Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Custom-printed Sandpaper Paddles from PaddleYou

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

I recently picked up two custom paddles from PaddleYou, based in New York. It’s a pretty interesting concept, print your own designs on a sandpaper paddle! I’m not personally a sandpaper player, so these are artwork to me. I picked some interesting photos, have a look! These will make nice decorations for my apartment, and maybe I’ll give them a spin some time. Click for hi-res.

The prints came out pretty well, given that it’s sandpaper. It won’t be quite as vibrant as the photo, but that’s the limitations of the medium. The handle is pretty comfy as well, pre-sanded for right-handers. I do like the black handles, pretty chic!

You can check them out yourself at!

How to Write Helpful Reviews

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Writing Helpful Reviews

Seeing as the purpose of the Table Tennis Database is to give people an understanding of the equipment they might buy, I thought I’d share some personal tips on how to write reviews that will be helpful to all readers. Hopefully this will be a useful guide to increase the quality of the reviews. Okay, let’s go! Read more

“Overall” rating. Useless?

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

I’ve always struggled with the “overall” rating that is put on a product. Restaurant review sites use a star system for the overall experience, Amazon has a similar system for books, and we have the overall rating out of 10. How relevant and useful is this rating though? Read more

Using Reviews and Ratings Effectively

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Thinking about ratings

When I first started the Table Tennis Database in 2008, I wanted to provide a platform that helps people to get really accurate and useful information so they could make an informed purchase. Reviews and ratings can be very helpful for this, but they have their limits, and there are many ways to misuse them. I wanted to provide a bit of a guide so you can get the most out of them. This information is also great for giving reviews and ratings that are helpful to others. Let’s begin.

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When asking for an equipment suggestion…

Sunday, September 30th, 2012


In our forum, we get a lot of people asking for a recommendation on what rubbers or blade to pick. However the answer I always give is a series of questions. In order to give a helpful recommendation, we need to know more about you, your skill level, your playing style, and other specific needs. Read more

How often should I change my rubber?

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Change Rubber

It’s important to know how often to replace your rubber with a new sheet. Use an old one too long and you’ll be playing with reduced performance. Switch too often and you’re wasting money with very little benefit. Read more

Carbon or Wood?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Carbon or Wood?

In this blog series, I will be answering the questions most frequently asked. Should I use a carbon or all-wood blade?

Generally, carbon blades are faster and more suitable for the advanced player. For a beginner, it is best to choose a very slow, controlled wood blade. This will allow the player to develop solid strokes because the ball has more dwell time on the racket. A faster blade is better for an attacking player who makes contact with the ball at the top of the bounce. A controlled blade is better for a defensive or allround player who plays at many different distances from the table. Read more

Slow down, son!

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Slow Down

It’s easy to get enamoured by the latest Tensor technology and the bright packaging of the Butterfly Tenergy series, but this equipment is usually not suitable for most people, especially players at the amateur/intermediate level.

My own personal rule is that nobody with a USATT rating under 1900 (or isn’t being coached) should be using very high-speed equipment like the Butterfly Tenergy 05 or an OFF+ rated blade. If you’re a developing player, or are in the market for your first competition-grade racket, pay attention.

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What does “control” actually mean?

Saturday, February 5th, 2011


As I was conceiving the Table Tennis Database and going through all the ratings characteristics to include, “control” always seemed like an odd one. Speed and spin seem pretty clear. If you run an experiment using two rackets with the same blade and just compare two different rubbers, and use the same stroke to hit the ball, the faster one is the one that produces a higher velocity after impact. And with spin you can measure the rotations per minute (well probably not measure, but you can get a feel for how much spin was on the ball). These characteristics could be measured in a controlled lab. But control is hard to measure or even understand.

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Searching Equipment by Characteristic

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Query by Stats

Did you know you can sort equipment by its characteristics? Apparently I hadn’t made this feature visible enough because people were requesting ways to do this.

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