I could easily have changed the c to an s and written about the joys of online shopping. Years of ordering blades and rubber prepared me well. I now get my groceries delivered to my door, and pretty much anything else that might make my semi quarantined life more pleasant. But, this post is about a subject that very few table tennis players fully appreciate. Instead of posting a picture of my collection of straight handled paddles, my intention was to post a really good picture of a chopper in action. I didn’t have any. It’s hard to find a good picture of a chopper, because there aren’t a ton of choppers out there. I’m kind of a part time chopper. I’d chop all the time if I thought I could survive with that style. It’s way more fun than blocking, and more interesting than attacking. Here’s why.
- Longer rallies – What if you could have rallies that averaged ten shots instead of five. A twenty shot rally is really fun, and not unusual for a really good defensive chopper.
- Conditioning – Those twenty shot rallies can be exhausting. You can recognize choppers by their sweat soaked shirts. Aggressive attackers have to be in good shape too, but choppers have to be in great shape. Part of a choppers strategy should be to wear down attackers. That won’t work if the chopper wears out first.
- Different mental approach – If the plan is to stay in a rally as long as possible, there’s more time to work out different strategies. There’s the possibility of changing the spin dramatically. Good defensive players do attack. Their attacks can be very effective, partially because they are usually unexpected.
- Specialized equipment – Most choppers have very different rubber on each side of their paddles. Twiddling the paddle to change the spin is really fun, even if it’s not always effective. A slow pips rubber on one side can keep the rallies slow enough to survive, while a faster rubber on the other side can allow for heavy spin and occasional attacks.
- Novelty – As mentioned earlier, there aren’t a lot of good choppers. Some players will get impatient playing against choppers. They won’t be used to heavy underspin, no spin, long rallies, and sporadic attacks.
It’s not easy to play a defensive game. It will take longer to develop. It seems like the modern game rewards fast attackers, but there’s still room for those who are brave enough to play modern defense. It’s a little harder, but it’s a lot more fun.