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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2017, 18:11 
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gus_goose wrote:
Emily Wang from the video was using Mizuno SPs for a couple of years. I don't think she was sponsored by them.

At lower level, I can't see difference with balls on SPs. My overall favorite is Haifu Dolphin but difficult to get with consistent sponge. Went back to the Friendship cheapies.


I agree with the choice for Friendship SP's, as 802-1 and 802 on their regular sponges (orange Tackspeed for 802 and white HRS for 802-1) are very consistent. Friendship Mystery sponges are a different story, though; they are faster, very much softer and offer much less control and consistency. As I understand it, these new sponges were developed to solve the problem of the decrease in speed when speed-gluing was banned, but in my opinion only the green sponge Friendship uses for the 105 Legend (a raw pip) more or less meets the demand.
It is not just Friendship that has problems with developing faster sponges for SP, though. If speed were the only problem, it would be easier to tackle the difficulties, but with SP an increase in speed really demands an increase in spin as well. For, if a ball bounces high and can be smashed in a straight line to the opponents halve, no spin is needed, but this is an exception; and in all other instances there needs to be some curve in the ball's trajectory. The faster it travels, the more the trajectory needs to be curved, or you would blast it over the table. With inverted rubbers, more spin simply means more grip, either by increasing the friction of the topsheet or the softness and elasticity of the sponge, or both; but with SPs, when the grip is increased, they lose their pimples' character to the same extent - that makes it difficult to design a faster SP with enough grip, for it has to get the balls on the table, without losing its pimples' character. Therefore, using a softer and more elastic sponge with the same topsheet will generally not be ideal, as the increase of grip will decrease the pimples' character of the rubber. As far as I know, no manufacturer has come up with a really good solution, so far. Therefore, if speed is a problem for you, the alternative is to get a faster, but more flexible and/or softer blade - more flex or more softness will allow to put more spin on the ball. All-wood blades are by far the best choice for this.

I'd like to add, though, that the need for speed is often not as high as one might be led to believe by the many complaints about the plastic ball. Effective SP play is based on precision, more than on speed. Precision demands a rubber with (relatively) low friction, as, otherwise, incoming spin would affect your control. With SP, you have to be able to drive in an almost straight line, more or less regardless of the incoming spin, again and again; only then you will be able to decrease the opponents reaction time enough to force him to play balls of less quality and take advantage of that to hit, eventually, a winner. This is why, in my opinion, a number of modern SP's, designed with high spin values (to compensate for the very high speed), are hardly better for SP play than a fast inverted rubber would be - they are too much affected by incoming spin. And for this reason, also, old-fashioned rubbers like Friendships 802 and 802-1, or DHS 652 and 651, or even Globe 889 and 889-2 on their old-fashioned sponges will do better with the plastic ball, especially on fast but not too stiff wooden blades. Theoretically, perhaps, one might put a very fast and extremely spinny modern SP on a high-speed, rock-hard carbon blade and get similar effectiveness, at a higher level of pace; but the control would be so low that you would have to train on a pro level to play successfully with it.

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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2017, 19:59 
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Absolutely superb post, Kees.

Although I don't play with SP on my FH any more, everything you describe is exactly as I have experienced, and as I have attempted to communicate here and elsewhere. I especially agree that modern, springy, spinny SPs really are very much like inverted, only without the added benefits of spin variation and generation provided by inverted.

My top recommendation remains regular 802 2.0mm on regular orange sponge on a 7-ply all wood blade such as a clipper or P700. This is controlled, precise, sufficiently spin-resistant, and fast enough. I am also a big fan of 651, although the newer version of 651 (still on yellow sponge) has slightly different pips - the older version is better. For this reason 652, or even Dragonow, are also very good options.

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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2017, 02:52 
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+1 to Kees post.

I think we've all feel for this (I know i have) a time or two in wanting to hit fast but IMO SP play is about the variation in speed & placement more so than power.

Right now i have 802-40 on a custom 2.2 30deg soft sponge. It's not tuned an compared to some more modern rubbers, I'm sure it's slower. But if I'm being honest, I don't really need more speed. That rubber on my Clipper when i hit it hard is plenty fast. No doubt about that. Furthermore, I've recently added to my game and am loving the touch little drop shot just barely dribbles over the net vs short backspin serves when i don't want to flip. This shot is easy to execute with SPs and if I had a super fast, tuned sponge, it would be much harder to execute. I feel like outside of the placement game short pips offers, now opponents have to think short or long vs just watching to see if I play them wide left or right.

Long story short, speed isn't everything IMO. It's a give & take. Give me control in my SP play over speed any day.

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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 13:46 
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suds79 wrote:
bbkon wrote:
suds79 wrote:
Had a hit with a friend of mine's Stiga Royal on a Stiga Offensive CR blade I think it was.

My first impressions is that the pips on it are straight. Not Conical like 802 or 802-40 are. The pip tops are textured just like 802. I would even say the pip size is about the same as 802 but smaller than 802-40. The sponge on the Stiga Royal is nice & springy. Pretty soft.

Honestly? It just seemed very similar to 802 to me which is high praise in my book. But having said that, why go that when you can get 802 or 802-40 at a fraction of the cost? I still prefer the 802 series. Best topsheet for me I've tried.

None of these rubbers, Stiga Royal or any 802 on any sponge I've tried were as fast ast TSP Spectol Red. That tuned sponge was a rocket. However I hated the spectol topsheet. About the lowest grip (classic type) topsheet as I've ever tried for a short pip.


but if royal pips are like a cylinder then must play diffrent to 802? how about the spin and control compared to 802?


While I agree with you in practice given the different shape, for me personally if I took a blind test without seeing the label or inspecting the pips, I'd have a hard time telling the difference. It simply felt similar to regular 802 to me.

The sponge was quite nice on the Royal though. Springy.


how tricky is royal when you block loops? the only pro player with royal is a english chinese girl .

i play cpen but i have a new spectol soft in my drawer. I played witha worn spectol and noticed its not tricky anymore wonder if other players are using spectol soft and speed with good results or spectols are outdated?


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 13:47 
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suds79 wrote:
bbkon wrote:
suds79 wrote:
Had a hit with a friend of mine's Stiga Royal on a Stiga Offensive CR blade I think it was.

My first impressions is that the pips on it are straight. Not Conical like 802 or 802-40 are. The pip tops are textured just like 802. I would even say the pip size is about the same as 802 but smaller than 802-40. The sponge on the Stiga Royal is nice & springy. Pretty soft.

Honestly? It just seemed very similar to 802 to me which is high praise in my book. But having said that, why go that when you can get 802 or 802-40 at a fraction of the cost? I still prefer the 802 series. Best topsheet for me I've tried.

None of these rubbers, Stiga Royal or any 802 on any sponge I've tried were as fast ast TSP Spectol Red. That tuned sponge was a rocket. However I hated the spectol topsheet. About the lowest grip (classic type) topsheet as I've ever tried for a short pip.


but if royal pips are like a cylinder then must play diffrent to 802? how about the spin and control compared to 802?


While I agree with you in practice given the different shape, for me personally if I took a blind test without seeing the label or inspecting the pips, I'd have a hard time telling the difference. It simply felt similar to regular 802 to me.

The sponge was quite nice on the Royal though. Springy.


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PostPosted: 14 Feb 2018, 10:21 
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[quote="mynamenotbob"][/quote

who is playing with pips? I guess both girls and what pips is using the asian girl?


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 15:08 
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Girl in blue is using SP on her F/H.

Her F/H loops have less spin than expected and are usually 'soft' loops. But when she loops underspin her opponent often hits long because the loop looked the same but now has more top spin than expected.

This video is a great example of SP's messing up an inverted player's game. The poor girl in black (using inverted) hits so flat with her F/H that there is no margin when the incoming spin isn't what she is expecting. Maybe she should be the one using SP on her F/H! She certainly has a great stroke for it, and the incoming spin wouldn't be such an issue.

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PostPosted: 18 Apr 2018, 14:00 
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Kees wrote:
gus_goose wrote:
Emily Wang from the video was using Mizuno SPs for a couple of years. I don't think she was sponsored by them.

At lower level, I can't see difference with balls on SPs. My overall favorite is Haifu Dolphin but difficult to get with consistent sponge. Went back to the Friendship cheapies.


I agree with the choice for Friendship SP's, as 802-1 and 802 on their regular sponges (orange Tackspeed for 802 and white HRS for 802-1) are very consistent. Friendship Mystery sponges are a different story, though; they are faster, very much softer and offer much less control and consistency. As I understand it, these new sponges were developed to solve the problem of the decrease in speed when speed-gluing was banned, but in my opinion only the green sponge Friendship uses for the 105 Legend (a raw pip) more or less meets the demand.
It is not just Friendship that has problems with developing faster sponges for SP, though. If speed were the only problem, it would be easier to tackle the difficulties, but with SP an increase in speed really demands an increase in spin as well. For, if a ball bounces high and can be smashed in a straight line to the opponents halve, no spin is needed, but this is an exception; and in all other instances there needs to be some curve in the ball's trajectory. The faster it travels, the more the trajectory needs to be curved, or you would blast it over the table. With inverted rubbers, more spin simply means more grip, either by increasing the friction of the topsheet or the softness and elasticity of the sponge, or both; but with SPs, when the grip is increased, they lose their pimples' character to the same extent - that makes it difficult to design a faster SP with enough grip, for it has to get the balls on the table, without losing its pimples' character. Therefore, using a softer and more elastic sponge with the same topsheet will generally not be ideal, as the increase of grip will decrease the pimples' character of the rubber. As far as I know, no manufacturer has come up with a really good solution, so far. Therefore, if speed is a problem for you, the alternative is to get a faster, but more flexible and/or softer blade - more flex or more softness will allow to put more spin on the ball. All-wood blades are by far the best choice for this.

I'd like to add, though, that the need for speed is often not as high as one might be led to believe by the many complaints about the plastic ball. Effective SP play is based on precision, more than on speed. Precision demands a rubber with (relatively) low friction, as, otherwise, incoming spin would affect your control. With SP, you have to be able to drive in an almost straight line, more or less regardless of the incoming spin, again and again; only then you will be able to decrease the opponents reaction time enough to force him to play balls of less quality and take advantage of that to hit, eventually, a winner. This is why, in my opinion, a number of modern SP's, designed with high spin values (to compensate for the very high speed), are hardly better for SP play than a fast inverted rubber would be - they are too much affected by incoming spin. And for this reason, also, old-fashioned rubbers like Friendships 802 and 802-1, or DHS 652 and 651, or even Globe 889 and 889-2 on their old-fashioned sponges will do better with the plastic ball, especially on fast but not too stiff wooden blades. Theoretically, perhaps, one might put a very fast and extremely spinny modern SP on a high-speed, rock-hard carbon blade and get similar effectiveness, at a higher level of pace; but the control would be so low that you would have to train on a pro level to play successfully with it.


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