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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2016, 11:30 
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Just wondering how thin/fast compares to thick/slow. What style of play would benefit from these contrasting approaches?


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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2016, 16:05 
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Not sure I understand what you mean. Could you define your terms? I think I understand thin and thick, as we can measure these empirically. Are you talking about sponge thickness? As for fast/slow, that's pretty subjective, and is a function of how you play your strokes, the sponge thickness and type, the topsheet, and also the blade.

On the whole, I think that many amateur players generally use equipment that is much "faster" than they need. I'll give you a few examples:

A strong junior using Tenergy 05 Max on FH & BH on a 7 ply carbon blade. I'd say this is generally a "fast" setup. His loops and counterloops are blistering. However, he can't serve short, and he can't touch short. I'm pretty sure his serving and touching technique is good. When he served with my old coach's 5 ply blade, with H3N, his serves were much much better, and his short game was far more controlled. Sure his loops weren't as "fast" and he needed to put in more effort, but I thought he played better with the less fast setup.

I sometimes play weaker players using my hardbat setup - 2 x Dr Evil on a Tibhar Defence Plus. Now this is probably about the slowest setup I have ever felt. To get the ball full length on a FH or BH drive, I need to exert much more energy than with my usual setup (1.8mm short pips on an OFF blade). However, within about five minutes, my brain/body has corrected its expectations, and I can play the balls short or long, with plenty of control. When I need to hit the ball hard and fast, I can. If there's a weak ball and I smash it, it goes very hard and very fast. This is with no sponge, on one of the slowest blades on the planet. I don't lack penetration - I just need to place the ball well and get the timing right.

My team mate is a top division two player. Probably good enough for division one. He has superb control on his FH and BH, and can roll and place the ball accurately. Against even slightly high balls, his FH is explosive, yet accurate. He hits the ball very very hard indeed, with masses of spin, and can hit through most defenders at this level. If you watch him playing, you might think he has a very fast setup indeed. Nope he uses an all wood, ALL+ blade, and 2.0mm Sriver on both sides.

What's my point? There's a lot of gibberish spoken about "fast" and "slow". Clearly there are measurable and experienceable differences, but on the whole an amateur player can do pretty much anything with pretty much any setup. In general, faster setups should probably be eschewed until a player can demonstrate control and mastery of all their strokes with an allround setup.

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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2016, 16:05 
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I'm not sure that I do understand the question correctly.

Do you ask for the advantages/disadvantages between going for faster rubbers but thinner sponges compared to softer or slower rubbers with unchanged or thicker sponge viewed from a certain starting point?

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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2016, 20:27 
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vinuneuro wrote:
Just wondering how thin/fast compares to thick/slow. What style of play would benefit from these contrasting approaches?


Usually thin (sponge) means less speed, so I wonder what you're asking about. Same with blades - thin blades are usually slower than thick ones.

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2016, 00:05 
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IMO Speed is less of a consideration as there are a lot of slower thick blades (309 chop, defensive balsa), and plenty of of slower thick rubbers (Reflectoid, tack chop, etc). Also plenty of fast thinner blades (Carbon) and thinner fast-ish rubbers (Yanus, thin Yasaka Mark V HPS, thin, tenergy, thin Vega Asia). The thicker you go with Reflectoid/P-4/Tack chop/FL3, the SLOWER and more dampening they become.

To answer the OP's question, it's mostly about feel and preference. Some of the thicker blades just feel different, depending on the type of material they use. It also causes stiffness and the amount vibes are change. Weight could also be a difference, but that largely depends on the type of wood.

Thin vs. Thick rubbers. Thickness/Thiness gives you consistency for very specific shots. Thinness on the same rubber usually gives you less grip, and particularly for chopping it makes dealing sidespin loops more managable (this goes for both pips and inverted). Thinner rubbers are also easier to flick with because of the same spin-insensitivity. Generally, the thinner the rubber, the more spin-insensitive it is (always comparing to the same rubber but different thicknesses).

Thickness gives you conistency of throw angle when you block/drive/smash, and ensures that you rarely bottom out your rubber which will always (and suddenly) change your throw angle. Thicker rubbers also give more mechanical grip as they tend to envelop the ball and thus more surface area is in contact. So if you wish to generate more spin with your bat movement, thicker is generally how you do it. The feel is also different, so people who have styles that rely on touch and not power so much often prefer thinner rubbers for more feeling. If you are all power all day, thicker is generally the preference.

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2016, 03:57 
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Sorry for the vague question. An extreme example of what I meant would be 1.5mm Tenergy (I know this doesn't exist) vs. Mark V max.


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2016, 04:27 
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Sponge accounts for a significant portion of the bat's weight, so I guess the thinner sponged rubber would yield a lighter setup. This would be at the expense of spin capability on high impact shots. If you have a weak wrist and a fast loop is not in your repertoire, thin sponge on a fast rubber might be your cup of tea, if you can find it. Most likely, you'd lose more than you gain.


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2016, 04:44 
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vinuneuro wrote:
Sorry for the vague question. An extreme example of what I meant would be 1.5mm Tenergy (I know this doesn't exist) vs. Mark V max.

I knew exactly what you were asking, and that's what I was responding to.

I am actually looking for a fast-ish thin rubber for Classic Chopping on the FH. I think you would have the advantages of a thinner rubber (insensitive to sidespin) but a little more speed to help get the ball back without too much forward motion. If there is decent grip and/or tack to the topsheet, then service should be fine.

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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2017, 13:14 
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that largely depends on the type of wood.
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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2017, 02:19 
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And yet another alternative, thick and fast on a slower blade.

In any case, to answer the actual question asked, I would argue that thicker is better for offensive minded players. The feel is better. I would also suggest perhaps something a bit harder.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 06:01 
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Thick sponge is necessity for power loop with both speed and spin.
Choppers prefer thinner sponge for maximum underspin.

The overal rubber speed is less important.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2017, 15:13 
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Well, I can tell you very thick, very slow rubber is pretty disappointing. My first custom racket had Tackiness Chop 2.0mm on it (this was back in the day of the 38mm ball, 2.0mm was considered quite thick, beginners started with 1.5mm). Way too slow for any kind of attacking game.

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2017, 07:39 
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It would require very good technique. But i have seen people attack with it very effectively.

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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2017, 01:42 
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Honestly, you can adapt to anything. Even I can attack with 1.0mm Reflectoid. That is about as non-offensive as you can get.

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