Thursday, April 10, 2014
Originally a Jpen Player, I have a Jpen dedicated blog: http://jpensamurai.blogspot.com/
This will be my first blog entry as a Long Pips player...
Up till now, my Jpen blog has largely consisted of videos and information about Japanese Penhold techniques and tactics without any personal blogging from me or my experiences. Long Pips (LP) has NOW changed that for me. I am a "Darkside" convert, and obsessed with learning everything there is to know about LP science, techniques, strategy.
Welcome to the Darkside
Why the sudden conversion? On a lark, I decided to get a cheap Cpen paddle to compare RPB on the Cpen to my Jpen racket. I LOVE playing with my Jpen racket (hence, the blog). However, I have found amazing success with the Cpen blade, not because of the RPB so much, but because of the LPs, slower rubbers, consistent blade and sponge, and the ability to twiddle. I AM AMAZED!.
Initially, I had lots of trouble using the PIPs. I didn't understand the philosophy, science, and strategy behind the rubber, despite the research I put in to it. I felt like I had to chop more often than I did., and was much more confused than my opponents. I got killed in my first 10 matches and hung the racket up in favor of my Jpen Blade. I was told to stop playing with LPs and concentrate on my inverted game because I was a beginner (http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25450). I listened for a while, but then decided to recreationally play with the LP bat. Because I was so drawn to the style, I continued to research and study the LP play. LOTS of videos and tutorials. LOTS of forum posts. And then something happened... Suddenly, everything I've wanted to do was now possible. Keep in mind that I am a beginner level player with almost no coaching and no competition experience. This will soon change, however, I have been playing against competitive players at the local clubs for a while now.
On my other Jpen set up, which I will still play, is a Tensor style rubber (Xiom Pro Elite) with 802-40 SP on the RPB side of a TSP Birmingham 77 ALL+ blade. This setup has proved fruitful and the RPB and was definitely an improvement. However, the FH rubber has not been conducive to my style of play, and I was having a lot of trouble with the control of that rubber and that style of looping (See this thread here). I was hammering the proverbial square peg into the round hole!
Enter my "Experimental" setup:RITC/729 6030 OFF Blade. Hard but controlled cheap bat from Zeropong. I then had them install RITC 755 LPs on the FH and Geospin Tacky on the BH. The inverted rubber, although cheap is perfect for me! Controlled, harder sponge on a hard bat. I can put the loops anywhere with it. Control, control, control. If I want to smash with speed, I don't rely on the equipment, but rather I rely on my arm strength. There is plenty of smash in this setup, and now my inverted game has been elevated (especially after the tackiness wore off a bit).
But the real story here is my LP game. With the 755 LPs I can block anything. I confuse everyone. I redirect and flick with ease. Chopping freaks loopers out especially nearer to the table. They don't know what hit them, especially as my twiddlng improves. I now get to out-think my opponents; something I wasn't able to do before. I have ordered the Spin Lord Zeitgeist (from OOAK) and am looking forward to even less spin reaction, more deception, and more spin reversal.
Style of play with the new LP Setup
I am not a chopper, although I do chop opportunistically close to mid-distance if it's appropriate. I am primarily a penhold pips-out hitter, but will incorporate many of the push/blocker style of play when it needs to happen. Lots of dead ball drops close to the net, and when the guy pushes it, the balls tend to pop up and I smash with the pips, or twiddle inverted and smash/loop. My serves are really pretty good for a beginner, very spinny and tough for even rated players. With the LP, I mix in an LP serve now and then, and they are completely bewildered. I really love changing directions and close to the net flicks to the opposite side of the table with the pips.
In conclusion, I have to say THANK YOU (or damn you? ) to YOU ALL. Had I not stumbled on this site, I probably wouldn't have had my curiosity piqued, and would have remained a conventional player. I'm now a wreck. I can't stop geeking out on everything LP, to the point of obsession. I'm loosing sleep over rubber selection, OX vs. Sponge, and strategy. All I think about is playing Pips and getting revenge on the loopers at the club. I keep reading reviews, and research...when will the madness end?
Some may say it's not the most aesthetically pleasing style of play, but the strategy and thought that goes in to LP play is BEAUTIFUL.
Now I have 2 more challenges:
-What to change the name of my blog to (on blogger)? EDIT: Something with "Ninja" as they are sneaky, mysterious.
-And will my coach, who I will meet for the first time this coming Sunday at Club Joola, accept my LP rubber?