Reviews and tests of different makes and types of table tennis rubbers

Here are some tests and reviews we've conducted to help you understand the effect different equipment can have on the ball and maybe what type or make of equipment may suit you. Ultimately though, the best thing to do when chosing table tennis rubbers is try before you buy, especially if you can try it on your own bat.

Rubber Tests

Different Types of Pimples and AntiSpin - what do they do to the ball?

Many table tennis players don't know the difference between short, medium and long pimpled rubbers, nor anti spin, nor do they know the effect these rubbers can have on incoming spin.  Often this lack of knowledge can lead to frustration as what look like basic beginner mistakes are made.  People who use these types of equipment too may complain of inconsistencies in the way the ball bounces of the rubber, or say "these pimples aren't having the effect they should" when in reality, it's a lack of technique or understanding of what the rubbers are capable of which is the cause.

In this first of a 3 part series we will look at the physical properties of typical short, medium and long pimpled rubbers and an old sheet of Butterfly Super Anti comparing the surface of each rubber, pimples structure and size, and variations in grip and bounce.

In the second video we will show you high speed film of a ball with different types of spin making contact with various parts of a bat and the spin which these rubbers then return.

In the third video we draw together some general observations  so that next time you play these types of rubbers, or play with them, you'll have a better idea of what to expect and hopefully a greater understanding of spin which you can go on to explore in more detail yourselves.

Old Vs New Table Tennis Rubbers

Do you only change your rubbers when they fall apart? Do you only change your rubbers when they don't grip the ball any more and you can't generate the spin you want? Are you missing out on anything by not changing your rubbers regularly? This video will show you the difference in performance between two sheets of the same make of rubber but one is new and one isn't.  They do play differently as our players confirm.

Reviewers include Tony Rigby, Liam Bedford, Mick Mahon, Steve McGinty and Keiron Beswick

Sponge thickness - does it really make a difference?

This is a three part series looking at the difference in performance between 2.2 and 2mm table tennis sponge thickness on the same make/model of table tennis topsheet - using Giant Dragon Maxspin.

Part 1 concentrates on the physical differences between two sheets of the same table tennis rubber but in 2 and 2.2mm sponge thickness and discover some unexpected variaions in what should be the same top sheet. In particular we look at dome / curl, top sheet, sponge elasticity, grip, tacky test, weight and cut open some bubbles which formed on the top sheet of one of these rubbers to find out why the bubble had formed. We also ask ITTF Chairman of the Euipment Committee Mr Odd Gustavsen some questions about the variations we found and the authorised rubber list.
Pt 2 of 3: Robot testing, compares throw height, trajectory and speed as well as spin reaction and reasons why you can't consider sponge thickness in isolation ie why you will also need to consider things like elasti city, pip structure, top sheet hardness, tackiness thickness, role of  blade etc
3. Human testing - demonstrates how different people can rate the same rubbers performance.differently for serving, return of serve, pushing, top spin drive, block, power loop, brush loop, smash and chopping and questions the relevance of generic speed, spin control ratings.

Reviewers include Keiron Beswick, Adam Linton, Jonah and Chris Bolton

You've seen the testing videos now take the challenge!!!

Take this high speed video challenge shot at 1000 frames per second and see if you can identify the types of rubber being used by how a ball with top spin reacts when it hits the rubbers.  Footage is shot using a Casio EX FC-100.

There are a lot of different types of table tennis rubber available.  Long, medium and short pimples, anti spin, inverted and others.  Within these are tacky or mechanical grip rubbers, variations in sponge thickness and hardness.  And when combined with different blades that's a lot of things to consider when playing table tennis.  But is it only "funny rubber" or long pimples which does strange things to the spin on a ball?  And what impact does how you play the shot (technique) have?

Rubber Reviews

Hurricane 3 vs Hurricane 3 Neo - Cheap chinese alternatives to expensive European made rubbers

Hurricane 3 is one of the biggest table tennis rubber sellers of all time.  A classic rubber especially when speed glued.  But with the banning of speed glue the Hurricane 3 Neo has been released with what DHS describe as the powerful neo sponge.  So how do they compare?  Is there a difference between the two and if so what is that difference?

In first of a three part series of videos we look at the physical properties and appearance of Hurricane 3 and Hurricane 3 Neo.  Grip, tackiness, bounce test, size, weight, sponge and pip structure are all compared.

In part 2 of this series of videos we'll compare their rebound speed, throw height, reaction to spin and ability to generate spin.

In part 3, four of our experienced players test both rubbers for serving, pushing, flicking, driving, blocking, looping and chopping.  We also compare their speed, spin and control, which the players preferred and how the players felt they compared to their own rubbers including Tenergy 05.

Reviewers include, Tony Rigby, Jericho Mayer, Dean Walmsely and Paul Robinson.

Stiga Boost TC vs Xiom Zeta (Asian sponge - that's the harder sponge)

Ideally you should always try a table tennis rubber before you buy. But this is not always possible. And with the influx of "speed glue" effect rubbers and their high cost we decided to ask Ronnie Pennington and Tony Rigby, two of our most experienced and successful members to compare Stiga Boost TC and Xiom Zeta (Asian Sponge) table tennis rubbers in terms of serving, returning, drive, block, loop, chop. We also looked at the relative aspects of speed, spin and control and how the winner compared to using speed glued rubbers.

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