Short vs Medium Pimples – What’s the difference?

By Grant Eguia
February 7, 2024
short vs medium pimple -whats the difference

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Let us divulge into the topic about short and medium pimples and the difference between the two. A lot of players shy away from the idea of experimenting with these rubbers because only a few players use them and there is little knowledge available about these rubbers for beginners. I want to share my personal experience with the 2 different types of rubbers and their different characteristics and which playing style is best for each rubber. But first let us compare the different characteristics between the 2 rubbers.

1. Pimple length

Short pimples – Short pimples have short and stubby pimples and depending on how it was manufactured, can have a thin/ thick sponge and usually have hard sponges to create more speed.

Medium pimples – Medium pimples have slightly longer and bendy pimples. This causes the ball to have a more wobbly effect.

2. Ball interaction

Short pimples – Short pimples have a flatter and faster ball response. They are known for having a flatter trajectory with less spin. This type of rubber is suited for players who like to play quick attacks near the table. Short pimples aren’t good for defensive shots though, it is very easy for the opponent to smash the ball back at you if you try chopping far from the table with it.

Medium pimples – Medium pimples have the characteristics of both short and medium pimples. They aren’t as fast as short pimples but they give a disruption effect when you block which I love. They can also play defensive shots. You can also chop far from the table with this rubber.

3. Spin generation

Short pimples –  I would describe short pimples as having the same spin capabilities as a beginner’s racket. While it can create spin of its own, it still can’t compare with a normal inverted rubber.

          (a) Chopping : Chopping with short pimples can either go 2 ways. When you chop with short pimples it can either have no spin or with backspin depending on how you contact the ball with.
          (b) Flicking: Flicking the ball can have different spins on the ball. It can be no spin, weak topspin, side spin and sometimes backspin. You can refer to how Mima Ito flicks the ball with different kinds of                                          spin.
          (c) Attacking: Punching with short pimples causes the ball to have a flat trajectory with no spin or slight topspin. You can also loop with short pimples and have topspin or no spin.
          (d) Blocking: Blocking with short pimples can either be fast and flat with little spin or short and slow near the table.

Medium pimples –  Medium pimples is in between the grey zone of short and long pimples. It can also create spin of its own but lesser than short pimples.

          (a) Chopping: Receiving your opponent’s serve with a chop with medium pips would give the ball no spin. Even if you create the illusion of giving the ball a hard chop, it is still no spin even with a little  topspin. Chopping away from the table gives the ball light backspin or heavy backspin. But long pimples do this job better.
          (b) Flicking: Flicking the ball gives no spin to the ball. But the ball is very flat and fast which makes it difficult for the opponent to attack and makes the ball go to the net if the opponent tries to block it.
          (c) Attacking: Medium pimples aren’t really good for attacking. It is possible but you need good technique to do it. The stroke is different when you attack with medium pimples. You need to punch the ball straight forward. This gives a very flat but not-so-fast ball. It can also loop and produce light topspin, enough to attack backspin balls.
          (d) Blocking: This is where this rubber shines the most. Blocks with medium pimples causes a “disruption effect”. This gives your opponent a really hard time when you land your block back on the table. Blocks give the ball a low wobbly backspin or no spin. It can block strong attacks and blocks can land near the table making it a short ball.

Notable players

Here are some notable players who use short pimples:
Liu Guoliang
Mima Ito
He Zhiwen
Mattias Falck
Wang Zengyi
Shan Shaona
Kheith Rhyne Cruz

Here are some notable players who use medium pimples:
Ai Fukuhara
Miao Miao


Short pimples are suited for aggressive attackers who prefer flat-hitting the ball rather than looping the ball but it has lower disruption and deception effect than medium pips. Medium pimples are suited for players who prefer an all-round style that loves to attack and defend at the same time. It has the disruption and deception effects of long pimples and can attack like short pimples but has lower speed than short pips. If you ever decide to experiment with these types of rubbers, I highly recommend it. I personally used short pips for more than a year and I felt better playing with it compared playing with inverted rubbers on both sides. I am currently using medium pimples in my backhand and so far I love it more. I feel a bit more confident playing with it since I don’t attack much often. I use my opponent’s attack to counter-attack and in my opinion medium pips suits my playing style better than when I was using inverted or short pips. Some people agree and some don’t but in the end of the day, choose the rubber which gives you happiness and satisfaction. (P.S. I play recreationally and not much competitively).


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