Pleasantly Surprised So Far With Meteor 845 Blue Short Pips

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Have you all tried or seen this yet?

So I'm teaching my girls to play table tennis and of course they want colored rubbers. Because they're still kids and I want to keep it light, I say why not. I get them their setup but on ali express I kept seeing this Meteor 845 Blue Short Pips based on my search for colored rubbers for the girls naturally.

Ali Express link here:

Now I play penhold (My YT Channel with various videos so you can get a feel for what I'm talking about) and grew up playing single wing. It's what I know. I've dabbled into duel inverted but for as much power as I can get sometimes with the RPB, it just never has been consistent. So being single wing, I've tried a number of different rubbers on the RPB side for the occasional chop and/or the twiddle game.

One thing I've never liked about Long Pip chopping is that I can't really do much with the spin. Yes it's much easier to chop but I've always wished I could vary a chop from deadish to heavy backspin. That's something more commonly achieved from short pip choppers.

Well for the price of 5 bucks? Why not. I've tried 802 before and actually use to play that on my forehand years back so I'm at least familiar with short pips. It was the 802 on the 35 degree sponge.

Honestly this plays very similar IMO to 802. The sponge, I got it in 2.0 MM which is the thinnest I could get (yes thick for chopping I know but I will occasionally punch with this too so it won't be exclusively chopping) and I would classify this orange sponge as medium hardness compared to the 35 deg 802. Past that? if I wasn't looking at the rubber, I'm not sure I would be able to tell a difference.

It hits, blocks & plays fine counter-hitting. Typical Short Pips. Controllable and very flat but to my surprise it really chops pretty nice. Already in my first session I can vary chops in terms of amount of backspin which gave my training partners problems.

It's too early for me to give a final verdict as I want to test it vs some of the best at our club to get a full feel of it but come on. For 5 bucks? That's a silly price and I'm really, really impressed so far.

This guy in this video compares it to 802 in his YT video
 

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My 10 year old girl requested for a short pip setup since she likes the feeling of rubbing the pips with her fingers and her fav colour is blue, so I've gotten a cream sponged and an orange sponged one to finish a setup just for her to have some fun. Have a spare Palio expert blade so at least got a decent blade to chuck them onto :)
 
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Okay I've had about a 1/2 month's worth of table tennis with this rubber against varying players. Yesterday I played a good player and that was the final piece I was waiting for. Previously I had played against more hitting/smashing style of players. This player was more of high quality spin based player.

I'm happy to report the rubber plays the same in either case and performed well. All that being said, i'm starting to form some opinions of this where it really excels.

So about me. I play a single wing, traditional penhold with inverted. Not using the backside, I've tried long pips in the past for the occasional RPB chop but never liked that I can't manipulate the spin much with it. Long Pips largely just reverses the amount of spin they give. You can't vary the spin much. Hence trying short pips. Additionally, I did a long time ago used to play short pips on my forehand. So I am familiar with how they feel when hitting. More on that later in the post.

So what is this rubber?

This is as true of a classic (meaning less spiny) short pip if there ever was one. I have it in 2.0 (that's the thinnest they offer. They also have a 2.1) on what I'd call a medium hardness sponge and while I feared that'd be too fast, I don't think it is. The relatively low spin pips makes this an easy chopping rubber. Topspin, backspin? You name it. easy to chop with away from the table.

My favorite thing about this rubber is how it chops. You can also vary the spin. If you do a light or normal chop motion vs incoming topspin, It'll be backspin but not all that heavy. I found my high quality training partner yesterday saying "oh this is light on the backspin" as they were sending their loops long. Right after they said that, on my next chop I intentionally put more into it and it did was I was hoping producing heavier backspin and they put it in the net. This is a concept IMO you can't execute as well with long pips. Overall, very good with chopping.

Counter-hitting. Whew this one is a work in progress and I'm pretty sure is a me thing. So I tried close to the table RPB blocking. Just to see how it feels. It wasn't pretty. Struggled to get the feel correct sometimes blocking it in the net or sending it long. Having said all that, keep in mind this is why I normally block incoming topspin with my TBH inverted and why I don't play just inverted both sides using RPB full time on the backhand (ie - the more modern style of penhold). I think this is a me thing because when I twiddled and tried counter-hitting on the forehand side with the pips, it played just fine. It's low spin (ie - classic) for a short pips but it's good there. So I know you can play this hitting style close to the table as you'd expect from a short pips.

One last thing I did like and found easy that gave my opponent problems. Say you're close to the table, you just gave a heavy underspin serve they push back to you. With the RPB pips side and open face (just enough to clear the net) bump forward (this is actually a technique many long pip players will do when they get backspin coming to them. That's the close to the table long pip player's chance to attack. They just don't have to open the face nearly as much. It's more flat when they do it) gives this very strange, low throw/skidding aggressive shot to the opponent that's hard to handle. It feels very easy to execute with these pips and I like it. Is it backspin? I am hitting under the ball and the pips do grab a little but I'm not brushing under. Is it topspin? I doubt it. It doesn't reverse spin like a long pips would. I think it's somewhere in the middle and yet is easy, easy to execute and get on the table all while giving the opponent this uncomfortable ball to handle if they're looking to loop next.

The TLDR:
This is a good classic pip that you can chop all day & night with. It can be used to hit with as well. Key word being hit. It's a classic, low spin short pip. Plays similar to 802. Maybe just a hair (and I mean a hair less spin). Would that be similar to a TSP Spectol which has smaller pips? IDK. maybe. Worth a shot for the price.
 
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