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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 04:34 
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Chopoleon Bonaparte
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Hi, I play at just under the U.S. 2000 level with OX long pips on my backhand that I use both to block and chop and have been playing with inverted on my forehand for awhile, but I'm thinking to try out short pips on my forehand because my backhand defense/attacks result in many very attackable dead balls or attackable light underspin that I should be putting away with my forehand, but I miss too many of those because I'm not in position to attack them, so I am thinking that a shorter stroke of the sort short pips players can use that allows me to hit through underspin would help out here.

Because I can use my backhand to cover most of the table when I'm playing in close (and I also twiddle), I don't need short pips on my forehand that have a disturbing effect on blocks or that are at all similar to long pips. In fact, I want the opposite: short pips that are close to inverted. I want to be able to serve with spin, loop if I need to, hit and even chop. A few options I'm considering:
Spinlord Waran
Andro Blowfish +
TSP Superspinpips
TSP Spectol 21

If anyone is familiar with any of these or has other suggestions, that would be much appreciated. Thanks.

_________________
I. Re-Impact Smart; FH: TSP Spinpips RED 2.1mm; BH: Dr. Neubauer Gangster OX
II. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Spinlord Waran 1.8mm; BH: Giant Dragon Snowflake OX
III. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: Joola Badman Reloaded OX
IV. Victas Koji Matsushita; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: TSP P-1R 1.0-1.3mm
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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2016, 06:02 
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Spinlord Waran would be an excellent option. The other obvious one to try is 802-40.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 04:06 
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Hey TT, I am looking to do something similar with my game. I have used LP on my backhand for 10 years now, and can cover the table blocking and chopping with them--that is a staple of my game. But, my inverted attack (always used tacky Chinese rubbers, like Hurricane 2) had just been inconsistent--I just can't seem to get much above USATT level 2000. I know that my lack of a good forehand attack is holding me back. I also tried Jap-Euro inverted rubbers for awhile, and they did not suit me. I will often get weak returns from my opponent after hitting them a nasty pips ball, but then I can't seem to put that next ball away well enough. I like the idea of hitting with a short flat stroke more as opposed to looping, as blocking type strokes seem to suit me. Additionally, I like how the flat drives with SP gives some guys trouble. So, with my controlled LP on my backhand, and SP on my forehand, I am hoping to really mess guys up.

Now, I do understand that a strength of LP play comes as you introduce heavier spin into the rally with inverted, and I will no longer have that. But I am hoping with the SP to keep the bigger hitters off balance with flat balls and quick attacks that don't let them get set up for their offense.

I slapped an old sheet of Stiga Clippa (1.9 sponge, I think) on my Hallmark Aurora blade, and I really liked the results. I absolutely loved flat smashing the ball, and my shots really gave some of our club's better loopers some real issues. But, I also made many unforced errors. So, obviously, I need to get in lots of robot time to figure the new angles out. My short game needs LOTS of work with these SP.

As your journey sounds somewhat similar to mine, I would be curious to see your progress with the SP game, hearing what you like about your new game, and also your struggles. I am going to give this type of game an honest effort for several months, and see where it takes me. I have read some really good articles (Kees et al) on SP technique, and I'll keep trying to read all the articles I can.

Good luck with your new game, TT! Here's hoping that we will both find a new, effective, and fun wrinkle to our games.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 04:26 
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I've been using TSP Super Spinpips 21 1.9-2.1mm and like it better than other SP rubbers I've campaigned recently including.. TSP Spectol 21 Offense, 729 Legend 105, Doublefish 820A, GuoQiu SUPERSONIC(Japan Sponge), Sanwei Ghost, Globe 889-2 (Japan Sponge), and a slew of DHS SPs.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2016, 07:00 
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So I'd decided to go with the Spinlord Waran 1.8mm, which arrived yesterday, and I had my first practice session with my coach with it on my forehand today (GD Snowflake OX on backhand on my Sauer & Troger Firestarter Blade). So far, very promising ... though, of course, I have lots to learn. I cannot compare this rubber against any other short pips, as I've played with short pips before.

Pushes: Pushes were easy and surprisingly heavy, especially when I twiddled and pushed with my backhand. My coach said the backhand pushes were actually heavier than with inverted. Makes no sense, but this is a good sign, as I feared I'd be giving up too much spin on pushes, resulting in easy putaways. Apparently not ... though I haven't tested these out in an actual challenging game yet.

Chops: Just as with pushes, very oddly and unexpectedly, my first chop off of a drive was super-loaded (more than with inverted). My coach, who is a 2500 player, kept netting that first ball. Just as oddly, I had more trouble generating heavy spin and keeping it low on subsequent chops (after loops as opposed to drives). I have no idea why this is and would've expected the opposite, but it got substantially better with a bit of practice, so I'm assuming it has to do with my technique, and maybe I need to go a bit more forward and into the ball on those subsequent chops than I'm used to doing with inverted. Since chopping is a core part of my game, I am thrilled that the first chop is heavy. My coach also had more trouble dealing with the difference in spin between short pips and long pips (especially when I twiddled on chops) than he did when I used long pips/inverted. Not sure why. Perhaps he needs time to adjust as well.

Blocking: My inverted instincts kept getting me in trouble, but when I started opening the blade up to 90 degrees, waiting a bit longer and sometimes adding a bit of forward motion on blocks, the blocks starting landing quite nicely. As I noted in my first post in this thread, I'm not looking to do anything funky on forehand blocks because I have my backhand for that, but I saw some "funk" happening on occasion. But I don't really know what I'm doing for now.

Hitting/looping: This is the part where, of course, I need the most work. I just don't have any consistency yet, though I can see that there's a lot of potential here. I fiddled with shorter and more compact swings, longer swings, more open swings, more closed swings, more forward (as opposed to upward) swings, a bit of wrist action, etc. Some things worked, some didn't, but I can't reach any firm conclusions yet. I can definitely see that I need to go into the ball rather than grazing it, and shortening my swing seems to work most of the time, but then sometimes it didn't. What I can definitely say is that the result was a more challenging ball to return than I could generate with my inverted loop. I will just have to wait to get more practice in to figure out this part of the game and if/how it will work for me.

Twiddling/backhand attacking: Unlike forehand, using the pips on my backhand seemed quite easy and natural. I was able to drive the ball pretty easily and attacking high underspin was also pretty consistent. This is great because I've been twiddling from long pips to inverted more often lately to finish the point against loose underspin balls, but that too often results in overshooting the target, and short pips seemed like they could offer more consistency here.

Serving: I didn't get much serving in today. At the end of the practice session, I played one match against a kid who was about 1500, and I had no trouble beating him 3-0 without trying too hard, despite the unfamiliar rubber on my forehand. I tried a variety of serves, and none of them got punished with devastating loops, so that's good. I also tried as much as I could to actually USE my short pips (as opposed to the long pips for everything), and I made very few errors, got a few good blocks in and even killed two high balls with them. Of course, I still won most of my points using my bread-and-butter aggressive long pips no-spin push, which the kid had no clue what to do with, but that's to be expected.

This could end up being an experiment that lasts a few weeks, a few months or long term. As yet, I can't say. Would be curious to know how you do with the switch, Jim.

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I. Re-Impact Smart; FH: TSP Spinpips RED 2.1mm; BH: Dr. Neubauer Gangster OX
II. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Spinlord Waran 1.8mm; BH: Giant Dragon Snowflake OX
III. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: Joola Badman Reloaded OX
IV. Victas Koji Matsushita; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: TSP P-1R 1.0-1.3mm
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PostPosted: 01 May 2016, 17:06 
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Very interesting post. Look forward to reading more.

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PostPosted: 22 May 2016, 22:55 
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Doc's Tornado Ultra is quite spinny. very good for chops with 1.5 sponge.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2016, 06:01 
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fazer227 wrote:
Doc's Tornado Ultra is quite spinny. very good for chops with 1.5 sponge.

Thanks. I'm trying Spinlord Waran for now, but will keep this in mind for any future experimentation.

For anyone interested in my progress, after a few weeks of practice, it's still very much a learning process, but I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable with the basic fact that there are short pips rather than inverted on my forehand, and it's being reflected in results. As compared with inverted, I'm attacking many more underspin balls with my forehand. I'm doing a short quasi-loop using a fan-like motion with my wrist and a bit of forearm, resulting in a ball that might not be the fastest or spinniest in the world, but I make up for it with good placement that the more compact stroke allows me to control, and then if it's not an outright winner, I often get a weak return that I can smash. This works for my game because I never was going to be the kind of player who would loop anyone off the table. Instead, I control the table with my long pips, and I can use my short pips to change spin while twiddling and to finish points. It also looks to me so far like I haven't given up too much in terms of serves (if anything, my opponents are making more errors in reading my spin on serves).

Two things that I need more work on: blocks against loops and backhand attacks against underspin. My blocking is a bit better than it was when I first started, but I'm still missing too many of these. Sometimes, I seem to be catching the ball too low on my blade, and when it hits near the bottom of the blade, it just seems to go straight down. And then, on strong loops, I seem to be overshooting the table too often. Perhaps I need to close my blade face more. As far as backhand attacks, a player who uses short pips on his backhand showed me the technique this week, and I've started practicing it, but it's not something I'm ready to unfurl in matches quite yet. The timing is quite delicate, and I don't have it down at this stage.

_________________
I. Re-Impact Smart; FH: TSP Spinpips RED 2.1mm; BH: Dr. Neubauer Gangster OX
II. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Spinlord Waran 1.8mm; BH: Giant Dragon Snowflake OX
III. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: Joola Badman Reloaded OX
IV. Victas Koji Matsushita; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: TSP P-1R 1.0-1.3mm
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PostPosted: 26 May 2016, 04:23 
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Well, TT, as I was reading your progress report with SP, I was smiling, because our journeys seem so very similar. I also struggled trying to find the right angle with blocking against loops, especially shorter, very spinny loops, and in the heat of battle my muscle memory often had me angling my bat at "inverted rubber" angles, which would result in the ball going into the net. :@ But, I am slowly improving with that, week by week.

I so very much want to ingrain the proper SP strokes into my muscle memory against all kinds of balls, and hitting with a robot is a good way to do that (or multi-ball, but no one at our club seems to want to do that very much). BUT, our club robot has been lent out to a few players for home use, and I won't get to use it for another 3-4 weeks. I feel that after I really get a chance to hit different balls and also learn the "touch" for rolling against backspin and other delicate shots, I will be more effective.

That being said, I am not consistently losing matches to anyone in my club with this change of style. I will occasionally lose a match here and there, but that would normally happen when I had inverted on my forehand anyway. And right now, if I lose games or matches, it is most often because of unforced errors on my part with my SP, due to my inexperience with it. Between my LP backhand (which I attack with) and my SP forehand, I am more effectively keeping my opponents from attacking than ever before. Once I quit making so many unforced errors with my SP, look out! My club mates are already complaining about the "weird balls" and how much of a headache it gives them to have to continually and mentally ask themselves, "Did he hit that with SP or LP?" Especially when I twiddle and hit the LP on forehand.

What I am finding to be lots of fun is the new style and strategy that SP requires. One of the staples of my game over the years has been blocking, and blocking with SP and the variations in spin you can make seems to be more effective than my inverted blocks were. The hitting style is easy on my arm and shoulder (but I gotta learn to move my feet more to get into better hitting position!), and I love the way one can keep opponents off balance by fast-attacking the middle continually until you get a ball to put away. I have spent hours reading what other forum members have written about SP tactics and strokes, and it has proven to be SO helpful, and I hope it will help keep me from developing bad stroking habits.

Since I play Seemiller-style, I am finding good success right now with a quick backhand against backspin balls hit to my backhand side. This was always a little bit of a liability for me. With my LP, I would often be able to set up weak backspin pushes from my opponents to my backhand side, but I had trouble "putting those balls away" with inverted. But the SP hits are crisp and direct, and I can place them with good accuracy. Of all the strokes I am learning with the SP, this one is the one I am most excited about, and I hope that it will fill a hole that I have had in my game.

Another thing I am exploring with is hitting against no-spin balls. Since I am a LP player, I get a LOT of no-spin serves from my opponents to my backhand. For whatever reason, I just could not counter those consistently with my backhand (again, with Seemiller-style, I can hit a backhand with either side of the bat, as I can switch from regular backhand to Seemiller backhand). But returning with the LP produced a predictable low-spin return, which my better opponents would kill. And I just couldn't return--let alone attack--a high enough percentage of those serves with my inverted backhand. So, it was a real weakness in my game, and very frustrating for me. But with the SP, I am finding that I can return those balls with just a little flick of my Seemiller backhand, and, provided I don't over-hit, they stay nice and low. But I am nowhere near proficient or consistent with that shot yet. Stay tuned on that one.

Serving... Playing with sticky Chinese rubber for the past 13 years, my goal had always been to introduce as much spin into the rally as possible, so as to make my LP attacks more nasty and effective. In changing to SP, my concern was that I would lose this aspect of the game, and therefore lose LP effectiveness, especially in drawing weak returns so as to set up my attacks. But, I am pleasantly surprised at how much backspin I can get on serves, and how, by contacting the ball higher or lower on the blade, I can create a LOT of spin differential (just like with inverted, but it seems more critical to me now with SP). With my inverted rubber, I had some nicely-disguised serves that I just can't hit with the same effectiveness now. It seems that I can't hit as wide a variety of spinny serves as before. I am going to have to put some real time into working on this aspect of my game--especially placement and variety of speeds.

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PostPosted: 27 May 2016, 05:38 
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I actually played yesterday against a 2300+ player with whom I practice a lot, and my fast and dead short pips blocks gave him lots of trouble, as he acknowledged.

Interestingly, while some players at my club, including some of the long-time pips users, had suggested I might be making a mistake in moving to short pips because of the loss of the stark difference between long pips and inverted, especially when I twiddle, the funny thing is that I'm getting more errors from opponents in misreading my spin. Perhaps they'll adjust, but that's been my experience for the time being. (And, yes, like you say, Jim, this is particularly tricky for people when I vary between attacking with long pips and attacking with short pips.)

Like you, I've also spent lots of time reading through short pips training material posted by people on this forum, especially Kees, as well as watching videos, and that's been invaluable in speeding up my adjustment.

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I. Re-Impact Smart; FH: TSP Spinpips RED 2.1mm; BH: Dr. Neubauer Gangster OX
II. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Spinlord Waran 1.8mm; BH: Giant Dragon Snowflake OX
III. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: Joola Badman Reloaded OX
IV. Victas Koji Matsushita; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: TSP P-1R 1.0-1.3mm
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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2016, 07:36 
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So, for anyone who's interested, I think I've seen enough at this point to make the transition to short pips on my forehand permanent (or, at least, long-term). I can loop, chop, push, block, hit and serve with spin, I'm making fewer errors and putting away more loose balls, while the difference between my short pips forehand and long pips backhand is great enough that opponents make errors in adjusting to the difference in spin, especially when I twiddle and attack with one or the other. I'm getting better results against the same opponents. As of now, I see no reason to go back to inverted.

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I. Re-Impact Smart; FH: TSP Spinpips RED 2.1mm; BH: Dr. Neubauer Gangster OX
II. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Spinlord Waran 1.8mm; BH: Giant Dragon Snowflake OX
III. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: Joola Badman Reloaded OX
IV. Victas Koji Matsushita; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: TSP P-1R 1.0-1.3mm
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PostPosted: 23 Aug 2016, 12:53 
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Hey, TT, I'm glad that you have progressed in your game with the short pips to the point where it is now your permanent setup! I gave it a good effort, putting in lots and lots of hours in robot practice and match play. I loved hitting right off the bounce, and the issues the SP/LP combo gave my opponents. When I got into position, I could really pour on the offense. BUT...I found that I simply could not get my footwork to be fast enough to get into position to be as offensive and effective as I wanted to be. My opponents would soon learn to continuously attack my backhand with quick counter-drives, which I could return with the long pips or with a Seemiller style hit with the short pips. But I couldn't get a real aggressive attack. Also, I really, really missed my forehand brush loop with the tacky inverted rubber. That had just become so much of my game, that I couldn't offset that with whatever dangers my short pips could produce. Also, a lot of my game is set up with heavy spin serves and disguised serves, which I couldn't do to the same level with the short pips. I am glad that I gave it a try, as I did learn some things about short pips that will help me in future play.

Now that I have gone back to the inverted on my forehand, I am just so much more comfortable. All of my club mates say that my game is MUCH more effective with the inverted on my forehand.

But again, I am glad that YOU made the transition, and are doing well! Continued good luck to you as you progress with your new style!

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PostPosted: 23 Aug 2016, 20:21 
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This style certainly demands good footwork. I do a lot of drills with my coach for this, and it's made a big difference. Regarding attack into the BH, the way I'm approaching it is to say: you can attack into my BH as long as you like - I'll get it back, in different places, and you'll either hit one long, or into the net, or hit one high, which I'll attack. The other approach is to have a rule of thumb that says 3 shots into the backhand, and then look to play an aggressive FH from the BH corner.

The brush loop was something I didn't get the hang of with inverted, so I don't miss that, and I find that I can generate plenty of spin with my SP on serve.

I think you might find that you're more effective with inverted because of your period with SP. So_devo has found this, on his backhand!

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PostPosted: 23 Aug 2016, 20:34 
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I had a good chat with Sharad Pandit yesterday about short pimples (if you don't know him, there is a thread on him on this forum), after he beat me in our pennant match. He uses Xiom Zava on his forehand, and he gets very good spin on his serves. Against deep backspin serves he tends to roll them back, creating a low and low-spin ball, wich he places well and is hard to attack. Anything short he can flick back or place them so well it's again hard to attack. Any fast topspin attacks he blocks back with easy. Slow, deep and heavy topspin or backspin he says is harder to attack, so that's a good strategy against short pimple players.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2016, 06:43 
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Interesting how different your experience with short pips is from mine, Jim. I don't know whether this is due to equipment or technique or what....

If I had an effective brush loop like you do, I probably would never have made the switch in the first place. Like LordCope, however, I didn't really have a brush loop with inverted and needed to do a long looping stroke that I often wasn't set up to do because I would often stand in a backhand-dominant posture to allow for blocking or was back from the table to allow for chopping, and I would have all these great opportunities to put loose balls away but would make many mistakes. I was frustrated because too many of the points I'd lose weren't on some great shot by my opponent that I'd failed to return, but rather, on my own mistakes putting away loose balls on which I should've won the point. This was the biggest reason for my switch to short pips, and it's also the main reason I see the switch as a success for me. Because of the shorter stroke short pips permits in attacking, I stopped making all those unforced errors on putaways. Even if I'm caught with the wrong foot forward, I can now generally still -- depending on the ball's height and spin -- either hit through the ball or perform a kind of controlled brush loop with short pips that I was never able to execute with inverted and that sets up a smash on the next shot. In other words, short pips are actually helping me cover up my sometimes bad footwork.

Moreover, when I twiddle to short pips on my backhand, my backhand attack has now become a weapon that it never used to be. I've always attacked effectively from my backhand with shovel pushes and aggressive pushes with my long pips, but now I can also attack very effectively on my backhand with short pips as well, and it's consistent enough that I'm regularly beating a 2000-level classical defender against whom I often play by using my short pips backhand loops to end points. The short pips backhand loop is a particularly effective shot for me because it doesn't require me to switch out of my backhand-dominant stance and because I can direct the ball anywhere on the table pretty easily.

As I've said in previous posts, I have also found, to my surprise, that I'm seeing more netted balls in response to my short pips serves, pushes and chops than I ever saw with inverted. I don't quite understand this, but I won't complain. There's still a VERY big difference between the two sides of my blade, and that's enough to generate plenty of opponent errors. I'm also finally getting more comfortable with short pips blocks, which I find require me to take the ball just a bit later than I used to with inverted, but when I do that, the result is quite effective.

But, reiterating the point I started out with, if I had an effective forehand brush loop like you do, I'd probably never have thought to make a switch. I'm pretty sure at this point that this setup works for me (and, after some initial skepticism, everyone in my club agrees), but to each his own, and I hope that the short pips detour continues to help you in your return to inverted. Good luck.

_________________
I. Re-Impact Smart; FH: TSP Spinpips RED 2.1mm; BH: Dr. Neubauer Gangster OX
II. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Spinlord Waran 1.8mm; BH: Giant Dragon Snowflake OX
III. Sauer & Troger Firestarter; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: Joola Badman Reloaded OX
IV. Victas Koji Matsushita; FH: Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft 1.8mm; BH: TSP P-1R 1.0-1.3mm
USATT Rating: 2037


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