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Chinese Philosophy of Table Tennis Equipment

Why do Chinese table tennis players use ultra tacky rubber? Why has the Chinese National Team dominated table tennis for a long time? Coach EmRatThich explains the secret of Chinese Table Tennis, tacky DHS Hurricane 3 rubber, Tenergy 05, Stiga table tennis racket, and more.


Fundamental of table tennis equipment

The most basic table tennis equipment includes the blade, a forehand rubber, and backhand rubber.


What has changed with the new ball

With the new ball, the top Chinese players have switched from using the Stiga blades to the carbon, ALC, Butterfly rubbers.

However, the principle, the philosophy about table tennis equipment are still the same.

Chen Meng used Viscaria 2020 China super league
Chen Meng used Viscaria 2020 China super league

They focus on the quality of the rally, the feeling, control, and power.


Chinese Philosophy of table tennis Equipment

In table tennis, there are many philosophies about these sport. Let’s compare 2 schools.

The most important part of table tennis equipment is the Rubber and the Blade.

Chinese coaches focus on the wood quality of the blade:

“The blade should be an extension of your hand. You must feel the ball from the blade.”

Here is the video I explained about the Chinese tacky rubbers:



Secret of Table Tennis in China and Tacky Rubber

Watch this video.

 

The Chinese philosophy of table tennis blade: The blade should be an extension of your hand. It shouldn’t be too hard, too stiff, or too soft. The blade is where you make the ball spin. That’s why Chinese player loves Stiga’s blade!

Because the Stiga blade has: Good quality of wood. Clear vibration provides a good feeling.

The blade and the rubber of Ma Long.
The blade and the rubber of Ma Long.

 

Western table tennis philosophy is different: They prefer a harder blade, a carbon blade. They want to increase the speed of the ball, however, the feeling, consistency, and confidence decrease.

Chinese philosophy: Blade should give you control, you should consider a blade as your hand, many feeling, soft, delicate, … you can drop shot, play with the ball, or can strike very hard.

It’s like a short hammer is more consistent than a long one.

The blade is an extension of your hand. Remember this!

Index finger is parallel to the blade edge (or perpendicular to the handle)
The index finger is parallel to the blade edge (or perpendicular to the handle)


So why the ball of Chinese players has much power and speed?

Their ball is very fast, spin and power than the Western (European player) because of these two reasons:

1. Confidence in your shots

Do you dare to hit harder and harder if the ball always goes outside the table?

No! It’s confidence! If you use a good feeling, not too fast blade, you have confidence! Western players compensate for the speed by using the carbon blade!

But it’s the wrong way! Use a slower blade, but increasing confidence is the best way! “Chinese player using good feeling blade has confidence”.

2. Hard and tacky Chinese rubber

The second reason is the secret of the Chinese National Team: hard, very hard rubber, tacky rubber. Why?

Chinese Table Tennis Magazine: Test on tuned Hurricane 3 rubber
Chinese Table Tennis Magazine: Test on tuned Hurricane 3 rubber

Chinese players like good control, flexible blade, and hard rubber. European players like hard, fast blades and soft rubber. Because the philosophies are different.

  • For Chinese, a blade is for feeling and spin, rubber is for speed and power.
  • For Western, a blade is for speed, and rubber is for spin. They use soft rubber to generate spin, and fast blades to increase the speed. However, it’s wrong!

In fact, the power and the spin come from your technique. The blade is an extension of your hand.

The power comes from the ground (by rotation of the hip, legs), the spin comes from the elbow, wrist, rotation of the waist. That’s the Chinese philosophy. Remember my video about Zhang Jike; I’ve said that “Power comes from the ground”. That’s why Zhang Jike’s legs are so powerful!

Ma Lin is boosting his national Hurricane 2 with Haifu booster
Ma Lin is boosting his national Hurricane 2 with Haifu booster


Chinese table tennis rubbers

You are confused by many Chinese rubbers: Hurricane, Skyline, Tinarc, H3, H2, TG3, TG2, H8, National, Provincial, Commercial, Blue Sponge, Orange Sponge.

It’s not important!

Remember “Equipment is an adaptation of your technique, the technique first, and equipment after.

The technique is 90% of your table tennis. 10% is the equipment.”

Change the equipment based on your technique. Don’t buy any equipment and learn the technique after!

90% of your table tennis comes from your technique, not the equipment!

DHS Orange rubber for Chinese National Team
DHS Orange rubber for Chinese National Team

 


The secret of hard and tacky Chinese rubbers

If you are in the wrong way: Use a very fast blade, and soft rubber to generate spin!
Listen to me!

  • Feel the ball with the blade. Find a good blade.
  • Use a medium-hard rubber first
  • If you are strong enough and want to make a faster ball, then use harder rubber

The power comes from the technique. Firstly focus on consistency. Then to increase the speed, the power of your shots, you train the physical strength. The power will come naturally.

Chinese philosophy: “Power from the ground” & “Spin from the hip”

This is the secret of Chinese table tennis.

For the soft rubber, you can’t hit harder. it has a limit. If you hit harder, the ball will go outside the table. It’s easy to topspin, but topspin with power is not as comfortable.

For medium/harder rubber, this limit is much higher, your ball is spinnier and faster!

Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge is tuned by using Haifu booster
Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge is tuned by using Haifu booster


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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