I bought a new bat to play ping-pong with my colleagues so I want to ask you something. What is the difference between the black and the red rubber on the bat (racket)?
The rubber is different … and when I hit the ball with the red rubber the ball jumps more (vertical) than the hit with black side (using the same force).
I think that one rubber is used for making spins and other for speed-balls… but I am not sure?!
Can you give me some advice of using the black/red colors ?
Answer: Hello Mr.D – this is a question that table tennis players have been talking about for many years.
Many players feel that red rubbers are usually a bit faster and less spinny than black rubbers, since slightly different materials (pigments and dyes) are used to give the rubbers their red and black colors – you might notice that black rubbers tend to be opaque / non see-through, while many red rubbers are a bit translucent / see-through.
Some manufacturers go to great lengths to try and make both red and black rubbers play the same, while in other manufacturers the differences are quite noticeable. Of course, sometimes players tend to exaggerate the differences as well. Speaking for myself, most of the rubbers that I have used didn’t have any noticeable difference between the red and black versions, while there are a few (such as the old Friendship 729 rubbers back in the 1990’s) where the black and red versions were very different (I liked the Friendship black rubber, and didn’t like the red). Other players claim to notice differences between red and black rubbers in brands that I couldn’t tell apart, so perhaps I’m just not very good at noticing the differences!
So yes, in some rubbers there are differences between the black and red versions, and in others there are virtually none. Typically the red will be faster and a bit less spinny, if there is a difference at all. Many players point out that this is why you often see the professional players using a red rubber on their forehand, and black on their backhand, but I’m not sure whether this is a fact or fiction.