If you are just starting out, you will want to buy a decent blade and rubber-going too cheap may end one up with low quality equipment that hinders progress. A medium-speed model will help you practice ball control while maintaining a reasonable topspin game. Blades are denoted in the following fashion according to their speed:
* Defensive Blades: slow blades with maximum control; best suited for primarily defensive players e.g. choppers, and beginners
* Allround Blades: an all-around blade for an all-around player who mixes offense and defense in equal amounts
* Offensive Blades: the fastest blades available, many trade control for speed; not recommended for beginning players
Note: The speed of a paddle comes from a combination of rubber and blade. This gives extra flexibility in the selection of equipment because a defensive paddle could have an offensive rubber on one side and a slow but spinny rubber on the other.
Blades can be made from a variety of materials, but the rules stipulate wood must be the majority material in any one blade. Carbon, arylate, and other materials can be used as a thin layer in the middle layers of the blade, but none of these can be exposed-if your rubber can touch the 'non-wood' material, then the blade is illegal.
Should you find any of your equipment to be illegal, don't worry too much; as they seem to be fairly common. They can still serve as your training blade until a new one can be obtained, but simply realize that you cannot use them in sanctioned tournaments, etc.
Glassfibre is becoming a polular choice for table tennis. The material has the following advantages:
1. The blade gets even more stability by the glassfibre plies.
2. The sweet spot is enlarged considerably.
3. The implementation of glassfibre makes the blades more ridged and quicker.
4. Reduced weight.
5. Compared to carbon or kevlar models, the playing characteristics do not change dramatically.
Carbon blades give a relative hard and insensitive touch while glassfibre gives you the same feeling as a all wood blade does.
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