The game of Ping Pong started during the 1800s itself and the craze is still high! During this period, there have been many advancements and changes that took place in the design of the Ping Pong Paddles.
Most of the ordinary paddles come in a dimension like 15 cm across, and 25 cm long. This measurement is including the length of the handles, which are 10cm by 4 inches. Initially, the ping pong paddles were made with a hollow design just like that of a small drum. So how it turned into the sophisticated modern paddle which we get these days?
How Ping Pong Paddles Evolved
We will check out the design in their chronological order, starting from where it all started and how the paddles were designed during different periods:
- At first, the paddles used to have long handles and a banjo kind of structure on the head portion. This banjo thing, the paddle used to make a sound as the ball hit the paddle. That’s how the name Ping Pong came into existence.
- After this, a short-handled paddle entered the market and they replaced the long-handled racket. These paddles were made of vellum battledore, which was made of animal skin. Whereas vellum is a material which is used as a paper form, especially for old documents and other religious stuff.
- This followed an era came where paddles where made from different materials and also in different sizes. Here the wooden racket was of the plain design, without much designing on it.
- Then rackets with the sandpaper fixed on them were released. This idea was adopted in order to add some spin to the ball. Here the sandpaper is cut in a round shape and then fixed on the head portion of the table tennis racket.
- Later the sandpaper fixed paddles were replaced with the cork-faced rackets. All these changes happened during the beginning of 1900.
- At first, a pimpled rubber racket was released. It had a canvas backed with a rubber sheet fixed on the back side, along with a studded surface.
- Rackets with the extra-wide surface were then released with the pimpled rubber on one side. It was one of the preferred rackets by the defensive players at that time.
- Later, during the initial 1950s, a new waffle sponge racket came into existence.
- It was in the same time period when the first ever Japanese racket was introduced. It had a soft sponge on the surface which was about 10mm in thickness.
- Then came the crepe-rubber made tennis paddle but it didn’t work out well for the players. It was found that these paddles gave less control over the ball, so it soon was out of the league.
1960 – Present
During the start of 1960, the pimpled rubber handles were back in the market. These pimples were 1mm thick, and these paddles arrived with the sponge covered on the surface. It was found to be easy for all types of play, except that it had some drawbacks with a spin nature.
- After the 1mm pimpled rubber next came the 2mm pimpled rubber paddles. These were found to be good on the play, but the spin issue yet remained unsolved. So, both the 1mm and the 2mm handles didn’t last for a long time.
- The next racket that came in the lot was a great breakthrough in terms of innovation and functionalities. It was designed in a way to counter all the topspin shots made, by absorbing them on the paddle surface. So, these surfaces were capable of absorbing all the topspin shots easily.
- Paddles with high spin and speed qualities were added. This racket came with a 1mm reverse rubber surface on it.
- Then a complete reverse rubber sponge racket was introduced for adding the best kind of control.
This is how the Ping Pong Paddles evolved throughout the time when it was started in the year 1800. A lot of changes and modifications so that you can have a good play and better control over the game.
There is a rule written about the paddles that say, ‘A tennis paddle could be of any shape, size or weight but the blade has to be straight, without any bend’. Also, if you wish to make use of quality paddles then almost 85% of the blade material should be natural wood.