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PostPosted: 13 Mar 2021, 04:21 
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My original post (found here: viewtopic.php?t=29925 ) was all about chopping with long pips. It answered why they are used for chopping, and how they help with chopping. Since this post, I have had people asking to know about attacking with long pips.

Here are some tips for attacking and blocking with long pips. I won’t be explaining the mechanics behind the long pips again, so if you want to know that, please see the original post about chopping with long pips. Just know that the basic mechanics and physics stay the same, and you just have to adjust the stroke you use in your head to estimate what spin you will produce. Keep in mind I am not a pro or expert, and can only give you pointers based on my own perspective and skill set. Which is mid-level chopper with estimated USATT rating around 1500 ish (best guess). I used to be a purely defensive chopper, and am now continuing to work on being a modern chopper with more attack and aggressive play.

In general, as you move up to play people with higher skill level, you will rarely win points based on spin alone. Most players will know how to deal with heavy backspin, and most players won’t get confused with the way long pips work. In fact, as you move higher up, long pip players could have a disadvantage in many situations, since long pips have less variation, and can become easier to predict to a high level player.

As such, the goal of long pips is not to win points, but to keep you in the point until you can set up a kill shot of your own, or to set up a weak return from your opponent that you can take advantage of. Since long pips were made primarily to combat spin, they are primarily a defensive rubber, they have limited abilities to attack. But here are some tips I have picked up that should translate well for most long pip choppers.

Blocking/Pushing

I tend to use blocking and pushing as a transition phase when I get caught close to the table, such as when I’m serving, or get pulled close to the table with a short shot. I don’t often do it consistently unless the situation calls for it, and normally try to move back to 3-6 feet.

I do not recommend passive blocking or passive pushing for most people. It is difficult to control. Instead, I recommend using a small or short stroke for both situations (either over the table in a push situation, or just off the table in a block situation). This can often be called a chop block if using a short downward stroke, but I do not know if that is the official name. A chop block can give you similar results as a full chop once you get the feeling down with the limitation that you cannot create as much spin of your own. Keeping in mind the physics of long pips, you can also do short sideways or upward strokes. Mainly, getting all the long pips to bend in one direction greatly increases your control of the shot, but getting the ball to do what you want still depends on the physics of long pips, the spin and speed of the ball coming in, and the goal you have with your shot.

When adept at chop blocks, you can often control the location of the ball well, even on strong loops. This means you can use it to throw your opponent off balance or make them move where you want them with a well placed chop block, making it harder for them to get a strong return. With some practice, you even get a bit of pace on your chop block so they have less time to react to it, which can also lead to a weak return. This technique can be an actual play style when used effectively, but normally can only be high-level if combined with advanced twiddling techniques and great finishing shots. Also, if this is your main goal, you’re probably not mainly a chopper, so we are getting off topic…

In theory, by getting the angle of the paddle and right amount of push or give you impart onto the ball, you can send a dead ball back to your opponent. The long pips will eat the spin, and then you send the ball back to them will little or no spin. This dead ball can sometimes be hard to deal with, and if you give it back to them with enough pace to force a decision, they will sometimes read the ball wrong and make a mistake.

However, in practice, this is very hard to do consistently, because you want to “smoosh” your long pips so they spread out in different directions when you contact the ball. It is like throwing a knuckleball in baseball. A well-thrown knuckleball is hard for a batter to hit with consistency or power. A bad knuckleball basically serves up the ball on a tee to a good batter. There are very few professional pitchers that even attempt throwing knuckleballs in a game, because it is a very difficult ball to throw, and even harder to throw accurately. Even then, knuckleball pitchers don’t throw them to strike out batters, they throw them to make it hard for batters to get solid contact. A good batter can still put a knuckleball in play, and then it’s up to the fielders to clean it up. So unless your clean up game is great, and your knuckleball is super consistent, it is a very hard way to win games.

As such, I only recommend this kind of passive blocking to catch your opponent off guard, if your opponent is having a ton of trouble reading spin off of long pips, or if you are a very adept twiddler that can switch back and forth with ease and speed without confusing yourself.

For a classic chopper, your blocking/pushing long pip game is just to help you transition into your traditional chopping long pip game.

For a modern chopper, your blocking/pushing long pip game is just to help set up your forehand attack, or transition you into your traditional chopping long pip game.

Attacking/Looping

Attacking or looping with long pips is not easy. In the same way you have to get used to and develop your feel of the game when transitioning from inverted rubber to long pips for your chop, you have to do the same for your attack. And the advantages that long pips give your chop do not necessarily help your attack/loop.

There is a reason that loopers almost without exception use inverted rubber on both sides. You can consistently loop or topspin in almost every situation, regardless of the spin coming in. You just need to have the correct paddle angle and stroke. With long pips, you can ONLY create topspin with specific situations, mainly when you have backspin incoming. Even then, you have the same limitations as you do with inverted rubber. If they keep the ball low, deep and with heavy backspin, you will have just as much trouble, if not more, attacking that ball as a regular inverted player would.

As a general rule of thumb, it is always better to attack/loop with inverted. So if you have inverted on one side of your paddle, it is almost aways better to move your body or twiddle your paddle to use your inverted rubber to attack. The following are recommendations for when that is not possible.

If you have incoming topspin, looping that ball back with long pips is almost impossible, even if it’s just a light topspin. As such, you should never rely on your long pips for looping. Since the times when a loop with long pips is both possible AND the right choice is so few and far between, it doesn’t make sense to be something you practice enough to become very good at. Your time is almost always better spent working on something else. The only exception to using a looping motion with long pips is when FAKING a loop by using your long pips in the same motion as your normal inverted rubber. That technique is very hard to do consistently and during a rally, though. Long story short, don’t try to loop with long pips. I won’t talk about looping anymore.

The best, and maybe only, good time to attack with long pips is when you are close to the table, and have a direct line-of-sight from the ball to your opponents side of the table. This situation normally arises when your opponent has trouble returning one of your shots, or tries a short drop shot. If they leave the ball high, short and to your long pips side, a quick flick or slap of the ball with your long pips can often put it away. When attacking, it is still normally still wise to hit the ball in a way that all your pips bend in the same direction to maintain control. This might mean a slight side, upward or even downward stroke.

The main thing to focus on is the angle of your paddle to aim the ball down towards your opponents side of the table where you want it to land, NOT the kind of spin you are putting on the ball. If you don’t have a direct line-of-sight from the ball to the table, and are relying on bending or looping the ball to get back down to the table, then you should not be using your long pips to do this. Also, your ball is likely going to float if it was coming at you with any topspin. So you need to have enough clearance to account for the possibility of float.

Attacking in this way will normally result in less pace than when using inverted, and will have more float to it, giving your opponent a little more time to return the ball. But for times when switching to your inverted is not an option, attacking with your long pips in this way can help you win some points outright, or lead your opponent to into a terrible return, giving you the chance put the point away with your inverted rubber. For players that are not used to seeing long pip attacks, it can also be very disorienting and difficult to return.

Conclusion

For choppers, attacks should only be used when close to the net and with high percentage shots. When the ball is deeper, even when left high by your opponent, attacking with long pips becomes a much lower percentage shot, and rarely has the ability to put the point away. You are better off either using your inverted rubber for that shot, or just chopping it back to live another day.

And never attack with long pips when there is not a direct line-of-sight between the ball and your opponents side of the table. You may pull off crazy shot here or there, but the points you lose will far outweigh the ones you win in almost all situations.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2021, 08:03 
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It is possible to loop with LPs with sponge. The problem that you get balls that makes this technique controllable and effective only at lower level. The only practical reason to loop I can remember when you pushed opponent away from the table out of position and he chopped a ball -- you may want to return the underspin ball shortly but fastly.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2021, 15:11 
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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2021, 18:48 
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Omut wrote:
It is possible to loop with LPs with sponge. The problem that you get balls that makes this technique controllable and effective only at lower level. The only practical reason to loop I can remember when you pushed opponent away from the table out of position and he chopped a ball -- you may want to return the underspin ball shortly but fastly.


To be pedantic I don't think that's an actual loop. More like a lifting topspin drive with an open racket face, the sort of bread-and-butter stroke attacking players used all the time against choppers back in the hardbat era. You are in essence returning the opponent's backspin as topspin.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2021, 09:51 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Omut wrote:
It is possible to loop with LPs with sponge. The problem that you get balls that makes this technique controllable and effective only at lower level. The only practical reason to loop I can remember when you pushed opponent away from the table out of position and he chopped a ball -- you may want to return the underspin ball shortly but fastly.


To be pedantic I don't think that's an actual loop. More like a lifting topspin drive with an open racket face, the sort of bread-and-butter stroke attacking players used all the time against choppers back in the hardbat era. You are in essence returning the opponent's backspin as topspin.

Iskandar

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LN0p0NoRJE8
Modern sandpaper ping-pong offensive game does not look like "bread-and-butter". LPs with sponge are much better then sandpaper for loop.


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