Ask The Experts: Junya Chen, No. 190
Butterfly Table Tennis Question and Answer
I play at three different sites which have different table manufacturers. At home I have a ½ inch conversion top. On all tables except one (Prince 1” top) when I execute a heavy underspin serve (ghost serve variation) the ball stops and comes back to the net except for the Prince table where the ball slows down slightly and turns a little to the right. Does this mean I am not getting as much spin on the ball or s it just sliding and not being griped by the table. I’m not sure if my opponent is receiving the same underspin? However, the ball travels deep making it not as effective.
This Ask the Experts question was answered by Junya Chen. Coach Chen is the head coach at the Canadian Elite Table Tennis Training Centre in Mississauga. Coach Chen’s response is as follows:
A one inch top is the thickness that is being used in most official competitions, so those tables should serve as a standard and not a ½ inch tables.
Keep in mind that not only the table, but the venue also has an impact on the spin/speed of the ball (for example, the ball will travel slower in bigger venues). If the same serve you make does not come straight back to the net, then yes the serve is likely to be less spinny than the ones you serve elsewhere.
However, your opponent will also experience the same kind of difference in effectiveness with their serves/shots under such situation, so it won’t be a single sided disadvantage.
Hope this answers your question,
Canadian Elite Table Tennis Training Centre head coach
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