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Technical article: the long picot, how to play against?

The question comes up often, even too often, the theme is classic, the long picot is scary and often foils even the best of us. Learning from an early age makes it possible to increase the thinking, analysis and decision-making capacities of our young players… For those who have not had the right to these clarifications, I will attempt a “demystification ”Of this type of material, still used by quite a few players. Some players take one just because they know they are going to “annoy” their opponents, and without even understanding the main principles themselves!


The so-called LONG picot is a coating made from the same foams and rubber as the classic coatings. The classic so-called “backside” coverings are so called because the pins are turned inwards. Long pimples are simply coatings whose pimples are turned outwards !


The long pimples tend to “twist” during the ball-racket impact, producing a more or less annoying effect for the opponent, depending on the length and width of the pimples. When on a backside, we know how to “read” the effect returned by looking at the opponent's gesture; against a long picot, it will also be necessary to read and decipher, “forgetting” what is happening against a backside. It is a return to the theory that I propose to you, return to our dear studies ... Once the main principles are understood, there are no more problems, since contrary to popular belief, there is no or little randomness in the effects produced. All that remains is the uncertainty of seeing the opponent “turn” his racquet, and at some point use the other side of his racquet, often a backside. In all cases,


It is often said that the pins “reverse” the effects. This is a phrase we often hear from those who have “understood”, but it is rather reductive. This is generally true, but requires some clarification. One thing is certain, the effects rendered will depend on TWO PARAMETERS: the effect printed first by the opponent (you), and the gesture made by the player who plays with the pin. Once these two parameters are taken into account in your decision-making process, nothing else will be able to disturb the success of the next move, if you have the technical weapons of course. We are going to explain the main principles, giving ONE RESULT to each possible “combination”… Player A with his backside, player B plays with his long pin.

—-> A plays a topspin ball:

  • B goes under the ball: the resultant is very cut

  • B goes behind the ball: the resultant is slightly cut

  • B “goes up” the ball: the result is soft.

—-> A plays a cut ball:

  • B goes under the ball: the result is a soft, floating ball

  • B passes behind the ball: the result is a very slightly cut ball

  • B “goes up” the bale: the resultant is slightly cut

Last thing, and not the least… If A plays a soft ball, then B will be very, very annoyed !! But in this case he will have a window to turn his racquet and use his backside, which he is looking for to finish the point.

I do not recommend playing side effects on a long picot… But trying the experiment is still worth it, to go even further…

Does it sound complicated? Read again, you will no longer be afraid. If it's still too complicated, try to remember something simple:

1) if your racquet (backside which puts spin), and your opponent's racquet (spike which returns the effect) go in the same direction (from top to bottom or bottom to top), the result will be MOLLE . Example: you push cut in the picot, the opponent pushes, the ball comes back soft.

2) If your racket and that of your opponent go in two opposite directions, the resultant will be cut

Example: you topspin, the opponent defends, the ball comes back cut.


There are two main ways to use a long spike: away from the table in a defensive play system, and near the table in a block play system. Defenders far from the table often use their picot in backhand defense, or forehand, using the rotation printed by the topspineur to defend and make a very very cut ball… The Greek Panagiotis Gionis, 56th in the world, uses the long picot in defense.

Likewise, blockers near the table will pick up the ball early on and make a ball with a tight trajectory difficult to play. The Austrian-German Amélia Solja, 47th in the world, uses the long picot near the table.

Both styles will wait for a softball from you to conclude with their backside, or won't have to wait because you made the mistake before! In both cases, the main principles stated above will be valid.

Conclusion, fear no more, nothing worse for a good player, to lose against a peck for lack of tactical knowledge! Conversely, nothing worse for a “picoteux” than falling on someone who knows how to play them. You will even enjoy it. For Any Information Regarding Table Tennis You Can Always Visit The Ping Pong Table.

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