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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2019, 10:42 
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I've made the swap from LP to SP and back again and back again many times...

For me, it's much better using SP against players who know how to dink against long pips but cannot attack very consistently.

And it's better to use LP against lower end players who always muck up the spins or against higher rated players who know how to loop and attack consistently.

With the SP, you must be aware of your positioning much more. Using ox LP, I could be essentially anywhere and if I got a paddle on the ball, I could guide it back onto the table even with decent reversal. With SP, those result in high pop ups or misses...

I relate to your sentiment of wanting to be 'in the driver seat' when playing the game. Even if it's more difficult, the idea you have control over what happens can be very satisfying.

I'm torn between the idea of staying as a classical defender and using SP to focus on spin manipulation, winning through defensive craftiness... or going back to using OX LP and really cranking up the FH attack power. Where I essentially just dink back the returns any which way with the backhand until I can secure a forehand winner.

Twiddling also entered my mind, though I think trying to improve on just one rubber per side might be best given the amateur nature of my game and training opportunities..

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 00:05 
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skilless_slapper wrote:
I've made the swap from LP to SP and back again and back again many times...

For me, it's much better using SP against players who know how to dink against long pips but cannot attack very consistently.

And it's better to use LP against lower end players who always muck up the spins or against higher rated players who know how to loop and attack consistently.

With the SP, you must be aware of your positioning much more. Using ox LP, I could be essentially anywhere and if I got a paddle on the ball, I could guide it back onto the table even with decent reversal. With SP, those result in high pop ups or misses...

I relate to your sentiment of wanting to be 'in the driver seat' when playing the game. Even if it's more difficult, the idea you have control over what happens can be very satisfying.

I'm torn between the idea of staying as a classical defender and using SP to focus on spin manipulation, winning through defensive craftiness... or going back to using OX LP and really cranking up the FH attack power. Where I essentially just dink back the returns any which way with the backhand until I can secure a forehand winner.

Twiddling also entered my mind, though I think trying to improve on just one rubber per side might be best given the amateur nature of my game and training opportunities..


Apologies for the late response. It's been very busy the last two weeks. That's also the reason why I didn't update my blog. I'll do that today.

I'm used to chopping with LPs with a thick sponge, so the transitioning isn't as heavy as yours is. My positioning is critical to do a chop that needs to land on the table. To unveil a tip of the iceberg: Friendship 802 was quite a heavy transitioning rubber - chop low, hit at the peak of the ball trajectory - but Spectol is much more forgiving.

You might want to try the route I've been attempting for many years as a middle step in your transitioning to a SP chopper - if you choose to be that - namely using grippy LPs with thick sponge.

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 09:02 
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My apologies for skipping a week in updating my blog, but it's been very busy. That has been quite rewarding, however. I've got a new job as a software test engineer at the Free University of Brussels. The contract is permanent. :party: :party: :party:

This is a TT blog, however, so let's talk TT. So I'll write two posts. One of last week, one of this week. So let's start with last week. I've played K. again - K. is the decent looper previously mentioned. This time my chops were more deceptive than the last time we trained together. I could generate no spin and heavy backspin with ease and K. made a of errors. However, control wise it's very hard to do. Timing is everything. A slight error in that department and the chop is not of good quality or worse: it ends up not flying into the table.

I played the game against higher leveled opponents. It turned out three of them were higher leveled than me, one lower leveled. I lost three games, but I won agains their highest leveled player (C0 - I thinks that's +-2300 USATT, even a bit higher). He's a defender and a modern one at that. He plays with anti. He made a lot of errors when encountering no spin balls. I also blasted SP stylz his chops with his anti past him. I won 3-2, 11-9 in the final set.

That's some great news. But I also lost to the other three... All of them were attackers. I noticed three things in all those games: (1) My consistency is not up to par yet; (2) I think I hit a not returnable chop that ends up being looped past me, as I am not in ready position; (3) My weaknesses are more exploitable, my strenghts are stronger.

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 09:11 
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Congratulations on your new job! Such a thing, or lack of such things, tend to affect other parts of life as well...

For each time you write you should also write what setup you are using. Going back here in a year you will not remember (not sure if you need to, but other who com here and read will benefit from it).

Just keep working nd keep believing. I can relate to being surprised when opponent returns a monster chop that should not be returnable :). But remember, you will probably win more points from opponent looping too high or long than from opponents netting.

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 09:37 
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Last Sunday I decided to give Spectol a try. I removed the 802 and glued on the Spectol. Back, 1,5mm. The pips are wider spaced and are a tad flexible. I think the pips are also a tad longer.

I didn't have a quality training Monday. I didn't find anything particularly interesting about the Spectol that day. Yes, it has a soft feeling and control wise it's better for chopping, but I found it harder to attack with. It also has some unexpected funk and reversal, especially against backspin.

However, the Spectol started to shine Tuesday. I had a game that day. There were three opponents. The game consists of 3 against 3 singles and one double: ten games in total. I only played my three single games. I only won one set, against their highest leveled player (B4 - +- 2400 USATT or a bit higher). However, he's a control player. I lost to the other players, but I didn't feel I had no chance against all three opponents. I made too many mistakes and my chops weren't high quality enough. The Spectol shines, however, in being a lot more forgiving than 802 when it comes to positioning. It also cushions quite a bit, resulting in all my chops landing on the table, but harmless due to my own shortcomings in not generating enough swing speed to counter the spin of the opponent. It felt like my P1-R, but with more control, less funk, a lot faster when hitting and a tad faster when chopping and a lot more ability to generate spin. It was also more disturbing to deal with as an opponent when attacking then 802 is. Interesting!

Last Thurday I had a great training session. I played half an hour against R. (D0), a looper of my own level. My consistency is not there yet, but I could generate no spin and heavy backspin with ease and it was very effective if not detected. However, attacking a push with my Spectol is still a work in progress. If they land, they are more disturbing than 802 hits, however not quite as fast (but still fast enough to hit a winner or weak ball).

Next was K. (B0) - a different K.. This guy plays a division lower than J.-M. Saive and plays 80% in that division!!! He's good. He was a bit injured, though, and took it a bit easy if he felt the injury. He refrained himself sometimes to go full mode. Spectol is just marvelous when hitting his topspins - believe me: this guy's topspins are loaded as hell: it's deceptive flight wise, great control and the more spin you get, the lower trajectory it sends back. I didn't try to chop against him, though, afraid to get blasted away at this stage of my development as a SP chopper.

All in all I think 802 will collect dust in my closet and I'll go further with Spectol. First reason being a lot more controlling and a lot less demanding in positioning when chopping; second reason being more funky when attacking; third reason being it's soft feeling. I feel the spin generated with Spectol is equal to that of 802, maybe a tiny bit less, but still more than enough to create heavy push against push. I'm thinking to buy SSPC II, though, as an alternative to 802.

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 09:45 
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Def-attack wrote:
Congratulations on your new job! Such a thing, or lack of such things, tend to affect other parts of life as well...

For each time you write you should also write what setup you are using. Going back here in a year you will not remember (not sure if you need to, but other who com here and read will benefit from it).

Just keep working nd keep believing. I can relate to being surprised when opponent returns a monster chop that should not be returnable :). But remember, you will probably win more points from opponent looping too high or long than from opponents netting.


Thank you, DA! :up:

I play with my ordinary setup: Joo blade, DHS Hurricane 3-50 soft red and a black SP rubber, black, 1,5mm black. I think I outlined that somewhere in blog, but I can't find it anywhere. Update: I found it when stating I keep the variables as low as possible at the moment. My blade and FH will not change for now and if it does it's certainly something I'll mention.

It's surprising to see those chops being looped effectively again, because if you hit such a chop with LPs, the ball wouldn't be coming back. The ball also flies like a chop with my P1-R. That leads to being not in ready position and being too late to chop the consequent loop.

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 12:02 
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Is your main issue in battling the low spin dink variety players? Ones who wont attack?

That was my biggest issue. And for me, having come from ox lp mostly or anti spin, I'm finding more success using the forehand for kill shots - rather than using sp for spin variation. That is, go dink dink... kill! Instead of waiting for them to make a mistake, I just say to hell with it! And blast them off the table.

I normally dont have a real aggressive forehand, so attacking top spin is probably my weakest area. Instinctively I still try to chop on the fh instead of attack.

Are you playing more passively with the fh as well? Or do you usually attack with it? Were you not wanting to run around the bh for a fh kill?

I feel it would be nice to use short pips and win with different spins... but it's so foreign to my usual style, a very big shift indeed. And from what I've seen so far, it's far more potent for me to just go fh loop kill instead of mixing spins waiting for a miss.

**Do you think it would be best to chop with something like curl p4 in 1.5 for awhile before perhaps making the swap to short pip?

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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2019, 05:19 
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Thanks for post. Would you guys say then, a harder blade is better for 802 ? I must say I playing 802 1.5, currently on a donic burn all, but have had it on a very old nittaku combi blade carbon one side. I've even tried sp and LP on that set up although feels lovely and light, I just think one needs a rev at least on one side for the extra spin and power to compete with the tenergy crew, and fishing back the power shots.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2019, 08:57 
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skilless_slapper wrote:
Is your main issue in battling the low spin dink variety players? Ones who wont attack?

That was my biggest issue. And for me, having come from ox lp mostly or anti spin, I'm finding more success using the forehand for kill shots - rather than using sp for spin variation. That is, go dink dink... kill! Instead of waiting for them to make a mistake, I just say to hell with it! And blast them off the table.

I normally dont have a real aggressive forehand, so attacking top spin is probably my weakest area. Instinctively I still try to chop on the fh instead of attack.

Are you playing more passively with the fh as well? Or do you usually attack with it? Were you not wanting to run around the bh for a fh kill?

I feel it would be nice to use short pips and win with different spins... but it's so foreign to my usual style, a very big shift indeed. And from what I've seen so far, it's far more potent for me to just go fh loop kill instead of mixing spins waiting for a miss.

**Do you think it would be best to chop with something like curl p4 in 1.5 for awhile before perhaps making the swap to short pip?


Yeah, the dinkers were the main issue when I played with LPs. Well, those who can attack as well... Apparently it was quite known not to play an attack-defense game against me (the result would be a loss), so a lot of them started dinking until I made a mistake. Proof of this is that they played an attack-defense game against other defenders, but not against me.

I want to be able to do both: dink longer than them (well, it's not longer dinking, but pushing if you use SPs) and if that doesn't work, attack at will, first with the BH and then run around the BH to kill with the FH. I need to have this middle step, probably because (1) I'm too slow and/or (2) my FH attack on a quality isn't as devastating as most others are.

I think chopping with P4 1,5mm will be too much to the short pips side already coming from OX LPs. You might want to consider P4 in 0,5mm and go from there. It's probably best to pick a pip - a defender's pip - start with the thinnest sponge, go to a thicker sponge, go to the thickest sponge and then go to short pips with the same thickness in sponge as the thickest sponge under the LPs. I think the hardest step will be going from OX LP to thin sponge LP and going from thickest sponge LP to SP with same sponge thickness.

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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2019, 09:00 
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Gazzatron wrote:
Thanks for post. Would you guys say then, a harder blade is better for 802 ? I must say I playing 802 1.5, currently on a donic burn all, but have had it on a very old nittaku combi blade carbon one side. I've even tried sp and LP on that set up although feels lovely and light, I just think one needs a rev at least on one side for the extra spin and power to compete with the tenergy crew, and fishing back the power shots.


Good question. I found 802 with a harder blade - the Joo blade - a good combination, but it was hard to play an effortless game with it. For us mere mortals it was too error prone when not being in the right position. However, I think others are more qualified to give a more insightful answer.

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2019, 02:49 
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Great blog and an interesting read. You linked me here from a thread about my own curiosity about moving from long pips to short pips, or rather back to it in my case as used short pips ox both sides for a long time (hardbat).

Just going to describe my own thoughts on the sp vs lp subject, having also played with both.

My own feeling having used both is that short pips is like putting the difficulty up a notch, at least without sponge (with sponge it gets easuer, but haven't used sponged short pips on backhand seriously since somewhere not long after first started playing). Long pips is like turning the difficulty down a level, at least to a point.

I'm battling the urge to go back to short pips, but through the route of 1.8 Spectol or SSPC2. Not the classic hardbat approach of my past. Reason is I miss the options you have on the table with short pips. Hitting (though as you say mostly when ball is higher than the net) and variation chop from dead float to loaded chop is easy, at least if you're in position to do so. I did find I ran into trouble a lot with heavy slow looper though, and the occasional slapper, bur mostly just the heavy spin players. The heavy looper required me to fallback really far from the table and take the ball really low. That was the only way I could control the spin. I also found spin variation difficult in this match up because I was always just working hard to get the ball back. Then, if they play angles well, I was really just receiving rather than actively trying to force them into mistakes. Because I was so far back, I had some ground to cover when they push if you wabt to rake the ball high and out it away.

This is what after a break from table tennis pushed me towards the dark side (long pips). I felt after evaluating my game that I was in need of the forgiveness that long pips provide, and being honest that seems to have paid off. Long pips are super secure (I use P1r in 1.5mm) and most players are forced into making an error after only a few balls. I'm technically more vulnerable to slappers and dinkers like you have experienced yourself. But my forehand becomes key against the dinkers and my emergency chop is key against the slappers. Get the slap back and they receive a loaded ball. They either push or try to attack again, which is hard work for obvious reasons. It seems to really test the quality of a players forehand attack. Heavy loopers no longer seem to pose the same threat to me as when I used short pips ox.

My concerns with long pips, anf why I'm toying with idea of short pips again (though at least for now I'm going to stick with long pips, and try a new one recommended to me, Stiga Horizontal 55 in 1.4-1.7mm), is
1) it's not really 'dangerous' to hit with, at least not yet for me. I can hit fairly consistently with it, but I need to train more to hopefully get some zip from it, but think I'm just going to have to learn to twiddle to hit. Short pips very effective and flat when you hit.
2) I miss having more of a say in the outcome of a chop loop rally through variation of spin. It's also some security when you come up agsinst a player that can lift heavy chop consistently. I will say though I haven't been forced to play more than 7ish backhand chops with P1r yet (most end after 2-3/4 balls) if my memory is correct, but I want to know how I respond when somebody can lift a lot. I will need to just back myself and keep chopping heavy and returning the ball. But that's not how I've learned to play and the shortish rallies with P1r haven't yet pushed me to change my expectations too much yet. I think whst I saying here is thst I still have the short pip mentality when chopping, and I need to be prepared to end up in long rallies where I can't mix it up as much as I'd like.

Pushing. You seem to be using this as the reason to go to short pips. Yes, while I can get some backspin if I dig pushes with P1r, it's not really enough to force a slow entry loop in the rally. But for me up to this point this has been OK, as wasn't getting much over the table with short pip ox either. I'm used to defending fairly hard opening attacks with emergency chops. I also vary placement of my pushes a lot, going outwude with over the table dig to force them to open up or give me an opening myself.

I don't know about myself yet. It's a near 50-50, but maybe the answer lies here. Put the best player I've ever played in front of me right now. Which bat do I want to pick up? I'll pick my current setup(though I might change my mind if I'm I can't win any points from long pip side). But if you keep going this route and say put a pusher in front of me thst will not open up at all, and just waiting to counter my attack, I might choose short pips. But I'm more concerned probably with the better player thst will attack. I'll just have to try and dig out the win against the pusher and use my forehand attack well. I mean, there's a video on here of me having to do thst years back and I had short pips then (ox), but maybe short pips with sponge like 1.8 Spectol might have my life easier, and a faster def blade like my current one opposed to the slow hardbat Hock blade I had then. I'd also probably do better now with current setup, namely because I have Hurricane on one side, so my forehand had become a major aspect of my game.

Anyway, the reason why I personally consider changing back to short pips though with sponge, can be summarized by a match I had a while back.
I had my hardbat. The opponent blew me off the table like game 1 in the first game, with some smiles around the table (look at the chopper getting whooped). He handled my chop like a drop feed. Following some advice from a team mate I upped my chop to the max I could spin wise. Also tried to hit more. The result was he started making a bunch of mistakes. When I thought he was catching on I played with the spin to keep my lead. I ended up winning that one easily. Now, if I go back and play thst one again but with long pips, whst would happen? He seemed to have a good topspin attack that really whizzed through the table once he got his timing going. I was able to break his timing with short pips, but I won't have such options with long pips. I can only hope the spin would build up sufficiently with long pipsif I played thst one again to stop his attack or force a push for me to turn the tables.

That's my concern with the long pips, not really the short game personally. But as you would appear to play classic defense, at least reading between the lines, short pips or something like Feint Long 3 / Curl P4 might be best. I think P1r most effective when brought together with an offensive forehand looking to capitalize on opportunities.

About opponents blaming your short pips now for their shortcomings. Most people seem to always find ways to excuse them losing. Not just in table tennis. A boxer, think it was Timothy Bradley, once blamed a loss on him not wearing socks... I think the problem with defenders in tt is that we are more open to thst kind of thing. I only lost cus of his pips. Easy excuse that is confirmed by others around them. Yea, you only lost cus of his pips lol. Part of thst maybe comes from a misunderstanding of whst its like to use pips, and whst exactly they do. The amount of times I've had players come to me afterwards saying my rubber sends them back a bunch of a different spins... To be clear, i was using a hardbat. And they thought my rubber was floating and heavy cutting by itself with no assistance from me. If they ever make a rubber like though, I might buy it :D . And now using long pips... Somebody recently told me P1r should be banned. Brings out the friendliness in people, being a chopper.

I think knowing I won't be challenging Xu Xin, long pips seems to offer me a lot. But if I was a young up and coming chopper looking to take on the world, I wouldn't touch long pips. I'd definitely find a short pip thst works for me, experiment with topsheets and sponges seporately. I'd be looking to go the Hou Yingchau or Yuto Maramatsu route rather than Ma Te and Joo Sae Hyuk.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2019, 07:31 
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Thank you for the interesting post, Snowman. I wonder: how old are you?

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2019, 08:14 
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I had two training sessions and one match.

In training with Spectol - in comparison with 802 - I have a much easier time against the spin type players. Those who struggled against me when I used LP, now struggle against me when using Spectol, although to a lesser degree. The spinless type of player, however, are again more difficult to combat, although not nearly as impossible than when I was using LP. I'm considering three things to make it a lot more difficult for this kind of players: (1) upgrade Spectol to 1,8mm. This might, however, diminish control again; (2) learn to execute a fully loaded push that rises after the bounce due to the backspin. They might be inclined to hit those kind of balls - in the net, off course -and if they don't hit it, it's not easy to return this kind of push low, creating a opportunity to attack; (3) improve my eye for attacking opportunities on my BH and overall take a more risky approach on my BH by attacking more against that kind of players.

The match went quite well. I won a game against a C6 (+-2100 USATT). He's a flat disturbing player: I can't describe him otherwise. He plays with worn out rubbers. He had a hard time the first two sets against my pushes. He couldn't penetrate my defense. He adjusted well in the third game and the fourth was a thriller. It was 10-10 and he forced his attacks twice, resulting in two misses. 3-1. I normally win from this guy, but mostly 3-2. I heard him saying against his teammates there was a lot of spin on the ball. So they knew there was something different on my backhand...

I didn't stand a chance against the other two, although I never felt they were untouchable. They pushed heavy deep to my BH and only occasionally attacked. Although I pushed with great consistency, their consistency was even higher. However, I still push to initiate an attack, so I mostly push to their FH. Although I felt I could change the spin on my pushes and the depth of them, I still didn't play enough with the direction and the height of my pushes. No wonder: if my pushes with LP were high, they were kill bait.

I also had trouble with the really spinny serves of one of the two. He uses a lot of side spin and I don't know yet how to adjust the racket angle to account for the incoming spin. I figured out to let the ball drop lower: this raised the percentage of balls landing on the table. When the ball landed on the table, although mostly high, it wasn't attacked due to residual side spin and the added backspin on the ball. Still I have to adjust my racket angle to guide the ball back into the table to the spot where I want it to go.

A final note about the rubber: I find Spectol less disturbing than my P1-R (duh!), but having more control due to the ability to add spin. Spectol is also able to reverse the spin. A quick touch reverses the spin, most notably sidespin.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2019, 12:17 
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Blade: SOULSPIN DEFENSE
FH: Spinny stuff
BH: Spongeless reviled stuff
Are you finding that your bh short pips is causing more points from inducing errors? Or not much different so far? Can you do the spin variation for more points now, basically.

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SOULSPIN CUSTOM BLADES
Fh: Spinny rubber
Bh: Not so spinny rubber...


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2019, 18:35 
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Joo Too
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Blade: BTY Joo Se Hyuk ST
FH: DHS Hurricane 3-50 soft R
BH: ?
skilless_slapper wrote:
Are you finding that your bh short pips is causing more points from inducing errors? Or not much different so far? Can you do the spin variation for more points now, basically.


It depends on the opponent. Those who had trouble with my LP, are still making errors against my SP, mostly due to spin variation. That's very obvious against attacking players. You can give a high quality ball, but now they don't know what's coming at them. Spinny players who weren't bothered by my LP aren't bothered by my SP. Spinless type of players are having more difficulty, especially if you go attacking mode with the BH.

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My blog on transitioning from a LP to a SP defender


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