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Whether it be a beginner, intermediate or advanced level that you are playing at, if it’s real table tennis you’re into, then you will need proper equipment to max out your skills and abilities as a table tennis player.
At this level, you will want to go for something which is not too fast, nor expensive. The right combination will require a lot of control, relatively all rounded speed and a reasonably affordable price.
The brands that most players go for would be Butterfly, Stiga, Yasaka, DHS and 729. These are good brands to start with. As far as the blade is concerned, no carbon blades for beginners.
Carbon laminated blades are for extra speed, so save that for until you have reached the intermediate level. The best would be to choose a plain, all rounded, all wood blade.
The choice made by many beginners (and even some professionals) is the Primorac blade by Butterfly. This has good control, speed suitable for a beginner which is even acceptable to some professional players and is priced pretty reasonably.
Other choices could be such as the blades from Stiga. For example, Classic Allround, Energy WRB, Tube Allround etc. Good rubbers would be such as the Butterfly Sriver series or the Yasaka Mark V series.
Butterfly Flextra is a better choice for controllable speed, though.
At the intermediate level, you would have established whether you are going to be an offensive player or an all-round player.
For all you offensive players out there, your best bet would be a decently priced carbon blade. Carbon blades are expensive, but there are still some with reasonable prices.
The best carbon blades for this level would be from Stiga and Butterfly. But if you have the funds, I’d recommend Butterfly blades all the way. Such blades would be like Gergely Carbon and Primorac Carbon.
These blades are very fast, so please combine these with slower rubbers, unlike Sriver G2 or Bryce. I would suggest you stick to Sriver or Mark V at this level, as even the world class players use these rubbers. You could even keep your Flextra rubber as it will provide good control over these amazingly fast blades.
For the all-round players out there, go for all wood blades. Stiga Allround blades are pretty good at this level. Combined with Srivers or Mark Vs, it can take you a long way.
And now, the advanced players level. You would want an extremely fast blade, moderately fast blade or an all-round blade. For those speed freaks reading this article, stick with Primorac Carbon, or you can switch to Schlager Carbon, one of Butterfly’s fastest blades on the market.
Another speed demon blade would be such as the Sardius Carbon blade. For the fastest combination available on the market, go for rubbers in the Bryce series. This is only for the super offensive players who can control blades and gameplay at tremendously lightning-like speeds.
For those who like fast blades with good control, use Srivers on these blades. For those of you who want a moderately fast blade, Butterfly’s Kong Linghui Special with the new Arylate Carbon technology is the way to go.
With offensive speeds and the arylate in the blade to maintain good control, you can pair these up with Srivers or High Tension rubbers such as Sriver G2, Bryce, Catapult and Cermet (these are all Butterfly rubbers, feel free to look around at other tensor rubbers from Andro and other companies).
The Timo Boll Spirit is also a good blade for good control and speed. For all-rounded offensive players out there, M. Maze Arylate Carbon by Butterfly is a good blade.
Good speed and yet good control for lobbing styles such as Michael Maze’s superb lobbing techniques is what this blade offers. Paired up with Srivers, Mark Vs, high tension and tensor rubbers, Stiga rubbers such as Mendo Energy etc., these make a brilliant combination.
At the advanced level, you can now try out some all wood blades with good speed and a hard feel and pair them up with some hard Chinese rubbers.
These will be difficult to play with at first, but in the long run, it’s more punishing. Punishing meaning it won’t play well unless you use good and proper technique, unlike the European and Japanese rubbers, which are more forgiving.
This will improve your technique if you’re disciplined and are willing to train hard and not give up on this type of equipment.
Blades such as Stiga all wood blades like the Clipper has great speed. Paired up with a forehand rubber-like DHS TG3 Skyline and a backhand such as Nittaku Nodias, you’ll play great if you use proper technique and strokes.
More expensive blades which can be considered at this level are such as the Nittaku Violin or Nittaku Acoustic.
Of course, these aren’t the only good blades on the market out there. Be creative with different combinations and explore the world of table tennis equipment. You might be surprised when you bring together an awesome combination.