A controversial new paddle made by Killerspin for the Hardbat Classic in Las Vegas made it very hard for many experienced players to compete effectively with each other or with the lower ranked players who often had a huge point advantage as well as the equipment handicap from making everybody use either the paddle shown here or an even cheaper “junk paddle” version.
Although I approve of the handicapping process I think they need some modifications to make a paddle that favors defender play , produces long, quality rallies rather than the short rallies this blade tended to create. I only saw a handful of “great points” where we would have seen hundreds with regular sponge rubber. I’d favor a modification that would introduce a USTTA approved hardbat and/or a sponge slow version. Another approach might be to move to the “big ball” format which is much slower but does not destroy the fun of watching high quality loopers arc the ball back and forth many times.
Inexperienced and non- players want high quality play and this blade does not give us much of that, even when it is weilded by some of the finest players in the country as happened at the Hardbat Classic.
Table tennis will probably *never* be a good TV sport but it’s the world’s greatest participation sport and I think the focus needs to be on bringing people into the game rather than changing it to fit TV better.