You may not be aware, but on the 1st October 2021 a new rule about rubber colours came into effect. One rubber has to be black, but the other rubber can be red, pink, purple, blue or green.
Keen to be an early adopter, for the past two weeks I have been playing with a purple JOOLA Dynaryz ACC rubber. It has exactly the same playing characteristics as the red and black versions, it’s just a lovely shade of purple!
Here’s a very short video of me playing with my robot. I have the purple rubber on my forehand and the black rubber on my backhand.
Well, I have had a mixed reaction. The first people to see the rubber were my kids and they loved it…
“Whoa Dad, that is so cool. I want to have that colour too”, gushed my 6-year-old daughter.
Next, my better half, Jodi. She was completely uninterested. I whipped my bat out and excitedly said “Look at this beauty! What do you reckon?”
She glanced up, shrugged her shoulders and said “What am I looking at?”
“Look… my table tennis bat. I have a new purple rubber!”
“Oh. Is that good?”
This was a waste of time. I decided not to explain the significance of this new rubber colour. Jodi doesn’t play table tennis. She is a lost cause.
The next test was the players I coach. One player was outraged, “That is horrific! I can’t play against you when you’re using that rubber. It is putting me off my game.”
Others were intrigued and wanted to know more, “What other colours are there?”, “Where can you buy them?”, “Can you use them in the league?” This made me feel like a famous explorer who had brought back strange treasures from a faraway land.
However, a couple of players didn’t seem to notice at all or were too polite to question why the coach was playing with this unusual purple rubber. I kept looking at them and flashing my purple rubber, anticipating some kind of reaction. But nothing. Disappointing.
Next, the big test. I took my new purple rubber to my table tennis club. How would the die-hard table tennis players react?
A mixed response, but the rubber was certainly noticed…
“Love the new rubber colour Tom. Looks really good.”
“It’s a bit weird, innit?”
“Why have you got a new colour? Is that allowed?”
“Wow, purple, interesting.”
“That is nice! I want one.”
Rather annoyingly I played really rubbish at the club. I was very tired. My legs were heavy and I just had no energy.
This was a bit embarrassing. I turned up at the club with a new purple rubber. I had made a big show of myself … “hey, everyone look at me! I’m so good I can play with a purple rubber.”
I then played like crap for three hours and slunk away with my tail (and purple bat) between my legs. I was not a good advert for the new colour rubbers.
So, what’s my verdict?
I actually like the new colours. I don’t see anything wrong with adding a bit of extra colour and individuality to the sport. After the initial shock of seeing a purple rubber, all the people I played with got used to it and didn’t seem at all put off.
Will it take off? Time will tell. There is only a limited range of rubbers available which you can buy in these new colours. But over time I guess more will become available. I understand from my contact at Bribar Table Tennis, that they are actually selling quite a few pink, purple, blue and green rubbers, so maybe the demand is there and will grow stronger over time.
At the time of writing this, Bribar Table Tennis seems to be the only place in the UK where you can buy new colours. Here are some options:
Once I have finished with my purple rubber, I think I’ll try a blue rubber next. It’s good to experiment. It’s been a colourful couple of weeks. I’m happy to keep it that way!