Table Tennis Booster: YES or NO?

Welcome to the Ping Sunday table tennis tutorial
of EmRatThich: a place to learn table tennis correctly and with fun. I’m a table tennis coach in a small club in
France. During my spare time in the weekend, I create
videos to share with you my own experiences about table tennis. That’s why these videos are called as “Ping
Sunday” (Ping Pong Tutorial on Sunday). Today, I talk about using the booster, speed
glue, tuner in table tennis. Boosting rubbers, especially for “Chinese
table tennis rubbers” are very common. Not only professional table tennis players,
but also amateurs boost or tune their rubbers. What is Speed Glue You may hear of “Speed Glue”.��Speed glue�is
the glue that is used to fix the rubber to the racket. But it’s not the normal glue. Speed glue contains a lot of VOC
(Volatile organic compound). It’s a mixture of 40% Cyclohexane, 50% Acetate
Butyl, and 6% natural rubber. It may also have the benzene rings and N-hexane. Why table tennis
players use Speed Glue? Speed glue contains�high volatile solvent
vapors which make the sponge of the rubber�expand. This stretches the rubber giving it a “high
tension”. It’s like
adding the “trampoline”, make the rubber become more bouncy.� The speed of the ball will increase about
10%. But the most important is the spin
increase: up to 20%.�The effect will last between 3-5 hours.�Then it would
wear off and the extra speed would be lost because the VOC gas�has escaped away
from the sponge. Is Using Speed
Glue Safe? If you play table tennis before 2007-2008. You would remember that at tournaments
hundreds of kids lining the corridors of the sports hall, �gluing up� their rackets
and inhaling the fumes. The hall is full of smelly organic compounds. Everybody just
wants to get the fastest racket in the world. Once you started, it was impossible
to stop as if you didn�t do it your racket would feel incredibly�slow. ITTF decided to ban Speed Glue in September
2007 due to health concerns. The date had been moved back to 1 September
2008. However,
after an unconfirmed health incident in Japan, ITTF banned immediately
using Speed Glue in 2007. ITTF is right. This is the composition of the VOC compounds
in Speed Glue: cyclohexane, n-hexane, benzene, toluene. Do you know what does it mean, this pictogram? It’s is�Carcinogen pictogram. (Cyclohexane is found in Speed Glue). They not only contain hazardous vapors, but
also: Carcinogen (a substance capable of causing
cancer in living tissue) Mutagenicity (cause mutations (genetic alterations)
Reproductive toxicity (effects on sexual function) Target Organ Toxicity Look, Toluene and Heptane are present is Speed
Glue. These substances
are Carcinogene. If Swallowed, immediately call POISON CENTER! Toluene in Speed Glue! So stay away from Speed Glue. Don’t inhale the vapors from the Speed Glue,
because it is�aspiration hazard, cause cancer and�organ toxicity. What is table
tennis booster? Since Speed Glue is banned completely. ITTF apply the ENEZ chamber test box to
detect the small amount of VOC released from the player’s racket. Table tennis
players always want to boost, to tune their racket to have a better effect. Some players tried baby oil,�paraffin oil,�olive
oil and�synthetic motor oil, but it didn’t work great. And then, here comes the booster. It’s called as�”booster”, “optimizers”,
“expanders” or “tuners”,�appeared at the end of
2007.�These products applied to the sponge of the rubber to increase its thickness
and give more speed and rotation to the ball, not as much as the “Speed Glue”
but not far. Booster contains low volatile compounds mixed
with some chemical oils.�The booster is more viscous and absorbs
slowly into the rubber sponge. Therefore, the “boosting effect” of the booster
will last up to 3-4 weeks. Before 2005, Chinese National Team (Wang Liqin,
Kong Linghui, and others) used TSP Noriko as the speed glue. However, since speed glue is banned, they
are using Booster now. The 3 most popular booster in table tennis
are: Haifu booster, Dianchi Booster, and Falco Tempo Long Booster. Booster is legal
or not? Using booster, tuners, expanders and speed
glue in illegal in table tennis. ITTF has stated: Based on the rule, using booster will modify
the playing properties of the rubbers. So you are not allowed to use the booster,
chemical treatment in the official competitions. However, using a factory tuned rubber is allowed
by ITTF. That means you can not
boost the table tennis rubber yourself, but you can buy a pre-tuned factory
rubber. So if you have your own factory or your own
rubber brand, you can use the so-called “pre-tuned” or “factory
tuned” rubber. That’s why nowadays,
there are many Factory Tuned or Neo version of Double Happiness DHS rubbers. If you are the professional players and is
sponsored by a table tennis company. You can ask them to boost and tune the rubber
to your desired level. So until
now, there are some tricks about using the booster in table tennis. The
borderline of legal or illegal is not very clear. Is Using table
tennis booster detectable? Booster contains the extremely low evaporation
oil. The VOC rate is very low
compared to the ITTF detection limit (5ppm). So until now, using the
booster is not detectable. To prepare for the Olympic Tokyo 2020, the
Japanese Table Tennis Association (JTTA) is working with the Olympics Committee to
develop the new protocol to control the racket. This action is to fight the using of the booster
of Chinese table tennis players. Everyone knows that Top Chinese players use
the booster, but it’s
not detectable. For me, I can easily know if a player boosts
his rubber or not. Using booster or
speed glue will make the sponge expanded. When you hit the ball, the sound
is much louder, and the sound is like “bap, bap” (high pitch noise). So using the
booster is detectable by human experiences. Why Chinese
players use the booster? During the�China Trials for WTTC 2011, Ma
Lin is caught using the booster in his hotel room in the CCTV5 reportage. There is also the footage shows that Wang
Liqin, Fan Zhendong was using the Racket�control tester of ITTF. They want to make sure that their tuned Chinese
table tennis rubber will pass the test. Chinese table tennis rubber has a dense and
very hard sponge. Hard sponge ensures
that the power from the stroke is completely transferred to the ball. However,
a very hard sponge is not easy to play. Chinese rubber needs to be “break in”
before using in the competition. “Break in” is to make the sponge a little
softer, less deadly, more elastic. And the best way to “break in” is using the
booster. The booster will expand the sponge, inject
the “artificial tensor” to the hard sponge. The sponge is now more elastic, 3-4 degree
softer. There are many advantages:
the sound is louder, higher speed, and higher spin. In conclusion,
Chinese table tennis rubber is not very effective without using boosters. That’s the reason why Chinese table tennis
players, not only professional level but also amateur level, use the booster
to tune their Chinese rubbers. How Chinese
players use the booster? Using table tennis booster to expand the sponge
of the rubber is easy. Before gluing,
apply 1 to 2 layer of the booster to the sponge only. The booster will absorb
slower to the sponge of the rubber. However, the boosting effect lasts longer
than the speed glue.�Wait for the booster absorb into the sponge for 6-10 hours. The sponge will expand because of the chemical
substance, so it will make a dome. This is normal. This is the way you introduce the artificial
“tension” to the sponge. The dome looks like this. Don’t apply more than 3 layers. If you apply too much booster, your rubber
will curve too much and it’s very difficult to
glue the rubber now. The sponge is
also too mushy. You will lose the power to your shots. The booster will make the sponge softer to
3-4 degree. That’s why Chinese player
always wants to buy the harder version rubber, to use with the�booster.�
If you can hit very hard, and want to play with 39-degree
Chinese hardness on your Forehand. Buy 41-42 degree. Chinese players also prefer a thinner version. They prefer 2.10mm to 2.15mm than
the 2.2mm and 2.3 mm (MAX). Because thinner sponge offers
more consistent shots, and thinner sponge also expands easier with the booster. Is using
booster harmful? Unlike the speed glue which contains VOC,
booster contains mostly oil and is nearly VOC free. Some peoples propose that booster is not harmful. Other proposed that “booster technology have
made them much safer (than the speed glue)… ” However, when I open the bottle of Falco Long
Booster, I can feel the sweet smell of the oil. I said to myself “Oh, shit!” and quickly took
a mask. The sweet smell from
the booster is very close to the smell of synthesized petrol oil that I’ve known. Please
note: Natural oil like olive oil,�colza oil is harmless. But chemical oil derived from
petrol is toxic. The Table Tennis Federation in France has
made an report about Booster. They
analyzed the composition of the 4 booster samples. The composition of the booster: Tridecane
C13H28: alkane hydrocarbon,�Colourless liquid,�Odor gasoline-like, combustible
liquids, used in various fuels and solvents in industry. This is tridecane. As in the petroleum industry, the oil will
contain additives and derivatives. In the
booster, there is also another hydrocarbon (C10 � C14),� Tetradecane,
Decane and Cyclohexane (the same component in speed glue), and
Trichloroacetic.Trichloroacetic acid is considered a poison. May be fatal if absorbed. Very corrosive – causes severe burns. Dodecane is considered a harmful component. It can cause damage to the lungs
if absorbed.Cyclohexane�can cause cancer. This is the Safety Data Sheet of Tridecane
(main component in booster). Toxic
pictograms. Need Gloves, coat, mask, glasses to manipulate. Tridecane is carcinogen (cause cancer). Look at the pictogram. So even table tennis booster is nearly VOC
free, but still very harmful for your health. In industry or in the chemical laboratory,
they manipulate this product with the mask and the gloves. But you, table tennis player, use your hand
with the brush, apply these boosters to your rubbers every
3 months. You also let it dry in your
living room during 24h, and inhale these “sweet smell”. Should I use
booster? What is the purpose of your table tennis? If you play table tennis to earn your life
like the professional players, you have no choice. A little disadvantage can alter the result
of the match. You can feel
less confident. It’s like “If you can’t beat them, join them”. If you play table tennis to be healthy, for
fun. Stay away from the booster. You don’t play for money. You get more risk from the hazardous effect
than the reward of using the booster. Remember: You need to distinguish these 2
pictograms. The first one is “Skull and
Crossbones=Toxic”. Like being exposed to acid, the effect can
be seen right after. You know it and can treat it soon. But the second one is “Health Hazard=�Carcinogen”. The effect is not easily
discovered after exposure. But 10 years, or even 20 years later,
it causes the cancer. But it’s too late to�cure. Listen to me. If you are the amateur players, play safe
with your own health. Don’t use the booster. If you play Chinese rubbers, use the “physical
approach” to break in the sponge. Glue it correctly, hit very hard during 2
weeks, and then you can have an optimal hardness
range that you want. That’s it for today. If you like my videos, please help me to share
it, or you can add the translation to non English spoken
audience. You can also offer me a
coffee for my night :). The link is in the video description below. See you next Sunday. EmRatThich.
….. (about 12:44 AM Sunday)

77 thoughts on “Table Tennis Booster: YES or NO?

  1. 00:45 What is Speed Glue?
    01:21 Why table tennis players use Speed Glue?
    02:37 Is Using Speed Glue Safe?
    05:19 What is table tennis booster?
    07:24 Booster is legal or not?
    08:51 Is Using table tennis booster detectable?
    12:41 Why Chinese players use the booster?
    14:42 How Chinese players use the booster?
    16:52 Is using booster harmful?
    21:42 Should I use booster?

  2. I don't get the point of the booster. If the point of the booster is to make the sponge softer, then why not just buy a rubber with a softer sponge in the first place?

  3. Timo Boll is one of the biggest critic of the booster because it gave the players substantial advantage of the speed and spin. There are videos on youtube explaining the process of boosting. The expansion of the sponge along with the stretching of the rubber top is absolutely noticeable with the rubber actually 20 to 30% larger than the original size.

    Other than the smell, the end rubber lettering is a dead giveaway when the booster is being used along with the sponge being chemically altered.

    ITTF should have a no boosting policy to ensure fair and equal playing field where only the skills of the players will make the difference of the outcome on their matches.

  4. Dear EmRatThich… In table tennis rubbers there are 3 important things, Speed, Spin and Control… and in tt blade we only have Speed and Control. Speed and Spin are easily understood and also easily felt by us when using the blade on playing game. Speed and Spin are also measured by manufacturer and added to Blade or rubbers specification. But what I'm still confusing is Control, what is actually Control meaning and how to measure it? Do the slower blades or rubbers have always good control? How to understand Control meaning in table tennis? Thanks

  5. Hello , emratthich
    I have a dhs national rubber
    I boost it with the seamoon booster. When the first time I use it , it has a very good feeling .
    But now , after usage for 4 weeks, it has less feeling …

    I want to boost it again , so the rubber have more feeling

    But after I saw your video
    I hesitate to boost my rubber again

    Can you tell me must I boost it again or not??

  6. I am a TT fan. To me, boosting the rubber or not is a matter of bugget. I have to change rubber every two months and cannot afford 40,50 bucks rubber. Chinese rubber costs less than 15 bucks and feels same as expensive one. No one feels shame if win by using tenergy. As for the health issue, I use my garage.

  7. Congratulations again… Outstanding video. The most professional work I've ever seen. Keep up the great work coach!!!
    Please make a video about injuries in table tennis and also how to prevent it. I hear that Jean philippe gatien has a deformation in his forearm because of the wrong tecnique in his backhand.
    How can we prevent injuries and long damage in our tendons and muscles?
    Thank you for your advice

  8. did you know VOC glue is not the only way for BOOST
    please boost rubbers with VOC free glue with proper boost VOC free oil

  9. The main question though is:
    Are the amounts of the carginogens high enough to cause problems or are the amounts that low that they dont cause any serious risks for your health. After all, we all are in contact with lots of carginogens every day, but that does not always causes problems because of the low levels we are exposed to.

  10. Booster has petrochemicals. So it is okay for Chinese to use it becos they need to win to survive ? Be more explicit. Call the use of boosters whether in factory or by player illegal ! Make it clear that if any trace amount of booster on rubber can be danger to player, no where in any part of rubber manufacture and production they should be allowed to be used ! Factory makes TONS of money selling rubber anyway. Why punish player and not the rich business manufacturer for exploitation ? Sponsored players are getting unfair advantage over poorer players. Why make the sport so divided by rich and poor ? So poor player with exceptional performance cannot overcome mediocre rich player with boosted equipment. That is very sad.

    Make ITTF and all boosted equipment players become obsolete. Remove dependence on booster. Make a rule for rubber or sponge that WON'T REACT to boosting FROM EVERY MANUFACTURER.
    ONLY RUBBERS NON-REACTIVE TO BOOSTING will be allowed for international competitions.

    Then no matter if player or factory spending Millions of $$$ to develop booster, if the rubber or sponge won't even react or change its properties. Then it won't matter, all players can choose any of the rubber from any manufacturer, no amount of booster will fix the rubbers, what original property rubber has will only be there, then bye-bye booster, speed glue, tuner, expander, restorer.

    Make ITTF and Factory fix the problems they created by making stupid loopholes in the rules. NO more one rule for the factory and different rule for the player. Then the sport will be clean.

    ITTF Rule should be, rubber+sponge manufactured WILL NOT HAVE EVEN 0.5 ppm of VOC or Petrol-chemical compounds used during manufacturing NOR allowed to be ALTERED AT ANYTIME from its physical or chemical properties during its lifetime of use before, during or after the competition.


  11. Coach
    Im playing With this bat:
    Blade: Joola Spirit OFF
    2.times Joola Maxxx
    But this Bat is so expensive, can You tell me Some from the Chinese Brand that costs About 50€?

  12. great video. 9:25 I think it's a little unfair though to say or insinuate that only Chinese players boost. I would venture to say that 95% of all pros, Chinese, European, etc. all boost. IMO it's dumb that the ITTF says you can't boost on your own but you certainly can buy rubbers twice as expensive that come boosted from the factory. ITTF should just legalize booster and be done with it.

  13. Hi coach, if the booster liquid contains harmful chemical, how about factory boosted rubbers? Since we doesnt know which chemical applies to the rubber, is it safe for our health? AFAIK, there are cheap chinese rubber labelled with "factory tuned", and smell like crazy. is it safe too?

  14. Thanks a lot coach!!!! I have very curiosity about these things. thanks a lot for clearing them. I play for fun, and do not have interest in these things anymore. Only power from the ground is more then enough for me if I get to do it correctly…..if I could play a forehand shot like ML(no matter about speed, spin or placement just a shadow copy) I would think I have learned TT!!! ha…ha…

  15. Correction: 2.10 and 2.15mm sponges are primarily used to keep the total thickness of the topsheet and sponge under the easily testable 4.00mm limit. Boosting expands the sponge in 3 dimensions, so thickness increases.

  16. I still don't understand what is the difference between boosting a hard rubber and using a tensor rubber which is hard. according to some reviews in tabletennisdb tibhar mx-p or mx-s are hard tensor rubbers as well as the new coming tensor rubbers from yasaka. so why would you like to do all the effort to boost a hard rubber and also risking to have an illegal racket instead of buying a hard tensor rubber? Is the effect of the booster not too make the sponge soft?

  17. Johnsons&Johnsons baby oil works pretty well as a booster. It's absolutely safe (even for child's health as we can get from the name:)) and much cheaper than most of that chemical stuff made by Haifu and Falco

  18. Dear EmRaThich,
    I am 13 and I have been playing table tennis for about a year. I am a forehand dominant player and have been using xiom vega asia rubber on both forehand and backhand. I need some advice on whether or not to switch to chinese rubber on the forehand. I base my game on the forehand loop and have somewhat decent footwork, but i struggle with backhand consistency away from the table and countering. But I lack balance and try to kill every shot and miss 40% of the time and I am often out of position. I mainly come here because I want to know if i should switch to tacky rubber or stay with tensor rubbers. I can send you footage of my matches if you want. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  19. I dont understand. Why the different treatment of boosting based on before or after it comes out from factory?
    I only see this benefiting highly sponsored/connected players who can ask for it to be done from manufacturers, whilst non-sponsored are barred from using any boosted rubbers.

    edit: Im dumb…..I didnt watch till the end

  20. hey coach, im ricko 18 years old from indonesian amateur player(forehand dominant player),i have been playing with long pips on backhand for over 4 years, and i want to change it with short pips because i also like an agressive attack with my backhand, please tell me coach what is advantage using long pips and short pips , also i want to know technique using a short pips in detail and the best set up for my blade (adidas challenge off+,stiga power lt on forehand)ty coach im very blessed with your coaching video overall

  21. Hey there coach, our trainor here recommended the DHS Hurricane 3-50 which is softer and more elastic than the Neo version, do you agree?

    I use Xiom vega pro as a blade. Tenergy 05 BH
    H3 Neo FH

  22. @EmRatThichVo coach, after serve I mostly use backhand for play….so when the ball suddenly comes in forehand I am not able to attack it. What drills to be done to improve backhand to forehand transition and tell about the change in grip from backhand to forehand.
    Please reply:)

  23. Hey another question about the rules Now I am a Beginner to intermediate player what if i accidentally hit the ball with my fingers holding the racket does the game continue or point to opponent

    also what do you think about this bat for a beginner to intermediate player

  24. Using to much booster will make the sponge separate from topsheet and bubbles will appear. Also rubber is only part of the story, the blade is responsible for alot of the characteristics of how the bat will respond too.

  25. I think that it's a misconception that booster will give people more power and spin. You can achieve the same amount of spin and speed with a decent Euro or Japanese rubber and good technique. It might be that the pros have access to much more "boosted" materials but at club level you won't gain an advantage. Better to work on good form. With good form, power and spin come with.

  26. Can someone please help me. Im fairly new at table tennis and have ultimately been player for about a year and just for fun. Before that i have never played table tennis in my life maybe like once or twice.

    So my problem is i dont know how to do a reverse backhand flick or smash, im a penhold player, i know all the basics like serving with backspin sidespin and underspin and would say im decent at serving. Same with smashing i have a lot of forehand power but when i play shakehand (for fun) i can backhand flick and know where the contact point is and the technique but with penhold i just dont know how to do it. Also dont know the Japanese way, so i need some tips for using back hand on penhold. Also im from the UK so penhold is not very common.
    Thank You for any help

  27. I don't know if this is the place to ask, but I hope someone can help me
    I am buying my first blade, and I was thinking for a yasaka sweden extra with DHS 3 hurricane on both sides (red/black).
    Is this right for a beginer/intermediate looping aggressive player? Thank you!

  28. Good video, do you think I should use booster on DHS Hurricane Neo 3? I am very offensive player, or I dont need to. Btw. could you please make a video about where to hit the ball?

  29. Coach what is tactic of long and pimples players. This really struggle me this time. Hope you answer

  30. Coach can you make a video about a tactic of long and short pimples player. I've loss to a competition because my opponent is long pimples and every time I attack , the ball goes to net. Need help!

  31. Hi coach. What about making a tactic about short or long pimples. This is really my problem. I can't really deal with there a tactic about pimples. Please help!

  32. whats the different between hurricane 3 neo the blue sponge and the orange ……………………………………………………………………………… and how to bay the orignal one

  33. Coach, what should i do to return a lefty's very short serve right into the nearest part of the net on my forehand? I can't push it nor even reach it… i don't know what to do. Please reply

  34. Hi coach can you do a video regarding ma long vs Timo boll recent match and analysis why ma long lost the game when he had a good start and Timo boll match strategy playing the wide backhand against ma long…. Thank you. Have a good one. Byee

  35. You said break the hardness of the rubber physically? What you mean , can i soften the sponge without booster ?
    And thank u for valuable vedios

  36. Organizers should provide standard rackets for players to use. Not only safer but also make the game more interesting. Especially to see Chinese players without all of their tricks in equipment.

  37. Your content is great, but I think you need to cite the info that u get, and 1 more thing, no offense, but I think you need to work on your pronunciation. Great work anyway. Thanks for the info.

  38. I've just boosted a three nine super 999 T-1. Amazing with Seamon or Lidu. I feel like Kong Linghui with my KLHS blade. Even with plastic ball it's nice to play with.

  39. very thoughtful on all levels of analysis. Your channel, and this video are both very underrated. Keep it up. Great work!

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