Table Tennis Rubber Guide | Sport Numericus

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the blade and rubber choices? Confused about the rating and terminology? This guide will help to clarify some terms and provide some recommendations on equipment that might be suitable. Even though practice and technique are far more important than equipment for improving the game, it’s important to choose equipment that is appropriate for your skill level and preferences. It will help you improve your game and not stall it. Although the guide is not complete, it should give you enough information to help you make an informed choice.

Table Tennis Rubbers

1. Rubber Terminology

Inverted tires, also known as Reverse rubber’ or ‘Smooth rubber’ due to their smooth exterior, is the most used rubber. This rubber is used by both powerful attackers and skilled defenders. This rubber’s flexibility allows for many stroke plays. Offensive rubbers have high speeds and spin for fast strokes. All-round rubbers offer more control, which allows you to control the pace and generate spin. ‘ Special rubbers are designed for offensive-minded players. These rubbers have tension built into them to give the rubber extra speed (and sometimes extra spinning), although they are not recommended by beginners or emerging players.

Inverted Rubbers include a top sheet with smooth black surfaces as well as a sponge (a yellow-colored surface that attaches the blade), and are often sold already glued together.

Anti-Spin Rubbers, which are special inverted best table tennis rubbers, have a high degree of immunity to spin and are usually very slow. You can control the game’s pace and take most out of the spin. It can be helpful for people who have difficulty with spin.

The Final Type Is Pimple Rubbers. They have pimples on their outsides rather than the smooth surfaces of inverted rubbers. These rubbers can be used for controlling or manipulating the spin in the game. This rubber, also known as short pips, allows for the fastest ball speed around the table. They are best for quick speed, hard-hitting at the table, and blocking spin where it is less crucial. They produce less spinning but are also more sensitive to it. They are popular with combination or defensive bat players (players with very different rubbers). These bats can be used to change the rhythm between attack and defense.

Long pimples Rubbers can be used to control spin. You can either return the opponent’s spin or alter it when you return a ball. These rubbers are usually quite slow and allow you to alter the speed and direction of the ball. Long pimples have a higher risk of being slowed than anti-spin rubbers. Medium pimples can have both long and small pimples. But, they offer more offense potential and are less prone to spin manipulation than short pimples.

2. Rubber Ratings, Sponge Thickness/Hardness

Rubber can often be rated according to Speed, Spin, Control and sometimes in a variety of Sponge Thickness


The speed of rubber usually refers to the speed at which the ball is released, whether it’s a loop-drive or loop-drive type stroke. Although the actual speed at which the ball comes off is dependent on many factors, such as the blade, how fast the stroke was played, and the thickness and speed of incoming balls, the speed rating is useful in comparing rubbers.


As with speed ratings, the term “spin” refers to the amount of spin the rubber gives the ball when it is driven or looped. Spin is affected by many other factors beyond the rubber spin rating. It’s particularly sensitive to the stroke and spin of the incoming balls. However, the rating allows for comparison between rubbers.


This rating is most misunderstood and controversial and should be avoided. Manufacturers prefer to give high control ratings on all their rubbers. This is true even for the fastest and spinniest. However, you cannot have a rubber that is both fast and spinny while also having high control. The rubber cannot have it all. You must choose between speed, spin, control. The control rating of faster rubbers is generally lower, but it’s possible to have a high spin and good control.

Sponge Thickness:

Rubbers consist of a top sheet as well as a sponge. But in some cases (some pimples rubbers), a only top sheet is required. The top sheet (red, black, or both) is what makes contact directly with the ball. While the sponge is the section between the top sheet and the blade, the sponge is what is in between. Although you may only have one choice, the sponge thickness can often be customized when you buy a specific rubber. A thinner sponge will give the ball more control and feel. A thicker sponge might give you better speed and spin.

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