Making the correct choice of table tennis gear need not be difficult. We will present here, recommendations which will, hopefully, help.
Attacking players, who rely mostly on loops and power shots, usually prefer rubbers with high spin and high speed.
Players, who base their game on spinny shots, as well as some defenders, prefer rubbers with a high spin rating, while defenders choose slower rubbers.
However, the higher the speed rating of the rubber, the harder it is to control the ball, also a rubber which is capable of producing high spin, is usually very sensitive to incoming spin. In other words, a higher speed/spin rating always reduces the level of control.
One of the main factors affecting speed/spin ratings is the thickness of the sponge. The thinner the sponge, the easier it is to control the rubber. Thicker sponges also increase overall weight of the paddle; thinner sponges are lighter and usually afford you a better feel of the blade.
We do not recommend sponges thicker 2.1 mm (05/64 in.) to any developing player!
The majority of players use so called inverted (or smooth) rubbers, which have the top sheet with pips on the inner side of the surface. Inverted rubbers generate the most spin and power of all rubber types.
Short pips (rubbers with pips out) are preferred by attackers who are mostly interested not in spin, but in speed and reliable ball handling close to the table. Though it should be noted that the longer the distance from the table, the less effective attacking with any pips becomes. Some short pips can also be used away from the table to chop with quite effectively. This can be good for some modern defensive styles. Also, short pips rubbers can be used by players who are not comfortable playing against high spin.
Long pips rubbers tend to reverse the spin coming from the opponent and anti-spin rubbers tend to neutralize incoming spin and speed. Therefore, they are often used to confuse the other player to force a mistake. However, these rubbers are usually very difficult to use to attack, so they are almost always used in combination with inverted rubbers on the other side of your racket. Many long pips (usually with sponge) are also used to chop at long distances and can be a great choice for a variety of defensive styles.