(by Stephanie Sun)
There are a few types of balls that are among the most frequently chosen tournament balls. The Nittaku 40+ ball, which is used in the US nationals and US open. The Butterfly A40+ ball, which was used in the 2019 world’s championship and will be used in the 2021 world’s championship in Houston. Besides these two, there’s a new type of ball from Butterfly: Butterfly S40+.
The Nittaku one has a very rough surface. The bounce is low and carries a lot of speed and spin. Since it can be very fast with low arc, you might find it a little hard to always get to the perfect position for a smash stroke. It’s good for spin though.
The Butterfly S40+ ball plays like Nittaku 40+ but it has a more smooth surface (not quite as smooth as G40+) and it is of the best quality among all the balls. It provides a really consistent bounce and a little higher arc than Nittaku. The higher arc gives players a little more time to swing and yet it is still generating so much spin. It doesn’t kick as quite as much at Butterfly G40+ so the trajectory is slightly more smooth. But if you prefer the kick, the Butterfly G40+ gives the most thrill when you loop a super spinny topspin shot.
The Butterfly A40+ ball has the roughest surface among all the aforementioned balls. It feels a little lighter Nittaku and S40+. It also travels a little slower and it’s less spinny compared to the other two. It’s probably a little easier for players away from the table since it gives more time and the spin is a little weaker.