TSP Curl P1R (OX, 0.0 ~ 0.5 mm, 0.6 ~ 1.3 mm and 1.4 ~ 1.7 mm) Long Pips Review

by Varghese on August 2, 2008

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TSP Curl P1R

TSP Curl P1R

TSP Curl P1R long pips table tennis rubber has been used by many World’s top defensive players. Some of them are Joo Se Hyuk (World Ranking: 11) of Korea, Chen Weixing (World Ranking 8 in 2006) of Austria, Ni ia Lian of Luxenburg, Park Mi-Young of Korea etc…

The TSP Curl P1R is also critiqued by some defensive players like Koji Matsushita of Japan. I have asked Koji why he does not play with TSP Curl P1R but prefers the Butterfly Feint Long II instead. I had to agree with him when he has told me TSP Curl P1R is very difficult to control.

I have been using TSP Curl P1R long pips for a while. I have used the rubber with many defensive blades like Joola Chen Weixing, Dr.Neubauer Combination Effect, TSP BalsaFiber 2.5 & 3.5, XIOM Aigis, Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk, Butterfly Matsushita Pro, Butterfly Matsushita Pro Special, TSP Yanagi Alpha DEF. I have felt TSP Curl P1R sponge versions work well with hard feel blades and not with thicker balsa blade like Dr.Neubauer Combination Effect. I have found great success of this rubber with Joola Chen Weixing blade, TSP Yanagi Alpha DEF and XIOM Aigis.

The TSP Curl P1R has a feeling of a dead rubber. It is not like a XIOM Guillitine long pips rubber which has a very live feeling. The sponge hardness is close to 60 degree. The long pips are horizontally arranged. They are soft and very very flexible.

Reversing the spin:

The TSP Curl P1R is a long pips rubber with good friction. It is not a frictionless rubber or even close to a frictionless one. The migration from a frictionless rubber to a TSP Curl P1R has a little longer learning curve. The great benefit that the frictionless players get out of this rubber is its ability to generate myrid of spin and not simply reversal. The OX and 0.6 versions of TSP Curl P1R have good spin variation and reversal. The sponge size of 0.6 and higher won’t give much spin variation as other low sponge versions give. I have seen TSP Curl P1R with TSP BalsaPlus 2.5 and 3.5 blade give very good spin variation.


The TSP Curl P1R behaves differently while blocking against a top spin ball based on its sponge size. The OX version and 0.6 mm does the reversal of the spin with less speed while the 0.6 mm and higher versions generate sinking without much spin reversal – still they are hardest shots to return.


The success of TSP Curl P1R lies in its ability to chop against top spin – close to the table to further from the table. The TSP Curl P1R of sponge size of 0.6 mm and higher demand the player to have good skill to chop – with the 0.5 mm version the player can depends on the rubber to do a lot of work.  You have to choose the sponge size based on where you play also. Joo Se Hyuk uses TSP Curl P1R with a sponge size of 1.4 ~ 1.7 mm while Chen Weixing uses 0.6 ~ 1.3 mm sponge size – Joo plays further from the table while Chen plays close to the table.


It took at least a year for me to master the pushing with TSP Curl p1R – I still make mistake while I push against underspin. I have found a new TSP Curl P1R helps pushing while a few months older TSP Curl P1R will do the opposite – this is because the rubber becomes softer and loses its forward thrust to move. I have also found it is impossible to push against floating underspin or very low slow underspin balls with TSP Curl P1R. You have to loop such slow balls because a push can’t generate enough force on an slow underspin ball to get the ball to the other side. With a 1.3 mm sponge version on a TSP Yanagi Alpha blade, I was able to push against under spin - this stroke needs a lot of practice.


I have surprised my opponents with various kinds of killer shots with TSP Curl P1R. However, that is not my favorite shot. When I have tested the various sponge sizes, I have found the OX and 0.5 version helps hitting better if you take the ball very early and higher sponge sizes if you take ball after it has come to its highest peak or while it is falling.

Receiving serves

This is the most painful story that I can talk about this rubber. Since TSP Curl P1R has friction, the rubber will respond very well to the incoming spin. At the intermediate level, you may not find much difficulty with this rubber accepting serves, but from higher rated players you can expect very heavy underspin serves and that can put you into great trouble.

It is also difficult to take tennis style serves that curve towards your forehand with TSP Curl P1R. I practice regularly with my robot to take such serves. However, I still make mistakes with such serves.

At the highest level, the opponents will shoot very fast no spin serves to the long pips. Unless you fast and attempt the shot, you may lose the point. If they find you struggling with no spin balls, they will attempt various no spin balls against you.

It is important to do agressive push against such no spin and underspin ball.

Absorption of Opponents Spin

The TSP Curl P1R OX version on my Dr.Combination Effect balsa blade is a good weapn against under spin from the opponents. The pips with the balsa softness can absorb a great amount of spin and neutralize the spin. This combination is very good for on the table game also. The various long pips strokes like lifting, agressive push, hitting all can be done with this combination. In that respect the TSP Balsa 3.5 also performs good. However, it is important to cut the heavy top spin ball to absorb its energy. Otherwise the ball has a tendency to shoot straight - the wood causes this bouncing.

Other Curl series

There are few different pips rubbers are available from the same series. They are TSP Curl P3, TSP Curl P3AlphaR, TSP Curl P-H, TSP Curl P2. In the deception rating, the TSP Curl P1R surpasses them all.

The TSP Curl P1R costs $35 and is available from TableTennisStore.US.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dieter April 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm

First of all a big Thank You to Varghese for his excellent write up regarding the Curl P1R. In principle I agree with everything that was stated.
What I would add is that the Curl P1R is not a rubber for people who bank on deception. This rubber’s strength is the backspin/chop and meaning you need to play it like a traditional defender with a clean stroke. Just holding and blocking will not get you far, there are certainly other and better alternatives for that kind of style.
Regarding the control (or lack of) in my option, if you use clean defensive strokes, the control is neither better nor worse when compared with other long pips with friction. What is more difficult indeed are pushed and any balls that you have to hit over the table. This takes a lot of practice.
In my opinion, the Curl P1R is an excellent choice for all players who like to play traditional defense on their backhand. The amount of spin you can generate is absolutely brutal. I’ve been playing Feint Long III for many years now which is in general easier to master than the Curl, however, the Curl does give you more juice on your chop than the Feint Long III.

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