Short Pips vs Long Pips: What Are They and What’s the Difference?

Trying to decide between short pips vs. long pips is difficult when you don’t know what you’re looking for. We’ve broken down the difference between the two to help make your decision easier.
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Last updatedLast updated: July 02, 2023
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If you’re new to the world of table tennis, you’ve likely come across some niche vocabulary that is difficult to understand at first. After all, what do “pips” even mean? Is it better to have a paddle with long or short pips? Are pips even important at all?

The questions that surround the idea of short pips vs. long pips are endless, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which type is right for your game. This is especially true if you aren’t totally familiar with the word and its meaning either. Well, fear not. In this article, we’re going to cover what pips refer to, how each one can benefit your game, and which one is the better type to use. After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what pips are and how you can use them to your advantage.

What are pips?

What are pips

They’re only made to be on one side of your paddle, which gives you different gameplay options in terms of techniques and hits.

Pips are simply a shortened version of “pimples.” Pimples are the bumps that surface from the rubber on your table tennis paddle.

Rubber paddles will come with either short or long pips. Some paddles also come with inverted rubber, but we’re covering short and long pips specifically in this post. Along with short and long pips, some paddles may use medium pips, which is the length in between the two previously mentioned.

Besides these protruding pips, other paddles may use inverted pip rubber or something called anti-pip rubber. Anti-pip rubber is most commonly used as a blocking rubber, though some players will use it to chop. This isn’t very common, though, because long-pip rubber provides a much better setup for chopping during gameplay.

Should I use pips?

Whether or not you choose to use pips on your table tennis paddle depends entirely on the type of gameplay you want to partake in. Most notably, pips are best for players who like to play defense. Because pips slow the ball down during gameplay, they aren’t ideal for players who like to hit their opponents with speed.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that in some leagues and tournaments, paddles with pips-out aren’t allowed in gameplay. This is normally because it’s widely believed in the ping pong community that pips “do all the work for the player.” However, pips are a good option for those just starting out in the world of ping pong.

How to choose between short and long pips?

If you’ve decided you want to use a paddle with pips, it’s time to decide whether you should use short or long pips. Both types serve their own purpose, and the type of pips you choose depends on how you prefer to play the game of ping pong.

Long pips are generally easier to chop and use as a defense mechanism during gameplay. The long pimple technique is nice for players who don’t want to have to think too much during their match. The long rubber pips can take the spin impact of most speeds and slow it down or counteract it right back to their opponent.

Long pips also give a heavy backspin back to your opponent when they send over a ball with heavy topspin. On the other hand, short pips give you a lot of the advantages of long pips while also allowing you to complete more complex techniques without much interference with the rubber.

Playing short pips

Playing with a paddle with short pips is a good way to confuse your opponent with a flatter-back serve. You can also chop with short pips as well as move further away from the table to defend. It’s much more difficult to do this with long pips than it is with short pips.

To add to that, looping is also possible with short pips. When you loop with a short pip paddle, you have the ability to create your own spin onto the ball as well as a smashing move.

With that said, there are a few downsides to using the short pips technique. Unlike long pip paddles, short pip paddles are generally easier to play against a table tennis expert. Short pip paddles also have a smaller margin for error. If you get an angle wrong while trying to chop the ball, you won’t be successful at getting it to the table. Instead, it’ll fly off and move out of play.

Short pips vs. inverted

Inverted pips are in, and short pips are out. Inverted pips offer a better grip, so this technique is better for looping. Short pimples, at the same time, have less grip, which makes it difficult to loop. As short pimples are less spin sensitive, you can easier return serves and smash through the spin.

Playing long pips

A long pip paddle is a solid option for players who want something easy to chop the ball and maintain a solid defensive strategy. Long pip rubber also cushions heavy attacks, so if you’re served a ball with a heavy spin to it, then the long pips will cushion the blow and send your opponent’s serve back to them.

Along with that, long pip paddles give you more leeway in terms of creative technique. You can use different jabs and pushes to get the ball over the net while confusing your opponent in the process. These unique moves can also help you rack up more points during gameplay.

Although there are certainly benefits to using a long pip rubber paddle, there are also a few drawbacks. For starters, long pip paddles aren’t the best option for players that play on an offensive strategy. It’s also more difficult to work with float serves and other soft hits when using a long pip paddle, and spin is tricky too.

The pips on your paddles will only get you so far. Along with the type of pips your paddle uses, it’s helpful to use high-quality products to optimize your gameplaying experience. After all, each piece of equipment in ping pong serves a specific purpose, and a low-quality piece of equipment can make gameplay far less enjoyable.

According to a plethora of reviewers, these PRO-SPIN ping pong balls are highly rated for a few reasons. The main reason customers rave about these is the quality of the price. Some customers have even compared it to higher-end brands that charge far more for their products, although these are of the same or similar quality. Others rate it highly because the bounce has good quality, and it’s easy to maintain control.

When it comes to paddles, many customers rave about the Butterfly Timo Boll ALC. While this may not come with short or long pips, these can easily be added if you prefer. This particular paddle comes highly rated mostly because of how well it can produce a spin during gameplay. Others like how light it feels and how easy it is to maneuver.

Anti-spin vs. long pips

Anti-spin rubbers or inverted pimples have a slick surface and are designed to prevent the opponent’s spin. When paired with a thinner sponge, anti-spin rubber can be used for chopping, and they can even reverse the incoming spin. Long pips offer more versatility and are better suited for chopping.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a beginner looking to delve into the world of ping pong or you’re looking for a paddle that can give you certain advantages, long and short pip paddles may be suitable for you. When debating short pips vs. long pips, remember to keep in mind what your desired gameplay is.

Are you more of a defensive player? Long pips are the best option for you. Do you prefer the flexibility to execute unique techniques? Short pips are the better choice in that case. Regardless of the one you choose, it’s also important to remember that long and short pips may not be allowed in certain tournaments or leagues. We hope you’ve left this article with a better understanding of the difference between short and long pips, and you can take this knowledge with you when making your choice.

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