Rubber Characteristics

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 10 years ago

george dounas

george dounas Asked 10 years ago

Hello im George from Greece and i would like to ask some questions about rubbers / blades , i believe your answers will be the key for many players to choose the rubber blade that fits them the best  according to internet reviews, and not just buy something bad and then regret it...

Here we go : 

1)Stickiness , Tackiness , Grip : Im a little confused here but i believe these 3 factors in table tennis rubbers are almost (?) similar , though i see in many rubbers video reviews players uses them with 3 different meanings  . Can u please explain what is the meaning of these factors in terms of playing TT and not just purely testing a rubber with a ball

2) Thick rubbers produce more spin because the ball gets "trapped" more deep into the rubber right?

3)Hard & stiff blades are for more speed (especially hard smash hits)  and soft blades are for more control ? My coach keeps telling me that the older the blade the more soft it gets so it has tremendous control , is that right?Is it worth it to keep an old blade instead of buying a new one  just for that reason?

4)What are the positives/negatives of a hard sponge in comparison with a soft sponge in terms of playing the game

p.s.  sorry if my english are bad , thanx for the answers  keep up the good job and have  a happy new year :) !


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi George,

Firstly with the stickiness, tackiness.  These in my mind are exactly the same thing. It is the feel of the rubber.  The grip can be slightly different as the surface grip is not necessarily the only key but also the amount the ball will grip onto the rubber when you play a stroke.

The thicker sponge will allow the ball to sink into the rubber a bit more and therefore grip around the ball a bit more and generate more spin.  This is also related to the grip of the rubber.

The blade speed or hardness will determine the amount of control you get. The harder blades mean that the ball will not stay on the bat for as long meaning you won't get as much control.  Blades do tend to get softer over time.  They usually take quite a few years to do this though.  If you feel comfortable with the blade then stay with it.  If you are looking for a blade with more control then you should go out and get another blade rather than waiting for your blade to get softer.

The hard versus soft sponge is a bit of preference for you.   The harder sponge means you can have a more horizontal stroke and brush the ball more whereas the softer sponge requires more of a vertical bat angle to grip the ball with the sponge rather than just the tops sheet.

Hope this helps. 


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