Difference between red and black side of a ping pong paddle.

People who love ping pong will definitely find that the rackets available on the market are currently different on both sides, showing red and black respectively, including the colors used by professional players on the arena.

The red and black faces of the ping-pong rackets are just different in color and have little effect on the function. The truth is that it is only to differentiate one side from the other, so your opponent can have clarity of what part of your racket you are using to hit. 

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) technical manual stipulates that the thickness of the rubber cover should not exceed 4.0mm, the color of the rubber can only be red and black, and stipulates that if one side of the racket is red, the other side must be black.


There is basically no difference. Because the rackets used by the professional players are all one-color, but the types of rubber are different, so they often change back and forth when playing.

The rotation of the different rubbers is different, so the opponent always can’t see the rotation of the ball.

Most of the rackets on international markets now are anti-adhesive on both sides (smooth Kind), so you can use either side. It is the same, if one side is short-grained (positive glue), it is generally used for forehand fast break (this is what you call spiking), if one side is long-grained (long Gum) is generally more powerful (try not to use it as beginners).

Difference of spin

The ball hit by the red-face is down-spin The ball hit by the black-face is up-spin.

According to ITTF rule.

The front is red, then the reverse must be painted black (the front is black, the reverse is red) to distinguish, and not reflective, this is the ITTF Provisions.

Softness and hardness of both sides differ

The softness and hardness of the two sides of the ping pong board are different, and the effect is different. Therefore, there will be different colors of red and black to distinguish.

The hardness of the red and black sides is different, the red side is generally more elastic than the black side.

To distinguish the ball

It is to separate the two sides because in the past someone used the same color on both sides , which made it impossible for people to distinguish the ball, so it was defined as red and black.

Difference in rubber surface

When you mention the rubber surface of ping pong, you have to explain the four popular rubber surfaces.

Positive rubber refers to the particles of the cover rubber on the ping pong racket. It is also called short-grain rubber. This kind of rubber surface has good elasticity.

Raw rubber is similar to positive rubber, but the content of colloid is larger than that of positive rubber, the rubber particles are softer, the elasticity is fast, and the ball speed is fast.

The ball is easy to sink, but it is not easy to make a spin. The ball played is erratic, and the opponent finds it more difficult to pick up.

Long glue refers to the rubber surface with the particles facing up. The height of more than 1.5 mm is called long glue. This kind of rubber glue surface is very soft, and the particles are slender, and the support force is small.

Although the ability to actively produce rotation is very poor, you can rely on the strong rotation or impact of the incoming ball to increase the rotation of the return ball.

Anti-adhesive rubber particles are facing down and the surface is smooth. It is the most popular type of rubber at present. It is characterized by strong friction and rotation ability, easy to control the ball stability, suitable for arc type.

More differences

If you don’t distinguish colors, you can’t tell what kind of rubber your opponent uses.

In general, red rubber is slightly inferior to black rubber. The reason is that black rubber is a natural color rubber, which is more stable than rubber with increased red pigment.

But the impact caused by this is minimal, most of them are psychological effects; Low reflectivity on the face, using black-face as a forehand serve is highly concealed, and it is difficult for opponents to judge the rotation.

For aesthetics

If the racket is red on both sides or black, not seem to be pretty. One black and one red, more in line with human aesthetics.

To not confuse the opponent

When fighting with the opponent, you must make sure what kind of rubber is its tempo, the most convenient is to distinguish by color.

The black on both sides, or the red on both sides, it is not easy to distinguish the difference in rubber, which will affect the opponent to make a pre-judgment and affect the opponent’s play.

I’ll give you an example, today different rubbers are used for different types of games. Imagine that you use a traditional rubber on the right and a rubber with pores on the reverse, both are regulatory, but they give a different type of blow.

If both sides were the same color, your opponent would not know that you just hit the ball, So for him to know what to expect after each hit, the two sides must be differentiated. 

In fact, it is very common that before each game, your opponent examines your racket, to have information about what you use and how to prepare each point.

After all, table tennis is a sport that pursues beauty.

In the past
In the earliest period, the ping pong racket was not divided into black and red. Players can stick their own rubber according to their own preferences.

However, after the player sticks the rubber, although the two sides of the racket have the same color, the pasted rubber is not the same.

The same shot hits different effects. The former Chinese table tennis coach Cai Zhenhua originally used two black sides, but the anti-arc and anti-adhesive surfaces made the ball erratic, sometimes spinning without turning.

The opponent player was dizzy. In the end, the ITTF also revised the rules for this situation, stipulating that the player’s racket must be red and black on both sides, which made Cai Zhenhua retire early.

Although the two sides of the Paddle are red and black, the rubber on the top can still be chosen by yourself.

Although the ITTF has revised the racket pasting rules for Chinese players many times, it still failed to shake the dominant position of Chinese ping pong player in the world.

Which side of a ping pong paddle is forehand?

Generally speaking, black will make people depressed and calm, while red will make people excited.

So in the ping pong field, if you choose red as your forehand, it is likely to stimulate the opponent ’s emotions after multiple hits and let the opponent Playing more excitedly increases the difficulty of your game.

So most players in the world will choose black as their forehand position to suppress their opponent’s subjective emotions.

Which side of a ping pong paddle is backhand?

90% of the time you will see players are using the black side of the paddle for forehand and rest are using the red side. So automatically the red side of the paddle is considered to be the backhand.

But there is no fixed rules. You can play any side of the paddle as you wish.

Which side is best for serving?

As most of the players serve forehand you should consider the red side for serving. But again it’s up to your preferences.


The use of red and black faces in table tennis can increase the enjoyment of the game. Playing with the black for a while and red for a while can improve the attention of opponents and spectators, and the eyes will not be tired.

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  1. Pingback: 9 Best table tennis rubbers for intermediate players in 2021 - Insightsgame

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