Should You Chop with Thin or Thick Sponge Table Tennis Rubbers?

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Question: Should You Chop with Thin or Thick Sponge Table Tennis Rubbers?

Why do you use 1.5mm [to chop with]? I have always chopped with 2.0 because I wanted to maximize my spin. I know people always try to say that the top sheet is what makes the spin and the sponge makes the speed, this isn't totally correct. I once tried the 1.0 mm and the problem is the ball bounces off the blade too quick, I actually hear the wood. With 2.0 the ball sinks into the sponge a millisecond longer and gives the rubber longer to grip the ball. Now I have never tried 1.5, if you tell me it is the perfect happy medium, then I will try it.


P.S. Is that you on the videos chopping the backhands?

Answer: Hi Warren,

Yep, it's me on the videos chopping the backhands - I'm the only model I can afford! Seriously though, it's just more convenient for me to set up the camera and shoot video when I'm training, and not everybody wants their technique to be on display in front of thousands of people.

Chopping with Thin or Thick Sponge

SriverMark VTackiness Chop

The thicker rubbers I always found difficult to control when chopping for spin, forcing me to float the ball more often. The thinner rubbers have good control and can spin heavily, but lack a little in pace. The Dr. Neubauer Domination in 1.5mm that I currently use was recommended to me by Australian chopping legend Paul Pinkewich, when I asked him how I could improve my control when chopping power loops. He recommended thin rubber, specifically the Domination in 1.5mm. I asked him why not the thinner Domination (in 1.2mm) but he said the 1.5mm version had plenty of control with good pace, and he was right. I tried it, loved it and haven't bothered trying Domination in thicker or thinner versions since then. Anyway, for me the 1.5mm works really well - it has good control, great spin variation, and enough pace for counterattacking. I also don't feel the wood of the blade with the 1.5mm either.

Yes, you will get more spin with the thicker rubbers, but in my opinion the lack of control more than offsets this. I agree that with the 1.0mm and 1.2mm rubbers you tend to feel the wood a little more - although the 1.2mm Tango Defensive was very spinny when looping, and probably would have been for chopping if it didn't use it on such a fast blade at the time (a Timo Boll Spirit). Mind you, feeling the wood a bit was never really a problem for me anyway, although I know some other players don't like it. So for me the 1.5mm Dr. Neubauer Domination does the trick, although others may feel differently.

Greg Letts