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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2017, 07:51 
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Played a warmup teams tournament locally, pretty much anyone from our area who is going to JOOLA Teams in a couple of weeks played that one. Our team ended up in Division C (I was technically slightly above the rating cutoff, but they let it slide).

We finished 3rd - for whatever reason Division C was the smallest with only 6 teams. I was an 'A' player and went 6-1, I believe, losing one match to a lefty from Japan who is married to a chopper, and presumably knows how to play them.

Made an equipment switch the day before the tournament: wanted to try softer rubber on my FH, so put Rasant Beat on BTY Defense Alpha I had lying around (with C&F III OX on BH) - liked it a lot and decided to use it. Sort of my version of Jian Li's setup. Had a lot of fun playing with it today - worked on my FH and smashes were more consistent.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2017, 11:12 
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Couple of years ago I had way too many Defplays, 3 to be exact, so I sold one to a club mate who wanted to have something defensive to practice with. Since I lost 2 of them couple of months ago, I wanted to have one in 'rotation' - so bought it back from the same club mate this week. Looks like he did not put much use on it either, so condition is pretty much pristine. It still had red Cloud&Fog III with 1mm sponge, so I only had to find black FH rubber. Found Inspirit Quattro UL (35 deg sponge), which I thought was perfect, since I am currently on the soft sponge bandwagon. It felt a bit heavier compared to Bty Defense combo, presumably because of extra sponge on BH, or may be it was just 'head heavy' feeling?

Spent an hour or so in the club chopping on FH with it against ~2200 player - worked remarkably well, we both got good practice out of it. Tried FH chopping also with BTY Defence +Rasant Beat and it worked fine too (although chops weren't as low, I thought). May be should give another shot at incorporating FH chops into actual matches...

Probably will have tomorrow and Tuesday league to tune up for JOOLA teams - looks like I'll get a chance to see quite a few forum members there. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2017, 20:17 
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pgpg wrote:
Couple of years ago I had way too many Defplays, 3 to be exact, so I sold one to a club mate who wanted to have something defensive to practice with. Since I lost 2 of them couple of months ago, I wanted to have one in 'rotation' - so bought it back from the same club mate this week. Looks like he did not put much use on it either, so condition is pretty much pristine. It still had red Cloud&Fog III with 1mm sponge, so I only had to find black FH rubber. Found Inspirit Quattro UL (35 deg sponge), which I thought was perfect, since I am currently on the soft sponge bandwagon. It felt a bit heavier compared to Bty Defense combo, presumably because of extra sponge on BH, or may be it was just 'head heavy' feeling?

Spent an hour or so in the club chopping on FH with it against ~2200 player - worked remarkably well, we both got good practice out of it. Tried FH chopping also with BTY Defence +Rasant Beat and it worked fine too (although chops weren't as low, I thought). May be should give another shot at incorporating FH chops into actual matches...

Probably will have tomorrow and Tuesday league to tune up for JOOLA teams - looks like I'll get a chance to see quite a few forum members there. ;)
Quattro UL was my backhand rubber for a while some years ago. While it was a good rubber, and very spinny, I can agree too much with the UL part (Ultra Light) as it really isn't. Standard Mark V for example is lighter. Shouldn't be an issue for you though with LP on one side.

I stopped using it for a few reasons; Firstly a desire for more speed, secondly I couldn't buy it domestically and thirdly the sheets were quite inconsistent.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 03:30 
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so_devo wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Couple of years ago I had way too many Defplays, 3 to be exact, so I sold one to a club mate who wanted to have something defensive to practice with. Since I lost 2 of them couple of months ago, I wanted to have one in 'rotation' - so bought it back from the same club mate this week. Looks like he did not put much use on it either, so condition is pretty much pristine. It still had red Cloud&Fog III with 1mm sponge, so I only had to find black FH rubber. Found Inspirit Quattro UL (35 deg sponge), which I thought was perfect, since I am currently on the soft sponge bandwagon. It felt a bit heavier compared to Bty Defense combo, presumably because of extra sponge on BH, or may be it was just 'head heavy' feeling?

Spent an hour or so in the club chopping on FH with it against ~2200 player - worked remarkably well, we both got good practice out of it. Tried FH chopping also with BTY Defence +Rasant Beat and it worked fine too (although chops weren't as low, I thought). May be should give another shot at incorporating FH chops into actual matches...

Probably will have tomorrow and Tuesday league to tune up for JOOLA teams - looks like I'll get a chance to see quite a few forum members there. ;)
Quattro UL was my backhand rubber for a while some years ago. While it was a good rubber, and very spinny, I can agree too much with the UL part (Ultra Light) as it really isn't. Standard Mark V for example is lighter. Shouldn't be an issue for you though with LP on one side.

I stopped using it for a few reasons; Firstly a desire for more speed, secondly I couldn't buy it domestically and thirdly the sheets were quite inconsistent.

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk


I just weighed them and Defplay combo came in at 160g, while BTY Defense is 164g. So much for the feeling :?: , but I guess hollow Senso handle contributes to head heavy impression.

While I was at it - noticed a bunch of bubbles under C&F OX - I had to re-glue (with glue sheet) it yesterday because old glue sheet was not that sticky and pips started to flap around the edges. Trying to press bubbles down did not work at all, but a couple of pricks with a needle did the job ;).

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2017, 21:21 
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Quick update on Joola Teams, as I wait to board a flight back home :).

3 days, 963 players, 238 teams, 150 tables. We played 11 team ties, I had 26 matches with 16-10 record. Our team finished exactly where it was supposed to ranking-wise, both in qualification round (2-2) and in Division group play where we finished 7th our of 8 with 2-5 record in Division 10 group B. I played every team match, which was quite a bit tougher than I thought.

Ran into several forum members: 'Japsican' (finally!), 'fastmover' (who is taller than he looks on video) and 'NextLevel', who timed it perfectly to coach me in one of the matches, which I happened to win in dramatic fashion :rock: (the other guy taped it, so there might be video eventually). Saw 'Bogeyhunter' but did not introduce myself.

Liked the tournament - it ran pretty smoothly (although I've heard that some teams had to play their 4 pm match at 6:30, which sounds almost surreal). Saw quite a few defaults in results - again not sure how and why that would happen.

Watched Bundesliga match on Friday and even more impressively, these guys actually played in the tournament too, with Grunswettersbach beating Joola in the finals - they did beat Muhlhausen in the semis again, while Joola upset ShanXi team in the other semi. No choppers in the final, unfortunately - there were several strong ones in the tournament, but I had zero time to watch them.

Jian Li was roaming the hall, but was coaching his students. So did Larry Hodges (I played and won against one of his juniors on Friday).

Overall played reasonably well - would like to re-play a couple of matches I lost (duh!), but had several satisfying wins as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2017, 11:20 
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Some random observations (I really don't want to recap all 3 days of matches...) - bear in mind it was my first serious Teams tournament:

* Your team composition matters: ours had ratings spread of ~350 points, which meant it made a huge difference who we decided to sit out for a given match. 'Even' teams did better.

* Playing order is important: you might think you want your best player in a slot that gets him/her to play a rubber match, but what if it means you are less likely to even make it to the last match...?

* One way to make it to a high(er) division is to register high ranked player or two to make sure your team's average is up, but play them sparingly (assuming they are OK to mostly hang out in the hall ;) ). You should be OK with a lot of losing in this case, though.

* You suddenly find yourself playing the role of a coach - analyzing your teammate's opponent and giving suggestions (of varying quality and value) on tactics etc. You also quickly understand that you really can't suggest technique corrections, mostly serve selection and may be something profound like 'go to his backhand' or 'probe his short FH receive'.

* We probably should've played our strongest lineup against weakest teams and vice versa - that is if we wanted to get the best record possible in our RR group (don't think we had realistic chance winning it, though).

* It sure helps to have a bit more space to move around, especially to be able to drop back.

* Receiving short no-spin serves with inverted is easier - this helped me to win my very first match after falling behind 0:2. I probably should've remembered it on the very last day as well, but did not.

* Sometimes (always?) it's better to do a slower shot that actually lands, as opposed to going for the spectacular full power one, either in a rally or on anything that is reasonably high - my opponent might hate 'soft' game with long rallies just like I occasionally do.

* I still got remarkable number of points against players <1800 from no-spin serves with pips (you'd think they would notice and adjust).

* It is remarkably hard to break tactical patterns in the match sometimes: you know you probably should not give him that ball to FH after he hammered it 3 times in a row, and you still did it too many times later.

* Likewise, sticking too close to the table against someone who has a decent opening is probably not a good idea - hard to chop it when you are too damn close and have little time to react. Or your anticipation sucks.

* Morizono is quite short. Habesohn/Kamal/Jancarik (most of Europeans) are really tall.

* ~2700 USATT players did quite well against Bundesliga folks - much closer matches than I would've thought and some upsets.

* Watched closely very good choppers - how on earth their chops are almost silent? Is their brushing contact THAT fine or sponge is THAT soft?

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2017, 05:20 
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pgpg wrote:
* Watched closely very good choppers - how on earth their chops are almost silent? Is their brushing contact THAT fine or sponge is THAT soft?


That's an interesting observation. When I watch match videos of pro choppers, the LP chops are quieter than the forehand inverted chops (and lower-pitched) but they're still quite audible, cf. the rally at 13m 15s in this video wherein Joo uses each of those shots:


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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2017, 11:11 
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When I did our lineups, I had already selected who was playing, I tried to give everyone matches. Of course you get a few more matches for the top players over a long three days, but everyone paid to be on team, they all need to play, why sweat over it?

Figuring out who is gunna be A,B, C or X,Y,Z is interesting. You could reverse stack the team to win vs a better team lineup, but still, they could reverse it so you gotta think of a double cross trick yourself. I agree that it is a priority to get to deciding final match and not lose earlier.

Rest, nutrition, hydration, muscle management, mind management are MUCH more important in such a tourney.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 01:49 
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pgpg wrote:
* Watched closely very good choppers - how on earth their chops are almost silent? Is their brushing contact THAT fine or sponge is THAT soft?


Good observation - I noticed this too. I believe (IMHO) this has to do with the fact that advanced choppers almost never hit the ball flat or somewhat flat; instead they brush the ball and brush it hard with full stroke. Fine contact or not - they go for the chop without any hesitation. Most modern choppers at high levels also chop with thick sponge, so that adds to it too. You also have folks who play Felint Long 3 and other super soft sponges, those things are dead and silent regardless of which blade is used.


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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 03:09 
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notfound123 wrote:
pgpg wrote:
* Watched closely very good choppers - how on earth their chops are almost silent? Is their brushing contact THAT fine or sponge is THAT soft?


Good observation - I noticed this too. I believe (IMHO) this has to do with the fact that advanced choppers almost never hit the ball flat or somewhat flat; instead they brush the ball and brush it hard with full stroke. Fine contact or not - they go for the chop without any hesitation. Most modern choppers at high levels also chop with thick sponge, so that adds to it too. You also have folks who play Felint Long 3 and other super soft sponges, those things are dead and silent regardless of which blade is used.


Forgot to mention - I was mostly referring to FH chops, with inverted.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 03:38 
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pgpg wrote:

Liked the tournament - it ran pretty smoothly (although I've heard that some teams had to play their 4 pm match at 6:30, which sounds almost surreal). Saw quite a few defaults in results - again not sure how and why that would happen.

What that did to us, is we couldn't start OUR match until around 815-830. And that's because we stole some tables we weren't technically assigned to. We didn't finish our match until 1015. Mind you, we had to be there around 8am, so we spent 14 hours at that damn place! :@

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2017, 03:12 
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pgpg wrote:
notfound123 wrote:
pgpg wrote:
* Watched closely very good choppers - how on earth their chops are almost silent? Is their brushing contact THAT fine or sponge is THAT soft?


Good observation - I noticed this too. I believe (IMHO) this has to do with the fact that advanced choppers almost never hit the ball flat or somewhat flat; instead they brush the ball and brush it hard with full stroke. Fine contact or not - they go for the chop without any hesitation. Most modern choppers at high levels also chop with thick sponge, so that adds to it too. You also have folks who play Felint Long 3 and other super soft sponges, those things are dead and silent regardless of which blade is used.


Forgot to mention - I was mostly referring to FH chops, with inverted.

Tbh, if your FH chops are screaming loud, you might have to re-evaluate what the heck is going on :lol: :lol: :lol:
Just kidding

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2017, 01:25 
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Nah, depends on the blade and rubber. If you have a clicky rubber, or a thin rubber, there will be noise. Listen to Chtchetinine's matches, his forehands are loud. I don't think any of us would refute the proficiency of his FH chop.

I bet Pgpg saw mostly chinese choppers and the all use Max Hurricane which is very quiet and thick.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2017, 01:51 
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Pgpg, what's the Defense Alpha like? I imagine that it's similar to the Donier Def...super flexy and low throw?

It's discontinued yes?

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2017, 04:12 
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Japsican wrote:
Pgpg, what's the Defense Alpha like? I imagine that it's similar to the Donier Def...super flexy and low throw?

It's discontinued yes?


I am horrible at describing blades and rubbers, especially in the flex/throw departments. I place it subjectively somewhere between Defplay and VKM, but can't explain why or on what dimension. I always think of VKM as a bit 'dull and solid', while Defplay is more 'light' and may be 'flexy'. Don't know. I can play with all of them in more or less the same way (JSH is an exception, since it is heavy and fast in my mind).

Since I got Defense Alpha form LordCope, perhaps he can chime in.

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