When did you start playing Ping Pong and/or Table Tennis?
When I was in college, I couldn’t decide whether table tennis or archery would be easier. I thought ping pong might be easier, but I was very wrong and got addicted.
What about the game resonated with you to stick with it?
The thought process. It’s a game of skill, not just brute force, so you can’t just power your way through something. You have to think, finesse, and to some extent power your way. It’s just more multi-dimensional than soccer, that I used to play, which is more about dialing up and powering through.
Do you have any special tricks, strategies, or moves?
I was in a head-on car crash a couple years ago so I couldn’t do forehand strokes very well. I switched to a novel rubber for forehands and after I recovered, I ended up continuing to use it. I use that to wreak a little havoc with people. That’s my main identity.
What has Pure Pong in the Pearl brought to your game?
This is the best table tennis entertainment in town, so I just had to come.
What’s your biggest challenge playing Ping Pong?
Age. My son and I did a reaction time test with a robot. At .55 seconds my stroke starts breaking down. At .33 seconds, which is as fast as the robot goes, his stroke is still fine. That makes me think that 2/10ths of a second against younger players on a table that’s 9 feet long– I need to do something to counteract their reaction time. I deliberately use equipment that slows down the game. Battling that in terms of reaction time is my biggest challenge. Practicing at Pure Pong in the Pearl helps with that.
Have you inspired any friends or family to play Ping Pong, also?
Ironically, my son, who is playing in China as we speak, fell in love with ping pong in this building. He’s the number 3 player in his age group in the Pacific Northwest and is nationally ranked. He’s in China’s Olympic training program right now.
Next to ping pong, what’s your favorite free time activity?