How to choose your table tennis racket coating?On November 16, 2021 by Drake
The choice of the coating of his racket is a very important element for any table tennis player. A suitable coating in combination with your racket antler will help you progress and will certainly allow you to earn points.
The coating of a ping-pong racket consists of a layer of more or less thick foam which is in contact with the wood of the racket. It is covered with a smooth rubber sheet on one side and covered with small pins on the other.
Each forehand / backhand cover combination is decided based on three characteristics:
Ability to give more or less speed to the ball
Ability to accurately place the ball
Ability to give spin to the ball
The different types of coating
It is the most popular and widely used coating.
The striking surface is smooth and the side glued to the wood consists of pins glued to the foam.
It allows you to practice a large part of game strategies and technical moves.
The differentiation will be mainly based on the level of grip.
The softs are made up of short and wide spikes facing outwards.
Associated with a backside, they are used against for a game close to the table.
The foam is fine and hard and the rubber is elastic. It is a fast and not very adherent surface allowing to give a lot of speed to the ball and to be insensitive to the adverse effects.
This coating consists of more or less high spikes, with or without foam.
Without foam, we then say “dry” pimples, it has less speed, it is used in defense. Its main asset is to return the opposite effect of the ball, a topspin ball will become cut and vice versa.
With foam (more or less thick to influence the speed) it is faster and can be mid-long or long.
Long pimples are used for defensive and versatile play.
The mid-length pins are intended for defensive play.
This coating is very smooth and has very low adhesion.
Its main advantage is to be insensitive to the effects of the opponent’s ball.
They are used primarily in serving and defending Top Spin.
A combination of three factors
When the speed factor increases, the control factor decreases and vice versa.
So make sure you keep enough control so that you don’t get overwhelmed by a racket that is too fast.
The speed largely depends on the thickness of the foam of the rubber (as well as the wood of the racket).
The thicker the foam, the faster the coating, conversely the thinner the foam, the more the control capacity will increase.
Grip depends on speed / control combination
A very sticky coating will give the ball a lot of spin.
Be careful if it allows to produce a significant rotation of the ball it will also make you suffer the adverse effects.
It is possible to have very adherent surfaces at high speed and very adherent surfaces which are slower but with better control.
Also read: Top 10 F1 Rules Fans Hate
Foam thickness and hardness
Foam plays a major role in the characteristics of the coating.
There are a large number of possible thicknesses, this generally varies between 0.6 mm and 2.5 mm (called “MAX”).
The maximum thickness of the coating (foam + rubber) must not be greater than 4 mm.
Generally speaking, this will change the speed of the ball. The thicker the foam, the more it will increase the speed and the “catapult” effect.
Thick foams are therefore more difficult to master and are therefore not recommended for beginners.
The fine foams in turn promote control and grip.
Usually beginners start with a thickness of 1.5mm.
As you experience and progress the thickness will increase to choose thicknesses between 1.7 mm and 2 mm.
The hardness of a foam is expressed in degrees and generally varies from 25 to 56 °.
From 25 to 35 ° for soft foams and from 35 to 56 ° for hard foams.
A soft foam improves the contact time of the ball on the racket. It therefore dampens the power of the impact and improves control.
The energy storage coating technology, however, makes it possible to have soft foams that impart a significant catapult effect and therefore nevertheless rapid.
Hard foams are chosen to promote speed.
Choose your coating
The choice basically depends on your playing style.
A coating should improve your strengths and compensate for some of your weaknesses.
For attackers with a lot of speed but less control.
For defenders with maximum control and a lot of grip.
For a style of play balanced between speed, control and grip.
In conclusion, the perfect combination of the type of coating on a table tennis racket does not exist.
Everything will depend on your style of play and your expectations. It will be necessary to make concessions to favor certain characteristics rather than others.
One last tip, take the coating that gives you the most pleasure.
Remember that the racquet should always be at the service of the player, and not the other way around … So don’t let yourself be dominated by a racquet that is too technically sharp, or a racquet that simply does not match your game.