Artists across the world got a major boost with the influx of 3D pens in the market. Creativity stepped up a notch higher. And now adults as well as the young ones can venture into 3D art at the comfort of their homes.
If you’re looking to know how they work, you may be in the market for a 3D pen, or you’ve just bought one.. But if you are just starting out, have a look at this detailed buying guide by Reviews Rabbit. Order your favorite 3D pen and I’ll help you get started.
What is a 3D pen and how does it work?
A 3D pen closely resembles a ballpoint pen. The major difference is that, whereas the ballpoint pen uses ink, the 3Dpen uses plastic. With a ballpoint pen, you can only write in 2D mode. The 3D pen allows you to write in 3D, or rather create 3D objects.
The plastic, herein referred to as the filament is fed into the rear end of the pen. By pressing the button on the side of the pen, you drive a motor, which pulls the filament through the pen. Once the filament hits the bottom of the pen, it is heated up so that it flows through the tip in molten form.
In addition to the motor button, most 3D pens come with two other buttons:
A button for unloading the filament from the pen. Yes! The filament is not stored within the pen as is the case with ballpoint or fountain pens.
A button for controlling the speed with which the plastic flows out of the nozzle. The faster the speed, the narrower the molten strand – and the vice versa is true.
To use the 3D pen, hold it like a normal pen. Press the printing button and wait for about 30 seconds for the plastic to start oozing out. Remember the nozzle is hot. Don’t attempt touching it. You will badly burn your fingers. Move the nozzle to and fro the template in line with what you are drawing. The nozzle doesn’t have to be in tight contact with the surface as is the case with the normal pen. Lift it off slightly to allow the plastic to flawlessly flow out.
Is a 3D pen worth it?
In my opinion, the 3D pen is a very valuable tool for artists, children, and DIYers. Artists are able to advance their creativity into the 3D realm and create whatever object their mind thinks of. For children, it is a really reasonable playing tool as it improves their creativity. They are able to create the toy that they want to play with, rather than just get a complete toy from the stores. DIY enthusiasts will definitely find the 3D pen useful in fixing damaged objects or adding decorations to everyday household items.
How do you use a 3D pen?
The best way to get started is by using a template for penning over. Draw the shape you want on the template using ink or pencil. Once you deposit the plastic onto the template, give it time to cool and harden. Handling it immediately may considerably distort your work of art. To keep your work neat, consider releasing the motor button some 2 or 3 seconds before the end of a specific line you are drawing. This is due to the fact that the plastic keeps oozing out for sometime after you release the button.
What do you draw on with a 3D pen?
Experienced artists mostly use 3D pens free-style, meaning they directly create their 3D imaginations without the need of a template. To get to that level, consider drawing your objects on a piece of paper on which you have sketched the faces of the desired object. In case you are lost on what exactly to draw, feel free to search online for 3D pen stencils. Kick off your artistic journey in style.
It is a tool once reserved for the electrician and electronic technicians, multimeters—sometimes called “multitesters”—have come down in price and size, making them indispensable for homeowners who have basic knowledge of circuitry. When troubleshooting problems with small appliances, smart-home modules, speaker systems, or just about any other electronic item, a multimeter will be among the most valued tools in your arsenal.
If you’re new to multimeters, these gadgets may seem daunting at first. Learn the basics, however, and you’ll soon be able to perform a number of diagnostic tests on your own. Because multimeters vary from model to model, be sure to study your specific unit’s operating manual before you get started.
How to Use a Multimeter – Check an Outlet
Two Types of Multimeters
Analog multimeters, or volt-ohm-milliammeters (VOM), have been around for decades and can still be found, affordably, at any do-it-yourself-type store. The new kids on the block—digital multimeters (DMM)—offer greater precision with decimal point readouts, even enhanced functions, such as the ability to auto-detect alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).
Applications and Limitations
Both VOM and DMM models measure voltage, resistance, and current, replacing the need for individual voltmeters, ohmmeters, and ammeters. While you can test household voltage with a multimeter, electrical-current-testing is limited to low-voltage circuits, such as small direct current (DC) motors or low-voltage alternating current (AC) appliances—your thermostats and doorbells, for example. To avoid blowing a fuse, destroying the multimeter, or risking injury, do not attempt to test a current higher than the maximum allowed for your unit.
Among other things, multimeters can determine:
Available battery charge
The voltage at an outlet or switch
Damage in cables and cords
Viability of fuses, diodes, and resisters
The conductive ability of an electrical pathway
With a multimeter, you can measure both AC and DC voltage—particularly useful for locating short circuits or determining if a rechargeable battery is holding a charge. Start by selecting the corresponding current on the multimeter and a voltage range higher than the current you’re testing. For example, if you’re measuring the voltage in a 120-volt wall outlet, turn the multimeter knob to the next highest option—200 ACV. If you’re testing a 12-volt car battery, select the next highest option—20 DCV.
Then make sure to connect your test leads to the proper jacks before testing: For voltage testing, plug the red lead into the port labeled “V.” For this and all multimeter tests, the black lead plugs into the common (COM) port.
To test a battery’s DC charge, touch the red probe to its positive terminal and the black probe to its negative terminal; the multimeter will display the existing charge in the battery. Since polarity isn’t an issue in AC voltage, it doesn’t matter which probe you insert in either hole of a wall outlet; insert both probes, and the multimeter will display the voltage at the outlet.
Safety Tip: Hold probes by their insulated handles. Do not touch the metal part of the probes to avoid electrical shock.
How to Use a Multimeter – Check an Appliance
Testing Resistance and Continuity
In electronics, “resistance,” is the amount of hindrance to the flow of electricity, and less is more—or, rather, good for the operation of your appliances. Multimeter in hand, you can test resistance in circuit board components and appliance elements throughout the house. If, for example, a microwave isn’t operating as it should, this checkup could help you determine if you should replace a single non-functioning component on the circuit board or buy a new microwave outright.
First, make sure the appliance is unplugged before testing. Plug the red lead into the port with the ohm’s symbol, “Ω,” and select the lowest ohms’ function on the dial. While you can test individual capacitors and components directly on a circuit board, you’ll get a more accurate reading if you remove a component and then test it. When you touch the black and red probes to both ends of a component, simultaneously, you’ll get a reading. The lower the reading, the less the resistance to electrical flow. By comparing the readings from other components on the circuit board, you can determine whether or not to replace a component with an unusually high reading.
To test the continuity, or continuous flow, of an electrical path between two points, plug the red lead into the “Ω” jack and turn the dial to the continuity symbol, “continuity”. A small reading—or a beep—indicates there is a continuous path between the two points. No reading or beep, however, indicates a problem. For example, if you’ve just put a new bulb in your lamp but it still doesn’t turn on, running this test at both ends of its power cord can confirm that an internally broken cord is to blame for your dim room.
Testing Low-voltage Current
In order to measure low-voltage current, the multimeter must become part of the circuit, allowing the current to actually run through the multimeter. This is handy for determining whether a low-voltage circuit, such as a looped set of solar-powered landscape lights, is getting power to all the lights. For this test, plug the red lead into the port labeled, “A,” for Amps, and select the next-highest Amps function on the dial.
Your operating manual may provide a chart, but if not, you can test a simple circuit by connecting the live feed from the power-supply (usually black) to the multimeter’s red probe. The multimeter’s black probe then connects to the positive wire (usually black) on the appliance you’re testing. Finally, the neutral power-supply lead (usually white) connects to the negative appliance wire (also white). When you’ve hooked up the circuit correctly, turn on the power source to measure the electrical flow rate, or amps, through the circuit.
Safety Tip: As previously mentioned, do not test a circuit that exceeds your multimeter’s capability. Multimeters are “fused” at a maximum amount of voltage, which is typically lower than household current. If a multimeter bears the words, “10A MAX FUSED,” do not test any current you suspect might be higher than 10 Amps.
Meta: Currently skateboard or longboard is the choice but also many people wonder. Let’s find out which option is better for you.
From the outside the longboard and the skateboard will have similar shapes. Therefore, it has caused a lot of misunderstandings in many people’s thinking. These two sports have many differences that players will not notice. To get more knowledge about longboard and skateboard, please find out through the information shared below.
Skateboard and longboard are a good choice for you
Some introductory information about skateboard or longboard
Floor size is the most obvious difference between longboard and skateboard with longer and wider longboard.
The length of the longboards typically ranges from 33 inches to 59 inches. Their widths are between 9 inches and 10 inches.
Skateboards typically range in length from 28 inches to 33 inches in length and about 7 centimeters in length and 10 centimeters wide. Both these two sports were born to replace the boring form of surfing but with many dangers before.
Advantages and disadvantages of skateboard and longboard
First, the small wheels on the skateboard help the skaters maintain balance by lowering the center of gravity. Skateboard is used in performing various tricks a player wants to use. Skateboards are designed to achieve a lower center of gravity and are easily maneuverable quickly and suited to any terrain.
The nose and tail of the skis are bent, allowing for a better grip for the rider to flip the board and perform tricks. The deck covers the deck, usually glued with a sandpaper-like adhesive to allow a firmer hold, preventing the rider from slipping off the board.
The downside of Skateboard is that the wheels on the skateboard are relatively small and narrower than the ones on a longboard, which is something many people don’t like. It is also quite slower than the longboard. Skateboards often fly more and more, stairs, obstacles and only practice in the yard, the street can also perform but is limited.
For a longboard an advantage is that the larger wheels on a longboard help the wanderer go faster than the mini wheels of the skateboard. In addition to size, the long wheels are softer, making the longboard more comfortable to ride over longer distances. The overall size of the longboard allows it to achieve greater stability at high speeds even when the top board is above ground because the wheels are larger than the skis.
Find a product that suits your needs
Longboard may or may not have a coarse binder, but it is stronger. The Longboard also doesn’t require the rider to use the ground to push, but instead uses the body to fuel the board. Longboard is most commonly used on flat concrete roads or downhill areas where it is used to go from one place to another and perform twists and turns.
On the downside of the longboard, the trick speed of this type is slower and it does not help players perform the adventurous tricks they want. It is also limited to the terrain that not all terrain can move.
Between skateboard and longboard, there will be its own advantages and disadvantages. We cannot say which one is better than the other and it will depend on each person’s needs and preferences. These two types complement each other so you can choose which one suits your needs and what you need.
So sure you have the answer to the question which is better a skateboard or longboard. Each person will have a different use so it is impossible to determine which is better. Above it is shared information about which is better a skateboard or longboard. Hope that is the necessary information for your choice. I Hope you will get the best option to meet your needs.
If there is one thing that pretty much every human on earth is familiar with it’s animals chasing each other. Be it dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, or dolphins – we’ve seen it all. And we usually shrug it off as animal play.
But why do squirrels chase each other around trees? Is it also normal play like other animals? Or is there some more sinister reason behind it? Let us find out.
1. Territorial dispute
One major reason why squirrels chase each other is to stand out amongst the others as the boss. Several squirrel species are territorial – meaning they try with all their might to protect their territory from intrusion by other squirrels.
Territorial behavior in animals has two major goals:
To allow a male to mate its herd of females without disturbance – this involves males chasing males. Males have been shown to have a territorial range of about 75 yards.
To raise offspring without undue competition – this involves females chasing females, especially when the potential nesting sites are limited
So when an intruding squirrel tries to feed in an area dominated by another squirrel, a vivacious chase ensues. The dominant squirrel additionally nips at the other squirrels.
Note that such territorial behavior is not seen in all species of squirrels. The northern flying squirrels and American red squirrels are known to be territorial while the fox squirrel and grey squirrels are not territorial.
If you are a keen observer, you must have noticed that other chases are more romantic as opposed to aggressive. That leads us to the second reason for squirrels chasing each other.
2. Looking for a mate
Do squirrels fight with each other during the mating season? Experts tell us that mating started some 1.1 billion years ago when mother nature saw the need to increase genetic variation through the fusion of sex cells. An economic problem immediately arose. You see, female species have a limited number of eggs while males have an unlimited sperm count.
To produce an offspring, you need only sperm to fertilize one egg. Therefore, supply and demand forces greatly increased the cost of female eggs. And once the male mates with the female, the female remains “locked” for some period as the fertilization process ensues. This leaves the male with no other option but to chase around some more females.
Philosophy aside, the chase has been there and will always be. The mating chase in squirrels is a bit slow-paced compared to the territorial chase. Male squirrels chase the females in a unique technique that allows them to evaluate the reproductive state of the females.
The majority of squirrels attain sexual maturity around the age of 1 year. As a female squirrel approaches oestrus, it emits attractive scents that catch the attention of several males, including those from other territories.
Once the males meet on the mating arena, they chase and fight to claim dominance. The winning male wins the hearts of the female squirrels. Even so, the potential bachelor is not allowed to mate that easily.
The female squirrel intentionally runs off to see if the potential suitor is really determined. That is why you will usually spot two squirrels in a somewhat endless chase around trees and across the fields. Copulation occurs once the female is convinced with the persistence of the male.
3. Child’s play
They said “as playful as kittens” – but we do understand that the playful nature of young animals extends to several other species – you must have spotted young squirrels playing.
It is not uncommon to spot two or more young squirrels fighting playfully and chasing each other. This helps them to develop mobility skills and strength.
To sum it up
Chasing among squirrels depends on the species, age, and sex of squirrels, and the season. Use this knowledge to know how to best position yourself as you hunt the squirrels. Airgun Maniac presents a detailed review of the top ten air rifles for squirrel hunting. Make sure to check it out as. It doesn’t matter the randomness of the chase. There are air rifles out there with great accuracy and muzzle velocity to stop the squirrels right in their track.
On rainy days, camping can get downright awful when there is a large pool of water under the tent, making the tent piles shake. In fact, you will encounter rainy days on your camping trip, instead of feeling miserable and indulgent, follow these instructions to get rid of the bleak scene when camping on a rainy day. Remember, it’s all over and you’ll have a memorable experience to tell your friends on your next trip.
Guidelines For Camping On Rainy Days
1. Consider where you are going
Is it a place in an area that often rains? If that is the case, you should be prepared to deal. It is always a good idea to research the weather forecast before departure
2. Prepare a suitable tent
In addition to choosing a good waterproof tent, there are a few points to note: the tent should have a tent cover that is large enough to prevent splashing mud from becoming a major problem for friends.
3. Make sure the seam of the tent is sealed
Make sure the seam of the tent is sealed so that water cannot leak through openings into the tent
The tent floor should be in the form of a bathtub floor to prevent water from entering the tent.
The coating of the tent must be water-resistant – study product information on label packaging carefully for more details.
If you go camping for a short time, you might end up staying with a few friends in a small tent. But if your trip is longer than 3 days then bring a large tent for your comfort!
If you have to set up a tent in the rain, cover it with canvas before starting if you don’t want the inside of the tent to get wet. Then, layout a tent cover to add extra protection to the tent floor. Fold the edge of the sheet underneath the tent so that the sheet does not show out, so that water does not get into the middle of the sheet and the floor of the tent.
If there is a storm, you can try to pile the waterproof tent cover first to create temporary shelter and set up the tent underneath until it’s done.
5. Trenching around the tent is no longer necessary
With the bath-type tent floor, water wouldn’t be able to enter the tent even when the tent was in the puddle. However, if your campsite has a lot of gravel or sand, you will have to dig around as it is necessary now. In case water starts to leak into the tent floor, you should put a tented sheet inside to keep the tent dry.
6. Tent location is very important
Consider slopes, angles, protrusions, soft ground areas and avoid ditching as much as possible. Find the highest spot on your camping ground. Use caution when choosing where to place your tent as a flat, dry area can also turn into a puddle when it rains. Stay away from areas showing signs of ever flooding (eroded, dilapidated soil, fenced-off areas). Water can flow into these areas and flood in a matter of minutes when the storm returns.
7. Use a tarpaulin as a reinforcement cover and or doormat
If possible, tie a tarpaulin to a tree, stakes, or even your car to form a roof over the tent, making sure the edges of the tent are covered and water does not drip, preventing rain from pouring directly onto the tent. This solution is easiest when camping with a car. The canvas can also be placed on top of the soil at the entrance, becoming a place for wet shoes, sandals, or rinsing wet clothes before putting into the tent (bring a plastic bag to prevent mud from falling into the tent). Use sticks or other unused waterproof objects to create a place for the coat to dry.
Your coats should be waterproof, dry quickly so they don’t take longer, wear a good coat or two to ensure warmth.
8. Make sure the tent is well ventilated
Being in a tent removes moisture from your breath to condense it into water droplets, which can then fall on people and furniture. A well-ventilated tent is key to minimizing internal moisture condensation. Remember, the more ventilation the tent is, the less moisture will condense. The tent with openable top vents helps a lot in this.
9. Always have ready-to-clean towels available to remedy the dampness in the tent
If water appears in the tent, wipe the water off with a towel and wring it outside, then hang it to dry again. The faster you wipe the water, the faster the tent dries. In addition, it is also a sign for you to get out of the sleeping bag and check to see what is causing the water to enter the tent, there is a ceremony of tent covers and tension strings that need tightening or need to increase ventilation in the tent.
10. Arrange furniture properly
Put a change of clothes in a waterproof bag in case everything in the tent gets wet, unfortunately.
Leave a pair of flip-flops or a pair of loafers at the front door and everyone in the tent can ride together. Rubber boots are also a good option for walking around the campsite, but if hiking, wear climbing shoes.
Have hand warmers and super lightweight gloves available. Even in the summer, ultra-light, waterproof gloves can protect your hands from getting numb when setting up your tent and unpacking it in the rain.
11. Do things you enjoy stuck in a tent all-day
Bring books, games, drawing tools, diaries – anything you like that you can put in your backpack or car. You can bring a handy, compact deck of cards or a notebook for a crossword puzzle. You can also use a rug that turns into a comfortable camping chair to read while staying in a tent for hours.
12. Unload the tent carefully
Unpack the tent under the tent cover like when setting up a tent. If you’re going to camp into a drier area, set up the tent as soon as possible to allow plenty of time for the sun and wind to dry it out. And if you decide not to camp anymore and move to a hotel or go home, set up the tent as soon as the opportunity arises to dry it. Never put your tent away while it is still wet, or your tent will get moldy.
So, you want to learn the game of ping pong. Or would it be more correct to call it table tennis? In all honesty, it really doesn’t matter, they mean one and the same. Whether they call it table tennis or ping pong, all players share something in common, a love for the game they play. If you are coming here and ping pong is relatively new to you, then you’re in the right place.
Like almost every sport, you must first acquire the equipment needed to enjoy it. In my opinion, ping pong is one of the cheapest sports out there and one of the most fun as well. There are only three basic things that you might have to purchase when it comes to playing ping pong.
Ping pong paddles
Table tennis is played by striking the ball with a paddle which is sometimes known as a bat or a racket depending on where you live. A ping pong paddle is made up of four different parts:
The handle – This is the part of the paddle that you hold. It can come in a variety of different sizes and shapes that can affect your gameplay and suit different playing styles.
The blade – The blade of a ping pong paddle is the main body of the bat and is constructed by using multiple layers of wood (and sometimes carbon).
Sponge layer – Sitting on top of the blade is a thin layer of sponge (typically between 1.2mm and 2.5mm. As a beginner, you want to look for a paddle with a thinner layer of sponge as this will give you more control over the ball.
The rubber – Finally, sitting on top of the sponge is a layer of rubber which is what actually makes contact with the ball. There are a variety of different rubbers to suit different styles of play. To learn more check out our guide to table tennis rubbers here.
Ping pong paddles are usually rated on three different things: Control, spin and speed. Beginners should look for a paddle with a high control rating and low spin and speed ratings. As you improve and get better at controlling the ball you can look for a racket with lower control and start working on generating more speed and spin with your shots. Click here to see read our list of top ping pong paddles in 2020.
Ping pong balls
Like a lot of other sports to play table tennis, you’ll need a ball. Ping pong balls are small, round and made out of plastic. The standard regulation size is 40 mm and typically they come in two different colors: White and orange.
Ping pong balls are rated in quality by a star system from 1 – 3 stars. One star balls are used for recreational play and to be used in an official tournament a ball must be three-stars. For more information check out our ping pong ball buying guide here.
Ping pong tables
Ping pong tables are one of the more expensive bits of equipment you’ll need. You can spend anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand for the top of range competition standard tables. If you’re looking to buy your own one then check out our top-rated ping pong tables list here. But, you don’t necessarily need to own your own as bars and clubs with tables can be found almost everywhere!
You can also get ping pong conversion tops that sit on top of other tables and allow you to get the quality of a real table without taking up as much space.
Other accessories you might want
While not essential to start playing you might want to look into a few other accessories and table tennis gear.
A good pair of shoes – For beginners, most sports or gym shoes will work fine, but, as you progress and play more, you might want to invest in a pair of shoes designed specifically with ping pong players in mind.
A paddle case – Table tennis bats aren’t the strongest and can get damaged easily by water, dust and getting knocked. We always recommend picking up a table tennis paddle case to keep your racket safe when you’re not using it.
A ping pong robot – If you begin to take your game more serious and want to practice even more then you can buy a table tennis robot that will fire balls at you to allow you to practice your shots.
Now that you have the basic equipment down, it’s time to put that stuff to good use and to have some fun. First things first, how do you hold your bat?
How to hold the bat
The first thing to do before starting play is to make sure you’re holding the paddle correctly. There are two main ways to grip your bat in table tennis: Shakehand and penhold grip. Each grip has its pros and cons but most experts recommend that the best grip for beginners is the shakehand grip.
To read more about how to hold the paddle check out our article on how to hold a ping pong paddle here.
Learn the basic rules
The basic rules are important to know when starting out. I know there are a ton of rules out there for ping pong but you don’t need to know them all right now. If you don’t feel like reading them now, or you feel as if you will probably forget, you can always have someone at a club explain the rules to you better while you are playing.
How a game is played
When you and another person play a set of games it’s called a “match”. A match usually consists of a best three out of five games; so you could end up playing anywhere from three to five games total.
When two players play a single game, the first to 11 points wins or win by two points. (I will explain the two or more thing in a bit).
The player who serves first is usually determined differently depending on the club (some choose at random, flip a coin, hit the ball, etc). You will serve the ball two times then the other person will serve two times, this continues even if you are one point away from losing. (There is no “I get to serve because I’m about to lose rule)
In a game, if you and your opponent both reach 10 points it is called a “deuce.” A deuce is the only exception to the two serve rule. Say that you just hit your last of two serves and you lost or won the point which made the score 10-10. You would still give the ball to the opponent to serve as usual, but he will only serve one time.
If he wins that point, even though the score is 11-10, he does not win yet. This would be “his advantage.” You don’t really have to know the number any longer as long as you know who is ahead as the first to pull ahead by two wins.
If you win the next point to even it up, it would again be a “deuce”. This continues until someone has gained a two-point lead and ultimately wins.
After each game is played, the players then switch sides of the table, but the service always starts on the same side.
How to serve the ball
The official rules around serving from the ITTF can be a little overwhelming so we’ve summarised the basic rules around a legal table tennis serve below.
The serve should begin with the ball in an open palm – This is to prevent players from spinning the ball as they toss it.
The ball must be thrown into the air at least 6 inches – This is to prevent players from serving quickly or hiding the ball to deceive their opponent.
You must strike the ball behind the end line of the table – This is to prevent players from getting very close to the net before serving.
Once making contact the ball must bounce on your side of the table, bounce over the net and then bounce on the opponent’s side – You can’t hit it straight over the net.
Some other rules to know
Here are some rules that you might see come up while playing. If someone hits the ball to you and it hits the very edge of the table on your side, (even if it barely hits it and goes straight to the floor) it would be the other person’s point. While it’s almost impossible to return, it really doesn’t happen that often to where it’s a problem.
Also, if your opponents hits the ball and it hits the net (not on a serve) and it still goes over onto your side, it is their point, even if it doesn’t bounce more than an inch. These kind of shots are tricky to counter and can be kind of ridiculous sometimes but they are a part of the game.
Once your reaction time gets good enough, hitting these shots can sometimes be possible. You also must let the ball bounce before hitting it. This is how it differs from real tennis. If your opponent hits the ball before it bounces, and the ball was clearly going to hit the table, then they would lose the point.
Say if you were to hit the ball and you hit it too hard over the table, and the other player hit the ball anyway, whether intentionally or accidentally, you would still lose the point so long as the ball was clearly going out of the table.
Find a club
One of the best ways to enjoy ping pong is to join a club. I recommend that you try using the internet to your advantage. Look for the closest club in your area, and if they have an updated number on file, try to call them and ask for hours of when they play.
Most of the time the clubs have a large diverse playing field. If you’re afraid that you’re too old or too young to go, no worries, there are plenty of people aged anywhere from 10 to 60+ that play on a regular basis (and the older guys can be really good too!) Clubs usually have a large diversity of people and it’s a great way to make new acquaintances.
For most people, playing at clubs is one of the fastest ways to improve your skills in the smallest amount of time. There are usually always people willing to practice with you and give advice and tips based off the feedback that they get from playing with you. Some of the more experienced players can see exactly what you’re doing wrong and try to adjust it in a way that makes you better.That is why I always found it better to play with someone who knows what they are doing, even if they are 5 times better than me.
Sometimes clubs host tournaments or can tell you where the closest one is. Club tournaments are a really fun thing to experience and there really isn’t anything like it. People from all around the area, sometimes hours away, will drive to these tournaments to play. It’s really interesting to see all the different ways each person plays.
Some people will have crazy serves, wild hits, or just play in a way you’ve never seen before. If you think you’re good enough you can enter a tournament but don’t be discouraged if you lose, there is a lot of really tough competition out there. Once you find someone to practice with it’s important to get the basic skills mastered before moving on to harder things.
Hone in on the basic skills
Before you can learn how to play at a higher skill level, you need to hone in on the skills that you can use to further develop your game. Similar to playing ping pong, you have to learn to ride a bike before you can learn to ride with no hands or to do something crazy like a wheelie. That’s why learning the two basic strokes are very important. Some of the terms people use to describe different types of shots can seem very complicated. It can be a difficult concept to grasp unless you really get to apply different types of shots. So, for now, let’s just start you off with two; forehand and backhand.
The forehand and backhand are the only two kinds of hits you’ll use in a game. Every shot will build of either of these types, some more complicated than others. In case you don’t know what some of these terms mean, let me explain. For the sake of ease, let’s say that you’re right-handed. A forehand hit would mean that you are hitting the ball on your right-hand side. A backhand hit would be on your left side. It’s quite difficult to explain some of these positions through words, however.
My best advice would be to look up instructional videos of some of these basic skills. The concept of a backhand and forehand shot are the bare basics that every player out there needs to be able to hit with consistency before moving on to more difficult shots. If you have a club, find someone who is willing to help or also needs some practice and do some drills just hitting back and forth with either backhand or forehand.
Time to get started
Now that you know how to get started, you can actually go out there and do it. Getting excited to play is only half the fun. Closely follow some of the advice I’ve given and you too can share that same love for the game of ping pong.
You can notice that most of our rubber sheets have ratings of speed, spin, and control. A speed rating below 50 means very good control. From 50-70 is a good all-around rating and anything over 70 we consider fast for offensive play.
The preferred rubber sheets are mostly smooth inverted and sticky. Some players are still using the pips out for faster and more direct shots. Others may use long pips on one side, that imparts a knuckleball effect and reverses the opponents spin. A small percentage of players use an anti-spin rubber for defense which also reverses the opponents spin. Long pips and anti spin are mostly used for easy control against spinny serves and loops, but it also takes more practice and more time to get used to. The sponge behind the rubber comes in different thicknesses, from 1.2 mm to 2.5 mm. The sponge thickness and the top sheet color (red or black) can be selected before you add a rubber sheet to the shopping cart.
The thinner the sponge the better the control, a thicker sponge gives you more speed with less control. It is therefore possible to slow down a fast racket by using a rubber with thinner sponge. Some players will use a fast offensive rubber on the forehand and a slower more controllable sheet on the backhand. All rubber sheets are priced per sheet only. For a complete racket you will need 2 rubber sheets.
Sponsored by Yinhe
by Jason R. Shaver (Megaspin.net partner)
How does the sponge thickness affect performance? If it affects speed, why are rubbers sheets given one speed rating irrespective of the chosen thickness?
The quick and easy rule is that thicker sponges (2.0mm or more) results in more offensive play. 1.9mm to 1.5mm is used by more ‘control’ or all around players while smaller numbers is common for short and long pipped rubbers.
When you swing at a ball and make contact, the sponge catches the ball and slows it down. As the ball keeps moving into the sponge and hits the wood underneath, the sponge helps kick the ball back out.
During the whole above process of catching and throwing the ball, the sponge allows the rubber topsheet to put friction on the ball, adding larger amounts of spin than could be achieved without the sponge.
When looking at the speed and spin ratings of different rubbers, you may notice that they don’t break them down by different sponge thicknesses. This is because the effect of the sponge changes depending on how you hit and play. For example, if you take a soft swing, the sponge would slow the ball down (by absorbing the impact), but a hard loop will speed up your shot (by allowing you to take bigger swings).
Some rubbers are labeled by thickness (in millimeters) such as 1.9 or 2.0, while others are labeled as MAX, MX, or Maximum. ITTF rules state that the maximum of the sponge and topsheet cannot be greater than 4.00mm. There is no hard rule to how thick the rubber topsheet is (1.4mm to 1.7mm are common thicknesses for topsheets), so sponges labeled as Maximum are produced by the manufacturer to be as thick as they can while still staying under 4.00mm, usually they include a large enough margin of error to counteract the thickness of the glue used to attach the rubber to the blade.
Why does the hardness of a rubber sheet matter?
The degree represents how hard the sponge is. A lower number means a softer sponge, a higher number means a firmer sponge. To give an idea, a rubber-band is around 25 and a car tire is around 80. Most table tennis rubbers will be between 30 and 45.
A lower number will tend to provide more spin at lower speeds (including serves).
A higher number will tend to provide more spin at higher speeds.
Players who tend to play a ‘Chinese’ style (straighter elbow when looping) will find a higher number to be better.
Players who tend to play an ‘European’ style (bent elbow when looping) will find a lower number to be better.
Higher rated players will tend to enjoy a higher number than beginners.
Beginners (under 1200 USATT rating) will not be able to feel a difference. When in doubt, choose a lower to medium number.
What is a high tension/pre-tensed/tensor rubber sheet?
With the banning of VOC based glues (such as speed glues) and booster, manufacturers need another way to provide the extreme spin. Speed glue worked by swelling the sponge with what is basically a combination of rubber cement and paint thinner. This has the effect of massively stretching the topsheet beyond what would be done with normal manufacturing. Tension rubbers are rubbers where the topsheet is stretched before gluing it to the sponge during manufacturing.
There are two different methods of ‘tensioning’ rubber, chemical and mechanical:
Mechanically tensioned rubbers are produced by gluing the rubber topsheet to the sponge in a chamber with negative pressure (such as a weak vacuum), this causes the sponge to expand (visualize a marshmallow in a microwave).
Chemically tensioned rubbers are produced by the same basic method as normal speed gluing, but the solvent is soaked into the sponge itself instead of the glue. This allows stronger glues to be used which keeps the effect active for much longer than typical speed-glues and boosters.
It seems that each brand has their own twist to the above processes, here are some highlights:
What is anti-spin rubber?
An anti-spin rubber is a specialty rubber built to generate no spin on the ball at all. The term anti-spin is actually kind of a misnomer. The rubber does not automatically produce ‘flat’ shots, but instead it tends to ‘reverse’ the spin coming at you. If your opponent produces a hard top-spin shot, your return show will have a good amount of backspin.
Anti-spin topsheets are generally hard (and durable) and slick, more like a hard car tire than a normal table tennis rubber. The sponges range from medium soft to extremely soft. This has the effect of slowing the ball down, even to the extreme where dropping a ball on the rubber barely produces a bounce. The best example of this is the Butterfly Super Anti and Butterfly Super Anti Special.
There are two core groups who use anti-spin rubbers, “combination bat” players and beginning “modern defender” players. For combination bat players, anti-spin rubber (especially with soft sponges) allow the player to deal with hard, fast loops and drives and the speed changes can really throw off opponents. For modern defenders, the long term goal is usually to move on to long pipped rubbers. By starting with anti-spin, the players are able to focus on developing the fundamentals of their style.