Hi. I’m Alois Rosario from PingSkills.
Today we’re having a look at the new table tennis balls. There’s
been a lot of discussion around these balls and whether they’re going to be any good.
Today we’re just going to road test one of them and just see how it pulls up. Today we’ve got a very small sample.
We’ve only got one of the plastic balls so all our results
will be a little bit skewed by the small number. Let’s have a
look firstly at the hardness of the ball, so I’ve got a new plastic ball and I’ve got a Nittaku,
probably my favourite of the old celluloid balls. So let’s just press that in, putting a fair amount of pressure there. Nittaku’s are always
pretty good Putting a similar amount of pressure and I
can actually put probably a little bit more pressure on the plastic and it’s holding up really well. So the hardness is quite good. So as far as
hardness goes I think that’s come up really well. Next
we’re going to test for the roundness so again we’ve got the Nittaku and the plastic ball. Firstly with the Nittaku, and Looks pretty good there. That’s one way, and the other way Looks pretty good. Looks really round. Now we’ll have a look at the plastic ball. Oooh! Don’t know whether you can see that. Big Wobble! That way’s not too bad. Bit of a wobble there. Big wobble there. So as far as the roundness not so good. Now there’s been a lot of talk about
the sound of the ball so firstly we’ll play within the Nittaku ball just
so you can have a listen. So that’s the familiar sweets sound of a table tennis ball. This is the plastic ball. As you can hear a little bit more high pitched and to the table tennis player that’s played a lot with the celluloid ball it does sound like it’s cracked. However I think after a little bit of time we probably
won’t notice that difference in sound. I’ll do a little bit of serving now with both the Nittaku and the plastic ball
and just see if I can feel any differences. With the Nittaku, with the plastic within the Nittaku with the plastic with the Nittaku with the plastic So Alois, just looking at your serves there, it seems to me that the plastic ball was gripping more on the table and actually slowing down
when it hit the table, did you feel that? Yeah, I’m not sure whether it’s the gripping
or maybe just because it is a bit harder that it’s bouncing up
a bit higher. I wonder if we can do
a smoothness test so what about if I give you the balls in your hand and then you can just
rub them and just see what you think. All right, give me a random ball in each hand Yep. Okay to me that one feels smoother. It’s the Nittaku I think that Nittaku is smoother and that’s slightly rougher. Let me try you. See if you can get it.
Okay close your eyes. Yep. I don’t feel a lot of difference.
No, pretty much the same? Maybe that one’s rougher or grippier That one’s grippier, that’s the plastic ball. I think it is.
Okay, maybe I’m convinced. So after doing some bounce tests they’re pretty close a but you can see
they do go out of sync a little bit. If anything we feel like the plastic ball bounces a little bit higher.
So when we also did the test with two Nittaku balls they stayed in sync a lot longer than the Nittaku and the plastic ball.
The other thing I noticed is because the plastic ball isn’t as round, it tends to
bounce a little bit in different directions. It’s changing direction a little bit when it’s bouncing. That will be because of
the lack of roundness.So we’re going to do a bit of a test now. We’re going to play with both the plastic ball and the Nittaku ball but we’re going to do it without the sound because I think the sound does affect
your judgment and your perception of which ball it is. So let’s see now if you can choose and
pick which one is the plastic ball and which
one is the celluloid Nittaku ball So Alois, is the plastic ball good or bad? Well I think the biggest drawback with these two balls is
that that plastic ball just hasn’t got the roundness and that
was affecting the hitting a little bit, the touch and just
getting used to the the feel and also the bounce fractionally. Apart from that though, I
think it performed really well so it’s hard, it’s
not like there are some soft spots on it it feels pretty hard and even all the way
around and it it seemed to fly pretty well. I found with short pushing that I had more control with the Nittaku but once we used it for a little while you could adjust
so I don’t think that’s going to be a big problem.
No. And I think table tennis players are able to adapt well. I think the main things will be, firstly getting
used to the sound of it. Secondly, hopefully the manufacturing
will get a little bit better so that the roundness is better.
We’ve only got one ball so maybe that was just a dodgy ball?
I think in the long run, you probably won’t know the
difference in six months time and everyone will just think that table tennis is exactly the same. I think even in one month.
When the new ball comes in, one month later no one will notice the difference. That’s
my personal opinion. Hopefully that’s the case. Hopefully the
manufacturer will get it right and table tennis will go on.