I have recently been testing out the new Bribar Solar table tennis bat. This is a bat aimed at leisure players and for juniors and adults who are learning to play.
The bat is made up of Yinhe rubbers and blade, making it very affordable – only £18.99. But is it any good? Can you generate good spin and speed? Or is the bat too cheap and slow?
Here’s my review, with some footage of me playing with the bat…
Overview of spin + speed
Many table tennis bats in the leisure price range £5-£20 look OK, but when you play with them you soon realise that the rubber quality is very poor. It’s hard to generate spin or even do basic drive shots.
By contrast the rubbers on the Bribar Solar bat are quite tacky, meaning you can generate decent spin. You can play all table tennis shots – drives, loops, pushes, blocks, chops – and the rubbers behave as expected. If you add some extra acceleration, then you can get quite a lot of spin.
The speed of the bat is OK. Not too fast, but not too slow. Some of the cheaper leisure bats feel like playing in slow motion. The Bribar Solar bat is quite a bit faster by comparison. You can play fast attacks on both forehand and backhand.
It’s not as fast as a more advanced (and expensive bat), but I think this is preferable for leisure or beginner players. You want a bat which is capable of playing fast shots, but is also controllable. This bat strikes the balance quite well.
Here’s some footage of me playing with the Bribar Solar bat…
Attack + defence
Let’s discuss in a bit more detail the shots I was playing in the video:
Drives – The bat has quite a good bounce. I was able to clear the net easily and consistently when driving. I had to play with more speed to get the ball to land deeper, but at least I rarely hit the ball off the end of the table.
Looping – As the rubbers are quite tacky, it is pretty easy to generate topspin. The ball goes over the net with a medium arc, so looping felt fairly safe and consistent to do. My loops were initially landing short, so I did have to accelerate a little more to get the extra depth.
Pushing – Pushing was very easy. I was able to keep the ball low and tight, particularly with my backhand push. My forehand push was a little loose, but this is more likely the deficiency of my technique! When I adjusted my bat angle, the ball started going lower.
Blocking – Consistent blocking was also easy. I was able to absorb a lot of incoming topspin and I liked how I was able to slow the speed of the ball and keep my blocks on the table.
Serving & returning serves
Finally, I also tested this bat during coaching sessions and when playing at my club. I was keen to see how it performed when serving and returning serves.
Serving was OK. I was able to do my full range of serves. I couldn’t generate as much spin as with my usual bat, but still enough to challenge my opponents. To get the extra bit of spin, I had to whip my wrist a little more.
Returning serves was very easy. As this bat is less responsive than my usual bat, it has the added benefit of being able to control spin a little easier. I still had to play an active return of serve, but the ball didn’t jump off my bat as much, so I could keep the ball on the table more often.
The Bribar Solar table tennis bat is a really good leisure and entry level bat. It’s the best bat I have tested which costs under £20. And it is significantly better than the cheaper leisure bats – those typically in the £5-£10 range. If you are a leisure player planning on buying your first table tennis bat, it really is worth spending that little bit extra, so you can learn to generate spin with your strokes.
I’d also recommend the Bribar Solar bat for coaches, clubs and schools. It’s useful to have spare bats for new players learning to play and this one will allow players to develop strokes using good technique.
Whilst I have enjoyed playing with the bat over the past couple of weeks, I have sadly bid it farewell. It has found a new owner … my father! He is restarting his table tennis career (aged 70) and joining a U3A table tennis club. The Bribar Solar bat is going to be his secret weapon to aid him unleash his wicked chops and backspin serves. He is chuffed. Hopefully his opponents won’t be!