Junk Rubber Withdrawal Symptoms

Junk rubber! That’s kind of offensive. But, that’s what they call long pips, anti-spin, medium pips, and sometimes short pips. If you really want to trigger a long pips player, don’t just tell them they’re using junk; tell them it’s garbage. It’s okay to mention that only an old white guy would stoop to such tactics. 

I recently went to using smooth rubber on both my backhand and forehand. It wasn’t because of the relentless pressure of 1300 level players accusing me of cheating. I’m perfectly comfortable being a member of an oppressed minority. For me, it was more of an experiment. Hurricane on my backhand was working so well, it only made sense to see what it would feel like to have it on both sides. It took a few days to get the racket angle right and make some strides with forehand looping, but it appears that there’s no real dropoff in my level of play. In some ways I’m probably playing better, but it’s not quite as fun. 

There are some positives of using smooth rubber on both sides. It is generally a better setup for coaching. It’s easier to play further back from the table. There’s no need to twiddle after serving. There’s less chance of being shunned by narrow minded pipsaphobes. 

But, my plan is to keep at least one racket to ease my cravings. Why? Occasionally, it will be helpful for coaching. I’d hate for my students to encounter junk rubber for the first time at their first tournament. It is possible to play further back and chop with pips. While I can rarely pull this off in a match, it’s a fun exercise for training. Twiddling is a skill that took me so long to master that I hate to completely abandon it. Having two completely different racket coverings, adds a dimension to playing that is extremely addictive. 

In some ways, it really doesn’t matter that much if you use conventional rubber or something that will change the pace of the game. Your natural tendencies won’t really change. You may be one of the rare individuals who was born to use long pips, or you might only be happy with fast rubber and five layers of booster.  Occasionally, it’s fun to try a different approach. A change might do you good.

2 Replies to “Junk Rubber Withdrawal Symptoms”

    1. I found it to be very helpful, but everybody doesn’t do it. It really depends on your style. Learning how to twiddle isn’t as hard as knowing when to twiddle.

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