Chop Block in Table Tennis: The Rhythm Breaker

  • Post category:Advanced Skills
  • Post last modified:March 7, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read
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Chop block in table tennis is a difficult stroke to execute but often gives you the desired result. It is a high-risk but high-gain stroke. If you are skilled enough to produce chop block in a match, it is the best shot to turn the game to your side.

In today’s modern table tennis, attackers play topspin shots to every return one after another. In this situation, effective use of chop block breaks the rhythm which may come as a turning point in the game.

But before executing this highly advanced stroke, be sure that you have successfully covered the basic skills and advanced strokes in table tennis.

Let’s come to the topic of chop block, the rhythm breaker in table tennis.

What is a Chop Block in Table Tennis?

The chop block is a rear shot in table tennis and it is also difficult to execute. It is a clever stroke to break the rhythm of your opponent. When executed properly, the chop block shot is hard to return. This is a short stroke with backspin and sidespin by using the opponent’s speed and spin.

As the name suggests, it is like a block stroke with the addition of the concept of chop stroke.

How to Do a Chop Block in Table Tennis

Koki Niwa is executing the chop block stroke in a table tennis game

The concept of chop block is the early timing of the ball using speed and spin. This shot is taken close to the table with short-arm action. To execute this stroke, you have to angle your bat like you are holding an ax.

When the ball bounces on your side, using a short and quick arm action, brush the underneath of the ball at the net height level to impart backspin and sidespin. The angle of your bat depends on the amount of topspin that you will counter. The key to an effective chop block is the early timing of contact.

The chop block is more effective against loop stroke. The backhand chop block is more common in table tennis as it is relatively easy to produce than the forehand chop block. In the backhand chop block, you have more control over your stroke.

The result of the chop-block is a slow spiny return over the net that is hard to predict. Your opponent may try to counter with a lob, but the slowness of the ball restricts him from making that stroke. To his surprise, the ball may even drop twice on the table.

This stroke should not be used too often, rather use this stroke as a surprise element for the best result.

Koki Niwa, the Master of Chop Block

Koki Niwa, the great Japanese player is the master of the chop block stroke. He uses this stroke with ease in a match not only on the backhand side but also on the forehand side and he uses it frequently.

All players know his expertise in this skill, but even they fail to counter against it because of the havoc spin that he generates.

Final Thought

A chop block is a havoc shot to change the pace of the game. It is a rhythm breaker that can change the dynamics of the game. However, the execution of this stroke requires high skills that only an expert can deliver in a match.

You may check the nice visual explanation from Craig Bryant, a former international table tennis player on Tom Lodziak‘s YouTube channel.

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