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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2011, 20:41 
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Hello, I've been lurking here a while as I got back into TT and felt the time was right to sound out the experts :D

My "game" - I played a lot at school as a teen, using one bat that had very soft short pimple rubber. It was a rectangular shaped bat and I played one sided Penhold though it had a normal straight handle. I could play "normal" but Penhold just felt right. I never joined any club or watched any TV coverage, Penhold just seemed natural. I was pretty good against my schoolmates and my style as I recall it was close'ish to the table, direct i.e. I placed every shot and I used to attack the ball close to the bounce.

That was 30 years ago.... :lol:

The small firm I work for managed to secure two tables from a company that clears schools and I have the bug again. The difference is that I no longer have my old batAND the Internet is upon us !

I picked up a premade with a flared handle and whilst it was good it felt a bit heavy. I then decided to try a JPen. I got a Kokutaku Tulpe 1 Ply Japanese Offensive Penhold Bat with Kokutaku 007 (Tacky). What I liked - the shape, the sound, the spinny serves I could get. What I didn't like - the tacky rubber seemed unpredictable in that short shots might "stick" and attempted loops had too much spin and went into the net. I struggled to adapt to the handle grip too, even after reshaping it .

So.... I decided to try a non tacky rubber and atthe same time got a chance of another Blade - a Yasaka Musashi Carbon! Got the blade and got a sheet of Kokotaku Taiwan 007 "Non tacky". Having had a shot with Bryce - this sheet seems very similar. I paired the two up and my short game feel improved but holy sh#t, it's a pretty unforgiving setup. It works - but I feel I'm having to adapt the way I play to get it to work. I love the weight of this setup, I like the rubber. But it's still not quite right for me.

So here I am.

I'd like a light setup, that allows me to attack the rising ball but still be able to play just off the table. I think RPB is beyond me right now so may go with single sided or dual sided with a tacky for serve. Whilst I love Jpen head shape, the handle shape is too restrictive for me. I'm not sure if it's finger size - I don't have "big" hands - but with my 3 bats, the most comfortable when switching from a push stroke to a flat hit or loop drive is definitely the flared regular.

Can anyone recommend Blades that fit ? Cpen Allround+ or Off/Off- ?
Rubber ? I was thinking of trying Roxon 450 or one of the Xiom Vega's for the forehand.

Looking forward to any advice I can get from my fellow Penholders :)

Mark


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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2011, 21:37 
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Well, my dad is a penholder who picked up TT in Korea, though he's used a normal paddle most of his life since it was before the internet and it wasn't easy to find a special paddle for penholders in the states.

CPen would definitely be the way to go if you weren't too fond of the JPen, and if you like to hit the ball and really attack it close to the table, I'd suggest using what you used decades ago: short pips. They definitely have your tacky inverted rubber beat for punching the ball in that classic penhold style. There are high level one-sided penholders, such as He Zhi When, who use them for a hitting game. It's going to focus much more on hitting than looping, but that's what I understand you're most comfortable doing.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2011, 00:03 
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Thanks for that, I have a sheet of Kokotaku 119 short pimple - not used yet. Though it seems quite hard sponge.

The bats I've been looking at are the DHD Dipper 16 CPen and the Friendship 729 Bomb. Not sure which to try out..... :D (I thought I was bad when I played Golf!)

Would a Tensor based rubber be overkill for Mid-close to the table or just harder to control? You go it right, I'm not a big spin player, much preferring hitting / punching. I really like the 007 rubber but was thrown by the original sheet's tackiness. I think I want a soft rubber / top sheet with no tack - if that makes sense. :oops:

Regards,
Mark


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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2011, 00:36 
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I'd give those short pips a try, and I wouldn't worry about the hard sponge. It can potentially be a good thing for hitting.

Trust me, if you let yourself go, you'll end up trying out every different paddle combination there is since they all have different woods, different sensations, different graphics, etc. So I'd probably try to get one blade and develop with it instead of always trying different stuff out and wasting both your money and messing up your technique :-).

I can't really say anything about tensor sponges and whatnot since I use hardbat myself (classic pimples with no sponge), but I'd stick with trying out those Kokutaku 119 short pips for the time being, and as far as the inverted rubbers go, a lot of Chinese products, which you seem to be getting mostly, have tacky rubbers, so you could always try a European or Japanese inverted rubber if you want to go that route (more expensive but I don't think any are tacky).

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2011, 01:06 
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MJ, welcome to OOAK.

You can adapt with that Penhold setup with the non-tack rubber well enough given time. If J-Pen is what you like, than great. If you can get into a situation where you are around somebody to coach you, great. If not, well do your best to have fun and move up. I have seen new players with rediculous fast equipment for their level become intermediate players within a year of lessons and club play. Many places in USA are hard to move up, but are you in USA?

There are likely 100 over 40 people coming back to TT on this forum, myself included. Only difference with me, is that I was a recreational player for a few months only.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2011, 03:17 
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Hi Mjyule,
Welcome to the forum!
After a 20 years or so hiatus from TT, I also got myself a very nice CPen set up to re-start my game but it was way too fast, so I had to "downgrade". So I tried some milder set ups and I still use these sometimes:
Blade: Stiga Allround Wood NCT, Yasaka Extra, and Butterfly Chinese Real (if you can still find one). The first 2 (thinner) bats you can add a BH rubber later if you want. Chinese Real has a crisper feel and good for one side play but adding a 2nd rubber to this slightly thicker blade is still OK.
Rubbers: good old Yasaka Mark V and BTY Sriver EL.
:)


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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2011, 08:07 
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abdulmuhsee wrote:
CPen would definitely be the way to go if you weren't too fond of the JPen, and if you like to hit the ball and really attack it close to the table, I'd suggest using what you used decades ago: short pips. They definitely have your tacky inverted rubber beat for punching the ball in that classic penhold style. There are high level one-sided penholders, such as He Zhi When, who use them for a hitting game. It's going to focus much more on hitting than looping, but that's what I understand you're most comfortable doing.

I think this is good advice - short pips on CPen will give you comfort plus hitting and punching. I also think that control is every bit as important as speed when returning to the game. It's much too easy to be seduced by hitting the ball at a zillion miles an hour, rather than using correct strokes and placement to win the game. All+ to Off- blade with the Kokutaku 119 would be my suggestion.

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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 23:43 
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Many thanks for all the advice :) .

The latest developments..... I got a DHS Dipper 16 along with a sheet of Roxon 450 and DHS 652 SP. I tried it out single sided using the 450 and have to say I wasn't that impressed with the 450. The bat feels faster than my Musashi Carbon Jpen :lol: but with less control :oops: . The 450 is , ahem, very "bouncy" and not spinny for me. I then stuck the 652 on - I like it, though it still feels hard. At the table feels good and just off it wasn't long 'til I got in a groove. I even tried a few RPB's and surprisingly (for me) I made more than I missed. I'm still not convinced on the Cpen handle - switching back to my Jpens felt like putting on a pair of shoes that fit perfectly (if you know what I mean).

The other development I should mention is that I recycled an old sheet of BTY Bryce and stuck it on my Single Ply Jpen. This sheet came with my Musashi Carbon but had about 3mm of glue stuck to it - I used "StickyStuff" remover over about 3 nights to remove it. I have no idea what has happened but it feels unbelievable. All the speed glue was removed and I stuck it down with Copydex. The topsheet is not bad but the ball just seems to sink into the sponge on impact. Nice high throw and lots of spin. I'm not sure if the sponge has been affected by the removal of the glue or that the sponge is just well broken in, but the Single ply was all I wanted to play with by the end of my 2 hr session at work.

I'm going to stick with what works right now (JPen) and put some time in with CPen to see if I can master RPB.
To answer a couple of questions - I'm in the UK and just play at work at the moment, though I hope to start going to a club as my other commitments allow me time :)


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PostPosted: 09 Feb 2011, 22:32 
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mjyule wrote:
Many thanks for all the advice :) .

The latest developments..... I got a DHS Dipper 16 along with a sheet of Roxon 450 and DHS 652 SP. I tried it out single sided using the 450 and have to say I wasn't that impressed with the 450. The bat feels faster than my Musashi Carbon Jpen :lol: but with less control :oops: . The 450 is , ahem, very "bouncy" and not spinny for me. I then stuck the 652 on - I like it, though it still feels hard. At the table feels good and just off it wasn't long 'til I got in a groove. I even tried a few RPB's and surprisingly (for me) I made more than I missed. I'm still not convinced on the Cpen handle - switching back to my Jpens felt like putting on a pair of shoes that fit perfectly (if you know what I mean).

The other development I should mention is that I recycled an old sheet of BTY Bryce and stuck it on my Single Ply Jpen. This sheet came with my Musashi Carbon but had about 3mm of glue stuck to it - I used "StickyStuff" remover over about 3 nights to remove it. I have no idea what has happened but it feels unbelievable. All the speed glue was removed and I stuck it down with Copydex. The topsheet is not bad but the ball just seems to sink into the sponge on impact. Nice high throw and lots of spin. I'm not sure if the sponge has been affected by the removal of the glue or that the sponge is just well broken in, but the Single ply was all I wanted to play with by the end of my 2 hr session at work.

I'm going to stick with what works right now (JPen) and put some time in with CPen to see if I can master RPB.
To answer a couple of questions - I'm in the UK and just play at work at the moment, though I hope to start going to a club as my other commitments allow me time :)


A 1 ply blade will be slower than the carbon, another one with good control is the Butterfly Senkoh-5, used by most Korean short pips players including the Woman's world champion and men's 1988 Silver Medalist. Get a sheet of soft and fairly thin sponge (like 1.7-1.8) for control. Short pips tend to feel harder than inverted. Friendship 799 is a good choice or Butterfly Challenger.

The Bryce probably feels good as you tuned/swelled the sponge with the remover. Check out the threads about tuning, but a lot of people use D-limonene/orange oil which is the active ingredient in many removers for sticky things. Feels good and softens the sponge as well.

The 729 Bomb is good blade not nearly as fast as the others. Look for something with a ALL or OFF- rating but with a hard feel, that's what is best for short pips, but keep the sponge softer. Maybe try the Sticky stuff on your sheet of 652 to soften it up some. You'll probably notice it expands the rubber so you'll need to retrim it to fit afterward.

And I'm 43, started playing seriously at age 33 so I know how you feel...

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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2011, 05:32 
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Little update on how things are going....... :D

I've been persevering with the CPen blade as my real bogey shot is a fast drive or smash to my backhand side and I just don't have the footspeed to get set up properly if I am sticking to one sided play. If I manage a return it's usually a high "bury me on next hit" :lol: . So I've been trying to master RPB and it's going better than I could have hoped. I left the Roxon 450 on as it seems well suited, giving great topspin if I get the stroke correct. The DHS16 blade is "feeling" better in my hand now that I took a chamfer of the thumb/finger areas. It still feels less secure than JPen for big hits but I've not lost it (yet).

I was getting on great with the SP 652 (2mm), I honestly couldn't fault it on anything I was trying to do.

Then I decided to "tune" it ;( What a plonker :|

Using the same Sticky Stuff Remover I salvaged the Bryce with, I gave it about 3 coats on the sponge and 1 on the topsheet. When stuck back down it had grown about 15mm. The rebound off it is incredible, more so than the Roxon. I couldn't stand at or just off the table and try my normal shots - they just sailed and over the table end. Needless to say I won't be trying that again and have 2 new sheets en-route from China.

In the meantime I just glued up a 1.5mm 802-40 supersoft.

My spidey sense tells me the blade is fast enough (plenty fast enough actually), so I'm going for a touch more control.

Any fellow PH'ers got any thoughts? I'm settled on SP on the FH , and I guess that until I am RPB confident I will leave the Roxon on. Once I can mix the RPB i may be looking for something a little more versatile - possibly another SP.

Once again, thanks a bunch to all who post on this great forum :clap:
Mark


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