How To Replace Table Tennis Rubber? – Best Guidelines (2023)
If you love playing table tennis, you should know about the importance of regularly replacing your paddle’s rubber.
Table tennis rubber replacement is a crucial part of improving your game, but many players don’t know how to replace it.
No worries, though; you’ll find all the information you need right here.
It will help you decide what parts you can replace. In general, table tennis paddles have three basic components:
The paddle’s blade is its most important part. Blade refers to both the handle and the “head” of the paddle.
Wood and carbon fiber are usually used for this part of the paddle, and the difference is primarily in the weight and feel of the paddles.
Both sides of the paddle have this layer right after the blade. You can play more offensively with a thicker sponge as it adds more power to your shots.
Thinner sponges give you more control, which makes your shots more defensive.
There are two layers on the paddle, the outermost one being the sponge, and both are replaceable.
There are three commonly used rubbers in table tennis: inverted (smooth), long pips, and short pips.
The three different types of changes have a different effect on the Game Play, which we have explained here.
We have also compiled a list of some of the best rubbers for those who are unsure.
The most popular rubber in the world is inverted rubber.
The rubber has the most spin potential of all modern rubbers and is designed for aggressive players.
It is an ideal choice for players of all abilities, as it can accommodate all kinds of play.
A long pip has extra-long protruding pips on the rubber. A spin can be countered and reversed by using it in the play.
Furthermore, the longer pips cause the ball to wobble and alter its trajectory due to their unpredictability.
In close-to-table and reactive counter-play situations, short pips are usually used.
The reason is that it generates the very little spin and also absorbs spin very well.
Played defensively, it brings back pre-spin table tennis’ old-fashioned “classic” style.
Over time, sponges and rubber require replacement. Once we know what a table tennis paddle is made of, we can replace it.
Paddle Rubber Replacement Tools
You will need the following items to replace the rubber on your paddle:
1: Replaceable Rubber Paddle
Rubbers are sometimes permanently attached to paddles.
Rubbers like these are meant for beginners, and cannot be changed.
Other paddles have the provision for changing the rubber, so check to see if your paddle has this feature before changing the rubber.
2: New Rubber
To replace the old rubbers on your paddle, you will need new ones.
Make sure the rubber is in line with how you play, and not just changed for the sake of changing it.
When you play defensively, it makes no sense to invest in inverted rubbers and vice versa.
The glue you use cannot replace the rubber. table tennis rubber should adhere with glue designed specifically for that purpose.
As a reliable alternative for replacing all kinds of rubbers, we suggest the Butterfly Free Chack Racket Glue.
4: Applicator / Sponge
The glue must be applied to the blade with an applicator. Applicators are usually included with glue and do not need to be purchased separately.
5: Rolling Pin / Hard Brayer
A rolling pin or a hard brayer is crucial for the rubber to remain in place. If you want to “fix” the rubber, we recommend that you get it rather than using anything else. It helps release any air pockets underneath the rubber.
A sharp pair of scissors is necessary for changing the rubber. People often ask what type of scissors they need for changing the rubber.
If you know how to use a utility knife, use a sharp pair of scissors.
7: Edge Tape
The use of edge tape is optional, as not everyone prefers it. As far as aesthetics are concerned, I prefer it.
However, it depends on what suits the person’s taste.
Tape with a narrow edge covers only the wooden portion of the bat, while tape with a wider edge covers both the wood and rubber.
How to Replace Table Tennis Rubber?
After you have all the necessary items, let’s begin replacing your table tennis rubber.
Remove the old rubber first. Be careful when doing this.
The rubber must be gently peeled off the blade so that you will need a lot of patience.
Make sure you peel instead of ripping the rubber. Take care to apply even force to remove it.
After removing the old rubber, take a good, hard look at the blade surface.
You will be able to see the condition of the paddle, and you should take this opportunity to clean the surface and make it smooth.
You can gently scrub away any residue glue with soft sandpaper if there is any left.
You need to glue one side of the new rubber after cleaning your blade. Be sure the glue is spread evenly across the rubber and a thin layer.
After the glue has sat for a few minutes, you should apply a second thin layer, this time on the blade’s surface.
Spread the glue evenly on both surfaces using a sponge or an applicator. It is important to ensure that the glue is evenly applied and applied slowly.
Now comes the hard part. This is the waiting phase. The glue must dry on both surfaces until it is tacky and sticky but not wet.
It will take around 5-10 minutes to prepare the rubber and 3-8 minutes to prepare the blade, but read the instructions carefully.
Next, line up the bottom corner of the rubber with the bottom corner of the blade.
It is advisable to put your rubber’s logo in the center over the bottom of the blade if it has one.
The rubber can be curved away from the surface and then pressed onto the paddle with its bottom edge.
The rubber is unrolled slowly on the paddle’s surface once you have the bottom edge of the rubber on the paddle. Make sure no air bubbles from underneath the rubber.
Smooth the new rubber into place using a rolling pin or a hard brayer and press it.
Use a craft knife to cut the rubber. The rubber is trimmed down the side of the blade using this tool. The rubber will be applied smoothly on the paddle blade if neatly done.
Likewise, apply the rubber to the backside of the paddle, following the same procedure. Then, apply the edge tape on the sides, giving it a nice, smooth finish.
When To Replace The Rubber On Your Paddle?
Whether you should replace the rubber on your table tennis paddle depends on how much you use it and how good or bad the paddle is.
Over time, the rubber and sponge layers that comprise the rubber on a table tennis paddle begin to wear out in cases where the surface has some spots.
If there is a spot that is not as firm or the bounce and spin are inconsistent, it’s time to replace your rubbers.
If you notice a decrease in performance or any sign of damage, you can also replace the rubber.
Manufacturers assign different life spans to their rubbers.
Rubbers last approximately 50-90 hours on average, but most players change them over a year. Short pimples and anti-spin rubbers, however, last longer than others.
Hey, My Name is Timothy Wang. I’m the U.S. National Table Tennis champion of 2010, 2012, and 2013 and playing the game since the age of 12. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, tips, and tricks with others so they can master and enjoy this game like I’m doing for years.