General Rubber Information
Remember control is relative to a player’s feel. This can be improved with practice and experience of match play.
It is difficult to measure control as individual factors can change respective estimates. Control is dependent of speed of blade and rubber.
Also hardness and thickness of sponge. Generally the thicker the sponge the lower the degree of ball control.
If you would like to discuss the effect and performance of any specific blade or rubber you can rely on our judgement and advice. You can also be confident that whatever we recommend represents the best. We are only at the other end of the telephone.
Inverted rubber needs regular cleaning and protection from light, particularly UV light, also humidity and extreme temperatures.
Rubbers need to be replaced before grippiness and elasticity are lost through deterioration, resulting in the loss of speed and in particular, spin. To be effective in training and competition it is important that the rubber is always in pristine condition.
It is advisable to use water-based or alcohol based sprays to remove dirt and grime. This will prolong the life span of the rubber. Dirt particles have an effect on the ball contact and amount of grip on the playing surface of the rubber.
The effect of speed glue is to increase both spin and speed without losing too much control. When using glue it is important to use a blade sealant (varnish) to protect it from splintering and prevent the glue seeping into the blade. The glue is applied to both blade and sponge before play, with at least two coats on the sponge, more coats can be applied, but this is an individual choice. The more coats applied, the higher the performance. The effect of the glue is to expand the sponge increasing its elasticity but reducing control.
However, these glues contain solvents, if used for making bats up which may be tested at ETTA events, are liable to fail. Not available for individual use, are available for coaches who regularly make up bats. Great for long term adherence, easy to remove rubber and unlikely to cause damage to blade surface.
Glues are highly flammable and harmful and should be used in well ventilated areas.
Anti spin: Pimple in rubber. The playing surface has very little grip and is very slow with little or no elasticity in the sponge – e.g. Toni Hold (Austria) this is used as a combination rubber with a disruptive effect when playing away from the table and is less effective when blocking or counter hitting. The classic anti spin characteristics are little or no sponge, elasticity, energy absorbent sponge producing minimum amount of spin. However such as Stiga Energy Absorber have faster sponges causing problems to opponents
Medium pimple: Pimples 1 .2mm – 1 .6mm long. Less of a threat and not so training intensive as long pimples. The disruptive effect is relatively small. Gives good control with a low trajectory return, but with minimum spin.
Long pimples: These are suitable for defensive and allround players. The long pimples are between 1.6mm and 1.8mm. in length and can be with or without sponge. The thin flexible pimples are the most effective, but are inclined to break off if they are not played face on! The pimples will give unpredictable playing qualities. These will be dependent to a great extent upon the amount of spin and speed on the ball received and also on the angle of the bat when playing the ball. The effect will produce an unpredictable return with irregular flight paths making it difficult for the attacking opponent. This type of rubber needs a great deal of training time if you wish to be successful and obtain maximum effect.
Long pimples are ideal for combination bat players who will have a grippy pimple-in rubber on one side of the bat and long pimple-out on the other – introducing a guessing game for the opponent.
Pimples out: Short pimples approx 1.0mm long give a very direct ball rebound with a short ball contact time producing a minimal amount of spin. This is an ideal rubber for players who block and counter hit. It is also good for controlling the opponent’s spin. This rubber is frequently used on the backhand side of the bat.
Pimples no sponge: Short (approx. 1.0mm long) pimple out – without sponge. The playing characteristics are a passive rubber – with very good ball control but low speed and spin possible making it difficult to give variation in stroke play.
Pimples in: Is the most versatile rubber giving the largest variation in speed and spin – from the high grippy and speed reduction of the defensive rubber to the high elasticity, spin dynamic offensive rubber covering the whole spectrum in modern table tennis. The characteristics for the pimples in rubber are achieved through various rubber mixtures -e.g. different Indian rubber types and processing – i.e. varying temperatures, supplementary materials etc, making pimples in rubber the most effective available.
The types and thickness of sponge are specifically designed for different types of games and their selection is an important factor. The sponge thickness ranges from 0.5mm to 2.5mm.
Speed and spin increases with the thickness of the sponge, but the control decreases. Sponge thicknesses of 1.9mm – 2.5mm require increased training to maintain good control. Soft sponge enhances control and helps increase spin.
We recommend: 1 – 1.3mm for defensive (DEF) to passively all-round players (ALL-). 1.5 – 1.7mm for actively all-round players (ALL/ALL+) 1.9 – 2.1mm – max for offensive players with all variations of speed and spin (OFF-, OFF, OFF+).