Getting an Edge With Short Pips

No. I’m not talking about the ball hitting the edge of the table. Although, if you can really place your shots, aiming for the lines is certainly possible. If you’re using short pips you’ll need that level of control. In the case of the short pips attacker, you’ve already got an edge. The edge I’m referring to is for players that aren’t all out attackers. Defensive players, pick hitters, and players that are looking for a little more control or variation might consider short pips.Before you go to the comment section and start whining about how pips should be banned, or that there should be pips only tournaments, just stop. I speak for pips players everywhere. It’s getting old. It’s not funny when you’ve heard it a thousand times. Bruce and Michael, I’m talking to you. If you think playing with super speed, high tension, boosted, ultra-tacky, rubber somehow makes for a level playing field, think again. I have some bad news for you. You’re playing with pips too. Inverted rubber is pimples in rubber. The qualities that you love with high speed – high spin rubber are created by the size and density of the pips that you don’t see. If you have trouble playing against pimples out rubber, get some training, figure it out, or just shut up. Hey! That felt good. I guess I should let my true feelings out more often. Watch out world. 

Now that I’ve alienated half of my readers, let’s get back to our short pips conversation. There are some real advantages to using short pips, especially for intermediate level players. First, there’s added control. Short pips don’t require a huge change in your strokes, if you are coming from inverted rubber. It’s possible to hit with a more open racket angle. Pips out rubber does take the edge off of heavily spun shots. Short pips don’t eliminate or reverse spin. They moderate spin. Some players discover this ability to reduce spin makes table tennis more enjoyable, and allows for a more controlled game, and new strategies.Those new strategies involve spin variation. If one side of the racket has pips, and the other side has smooth rubber, the difference can give you the best of both worlds. Certainly, the variation won’t be as great as if you were to use long pips, anti-spin, or even medium pips rubber. The question is, if there is enough variation to bother with short pips at all. While you may see little difference in your normal forehand and backhand drives, loops and chops will be noticeably different. There is the possibility of some versatility for a creative player. Short pips are particularly good for blocking, changing speeds, attacking, and precise ball placement. There are even some short pips choppers.

What has been surprising to me is that the edge I get from short pips is equal to any advantage that long or medium pips provided. There is excellent control, decent speed, and the ability to change spin. Short pips are equally effective on the forehand or backhand. There’s a lot to like about short pips, and they are not difficult to use. Some players will never try them because of a preconceived notion that “real table tennis players” use smooth rubber. Inverted is the right choice for many players, but it’s not the only choice. If you play close to the table and need some control and variation in your game, short pips could help. If you tend to hit and block, short pips will compliment that style. Perhaps you truly hate playing against long pips. Short pips can be incredibly effective against long pips blockers. But, if you are boosting your rubber, or you can power loop simply by wiggling your pinky finger, short pips probably aren’t for you. You don’t need an edge. You’ve already got the upper hand. 

10 Replies to “Getting an Edge With Short Pips”

  1. Pips out are a great weapon. I have a sheet coming to me on Monday. I figure if I can’t beat a player rated 400 points below me then I might as well join them. Long pips on my backhand starts Tuesday.

  2. LOL. I kind of like your “true nature” Jon. I thought you were writing this to me – the chief pips complainer. Here’s a free mental health tip for you. Let it rip more often. It’s good for you. LMAO

  3. Hi Jon
    Have you written about using short pips on both backhand and forehand.?
    Would this reduce looping and lunging forward, both of which are to be avoided as much as possible per medical advice on hernias.

    1. Hi Julia The movements with short pips on both sides are different. Unless you are chopping, you will need to stay pretty close to the table. I have not found it to be any less physically strenuous.

  4. Oh I love your comment…….regaring pips haters. Excellent! I started using LP on my backhand about six months ago and the compeition is dropping like flies, LOL. Now considering SP on FH. Great info here, thanks!

  5. Hello Jon, Mike D here in the last month I have started using Victas VO>102 short pips on my forehand, I was using MXP, my backhand is Anti friendship 804 which I attack with. I do agree with your analysis of short pips it opened another door to the Twilight Zone! Most of my fellow combatants agree that I do hit harder with Victas . I found that flipping every now and then also creates havoc. I can’t see myself ever going back to smooth inverted rubber. I enjoyed reading your article.
    Power to the Pips!

  6. I’m a 71 year old who recently started playing table tennis after about a 40 year gap. I’m more of a blocker but love to smash balls too. I’ve never had a spin game and prefer just to have more control but minimize my opponents spin. I’m very confused but think a small pips out racket would be the best for me. I just have an inverted butterfly rubber now I bought for about $25, Any suggestions.

    1. Short pips are for you then mark
      Brilliant for blocking and punching shots and they can be incredibly fast if you have sponge. I have joola ultra express with 1.7 sponge and blocking and control is incredible- controlling serve is a breeze.
      Good luck- if you go for long pips it will change your game completely they take a long time to master I have used them with some success only cause opponents hate them and you get the ball to come up high for ya and you can also twiddle and totally confuse your opponent,
      Charlie Ross.

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