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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 10:08 
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Japsican wrote:
So, Igor is suggesting that a 1.7 rubber is the best compromise to be able to optimally execute all of these shots...he probably means at the club level.


Agreed. I think what I was questioning was how much that style still exists. Sure, all round players exist. But they're a dying breed, and in terms of how the game is played, and taught, it's rare.

An adult learner, or otherwise newcomer seeking to develop their ability, looking at resources available, either for self instruction, or from a coach, isn't likely to find much.

If that analysis is correct, unless the player is already an experienced all round player, or specifically wants to play that way, if they want to develop their skills, it might be better to emulate most other learners, and learn to loop, and use max(ish) sponge.


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 11:35 
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As I said, thinner sponge is for specialized uses. and I suppose this "allround player" might find thinner sponge advantageous IF 1) he doesn't loop at all, and 2) relies on chops a lot more than he does on lobs. I think most "allround players" will still want 2.2mm sponge at least on the forehand to generate spin from far behind the table, not to mention when you're further back you have to hit the ball harder if you want to generate any speed at the net.

For the ab initio beginner, I'd still go for 2.2mm sponge, unless there are weight issues (very young children, for instance), in which case smaller blades might be of help. It's not just a matter of looping, even plain old topspin drives (what people call "flat hits" or "counter hits") need topspin, and it should be no harder to learn to do them with the thicker sponge than the thinner. In the old days, yes, there WAS a control issue with the 38mm ball - no one used max sponge unless he was a high level looper and even then most didn't. No one rated below 1800 or so used it as far as I knew, 2.0 was the limit.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 12:13 
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iskandar taib wrote:
It's not just a matter of looping, even plain old topspin drives (what people call "flat hits" or "counter hits") need topspin, and it should be no harder to learn to do them with the thicker sponge than the thinner.


Interestingly, for the "syllabus" of 11 fundamental strokes prescribed by Table Tennis Australia for TT beginners, the FH topspin is the first stroke to be taught. The FH "drive" is way down the list.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 18:12 
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I think it's a matter of semantics. In all the table tennis books I've come across (mainly written from the 1950s until the 1990s) the first stroke to be taught is the "topspin drive". This is NOT what they used to call the "loop", which was the domain of high level players. The "topspin drive" I talk about is the stroke you see people using during the two minute warmup, especially in the beginning. Not sure what this "drive" is, that is referred to in the handbook, but the "topspin drive" I refer to is supposed to be a flattish, forward-ish stroke which imparts topspin to the ball.

I should add also, the "lack of control" that people worry about when they talk about rubbers being "too thick" is control over and close to the table - shots such as the push and the flip (or flick or "half-volley", as one author called it), perhaps even the block. Control over topspin drives is less of an issue when it comes to thicker sponge, in fact, thicker sponge increases control because it lets you impart more topspin.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 18:34 
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The "forehand topspin" in the syllabus is indeed more like a loop (tangential contact high on the ball), with the suggested practice technique including body rotation, low-to-high bat motion, and lifting the ball. The "forehand drive" is closer to the typical warmup forehand, and is the 7th stroke to be taught.

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but if the goal is to learn a modern attacking game, that's what they say to do.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 23:14 
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hangdog wrote:
iskandar taib wrote:
It's not just a matter of looping, even plain old topspin drives (what people call "flat hits" or "counter hits") need topspin, and it should be no harder to learn to do them with the thicker sponge than the thinner.


Interestingly, for the "syllabus" of 11 fundamental strokes prescribed by Table Tennis Australia for TT beginners, the FH topspin is the first stroke to be taught. The FH "drive" is way down the list.


What year was the 'syllabus' published?


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2017, 23:50 
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vinuneuro wrote:
What year was the 'syllabus' published?


I'm not sure, but it's in the current Level 1 coaching materials, and the impression I had was that it was new(ish).

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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2017, 01:01 
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hangdog wrote:
The "forehand topspin" in the syllabus is indeed more like a loop (tangential contact high on the ball), with the suggested practice technique including body rotation, low-to-high bat motion, and lifting the ball. The "forehand drive" is closer to the typical warmup forehand, and is the 7th stroke to be taught.

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but if the goal is to learn a modern attacking game, that's what they say to do.


VERY interesting indeed. VERY VERY interesting indeed. And this is for absolute beginners? I'll betcha Der Echte will have something to say about this.

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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2017, 12:46 
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I would argue that any inverted rubber can work for you today if you stick with it and learn its properties sufficiently well that they become second nature. That is the secret ingredient (or in other words, there is no secret ingredient).

With that said, one of the ironic things about the large plastic balls we use now is that more than ever they will homogenize the game. If you don't base your game around either a lot of quick short speed, or heavy power and spin, it is going to be much harder to win these days. Even defenders now are going to need to learn to put a ball away with a power shot when it is there because if you don't you are giving too much away. Finesse was more evident with 38 mm balls because it was essential.

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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 11:22 
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I'd always go with max sponge on forehand since it's a more powerful stroke and has a higher chance of bottoming out. Using a thinner sponge on backhand; however, I can totally see the strategy in that. It might help with touch play and weaker counter hits where the sponge isn't engaged as much.

Side note... I'd love to try out Xiom Intro which sort of seems like the faster classic rubber successor to Xiom Musa.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 23:29 
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[quote="hangdog"][/quote]

Kind of off-topic, but I followed a breadcrumb trail from the quote in your sig and ended up buying Soon I Will Be Invincible. I thought the ending was kind of lame but it was a very enjoyable read overall.

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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 00:42 
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BryanY wrote:
I'd always go with max sponge on forehand since it's a more powerful stroke and has a higher chance of bottoming out. Using a thinner sponge on backhand; however, I can totally see the strategy in that. It might help with touch play and weaker counter hits where the sponge isn't engaged as much.

Side note... I'd love to try out Xiom Intro which sort of seems like the faster classic rubber successor to Xiom Musa.


Just started trying out Xiom Intro red 1.8mm on my Andro temper Tech all round. medium hard direct feel, definitely not bouncy, low throw and good for block and drive rather than loop, question mark re spin on slow loops and chops - quite similar to Musa which I have been using in 2mm red on TSP black balsa 5.0 blade but not tried on the Andro. Might swap them around to check the difference on same blade.


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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 03:34 
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I wonder - if there were no limit to rubber thickness, what would the optimum sponge thickness be? Might be even thicker than today's max.. (3mm?).

Iskandar


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