Hardbat vs Spongebat

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 7 years ago

Sergio Martinez

Sergio Martinez Asked 7 years ago

Alois, can you weigh in your opinion on the hardbat vs spongebat debate?  I know hardbat has been making a comeback, and have even watched some tournaments on youtube.  There are those like the late Marty Reisman who swore by hardbat.  Is it beneficial to learn both?  Also, can a hardbat player beat a spongebat player?  Should both be used in the same tournament or do you think there is a place for both but in separate forums?

I'd like your opinion because there is a lot of snobbery out there.  The spongebat school says those that play hardbat have no skill and the hardcore hardbats say that that the speed of sponegbat has ruined table tennis.  Oh boy!  What do you think? 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Sergio,

Interesting topic.

I love watching the games with the hard bats however I also love the beauty of our game now with all the spin and speed as well.  I think for the general public it is difficult to understand the modern game because the spin is difficult to see and the speed is difficult to appreciate unless you are standing on the other end of the table.

At the very top level the best Hard Bat player can’t beat the best sponge player because of the dimensions of spin and added speed.  some players do play with hard bats now and they enjoy doing that and play at a good level as well.  That is the best way for them to play so let’s not take that away from them.  However, at the top level it would be impossible to compete.  I don’t think you need to or should learn both.  They are very different styles.   Same way you don’t need to learn to play both as a defender and an attacker.  It is good to learn a little about the other types of game but eventually you need to specialise in one or the other.

I think the best thing is to have separate events as they are doing now.

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Mark Jung

Mark Jung Posted 7 years ago

I hate that hardbat (At least the USATT version) is like a historical reenactment: No long pips (or any rubbers not on the exclusive list), no nonwood blades, etc. The main reason I hate this is that there could be such a great sport there if the only thing removed was the sponge. Long pips, spongeless inverted (it's not that difficult to attach), medium pips, etc. would all see play, people could attack more, and the existing players wouldn't even really be at a gear disadvantage. But they just ban everything instead of the actual problem that hardbat was established to remove: the sponge.

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