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 Post subject: RITC 802
PostPosted: 28 Apr 2008, 21:36 
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I have the 2.0 version. The sponge is yellow. Am I correct that this doesn't seem to be a fast short pips? I have it on a fast blade (think Iolite or Gergely fast if you don't know Kazan) but I'm surprised it is still quite controllable even for the short game. It is faster than my inverted but then my inverted is the tackiness chop -- a defensive rubber.

I don't have experience with other short pips except the 802-40. I have used the 802-40 in 2.2mm super soft sponge, and that was quite fast. I have also tried the 802-40 in 1.5mm japanese sponge -- that one was a little slower, but I think the sponge was too thin.

I'm just wondering in the spectrum of short pips speed, where does the 802 lie?

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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2008, 23:08 
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If you speedglue it or use a harder sponge 802 can be very fast. The #15 player in the U.S. uses it with 2.3 GP3 (35 hardness) sponge and his shots are like rockets. You really have to hit through the ball though.

Short pips in general aren't very bouncy compared to inverted, so I think it's the low speed control that makes you feel it's slow. Once you smash with it it's plenty fast, but again it partly depends on the sponge.

A review from awhile back called 802 with medium sponge either slow or fast, not much inbetween: http://www.masatenisi.org/english/test2.htm

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 00:09 
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thanks for the link andrew.

i actually like that the 802 sponge is not bouncy. it is more controllable. i have no complaints when hitting. it is fast enough but I thought that was because of the blade.

i think mine is the chinese version because in the review it mentioned that the chinese sponge is yellow. but on the other hand the sponge doesn't feel hard to me.

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 00:14 
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addoydude wrote:
thanks for the link andrew.

i actually like that the 802 sponge is not bouncy. it is more controllable. i have no complaints when hitting. it is fast enough but I thought that was because of the blade.

i think mine is the chinese version because in the review it mentioned that the chinese sponge is yellow. but on the other hand the sponge doesn't feel hard to me.


Yes, I also prefer having the touch which gets even better with thinner sponge (I'm using 1.6). I don't think you can tell what country the sponge is from based on the color any more, too many different options.

The balsa core Kazan should also be (like my old Butterfly Layer Speed-R) slow at slow speeds and fast at fast speeds. A little hard to generate spin, but with short pips, that's not so much of an issue.

My 802-1 actually has slightly wider pips than 802, and at least in black seems a little bit spinnier than my red sheets of 802.

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 00:24 
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agooding2 wrote:
The balsa core Kazan should also be (like my old Butterfly Layer Speed-R) slow at slow speeds and fast at fast speeds. A little hard to generate spin, but with short pips, that's not so much of an issue.


I don't find it hard to generate spin with the Tackiness Chop at all :)

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 00:26 
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addoydude wrote:
agooding2 wrote:
The balsa core Kazan should also be (like my old Butterfly Layer Speed-R) slow at slow speeds and fast at fast speeds. A little hard to generate spin, but with short pips, that's not so much of an issue.


I don't find it hard to generate spin with the Tackiness Chop at all :)


Then that's a good match. I used to use either Chinese rubber or super thick soft sponge rubber (like Donic Supersonic) before I used short pips.

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 23:50 
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I still advocate the thickest softest possible sponge for shakehands players who play with SP on the BH side. I think penholders almost universally prefer thinner. The demands of the two styles are not the same.

Wang Tao used to say that one should play with soft sponge on the pips side, and the hardest possible sponge on the inverted side.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2008, 00:00 
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I think Johnny Huang and Wang Tao both used max sponge on their Spectol. Toshio Tasaki (a penholder) also liked 2.0 or thicker Yasaka T-Original. So it depends. I think those going from inverted are best served with thicker sponge, as soft as possible to begin with.

Players who block more seem to prefer thinner sponge, like David Zhuang, the top U.S. penholder who prefers 1.7 sponge.

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PostPosted: 01 May 2008, 00:20 
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I read somewhere (unverified) that Ding Song and Hou Yingchao both use 1.5. they are shakehanders and choppers.

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PostPosted: 01 May 2008, 01:41 
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Yeah, the thinner sponge makes sense for chopping, I could certainly chop better with the thinner Raystorm. However, I am not a chopper, and when I chop, it means I am off the table and in some trouble, and I am playing for time so I can get back closer to the table where I belong. I never want to chop more than once in a rally.

Shakehands attackers like Wang Tao, Johny Huang, Ai Fukuhara, tend to prefer thicker. It is definitely my experience. The thinner sponge on SP FELT better, but in spite of the feel was much less effective, especially when blocking hard loops or trying to mount an effective attack. I just couldn't get enough penetration with the thinner sponge.

Something Eric Owens used to tell me repeatedly -- "there is feel and then there is real" -- by which he meant many things, including the fact that video of oneself may be surprising in that your mental image of your own strokes may be wrong; and also that all sorts of bad habits or equipment choices come to feel comfortable, so that finally doing something correctly feels uncomfortable until it gets totally re-programmed.

A famous player in Korea told him to switch to harder (inverted) sponge when he was about 20; that soft stuff was a crutch from days when his level was lower, and that continued use of it was holding him back. He made the switch and says it felt terrible for awhile, but the results were very good. (I am starting to see it myself on my forehand side).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 May 2008, 02:10 
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Baal wrote:
Shakehands attackers like Wang Tao, Johny Huang, Ai Fukuhara, tend to prefer thicker. It is definitely my experience. The thinner sponge on SP FELT better, but in spite of the feel was much less effective, especially when blocking hard loops or trying to mount an effective attack. I just couldn't get enough penetration with the thinner sponge.


I came from thicker sponge, 2.2 to 2.0 to 1.8 and now to 1.6-1.5 sponge. It felt worse to begin with, but now I have much better control on my penhold forehand, serves, pushes, flips and blocks and I have only had to make minor adjustment to my attacking strokes.

While shakehand attackers might be better off with thicker sponge, keep in mind that I heard the ITTF says that Li Jai Wei uses 1.0 (!) Spectol.

I still think many players could benefit from slower equipment and going to thinner sponge is one way to do that.

I also used to use softer sponge, now I prefer medium sponge

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PostPosted: 01 May 2008, 05:05 
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Quote:
ITTF says that Li Jai Wei uses 1.0 (!) Spectol


Absolutely amazing if true. I've no reason to doubt it. One of my former Chinese coaches also plays pips on forehand, inverted on shakehand backhand. He uses 802-40 max on the forehand. He doesn't ever block many though! All the same, it is a strange style.

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PostPosted: 01 May 2008, 11:04 
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Li Jia Wei supposedly uses the TSP Hino-Carbon blade which is rated very fast.

I have not been using shorts pips for long, but I've tried, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.2. All on fast blades. The 2.0 that I have right now seems to be just right. I have very good control over the table and still fast for hitting. But it's hard to make conclusive comparisons because I had them on all different blades and types of sponges and even types of topsheet (802 & 802-40).

I have 1.8 802 and 1.8 889 coming next week, so will see if that thickness is better. I really found the 1.5 too slow, but the sponge (Koman, or something like that; it was custom assembled) may have been the reason for it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 02 May 2008, 00:18 
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I imagine speed and stiffness of blade play a huge role in this.

I use a Viscaria (speed is OFF, soft feel, a bit flexible). Conventional wisdom is that pips should be used on hard fast blades because it gives a somewhat weirder ball that is more effective. Coaches in China just shook their heads when they saw what I was using (well partly this is because they couldn't communicate with me in a common language). So, a few weeks ago I bought a Bttfly Ai Fukuhara special from Prosports in Malaysia (I had very good service from them at a good price -- this blade is not available in the US). It is very very fast and stiff.

I couldn't do anything at all with it! My inverted forehand was completely messed up -- it felt like I was playing with a fast piece of glass, no spin no control, a nightmare -- but even my backhand was sailing. Maybe I needed 1.9 mm sponge instead of 2.1.

Anyway, I went back to my Viscaria bearing in mind that even if I could make the adjustments in my BH quickly, I need to be able to loop from my forehand side, even if it is from much closer in than back in my younger loopier days!

I am very curious as to what it is that Ai Fukuhara actually plays with since Bttfly has sold three different blades with her name on it, and I think maybe she switched companies at some point. and doesn't use any of them.

But the way, as a former inverted player I found Spectol to be hard to play with, a pity since it gave a very annoying ball to my opponent, and it is favored by many world class players.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 02 May 2008, 00:32 
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I also prefer a hard and fast blade with short pips, like my Joola Guo 3C (which my Chinese coach found a bit too hard, he prefers an Avalox P-700). I switched to a Yasaka Max Wood, which is very low throw and linear but I found that I needed to speed glue to get enough throw.

I am now using a 110 gram custom carbon blade that's a bit softer and that is working very well for me, good thing as I'll soon have 3 identical ones. A bit too heavy for inverted rubber though.

I also found Spectol hard to play with initially, but I am now using 1.8 on my backhand and I liked 1.5 on my forehand. I am going to try the harder sponge Spectol Speed (in 1.8) and the tensioned Tyranno (in 2.0) once my One of a Kind order gets here.

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Jack Miller custom Kevlar/carbon Chinese style penhold
Armstrong Attack 3L 40 1.8 red
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TSP Spectol Blue 43 hardness 1.5 red
Air Scirocco SN 1.8 black


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