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Equipment Facts - Part 1

Learn more about your rubbers

I. Rubber special properties

The special properties of the rubber are shown first from the external material surface weaving and secondly from the kind of sponge (in rubbers with sponge). The rubber surface plays an important role to its special properties. In this category we have pimples out rubbers and inverted rubbers.

The pimples out rubbers differ among themselves in the shape, and the size of the pimples. So we have rubbers with conical or cylindrical and big or small pimples. Each one of these has different characteristics. For example the big in size and small in height pimples give greater speed and spin to the ball and vice versa.
The inverted rubbers differ among themselves in the size of the attrition. Generally this kind of rubber gives a greater spin to the ball in relation to the pimples out rubbers. This relates to the fact that during the stroke the ball contacts a greater rubber surface. These rubbers though come behind in speed in relation to the short pimples out rubbers. This happens because in the inverted rubbers the ball gains speed that comes only from the sponge pressure, while in the pimples out rubbers the final speed of the ball is not only given by the sponge but from the pimples as well.

II. The sponge

The sponge is a kind of porous pressured rubber with the addition of some chemical substances that form small gas vesicles, which give it specific characteristics. According to its density, weight and width, the sponge can give less or more speed to the ball. Generally the hard and thick sponges give greater speed to the ball and vice versa. The major factor though in the ball speed, is the weight of the sponge, which is in direct relation to the thickness. That is why the offensive rubbers are harder and heavier than the defensive ones.

Dimosthenis Messinis
Denis' Table Tennis World

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