What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis!

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The Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis along with the sponge!

Rubber thickness affects the amount of power that a table tennis ball will have. 

The thicker the rubber, the more power it will have. Offensive rubbers have 2.0 mm of thickness. 

1.9 to 1.5mm thickness is used for defensive or controlling game play.

It can be hard to choose the right rubber for your playing style. In this blog, I will discuss the impact of rubber thickness on table tennis ball spin and provide tips on choosing the right rubber for your game.

And TLDR: you will need to try and play a few games with all the rubber types, ask your coach to get the rubber which will improve your game.

However, always try to play/practice with only International table tennis federation approved rubbers.

What is the effect of rubber thickness on table tennis?

The thickness of a rubber sheet affects the speed and control of a table tennis ball. Thicker rubber produces more speed, while thinner rubber produces more control. 

Offensive players generally use thicker rubbers in order to increase their speed.

How thickness affects the game

  • Thicker rubber is quicker, but produces less control. So you need a lot of practice to set the direction of the ball over to your opponent.
  • Offensive players will use thicker sponges in general and these are generally at 2.00 mm. This is the standard.
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How does rubber thickness affect the game of table tennis?

The thickness of a sponge on a table tennis racket can have a significant impact on the game. The three major factors that are most affected by rubber thickness are speed, spin, and control. In addition to rubber thickness, sponge hardness also plays a significant role in how the ball is affected.

A thicker rubber on the ping pong paddle will send the ball flying away at more speed than it was received. 

A thinner rubber will slow down the speed of your opponent’s serves and give more control.

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How does rubber thickness affect the spin of a table tennis ball?

Rubber thickness affects the spin of a table tennis ball because it determines how much friction the rubber will have with the ball.

The more friction, the more spin that will be imparted on the ball. Generally 1.5mm or 1.9mm rubber thickness works well for this.

Long pimples rubbers are designed to create more friction with the ball than short pimples, giving you more control over incoming spin.

Compared to anti-spin rubbers, long pimples are slower and take more adjustments to control the ball because they increase the surface area of contact with the ball.

A lower-density sponge will have more spin at lower speeds because the ball will compress the sponge less.

This is why a beginner’s rubber might have more control than an advanced player’s rubber. As a beginner they should focus on learning the game and not using raw power to send the ball flying away everytime.

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How does rubber thickness affect the control of a table tennis paddle?

The thicker the rubber, the faster it will be but less controllable. Thick rubber will also make the paddle heavier.

If you are a defensive player then you would want your rubber to be less thick.

Most attackers use the sponge that is either 2.0mm or Max thickness (2.2mm), while many defenders use a thinner sponge for extra control.

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The thickness of the sponge and the density of the sponge layer underneath the rubber also affect how fast and how controllable a table tennis paddle is.

Ball smashers tend to like harder sponges, whereas loopers prefer softer sponges so they can generate more spin on their shots.

How does rubber thickness affect the speed of a table tennis ball?

Thicker rubber gives more speed to the ball on impact, making it a better choice for aggressive players. Inverted rubber is the most popular type of rubber because it provides good speed and spin. The harder it is to control a ball with a thicker rubber, the less suited it is for beginners.

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What are the benefits of using a thicker rubber on a table tennis paddle?

Thicker table tennis rubbers have a thicker sponge. This increases the power of your shots and makes it easier to generate speed and power when attacking.

But you have to practice to control that speed and power, thick rubbers are not known for their controlling capabilities. So you have to improve your game for using these rubber and sponge combos.

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Keep in mind that with more power comes less control, so this may not be the best option if you are inexperienced with table tennis.

On the other hand, if you are looking for more control and less speed then thinner rubber might be a good choice for you. 

Offensive players who want a powerful rubber often choose the max thickness available. With more thickness comes more speed. When you hit the ball with the same force, it will move faster because of the increased rebound. 

What are the disadvantages of using a thicker rubber on a table tennis paddle?

  • Thicker rubber layers generate less spin it decreases the player’s ability to generate spin.
  • Thick rubbers will make the TT racket heavy.
  • Often thick rubber bats are costly.
  • Thicker rubber paddles are worse for blocking and defensive styles of play

What are the advantages of using a thicker rubber on a table tennis paddle?

  • Thicker rubbers generate more spin and throw angle, making the paddle more powerful and faster
  • Thicker rubber paddles are better for offensive-styles and smashes.
What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 4

What are some of the qualities of table tennis rubbers with different thicknesses?

Thicker sponge layers generate more spin and have a higher throw angle and thin rubber and sponge layers are good for blocking and defensive styles of play.

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  • Spin generation: Table tennis rubbers with thicker sponges generate more spin than rubbers with thinner sponge layers
  • Throw angle: Table tennis rubbers with thicker sponges have a higher throw angle than rubbers with thinner sponge layers
  • Power and speed: Table tennis rubbers with thicker sponges have more power and speed than rubbers with thinner sponge layers.

Tips on how to pick the right table tennis rubber

Consider Your Table Tennis Playing Style

When choosing a rubber to play with in table tennis, you need to consider your playing style. This is because each rubber has its own unique properties that can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on how you play. 

If you are not sure what your playing style is, it might be helpful to join a club and observe other players’ styles before making a decision.

Alternatively, you can ask your coach or an expert in table tennis to watch you play and assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Or just start with a beginners tt racket under 1000 and see how you are developing your style.

You should try all types of strokes and play a few matches before making your decision.

Remember that you want rubbers that match your style of play. It can take a few weeks before you adjust properly to the rubber’s characteristics

Additionally, make sure you give yourself enough time to adjust to the new rubbers- don’t expect miracles overnight!

What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 5

Why Table Tennis Rubber Sponge matters!

The thickness of the rubber sponge affects how fast the overall rubber will be. The harder the sponge, the faster the rubber will play; conversely, a softer sponge will provide more control.

When choosing a table tennis rubber, the thickness of the sponge is an important consideration. Most attackers use a sponge of either 2.0mm or Max thickness (2.2mm), while many defenders use thinner sponge for the extra control. However, most professionals use thicker sponge for increased speed.

Additionally, it is possible to not use sponge at all with pimple out rubbers if you want more control over your strokes

The density of the sponge will affect how much spin you can generate at different speeds. A lower density sponge will have more spin at lower speeds, while a higher density sponge will have more spin at higher speeds.

Keep in mind that using no sponge can be an effective tactic for those players who defend or twiddle their bats! 

Table Tennis Rubber Topsheets

When playing with a legal table tennis bat, one must have two topsheets – one red and the other black. There are several factors to consider when choosing which type of rubber to put on your bat. Regular table tennis rubber topsheets are smooth, while pimples-out rubber has small bumps that protrude from the surface. Additionally, there is inverted (pimples-in) rubber which is the opposite of pimples-out and is generally used by defensive players.

Pimple-In (smooth) or Pimple-Out?

There are two types of pimpled surfaces on a table tennis paddle- the smooth surface and the pimpled surface. When you hit the ball with the smooth surface, it will stay low to the table and have less spin.

When you hit the ball with the pimpled surface, it will bounce higher off of the table and have more spin.

This is because when you hit the ball with the pimpled surface, some of the air pressure is released from underneath causing it to bounce higher.

What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 6

There are different types of short and long pimples, and each one gives you a different effect.

Most pipped rubbers have different thicknesses of sponge underneath them, but there are some which do not have any sponge at all underneath them, and these are referred to as “OX” which is an abbreviation for orthodox.

When it comes to table tennis rubbers, there are two types: pimple-in and pimple-out.

Pimple-in rubbers have a smooth surface, whereas pimple-out rubbers have small bumps on the surface.

This is due to the type of sponge underneath the rubber – most pimples-out rubbers have different thicknesses of sponge underneath them, but there are some which do not have any sponge at all underneath them, and these are referred to as “OX” which is an abbreviation for orthodox.

What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 7

Tackiness Matters

The tackiness of a table tennis rubber is the measure of its grip on the ball when struck. This has an impact on how sensitive the rubber is to incoming spin balls and can generate more significant amounts of spin power. Tacky rubbers are good for offensive play, while anti-spin rubbers will not be as sensitive to incoming spin balls.

When looking to buy a table tennis rubber, one of the factors you will need to consider is the tackiness of the topsheet. Tackiness is a measure of how much friction the rubber has when it is in contact with the ball.

The higher the tackiness rating, the more grip the rubber will have on the ball. This can be important for both offensive and defensive players as it will affect how much spin they can put on the ball.

Tackiness is a measure of how much rubber will grip the ball. It means that a tacky rubber can generate more spin power than a non-tacky rubber. However, the tacky rubber will be more susceptible to an incoming spin ball from your opponent.

On the other hand, anti-spin rubbers are entirely non-tacky and will not be sensitive to an incoming spin ball at all. Anti-spin table tennis rubbers are designed to offer minimal resistance when a ball is pushed across the surface–making it difficult for your opponent to generate spin on the return shot.

What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 8

Rubber ratings and sponge thickness/hardness

Rubber ratings and sponge thickness/hardness are based on Speed, Spin and Control. The ideal thickness range for rubber ratings and sponge hardness is 1.5mm to 2.0mm for beginner and developing players. Harder sponges can offer higher spin potential even for very hard shots while a softer sponge gives more control and feel of the ball.

When choosing the right rubber thickness for your table tennis paddle, it is important to keep in mind that the thicker the rubber, the more speed you will be able to generate (and vice versa). Always check for ratings provided by the TT racket maker.

When choosing a rubber for your table tennis paddle, it is important to select the right sponge thickness and hardness. If the sponge is too soft, you will find it difficult to power-loop the ball. Additionally, if the sponge is too hard, you will have trouble controlling and feeling the ball – which are essential skills for developing players.

What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 9

Chinese versus Japanese/Euro style rubbers

There are two main types of rubbers- Chinese and Japanese/Euro style. The main difference between the two is that Chinese rubbers have a tacky (sticky) topsheet with a harder sponge, whereas Japanese/Euro style rubbers have a grippy (but not sticky) topsheet, with a softer and more lively sponge.

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The tacky surface of most Chinese rubbers makes it easier to generate high spin for serves and pushes, and the slower sponge gives better control in the short game. The grippy surface and more lively sponge of the Euro/Japanese rubbers make it easier to generate pace and the softer sponge allows you to ‘feel’ the ball better.

Chinese style rubbers are designed for people who want a less effortful looping experience. They provide more spin and speed when compared to Japanese/Euro style rubbers which gives the player a bigger and more powerful stroke.

Pimples-out

Pimples-out rubbers have tiny spikes on the surface of the rubber that cause the ball to bounce in an unusual way.

This can be used to your advantage, depending on the type of sponge underneath the ball.

Short pimples are great for returning balls quickly and with heavy spin, while long pimples can help you to return attacking / offensive shots with unusual spin.

There are also some pimples-out rubbers which do not have any sponge underneath them, and these are referred to as “OX” which is an abbreviation for orthodox. Each type of OX has a different effect on the ball.

 

What is the Table Tennis Rubber Thickness effect on Table Tennis! 10

All-round / counter-attacking style

The vast majority of players have an all-round, counter-attacking style of play. This type of play is versatile and can be used in a variety of situations. A medium speed rubber will give you good control over the ball and increase your chances of winning. Offensive rubbers, when used with a thinner sponge, can be excellent all-round rubbers for players who want to win points quickly.

Attacking / offensive style

When playing an attacking / offensive style of table tennis, it is important to use a thicker rubber sponge in order to provide more power and accuracy. This will help you to hit the ball harder and more accurately, allowing you to score points more easily.

You should not go for max thickness rubbers which will make the table tennis blade heavy.

Defensive style

There are three main defensive styles: long pips, anti-spin, and inverted. Defensive style with long pimples is when you use long pimples to chop away from the table. This is the most commonly used defensive style because it gives you more control over the ball. You can use defensive style close-in for a blocking/pushing style game or defend against loops, returning very heavy backspin or ‘dead’ balls.

Conclusion

Choosing the right table tennis rubber thickness is a very important aspect of your game as it determines how big of a spin potential you have if you are playing more extreme spin games. To determine what your table tennis rubber thickness should be, you need to take a few factors into account. These relate to your game like where you are playing and your style.

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