You may know backhand “banana flick” or “chiquita flick”. But have you heard about the “Boomerang Flick” (Strawberry flick) in table tennis? Today, I will show you a training session of Zhang Jike and the China Head Coach Liu Guoliang.
What is the “boomerang” flick in table tennis?
In fact, the “boomerang” flick is the pure side spin flick. It’s also called as “strawberry flick”. This technique is not new. It is used by many young Japanese players (Miu Hirano and Mima Ito). Some French players like Adrien Mattenet also used this flick. In this training session, Liu Guoliang wants Zhang Jike to learn this technique and use it as a “variation” for his traditional banana flick.
Boomerang flick will make the ball spin “anti-clockwise” so the ball will go to the forehand side of the opponent. While the banana flick normally attacks the ball to the backhand side. These two types of flick have the same gesture at the beginning. If you can change the direction at the last moment, you can surprise the opponent and win the point.
So, boomerang flick is a strawberry flick!
Tips to play the boomerang or strawberry flick
Liu Guoliang said, “Surprise is the key”. Change the gesture only at the last moment. And hit when the ball is at the highest bouncing position. Want to see Zhang Jike in action, see this video:
Coach Liu also emphasized the “acceleration”. He asked Zhang Jike several times to use only the wrist to accelerate the ball. This will shorten the stroke, and make the opponent difficult to guess in which direction the ball goes.
Zhang Jike has tested this new flick, and it works very well versus Zhou Qihao.
It’s not bad for you to try this new technique. One day, maybe it will become the standard technique in table tennis? Who knows? Do you remember the day when P. Korbel introduces the “banana flick”?
Now, the backhand flick has become one of the most important technique in table tennis.
2 types of the backhand flick in table tennis
There are 2 types of the backhand flick in table tennis: banana flick, and strawberry flick.
- Banana flick: Also called as “chiquita flick”, mainly used to return the short, and topspin serve. The ball is rotated from left to right and normally is returned to the left side of the server.
- Strawberry flick or called as boomerang flick. This is the new type of the backhand flick technique. The ball has the reversed spin: rotation from right to left. Very effective to deal with the strong forehand attacker player.