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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2012, 21:55 
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Every now and then I get the urge to just ramble on about my newly re-discovered love for table tennis. Why not start a small, rambling blog?

I feel like I'm repeating myself, but I'll introduce myself again:
My name is Thomas Sievert, and I live in a small, Swedish town called Karlskrona. I'm a 24-year-old student at college.
When I was six years old I started playing table tennis, since hockey wasn't my thing (for those of you who know hockey, I grew up in Örnsköldsvik, which is world famous for producing amazing players like Peter Forsberg and Markus Näslund). I played TT steadily twice a week and competed 5-10 times a year until I was 13, when I quit. Alongside I also practiced fencing, which took up more and more time as I grew older. So I retired from my TT career at 13 and helped the club out as a trainer while focusing on my fencing career instead. 11 years later my fencing career is over with and I'm back into this lovely sport, and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

Today I got two pips rubbers in the mail. One RITC 802 1.5 mm and one RITC 837 0.6 mm, both as suggested here on OOAK. I've just finished gluing them, and it was my first gluing experience ever. Before I had help from my dad or some other adult, and lastly Britt-Louise Borg at Japsko did it for me while I was served coffee. Man, I'm bad at gluing. My knife was a bit dull and I didn't expect the rubbers to curl as much as they did, especially the 837 with thin sponge. Anyone have any tricks to make it lie flat while I'm applying the glue?
I guess it went OK for my first gluing session, though :)
I'll try to review the rubbers as well as possible, but my limited EJ experience might make the reviews a bit.. vague. I'll give it a shot though, as soon as I've tried them out a bit.

I'm super psyched, I've never player with serious pips before :) :) :)

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2012, 22:16 
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Welcome to the dark side of table tennis :devil: :) !
Just be sure that you are patient with your new material. I did that journey 3,5 years ago. It took awhile to get used to lp, but it sure made TT much more fun.
About gluing, use a little "double sided" to make the sheet stick to the table when gluing.

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 Post subject: Quick check-in
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2012, 03:06 
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So now I've tried them out a little bit. Unfortunately it wasn't against a very good player, so I can't really judge them completely yet. Here are my initial impressions, though:

802:
Grippier than I expected, by far. In fact, I noticed little difference between this and an inverted rubber... until I started hitting hard. All of a sudden the ball wouldn't latch on at all, which took me a bit by surprise, even though that was what I was expecting in the first place. Once I develop a consistent angle on my forehand this rubber could make me almost deadly. I like how grippy it is in slow play, though. I take pride in my serves, and it's nice knowing I still have them.

837:
Wow. This was definitely an interesting experience. Every single hit I made with this against his top spin seemed to reverse into back spin. Well, at least that's what I assume, since he drove all my returns to the net, even if I tried to top them. It was also a lot faster than I expected it to be, so it'll take some getting used to. It was definitely easier to hit the table from mid distance/far distance, but that just needs a little practice. There were a lot of balls that completely missed the table because the trajectory was so wonky compared to what I'm used to. It was great fun playing with this, though, and I can't wait until tomorrow when there's real practice at the club. Attacking with this side was surprisingly easy, as long as I kept spin out of it. I'm looking forward to getting to know this rubber.
From what I could tell it had great reversal but little to know spin making capabilities of its own.

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2012, 06:18 
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OK, now I've gotten to feel out my pips a little more. This stuff is really hard!!! The guy I usually play with was completely lost, but he's never faced anything other than 2x reverse before.
The kids at the club were great at handling long pips. They all got really terrified when I told them about it, but they played really carefully and it seemed as though it weren't the first time they'd played against it. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, since at least two of the trainers are LP users.

I did make some progress today though, in figuring out that it's super important when I hit the ball. If I attack - especially with my LPs when the ball is on its way down, I'm toast. Attacks have a much higher chance of landing if I make when the ball is on its way up. The short pips are still tough to figure out completely, as in exactly how hard I'll have to hit to hit through the spin.

I feel right now that both my backhand and my forehand are a bit hampered. I expected no less. Generally my forehand is fine until I try to attack. I still need to work a lot on that. My backhand chop works most of the time, but when I get a backspin I have real problems controlling the trajectory of the ball. I have that problem in general, but especially when I turn their chops into dangerous top spin balls. I'm guessing a more thorough chop generally yields better result than small, short ones.

It's weird having regressed so far in skill, and not being able to hit so many easy shots, but it's also kind of fun. Feels fresh, and I hope I can manage some results in local tournaments around here. I'm super charmed by these rubbers.

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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 Post subject: Czech Open
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2012, 19:44 
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I'm currently watching Czech Open on itTV. Haruna Fukuoka is indeed an excellent player. Just thought I should mention her serve. It's the coolest thing I've seen in TT. Well, sorta. I'm talking about that tomahawk one that she does. It's even hard to see if it's a forehand tomahawk serve or a backhand serve. Really impressive.

Which reminds me, is there a specific advantage to throwing the ball up really high? I mean sure it'll have a larger velocity on the way down, but is it really a noticeable difference? I've just never really thought about it, since I've been so comfortable with my 20-30 cm throwing height.

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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 Post subject: Re: Czech Open
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2012, 23:59 
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Knorben wrote:
Which reminds me, is there a specific advantage to throwing the ball up really high? I mean sure it'll have a larger velocity on the way down, but is it really a noticeable difference? I've just never really thought about it, since I've been so comfortable with my 20-30 cm throwing height.


I always throw up my serve high, but to say it makes a difference... I don't know. It more spectacular, though, and more artistic! 8) With these words I'm subscribed to your blog.


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2012, 02:59 
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Yesterday was the first "real" training session of the season. I went there early to say hi to the coach and watch him instruct the kids. He's reputed as Sweden's best LP coach and Def-attack said something about him being great with kids.
Now, when I was younger I used to coach some beginners and I like to think that I knew what I was doing, but I was almost ashamed of myself when I watched him. Such an amazing instructor I have never seen! I love that such a well reputed trainer actually spends time with the younguns. After all, teaching kids is where we need the highest competence.
My play with LPs got a little further today. I realized that the combination with SPs on my forehand just doesn't work. Next investment will definitely be a light forehand rubber, like the 729 Focus or Stiga Innova series. Anyone got some other suggestion for a really light rubber?
I got some pointers from Hans on what tactics to employ, that were embarrassingly eye opening. Up until yesterday I've mainly just tried to survive and gotten most of my points by provoking mistakes rather than having an active strategy. Hans simply told me to use my backhand LPs to build up for an attack with my forehand SPs. Problem is that once I get a nice, attackable response I have nothing to throw at it. My forehand is completely off and my backhand is only occasionally accurate. I'm quite used to attacking viciously with my backhand. I'll have to rethink my setup a little, but that was expected.
I have this idea that I'll spend the first year just finding the right gear, and THEN I'll pound everyone to the ground :)

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2012, 03:12 
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Sounds like a nice session!
There are some people who uses lp on FH for chopping and regular rubber on BH for attacks. You could try that also. Then I am also thinking that 837 might not give your opponents problem enough for a good kill. There are ways you could combine your two setups, like trying to put 837 on the other blade and vice versa. A black 802 in 1,5 mm could also be good for defending on a slow blade. If you can't attack properly with the short pip - change it or use it for another purpose.

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 Post subject: Another re-spec
PostPosted: 07 Sep 2012, 07:06 
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Today I replaced the 802 with my old Mark V M2 rubber - the red side still has some juice in it. Boy did it feel good to have a familiar rubber on my forehand side again! Oh the joy! I didn't realize how much I liked looping until today.
In the drills I was paired up with a kid using anti on his backhand, which we both could benefit from. For once I could use my LPs in drills without my partner being completely thrown off. This meant I got to practice my chopping and blocking a little, and I'm starting to get the hang of things, slowly but surely.
Now, if I successfully chop a single loop or smash, none of the youths in the club can attack it a second time. They're clever, though, so they just push deep to my backhand instead, which is risky for me. I haven't quite grasped how to handle that kind of spin with the LPs in a satisfactory manner. Sure, I return it as low as I can, but I still feel vulnerable giving them such a slow, strong top spin. I'll have to work on a good attack option. It's so weird because sometimes my LP attacks with backhand are amazing, and sometimes they're so off. It's really difficult to figure out all the different parameters to try and correct my stroke. But I'm getting there. I hope.
Now all that's left is to get myself a final bat. In the end of September I'll get to try on loads of different LPs (and hopefully some MPs as well) in the course with Hans Thalin and Lars Borg, so I'm hoping I'll find a favorite backhand rubber there. As for forehand rubber, it'll take some experimenting, but I know where to start. For the blade I'll stick to either the Hypertech CR (if it can survive many more reglues, it's quite worn) or the Japsko Allround+ for a while. Eventually I want to up my speed to OFF- or even OFF, but I'm not in a hurry.

I've also decided to make an official comeback competition-wise, and will be competing for the first time in the beginning of October. I'm psyched! :) I also have some hopes on being in the club's team and playing in the series. I've been away from serious competing for too long, and I sorely miss it.

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2012, 07:28 
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Comeback sounds great. Also nice that you found out that you love looping, keepp that in mind when you design your new game plan.
When someone pushes back your chop to your BH you can twiddle and push back. You can also push with lp but you need a very grippy one for that to be effective.
About attacking with lp, try not to move your wrist (stiff wrist) and have the same bat angle through out the stroke. That might help. Also watch Carl Preans attacking style, that might inspire you a little :)

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 13:55 
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nice comeback story Knorben...

you might want to seal your blades if you haven't already done so. it would protect and prolong its life especially if you re-glue your rubbers often...

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 18:02 
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Hallmark Aurora is a very good combination blade for LP players
EJ jungle again!! :cash: :cash:

If you want an all-round rubber I can highly recommend Crop Circles :rock:

For hitting and blocking CTT Pogo is also one of the best and VERY durable.

I came to the same conclusion as you when I tried a SP on my FH... Spin and loop
is a big part of my game.

But for time being you have a very good setup with Mark V and 837..
2 of my all-time favorites :up:

Cheers
Geddk


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 18:18 
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I've thought about sealing, and the thing is that I just don't have resources for it. I live in a small apartment, and I'd like to be in some sort of workshop to do that. My old Hypertech CR blade is so old, though, so I'm going to buy a new blade eventually to replace it. By that time I'll make sure to buy it sealed. I'm also thinking of buying a really cheap pre-made bat and peel the rubber off of it, to see if that blade is good.

Cheers, Geddk, I'll definitely think about trying Crop Circles. Is it light? One thing I've discovered after playing with the LP/SP combo is that playing with a light bat is great. Going back to my double inverted bat it felt super heavy. So I'm first and foremost going to try rubbers that I know are light. :)

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 18:21 
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The only thing that really bugs me about many of the combination blades is the size. I don't want oversize :(

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Blade: Japsko Allround+ | Forehand:LKT Pro XT 1.5 mm | Backhand: Lion Rebirth 0.6 mm
Blade: TSP Black Balsa 3.0 | Forehand:Friendship Fx Supersoft 1.8 mm | Backhand: SpinLord Agenda OX
Blade: Stiga Hypertech CR | Forehand: CTT National Strike 2.0 mm | Backhand: RITC 802 1.5 mm


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2012, 18:42 
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First..
You dont need a workshop to seal your blade..
This is very easily done with TSP racket coating
Attachment:
tsk.jpg
tsk.jpg [ 4.74 KiB | Viewed 3357 times ]


Yes, crop- Circles is light and so is Aurora.
You can easily cut down oversize blades to normal size
using something like this
Attachment:
pudser.jpg
pudser.jpg [ 47.01 KiB | Viewed 3357 times ]


Cheers
Geddk


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