2016 Rio Olympics: Mr. Skyball, Italian volleyball player, shows the best serve ever

August 22, 2016

It’s called Skyball and is performed by Adrian Carambula, beach volleyball player of the Italian team at the Rio Olympics, the weirdest and possibly best serve ever.

Carambula has invented Skyball by turning around and bashing an underhand serve over his head, with the plus of “some spin”. The goal? To confuse the opponent team, and the trick seems to be working: as UsaToday explained in a dedicated article, the ball “seemingly travels to the moon, before it lands in the opposing side of the court”.

The Italian volleyball player explained how his serve works to the Wall Street Journal, in a behind the scenes interview that is letting sport-lovers mouth agape. In Carambula’s words, Skyball gets the opponents “off rhythm”.

The beach volley Italian team did very, very well during its Olympic matches, possibly thanks to the golden couple composed by Adrian and his partner Alex Ranghieri. And Skyball is the most admired and fashionable “trick” at the 2016 Rio Olympics: considered both exciting and wonderful by the fans, the serve is definitely destined to make history.

What makes Skyball especially tricky are the unexpected trajectories the ball can take, making it almost un-playable by receiving opponents.

"Skyball is pretty much a serve I use to get people off rhythm," Carambula said.

"I think it's part of my game because it's different and people don't really train against it. It's just a movement that, for me, comes naturally. I just know that I wanna put the ball up, I feel the wind, and then I let the ball and my body and everything come natural. Whenever I go to a tournament they don't even say 'Adrian' anymore, they just say 'Mr. Skyball.' So it's a pretty cool thing."

The Italian volley player doesn't think his serve should be emulated.

"If you wanna do something like [the skyball], let it come to you naturally. Don't try to do it like how I do it because it's not gonna work for you."

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