Textured vs non textured paddle surface

Over the past couple of years more and more manufacturers are adding a texture to the paddle surface. The theory is that the rougher surface will provide more grip on contact with the ball providing, more spin and keeping the ball from sliding on the paddle when playing in the rain or with a harder ball.

Texture types

The textured on the playing surface can be molded into the surface or added to the finish. There are pros and cons to adding a texture as well as each texture type.

A molded texture will be more consistent over time as it generally doesn’t ware off.
With a non molded surface, small partials of a sand like material are added to the finish to create a nonslip, sandpaper like surface. The problem is that the partials are small and have very little surface area to bind properly in the finish. These particles eventually ware off and what is left is a hard, smooth surface with very little grip at all, effectively meaning early paddle replacement for those that are looking for big spin.

Spin

Do you need a textured paddle surface to spin the ball? The answer is no. Can you put more spin on a ball with a surface texture, probably yes.

With a non textured finish it is the paddle surface it’s self that is all important. If the finish or the actual playing surface of the paddle is too hard it will make the paddle less efficient at spinning the ball. A softer playing surface matched with softer finish can still provide huge amounts of spin without having a texture. For those of us in colder climates think of it the same as the stopping power of snow tires on ice. Snow tires are a softer compound than summer tires. That being said temperature will have an effect on the hardness of the paddle surface. If you play outdoors in very low temperatures a softer playing surface will become harder, decreasing the ability to create spin.

Pros and cons

In our opinion, there are a couple of down sides to a textured surface. The theory is that unless you are an advanced player you should be more focused on developing your technique rather than looking for an advertised quick advantage. You will be tempted to spin when you shouldn’t and you will ultimately end up with an abundance of unforced errors, which are more detrimental to the outcome of your game than not having enough spin on the ball.

Another disadvantage with some textured surfaces is they can shorten ball life by cutting into the surface. Further the damaged ball surface exacerbates the problem of debris being picked up by the ball and transferred to the paddle, ultimately damaging the paddle surface.

Which is better



So is a textured surface better than a non textured surface? In this authors opinion, not unless you are above a 4.0 to 4.5 player, someone else is supplying the balls, and you continuously play outdoors in the pouring rain or sub zero temperatures. Then, maybe.