As you’ll know, from reading our blog last month, Andrew Baggaley won the 2015 World Championship of Ping Pong (WCPP). The tournament differentiated itself from table tennis by the roughness of the paddles it employed. Like the sandpaper paddles of old, these paddles had less speed and spin, enabling longer rallies. Consequently, players who were accustomed to rubber had to modify their approaches to the game to account for the different impact of shots. While many are unable to adapt, the British table tennis star succeeded after only a month of practice. Surprisingly, Baggaley even reported that using the ping pong paddle had a positive effect, saying: “In fact whenever I play ping pong, my backhand improves in table tennis.”
So, changing your paddle can help you improve your game in leaps and bounds, or even discover a style of play that better caters to your skills. With spring just around the corner, and Caloo’s outdoor table tennis tables beckoning players outside for a summer of intense matches with friends, is your favourite paddle up to the challenge?
One fascinating aspect of table tennis is that it allows for a high variety of play styles, depending on whether you’re more comfortable attacking or defending, with many different blades and paddle surfaces catering to every need.
If you prefer to play an attacking game then you’ll want a paddle with power, and this means a pips-out or inverted pips paddle. An inverted pips surface is smooth with a high level of grip to generate spin with. It’s also the most common type of surface used by competitive players. Meanwhile, pips-out has less spin, because of its rougher surface, but gives you the chance to power your way through a rally with high speed.
Conversely, playing defensively means having ultimate control of the ball whilst nullifying your opponent’s speed and spin, or even countering it with an unexpected return. Anti-spin rubber and longer, thinner pimples have an ability to cushion the impact of a strong opponent’s shots and counter a ball’s spin. This style of paddle will produce slower shots with less spin, but the increased control means you can play a smarter game against a stronger player.
When you head out to your local ping pong or table tennis table this spring, be sure you have the right paddle for the job. Whether it’s for smashing your way to victory or toying with an aggressive opponent – it will not only make you more effective, it will help you reach new heights as a player.