The Five Principles of Blade Matching

As the saying goes, “three parts equipment, seven parts match”. Although in theory, blade and rubber can be freely matched, as long as you can adapt and control them, it is not a problem. However, in order to achieve the effect of “1+1>2”, you need to put some thought into the equipment.

However, there are so many different types of blades and rubbers that the number of combinations is geometrically increasing, and the cost of trial and error would be too much for the players to bear. Therefore, if we try to match the equipment according to some guiding principles, we can exclude many wrong options, reduce the cost of trial and error, and match the racket that meets our expectations at a small cost.

Here are some “no mistake” matching principles I have summarized according to my own equipment burning in the past few years. By “no mistakes”, I mean that the racket that comes out of these principles may not be the best combination, but at least it will not be very difficult to play. Then, on the basis of “no mistakes”, you can slowly make fine adjustments to get closer to the best combination you have in mind.

Soft and hard, not extreme

“Soft board with hard rubber, hardboard with soft rubber”. This is a “middle of the road” idea that is widely accepted by many players. Although it is too broad to be operative and has been criticized by some players, it is a general direction for equipment matching and if you try not to be biased, you can take fewer detours.

Because of the wide variety of fibers added to the table tennis blade in recent years, the structure of the blade has become more diverse and richer, and simply using “soft” and “hard” to define a blade has become too pale. Therefore, the “softness” and “hardness” of the paddle is more of a subjective feeling. However, the hardness of the rubber is very intuitive and most of the manufacturers are kind enough to indicate the hardness of the rubber, so you can choose according to the actual situation.

So, my personal advice is to set the paddle first, then the rubber. If you get a paddle and it feels “soft”, you can match it with harder rubber, and vice versa.

Follow the mainstream, word of mouth is the best

“A gold cup is not as good as word of mouth.” The reason why classic equipment can stand the test of market and time, and be passed on by golfers, is that its performance in all aspects must meet the needs of most golfers. For most players, as long as their style of play is not too far off the beaten path, then choose mainstream equipment, at least not with their own style of play “properties of the gram”.
For example, the “built-in 968, external VIS”, “forehand sticky set, backhand astringent set”, etc., are all mainstream with the principle of the reference value. Although “the truth is often in the hands of the few”, in the field of ping-pong, the choice of the majority is often the right choice.

Idols as a guide, appropriate downgrade

If you have a particular favorite player, or your own style of play is similar to a player, then take the player’s hands as the benchmark, and look to it. After all, the player’s ping has withstood the actual test of the competition and is definitely at the top of the industry in terms of performance. Not to mention the idol aura of support, for the faith is also worth getting a piece of.

However, most of the equipment used by the stars is special equipment, plus the premium effect of celebrity endorsement, the price is not expensive. Also need to take into account the actual gap between the star players and their own technical level, so you can consider the appropriate equipment appropriate downgrade, in order to achieve the purpose of matching their own technical level.

Take Malone’s paddle, for example, his paddle is Red Double Happiness special paddleW968 + forehand NEO Blue National Wild 41.5 degrees 2.1mm (Malone’s special) + backhand NEO National Wild 37 degrees 2.1mm (Malone’s special). The advanced version of the downgrade can be considered: Hurricane Dragon 5/Hurricane Dragon 5X + forehand NEO Blue Saver 40 degrees + backhand NEO Saver 37 degrees. There is also a cost-effective version of the downgrade to consider: Bo Fang Carbon / Bo Fang Carbon X + forehand Phuong Mad 39 degrees + backhand 37 degrees of soft. The rest of the stars of the ball are in the same way, to name a few.

In fact, many provincial team players are also such a pairing idea, if your skill level is not more than the provincial team players, then such a pairing out of the ping ware should be able to meet your needs. Of course, if the family has a mine, not bad money partners, can also be directly accepted as a whole, after all, “the power of the idol is infinite”.

“Brothers” of one heart, its benefit is broken gold

The so-called “brothers of one heart” means that the same brand of blade and rubber can basically achieve good results. This is also very understandable because when equipment manufacturers develop equipment, whether for cost or sales reasons, they will develop and test based on their own products. Therefore, the use of their own brand of brother equipment with each other, the effect is basically not bad.

For example, the aforementioned Ma Long who endorsed Red Double Happiness, Ball and Zhang Ben Zhihe who endorsed Butterfly, and Tanba Takashi and Pitchford who endorsed VICTAS, all used the same brand of blade + rubber combination, and their results also fully reflected the actual performance of the Ping equipment.

Built-in with sticky, external with astringent

In fact, a more strict statement of this principle is to match the overall strong blade with sticky rubbers and the local strong paddle with astringent rubbers, which will generally give better results. But in general, most of the paddles with a strong overall deformation are built-in fiber paddles; most of the paddles with a strong local deformation are external fiber paddles, so for the sake of simplicity, we will summarize them as “built-in with sticky, external with astringent”.

The paddle with a strong overall shape is more like a big spring, with a soft feel and more surging feeling, but relatively speaking, it is not easy to control well, so it needs to be paired with a solid and hard sticky rubber to reconcile. The paddle with strong local deformation has a more transparent and crisp feel, easy to play with power, and can reduce the sluggishness of the ball when paired with an astringent set that has better integration and speed.

But with the continuous improvement of the equipment manufacturers’ board making process, the built-in paddle and external paddle are complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and the boundary between the two characteristics is gradually blurred, with the built-in blade becoming more and more like the external one and the external one becoming more and more like the built-in one, and there is even a heterogeneous structure blade with one side built-in and one side external. Perhaps this principle will no longer apply in the near future.

The above is my own personal experience of burning equipment, only limited to their own contact and use of equipment, the views are for reference only. I hope that some of the ball players can help.

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