22.08.2020 - Vienna, Austria
In beach volleyball, as in basically any other aspect of life, people who develop their own ways to do things and succeed tend to create a unique identity within their industries. As with any other sport, beach volleyball had its own standards and routines, but they are certainly not the only ways to accomplish the end goals players set for themselves.
Over the course of their careers, some players went to establish their own identities inside the court due to not only a great level of play but also by creating and developing moves only they are capable of executing to perfection.
These trademark moves are easily identified by the fans who follow their matches around the globe and add to their profile as players. Here are five of these moves, which, we’re sure, you will waste no time in identifying.
Anders Mol can do a handful of impressive things with a beach volley ball on his hands, but funny enough one of his moves that get the most fans on the edge of their seats happens after matches are over. If you have ever been to a tournament that the Beach Volley Vikings won – and if you have been to any tournaments at all in the last two years there’s a good chance that was the case – you know what we’re talking about. When the Viking claps start at the stands, you can tell something exciting is on the way and in that case it’s Anders’ backflip celebration, a move you’d never expect a 2m-tall person could do so smoothly, but one someone with the Norwegian’s outstanding body control can easily master. We have to confess that it’s a little frustrating that Christian Sørum cannot keep up with his partner when it comes to backflipping, but hopefully he used the quarantine time to put some work on it.
Offense is meant to score points. Defense is meant to avoid points from being scored. It certainly takes a genius mind to find a way to accomplish both of these goals, as opposite as they might be, with a single move during a beach volleyball game. But, let’s be honest, Laura Ludwig is a genius. If you were on defense and realized an easy shot was coming your way, what would you do? Probably focusing on getting that dig nicely into your partner’s hands and preparing to score in transition, right? In that case, Laura would be at least two steps ahead of you. But don’t feel bad, she’s always two steps ahead of us all to be honest and what she’d do would be taking a shortcut and bumping the ball straight back to her opponent’s court, making the dig and scoring the point with a single touch. It’s called “The Ludwig” for good reason and you probably saw that from her already, didn’t you?
This is a very popular one and you probably saw it already too. The entirety of Adrian Carambula’s game is pretty unique and could be considered his trademark, but the one aspect that stands out and which everyone immediately links to the Italian star is his serving technique. Carambula is the only player in the Beach Major Series to constantly make use of the Skyball serve that earned him the Mr. Skyball nickname. The idea here is to hit to ball upwards as hard as possible so it falls into the opponent’s court with a lot of speed. The tricky part of receiving this serve, though, is not dealing with the ball’s speed from the top down, but with the spin it gets while in the air instead. You’ll rarely see a Skyball serve landing directly in the sand like the one below, but you’ll see it getting a lot of teams out of system due to a bad pass and that’s exactly Carambula’s goal with it.
High-fives and yells are normally the go-to celebrations for most beach volleyball players around the world. If they just scored an important point, were on the right side at the end of a long rally or won the set or the match, it’s not unusual to see a couple of happy teammates hug in the sand either. For Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman, though, every point deserves a hug. Important or meaningless, long or short, it doesn’t matter, they always lean towards each other at the end of a play and get together to congratulate and thank each other for the effort they just made for the team. Word is that they adopted the hugs following a suggestion of a former coach who saw in them a strategy for the veterans to get some extra time to breathe after a long rally, but it seems these two feel so well together that they just want to hug whenever they have a chance and we’re absolutely fine with it.
If you ever watched a match of Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen you probably noticed the Dutch can hit the ball hard. If you were really paying attention to it, you possibly repeatedly heard an unexpected sound right before Meeuwsen was about to spike the ball at the net. After a few times, you might have realized the sound was actually a clap and maybe you thought some Dutch fan had just jumped the gun in the stands and started celebrating the point even before it was scored. Well, get ready for the truth. The clap was coming from a lot closer you first imagined, more precisely from his partner Brouwer. Don’t ask us why, but the Olympic medalist developed this unusual technique of clapping his hands right before they contact the ball for a set. If it works? Well, just ask Rob.