Rubbers for older players

Ask the coachCategory: OtherRubbers for older players
Philip Samuel asked 6 months ago

Have read with interest your article regarding technique for older players, using more of the backhand and shorter strokes. In view of this there seems to me that there are also implications for the rubber specifications. For someone who is no longer fast on his feet or can turn the body well with the forehand, and not too speedy with the backhand, what would be the specifications for the forehand and the backhand rubbers in terms of hardness, speed rating, and spin rating. Not asking about brands, just looking for guidance on specifications Tom, thanking you

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 6 months ago

Every player’s choice or rubber and blade really is very subjective. There is no right or wrong or specific equipment particular age categories should use. So much depends on your playing style and your stroke mechanics. I coach some older players who like fast rubbers, and others who prefer slow rubbers. I coach some older players who prefer rubbers with a higher throw, others who prefer a lower throw. 
None of this helps you much I’m afraid! The only way to work out what works for you is testing and experimentation. Try another player’s table tennis bat for a few minutes and see how it feels. Then try someone else’s. And then another player. You’ll hopefully get a feel for the type of bat you like.
If in doubt, I always recommend starting with ‘allround’ rubbers and blade. Nothing too fast. These will be reliable with decent control and ok spin generation. From this starting point you can then work out if you need something faster or slower, harder or softer. 
When you do find a rubber and blade combination you like, stick with it! It’s very tempting to keep tinkering and changing your equipment, but this can have a detrimental impact on your game. Most progress you make to your game will be due to technique and tactical improvements, not the equipment you use.