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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 23:00 
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An update on my progress with handling the Ellen. I played 6 matches this morning, playing against different opponents whom I have played before with the Dawei 388D (black, 0.5mm) LP. I lost one match I probably wouldn't have with the LP and I lost a lot of points because I am not fully used to play with the anti yet. For instance, it took me a while to realise that I should chop harder on the first chop, because the LP reversed spin more and now I have to make more of my own; of course I knew I had to, but in live play old reflexes return more or less of their own. When I did chop harder, balls were hard to return, and I stopped losing points. But I guess what impressed me most was how much more and better footwork was needed to be effective. Chopping harder means being in position in time; the LP produced passable backspin when I had to reach a bit for the ball and chop, but the anti doesn't work that way. Better positioning implies better anticipation, so I need to think out my tactics in a new way, too. I guess I have to play a tighter game, and smarter... On the upside I found hitting with the anti close to the table (cutting the sidelines) and away from the table (going for the corners) much better than with the LP; aim was precise, speed was good, balls stayed low and skidded more. Serving was better too; I used a side-spin serve, very slow, dropping the ball short behind the net and then bouncing low off the table over the sideline; I couldn't get that done with the LP. Blocking was very good when the opponent had backed off; it was easier to drop the ball short and placement was more precise. But against opponents who stayed close and attacked quickly blocking with the Ellen was ineffective, unless I blocked with speed aiming at the elbow, or sometimes when the angle was right, cutting a sideline. Curiously, I played my best matches against the strongest opponents, who had given me a lot of trouble when I used the LP. I am not sure if this was because of better placement, because of more frequent aggressive blocking, because of more stable chopping, or just because they were the last I played against and I had got the hang of it by that time... All in all it seems playing with the anti offers better possibilities for planned attack in combination with thorough defense, but I'll have to pay for that with footwork to match.

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 23:09 
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Lorre wrote:
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I don't know if OX is more disturbing for opponents.
I meant in attacks. But even so, opinions differ on that, too; if you read Martinspins reviews of LPs it is clear that he considers the ability of an LP to make topspin when attacking topspin an asset and tends to see LPs who don't (and reverse spin) as a hazard. It will depend on how you play. An LP attack producing topspin can be countered returning little spin, which makes it a bit harder to return well if you want to go for a chop than when you want to go for another attack. Players who tend to defend more than they attack, or keep mixing up defense and offense, might prefer OX. :^) Actually, this line of discussion belongs in the LP section... We'd better stick to pros and cons of anti itself here, from this point on...

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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 23:12 
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Kees wrote:
Lorre wrote:
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I don't know if OX is more disturbing for opponents.
I meant in attacks. But even so, opinions differ on that, too; if you read Martinspins reviews of LPs it is clear that he considers the ability of an LP to make topspin when attacking topspin an asset and tends to see LPs who don't (and reverse spin) as a hazard. It will depend on how you play. An LP attack producing topspin can be countered returning little spin, which makes it a bit harder to return well if you want to go for a chop than when you want to go for another attack. Players who tend to defend more than they attack, or keep mixing up defense and offense, might prefer OX. :^) Actually, this line of discussion belongs in the LP section... We'd better stick to pros and cons of anti itself here, from this point on...


Fair enough, but what I meant with deception was, once a player knows how to play LP, how difficult he has it against a certain LP. Because sponge can give more variation than OX, your return is less predictable. That's why it is more deceptive IMO.

Back to anti again. I tested the Neoanti yesterday on a Persson Powerplay AR. Besides that the forehand (a Sriver G2) had a really nice feeling the emphasis was on the Neoanti. I trained with my regular training partner for a while. His comments were: "I don't have much trouble with it". I didn't feel that I really could impart backspin when defending using my ordinary technique. Sometimes, however, I imparted backspin, he misread and looped the ball in the net. But most of times he looped me off the table. Near the table I tried an active (i.e. attack on a topspin ball) and passive block: the passive block is certainly a lot easier to make, but is harmless. Same for the active block. The guy from who I borrowed the combination (H.), didn't know how thick it was, but I estimate it was 1,5mm. A red one.

Off course, keep in mind Kees uses a 0.7 sponge at the moment. I, however, use a 1.6 sponge. The wood can also have a great impact on the performances. H. uses it mostly to attack with, but when he defends with it, his defense is very controlled but harmless.

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 00:45 
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Lorre wrote:
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I didn't feel that I really could impart backspin when defending using my ordinary technique.
Chopping with anti is more like with inverted - you have to make the ball penetrate the sponge and use good wrist-action. If you snap the wrist too slow, you won't make much. With pips, especially soft ones, even a slower motion makes them bend and impart spin. So anti is a bit harder work. But against "better" loopers it is easier; if a lot of spin (and speed) is coming in you can make the stroke much shorter (not slower, though).

Besides, I think the Tibhar Ellen is basically capable of producing more spin than the Juic.

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 08:29 
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Kees wrote:
Chopping with anti is more like with inverted - you have to make the ball penetrate the sponge and use good wrist-action. If you snap the wrist too slow, you won't make much. With pips, especially soft ones, even a slower motion makes them bend and impart spin. So anti is a bit harder work. But against "better" loopers it is easier; if a lot of spin (and speed) is coming in you can make the stroke much shorter (not slower, though).

Besides, I think the Tibhar Ellen is basically capable of producing more spin than the Juic.


I agree it is true that with softer pips even a slower motion makes them bend and impart spin. But with a thicker sponge even such pips need a quick wrist action, so I don't think that was the issue. It was probably (1) the wood and (2) the feeling of penetration of the anti sponge that I wasn't used to. I'm in doubt for my next month purchase: Feint III or Ellen? :?:

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 16:11 
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Quote:
I'm in doubt for my next month purchase: Feint III or Ellen? :?:
Better be sure. It takes quite some time to adapt your strokes and your tactics to anti; not a matter of weeks, I'm afraid...

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 22:48 
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Kees wrote:
Better be sure. It takes quite some time to adapt your strokes and your tactics to anti; not a matter of weeks, I'm afraid...


Both are not meant to become a substitution of my beloved DTecs. I wanted to try the Feint III because of the control and the Ellen because you made me quite curious about chopping with anti and I want to test that. I'll see what I'm going to do... :)

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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2011, 23:26 
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After playing some more matches (training) I have begun realizing how much I have to adapt to anti tactically. Using LP I had become used to just bringing the ball back on the table; now I need a much more aggressive chop and an aggressive attack on both wings. It has improved my chopping a lot in just days, especially the use of the wrist, and close to the table I don't block as much anymore as I used to; the Ellen seems to be capable of attacking just about any ball, if the timing is right. A backhand quick loop against backspin and no-spin needs a lot of power because the Ellen is slow, but that power is well spent. The good chops now force opponents to push more often, and I can attack the pushes more effectively. The difference with the LP backhand is that the anti is picking up the ball more, so more of the power is going into it; no need to hold back in attack anymore!
It is a more vigorous game, now, fun but exhausting. I do hope I can keep it up...

I also checked up on the weight of the Ellen. According to DTs Tabletennis Rubber Mass Database it is (for 1.5 mm red) 53.5 grs per uncut sheet and 0.176022 grs per square cm. Compared to Juic Neoanti (48.9 per uncut sheet and 0.171212 grs per square cm) it is marginally heavier; also much more light-weight than most inverted rubbers and comparable to Friendships Super FX Supersoft. That is how it feels to me, too.

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PostPosted: 07 May 2012, 04:19 
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How's your journey with anti defense going, Kees? It's been a while since you updated one of your threads or you created one about anti defense.

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PostPosted: 07 May 2012, 04:54 
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I have established my set-up firmly now: Joola Toni Hold Whitespot with 1.5 black Tibhar Ellen en 1.5 red Tibhar Varispin. I haven't had much time to post (I posted a number of experiences), as I am still working on tactics and practicing a lot. Next Saturday is the last tournament of the season; after that I will have time to post...

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PostPosted: 07 May 2012, 21:46 
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Ok Kees, I am looking forward to your writings then. :)

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PostPosted: 18 May 2012, 00:17 
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Here's the final evaluation of the Ellen, after about half a year of playing with it. In previous posts in this thread I mentioned its specific qualities, so I won't repeat that, but instead will concentrate on its practical use in matches.
The general conclusion, for me, is that this anti is safer to use than most LPs and at least as effective in modern defense, as long as you play both at mid-distance and close to the table, mixing defense and attack. It is too slow to be really dangerous if used for chopping far away from the table, as it leaves opponents too much time to see what is coming (I guess it would be quite possible to use this anti for a simple and safe classic defense style, though, just keeping the ball in play until the opponent makes a mistake). When used with the right stroke (which is more downwards than with most LPs) the Ellen will keep chopped balls low and it is capable of producing lots of backspin (enough to force opponents to go for a safe push or drop-shot), but it is also easy to vary the amount of backspin produced with it, simply by chopping faster (more spin) or slower (less spin). Controlling the incoming spin is also very doable with it: you can chop incoming heavy topspin and still produce an almost dead ball (or very heavy backspin, if you choose to). In these respects it is, although much slower, similar to using SP for defense - it makes your defence more or less independent from what the opponent does, so you can't be forced to make returns the opponent intends to exploit (which, by the way, explains why some players are very effective using anti on both wings - they wouldn't be with slick anti, as slick anti can't control incoming spin as well). The ability of the Ellen to attack low spin balls (dropshots) or weak pushes with ease (allowing sufficient speed and very precise placement) is a necessary attribute - it prevents the dropshots and safe pushes of the opponent from being a dangerous or even sufficient answer to effective chops. Summarizing: with the Ellen your defensive left wing is safe and complete, capable of dealing effectively with anything that might come up.
This often means opponents adapt their tactics to attack your forehand. I've tried two different approaches there; first using a 1.8 or 2.0 mm fast inverted for occasional varied chopping and frequent counter-looping, then using a 1.5 high-spin allround inverted (so thinner and slower) for frequent varied chopping and occasional counter-looping. The second approach proved to work best for me, partly because I lack the physical requirements and the fast footwork to keep up hard looping, and partly because the Ellen is best when the pace of the game is low to mid-high (as chopping with this anti requires making a full stroke, which takes time).
So I ended up using the Tibhar Ellen 1.5 mm in black with the Tibhar Varispin 1.5 mm in red, on a Joola Toni Hold Whitespot frame which is really the best for this kind of equipment and style: its light weight provides for easy and fast handling, its moderate speed allows safe defense and effective attack, and its control is second to none.
Tactics eventually consisted of returning serves with a first heavy chop, than backing off to second position (mid-distance) and go on chopping until a weak ball to the backhand or a loop to the forehand provided an opportunity for attack. If opponents opted for keeping the game mostly over the table (especially older players, my age, chose to do that), I used the anti for aggressive pushing and for attack, the inverted for slow or fast heavy topspin; rallies tended to be short then, because opponents had difficulty reading the (amount of) spin coming from strokes with the anti.
An unexpected bonus was the ability of the Ellen to deal most effectively (and more reliably than LPs) with the spin or the lack of it coming from LPs. I have never played as relaxed as with this anti against opponents who were using LPs. Another, pretty bizar, extra was that some opponents failed to notice that I was using anti - they did notice some of the effects they would expect coming from anti, but expected other effects that didn't come (as the Ellen is really rather independent from incoming spin), and so concluded the rubber had to be some kind of inverted, and made many mistakes trying to deal with it; strangely, these were players who outranked me, and knew it, but lost anyway, which did nothing to improve their mood...
All in all my percentage rose to about 90%, which is about 30% more than before, when I was using LP; but at least part of this gain will have come from intense training motivated by the wish to fully master this new equipment.

So, yes, it does work very well and using an anti like the Ellen this way is a very good alternative for using LP in my view. Eventually, however, I had to acknowledge a downside I hadn't expected: producing the full chops and loaded loops took their toll on my back and right shoulder... It really is a pretty intense style. I expect I have to change in the (possibly near) future to using SP on the forehand and playing closer to the table, if I want to last longer. If so, using the Ellen probably wouldn't make much sense anymore, as LPs (being faster and having more reversal, as well as requiring shorter strokes) seem to be a bit more dangerous close to the table.

UPDATE: I played for three weeks with an SP/LP combination and although it did seem to put less strain on joints and muscles, it also was so much less fun that I have given up the idea of going over to it.

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