Choosing the right bat and rubbers combination is a daunting task. The new technologies in malleable rubber, carbon, titanium, and wood composites bats created endless possibilities suitable for all skill levels. Below you will find information and links that hopefully will help you make the right choices.
If you are new to the sport, be aware that your abilities and style of play are both extremely important in the selection of a bat and rubber combo. There is no point of spending a ton of cash on your equipment until your game has evolved.
If however you are somewhat experienced and you are still looking for the perfect bat, you may find in this page information that will help you in your quest.
If you thought that the blade selection was making a choice difficult, choosing rubbers will make you literally dizzy. In addition, good rubbers may cost you up to $80 per sheet, thus adding a significant cost to your combo.
There are 3 main types of rubbers: inverted, pips and anti-spin. Click on the words to find additional information on how the rubbers actually affect the ball and look at this video for even more information.
Inverted rubber has a smooth, grippy surface for generating lots of spin (with the exception of anti-spin rubbers which are smooth but not grippy). This is the most common type of rubber used by competitive players.
Pimpled rubbers or Pips (some people mistakenly call them “nipples”, “nips”, or “pimps”) have raised tubes in a uniform pattern (instead of a smooth surface), and produce different effects.
- Long Pips
- Medium Pips
- Long Pips
Antispin rubber is an inverted sandwich rubber with a topsheet that is unaffected by spin. These types of rubbers have topsheets with very little friction compared to most inverted rubbers, so that the ball tends to slide off the rubber when hit, instead of gripping on the rubber.
The majority of good players worldwide, including world ranked players use inverted rubbers. The name of the game is speed and spin and these rubbers are now the essence of the game. Pips and anti-spin are used by players who want to introduce deception to their opponents.
The rubbers are ranked by speed, spin, control, hardness, and thickness. Again, each of the manufacturer use their own grading method however similar to bats, and do give their rubbers a category based on the players’ style of play. Of the 5 rankings, thickness is probably the least understood. The thicker the rubber is, the more the ball will sink into it generating more spin and more speed. Not to forget, the more the ball sinks into the rubber, the more the ball will take the spin of the opponent therefore require the player to put more spin than the opponent to control the shot. Most players should stick with 2mm or less unless looping is your style of play then 2mm is the minimum that should be used.