Red and Black are different?

says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
Member
Nov 2022
31
3
92
I read some posts said that the red and black rubbers aren't identical due to the colour pigment used in the manufacturing process.

In this post, the writer says that black rubber is softer and stickier than red. The tackiness lasts longer.

The red rubber, however, is harder. The top sheet expands more easily, is slightly thicker, but is less tacky. Additionally, red rubbers typically have less spin.

According to the writer, this is why many players are using black rubber on their FH and red on their BH.

Are these true in a real play situation, or are they only theoretical?

Some players prefer red for FH and black for BH. With today's manufacturing technology, it doesn't make sense that the manufacturer can't produce the exact quality of rubbers, regardless of the colours, if the pigment problem is true.
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
The only convincing reason to me for using Black Rubber on FH is that CNT players are using black rubbers on FH. They are using black rubber on FH because the FH rubbers supplied to them by DHS are black. Those DHS FH rubbers are black because the sponges for those rubbers are blue. They prefer the performance of blue sponges on FH than orange sponges.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kopp
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Oct 2018
500
257
835
There is a difference between red and black rubbers even ESN or Butterfly or whoever makes them. They cannot make it exactly the same as they are not exactly the same. Usually red sheets are a little harder than black. If you like harder rubber on your forehand you should use red sheet on FH, if you like a more supple rubber use black.

Red sheets show wear later or less so it's also a good idea to use it on FH for that reason. I myself follow the Chinese, black FH, red BH.

But now in some cases you have options for other colors, green, blue, pink, violet.

I have two Victas V15 Extras, one black and one blue. The black is 49g cut, the blue is 53g, and the blue is significantly harder (possibly even the sponge) and the black has more of a catapult effect. I like the black much more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kopp
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Apr 2014
1,379
959
2,367
Read 3 reviews
The black is 49g cut, the blue is 53g, and the blue is significantly harder (possibly even the sponge) and the black has more of a catapult effect.
But that is the normal variation that occurs in the process of manufacturing. For example a 2.0 mm sponge could be 1.91 mm or 2.04 etc., with the weight and the hardness corresponding with the thickness. You would be able to find a heavier black one and a lighter blue one, and then you would very likely prefer the blue one.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Jul 2017
570
214
859

Is that so? My bad, I didn't know that ESN rubbers are different from others. Thanks for the information, it's very helpful.

The ESN companies have been asked that question and claim there is no difference.

I assume that modern chinese rubbers are not really different either and that was a production issue 20 years ago but players just sticked with it due to tradition and emulating their idols.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Gozo and Kopp
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Apr 2014
1,379
959
2,367
Read 3 reviews
According to the writer, this is why many players are using black rubber on their BH and red on their FH.
Interestingly, beginning with the Chinese players, you would hardly find top players with red rubbers on their FH.

And someone would "explain" why that is the case, too.

It seems in the stone age the differences were obvious, but with modern production what you possibly feel is more likely to be a different thickness than a different colour.

 
  • Like
Reactions: UpSideDownCarl
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Apr 2014
1,379
959
2,367
Read 3 reviews
but players just sticked with it due to tradition and emulating their idols.
There is a video somewhere of an interview with Werner Schlager, in my opinion the most "clear-headed" player of his time (and probably all times).

He was asked whether he changed the rubber colour, because other players switched. He said he played black FH out of tradition.

Then he said that maybe his red rubber was a little faster, but Maze or Boll claimed their black one was better.

His conclusion: Maybe we are all a bit crazy. I think that´s all one needs to know ;-)

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Oct 2018
500
257
835
Could be a thickness difference, both are max but still there could be some difference for sure.
But they feel very different, the blue is much much harder while the extra weight would suggest that it has a thicker sponge so it should feel softer.

I also think black rubbers are better in general. For Chinese it's quite simple. As mentioned before blue sponge is only available with black color, but there are players that use orange sponge on FH and it's still black. Like 10 years ago there were very few players using Hurricane on their backhand so they used the better black on FH and Tenergy on BH. I don't think it's a coincidence that no Chinese used red H3 on forehand and black Tenergy for BH.

I kinda remember 2 years ago Liang Jingkun switched to red H3 on forehand and the BS on backhand and in an interview he said the red was worse and made less spin.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kopp
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Dec 2021
155
48
233
With modern production methods the difference between red and black will be so small as to be undetectable, certainly not distinguishable (in my opinion) from the tiny differences that will always be present between two different (but supposedly identical) sheets anyway.

The bigger issues for me when deciding what colour goes on what side is this; what colour do I think will be less disruptive to my eye-sight when playing the game? Whatever this colour is, it goes on the back-hand side as I will see that side of the blade when playing a BH, but I won't see the FH side when playing a FH stroke.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kopp
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Apr 2014
1,379
959
2,367
Read 3 reviews
But they feel very different, the blue is much much harder while the extra weight would suggest that it has a thicker sponge so it should feel softer.
Not necessarily. If for some reason one sponge has a higher density it would be harder and heavier. Unfortunately, rubbers can vary (slightly) in all sorts of parameters.

But in the end, personal experience and conclusions made from it are different for everyone.

For example, I fixed two sheets of Rasanter R47 - bought at the same time from the same source - to both my wife´s nearly identical blades. On one racket the black rubber was clearly more alive than the red, and the other way round on the second. If I had only fixed one pair I might have drawn conclusions either way.
I could even by chance have fixed the two better ones to one blade and the other ones to the other, then one black would´ve been considerably better than the other black, same for red.

Another example, for some reason the first batch of green Rasanter R48 was exceptionally good, outstanding from the black and red. After having played with quite a few sheets more now, I wouldn´t say there is any difference anymore and green has gone to the "normal" excellence of the others.

These examples and a few others are mainly where my conclusion comes from: It´s variation, not colour.

But everybody can of course disagree or feel otherwise.
 
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
Member
Nov 2022
31
3
92
Interestingly, beginning with the Chinese players, you would hardly find top players with red rubbers on their FH.

And someone would "explain" why that is the case, too.

It seems in the stone age the differences were obvious, but with modern production what you possibly feel is more likely to be a different thickness than a different colour.


I apologize for the typing error. What I meant was ‘.. black rubber on their FH and red on their BH.’

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Oct 2018
500
257
835
Not necessarily. If for some reason one sponge has a higher density it would be harder and heavier. Unfortunately, rubbers can vary (slightly) in all sorts of parameters.

But in the end, personal experience and conclusions made from it are different for everyone.

For example, I fixed two sheets of Rasanter R47 - bought at the same time from the same source - to both my wife´s nearly identical blades. On one racket the black rubber was clearly more alive than the red, and the other way round on the second. If I had only fixed one pair I might have drawn conclusions either way.
I could even by chance have fixed the two better ones to one blade and the other ones to the other, then one black would´ve been considerably better than the other black, same for red.

Another example, for some reason the first batch of green Rasanter R48 was exceptionally good, outstanding from the black and red. After having played with quite a few sheets more now, I wouldn´t say there is any difference anymore and green has gone to the "normal" excellence of the others.

These examples and a few others are mainly where my conclusion comes from: It´s variation, not colour.

But everybody can of course disagree or feel otherwise.
Well a weight difference of about ~9% I would not call slight variation especially if Butterfly is calling 1-2% power or spin revolutionary change.
The grip of the sheet is quite different too, the black bites excellent while the blue is below average in my opinion.
I wouldn't dispute differences in production batches it clearly exists.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kopp
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
Member
Nov 2022
31
3
92
With modern production methods the difference between red and black will be so small as to be undetectable, certainly not distinguishable (in my opinion) from the tiny differences that will always be present between two different (but supposedly identical) sheets anyway.

The bigger issues for me when deciding what colour goes on what side is this; what colour do I think will be less disruptive to my eye-sight when playing the game? Whatever this colour is, it goes on the back-hand side as I will see that side of the blade when playing a BH, but I won't see the FH side when playing a FH stroke.

This is a good point! I have astigmatism, under bright light, it's much more comfortable for me to see black rubber on my blade than red. This is why I prefer the black on my BH.

PS. Even when driving or looping with your FH, you see the BH side of the blade when it contacts with the ball.

 
  • Wow
Reactions: lodro

mat

This user has no status.

mat

This user has no status.
Member
Apr 2019
112
11
153
Same brand, same model, both rubbers new, a bit more speed and apin has black rubber.
 
Top