How to Float Serve in Volleyball

Learn how to float serve in volleyball in this Howcast volleyball video with Aurora Skarra-Gallagher and Tanya White.

There are several different kinds of serves in beach volleyball that you can utilize when you’re playing. However, one of the most used serves is a float serve. One of the great things about the float serve on the beach is that there is a lot of wind. A float serve is a serve where you contact the ball flat. The ball floats.

If you’re able to do that consistently, and there’s wind, the ball’s going to float a lot more. It is a lot harder to track and pass a ball that’s moving than it is to track and pass a ball that has top spin. A top spin serve hits this way and drops, and so the wind doesn’t affect a top spin serve the way it affects a float serve.

A float serve you’re going to toss the ball up in front of your right hand, you lean back, and then you make contact high but you make it flat hand, flat palm on the ball.

A couple of things to avoid when you’re float serving is how your hand contacts the ball. This can be called ice cream cone or Miss America. We’re not waving down a parade. We want to contact the volleyball solidly. So, I want you to think about having a solid bear paw and contacting it with your full hand. Also, if you have soft, weak hands then it’s going to fluff the ball and you won’t get solid contact.

A solid, high five contact on the ball will enable you to get that float. You also want to contact the ball in the middle of the ball to get the float. If you contact it underneath, it will shoot up. If you contact it on top it will drop down. There’s a happy medium when you’re on the medium meat of the ball and you’re hitting with the meat of your hand to engage that float serve. Don’t end up wristing, because that’s a top spin. Finish, and high five.

To get instant feedback on the ball, toss, step, and leave your hand up for about three seconds. It will give you instant feedback, without a coach, to what happened to the ball. If you contacted it this way, and the ball went that way, you’re going to get instant feedback to yourself. Same if you contact the ball this way. You want to, ideally, toss, step, and contact the ball head on, and then you can slowly work on different places to hit the ball.

And those are a couple of tips and techniques to float serve in beach volleyball.