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Spin Reversal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex   
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
1. Spin reversal:

The key and most important feature of long pimpled rubbers is it so-called ‘spin reversal’. Although some of the other properties of these rubbers are important too, without ‘spin reversal’ they simply would not be effective.

So what’s this ‘spin reversal’, and how can this magical rubber ‘reverse’ the spin I hear you ask? Well the reality is, it’s not magical at all and it’s actually simpler to explain than the effect of the smooth and spinney inverted rubbers. All that the long pimple rubbers do, is allow the spinning ball from your opponent, to continue spinning in the same direction when you return it. It’s as simple as that! So technically it should really be called ‘spin continuation’, but there’s a good reason why it’s more commonly referred to as spin reversal, as illustrated in this example:

1. Your opponent feeds you a ball with topspin:

2. You hit the ball with your long pimpled rubber and the ball rebounds off:

3. The ball rebounds off your bat, with reduced speed and spin, but notice that the ball is still spinning in the same direction, but because it’s traveling in the opposite direction, it’s now backspin:

Now the tricky and deceptive part of this is (put over-simplistically for illustration purposes), that it does not matter what type of stroke you play, the ball WILL return with backspin. So even if you play a stroke where you appear to impart topspin, the ball will still return with backspin. Just make sure you get it on the table.

Similarly if your opponent feeds you backspin, or any other spin for that matter, you will return the opposite spin when you hit it with your long pimpled rubber. The fact that the spin is opposite, is where the term ‘spin reversal’ comes from.

In other words the key difference between spin coming from an inverted or long pimple rubbers from your opponent is:
- The spin coming from an inverted rubbers basically depends on what type of stroke your opponent plays
- The spin coming from a long pimple rubber depends on the type of spin that you send to your opponent, with the type of stroke that your opponent makes having much less impact (the extent of this depends on the type of long pimple rubber used).

At the lower levels of table tennis, this property alone can win you points and often whole games. If your opponent imparts a lot of spin on the ball, and does not understand that this comes back in reverse, it will draw many errors or easy balls to put away.

At the higher levels, the principle of the spin-reversal is often well understood, and can actually be taken advantage off. The main advantage that this property offers at this level is it’s relatively insensitivity to incoming spin, and the ability to return heavy spin when you receive heavy spin. For example your opponent feeds you a loops with heavy topspin, you return it with the long pimples, and heavy backspin comes back, which may make it hard for your opponent to attack again, or he may even hit it into the net!

The spin reversal in association with some of the other properties of the long pimple rubber is what makes the rubbers powerful. The spin reversal just by itself has limited potential. The amount of spin reversal that your rubber produces, actually depends on many factors. The type of long pimple used is one factor. However how you play the stroke has an impact too, and varying the spin reversal is actually one form of deception, but this will be discussed in a later section.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 October 2007 )
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