Courtside Sports - Table Tennis (Ping Pong)
Pre-Assembled Table Tennis Racquets - How do I Choose ?
A typical racquet consists of a red rubber sheet and a black rubber sheet glued to a blade. International rules require the red/black combination for tournament play to help opponents and spectators in understanding the types of spin on the ball.
Many companies produce a line of pre-assembled racquets. These ready–to-play racquets are built to last and generally are fully replaced when the rubber surfaces wear out. Most of these racquets have identical rubber sheets on each side. The difference in the price of the racquets is often due to the quality (ability to create speed and spin) of the rubber. Most people begin with a ready-made racquet before progressing to custom-made models.
What do the racquet ratings and stars mean? Each company has its own classification system for judging the racquet’s ability to create speed and spin. The greater the value of the number, the more control, speed and spin it represents. The Star System is representative of the level of play. A “1 Star” racquet represents a recreational racquet, while a “5 Star” racquet represents a racquet that a professional would use. Since all ratings are relative only to the brand itself, you should not compare the numbers between two different companies.
Choose the handle shape that feels best to you. It is strictly a matter of personal taste. Flared handles are the most popular. The straight, conic, flared and anatomic handles are for shakehand players. The Chinese penhold and Japanese penhold handles are for penhold players. The Japanese penhold handles are much thicker and have a notch where your finger rests.
Sponge Thickness & Hardness
A rubber sheet is usually composed of a top sheet (commonly called rubber surface) glued to a layer of sponge. These sponges come in a variety of thicknesses and the thicker the sponge, the more difficult it is to control but the greater the spin produced. Sponges can be classified into 3 different levels of hardness: soft, medium and hard. Soft sponges are able to provide better ball control - the speed is slightly reduced while the spin remains the same. Medium sponges achieve a balanced relation between control, speed and spin. Hard sponges provide more speed with less control.