Table Tennis Accessories
Honestly, choosing a table tennis palette is not easy for a beginner. Too much diversity creates confusion and you don't know where to start.
Table tennis woods are usually grouped into two categories: pure wood or wood with composite materials. They vary in number of layers, starting with a single layer and up to 17 layers. Theoretically, the number of layers, the thickness and the weight of the wood are directly proportional to the speed and power of the wood and inversely proportional to the control of the wood. At the same time, the higher power and speed (obtained by more layers and greater thickness) diminishes the control, making the ball's path shorter.
The materials used for wood made only from wood are varied: Ayous, Kiri, Balsa, Tongue, Koto, Juniper (Juniper), Dark Cherry (Cherry), Anklets, Rose, etc. for the inner layers. And Scandinavian Pine (Scandinavian Pine), Linden, Koto, etc. for the outer layers. The composite materials are: carbon, fiberglass, aryl carbon-titanium, etc. Manufacturers use different combinations to produce wood with different characteristics.
Table tennis woods are also grouped into three categories, after rigidity, speed and control: defensive, allround and offensive.
1) Defensive: low to medium rigidity, suitable for chops.
2) Allround: medium rigidity, can be used for remote topspins, preferred by most Europeans.
3) Offensive: high rigidity, fast, usually very tough, used for near-table attacks and fast games.
How to evaluate the rigidity of a wood:
1) Gently hit the wood with your finger or a ball. The higher the sound, the stiffer the wood. On the other hand, a lower sound indicates better control.
2) Doing the same thing as above, try to feel the vibration of the wood: a weaker vibration is specific to a harder wood.
3) Weigh the wood - the harder it is, the harder and stronger it is.
4) Sweet spot: it is the optimal ball hitting area. Harder woods have a larger sweetspot. You can test the size of the sweetspot by popping the ball over the entire wood surface. The ball will jump best in the sweetspot area.
Rigidity and flexibility
Usually, the ball jumps faster from stiffer woods. The blow is faster, but lacking in power. The path is shorter. These woods are good for the table game and the attacks on the 3rd ball. Points are earned before the opponent has time to break away from the table. These woods are always thicker, harder, heavier and with a higher density and sweetspot.
A flexible wood holds the ball longer. A player can make very strong hits and the wood helps produce a long-lasting, long-range hit. Thus a more flexible wood is more suitable for strong topspins. Although the speed is slow at first, the ball accelerates rapidly. These types of wood are usually thinner, with a smaller sweetspot.
Pure wood and composite wood
The biggest advantage of wood made from pure wood is that they have a very good sense. The player can quickly notice a technical error or a weak shot and can easily be corrected.
Composite woods, especially carbon ones, have an increased rigidity without the need for many layers. These woods can be thin and strong at the same time. Aryl carbon-fiber is effective for reducing vibration. There are also other materials used, such as titanium or fiberglass. These woods represent practically different variations of the ratio between rigidity and flexibility.
Choosing table tennis woods for children and beginner players
Children should play with smaller, lighter and softer allround woods. These woods help to develop sense and control, so that they will be able to apply greater power in blows. Too hard wood will hinder their further evolution.
Definition of good wood:
1) Quality of manufacture. No visible defects. This can be checked visually.
2) The wood is flat and smooth when placed on the glass.
3) Company. Good reputation and credibility. Watch out for fakes.
4) The most important aspect: the player must be well acquainted with his style of play, strengths and weaknesses. There is no perfect wood. The wood that best matches your style of play is the best.
5) The value. Large price differences between similar woods. Imported timber [from outside China] is not necessarily better.
If we meet the above conditions, we can analyze a few simple combinations.
1) Soft wood and soft pallet faces - a combination that you can't miss. The catapult effect of the wood and better control, can compensate for the lower power and shorter strokes of the soft faces.
2) Soft wood and strong pallet faces - acceptable. The small sweet spot may prove tiring for jams, or counter-attacks, but the advantages will be long strokes and strong spin.
3) Hardwood and soft palette sides - unacceptable. The blows will be short, with reduced control, unless the player prefers the faces with cents, which are perfect in this case.
4) Hardwood and strong pallet faces - still a good combination. Allround. Good for any hit.
5) Hardwood and long-toothed faces, on the backhand - you should be able to take full advantage of the qualities of the toothed face.
Have fun playing!