It’s important to know how often to replace your rubber with a new sheet. Use an old one too long and you’ll be playing with reduced performance. Switch too often and you’re wasting money with very little benefit.
An inverted (smooth) rubber lasts roughly 60 hours for the average club player. If the player uses it every day for two hours, it should be changed once a month. If he/she uses it twice a week for two hours, it should be changed every four months.
In order to preserve the performance of the rubber and make sure it lasts 60 hours, it should be cleaned after each practice session and covered with a clean plastic protective sheet. The adhesive sheets are preferred.
Anti-spin rubbers can last 2-5 years. Since there is no friction, the rubber, like a fine wine, actually gets better with age. The only way for the anti-spin rubber to wear out is for the sponge to degrade. Check to ensure that the rubber bounces equally on all parts of the blade.
Pips rubbers usually last about 100-150 hours. The rubber is worn out when the pips begin to break or the sponge degrades, giving it an inconsistent bounce.
A properly performing rubber is crucial to your game. Follow these tips to make sure you’re maximizing your performance. Good luck!
Samson Dubina is an accomplished player and coach. He was the US Nationals Men’s Singles Finalist in 2010. Learn more about Samson.
Are you changing your rubber to often or too little?