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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 02:04 
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I got the Tibhar Ellen Def antispin rubber in black, 1.5 mm. The sponge is bright cadmium yellow and soft yet firm to the touch. The top-sheet is thick and fairly unelastic; it comes covered with a thick and mildly sticky plastic protection-sheet which I was unable to put on again after play, because I couldn't get all the bubles of air out, so I left it uncovered. The top-sheet itself is not really sticky, but comes close, and definitely has some grip, probably comparable to that of Juic Neoanti. In fact, those two anti's seem a lot alike to me, in speed, spin and control; the Ellen is perhaps marginally heavier and marginally grippier as well, and it has a completely different feel when using it - instead of the rich velvety feel of control of the Neoanti, it has a tough solid feel of control.

I used the Ellen on 3 different blades: Stiga Tube Defensive (fastest, almost ALL, some flex, rather heavy), the Joola Toni Hold Whitespot (medium fast, DEF+, light-weight, rigid but soft feel) and the Donier Defense (DEF, flexible, different gears, pretty light-weight). It worked on all three, but better on the Joola than on the Stiga (more control, more backspin in chops), and best on the Donier (perhaps even more backspin on chops, and very nice hitting).

I played for about 2 hrs against a robot, and 2 hrs in practice-matches on a small floor (8x4 mtr). Below are the first impressions.

Passive blocks, just holding the bat vertical and let the ball bounce off will give very little reversal (none off weak spin), but the ball will stay low over the net and land on the table no matter how hard the loop or smash. The absorption of speed is phenomenal, especially if you help by relaxing the wrist and arm. In the matches, when caught in the middle, I just bumped the ball softly over the net and it sort of died mid-table; the opponent could pick it up and flip or soft-loop it, but blocking the ball makes it go so slow that I have enough time to anticipate the next attack, be in position and chop or loop. Blocking is definitely not a winner, but a very good tactical option to gain time with the Ellen.

Counterhits can be done against no-spin or top-spin or high-bouncing backspin. No wrist, just flat hitting through the ball and a very short follow-through will produce pretty fast balls with little or no spin on them which can be placed with great precision. You need to make contact on the top of the bounce or just before. There is no need to be afraid that the ball will float long because of the backspin/reversal. In fact, this means you have the option to disrupt the opponent's play by counter-attacking at any moment you want to.

Looping/rolling backspin balls is easy. Spin-reversal (or -continuation) is great and the ball will go down shortly behind the net and rush away. If balls come in short (short pushing, short serving), you have to flip using a lot of wrist.
Pushing against backspin can be done too; either with or without wrist. Without wrist the spin will be reversed; with wrist the spin will be neutralized or you may be making some backspin of your own.

Chop-blocking is easy and requires a technique similar to that used with LP, but will work better/safer because there are no pips to bend. Even more fun is a backspin block (closing the blade a little bit, catching the ball and pulling the blade down and back a bit); against heavy topspin this will make heavy backspin and control on this block is great. Stop-blocking is effective too: just sort of bump the ball soflty with a loose wrist and it will land just behind the net.

Chopping is something special. You can do a diagonal chop or a horizontal one (wrapping the rubber around the ball); either way you can make a little backspin (when you don't use your wrist and underarm much) or a very great amount of it (really going for the stroke). The horizontal stroke will produce a slow ball and can only be done pretty close to the table; the diagonal stroke makes good speed if you want it to.
We compared the quality of the chops with a Dawei 388D, .7mm, same blade (Donier) and my opponents found little or no difference. To me, chopping with the Ellen felt much more controlled and especially good placement was easy (I never had a problem with the Dawei in this respect, but with the Ellen it is simply flawless).

Receiving serve is best done actively, as the rubber is a bit sensitive to sidespin. Taking the ball on either early or late and making a positive stroke, aiming well, there are no problems. A lot of serves can be attacked, like with SP: taking the ball early and punch it.

To me, the Ellen seems to outperform the Neoanti, not by much, but enough to prefer using it in the next training-sessions and matches. I am curious how it will play really away from the table...

The sponge reputedly tears easily when the rubber is pulled off a blade, so I used real moderate amounts of Butterfly free chack and pulled very delicately. Put it on three blades and had no problems...

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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 18:06 
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This rubber's review is a rarity since this anti is not very popular.
Thanks sir Kees for the review.
It seems that the anti could vary the spin a bit like long pips, is it not?

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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 18:23 
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Great review Kees! Sounds like the ideal anti...either it really is, or you need more time to find a weakness. ;)

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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 19:23 
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I have had a short test with it. (1,5mm , red on NSD)
It was a little faster as my NBA in 1,3mm. In play very linear and regular, without any surprises.
It seems to be too good and honest and not a part of evil.


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 23:46 
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antidefender wrote:
Quote:
In play very linear and regular, without any surprises.
It seems to be too good and honest and not a part of evil.
I agree. Especially with attack-stroles it isn't dissimilar to short pips on thin sponge or OX. But I don;t think being good and honest is a disadvantage. Feint Long III is good and honest and straightforward, say a bit of a simpleton... and widely used on pro level.

Haggisv wrote:
Quote:
Sounds like the ideal anti...either it really is, or you need more time to find a weakness. ;)
I definitely need more time, and I am going to take it. But for now I doubt it has real weaknesses. It reminded me, besides FLIII, of Meteor 8512 DEF on thick sponge, same feeling of control (for an LP) that at first makes you think it is probably harmless, only to find out very much later how really dangerous it can be. The Ellen is categorized by some (including Tibhar itself) as an anti with disturbing qualities. Maybe it is true. I intend to find out.

Yosua Yosan wrote:
Quote:
It seems that the anti could vary the spin a bit like long pips, is it not?
Yes. But IMO that is true of every anti with grip and a soft sponge.
I guess it is not popular because no anti is which is a real alternative for LP in mid and long modern defense; LPs are the thing. One can understand why: when you start as a modern defender, using LP you get instantaneous profit of the spin-reversal (even it is relatively low) even before you have learnt how to chop well - grippy soft anti's tend to show their worth not before you have mastered chopping (and hitting) to, say, an intermediate degree at least. So, by the time an anti would be an alternative, players are used to LP and if they are doing well they see no reason to change, or are afraid of it. I guess the only reason why a beginning defender would choose anti, would be his trainer telling him to; but trainers with the kind of knowledge required for this are few and far between. I myself would not have seriously started with anti but for a post about Sun Jianfei and the detailed information Antipip ( :clap: ) offered me; especially the latter aroused emotion, and then desire.

There is a lot can be said about varying spin in chops, by the way. It seems to me that the general idea about its usefulness or necessity is at least incomplete. If you watch defenders like Joo, Chen, and so on, you cannot but notice the fact that their opponents may hit balls coming from their LP into the net SOMETIMES, but almost never hit them over the table; that fact suggests to me that pro defenders do not use their pips to vary spin much. Actually, in my experience, varying spin with the inverted rubber is much easier and actually effective, and again if you watch professional modern defenders, it is their forehand chops and/or floats that are frequently misread by their opponents. Personally, I am not looking for this quality (varying spin) in my backhand rubbers, be they pips or anti. What I do want is the abilty to defend thoroughly, which implies generating lots of backspin, in order to move the opponent around and set up opportunities to attack with the forehand.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011, 02:33 
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Nice revies, Kees. :up: Curious about your progress in the future with the anti...

I need to disagree with you on your latter statement: if they don't use much variation with their pips, then why should they want to play with grippy pips with thick sponge? I think we as amateurs don't see the variation because they can disguise their contact point. Speaking from a personal opinion, I used both DTecs in all his sponge thicknesses, including OX a couple of times. Against a player who knows how to play long pips, the OX version makes you a sitting duck, the 1,2 makes you walking duck and the 1,6 makes you a running duck. It gives you much more control about the amount your return and the spin in the game.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011, 03:15 
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Good point, Lorre. But are you really convinced, in your heart, that this makes a difference in the outcome of matches? What we do not see, we do not see. It does not mean it is not there. But it might not be. Let's finish off all bias! All prejudice!! Personally, I think the very best defenders will benefit from the difference between grip on pips and grip on sides and the added effect of sponges. But no amateurs!

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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2011, 22:28 
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Kees wrote:
Good point, Lorre. But are you really convinced, in your heart, that this makes a difference in the outcome of matches? What we do not see, we do not see. It does not mean it is not there. But it might not be. Let's finish off all bias! All prejudice!! Personally, I think the very best defenders will benefit from the difference between grip on pips and grip on sides and the added effect of sponges. But no amateurs!


Good post, Kees, but I disagree with the latter sentence. It makes a difference, really, and I can testify about that. It gives you a lot more options and consequently you control a part of the spin in the game, but this is only true if you can handle it. Learning how to handle it takes a lot longer than learning how to play OX (I'm not saying OX hasn't a learning curve), because of all the variation options you need to learn + you have less control when you use the wrong stroke and even wrong touch on a certain ball (i.e. it isn't nearly as forgiving as OX). There are, however, amateurs who learn how to handle it or at least are in the learning process. I think the input of Def-attack would be nice here, because if I remember correctly, he played both OX, 1.2 and 1.6 of the DTecs, but he played the OX version a lot longer.

I still remember a match where we as a team had 2 pip players among us, M. (an OX player) and me (1,2 sponge). The high rated player destroyed M. because he could estimate what was coming back from the pips. I destroyed him because he constantly misread my returns of the pips.

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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2011, 23:31 
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Lorre wrote:
Quote:
I still remember a match where we as a team had 2 pip players among us, M. (an OX player) and me (1,2 sponge). The high rated player destroyed M. because he could estimate what was coming back from the pips. I destroyed him because he constantly misread my returns of the pips.
Nice job!
But wasn't it the sponge, then, that made the difference? Would you be able to do the same using OX? If not, the difference between sides and tips itself can't be decisive. Suppose it is the difference in grip, just that - then there would be no reason why an anti with soft sponge and some grip on the surface wouldn't do as well as any LP with grip and soft sponge in order to get variation. That is my real argument, that anti as such isn't inferior to LP, and can be made to work for several styles in modern defense.

I wrote:
Quote:
Personally, I think the very best defenders will benefit from the difference between grip on pips and grip on sides and the added effect of sponges. But no amateurs!
What I mean is, that pro's can make the equipment work on a higher level than amateurs, not that amateurs can't make it work at all. I, too, have played with LPs with sponge (0.5 to 1.2 mm) and I have felt the difference it makes when there is more sponge beneath your pips. Still, I have felt also how hard it is to make an LP on 1.2 mm work consistently against relentlessly incoming fast and heavy topspin - the ball would penetrate the sponge and tended to bend the pips more or less regardless of what I did or wanted to do, and the result was hard to read or predict for my opponents, but for me too! I did win matches, but I doubt if I was in control, except when I just chopped hard to get max backspin because the ball would get itself into my pips anyway... The feeling with anti is completely different. I haven't played long enough with it to be certain that it will give me much better (or much more real, if you like) control, but it does feel like it.

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:09 
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Kees wrote:
Lorre wrote:
Quote:
I still remember a match where we as a team had 2 pip players among us, M. (an OX player) and me (1,2 sponge). The high rated player destroyed M. because he could estimate what was coming back from the pips. I destroyed him because he constantly misread my returns of the pips.
Nice job!
But wasn't it the sponge, then, that made the difference? Would you be able to do the same using OX? If not, the difference between sides and tips itself can't be decisive. Suppose it is the difference in grip, just that - then there would be no reason why an anti with soft sponge and some grip on the surface wouldn't do as well as any LP with grip and soft sponge in order to get variation. That is my real argument, that anti as such isn't inferior to LP, and can be made to work for several styles in modern defense.

I wrote:
Quote:
Personally, I think the very best defenders will benefit from the difference between grip on pips and grip on sides and the added effect of sponges. But no amateurs!
What I mean is, that pro's can make the equipment work on a higher level than amateurs, not that amateurs can't make it work at all. I, too, have played with LPs with sponge (0.5 to 1.2 mm) and I have felt the difference it makes when there is more sponge beneath your pips. Still, I have felt also how hard it is to make an LP on 1.2 mm work consistently against relentlessly incoming fast and heavy topspin - the ball would penetrate the sponge and tended to bend the pips more or less regardless of what I did or wanted to do, and the result was hard to read or predict for my opponents, but for me too! I did win matches, but I doubt if I was in control, except when I just chopped hard to get max backspin because the ball would get itself into my pips anyway... The feeling with anti is completely different. I haven't played long enough with it to be certain that it will give me much better (or much more real, if you like) control, but it does feel like it.


Thx Kees! ;)

It was certainly the sponge that helped me further, together with my better technique that I probably gained by always having used sponge (except the occasional sidewalk to OX). M. was (and still is) using a red Neptune OX, I used a black DTecs 1.2. I think it wouldn't be possible to do it with a pure OX, because the spin of the returns was so high I needed the sponge to hold the ball long enough in order to eliminate his spin or add some to it. You lost me in the rest of your reasoning :oops: , so please explain more in detail.

Off course we can't make use of a sponged long pip like pro's can, but (1) the few things we can do with it, can make a difference in a match situation (it breaks the predictability of LP returns) and (2) getting everything out of that sponge is something I want to learn. Especially the latter is very worthwhile to me: when I go to training, I need to have a challenge. My current combination is a true challenge to me.

But you're making me very curious, Kees. Next month I'm going to get new rubbers (same combination), but when I do that, I take my spare Joo wood and try something out. How'd say Feint III (1.3 sponge) can be compared to the variation anti you describe in these topics?

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:13 
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Lorre wrote:
Against a player who knows how to play long pips, the OX version makes you a sitting duck, the 1,2 makes you walking duck and the 1,6 makes you a running duck.

I'm not sure if I agree, but that's a great line there! :up: :clap: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:17 
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haggisv wrote:
Lorre wrote:
Against a player who knows how to play long pips, the OX version makes you a sitting duck, the 1,2 makes you walking duck and the 1,6 makes you a running duck.

I'm not sure if I agree, but that's a great line there! :up: :clap: :lol: :lol: :lol:


How about pips with MAX sponge? :lol:

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:32 
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Lorre wrote:
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How'd say Feint III (1.3 sponge) can be compared to the variation anti you describe in these topics?
I expect it will make a bit more backspin than the Tibhar Ellen Def, because it is one of the few LPs with max performance in this respect and I am not sure which anti could compete with it. On relatively thick sponge the FL3 will have a bit less control than the Ellen in 1.5 and I am pretty sure that reversal in attacks will not be there (it wasn't in the FL3 on 0.5 I played with about 2 yrs ago). The FL3 is a lot more grippy than the D-tecs, so probably you'll have to adapt your manner of play quite a bit, but it will work.
Quote:
I think it wouldn't be possible to do it with a pure OX, because the spin of the returns was so high I needed the sponge to hold the ball long enough in order to eliminate his spin or add some to it.
With the D-tecs it would be difficult, but doable to vary the spin even if it is heavy. There will be a difference in spin you'll return when chopping with or without helping the spin on with a flick of the wrist, and you can also chop and at the last moment go against the spin, using the wrist-flick in reverse, which will not quite make a dead ball (unless it is done very quickly), but even so it will produce something like a floater. Of course all this is much easier with sponge. Then again, the OX will be much more disturbing for the opponent if used in OX (black D-tecs will work in attacking topspin).

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:35 
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Thx, Haggisv! :)

YosuaYosan wrote:
haggisv wrote:
Lorre wrote:
Against a player who knows how to play long pips, the OX version makes you a sitting duck, the 1,2 makes you walking duck and the 1,6 makes you a running duck.

I'm not sure if I agree, but that's a great line there! :up: :clap: :lol: :lol: :lol:


How about pips with MAX sponge? :lol:


That would be a duck running on Duracell batteries.

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:51 
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Thx Kees for the advice. ;)

Kees wrote:
Of course all this is much easier with sponge. Then again, the OX will be much more disturbing for the opponent if used in OX (black D-tecs will work in attacking topspin).


And that's probably where we disagree. I not only think it is harder to do with OX, OX isn't also nearly as effective to eliminate or add spin to the ball as sponge does and this is certainly the case for fast balls with a little topspin on it and fast heavy topspin balls. Sponge keeps the ball longer, OX will spit the ball out with only having a rest reversal on it (off course, depending on the sofness of your wood). And let those balls be the returns I often get...

I don't know if OX is more disturbing for opponents. For opponents who don't understand long pips or have only little knowledge about them, this is certainly true. But for opponents that know how to play long pips... I'm sorry, but you're a sitting duck there, unless you can get the ball back x amount of times (x being a large number).

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