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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2013, 06:36 
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So after a few weeks of finding nothing remarkable to play with after my rubber being banned, I decided to try out a Huricane King and slap on two sheets of Yasaka A-1. I've been playing pretty poorly with the new rubbers, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot, though I didn't consider it as a viable option with the old rubbers. I was pleasantly surprised.

Image

Observations: One thing I've realized is that manufacturer ratings are not always accurate or relevant. The Hurricane King is rated as OFF++, but to me, it seemed very much like some of my old vintage blades, albeit with much less feedback than I'm used to. Part of this is due to the blade seeming very linear in speed with little to no catapult effect. This translated into the blade being very predictable (to the user) for my style of play.

How did I do?: I've been struggling lately with some people that I've never had a problem with in the past, but I decisively beat them last night. Pushing back or flipping spinny serves was relatively easy and my attacks, although they didn't 'feel' right due to the lack of feedback, were passably potent and accurate.

I also played someone who I rarely beat in the past and won 11-9, though we only played one game. The gains were not jaw-droppingly phenomenal, but enough to where I felt that I was almost back at my previous level.

What to do now?: Here's the crux of the issue. Was I just having a good night, were my opponents having an off night, or have I found the answer to my equipment woes? Have I just found a great blade/rubber combination for my style of play as a fluke, or did I simply learn something from the previous week and implement it last night?

Should I keep going down the EJ hole and try out even more new things by way of thinking they might be better, or should I settle for what seems like 'good enough?' Any thoughts?

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2013, 15:01 
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abdulmuhsee! Thanks for the Picture and story!

We have read here that decent hard bat play can compete effectively at club levels, and it is interesting that you are trying this!

I agree that this double SP ox can provide advantages. One certainly can make a different type of serve return with the SP ox. And chops stay low in flight. How did you find the pushing and chopping accuracy?

Were you able to vary the spin?

The pips on the A1 look closer together than Dr. Evil or Peacekeeper. Is this rubber grippier than those two?

I have been playing with double SP ox the last 2 weeks. Neither of my rubbers are hardbat legal. The Friendship 799 Ox has much more spin than my other rubber, the Galaxy Pluto Ox. But I am new with this setup. The 799 is great for flicking against serves, and very effective when chopping. I'm just experimenting....so let's trades notes!

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 13:36 
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glennholder wrote:
abdulmuhsee! Thanks for the Picture and story!

We have read here that decent hard bat play can compete effectively at club levels, and it is interesting that you are trying this!


I've actually been doing it for a few years at least and played hardbat as a kid. There was a couple year period when dad took me to the club and they took my hardbat away to get me on sponge, but then I grew up and was able to get my own stuff.

Basically what I meant is that my previous hardbat rubber got banned and I haven't quite been adjusting to the replacements. I'm rated at USATT 1500 right now from my last tourney 2+ years ago; I'd say that I'm bound to go up after my next tournament, but everyone says that :-).

Quote:
I agree that this double SP ox can provide advantages. One certainly can make a different type of serve return with the SP ox. And chops stay low in flight. How did you find the pushing and chopping accuracy?


One problem with hardbat is that it's more difficult to produce a spinny push. It's easier to return difficult serves, but if you pop one up, which will likely be a dead ball, a discerning opponent can easily put it away. You have to really get under it to put on some spin, so the most important thing is to keep it low. That, or look for opportunities to attack serves.

Chopping, to a lot of the (few) top hardbat players at least, is its bread and butter. Plenty of control and spin variation that works off the opponents' attacks.

Quote:
Were you able to vary the spin?


You can vary the spin with hardbat in a couple of ways. You can loop a ball to create topspin, flat hit or block to create a dead ball, or chop-block/chop to continue their topspin into backspin.

One of my strategies is to flat hit one of my attacks, then loop the next attack, which will cause them to pop it up and usually go long. With inverted, both of those strokes would keep the topspin going instead of one being dead, so you can give many opponents trouble with the spin and trajectory variation there.

Quote:
The pips on the A1 look closer together than Dr. Evil or Peacekeeper. Is this rubber grippier than those two?


Dr. Evil and Peacekeeper are pretty much the only two hardbat-approved rubbers I haven't tried since they don't have linen backings, but Yasaka A1 has pip dimensions pretty similar to Pluto. The pips are just much stiffer and rest on a thicker, high-quality topsheet with backing.

I don't think it's too much spinnier than either, though. It hardly grips the ball at all when moving it across the sheet. Basically all of the hardbat rubbers become approved due to playing similar to the originals, so none of them should have too remarkable of a difference.

Quote:
I have been playing with double SP ox the last 2 weeks. Neither of my rubbers are hardbat legal. The Friendship 799 Ox has much more spin than my other rubber, the Galaxy Pluto Ox. But I am new with this setup. The 799 is great for flicking against serves, and very effective when chopping. I'm just experimenting....so let's trades notes!


You know, since 99-100% of the time you won't be playing in "hardbat" tournaments, I'd say it's safe to call the same OX SP on both sides hardbat, though I do believe the hardbat-approved rubbers offer the best characteristics for the style.

You're right on the money when you say that attacking serves is fairly easy when you've confirmed that it isn't underspin or too long. Long serves are probably the most difficult to admirably return in anything but a push or chop, and higher-rated players seem to learn this pretty quickly :-).

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 13:43 
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So just to clarify, what precisely is meant now by "hardhat"? What's a meaningful definition? From my reading on the forum:

1) No sponge
2) Same rubber on each side
3) Short pips
4) Some restriction on 'official' rubbers (Dr. Evil being the most common)
5) No real restriction on blade

Am I missing anything?

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 13:48 
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LordCope wrote:
So just to clarify, what precisely is meant now by "hardhat"? What's a meaningful definition? From my reading on the forum:

1) No sponge
2) Same rubber on each side
3) Short pips
4) Some restriction on 'official' rubbers (Dr. Evil being the most common)
5) No real restriction on blade

Am I missing anything?


Pretty much, with the addition that the blade must be all-wood, so no carbon/kevlar/etc.

http://www.hardbat.com/rules.html

http://www.hardbat.com/hbCoverings.html

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 13:57 
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Hey guys! I think this is a lousy idea: That the hardbats need to have the same rubber on both sides.

I think that if a player uses approved hardbat rubber, the player should be able to use two different rubbers if they choose...... :^)

What do you think, and why?

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 14:22 
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abdulmuhsee wrote:
LordCope wrote:
So just to clarify, what precisely is meant now by "hardhat"? What's a meaningful definition? From my reading on the forum:

1) No sponge
2) Same rubber on each side
3) Short pips
4) Some restriction on 'official' rubbers (Dr. Evil being the most common)
5) No real restriction on blade

Am I missing anything?


Pretty much, with the addition that the blade must be all-wood, so no carbon/kevlar/etc.

http://www.hardbat.com/rules.html

http://www.hardbat.com/hbCoverings.html


Aha ok. So, if I had Dr Evil (or something else 'approved') one one side of my Bomb, would that be valid?:

- OX [check]
- Only play with one side, so no rubber variation [check]
- Approved covering [check]
- All wood blade [check]

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 18:09 
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glennholder wrote:
Hey guys! I think this is a lousy idea: That the hardbats need to have the same rubber on both sides.

I think that if a player uses approved hardbat rubber, the player should be able to use two different rubbers if they choose...... :^)

What do you think, and why?

Same rubber on both sides is an American rule, in France you can play with 2 different rubbers, as they are short pimpled without sponge. When I play with hardbat against sponge, I need to play with 2 different rubbers, generally Yasaka Cobalt or A-1-2 on FH and Dr Evil on BH.

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 23:20 
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glennholder wrote:
Hey guys! I think this is a lousy idea: That the hardbats need to have the same rubber on both sides.

I think that if a player uses approved hardbat rubber, the player should be able to use two different rubbers if they choose...... :^)

What do you think, and why?


The entire point of hardbat is for purists and to imitate the classic, simple paddles played with before the advent of sponge rubber, which means same rubber on both sides. Different rubbers, even if they're both short pips, is a form of deception in the game.

You may as well use long pips on one side or super spinny short pips and slick short pips on the same paddle. Or while you're at it, just put some inverted rubber on one side as well :-).

LordCope wrote:
Aha ok. So, if I had Dr Evil (or something else 'approved') one one side of my Bomb, would that be valid?:

- OX [check]
- Only play with one side, so no rubber variation [check]
- Approved covering [check]
- All wood blade [check]


Yes, that would be hardbat; like a classic one-sided penhold.

Francis wrote:
Same rubber on both sides is an American rule, in France you can play with 2 different rubbers, as they are short pimpled without sponge. When I play with hardbat against sponge, I need to play with 2 different rubbers, generally Yasaka Cobalt or A-1-2 on FH and Dr Evil on BH.


Same rubber on both sides is also the classic game of table tennis, so it's not really an "American rule." If the French association chose to do that, then it is what it is, but I would never consider a bat with unmatching rubbers a true hardbat, even though there shouldn't be a huge difference between those two rubbers.

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 23:21 
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I also have a hard bat using Hurricane King with Dr Evil as it's rubbers, it worked great and can play decently against players rated 1700 to 1800. :)


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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2013, 23:29 
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tatlwai wrote:
I also have a hard bat using Hurricane King with Dr Evil as it's rubbers, it worked great and can play decently against players rated 1700 to 1800. :)


So I'll need to change my blade when I play people above 1700-1800? :-)

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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 01:03 
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abdulmuhsee wrote:
Francis wrote:
Same rubber on both sides is an American rule, in France you can play with 2 different rubbers, as they are short pimpled without sponge. When I play with hardbat against sponge, I need to play with 2 different rubbers, generally Yasaka Cobalt or A-1-2 on FH and Dr Evil on BH.

Same rubber on both sides is also the classic game of table tennis, so it's not really an "American rule." If the French association chose to do that, then it is what it is, but I would never consider a bat with unmatching rubbers a true hardbat, even though there shouldn't be a huge difference between those two rubbers.

By writing "American rule", I was thinking to the official hardbat rules that are used in the hardbat events in the USA. In the 30's/40's, there was no rule forbidding different rubbers on both sides, this was just an habit. In my collection of vintage bats, I have some items with 2 different kinds of coverings (rubber and cork for example).
In England, the rules of the HEATT hardbat tournaments are different, they say that all players must use the same model of bat, provided by the organizers. HEATT = Hardbat English Association of Table Tennis.

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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 02:39 
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abdulmuhsee wrote:
tatlwai wrote:
I also have a hard bat using Hurricane King with Dr Evil as it's rubbers, it worked great and can play decently against players rated 1700 to 1800. :)


So I'll need to change my blade when I play people above 1700-1800? :-)


Sure, because players above that rating know how to put away every shot that you return. :)


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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2013, 09:37 
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tatlwai wrote:
Sure, because players above that rating know how to put away every shot that you return. :)


Hardbat players rated over 2000 would tend to disagree with you.

To clarify, there are at least 10 known full-time hardbat players in the U.S. that are rated above 2000, and 30 rated above 1800. I personally know a 1900 hardbat player who isn't even on that list (http://www.hardbat.com/hbusatt.html), so I'm pretty sure it's viable beyond the 1700-1800 limit you set.

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2014, 20:35 
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Francis wrote:
abdulmuhsee wrote:
Francis wrote:
Same rubber on both sides is an American rule, in France you can play with 2 different rubbers, as they are short pimpled without sponge. When I play with hardbat against sponge, I need to play with 2 different rubbers, generally Yasaka Cobalt or A-1-2 on FH and Dr Evil on BH.

Same rubber on both sides is also the classic game of table tennis, so it's not really an "American rule." If the French association chose to do that, then it is what it is, but I would never consider a bat with unmatching rubbers a true hardbat, even though there shouldn't be a huge difference between those two rubbers.

By writing "American rule", I was thinking to the official hardbat rules that are used in the hardbat events in the USA. In the 30's/40's, there was no rule forbidding different rubbers on both sides, this was just an habit. In my collection of vintage bats, I have some items with 2 different kinds of coverings (rubber and cork for example).
In England, the rules of the HEATT hardbat tournaments are different, they say that all players must use the same model of bat, provided by the organizers. HEATT = Hardbat English Association of Table Tennis.


Actually, come to think of it.. before the "sandwich rules" of - what year was it - 1956? 1958? you could use ANYTHING - sponge (often bare back then), hard rubber, NO rubber (bare wood), sandpaper (quite a few famous players used sandpaper) - on one or both or either side of the bat. In other words, there were no rules governing the bat surface - you could probably even use a framework strung like a tennis racket if you wanted to. (Back then tennis rackets looked way different than they do today, too.)

Iskandar


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