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Table Tennis Tips

A real low and short no-spin serve can give you some easy points in matches, as they are difficult to flip hard, and they require good timing to push hard. Mix it up with a heavy backspin in the same spot. Remember to get it short, the ball should bounce short on your side close to the net...

 Red versus black table tennis rubbers - is there a difference?

It was many years ago that the ITTF brought in the rule that one side of the bat needed to be covered with red rubber, and the other side black. The main reason for this was that a lot of players used different rubbers on either side of the bat, some dramatically different, like antispin on one side and a fast spinny rubber on the other. The idea was that opponents needed to be able to anticipate what was on the incoming ball by the stroke played by the opponent, and it should not be down to guessing which rubber they used.

These days a common question is why certain players, or even whole teams, always use one colour rubber on the forehand, and the other on the backhand. Are red and black rubbers, even identical brand and type, inherently different?

Well the consensus is that yes they ARE different, but for some rubbers it’s much harder to tell than others… For Chinese tacky rubbers the difference is usually most obvious; the red rubber is a little less tacky, and the black is a little softer and tackier. The tacky surface slows the ball down a little, so this also makes the red a little faster than black. So you would chose the one that suits you better on the forehand.

This difference is believed to come from the manufacturing process. The raw rubber used to make the rubber topsheets, is naturally tacky and black. The dye needed to make the rubbers red, makes it lose some of its tacky characteristics and softness. For some rubbers, the different characteristics are quite obvious. For example the black 729 Geospin tacky is a lot tackier than the same rubber in red. However for most Japanese or Euro made rubbers, most of which are inherently non-tacky (but grippy), the differences not really noticeable…

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