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Is there light at end of the Darkside tunnel?

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mjamja View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01/14/2023 at 9:04pm
After my experiences at the 2022 US Open I became convinced that I need to switch to Long Pips.  Now that I am back in Texas for the winter I have started working on my new LP game.  After much research and careful thought (ie found a sheet of LP I had left over from a previously aborted LP attempt) I put a sheet of Friendship 755 (0.8 sponge) on a slightly damaged Clipper.  It was my spare backup blade.  

After playing 6 times with this new setup I feel that I have a deep enough understanding of my LP play to ask a few serious questions.

1. How do you return a ball with LP so that it goes over the net without flying completely off the table?  My return progession goes: Net, short of net, really long, long, net, easy pop up that lands but is killed.

2. How does LP help you if the opponent just choses to play everything to your Fh and then loopkills your pushes, counter kills your opening loops, and aggressively counter loops your loops?  And to make it worse he only has to do one of the above about 1 in 4 points since you simply miss on the other three.

3. Why are the 1200 players who can not put spin on their serves and pushes and who hit and block instead of looping now doing so well against me?

4. Why does Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers have page after page about playing against LP opponents and nothing about playing with LP?  Are there no LP tactics or is it that LP players just are not capable of rational thought.

5. Should you decide not to continue with LP if your rating drops 200 points or wait to see if it gets down 300 points?  From my initial play this may not be an issue as a 500 point drop may not be to far fetched.

6. Is there a special room in Equipment Junky hell reserved for LP players trying to find the best long pip?

To sum it up I will just ask "Is there any light at the end of the Darkside tunnel?".

Mark - Who is definitely not Darth Vader

PS - I was told that I will see a light at the end of the Darkside tunnel.  However it will just be the white flash of unrelenting loopkilled balls when I finally get good enough to play 2000+ opponents.  

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pongfugrasshopper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pongfugrasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/14/2023 at 10:06pm
You had one of your best ratings gains, but you are convinced you need to switch to long pips?  I don't follow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/14/2023 at 11:52pm
Originally posted by pongfugrasshopper pongfugrasshopper wrote:

You had one of your best ratings gains, but you are convinced you need to switch to long pips?  I don't follow.

Agreed with this... imo shakehand close table LP/inverted play is not as strong as penhold LP/inverted combination as penhold players have a lot more variety and control over their shots. I think in my circle it's similar, shakehand LP BH becomes a huge weakness which smarter players will exploit hard. 

I think there's some potential in shakehand frictionless anti BH though if you have the skills for that...


Edited by blahness - 01/14/2023 at 11:54pm
-------
Viscaria
FH: Hurricane 8-80
BH: D05

Back to normal shape bats :(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 12:00am
Originally posted by pongfugrasshopper pongfugrasshopper wrote:

You had one of your best ratings gains, but you are convinced you need to switch to long pips?  I don't follow.

My rating gain was slightly deceptive.  The two 2000 level players I beat were over 70 years old (maybe over 75).   One of them was overrated for this tournament as he lost to several players under 1800.  The other one probably was playing close to his rating, but his game was based a lot on placement rather than power.  I actually played a defensive style against both of them.  I did not open most of the time and I blocked and chopped from both sides.  This was later in the tournament after I had a couple of  bad losses and some very narrow wins against 1300-1400 players while using my normal style.  In my next event I tried using this same defensive style, but it did not work as well against younger more power oriented players.  I feel this was mainly due to the quickness of the points.  Since they attacked hard and my blocks were quick their next attack came too quick to handle. 

I think the more defensive style is the way to go as it actually suits me psychologically.  But I think I need the LP to help slow the play down and help me get ready for the next shot.  In my play so far I have seen this work for me many times.  For instance a wide loop to my forehand followed by drive to my backhand usually ended with me blocking the backhand but being unable to recover for even slow shots to my Fh.  With the LP the block is much slower and I have time to recover and be ready for the next ball.  With the LP I even feel comfortable chop blocking the backhand which tends to further limit the strength of the following attack.  With the short pips I blocked well, but never really got control of the chop block.

I am going to be 69 yrs old this year and do not see myself getting any quicker.  So I figured this might be the time for a change since it will take 2 to 4 yrs to get proficient with the LP.  I am not sure I will be able to play that long so I thought I should give it a try now.  I am going to stick with it until I leave Tx in April.  If it looks like I am stuck playing around the 1400 - 1500 level I will most likely go back.  But if I can improve to the 1600-1700 level I think it is worth staying with.

Lastly, I am finding I really enjoy playing with the LP.  I like learning new things and solving new problems.  Playing with the LP's is like having a bunch of new jigsaw puzzles to put together.

Mark -- Preparing for the 2024 U1400 National Championship


Edited by mjamja - 01/15/2023 at 12:13am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 12:59pm
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by pongfugrasshopper pongfugrasshopper wrote:

You had one of your best ratings gains, but you are convinced you need to switch to long pips?  I don't follow.

Agreed with this... imo shakehand close table LP/inverted play is not as strong as penhold LP/inverted combination as penhold players have a lot more variety and control over their shots. I think in my circle it's similar, shakehand LP BH becomes a huge weakness which smarter players will exploit hard. 

I think there's some potential in shakehand frictionless anti BH though if you have the skills for that...

My goal is to reach a mid 1900 level and maybe touch 2000.  Do you think shakehand LP Bh close to table is too limited to resonably have a chance of reaching this goal?

How do the smart players you mention exploit the shakehand LP backhand?

Thanks for any info you could give me.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 5:05pm
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by pongfugrasshopper pongfugrasshopper wrote:

You had one of your best ratings gains, but you are convinced you need to switch to long pips?  I don't follow.

Agreed with this... imo shakehand close table LP/inverted play is not as strong as penhold LP/inverted combination as penhold players have a lot more variety and control over their shots. I think in my circle it's similar, shakehand LP BH becomes a huge weakness which smarter players will exploit hard. 

I think there's some potential in shakehand frictionless anti BH though if you have the skills for that...

My goal is to reach a mid 1900 level and maybe touch 2000.  Do you think shakehand LP Bh close to table is too limited to resonably have a chance of reaching this goal?

How do the smart players you mention exploit the shakehand LP backhand?

Thanks for any info you could give me.

Mark

So the cool thing about penhold LP/inverted is that from the BH side they can do RPB inverted looping or LP chopblocks/sideswipe attacks without twiddling. With twiddling the variations is doubled which presents a huge problem for the attacker. 

For shakehand the variations are much less, the usual way to play is to serve very short to the FH to force you to receive using FH rubber where you'll be vulnerable to all the spin variations and the main tactic which is the fast long serve to the middle or BH followed by powerlooping the return. On looping, you can simply loop very spinny to the FH, unless you adopt a weird right foot forward stance to use the chicken wing LP to pushblock this, you'll have to defend this shot using the FH inverted rubber which again is a nightmare. So a typical tactic is just to soft loop/flick to the BH to get a mild underspin return off the LP and then loop to your deep wide FH (if you try changing your stance then the deep BH becomes a hole instead). 

The only real way to get out of these tactics is to be able to both attack and chopblock with the LPs and also defend/receive very well with the inverted FH - which is not easy at all, but I've played someone who does exactly that...
-------
Viscaria
FH: Hurricane 8-80
BH: D05

Back to normal shape bats :(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 6:00pm
Thanks.  That gives me some insight on things I should be training to do in response to those kind of tactics.  I had kind of figured out that my Fh receive was going to have to get lots better.  Maybe I can do something with twiddling on the receive.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 7:23pm
Hi mjamja, is there value for you trying that grip so you can have an inverted shot on the bh side without twiddling? it is really good at covering a spinny short loop for a quick block off the bounce for example but is a reliable shot for rallying as well. Given time, you can still twiddle for a true bh loop too. 



Edited by stiltt - 01/15/2023 at 7:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dingyibvs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 9:24pm
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by pongfugrasshopper pongfugrasshopper wrote:

You had one of your best ratings gains, but you are convinced you need to switch to long pips?  I don't follow.

Agreed with this... imo shakehand close table LP/inverted play is not as strong as penhold LP/inverted combination as penhold players have a lot more variety and control over their shots. I think in my circle it's similar, shakehand LP BH becomes a huge weakness which smarter players will exploit hard. 

I think there's some potential in shakehand frictionless anti BH though if you have the skills for that...

My goal is to reach a mid 1900 level and maybe touch 2000.  Do you think shakehand LP Bh close to table is too limited to resonably have a chance of reaching this goal?

How do the smart players you mention exploit the shakehand LP backhand?

Thanks for any info you could give me.

Mark

Equipment changes can only result in small gains, when you do see gains, it won't result in a leap. It's like EJing, you do it for fun, not to get better. 

For SH LP backhand players I like to serve mostly no spin and sometimes backspin long balls, mostly to the BH but mix it up everywhere else. I've yet to see a sub-2000 level LP player who can consistently give me a return that I can't loop kill back. I mix it up with some short topspin serves to the FH side. I almost never serve short backspin anywhere, I only use it when they start to return my services short more regularly, and then some short backspin serves can mess up their rhythm.


Edited by dingyibvs - 01/15/2023 at 9:25pm
Blade: Hurricane Long 5 (968) FL
FH: D09C max
BH: D09C max
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

Hi mjamja, is there value for you trying that grip so you can have an inverted shot on the bh side without twiddling? it is really good at covering a spinny short loop for a quick block off the bounce for example but is a reliable shot for rallying as well. Given time, you can still twiddle for a true bh loop too. 


At one point I tried something like that.  Maybe it was more Seemiller than L grip.  It just seemed unnatural and I thought it would take many years relearning to get back to my level.  A lot of the stuff I do naturally is actually bad with inverted or short pips, but works well with LP.  It mostly has to do with not closing the blade any or enough on Bh against topspin.  I have to fight it even with short pips, but backswing with neutral blade angle works very well with LP.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/15/2023 at 10:37pm
I definitely need to come up with a strategy for long low spin serves and practice it a lot. That was my go to strategy when playing against LP.   Good twiddlers seemed to be able to punch holes in that strategy.   Surprisingly I have come across a few LP players who can attack those balls with a fast light topspin attack that is hard to deal with.  Initially you hit it into the net because you read more topspin than there actually is.  But if you block or hit it thinking it is a dead ball it goes long.  I guess better players have no problem adjusting, but the few who could do it gave me fits.  

Just one of those puzzles I will have to work on solving.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/16/2023 at 6:20am
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

I definitely need to come up with a strategy for long low spin serves and practice it a lot. That was my go to strategy when playing against LP.   Good twiddlers seemed to be able to punch holes in that strategy.   Surprisingly I have come across a few LP players who can attack those balls with a fast light topspin attack that is hard to deal with.  Initially you hit it into the net because you read more topspin than there actually is.  But if you block or hit it thinking it is a dead ball it goes long.  I guess better players have no problem adjusting, but the few who could do it gave me fits.  

Just one of those puzzles I will have to work on solving.

Mark

Yes, that's the LP attack and it can be quite feared (see He Zhuojia which is probably the highest level LP user in the women's game imo), especially with the amount of variations. I believe the Stiga channel actually has some tutorials by her if I'm not mistaken...




Edited by blahness - 01/16/2023 at 6:23am
-------
Viscaria
FH: Hurricane 8-80
BH: D05

Back to normal shape bats :(
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liXiao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/16/2023 at 11:27am
Okay to actually answer your questions...

1. How do you return a ball with LP so that it goes over the net without flying completely off the table?  My return progession goes: Net, short of net, really long, long, net, easy pop up that lands but is killed.

Pushing with certain long pips is really, really hard. If the ball is going off the table you probably need some combination of a) closing the blade more (duh) and b) actively bending the pips more (i.e. being more active). You have to make the pips do what you want. A lot of people think LP just works by sticking the blade out and doing nothing, granted this can work with really flexible, lower friction pips, but with a rubber like 755 you simply cannot be passive like that.

2. How does LP help you if the opponent just choses to play everything to your Fh and then loopkills your pushes, counter kills your opening loops, and aggressively counter loops your loops?  And to make it worse he only has to do one of the above about 1 in 4 points since you simply miss on the other three.

This has nothing to do with LP and more to do with your movement, recovery, technique, and strategy. Without examples there's not much help we can provide you with.

3. Why are the 1200 players who can not put spin on their serves and pushes and who hit and block instead of looping now doing so well against me?

Because the reason a lot o these kids are so bad is because they don't know how to handle spin, and now they're playing someone who is hitting floaters with no spin.

6. Is there a special room in Equipment Junky hell reserved for LP players trying to find the best long pip?

The OOAK forum is much better for discussing LP rubbers than here. You can find reviews for basically anything, however it's important to know how the player reviewing these rubbers plays, because there are so many different styles of LP players. What a chopper wants in a rubber is going to be different than what a blocker wants in a rubber, which is going to be different than what an attacker wants. I've tried numerous long pips, from P-1, P-3, P-3a, P-H, Desperado 2, Phantom 0012, and Yinhe Qing (regular). I am an active attacking player who likes to switch up the tempo, but mostly hit through balls. For my personal style of play, Qing has been by far the best. I was inspired to use Qing after I saw Yang Xiaoxin had been using it for a few years now, with great success (now WR. 12). It's essential that you figure out how you want to play (i.e. active or passive) and that's going to dictate what LP rubber you want. I know you're not interested in being a chopper, so consider watching either the active attacking players like Yang (Yinhe Qing), He Zhuojia (Feint Soft), or Kyoka Idesawa (Curl P-H), or the blockers like Batra, Sreeja Akula, or Min Hyung Jee (all use Grass D. Tecs)
Stiga Clipper CR
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GeneralSpecific Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/16/2023 at 10:48pm
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

I definitely need to come up with a strategy for long low spin serves and practice it a lot. That was my go to strategy when playing against LP.   Good twiddlers seemed to be able to punch holes in that strategy.   Surprisingly I have come across a few LP players who can attack those balls with a fast light topspin attack that is hard to deal with.  Initially you hit it into the net because you read more topspin than there actually is.  But if you block or hit it thinking it is a dead ball it goes long.  I guess better players have no problem adjusting, but the few who could do it gave me fits.  

Just one of those puzzles I will have to work on solving.

Mark

Yes, that's the LP attack and it can be quite feared (see He Zhuojia which is probably the highest level LP user in the women's game imo), especially with the amount of variations. I believe the Stiga channel actually has some tutorials by her if I'm not mistaken...




You might value this instructional video of Deng Yaping, who in my opinion is the goat of women's table tennis. She used some version of 755 with sponge. 9:58 is when it starts to focus on her backhand but the whole video is gold. I wish I spoke Mandarin so that I could understand the video but seeing what she does and the slow motion that follows is still great.
Blade - Xiom 36.5 ALX FL
Forehand - Stiga DNA Dragon Grip 2.3mm
Backhand - Victas Curl P5V with SpinLord Waran 1.8mm sponge
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GeneralSpecific Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/16/2023 at 10:52pm
Originally posted by liXiao liXiao wrote:

Kyoka Idesawa (Curl P-H)


For anyone now or in the future reading this, she has replaced TSP Curl P-H with Victas Curl P5V since TSP no longer exists and Victas has made P5V as the replacement for P-H.
Blade - Xiom 36.5 ALX FL
Forehand - Stiga DNA Dragon Grip 2.3mm
Backhand - Victas Curl P5V with SpinLord Waran 1.8mm sponge
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