Antispin Revolution: John Hilton's European Triumph

3 months ago

PingSkills Show

Our theme for this edition of The PingSkills Show is "against the odds". We talk about the amazing achievements of John Hilton who revolutionised the use of antispin rubber at a time when you could have the same colour rubber on both sides of the racquet. Hilton went on to win the 1980 European Championship in the most remarkable circumstances. We also discuss the incredible Hungarian Team of 1979, plus we have all of our regular segments. For the tip of the week we talk about how to play against antispin. For the drill of the week we discuss twiddling, and we have our usual tournament wrap. I hope you enjoy the show. 

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James Hamilton

James Hamilton Posted 3 months ago

As always a truly awesome video. And one i am never, ever, ever, ever, going to show. As a relatively low level player and someone who has just recently "accidentally" transitioned to playing with anti-spin rubber on my back hand and winning against much, much better players than myself, I employ you to remove this truly amazing video before all my competitors see how to defeat me. Gulp. otherwise I love your Videos.  

Malcolm Church

Malcolm Church Posted 3 months ago

For people who played regularly against John, they learned how to cope with John's revolutionary style by listening carefully by the sound of the ball on John's bat. There was a distinctive difference between the sound of the spin and the sound of the anti-spin rubber.

One factor that helped John's amazing success was the acoustics of the hall where the European Championship was played. There was a lot of background noise hiding the sound of John's strokes enabling him to bamboozle much better players who had never played him before..

The joke going around at the time was that John was ranked No1 in Europe, No2 in England and No 3 in Manchester YMCA where he regularly played!


Paul Waterman

Paul Waterman Posted 3 months ago

Thank you for the tips on Antispin.

In my club we have a lefthander with antispin on his backhand, he is an ex-coach with a lot of experience, he is very good at using the lack of pace on the antispin to drop the ball short or pushing long and really test my footwork. I have beaten him but not very often, I will try to remember your tips in the 'heat of battle'

Stephen  Barnes

Stephen Barnes Posted 3 months ago

I played John a few times, the thing many people fail to realise is how good he was at floating and dummy looping with the reverse rubber. Even if he hadn’t twiddled you were still struggling !

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 3 months ago

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Sorry James, hopefully you continue with your winning ways using antispin! And thanks for sharing that joke Malcolm, very funny. Good luck with ongoing battle with the lefthander Paul. And thanks Stephen for providing your insights. It certainly is important to remember that it is a skill that must be practiced to use antispin and its not a simple way to win at any level let alone the European Championships! Keep enjoyingn your table tennis everyone!

Paul Griz

Paul Griz Posted 3 months ago

Great to see you both in this excellent blog.  Will be looking forward to your next one.  

I realized that I have been wasting decades of my life twiddling my thumbs when all this time I could have been twiddling my bat!!  I now have a lot of twiddling to make up for. 

Thank you as always

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 3 months ago

Ha ha, thanks Paul. Good luck with your twiddling!

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