Beating Your Friends at Table Tennis

This Time it's Personal...

Photo of TSP Curl P-2 Long Pips Rubber and Blade
TSP Curl P-2 Long Pips Rubber and Blade. © 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Always getting beaten by your friends at table tennis, and getting tired of the abuse? With a small change in equipment, and the instructions in this guide by guest author Alex Vanderklugt of One of a Kind Trading Table Tennis Shop, you ’ll be able to get back at them. Get ready for payback time!

A Fun Way of Beating Your Friends at Table Tennis - Payback Time!

We've probably all picked up a table tennis bat at some stage in our lives, either in the basement, garage, at school or at work.
There's always a few over-enthusiastic characters out there that play just to win, and make fun of those they beat. Well if you've been on the receiving end of this 'abuse', this guide may be just for you.

This guide is for those casual players that have acquired some basic skills in table tennis, can generate a little spin on the ball, but don't take it seriously enough to play competition at clubs. It takes advantage of two very different rubbers that you can put on either side your bat, which very few casual players understand.

The Basics

The key to making this strategy work is spin and deception, with your opponent not knowing what type of spin is on the ball. This usually results in your opponent missing the ball completely, or hitting it in the net or over the table.

The basic equipment you need for this strategy is a bat with 2 totally contrasting rubbers on either side, one a very tacky (sticky) and spinny rubber (such as most Chinese rubbers) and one long pimple rubber.

The spinny rubber is obviously very good for generating spin, whereas the long pimple rubber is unique in that it returns most your opponent's spin back to him. These types of rubbers can be picked up fairly cheap at quite a few online shops, such as “One of a Kind Trading” in Australia or “Zeropong” in the USA for example.

A few recommendations are given at the end of this article.

The blade (the bat without the rubbers) is not very important for this strategy to be successful, as the rubbers do most of the work. So if you don't already have a blade, you can buy a cheap one from the same shop, and they'll normally put it together for you free of charge.

Technically you need one red and one black rubber on either side of the bat. However this is really only a requirement for official competition, so if you only play casually this is not necessary. To be totally ruthless and make it even harder for your opponent, you can have the same color rubber on both sides, so that he cannot judge which one you're hitting with. Because the spin coming off the two different rubbers is so different, hitting the ball with one side followed by a hit from the other side will produce very different results, leaving your opponent totally confused. However most casual players don't even look at what side you hit with, so it may not be as great an advantage.

Putting it into Practice

Ok, so you've got your new 'evil' weapon, what strategy do you use to make the most of it? Well there's two parts to this (1) when you serve (2) when you receive:

1. When You Serve:
Put as much backspin and/or sidespin on the ball with your tacky rubber by brushing the ball with a forward action underneath (and sideways for sidespin). With these rubbers this is much easier to do, but will still take a little practice.

This will probably win you quite a few points outright, but some will come back. When it comes back, it will invariably have significant spin coming back, either your own, or spin that your opponent imparts. Hit the next shot with the long pimple rubber, don't hit it hard or try to attack it, but try to keep it low as possible but make sure it's on the table.

The long pimple rubber will actually reverse the spin that's coming towards you, which will produce very unpredictable bounces and balls. Chances are high that your opponent will miss the ball, or pop it up high so that you can put the next one away, so be ready. If he returns it, continue the rally by either spinning the ball with your tacky rubber, or gently returning it with your pimple rubber.

If you find your opponent is good enough to get used to your spinny serves, and adjust for it, do a similar looking serve with your long pimple rubber, and enjoy the results.

Your opponent will adjust for spin that's not there, and this will force errors or easy balls to put away.

2. When You Receive:
If your opponent uses a lot of spin in his serves, try and return them all with the long pimple rubber. This will return most of his own spin back to him, and will get himself into trouble.

If he serves with very little spin, try and return it with your spinny rubber if you can. If he returns this, some spin will be returned back to you, so you hit the next one with your long pimple rubber, and try and force another error.

Conclusion

Now I'm not saying this is going to be really easy, as it will take you a little time to learn how to use the rubbers, and adjust to them. It would be best to have some practice with the bat against some other players to adjust to the rubbers, before you embark on your mission of 'destroying the bullies'. Note that attacking with the long pimple rubbers is not recommended, as these techniques are more advanced, but for blocking and chopping they are fairly easy to use at any level.

This type of bat and strategy IS actually used in high-level competition, and are even used by a few of the top players in the world. At the higher levels however, it takes a great deal of skill and practice to be effective, and these simple strategies covered here simply won't work. This style of play does add another exciting aspect to the game, and can be a lot of fun at any level. There are numerous different types of rubbers, and blades, all having some different characteristics and requiring some different strategies.

There is a lot more to these types of bats than what's covered here, and a lot more strategies that can be employed. If you've enjoyed this guide, or wish to read more about other rubbers or strategies, you could visit the author's website or forum for more information.

Rubber and blade Options:
Long pimple rubbers:
Friendship 755 OX, Friendship 837 OX, Dawei 388D-1 OX, Milkyway 955 OX

Inverted (spinny) rubber:
729 FX, 729, Globe 999, Globe Magicwand

Blade (if required):
Galaxy 961, Galaxy 896, Dawei Kama, LKT Instinct, Globe whirl wind 582

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Letts, Greg. "Beating Your Friends at Table Tennis." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/beating-your-friends-at-table-tennis-3173959. Letts, Greg. (2016, August 22). Beating Your Friends at Table Tennis. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/beating-your-friends-at-table-tennis-3173959 Letts, Greg. "Beating Your Friends at Table Tennis." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/beating-your-friends-at-table-tennis-3173959 (accessed November 18, 2017).