ARE LONG PIPS CHEATING ?
Long pips have always been controversial rubbers. This are
some of the points made by players that complain on long pips, and my
comments on each point:
They allow EASY control of spiny
True, but note that EASY control is not BETTER control. Doing high quality
shots is much more difficult than with inverted. Inverted players have a
wide range of rubbers from where to choose, and they can select one among
them that gives all the control they need too. Choosing a rubber that
makes you control the ball is not cheating. It is a good idea.
They are hard to play against if you
don't know HOW they work:
True, but this is YOUR fault only. Imagine how would you complain on
inverted if it didn't exist, and you (a hardbat player, which never faced
anything other than hardbat) faced a new player from another planet using
heavy reglued Mark V rubbers with MAX sponge. If you were facing this
player once per year, you would NEVER learn to play against inverted,
since you need much more practice to get used to it. If you were AVOIDING
this player all the time, the few (unavoidable) times you played against
him, your performance would be even poor. That's what happen with long
There's great variation on how long
pips play, so LEARNING to play against them is not easy:
True. Long pips have a lot of parameters (such as pip's height, width,
hardness, density ...) which can be adjusted to get specific (and very
distinct) performances to suit different styles. Playing against JOOLA
Badman (a hitting rubber) has NOTHING to do with playing against Double
Happiness C7 (a chopping rubber). Also, some long pips are spiny while
other are dead, some are deceptive while some are not, some can do spin
reversal while some eat all spin, and all this types can be combined among
them. But what gives more problems to players is that they return spin
depending on the incoming ball's spin AND the stroke the long pips player
plays. Note that inverted can somehow have great variation too, but when
it comes close to some extreme behavior, they call it ANTISPIN.
Lots of players use long pips to
COVER some weakness:
True. On the other side, lots of players serve & go for 3rd ball kill with
ultra-fast equipment that they can't really control. In the first case,
it's called CHEATING, and in the late case, it's called EVOLUTION OF THE
GAME, but both groups choose equipment with the same purpose: to boost its
performance. Both groups are likely to have problems to improve his game.
Long pips suit very few players, same as very fast equipment. Those are
not the wisest options, but neither can't be called cheating.
There are some truly DECEPTIVE
True. There are some rubbers that have its parameters adjusted so tricky
and extremely that can RANDOMIZE the spin they impart on the ball. This
rubbers allow to push a no spin ball and get ANY spin (backspin, topspin,
sidespin, even corkscrew). Every push comes different. It's a nightmare
when they hit with this rubbers and you are at the other side. BUT this is
not the purpose of this rubbers: a (highly) skilled played can play those
deceptive long pips in a completely predictable manner. They choose this
equipment since it has incredible capabilities (i. e.: instead of
reversing spin, they can change spin's direction at his will). There are
few legal and deceptive rubbers since the aspect ratio rule.
Long pips players take PROFIT of
opponents' inability to play against long pips ON PURPOSE:
True. Lots of players use long pips as it's stated in (1), and take profit
of (2), (3), (4) and (5) to boost their performance, specially at the
lower levels, and SOME do this with the intention of take profit of
opponent's weakness against long pips. This is cheating at the same level
as doing a certain serve that you know your opponent is weak against (the
common accepted 'way to go' by ALL the players). Some players complain
that the difference is that serves have to be learned, and long pips just
can be purchased. Well using long pips without leaving exposed his
inherent weaknesses is very difficult to learn (and it is a must to play a
SUCCESSFUL long pips game).
You have to THINK when facing long
Not true.You are not FORCED to think. You can play chess without thinking
too. You can play your mindless looping style as usual and still win, but
that will be unlikely if your opponent forces you to rally. Lots of
players complain 'I don't like to think when I'm playing': That's fine,
but they are playing with one important weapon less than a thinking player,
and that could make the difference.
Inverted can be used to play
successful chopping TOO:
True. But long pips are a MUCH better option since they provide better
variation, much heavy backspin, and better handling and ball control to
play defense. You can loop with 0.5 mm sponge too if you want (no, wait,
that would be cheating because it's unusual).
Real ATHLETES don't play long pips /
Not true. Some real athletes DO play long pips / defense. Look at the
world ranking and you will see some (yes, there are few) real athletes
playing long pips /defense.
Inverted is SUPERIOR to long pips:
True. That's just accurate. This has NOTHING to do with the fact that long
pips are or are not cheating.
Returning the ball without taking
CHANCES is very easy with long pips:
Not true. Returning the ball can be easy, but it is EXTREMELY
difficult doing it in such a manner that your opponent can't attack (don't
letting your opponent attack (or at least don't letting him to attack
hard) is the ONLY way of play without taking chances). At top level,
choppers play the riskiest possible game.
Long pips players do NOTHING but wait
for opponent's error:
Not true. They have AT LEAST to return ALL the shots. Winning the
point by opponent's error (whatever you think it means) is 100% legal,
thus is no cheating.
Defensive styles at lower levels are
much more EFFECTIVE:
True. At lower levels there are lots of unforced errors, so just
keeping the ball in play, even poorly, and playing for safety will make
you a tough opponent. This has nothing to do with cheating.
There are little or no chopper TOP
True. This is because they are at a HUGE disadvantage when facing
loopers due to 40mm balls, glues, low aspect ratios, max sponges, carbon
blades, etc... Still, there are a few players that choose this style and
can be competitive. Imagine taking part in an F1 race with a 'street'
sports car... and winning: You wouldn't be called cheater: you would be
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