Short pips in table tennis provide players with a unique way to adjust their strategy. Instead of relying on the speed and spin of a long-pipped rubber, short pips recommend you use a combination of placement and deception to confuse your opponent and win the point.
With this approach, you have control over the variables in a match, allowing you to play aggressively when needed and take more time when necessary. In this blog, we will explain to you how to play with short pips.
The key to playing short pips well is learning to control the movements and hit the ball rapidly. To get the most out of playing with short pips rubbers, good footwork as well as an effective change in racket angle is necessary. This increased accessibility to successively varying levels of spin and drive requires accurate timing when playing with short pips.
What is short pips in ping pong?
Short pip rubbers feature inverted sheets of rubber that have been flipped upside down – the additional spacing between the pimples helps to absorb and negate some of the spins from your opponent’s shots.
This makes short pips ideal for players who would like to employ an aggressive style of play and gain an advantage over their opponents, no matter what type of spin is being used against them. Compared with long pips, short pips rubbers usually have shorter pimples and thus it has different characteristics than long pips.
Short pips rubber can be used for the forehand and backhand in table tennis. Some people even match short pips with long pips to confuse their opponents. But in most cases, many players match it with inverted rubbers to change the spin of the ball and confuse the opponents.
How to do a drive stroke with short pips?
Knowing how to do a drive stroke with short pips can make an enormous difference to your game of table tennis. The key to success is developing the correct technique and understanding the spin involved in each shot.
Start by ensuring that you grip the racket firmly before contact is made with the ball. Drive strokes are mainly an offensive weapon when using short pips and should be used against blocks or pushes which are not very spinny or fast.
You need to adjust your racket angle so that it’s slightly lower than in topspin strokes, combining this low angle with a forward movement of the arm when hitting the ball will provide you with pace, consistency, and length.
A good way to practice drive strokes is by bouncing different types of spin such as no-spin balls, backspin, and sidespin on either side of your body, this will help you react accordingly when playing against opponents with different tactics.
Several tips for drive stroke
- You can drive the ball with both forehand and backhand. I personally suggest that you put short pips on your backhand because you can use your forehand loop with inverted rubber. The idea is fast speed backhand+super spiny forehand, sounds great, right?
- Hit the ball directly at the highest point.
- Try to hit the ball flatly, which means you don’t need to create any spin. Just do flat hits and improve the speed as fast as possible.
- Move the feet and find the ball actively. Remember that you should avoid being too far away from the table because the arc of the ball will be lower than normal loop balls. So find the proper time and hit the ball.
- If you mispredict the coming time of the ball, then you can only open the racket angle and try to lift the ball.
How to loop with short pips?
Loop shots are powerful and fast, allowing for aggressive play that can devastate your opponents. But when it comes to the short pips, many people consider it complicated to do loop shots as normally we only do flat hits with it. But actually, we do can loop the backspin ball in table tennis with short pips.
Generally speaking, looping with short pips is similar to looping with inverted rubbers but it needs more open racket angle and a little more friction. Make sure you’re always hitting with your body weight behind the ball, transferring all your weight into the shot while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground. And then use more wrist action when you hit, which will help add more speed.
But remind that even though players can loop the backspin with short pips, it will never contain as much spin or speed as inverted rubbers. Also, the feeling when hitting the ball is different from using an inverted rubber. So players normally need some time to be accustomed to it.
Several tips for looping with short pips
- Normally when the incoming ball has super strong spins, a better choice is to push it rather than loop it with short pimple rubbers.
- If the incoming ball falls near the net, then you should flick or drive it heavily. We only loop the ball when it becomes long.
- Try to open the racket angle properly. This is the key to using short pips.
How to push with short pips in table tennis
The key to pushing with short pips is to grip the racket firmly and focus on consistent technique—solid contact, relaxed movements, and firm wrist action. This will give you confidence as you push back shots with short pips.
In detail, players need to use small wrist movements while keeping their arms straight in order to place the shots where they desire without any additional spin or power from the arm muscles.
Furthermore, pushing with short pips works best when coupled with aggressive footwork so that you can keep your opponent off balance and find yourself in position for your next shot quickly. Pushing with short pips gives players greater control over spin and speed, allowing them to misdirect their opponent and set up tactical points more effectively.
Several tips for pushing with short pips
- The most important thing that short pips players should remember is that the spin with change after pushing. This theory is suitable for both short pips and long pips. If the coming ball is backspin, then it will turn into a non-spin ball after pushing.
- Try to push back the ball near the net zone or push it very profoundly for your opponent in order not to leave him the chance to attack. Because once he knows that the ball doesn’t have any spin, you probably may suffer from a violent, powerful, and offensive shot.
Should I use short pips?
Advantages of short pips
- The advantage of using short pips in table tennis is that they offer incredible speed, which is invaluable for any competitive player. Short pips are perhaps best used as a surprise tactic, offering a different spin on the ball that opponents may not be prepared for, allowing the user to gain an advantage in those vital split seconds.
- Unlike long pips, which can be sent further back, short pips have a more limited range and are instead used for control shots and playing defensively. Compared to long pip players, short pip users gain an invaluable edge when playing right at the table where they can pull off trickier shots and use stronger offensives that require less space.
- Short pips can give players an edge when they are receiving serves because players don’t need to predict or understand the spin very well. Both long pips and short pips have this feature that can make receiving much easier than inverted rubbers.
Disadvantages of short pips
The biggest disadvantage of short pips is an inability to generate significant spin on the ball. With less surface area for contact, it’s harder to get enough friction on the ball to make opponents really work for a return shot.
This can lead to predictability and an overall lack of variety in play, as well as losing a competitive edge due to a lack of topspins and underspin. As a result, short pip players will want to find ways to expand their game, by incorporating other strategies such as drop shots and smashes.
What kinds of players are suitable for short pips?
Now we come back to this question. Generally speaking, players who pursue super-fast shots or play near the table can choose short pips. It’s better to match with an inverted rubber so that they can have more variation during the matches.
Besides, according to my experience, many penhold players also prefer to have a short pip rubber. That is because, unlike the shakehand players, they can’t play the games in a violent and aggressive way. So they tend to find a way with more control and kill the match with a super fast stroke with short pips.
More thoughts about short pips