How to Choose Table Tennis Rubber
Rubbers are classified in five (5) strategies. Analyze your style of play and determine your predominant strategy compared to others. Then, choose the rubbers that are ideal for you. See the Rubbers’ Table.
1) Defensive/Control: Style centered on defense strategies with occasional offensive shots. For a safe style with precise ball placement. Rubber with excellent ball control.
2) Allround/Control: Style centered on variation of control shots: pushes, chops, safe blocks and counter-attack tactics.
3) Allround/Active: For the allround player with emphasis on controlled topspins and offensive blocks.
4) Offensive/Control: Style centered on topspin attacks with speed and trajectory variations.
5) Offensive/Aggressive: Very fast rubber for a fast topspin and smash style. Steady and intensive training is necessary to maximize the use of these rubbers.
A few tips
* You need one red and one black rubber.
* Choose the thickness of the sponge according to your style of play. The thicker the sponge-the faster the rubber. The more spinny a rubber is, the more it will react to the opponent’s spin.
When should rubbers be changed?
* Elasticity and stickiness of rubbers diminish with use and with age. During use, dust particles penetrate the rubber causing it to lose its stickiness. Also, exposure to heat, light and air diminishes the qualities of the rubber. As the rubber’s characteristics change, the player must adapt his technique. This means that more effort is needed to execute the same shot. As well as being unpleasant, this may hinder precision and playing level. That’s why utmost care is recommended for your equipment (see racket cases pages 40, 41; see cleaners page 39).
* The power and the spin that a player is able to produce are two other major factors that contribute to the “normal” use of the rubber. You’ll notice a difference between the stickiness of the center of the rubber (the section used to hit the ball) and the outer part of the rubber.
* You should change your rubber when it’s no longer capable of producing the spin and speed you require. As a reference: the average world class player changes his rubber after about 30 hours of play, approximately every week. A player who practises and takes part in tournaments can use his rubber around 75 hours, approximately 2 to 3 months. A recreational player can use his rubber around 150 hours, approximately 6 to 12 months. An occasional player can use the same racket all his life! Pips out and anti-spin rubbers usually last longer than smooth rubbers.
4 rubber types