Table Tennis Blog
When I first began playing, there was possibly 200 rubbers (guess) on the market and approximately 50-100 blades. The main rubbers back then were Yasaka Mark V, Sriver L & FX, Mendo, Friendship, and then came Bryce (Tenergy of today) around the year 1999. Blades included: Primorac, Korbel, Stiga Allround, and Donic senso, and of course Speed glue played a huge effect on the rubbers and overall game.
There was also a big percentage of players using various spoiler rubbers (long, medium and short pimples, anti-spin and tacky rubbers). This market has declined due to new rubber regulations and advanced power equipment. Nevertheless, todays equipment industry has risen by ten folds and shows no sign of slowing down.
Players are always looking for an edge and to a certain extent our playing styles and ability requires tailor made equipment. The issue is how do we find the right equipment for us? Table tennis equipment is not cheap and if we want/need material that suits our unique playing style,
What should we do? 1. Ask a coach, 2. visit an equipment work shop, 3. Speak to an equipment expert, 4. Try fellow table tennis players equipment, and lastly spend lots of money buying plenty of experimental equipment.
Personally equipment has never been a big issue for me, I have changed blades possibly 3 times in the past 15 years and I tend to go for modern offensive rubbers. I think the key is to understand your personal requirements and choose something in that range. I believe initially you should build your game (footwork, technique using suitable equipment, serve and return) and once you have passed this stage, then hone in on equipment that benefits and boosts your game.
Does Table Tennis equipment effect our sport?
Yes, it does! It’s extremely difficult; understanding spin, deception of spin and power placed on the ball by top players. It’s equally difficult keeping up with all the blades and rubber choices and knowing what each one does. Due to a massive variety and characteristics of equipment, it has caused big issues for novice or non-playing Table Tennis spectators. When watching a sport, it’s nice to understand exactly why something occurred and Table Tennis is very hard to work out unless you’re a proficient player yourself.
Should the sport cut back on material? (Like the World Ping Pong Championships) Making the game easy for the naked eye to understand? Or should we continue developing new material to advance the game in terms of speed, spin and power?
Table Tennis is unique due to technology, not many sports have or can develop in such away compared to table tennis and its advancing technological equipment. Technology has changed the game so much over the past 50 years but it has also cost the game in terms of simplicity and roar skill. Today a rubber can produce a lot of effect with little shot implementation but then again, there is no world champion who just puts his bat in the way. All top players have exceptional skill, ability and athleticism but it’s not fully respected due to certain attributes provided by equipment and undetected/misunderstood by a non-playing spectator.
The key is to find a solution for visual simplification, alongside technological advancements.
Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis
FB: Eli Baraty