Slow and fast blades and rubbers

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 7 years ago

Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Asked 9 years ago

Hi Pingskills

I have a question about blade-rubber combinations. I know that everyone has his or her's unique style of playing, but my question is a general. What is better: to have a faster blade, f.e. carbon blade and slower rubber, or slower blade and faster rubber. What is better for control, but also for good attack. I am interested in your opinion. Thank you in advance


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Sasha,

I think a slower blade and faster rubbers is the way to go.  You can get the spin and speed out of the rubber but still have good feel with the slower blade.


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Debo :

Debo : Posted 9 years ago

Interesting!! But, in mainstream tournaments, we hardly find any offensive player without a carbon blade nowadays which are pretty fast.  However, most of them use soft tensor rubbers for having good spin.

Then why so ??


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 9 years ago

Hello, Sasha. I also like the idea of a faster blade w/. a medium-fast rubber. But, it's because I like to make my points hitting hard w/. the feeling of a solid bat in my hand. The combination w/. a soft rubber gives me an ambivalent result I don't like. Playing with a hard bat-soft rubber combination is like playing w/. 2 different rackets: Playing on the table softly w/. the rubber and playing hard, away from the table, w/. the blade. There is no transition when playing w/. a slower blade and a faster rubber. My rule of thumb is: Blade and rubber of similar speed ratings depending on your style.


Sasha Savic

Sasha Savic Posted 9 years ago

Here's the thing, and I would like your opinion about it. I have an OFF- blade, Tibhar Samsonov Alpha. It's speed is rated about 7.8, maximum 8. Now, if I put on it, for example, rubbers that you use, Xiom Vega Pro, or Stiga Calibra, which are fast rubbers, will they increase the speed of the blade and how much? Will it be a little faster or much faster? 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Sasha,

The rubber will mean the ball will come off quite fast but the OFF- blade should provide enough control.


Debo :

Debo : Posted 9 years ago

But, sir (Alois), my counter question is unanswered till now.  Kindly enlight on the same.


mat huang

mat huang Posted 9 years ago

Most top players use tenergy fpr bh and tenergy or hurricane for fh


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Debo,

What blades do players use that you see?


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 9 years ago

In my opinion, the choice of blade and rubbers depends greatly on your playing style and the distance from the table.  I tend to agree with Eduardo that you should go for a faster blade and softer rubbers because this combination with give you many gears in the game.  If the ball speed is slow, you're using the soft topsheet to return the ball (in a short game); if the ball speed is medium, you're using both the topsheet and the sponge to bounce off the ball.  When the ball speed is high, you're then using all components, the topsheet, the sponge and the blade to bounce off the ball.  I just recently bought a Butterfly Kiso Hinoki V blade from a local store for about $17 and I am very satisfied with this blade.  The blade is made of 5 plies of Kiso Hinoki wood, a cypress from the Kiso mountain in Japan.  It's rated at Off- and weighs very light, around 72 grams.  It gives a mild feeling when striking the ball; you can really feel the ball on your blade.  When I smash, it gives me enough power and precision to finish off the point.  I put a Tuttle Beijing IV on my BH and Tibhar 5Q on FH and I can make almost any shot I want with ease.  The Tuttle Beijing IV costs around $15 and the Tibhar 5Q around $29.  So my whole setup costs me only $61.  What I want to emphasize is that a blade rated as Off- to Off+ doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice the soft feeling.  The ball feeling largely depends on the type of wood that is used.  Also last week I just bought another Xiom Strato, a 5 ply carbon blade, 3 plies of Kiso-Hinoki wood, and 2 plies of Aramid Carbon for $75.  This blade is rated at Off++ and weighs around 87 grams.  When compared this Xiom blade to the Butt. Kiso-Hinoki V (all wood), the Xiom gives a more solid feeling and faster return by about 10-15% against the Kiso-Hinoki V.  But the Butt. blade is better for blocking as it gives me more control.  Both blades are good for almost any stroke, looping, blocking, serving, chopping, smashing.  But don't forget that I can buy 4 blades of Kiso-Hinoki with what I paid for the Xiom blade.  I just want to share my experience with other Pingskillers that you don't be fooled by the marketing gimmicks of the TT equipment manufacturers.  So now I'm using the Xiom Strato as my main blade and the Butt. Kiso-Hinoki V as backup.


mat huang

mat huang Posted 9 years ago

OMG $17 for a butterfly blade? is it possible?


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 9 years ago

Yes, Mat. I got it from the clearance sale and it is brand new equipment.  Its full price is around $50 but normally i can buy at $19.  Believe me, this all kiso hinoki wood blade plays as good as all the expensive carbon and fiber  blades. I have let other good players at my club try it and everyone agrees that it's an excellent blade.  I haven't tried the kiso hinoki VII which is supposed to be more offensive and a bit more expensive.  You may want to check out these two blades.  The only drawback of this blade is that its handle is a bit short which can be a problem for players with large hands. 


Marcus Anbau

Marcus Anbau Posted 9 years ago

Looking at my own experience I would allways go for faster blades combined with "slower" rubbers. For developing players with increasingly improved technique, blade will eventually be too slow. Just changing the thickness of the rubber can then increase speed, that way I can still play with the same blade I am used to. I find that more consistent for developing players, than allways changing blades.

But as Surapun Wongopasisaid: It depends on playing style too.

Don't agree with the comments about soft sponges/topsheets give more control in short game, I rather say its opposite. Harder rubbers are less bouncy, much easier to control short balls ,one doesnt need as much of a soft touch, it allows for wider range of wrist and forearm movement, with less impact on the ball. The catapult effect of soft rubbers is harder to control.

Many players do find hard rubbers slow (Hurricane H3. Bluefire M1, Palio, Friendship,Valibra LT) and that is true for players with less advanced technique or slow players, but not for better players. Main speed comes from proper use of start and finish position of strokes and shoulder/hip/body rotation and how fast I execute, not from the rubbers. It is easier to create spin and speed with softer rubbers, due to the catapult effect and the soft sponge allowing the ball to sink into it, thus allowing mechanical spin. A flatter contact is allowed by softer sponges. So technically soft rubbers are less demanding, propably good for players who dont want or cant work more on their technique, but not for younger players with potential(or older with targets and dedication). Soft sponges allow for sloppy, incomplete strokes with bad start and finishing positions.

Harder rubbers allow to play slow and fast , the gears are within the player not with the rubber. BTW one can create more spin with harder rubbers than with softer, with softer ones its just easier.

I play now with an Off+ blade with DHS Hurricane 3 in max on my fh. I give it to beginners from time to time and observed its not too fast for them, since they play slow. But the hard sponge forces correct technique. A half way topspin will end the ball into the net. Ok its a bit more demanding the 1st 2-3 hours, but after that players will have better technique and better future development than with a soft sponge.


Maybe i strayed a bit offtopic, but I felt it is connected topics and I am speaking from personal experience. My technique was sloppy with soft rubbers and I see it with many younger players too. So I allways recommend faster blade from the start to not get confused with changing to faster blades during development all the time, which will just add on inconsistency and instead combine with slower/harder rubbers.


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 9 years ago

Marcus, I like your idea of getting a fast blade and slower rubbers at the start of the player's development path and moving onto faster rubbers as he progresses so that he can stick to the same blade.  However, you said that Hurricane 3 and other Chinese rubbers can play short game despite their hard sponges.  I think this is because these rubbers have very tacky surface and their sponges don't have the springing effect like the European and Japanese sponges.  Their ball feel is pretty dead.  You are right that softer sponges are easier to play with and that the ultimate power depends on the technique; take a closer look at Ma Long's FH loops and one will understand why his loops are very powerful, imo the best loops ever. 


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 9 years ago

What I wanted to point out is that many young and beginner players are too obsessed with the equipment rather than learning the right technique.  They often go out and get the most expensive blades and rubbers.  Take for example, I played one younger player about half  my age.  He is an intermediate level player. He's got a Sardius blade paired with T05 and T64.  His setup is at least $300.  But his FH looping is all wrong; he swings his arm from behind to forward in an upward motion with his wrist parallel to his arm.  When I chopped the ball good, it is impossible for him to loop the ball over the net.  And at times when I faked my chops, he would loop the ball miles over the table.  Because the real secret to playing TT well is the recognition of spin and the right gauging of the amount of spin on the ball which is crucial to decide which stroke to play and how much of spin you should put on the ball.  And the real challenge is to be able to do these things very quickly in a series during rallies because the ball keeps changing spin as it is hit back and forth.  I can beat this player easily with my $61 blade.  As Alois said getting too advanced equipment may do more harm than good because the darn blade is just too powerful to control.  An analogy would be to give a Ferrari to a beginner driver. 


Marcus Anbau

Marcus Anbau Posted 9 years ago

Yes you are right in comparison to Euro/Jaop rubbers H3 feels more dead. But feeling also largly depends on the blade. Hmm what you refer to as short game? For me its not due the tackiness adding more backspin, thus keeeping the ball short, but the lack of springing effect that keeps the ball short, cause player has more control.

Short game is for me in the style of Person or like in this video starting at 1.35 min.

I am familar with Ma Long's technique:) Advantage with chinese technique is topspeed. They chinese analysed speed is more important than spin and train accordingly. Boll adds more spin , but lacks speed in comparison, that is why they believe they are superior. Can not find the source anymore, but that is how I remember it.

 


Marcus Anbau

Marcus Anbau Posted 9 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=z8-UzS6v6Xs


Marcus Anbau

Marcus Anbau Posted 9 years ago

Couldnt agree more:)

What I wanted to point out is that many young and beginner players are too obsessed with the equipment rather than learning the right technique.  They often go out and get the most expensive blades and rubbers.  Take for example, I played one younger player about half  my age.  He is an intermediate level player. He's got a Sardius blade paired with T05 and T64.  His setup is at least $300.  But his FH looping is all wrong; he swings his arm from behind to forward in an upward motion with his wrist parallel to his arm.  When I chopped the ball good, it is impossible for him to loop the ball over the net.  And at times when I faked my chops, he would loop the ball miles over the table.  Because the real secret to playing TT well is the recognition of spin and the right gauging of the amount of spin on the ball which is crucial to decide which stroke to play and how much of spin you should put on the ball.  And the real challenge is to be able to do these things very quickly in a series during rallies because the ball keeps changing spin as it is hit back and forth.  I can beat this player easily with my $61 blade.  As Alois said getting too advanced equipment may do more harm than good because the darn blade is just too powerful to control.  An analogy would be to give a Ferrari to a beginner driver.


mat huang

mat huang Posted 9 years ago

I know is not what you mean but h3 is a really good rubber. The reason why so many people uses it is because it has the tacky topspeet which compensate for the hard sponge. And as for the person you said, i know one too but he bought a 250 blade and tenergy on both sides. :)

 


Debo :

Debo : Posted 9 years ago

Sir, sorry for my late response, mostly we see players in state or national level use Michel Maze, Timo boll  Spirit / ALC, Primorac Carbon, Tibhar Marcos Fretas Carbon, Tibhar H-3.9 - all are very fast blades combined with soft rubbers like Donic Sonex, GKI GybridzGX, Tenergy 64fx, Tibhar Genius, Joola Phinix / Explode, Express 2, Donic Acuda S2,  etc.


Jon Ferguson

Jon Ferguson Posted 7 years ago

All-round blade with medium/med. fast rubbers for beginner to intermediate, and a faster blade with slower rubbers for experienced attackers.

With the first setup, you are using the opponents speed against them more often, by using more blocking and counter driving strokes, and for more experienced players, a faster blade will give them more pace in their attacking game, as the blade comes into the equation, but the slower rubbers will give them the control they need.

Fast blades with fast rubbers are only for very experienced players who can control these setups.

Many world class players use an All to Off/ Off- blade for the control factor, and use various rubbers to get the speed, combined with good technique, of course.

Your equipment should reflect your technical level.   


eduardo espinosa

eduardo espinosa Posted 7 years ago

It's fascinating to see how an apparently simple matter can get so difficult! Every commentary seem to have a lot of sense if you look into them. Perhaps the real answer relies on personal skills orientation. Not everybody approaches the game in the same way when they are learning. As an example, I found that for me it was easier to win points by smashing than earning them w/. consistency, as other players did. So my style developed as "reckless-offensive" (not good) , hence my preference for powerful blades. If I had had a coach in those early days, I would have developed into a better player and, for sure, I would be playing w/. a racket like Alois recommends because I would rely on better technique not faster blades. Ultimately it is not the tomahawk you have to blame, it's the indian.



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