The Right Speed, Spin, and Control

Don Pooley

When I started playing table tennis against my dad 65 years ago, the choice for a paddle was a blade with a knobby rubber or a sandpaper finish. Wanting more ball reaction, I chose sandpaper. Over the years, table tennis paddles and associated blade finishes have evolved, and each is now rated based on their abilities to produce Speed, generate Spin, or provide Control. For an assembled paddle, each of these abilities is rated 1 to 100 so as to set up an expectation for the player of that paddle’s capabilities. The higher the rated number, the better that specific capability. Typically, for a beginner, a paddle with high scores in Control (over Speed and Spin) is a must and allows a person with beginning skills to progress through mastering the basic strokes and serves as they increase their skills and techniques. If you are interested in paddles for beginners or intermediate players, check out an online write-up at

Join us at the club’s play sessions in the Sports Center’s gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon to 2:30 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.

For the latest club activities and announcements, follow the club on Facebook at Robson Ranch Table Tennis Club,, or check out the Table Tennis Club bulletin board space outside the south entrance to the main Sports Center.

Come join us at a table tennis play session, and our members will help you in getting started (or restarted) with table tennis and determining the right Speed, Spin, and Control for your game.