Beginner Guide: Why Are Ping Pong Paddles Red And Black?

Have you ever wondered: “Why are ping pong paddles red and black?.”  Do they produce a similar spin or force? It is unwise to take everything for granted. So, please take the time to learn the meanings of these different colors as they will definitely benefit your game.

Let’s scroll down for more detail.

Why Are Ping Pong Paddles Red And Black?

Related Reading:

Top 7 Best Ping Pong Paddles for Control and spin Reviews & Buying Guide

Top 10 Best Ping Pong paddle under $30 Reviews & Buying Guide

Top 10 Best Ping Pong Paddle For Beginners Review & Buying Guide

What are the two sides of a ping pong paddle? Clearly, they are made of the same rubber but are distinguished by two different colors, red and black.

Two sides of Ping Pong paddles

Surprisingly, no organization or individual was initially interested in the rubber color until table tennis became more popular. Tournaments appear more and more often, and participants always use more than one way to win.

The most common solution is to utilize various rubbers to create an advantage in different situations, such as high-spin attacks or quick defense and counterattacks.

However, breaking the rules also makes the game more difficult because participants cannot predict their opponent’s playing strategy.

Even if you test your racquet before a game, you can not tell two different rubbers of the same color in an intense round.

It was not until 1983 that the ITTF introduced a new regulation that ended this chaos. Accordingly, players are only allowed to use specialized rubber for both racquets.

Two years later, officials again required the use of two fixed colors for each rubber. There is no specific explanation as to why red and black were chosen. However, you can easily see that they have very high contrast, so it helps a lot for the game’s fairness.

In general, having two different colors on the same ping pong racquet helps prevent cheating. It also assists players (and referees in some cases) in keeping track of which rubber the ball hits and making more accurate decisions.

Do You Know the Difference Between Black and Red Rubber?

Is there really a difference in properties between the two rubbers? There are always debates to find the answer to this question.

Some people do not feel any difference even though they have tried many brands. On the contrary, others point it out very clearly.

Many table tennis players have shown that the harder and thicker red face leads to strong and fast shots. However, they are less sticky and tend to be slightly fuzzy, so the dwell time is quite short.

On the other hand, the black rubber surface is soft and has high stickiness. That’s why it is opaque and creates a large vortex.

They also believe that the cause of this difference is the effect of dyes and colorants. They may have slightly altered the texture of the materials used for the rubber.

However, this distinction does not apply to all brands. Some manufacturers always try to match the properties of both rubbers. On the contrary, others are quite pleased with this difference and always attempt to create the two most specific features.

Why Are Ping Pong Paddles Red And Black

Is There An Advantage to Using The Red or Black Side?

Certain properties of each side allow players to be flexible in their playing style. For example, with a quick counter-attack, longtime players tend to use the red rubber more. On the other hand, if you want to make it more difficult for your opponent with a deep spin ball, the black side becomes your savior.

Visual benefits are also an important point that needs to be mentioned. Orange or white ping pong balls create a strong contrast on the black rubber, while it is less eye-catching on the other side. Therefore, contest participants are not allowed to wear uniforms similar to the color of the ball.

It is illegal to wear uniforms of the same color ball in table tennis matches

What Makes ITTF Ultimately Stipulated Such Rule?

As mentioned above, a new ITTF regulation stopped using two rubbers of the same color to hide material differences. But what exactly happened? Let’s start with the story of Cai Zhenhua.

He is a good Chinese table tennis player. When there are no restrictions, he often rotates the racket and constantly switches sides.

It must have been a successful playing strategy because his opponent could not distinguish the nature of his shot. They constantly make wrong judgments and mistakes in counter-attacking. For example, they think it is a spinning ball but actually a fast and powerful shot.

Cai Zhenhua’s outstanding reputation led to doubts about the fairness of table tennis competitions during this period.

Finally, the ITTF ended it all with a clear general rule: “One side of the paddle should be bright red while the other side should be black.”

Further Reading:

Differences Between Red and Black Table Tennis Rubbers

How to Choose a Ping Pong Paddle: 12 Steps (with picture) – wikiHow

In Conclusion

Why are ping pong paddles red and black? This article has just shown you the answer. You can see that each rubber has a unique characteristic that suits different playing styles.

However, not all brands support this point of view. Therefore, it would be best to take the time to learn your racquet and come up with the correct practice method.

It also partly helps to make accurate judgments when considering the opponent’s racket before the game starts.