To Short Pimples or not to short pimples

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 5 years ago

Mark L

Mark L Asked 9 years ago

hi, I am a beginner in table tennis and really hope i can seek the experts opinions. I started in 2011 May, totally from scratch. back then, my coach told me to get some pimple rubber as my backhand and inverted smooth rubber as my forehand. hence I got that setup, started training on my forehand, from basic hitting till today a consistent looper that won about 86% of the points i earn in a match.

sadly, my backhand is still in a mess, hence I started an intensive 1 week training program to strengthen it. i had set up a fairly moderate block (which give people headache) in a quick match when I suddenly block and returned a weird floating ball which they with high chance will loop it out, or drive it into the net. for better experience player, they will managed to guide the ball back into my court using their experience and hand feeling. this give me the greatest opportunity to break the almost loosing cycle and use my strong looping forehand into play. within 2 strokes of forehand, I will win the point as the opponent is still in a state of shock.

other than the fairly develop block, I had a poorly developed guiding stroke that look like a typical defensive topspin backhand stroke. when playing against not so good players, i can utilize the guiding stroke. as i can catch the timing to execute the stroke. against good players that loop, i have no confidence of using it, as i can't catch the timing and i have a chance of hitting it into the net or out of table. hence i usually stick with blocking against loopers.

some of my friends asked me to switch to smooth rubber for my backhand. they say I am a terrible short pimple backhand player, and it will greatly increase my potential of winning points. they mentioned i can bring over all the skills i had gathered so far over to smooth rubber. yet my coach insist i should stick with short pimple else all my backhand returned ball will be similar to training balls which the opponent will definitely take the opportunity and attack. hence the dilemma I had now. 

I am a moderately aggressive player, moderately due to the saddening backhand that is only able to block and guide the ball. I want to be total aggressive, yet my coach say in modern table tennis, backhand is only use to create opportunity for the killer forehand. 

please advice me.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Mark,

That is a dilemma.  Firstly I don't like to go against coaches that are working with players regularly because they often know more about that player.

If I were starting you I would give you smooth rubber on both sides because there is more scope to develop.  The other thing that I will point out is that none of the top players in the world use short pimples on their backhand.  Many are starting to use strong backhand topspins as well as forehands to win points.

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Mark L

Mark L Posted 9 years ago

hi Coach Alois,

thanks for answering my question. I inferred you are also against me using short pimple. I were convince to use short pimple as my first set up due to the fact the both my forehand and backhand is not developed. hence the coach suggest that while he develop my forehand, my backhand should put some pimple rubber to give opponent some problems even with a simple block. something like taking an easy way out of training both backhand and forehand. 
now at a much better standing than a year back, i realized my backhand is loosing more points than winning points, due to unfamiliarity to my rubber and its spin generated. hence the problem arise. should i start training super hard on my short pimple backhand or change to smooth rubber while there is still chance and train hard on smooth rubber backhand. don't worry about you going against coach that work with me. in fact many other coaches friend of mine (whom I helped them to teach young kids) encourage me to change to smooth rubber, and stop relying on short pimple weirdness to create opportunity for me. they also mentioned short pimple take many years to master, and at Olympic level will be limited. such as wangyuegu(singapore), tang peng (hongkong). they mentioned girl usually play pimples, guys mostly play smooth rubbers else modern chopper. 

Dale Miller

Dale Miller Posted 5 years ago

Both Tan Riuwu eorld 48, an Tang Peng world # 15 use short pips on thier backhands

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