Short Pips Vs Long Pips Table Tennis Rubber: How to Choose?

  • Post category:Equipment / Rubber
  • Post last modified:July 2, 2024
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Many players who don’t get the desired success in their early careers, tend to switch from the traditional inverted table tennis rubbers to the pimple rubbers which turns into a master stroke. Using pips rubber, their weaknesses become strengths which lift their game to a new height.

Out of three types, Short and Long Pimples are the most common. But they are very different and suit players of different playing styles.

In the article, “Short Pips Vs Long Pips”, I have tried to highlight all the unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses so that you can select the right one for you.

Types of Pimple Table Tennis Rubbers

Short Pips table tennis rubber
Short Pips
Long Pips table tennis rubber
Long Pips

Pimple rubbers have small cylindrical bumps projected on the outer surfaces. That’s why they are also called pimples-out (pips-out). When the ball comes in contact with the rubber bumps, it behaves differently than inverted rubbers with smooth outer surfaces.

Depending upon the pimple geometry, there are 3 types of pips rubbers, Short, Medium, and Long.

Short Pips cylindrical bumps are smaller in height but larger in diameter. The bumps are also more densely packed.

Whereas Long pips bumps are longer but thinner. As a result, they are less closely packed.

As the name suggests, the least common Medium pips rubber lies between them.

Differences between Short Pips and Long Pips in Table Tennis

Players use Short Pimple rubbers both on the forehand and backhand whereas the Long Pips are suited only for the backhand. Long pips players use the backhand chop block to create an opening and finish the point with a strong forehand.

Short pips are available nearly in the range from 1.5 mm to 2.2 mm, much like inverted rubbers, whereas the thinner long pips can be up to 1.6 mm. The OX (no sponge) version is the most popular.

Short pips rubbers are offensive and are not much disturbed by the incoming spin. They are fast and have flatter trajectories. This aggressive nature is great for quick ball placement in a fast-paced game. Short pips can be best used for flicking, blocking, and hitting. Due to the linear trajectory, blocks are easy to execute. In some deceptive short pips, like Dr. Neubauer Killer, the low bounce forces opponents to make errors by hitting the ball on the net. Though short pips are not strong in the spin department, some short pips like the Razka PO and Butterfly Impartial XS are very spinny like inverted rubbers.

Long pips are defensive and control-oriented rubbers.  They can’t create any kind of spin of their own, rather they just reverse the incoming spin. When you topspin a ball, it flies in a curved upward trajectory, and on contact, the ball bends the long pips cylindrical bumps downwards to cause a backspin. In reverse, when you push a ball with a backspin, the rubber bumps bend upwards to create topspin.

When playing against a long-pip player, your shot decides what type of ball you receive. If you hit a topspin ball, you will receive a backspin ball, and vice versa. The amount of spin depends on the pimple chemistry and the amount of thrust. It may be like a no-spin float ball when there is a little acceleration of your racket or a heavy backspin ball when there is a fast racket movement. The unpredictable weird returns often confuse players causing errors.

Due to their defensive nature, long pimple rubbers are slow but exhibit great control. The disadvantage is that you can’t hit, smash, or loop by Long pips. Long-pimple players always try to prolong rallies and wait for the opponent’s mistake.

That’s why experienced players are used to twiddle their paddles often during matches. Twiddling means quickly switching your backhand side to forehand and the forehand side to backhand. This effective strategy deceives your opponent with wrong shot selections.

Durability is also an issue for Long Pips rubbers. The long, thin bumps get damaged more often than Short pips bumps.

Popular Short Pimple Rubbers:

Popular Long Pimple Rubbers:

Short Pips Vs Long Pips: Which One Do You Choose?

Pips-out rubbers are not at all recommended for entry-level players. Beginners should play with inverted rubbers to get acquainted with various types of shots.

Short pips can be effective for those offensive players who are weak in executing topspin. In modern tennis, topspin is the most played shot, and if you are not so good at looping, the best alternative is to try Short Pips rubbers. They can significantly reduce the incoming spin making it easier to counter backspin. 

If you are a close-to-the-table player, the speed and control offered by Short Pips can be very advantageous. Players can react quickly and take the edge over their opponents by angling the ball with fast flat hits.

Long Pips are suitable for defensive players who prefer control-oriented games. Players can easily handle the incoming spin and control the game with precise placements.

For players who don’t possess good backhand skills, Long Pips rubber can be a great alternative. The techniques are different but can be adopted quickly. Once you get used to it, you can continue rallies confidently and force your opponents to commit mistakes.

Long Pips rubbers can be most effectively used for chopping. Not only is it easy to chop the ball consistently on the table, but you can also generate heavy backspin.

Related Topic: “6 Best Short Pimple Table Tennis Rubbers 2024 (Aggressive Play)

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