Table Tennis Speed Trap or, Is Your Racket Too Fast?

If you read this blog very often you may have picked up on the idea that I’m partial to defensive blades, thin sponge rubber, and long rallies. I also realize that my experience is somewhat unique to me. You may be playing a fast attack style. Based on the number of offensive blades available, as opposed to defensive, it looks like the equipment companies have figured out that speed sells. I actually use a Xiom Allround S blade, so I’m not going as slow as I once did. I would love to hear from some readers to hear what your racket set up is, and how you ended up with the blade and rubber you use. (comments at bottom of the page)

If you are like a lot of players there has probably been some trial and error to get to your current racket of choice. I do feel pretty strongly that going with a offensive blade and fast rubber is a huge mistake for novice players. Occasionally I will use one of my students faster rackets. I can use them, but never feel that the added potential speed is an advantage. Again, I’d be interested in hearing from players with very fast blades, and hear why they like them, and how it has helped your game. I do know some players with very fast rackets that seem to have adapted to them and have excellent control. Unfortunately I know far more players who resemble Wiley Coyote with their rocket rackets.

I’m hearing from more and more coaches that are urging their students to not go too fast too soon. A fast blade not only requires a experienced player, but it needs to match a particular style of play. Getting a racket that is too fast can actually hurt your development as a player. So, that’s how I feel. What do you think?

3 Replies to “Table Tennis Speed Trap or, Is Your Racket Too Fast?”

  1. I used to use a butterfly preassembled paddle. It had a really good, soft feel and so after the pan asia rubber wore out I stuck some cheap Chinese rubber on it. However, it was getting a little beat-up and so I started experimenting with various blades and rubbers as an upgrade, with mixed results.

    One day I played with my old butterfly again, for fun, and was pleasantly surprised by its control. I could swing hard and every loop would land on the table, unlike my faster paddles. Unfortunately, its a bit slow and my opponent was not especially disturbed.

    So as a compromise I’m sticking with an all-round blade and Rakza 7 rubbers. A nice balance of speed, spin, and control for a player trying to develop basic techniques.

    I do know some amateur players with ridiculously fast paddles, and they enjoy some success (meaning they beat me often, haha!). They’ve developed their game around their paddle, letting it do most of the work. But their mechanics are awful and their ceiling of improvement will always be limited.

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