Table tennis equipment is constantly being updated with changes in FIVB rules and technology, and every year major brands launch a number of new products, making it easy for players to be overwhelmed. However, if we look at the whole picture, starting from the “camp” and origin of the various Pingqi, and sorting out the veins, we can go from surface to line, from line to point, and finally find their own preferred weapon.
The mainstream of today’s ping ware can be divided into three major factions, namely European, Japanese and national. We have already talked about the rubber and the base plate, and today we will mainly talk about the base plate.
I. European baseplate
Characteristics of pingqi: powerful and heavy, one force down ten sessions, violent flow
Since Europe has the best table tennis wood origin in the world, Sweden, and the “dream factory” of table tennis equipment, most of the European brands have a distinctive wood feel: crisp, clear and layered. Combined with the soft and elastic body, which brings excellent ball holding experience, and the overall deformation of the AYUS core, which produces a strong sense of throughput, the more power you put into the ball, the more you eat the ball, holding a German baseboard can make people have a constant desire to attack.
Even now in the era of 40+ plastic big balls, the speed of pure wood base plate is relatively slow compared to carbon fiber base plate, and the rotation ceiling of big balls is relatively low, so the ball quality of pure wood base plate gives opponents much less pressure, so players who insist on using pure wood base plate in the professional field are rare.
However, even when making carbon fiber baseplates, Stika still sticks to its own brand style, trying to keep the taste of pure wood and keep the crisp and clear feel of the baseplate.
From the initial CARBONADO 145, 190, 245, 290 series, to the CARBONADO 45, which became a big hit in the women’s team, and the Xu Xin Blue Label and its market version, commonly known as the “Black Label” Carbon Dynasty, in the hands of Xu Xin, to the recent Carbon Era (Orange Label) endorsed by Fan Zhendong, and so on. The TeXtreme (and later TeXtreme+) technology has waded a new path through the vast array of carbon baseboards, which is still very admirable.
In terms of overall style, most German baseboards are more suitable for the traditional European two-sided arcing style of play. Both sides of the strength of the balance, like in the middle and far table left and right, open wide to pull the arc ball, most of the German baseboards will be more like. Moreover, due to the long-term cooperation between Stika and our national team, the adaptability of Stika’s baseboard and national rubber is generally good.
In addition, because of the power and offense, the European baseplate also prefers to use large face + hollow handle, in order to increase the area of sweet spot, and in order to make the center of gravity close to the head, so as to increase the offensive power. However, this will also bring some side effects, that is, the weight of the whole racket is large after applying two sides of rubber, which will affect the swing speed and also bring some extra burden to the wrist.
In addition, the European baseplate also has brands such as Jibe, Yura and Donik, and there is no shortage of classic products!
Second, the Japanese base plate
Ping characteristics: comprehensive and balanced, both offensive and defensive, fast articulation near the table
When it comes to Japanese baseboards, that is naturally the first to push the butterfly. The butterfly company as the originator of the aramid carbon baseboard, a classic VISCARIA and the same structure of the “doll” series of derivative baseboards, from 38mm celluloid small ball era of research and development has been introduced to today’s 40 + plastic big ball era popular around the world, in the professional players and amateur ball players have gained numerous fans. In addition to the aura of Zhang Jike’s 445-day achievement of “Grand Slam”, its own comprehensive and balanced performance indicators is also an important factor that cannot be ignored.
In general, the feel of the butterfly baseboard, the taste of fiber is relatively heavy, more “industrial style”, compared with the pure wood taste promoted by the Stika “natural style”, walking a completely different path, so prefer to use the feel of the easy to control tung wood core to give some compensation.
Most of the butterfly mainstream baseboards, power linear, good forgiveness; the center of gravity of the baseboard, so that the transition of the forehand and backhand will be very smooth and comfortable; at the same time, the stability of the butterfly baseboard is very good, the heart of the defense, so that high-level players are more bold to play with power, defense counterattack.
In addition, the quality control of butterfly baseboards is very good, is the industry benchmark, the same model of the same batch of baseboards are very close to the indicators, the error is very small, which is very rare. Because wood is born and bred, even the same species of wood, due to the geographical location and the year, always have their own tone, the personality of the wood smoothed out, highlighting the taste of fiber, is also a way to solve the problem. The butterfly base plate is relatively fine workmanship, from the grip of the handle, the fine polishing of the face material, and then the careful treatment of the corners of the base plate, everywhere shows the craftsmanship of attention to detail.
Finally, a classic Viscaria structure (Kou head + carbon + Ayus transition layer + Kiri wood core) can be played with a variety of different flavors of derivative versions, such as Ball series, Zhang Jike series and Lin Gaoyuan series, and the difference in performance between them is also clear, so one can not help but admire the profound understanding of the Butterfly engineers of this structure.
Compared to European baseboards, butterflies are more suitable with the jacket, the product is mainly in the high-end price point, many classic models of baseboards are thousand dollars, which also supports the high-end positioning of butterflies for themselves from some aspects.
Japanese baseboards and brands such as NITAKU, ASAKA, VICTAS, they all have the fine workmanship of Japanese baseboards and the style of fast articulation in the middle and near table.
Three, the national base plate
Ping characteristics: good at both ends, small ball precise control, big ball a hit
Finally, when it comes to our national products, the “leader” of domestic ping ware is naturally Red Double Happiness. Red Double Happiness has always been in deep cooperation with our country, so the performance style of the base plate is inevitably influenced by the style of the country’s game. The traditional style of our Chinese style of play is to emphasize the “front three boards” technique, the ball inside the table is delicate and versatile, to create opportunities for proactive overhand attack.
Therefore, in general, most of Red Double Happiness’ baseboards have the characteristics of precise control of small balls and low and “thief” penetration of big balls, in order to meet the needs of Chinese players’ style of play. For example, in recent years, the most popular Red Double Happiness Dragon 5/W968 structure series baseboard, is a typical representative of this style. The built-in yellow carbon fiber structure brings two direct benefits, one is to have a good control feel similar to pure wood under small power, and the other is to generate a fuller overall deformation than external fiber baseplates after hitting through the built-in fiber layer with sufficient power, resulting in better ball quality.
Reddish also prefers to use Ayus as the core material, and the center of gravity of the soleplate is biased towards the head, which brings a stronger sense of power when hitting the ball and ignites your desire to attack. In addition, because there is no tariff, the price is more affordable, and it is perfectly adapted to the home-made sticky set such as the Rampage Three, plus the history of the family plot, the Red Double Happiness baseboard in the hearts of the majority of golfers is still very high.
There are also Galaxy, Patrio, and Shiodex brands of national baseboards. The Galaxy is very cost-effective, while the last two years and the North Korean national team cooperation, research and development of a number of high-end baseboards, the product line is very rich; Galaxy’s baseboard in the national baseboard in the fine workmanship, the body is hard and solid, the center of gravity is also relatively centered, the handle grip similar to butterfly. Patrio’s baseplate structure is more innovative, and many baseplate structures are unique and suitable for deep baseplate enthusiasts to explore. The Shiodome, on the other hand, has its own unique insights and techniques in the field of fiber.
The world is divided into three parts. If the cold weapon as an analogy, the German base plate is more like a wolf tooth stick and other heavy weapons, heavy sword without a sharp edge, to break the trick; and the Japanese base plate, it is more like a sword and shield, the best at short-armed white knuckle combat, in the rapid transformation of attack and defense to protect themselves, in the light of day to take the enemy’s head. The national baseplate, on the other hand, is a bit like a lance, with a delicate and versatile ball control like a gun tassel flying.
The baseplate is the soul of a table tennis racket and sets the tone of a racket’s performance. There is no perfect base plate, only the most suitable one for your style of play. I hope this article will help you get one step closer to your perfect blade.
“Three parts equipment, seven parts match”. In the next article, I will talk to you about the lessons and experiences I have learned in the past few years about the matching of baseboards and rubbers, so stay tuned.