PingPod #35 – The New Plastic Ball Reviewed |Table Tennis

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.

84 thoughts on “PingPod #35 – The New Plastic Ball Reviewed |Table Tennis

  1. Great job guys. I've felt for a while now that people are overreacting to this change. Looked like to me the differences where splitting hairs outside of the ball roundness test. I should add a ball not being perfectly round isn't a poly ball issue. It's a manufacturing/quality issue. There are plenty of celluloid balls out there that are not round. That problem is easily correctable. I agree with the guys that in no time flat, we will all adjust and play will be largely the same.  

  2. I have also tried the New palio 40 mm ball and i noticed also that it wobbles too much. i saw the wobbles when i threw the ball on the racket while the racket was in an angle so the ball Bounces upwards i noticed right away that the ball wobbles.. not good..

  3. I see a couple of people asking what the new ball will sound like when it's cracked.   When was the last time you saw a celluloid ball that started cracking anywhere other than the seam?  Since this new ball doesn't have seams, maybe a better question is 'will it crack'?

  4. In Table Tennis, when you hit the net on a server it's a re-serve. Right?
    But in the middle of a play and it hits the net and goes over, does that point count? Or also a re-serve.

  5. I'm looking to buy some good quality reasonably cheap table tennis balls, do you have and recommendations?

  6. by the way @PingSkills  what playing equipment do you guys use??? Your blade and rubbers?? ( both Jeff Plumb and Alois Rosario's equipment)

  7. Double Fish and Double Happiness (DHS) 3 stars are pretty good cheap Chinese balls, but make sure don't get the fake ones. They are about 1/3 the price of Japanese balls (Nittaku and Buterfly). I don't really recommend European balls.

  8. The sound of the plastic ball is terrible to my ears, so distracting and in the back of my mind, the ball sounds pretty much cracked… 

  9. Nice video! But what about the spin generated with the plastic? There are discussions about the spin and people say that the spin with the plastci ball will be less. Do you agree?

  10. i am more concern to the shape of the ball, it will be difficult to control if the move/run of the ball abnormal 🙂

  11. In the 4 test rallies(without sound), I would guess you used the plastic ball in the 1st and 3rd rally, because the ball seems to bounce a little bit more. I could be wrong though; the difference is very slight. The plastic ball not being as round as the celluloid could just be a coincidence, I think the ball manufacturers will able to produce perfectly round plastic balls as well.

  12. jajaja, i used for first time this new plastic ball, is almost imposible to make errors(put the ball inside the table) comapre with the celuloide ball…
    the plastic ball.. for me has much less speed.
    but the sound is HORRIBLE.. looks like as you bought it at wal mart.. for 1 cent..

  13. time for a new paddle/rubber design?  change is ? email me , Adols, please see my message to you on contact page.
    norman clemens =author

  14. I like your review! In my country, Russia, there was a test also uploaded to youtube, where they came to a conclusion that the plastic ball is harder to spin, that it is harder to give much spin, e. g. with a backhand brushing movement. That test was made at the end of 2013. Here you say it is more grippy. So that plastic ball is alright as far as its spin characteristics go?

  15. Excellent review, very well done. Thanks for putting this together. There's a lot of discussion around whether or not this new ball will be a disadvantage for choppers/denfensive players. Any thoughts on that?

  16. If there is no significant difference, what is the point of changing the ball to begin with? Shouldn't any change be for the improvement of things?

  17. I played with both the Nittaku, and Nittaku plastic…I also found the plastic bounces higher, and I felt it was a tad slower than the other ball. Spin, I found no difference between the two. The higher bounce may favor offensive players more than defensive players. I still like the older ball better, but still like the new plastic ball. I believe technology will get better and the plastic balls will be improved 🙂 

  18. Thankyou for this AWESOME review. Have the balls gone under commercial production now? And are the balls now rounder in shape?

  19. Apart of my died when you played with the new plastic ball it you can hear how its "broken" but its not. Ive growned up with as soon as you hear that sounds its ENYOING and bad! And you yell at people to throught it in the trash since it broken… Will stop playing if they change to that ball

  20. I have a yenhi 40+ plastic ball(seamless)
    Can you please tell me whats the difference between seamed and seamless balls.
    And please tell me about the durability of the new plastic ball compared to old celluloid ball

  21. In my opinion,the main reason of the change is only the profit for the manufacturers.
    Two weeks ago i visited the German National Championship. Unbelievable how fast and easy that ball breaks. Had the feeling,that nearly two balls broke in every match.
    If the players hit the edge of their racket by a faster stroke,the probability that the ball breaks was 90%.
    The quality is a joke. It´s only to make money…in a sport like football,they would never do a change like that. Especially if it changes the game a little bit. 
    One of my teammate play´s there too and often change from plastic to celluloid. I haven´t nearly the "feeling for the ball" like he does,but he says that it makes a different for him everytime. Maybe for professional players it could be more difficult by reason of their style to play.
    On the whole I hate the change,cause it makes no sense to me.

  22. Hi Alois,
    Can you please suggest if Carbon Blades or Wooden blades are better against a plastic ball. I have heard rumors telling Wooden Blade would be better as compared to carbon composite blades.

  23. So in your opinion what adjustments we should do with the new plastic balls as they have less spin and more bounce

  24. I find that the new plastic balls fly through the air a little slower. When I switched from celluloid to plastic ball, I noticed that I was reaching for the ball more often because the ball would slow down much more in midair… is this just me? 

    Now that I have gotten used to the plastic ball, if I start practicing with the old celluloid ball, I start making a lot more errors because the celluloid ball flies faster and I find it coming at me more quickly. This is the biggest difference I've noticed.

  25. I stockpiled celluloid balls and still use them. Have manufacturers somehow improved the spin on these plastic balls yet? I don't even want to try them. Anyone?

  26. My apology for limited knowledge on the 40mm table tennis balls.

    Looks like they are making:
    (1) 40mm celluloid balls with seam (until superseded).
    (2) 40mm poly or plastic seamless balls,

    I'd like to know.
    (1) What is meant by 40mm + on some balls made by some manufacturer?
    Please clarify what the + sign means.  I've searched the net but no one seems caring enough to explain this point. 
    (2) Are there any more variations besides these two types?

    Thanks in advance.

  27. hi jeet here it is,neither carbon or wood,what you should look for is a stiff blade and a hard blade to compensate for slower speed, topspin is slower with a lack of spin, counterhitting back in with the new game now relying on closer to the table play with massive influence with placement and being prepared for shorter serves.
    Now the slower you play the higher the ball sits up and your opponent says thanks, so now you have to learn to get to those serves quicker and flick quicker.Now  you can wait a little longer for the approaching ball and have lots more time on the slower balls so you now need that harder snappy bat for in close work.Loops now die a lot quicker so be careful as they will not bounce as high when they hit on your side and will tend to go under your bat.

  28. Hi jeet,now for rubber,you now need a grippy as possible topsheet.You need a medium to hard sponge, soft is out now dead feel, and i would tend to lean towards a harder sponge.With my coaching we have been doing extensive work in this area.Have found the new rakza x fantastic for the new ball, we haven't found better yet although the boys with tenergy 05 are still producing very good results as this has always been a harder stiffer type rubber which was to springy for the old ball but now with the new slower ball you now have better control with the 05,remember try to get harder grippy top sheet as in  rakza x, and harder sponge rakza x we love it.

  29. You guys need to get a lot more lighting equipment for much better video quality, especially in the high frame rate shots.

  30. I yesterday destroyed three plastic balls in one game. That never happened before with the old type of balls in years. So either those ones didn't have the quality and a more advanced type of plastic balls should have been used or plastic balls just aren't that resistant.
    If that's the case, then the whole reason to use those type of balls is more or less obsolete.
    Any other experiences here?

  31. I always thought that there couldn't be much difference in the tt balls, but when my friend came over to play with his Nittaku SHA balls they didn't have the same sound or bounce as my Nittaku Premium ones and even the Palio ones were not as easy to spin with as the NP balls
    (I also noticed over a course of about 3-4 months that Buterfly balls would get cracked far more than Nittaku ones)

  32. HII Ping skills i need your help can u please tell me Sports 101 Shield 3 Star Ping Pong Ball or check out it is avilable in is it good for play table tennis.

  33. Unless you've already beat up the nittaku ball in games and drills I think it's a "formality sake" thing to test the roundness by spinning it on the table. I mean have you seen the video on how they make these nittaku balls? They check literally each ball. It's not going to be a 3 star if it has just a minor issue with it.

  34. Just need clarification for my learning ,Was the serve approx during 3:23 –3:40 was illegal? because you threw the ball towards the body ?

  35. Is the out of roundness of the plastic ball a quality control issue in manufacturing? Were both of your balls ITTF approved?

  36. Aim was to lower the speed of the game, but that is not really achieved, is it?It shows so far little difference with celluliod, is it now for a better environment?

  37. I hate them I find you have to go through the ball more and for me it's harder for some reason to spin the ball.

  38. The plastic ball (in contrast to the celluloid balls) seems to stop in mid air once it bounces off the table. Plus when I do my forehand top spin, I can't lend force from in the incoming plastic ball, and I must 1. use my own brutal force when I am in mid distance from the table to sustain the same powerful play and 2. lean forward more as the plastic one seems to bounce up in different angles randomly. I play mid range top spin, and this is certainly not that fun for me.

  39. Good day PingSkills. When the celluloid ball was used, the rule was the ball shall bounce up 24–26 cm (9.4–10.2 in) when dropped from a height of 30.5 cm (12.0 in). Since the change to the plastic ball, has the rule changed? I'm asking, because I'm noticing a big difference in bounce for the DHS plastic balls compared to the other plastic balls like the Xushaofa plastic ball.

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