- Should I choose a recreational pre-assembled racket, one of the pre-assembled Pro-Line models, or have one custom-made to suit my own style of play?
Buying one of our recreational pre-assembled paddles will offer you a quality racket at an inexpensive price. It will also help simplify the buying process as the rubber is already assembled to the racket, so there is no need to spend time studying the blade and rubber charts finding the right racket and rubber combination. Our recreational preassembled paddles are ideal for intermediate recreational players, the player trying a sponge racket for the first time or inexpensive rackets for the kids. One thing to keep in mind when ordering a recreational paddle is that the rubber is not meant to be removed from the paddle. When the rubber needs to be replaced, it's time to toss the old racket and buy a new one.
Our Pro-Line models feature some of our more popular blades and rubber sheets at discounted prices. Similar to the recreational pre-assembled paddles, the rubber combinations on our Pro-Line models have been predetermined, taking the guesswork out of the equation. Unlike the pre-assembled rackets, the rubber on the Pro-Line models can easily be removed and replaced. Many of the Pro-Line racket combinations are used by some of Butterfly's top players in the world.
Butterfly groups each of their blades into one of seven different categories. These categories are an easy way to determine if the blade is right for your style of play. They are:
- [OFF+] For all out offensive play without compromise.
- [OFF] For direct offensive play with much spin, speed and power.
- [OFF–] For medium offensive play with much spin, speed and power.
- [ALL+] For offensive all-round play mixing shots with topspin shots of variable spin.
- [ALL] For all-round players who mix attack and control shots in rallies
- [ALL-] For all-round players who emphasize control and consistency from all distances
- [DEF] For traditional defense with emphasis on the chop from a far distance
Many different woods are used in modern blade construction. Each wood type has its own unique feel and speed that is inherent to the wood. The speed rating of a racket indicates the integrated pace of the ball relative to other rackets in our line.
The amount of control a blade has cannot be measured. It is different for each individual. Your level of control is proportional to the amount of time you spend practicing. The more you play, the more control you will have. To help you choose, we have rated each blades level of control in relation t its speed. Generally, the faster the blade, the more difficult it will be to control.
The game of table tennis is very much a game of feel and each wood type has its own unique feel that is inherent to the wood. Therefore, we have provided you with this vital piece of information. The “feel” is measured by the amount of response or sensation the racket provides at the point of impact. A racket with a ‘hard’ feel will not offer much response. A ‘medium’ feel will have a noticeable response while a ‘soft’ feel will have the most. From a performance standpoint, a ‘hard’ feel is great for hitters and power play. A ‘soft’ feel is great for blocking and generating better spin, as the ball remains on the racket longer. A ‘medium’ feel is the most prevalent and offers the best of both worlds. It is suited for all styles of play.
Carbon fiber layers will add more speed to a racket and it will also increase the size of the sweet-spot, making the racket more consistent. Carbon also acts as a reinforcing layer which will strengthen the racket. Due to this, most Carbon blades have a ‘hard’ feel which are ideal for hitters and power play.
Arylate fiber layers will reduce the amount of vibration at impact. Much like Carbon, Arylate also enlarges the size of the sweet-spot making the racket more consistent. This characteristic will generally result in a racket with a ‘medium’ or ‘soft’ feel which is ideal for players who emphasize spin or require more touch. Or you can get the best of both worlds and try an Arlyate/Carbon combo blade.
Fiber Glass blades are similar to Carbon, speed and stability is increased by the use of Fiber Glass. But compared to Carbon, Fiber Glass is not as hard and offers more feeling. Kreanga Aeros is Butterfly's first blade featuring fiber glass layers. The newer fiber glass shakehand blade is the Maze Passion, which offers fiber glass layers in addition to high class Abachi wood.
Many blades come in different handle styles. The shakehand models are:
(AN) - The second most popular style. An (AN) handle is
tapered at the neck and is broader in the middle. The
area between the base and middle is slightly concave.
Shakehand Anatomic Handle: Long View
Shakehand Anatomic Handle: Side View
(FL) - The most popular style. A (FL) handle is wide at
the base and is concave in the center.
Shakehand Flared Handle: Long View
Shakehand Flared Handle: Side View
(ST) - The (ST) handle has no deviation in it. It is uniform
from neck to base.
Shakehand Straight Handle: Long View
Shakehand Straight Handle: Side View
- Chinese (CS) - The (CS) handles are
very similar to a conical shaped shakehand blade with
a shorter handle.
Chinese Penhold: Top View (Short Handle)
Chinese Penhold: Side View(Short Handle)
- Japanese (JP) - Most (JP) handles
are long and narrow. They feature a block of cork on top
of the handle for a surer and more comfortable grip. There
is also a thin layer of cork on the backside.
Japanese Penhold: Top View
Japanese Penhold: Side View
Which handle style is right for you is strictly a personal preference.
Much of the overall speed of your racket is determined by your blade. The rubber, while contributing to the speed of your racket, will primarily function as your source for spin. All rubbers can be grouped into five different categories. They are:
- Inverted - Inverted rubbers are able to generate tremendous spin due to their tacky surface. Great for all styles of play from the all-out attacker to the most defensive minded chopper. Inverted is the most versatile rubber type.
- Short Pips - Short pip rubbers are an inverted sheet of rubber turned upside down. The space between the pimples will help to take some of your opponents spin off of the ball. This will allow you to aggressively attack your opponents shots regardless of the oncoming spin. Short pips are great for hitting, blocking and returning serves. However, they are unable to produce as much spin as an inverted sheet of rubber.
- Long Pips - Long pip rubbers are generally used by players who rely on their opponents to make mistakes. The composition of long pip rubbers is similar to short pip rubbers, but the pips are taller. When your opponents ball contacts this surface, the taller pips are easily bent, REVERSING the oncoming spin. This will keep your opponent guessing as to what type of spin is on the ball.
- No Sponge – No sponge(OX) rubber features a short pips top sheet with the absence of sponge. Still adept at nullifying spin, no sponge rubber will produce sharp, crisp strokes with significantly less spin and at a much slower pace.
- Anti – Anti-spin rubber is an inverted sheet of rubber featuring a very slick top sheet with a “dead” sponge layer. The resulting effect is a rubber sheet that is excellent for blocking, returning serves and great for changing the pace. For those that rarely use both sides of the racket during play, anti-spin rubber would be ideal for the backside. Your opponent will generally find himself confronted with a ball with little rotation, or a ‘knuckle’ ball. This generally will lead to a ball that you can easily attack. A great addition to your arsenal.
Many rubbers offer multiple sponge thicknesses. The sponge layer, the area between the topsheet and the wood, acts as a trampoline. Thinner sponge will be less “springy” and have a hard feel, as the ball will generally sink to the wood surface, producing less spin and speed. Thicker sponge will have a soft feel and will be faster and provide more spin as the ball will sink deep into the sponge layer catapulting it outward with tremendous velocity and increased spin.
Yes, the top-sheet and sponge layer are assembled at the factory during the production process.
High Tension rubbers have tension built in to the sponge and top-sheet. This helps reduce the amount of energy lost at the point of impact. In essence, it turns the speed of your opponents shot into additional power for you. In short, High Tension rubbers are fast, VERY FAST. The first such rubber was Bryce, introduced in 1997. It is by far the most widely used rubber among Butterfly’s sponsored players including the 2003 World Champion, Werner Schlager(AUT).
A rubbers performance will deteriorate as time and the elements take their toll. The rubber will produce less spin than it once did and will not feel as lively. The life expectancy of your rubber sheet will vary depending on how often you play, but a good rule of thumb is:
[# of days played/week] = [# of times to change/year]
Yes. The glue/chack that is used to assemble the rubber sheets to these models will allow for easy removal when it is time to replace the rubber sheets.
Trying to select the right table can be an intimidating task. Therefore, we have put together the following list to try and help you make a more educated and informed decision.
- Top – Simply put, the thicker the top, the better the bounce. Our tops are made out of either compressed particle board or ‘medium density fiberboard’(MDF). A top that is at least ½” thick is suitable for home or recreational play. Many tournament quality tables are ?” to ¾” thick. Almost all international quality tables are a minimum of ?” to 1” thick. The tops of our outdoor tables are comprised of a synthetic laminate made of melamine. Although this model is made for outdoor use, we recommend never leaving your table outside. Note: Outdoor models will not perform comparably to an indoor top made of wood. Outdoor models can be left outside, but protecting them with a table cover, as with all tables, will prolong their life.
- Sealed Back – All of our tables come with a sealed back to prevent warping. Note: It is recommended to never use your wooden-top table outside.
- Rail/Apron – A heavy gauge steel rail will reinforce the structure of the table and provide additional support. It also serves a cosmetic purpose, adding to the beauty of your table.
– All of our tables come with
a net set. Our home/recreational and
outdoor tables offer an adjustable
nylon net with a pull string. The
institutional, tournament and international
level models will feature a quality
cloth net with a pull chain that clamps
directly to the table. Heavy duty
padded brackets will protect the surfaces
of the table. These nets have a dual
precision height adjuster.
- Integrated Hassle Free Net – Some models feature a net set that doesn’t require removal when folding to the storage position. This will reduce the wear and tear on your net.
- Legs – Heavy gauge steel legs provide a solid foundation for your table.
- Wheels –
All of our tables have wheels that
caster so your table will roll effortlessly
from either side of the table. Most
tournament and international level
tables offer a rubber ball bearing
castered wheel system, providing
for the smoothest rolling possible.
Wheel - Side View Wheel - Angle View
Feet – Many of
our tournament and international level
tables have adjustable feet. This
will ensure that your table is level,
even if your floor is not.
Table Height Adjuster
- Chassis – The chassis of your table will act as the backbone. A heavy-duty chassis will allow your table to withstand years of play.
- Playback Position
– Most models allow you to
fold up one half of the table and
use it as a backboard to hit against.
This will quicken your reflexes
and sharpen your hand-eye coordination.
A great feature for the kids.
Table in Playback Position
- Storage Position – It is a good idea to measure your intended playing area before ordering your table. This includes all doorways, hallways and stairwells that your table may encounter. The playing surface in the play position measure 9’ long by 5’ wide. The net bracket will add approximately 12” to the width of the table. The shipping dimensions of each table will vary. Check our specification chart for the exact dimensions of your desired table.
- Accessory Holder
– Some models feature a convenient
accessory holder that is integrated
into the side of the table. It will
accommodate multiple rackets and
Accessory Holder Close Up of Accessory Holder
- Safety Mechanism – Most all of out tables feature a safety mechanism. You can rest easy knowing your table is securely stored.
- Assembly – Most tables require assembly while some come pre-assembled.
- Craftsmanship – All of our tables are manufactured in Germany. The world leader in table manufacturing.
- Approval – Some of our tables have been paid the highest compliment a table tennis table can receive, the stamp of approval from the ITTF. Our tables have been used at some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, including: 1997 World Championships, 1999 European Championships, 1997-2002 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals, 2001-2004 U.S. Open Championships, and the 2001-2004 U.S. National Championships.
- Warranty – Butterfly Tables include a three year warranty against manufacturer defect.
In the highly technical world of table tennis equipment, Butterfly strives to give our customers as much information as possible to help each person choose the equipment that best meets their needs. To that end, we are now publishing a list of Sponge Density Ratings. In general, players who swing harder prefer the harder sponges. The denser sponges have more stored energy but also require more racket speed to compress the sponge and release this energy. The all-round player or players with shorter strokes will prefer sponges with medium or softer sponges.