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PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 11:02 
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There seems to be some confusion with the meaning of this term... Some blade makers (eg Re-impact) and some rubber manufacturers (eg TSP, JUIC) use it , but I'm unclear what the real meaning is. Some seem to interpret as a 'glue effect', other say it's to do with the bounciness or rebound of a bat/blade. It may be something that simply gets lost in the interpretation from one language to another...

What do you think it means?

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PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 11:37 
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Catapult effect on a balsa blade represents the increase in power on a hard hit in comparison to the linear response of a normal blade.

Image

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PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 11:40 
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Can also be called "trampoline" effect.

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PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 12:39 
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Wow, that's great info! :clap:

I think a lot of flexible blades are far from linear as well though... they seem to be much more powerful when they start to flex.

I also think that balsa drops off a little at the top end, which the graph does not indicate.

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PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 02:56 
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I would have attributed catapult effect more to rubbers than blades, although I can see it more with a balsa blade. I think it refers to the "throw-back" the rubber (or wood I guess) applies to the ball by springing it back as the material returns to its normal state from the "bended state" the ball caused it to go into by its impact.

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PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 07:14 
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In my opinion catapult effect is what we can also call the slingshot effect and is more to do with blades since rubbers are elastic by nature and the catapult effect in a rubber or sponge is the norm, not an exception. In blades it refers to the incidence of the blade bending upon impact and then straightening back. This straightening back flings the ball back and this momentum is added to the force that we are putting into the stroke and we end up sending the ball a greater distance than we intended to. This is the catapult effect and that is why we also often see players suggesting that a flexible blade may not be great for the short game because of the catapult effect. The trampoline effect would be more accurate as a description of how a sponge rubber reacts upon impact.

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PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 13:49 
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Given all member inputs thus far, it is safe to assume the term "catapult effect" when used in the table tennis context carries the following meanings:

it is a description of the glue-effect of a rubbersheet;
it refers to the resilience of a blade and/or rubbersheet;
it is also known as "trampoline effect" and "slingshot effect"

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PostPosted: 16 May 2010, 18:58 
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For me, it is applied to blade only. But this can be bad or good. If you loop, the trampoline effect gives you extra speed and extra kick (spin related). But if you smash the ball (no spin ball), trampoline effect actually bad for you, it reduces the top speed. That's why flexy blades are good for loopers especially but not good for smasher.

One more thing, flexy blades are not that forgiving. You have to be precise, because with the smaller sweet spot, you must be flawless in executing your shots. It helps you in learning the game better, but it is bad when you get older and your concentration is declining.


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