about 28/29 feet from me.

Here are the readings( mph)

#, Radar, Formula
1, 72, 74.9
2, 76, 86.1
3, 84, 88.6
4, 82, 78.3
5, 74, 78.3
6, 74, 80.6
7, 81, 86.1
8, 83, 86.1
9, 80, 82.0
10, 72, 82.0

Some of the formula readings are repeated because there is some rounding in my estimates(+/- 1 mph).

On average, the radar understates by 4.5 mph. Sometimes as much as 10 mph, and in one case it showed a higher reading.
The average case agrees nicely with the fact that I expect some slowdown before the ball reaches the range of the radar.

For legal serves(that landed in the service box), I got a much bigger difference, an average of 12.5 mph. 2 explanations for this are
1- cosine error(the serve is traveling not towards the radar but above it)
2. I may be too generous to myself in estimating the distance. What looks like a foot short of the service line may be 3 feet short.

I know the variations don't inspire too much confidence in the formula (or in the radar depending on which you trust more). The radar itself is probably consistent, but the cosine error could be inconsistent depending the type of spin and the direction of your serve.
 

Mike Cottrill

Hall of Fame
Here are the readings( mph)

#, Radar, Formula
1, 72, 74.9
2, 76, 86.1
3, 84, 88.6
4, 82, 78.3
5, 74, 78.3
6, 74, 80.6
7, 81, 86.1
8, 83, 86.1
9, 80, 82.0
10, 72, 82.0.
Thanks Mav. Did you use the slow-mo mode on the camera? Interesting that some are close and others are off more than 10%.
 

sonicdeviant

New User
Impact + Swing = Same Moment

Your serve looks great, but I bet you'll get more pace if you let your racket continue on around your left side after you hit the ball (on the follow-through).

The best way I've learned to do this is to imagine the moment of impact and the moment the racket touches my left hip (on the follow-through) as the SAME EXACT MOMENT. That really causes me to speed up the swing and generate tremendous racket speed, and it prevents stopping the swing during the follow-through.

All that said, if you're kicking butt with your serve during matches, it's not really important how numerically fast the ball is traveling or how much follow-through you have. If you're serve is giving your opponent fits or setting up easy winners for you to put away then it's doing its job!

Happy New Year everyone!
 
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I am however a little perplexed why you would say "unorthodox form" based on the two serves you used to make that assessment, especially since those two serves are in the dark and you can't see my service motion.

Here are some serves during the day:

105 MPH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYjOyfMicR0

108 MPH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNhhzaj3wc

105 MPH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9aNypGJRVc

If you still feel they are "unorthodox", to each his own. To answer your question, "yes they do work".

everything on your serve looks pretty much textbook except for the follow through. Your knee bend, shoulder turn, and mechanics are GREAT. The only thing i can think of is that maybe you're slowing down your swing a bit as you make contact, which might mean that you're trying to muscle the swing instead of letting the racquet do the work for you. I would love to see a video of you're serve when you're completely healthy, as it was clear in those ones that you couldn't explode up to the ball and that your body wasn't square with the net when you made contact with the ball. Those two thing probably took 10 or 15 mph off your serve!
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Wow, I did not realize this thread was still going!

Mav, anymore updates?? After calculating your own serves against the radar and seeing the differences first hand, what would you say the difference in mph is between the serves I posted??

By the way, one day I took it out for noskillz to have a go at it. He hit one serve in the high 90's. We then hit ground strokes with the radar at the net. I was hitting ground strokes (both sides) in the 70 mph range, with one forehand in the mid 80's.

Thanks, keep me updated!

sonicdeviant, magilligan thanks for the feedback!
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
Mav, anymore updates?? After calculating your own serves against the radar and seeing the differences first hand, what would you say the difference in mph is between the serves I posted??
I feel the SpeedDrakX, when placed half way between service line and net, understates speed by 7 to 10 mph. But I think you found the difference to be smaller. I am confused.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah, if you remember from the formula thread, I definitely felt something was off....not necessarily the formula, but perhaps "pilot error" on our part. When trying to decide how many frames, or the "actual distance" this may be where it got a little tricky.

By the way, what is your fastest serve so far, and what do you feel you are averaging??
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
Yeah, if you remember from the formula thread, I definitely felt something was off....not necessarily the formula, but perhaps "pilot error" on our part. When trying to decide how many frames, or the "actual distance" this may be where it got a little tricky.
I actually think it is the Radar that is fraught with problems. I don't trust it much at all. If you hit 10 serves with about the same effort, I guarantee you will come up with bigger variation in speeds with the radar than with the framecount/distance method.

By the way, what is your fastest serve so far, and what do you feel you are averaging??
Based on my best judgment(if it is possible to objective about your own serve), my first serves that I don't mishit/mistime are now 90+mph. Not worth bragging about, but for me that is significant improvement. They hit the back fence on once bounce if they land deep in the box and are close to the T, occasionally as high as 3 feet. I am using old balls in chilly weather on hard courts. Fences are 21 ft behind the baseline.

While you were on your Christmas break, I posted some videos:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=111039
Of the 4 views, the one from behind shows the serve bouncing. That is probably close to the fastest I have served. You can step through the video easily and count the frames to get an idea of the speed.
 

Fedace

Banned
Drakulie. Do you use the pin point stance and launch up, like Nick Bolletieri teaches, and if so do you thing that adds to your power?
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Mav, great job!! Yeah your serve has shown definite improvement. The mechanics are so much better and smoother. Do you feel your serve is giving your opponents more problems as of late??



Fedace, I use a platform stance. Some people are more comfortable with the pin point. I feel the platform makes it easier for me to serve, because I don't have to worry about an added movement in my delivery. Some people feel the pinpoint adds power, but truth is, neither one has shown to add more power than the other.
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
Mav, great job!! Yeah your serve has shown definite improvement. The mechanics are so much better and smoother. Do you feel your serve is giving your opponents more problems as of late??
Thanks Drak, both for the compliment and tips you passed on. Tossing arm more parallel to baseline was all due to you.

I am winning my service games more easily now.
It is more apparent in doubles when the returner can't just float back a good serve. I have been playing double with some 4.0 guys( who admittedly lose a lot in USTA leagues). I lose serve the least among those players. Couple of days ago I went 3 sets without being broken. In the past, my service games used to be a coin-toss(50-50).
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Mav, awesome to hear! Amazing what a good serve could do, and you have only been working on it for a few months. And yes, I agree in doubles a good serve goes even further as the returner can't depend on floating it back--especially if you have a decent partner at net.

Are you playing your matches with the PS 85?? I noticed you were hitting with one in your serve vids. YEAH BABY!! IT ROCKS! If so, how do you feel it compares to the other racquet you were/are using??
 

maverick1

Semi-Pro
Are you playing your matches with the PS 85?? I noticed you were hitting with one in your serve vids. YEAH BABY!! IT ROCKS! If so, how do you feel it compares to the other racquet you were/are using??
For serves, the PS85 is my favorite. I have tried the Babolat PDR, The Federer 90, and others.

On the fast indoor where I play these days, I feel the PS85 is my best racket overall. There the low skidding slices(hit by opponents) fly off the PDR without control.
On slower outdoor courts, especially when I playing heavy topspin hitters, I have a little more trouble with the PS85. I am incapable of taking full swings against heavy topspin. It may be because I don't see much of that. Here the PDR is helpful. A short swing through the ball is enough to keep it deep and out of trouble. I haven't tried different combinations of string tensions and rackets. My PS85s are strung at 62 lbs with Luxilon, which is like 68lbs with other strings. The PDR has 55 lbs on a larger frame, so the tension difference alone might explain what I am seeing.
 
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