Table tennis equipment is changing rapidly with the development of technology, and every year major brands launch a number of new products, one wave after another, so that players are overwhelmed, it is easy to pick the eyes. 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 the surface to the line, from the line to the point, and finally find the weapon that we like.
The mainstream of today’s ping equipment can be divided into three major factions, namely German, Japanese and national systems. We have two types of rubber and base plate, so let’s talk about the rubber first. Since the author is less involved in granular rubber and anti-arc rubber, I will only talk about the rubbers today to avoid misleading you.
The secret of the German system: only the fast is not broken
Basically, the German school of rubbers is all about the word “fast”, which guarantees the high speed of the ball and then enhances the spin and power. The German counter-rubbers are most suitable for players who like to hit with active force and play with power. A friend of mine, who plays close to the table and fast, is very happy with the German counter-rubber and has burned almost all the classic German counter-rubbers. I was able to try out a lot of German counter-rubbers through his light.
First of all, the German high-density counter-rubber is a classic that has been around for many years and has won the favor of many players with its soulful “metallic sound”. For example, Donick’s Desto F series, JO series and Ulla Tango series. These rubbers have a soft feel, better impact than friction, and an instant sensation. The backhand bouncing is even more soulful, often a white light flashes by, making the opponent sigh in disbelief.
Later on, the German counter-rubbers lit up the technology tree of cake sponge, replacing the high-density sponge with the cake sponge that has a stronger ball-holding effect. Compared to high-density counter-rubbers, cake sponge reinforces the friction of the rubber surface and sacrifices a small part of the speed for good spin ability. For example, the Ulla series, the Vega series, the Aurus series, etc. The cake sponge is a moderate weight, can be pulled and played, more balanced.
Lastly, in recent years, the German sponge sponges have continued to light up the technology tree with large diameter cheese sponges based on the cake sponge. This type of sponge has a larger aperture, heavier weight and better friction, which further strengthens the power and rotational ability of the German counter-rubber, and many fans use it as their forehand rubber. For example, the Donic Blue Fire series, the Kishiro Rasant series, and the Evolution series. At this point, the last piece of the German series of rubbers has been completed, and it has become a school of its own, with a full range of forehand and backhand.
Of course, most of the German counter-rubbers have the problem of “false bounce” due to the fast ball speed, and there are some gaps in the control of small balls compared to the Japanese and Chinese counter-rubbers. In addition, the weight control of the cheese sponge is also a problem that limits the development of the German set.
The recipe: free release, control by heart
The Japanese rubbers have always had a good reputation for their fine feel and deep ball eating, and they have a very good integration and linear hitting effect. Therefore, it is understandable that the Japanese counter-rubbers are popular all over the world, especially the strong throughput feeling when hitting the ball, which makes many players feel that the ball is “caught” and then “thrown” out, and it is easy to hit anywhere.
In the era of organic glue, Japanese rubbers used to occupy most of the counter-gloves in the pingware world. For example, the classic butterfly Sriver series and Yassaka Mark V series, after being filled with glue, were called backhand gods, with excellent performance in speed, power and rotation, as well as lightness and good control, which were admired by numerous professional players and amateur fans.
In the era of inorganic glues, the TENERGY series of butterfly backhand glues has been the benchmark of the industry for the past ten years. The TENERGY series of rubbers has been a benchmark in the industry for more than 10 years. While maintaining a transparent and easy-to-control feel, the TENERGY series has raised its performance index to a very high level, and has truly achieved “balanced and outstanding specialties” in the field of rubbers, such as the rotation of T05, the speed of T64, the balance of T80 and the control of T25.
In the era of 40+ plastic balls, Butterfly launched the more powerful DIGNICS series rubbers, which always occupy the high-end market of rubbers and are chosen by many professional players. Despite the excellent performance, the price is also high, and the rubber surface is relatively delicate compared to the German and national series, so it may not be very wallet-friendly for the average amateur. Therefore, in the mid-range market, amateurs who like the feel of Japanese rubbers can also choose Butterfly’s ROZENA and Styka Mantra series.
The secret: friction control, one hit to kill
Most of the amateurs are using the domestic counter-rubber for their table tennis initiation. They are affordable, have a solid rubber surface and a solid feel, and are very friendly to beginners. The performance characteristics of domestic rubbers are not like the German rubbers, which are easy to control, but the stickiness of the rubber surface and the deep power of the hard sponge.
For a long time, high viscosity has been the distinctive feature of domestic rubbers. The 729 is the pioneer and Red Double Happiness has developed the cover rubber technology, which makes the rubber super sticky. The sticky rubber surface brings a lot of advantages that are difficult to achieve with astringent rubbers: good control of the ball inside the table and good spin with thin friction. However, once you hit through the hard sponge, the high quality of the ball and the weird curve of the ball will make it difficult for your opponent to fight.
The familiar Red Double Happiness Rampage series, Tianji series, and 729 Pentium series are the best of such rubbers, which firmly occupy the first line of Chinese players and amateurs. Since Ma Long won the “Grand Slam” with his two-sided rapids, there are more and more fans of the two-sided sticky rubber for both forehand and backhand among professionals, and even many amateurs have made the sticky rubber their choice for their backhand.
However, the defects of these rubbers are obvious, first of all, the difference between the performance of the rubber and that of the non-rubber is too big. For those who don’t like the trouble, like me, I always love it and hate it. The second thing is that the rubber surface and sponge are not as integrated as the Japanese set, the power is not linear, and there is an obvious “break” in the ball at medium power, but this problem has been alleviated in the last few years with the continuous research and development.
Therefore, for amateur players from the beginner to the intermediate stage, I personally recommend another middle way of the national set. That is to reduce the surface stickiness, to half sticky half astringent surface rubber, with high elasticity sponge, also has good results. For example, Palio’s CJ8000 and HK1997 series, Shiodome series, etc. can be used for both forehand and backhand, and still have the same solid feel of the national set. These rubbers are easy to play through, the threshold of power is not high, and they are not expensive, so they are more suitable for amateur fans at the entry stage. When you get to the later stage, your technical style is relatively fixed, so it is not too difficult to adapt to a more extreme astringent or sticky set.
As for some sets with fusion technology between Chinese, Japanese and German, such as German cheese sponge with Chinese sticky set, they are relatively niche and need to be tested by the market and time, so I won’t go into details here.
The world is divided into three parts, with different flavors. If we take food as an analogy, the flavor of German set is similar to crunchy potato chips, the flavor of Japanese set is like soft jelly, and the national set is similar to the “different” double skin milk. For the majority of golfers, you just need to place the right number according to your own style of play and feel preferences. If it is still difficult to choose a good set, then I will give you some common packages for your reference to reduce the cost of trial and error.
- Popular package: forehand sticky set, backhand astringent set (like the feel with the Japanese system, like the speed with the German system). This is the package that most of the players are applicable to, popular taste, widely acclaimed.
- entry package: two sides of the half sticky half astringent national set, affordable, cost-effective, the middle way, impartial.
- high-end package: used to this price point of the ballplayer, since the pocket is not short of rice, it will go straight to the high-end goods of the departments on the line, which expensive to buy which, the price is there, the performance is not bad where to go.
- rotation package: this package is especially suitable for control + a board over the playing style of the ball users. Both sides of the hard sticky set, if the backhand power threshold can not reach, change to half sticky half astringent national set as a transition can also be. If you like to handle the ball with thin friction, if you understand the spin of the ball well enough, and if your power level is concentrated, this package can make the opponent difficult to figure out the change of spin and the high quality killer ball.
- Fast Attack Package: This package is suitable for players with fast attack style on the close table. The forehand is a German cheese rubber and the backhand is a German high density rubber or a Japanese speed rubber. You need to handle the incoming ball with more impact than friction, try not to retreat from the table, grab the ball from the rise to the high point, play with force, and pay attention to open up the landing point to move the opponent to run.
- Stability package: This package is suitable for those who like to play left to left, right to right, smooth articulation and stability on the table. It is a two-sided Japanese set, with a rotating forehand and a speedy backhand. For amateur players, the word “stability” is more important, as they can score as long as they play one more board than their opponents. Then the Japanese rubbers are the best choice for amateur players, as they are easy to control and have a good feel.