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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 07:52 
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Ninja of the Holy Chtchet
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Japsican wrote:
Looks fun. I attempted to make one unsuccessfully.

Which brand of return board did you buy? I think there are a few on the market.

This one?
https://wallyrebounder.com/products/wal ... ing-system

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 09:42 
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Yes, that's the one. I also got the little tripod to put one end on the table. I haven't tried that yet. If it cen return a short serve short then it will be far more valuable thanthd amicus ever was. If I have time I'll try that next week and post a video.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 15:13 
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Looks really great!

I know David had a small board at TTPor that he showed me. I think they're a good concept, and the adjustability of the Wally looks to be excellent.

Your drill looks super - I'm very impressed you got to this level against the board so quickly. I suspect it's very unforgiving of timing errors, and so could be frustrating to get started with.

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 23:02 
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Return board question:
The returns from the board's "blocks" seem kind of high depending on your spin. Do you find it to be vastly different than a human's blocks where they can keep them lower with touch and small movements aka "active blocking"? Have you tried angling the board more to better emulate a human?

Just wondering if it encourages a more vertical stroke than you would need against a human.

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2018, 00:55 
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Japsican wrote:
Return board question:
The returns from the board's "blocks" seem kind of high depending on your spin. Do you find it to be vastly different than a human's blocks where they can keep them lower with touch and small movements aka "active blocking"? Have you tried angling the board more to better emulate a human?

Just wondering if it encourages a more vertical stroke than you would need against a human.


It's tolerant to speed and spin variation within a reasonable range. What it isn't tolerant of at all is bailing out of a looping rally and hitting a flat ball. I have a bad habit of doing that in games, but the board has zero tolerance for it. The ball just dies. I see that as a good thing.

About active blocking, it obviously can't punchblock or anything like that. But when I angle it much lower than in the video I find the blocks to be unrealistic compared to the humans that I am playing around usatt 1900 level. Most people actually block higher than that in matches. But it's stupidly easy to adjust the board to whatever angle of return you want. The dream is as I get spinnier and spinnier with practice, the board will have to close more and more. We'll see.

Yesterday I did some down the line looping, all fhs then all bhs. I needed a lower angle for that to keep the distance short. But in 20 minutes (time-limited myself for injury prevention) I was able to get as high as 23 consecutive fhs and 14 bhs, so it was pretty easy to adjust.

About stroke changes, I'm actually using it to train myself to take the ball at the top of the bounce and swing more forward than my normal stroke. I worked on that a ton at the camps last year but I've regressed since coming home. Five years of letting the ball drop and swinging up doesn't change in four weeks of intensive training. I think twenty minutes a day for a year or two has a much higher likelihood of making permanent changes. That's what the board allows me to do that I couldn't before. I mean, I did train every day with the robots I had, but the feedback from that turned out to be counterproductive (for me). It's early days, but I'm convinced that the board will be better for my game than the amicus was. I wish I had bought one when I started playing, but whatever, at least I have it now.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 01:25 
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WARNING: EJ virus outbreak. If you are recovering from EJ, stop reading now or risk re-infection.

I've been working on my bh loop at least 50% of my training time for about three years. Conservatively let's say > 1,000 hours just on that. And I have developed a pretty decent and reliable bh loop vs block and topspin, which is all good. The snag is most real TT points don't start there, they start from backspin. My bh loop vs backspin has never been reliable. I can swing slowly, be very consistent, and have no ball quality, or swing fast, make erratic contact, and get an unpredictable result - miss long, in the net, make a great spinny shot, or a lousy flat shot. 25% success rates just don't yield a usable stroke. Of course opponents figure this out pretty fast. They feel safe pushing or serving backspin to my bh, knowing they will either get a push back, or an attack with very random results. If I blow one by them they can live with that, knowing I will miss two for every good one.

My problem on the bh has always been that the contact is too thick. I've tried for years to develop better timing, and fix my stroke to work with the equipment I chose (T05). Now I decided to try finding some equipment that is designed for the timing I have. So I have changed to short pips on my backhand after only ever playing inverted, the last five years with tenergy. This opens Pandora's box of EJ, since there is a world of SP with very different characteristics and I haven't tried any of them. I started with TSP spinpips red in max sponge. It is supposed to be of the most spinny (and spin-sensitive) SP generation, so I figured it would make the easiest transition from T05.

Contrary to all good sense and advice, I changed blades at the same time. I bought a Donic Waldner senso carbon (actually two of them now, see how the EJ progresses). I love my sweden classics, but everything I read about SP said you need some speed and stiffness in the blade to use them effectively. I definitely wanted a limba outer and the composite placed inner, to avoid that horrible metallic 'ping!' feel. WSC fit that, and it's a widely popular classic blade, is about as slow as a composite blade can be, and is cheap.

I have used the SpinPips for a week. I played twice at my tiny local club, about 6 hours total, losing two matches. The highest rated players there are 1700s, so I figured I was playing about 1800 usatt, roughly 100 points down from my rating. I also trained one day with my friend CS and was very pleased with the multiball results. I spent a few hours watching my new favorite pro player, Mima Ito, and shadow practicing her strawberry flick in both directions. Then on Sunday I had another three hours training with regular partner BFAftH. He is a solid 1900s player. We do about an hour of warmup and multiball drills, then play practice matches the rest of the time. Recently I have dominated at the beginning, then faded as his superior conditioning and less demanding playstyle takes over. Interestingly this time I lost five out of the first eight sets (3-2 then 0-3), but still won four out of six matches, and was getting stronger at the end. In other words, I was basically playing my same level (vs him at least) after one week with SP, despite not really knowing how to use them. If anything I'm having more trouble adjusting my fh loop and block to the WSC (still with T05). It's very noticeably faster. I really loved the sweden classics there, but I can adjust with enough practice.

Regardless of whether I stick with the SP it has already refreshed my training routine that was getting stale. There are cool new things I can try like dead blocks, and the optimal play patterns are different. But I see no reason, after a week, why I wouldn't give this at least the 1,000+ hours I gave inverted BH topspin. I'm playing a giant RR tournament on June 30th and will definitely be using this setup. Then I head back to the B75 camp starting July 15th, and will get a concentrated 75 - 100 hours training in 16 days. Making a decision before the camp was a big reason to change now, and I think it will really help. So maybe this will be the rare EJ story with a happy ending. I will find out in two or three years.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 02:44 
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I'm very interested in your short pips experiment. It looks like you went with spiny pips which might feel like a more dead inverted and will limit the change to your stroke. It makes sense and I've considered doing this too.

The only reason I have backed off is because my backhand against backspin is pretty devastating at my level. The look of shock on very solid blockers is never lacking.

My reason for wanting to change is that returning serve is still a challenge. Giving up the flick and the backhand loop opener would probably be too much. What I wonder if is I could do similar with less sensitive to spin equipment. That would be the holy grail, right?


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 01:57 
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You can flick with this stuff. Watch some Mima Ito videos, it's very educational. The main difference seems to be holding the paddle almost perfectly perpendicular to the table. She swings really around the side of the ball, not top-side with a mostly closed bat like a CNT banana.

And she can do the reverse flick off the fh side too. Not in my arsenal at the moment, but you've got to have a dream.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 03:31 
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Very cool! I had a lot of fun with SPs. Not for me, but I sure enjoyed them.

PS, I have some Stiga Clippa for sale. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2018, 02:57 
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SP update: the wsc is terrible for pips, too flexy. It's a really good looping blade, and I played pretty well with it, but the pips results were too random. I couldn't really learn from experience with it. So I bought an avalox P700 used and the feel hs immediately much better on bh. So seven-ply all wood (clipper clone) is definitely the way to go.

I played some with the P700 at the local club last night. The fh looping took an adjustment, but I still get decent spin. I have definitely given up some spin and control compared to my sweden classics, but it's faster, and still controllable enough.

One surprising thing with the P700 is it was easier to keep serves low and short. I thought a faster blade would make that harder, but apparently not. Maybe I am just swinging slower, and I am definitely getting somewhat less spin, but low and short is what I really want anyway. Will be interesting to see if the effect extends to all 7 plys, or just P700, or I have just had two above average days of serving and will revert to normal.

Today I ordered a samsonov force pro to have a second 7-ply wood. I hope to choose between those two and not get into ludeacks, clippers, adelie, korbel sk7. There are so many clipper clones.

Once I have a second blade I can test a bunch of sp rubbers. I'm using spinpips red, and already have unopened sheets of moristo and Spectol red, with Tuttle Summer 3c on the way. That's a lot for me to try in a few weeks when I only get to practice 3x week. So realistically I will probably pick between the spinpips and moristo, unless a traditional pip really blows me away. I read that using traditional sp forces you to learn "proper" sp strokes. But it seems like the main advantage was in hitting through spin, and not having to read it. I always had to read spin playing with t05, so the spinpips red seems very spin-insensitive to me. I need to keep an open mind, because the spectol or summer may have deadly hits, and sp is made to hit. But unless the hitting massively outclasses spinnier, modern pips, I will probably want to keep the option to make some spin myself.

In general I'm enjoying the experiment very much. This is my fourth week, so it's early days. But there are a lot of new skills I can work on and that makes me happy. For example I saw a video of a penhold sp player receiving long heavy backspin serves to his bh, and pushing them back as short, low, dead balls to the server's fh. I couldn't dream of that with t05. Dead blocks and chop blocks, chopping itself, lots of new stuff. It makes the game more complicated than the basic push or topspin decision I had before. And that will probably make my results worse for a while, or possibly forever. But I care less about results lately anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2018, 12:05 
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BRS, I'm really interested in how the 7 ply goes with your forehand and other inverted type shots as I've been looking at getting one myself. As well as the two you have mentioned, I'm also looking at: -
DHS PG7
Sanwei Fextra
Force Pro Black Edition
Joola Viva
TSP Swat
Stiga Clipper

So many choices, I'm sure all similar hence interested in your experience of the gains and losses compared to the Sweden Classic as I'm back using my Appelgren so its a very similar transition.

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2018, 00:04 
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I did order the force pro black. I read it has a larger handle than the blue, and is faster.

I played five hours with the P700 now, half matches and half drills. It basically delivers what I wanted. I get marginally less spin on the fh, but still have good feeling and control. P700 does not feel like an outer carbon blade at all. No 'Ping!'. I hate that carbon ping. You get feedback on off-center hits, aka vibration. The biggest adjustment so far is blocking. It's much faster than the WSC, and night and day to an ALL blade.

When I get the SFPBE I will put t05fx on the fh and see how it plays with softer sponge. I also think that 2.0 sponge in the SP may be too much for me to handle.

Some thoughts on your other candidates:

PG7 only comes in FL, so it's dead to me.

Fextra is intriguing. Great price, right in my $30 range, will try one later.

TSP Swat is interesting because they are pips specialists, but you don't hear much about it in the US. I've never seen anyone use a TSP blade here.

Clipper is even thicker than P700/SFPBE, it could be too much to loop with. Although I played a year with an Am hinoki one-ply 9mm and I could loop with that, so I'll look for a used one.

Joola Viva I know nothing about. I'd probably try a Ludeack if all the others failed, or give up on 7-ply altogether.

There's a good article about clipper clones at ttgearlab, you might want to google that, if you haven't already.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 11:09 
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Running out of options BRS
Donic Waldner Senso - Too flexy
Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black - Too fast

Where to from here?

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 12:28 
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Cobalt wrote:
Running out of options BRS
Donic Waldner Senso - Too flexy
Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black - Too fast

Where to from here?


Running out of options? You must be joking. I should mail you a PaddlePalace catalog sometime.

What I'm running out of is patience. So I'm going to buy a second P700, new, and a ST this time. Yesterday I played with regular partner BFAftH with the SFPBE and P700, changing bats every match. Doing that showed how superior the P700 is. NL told me the FPBE was a big PoS. Lesson learnt, never doubt NL on matters of EJ

Now all I have to decide is which pips to buy with the P700. I tried Spectol Red yesterday for the first and last time. It must be right for someone, but that person is a hell of a lot better player than me. That was meant to be my test of a traditional pip, but it was just blazing fast with no spin.

Anyway, the choice now is down to Spinpips Red, which I'm quite happy with, and Moristo, which :inlove: :inlove: Mima Ito :inlove: :inlove: plays. I'll use the Moristo tomorrow, and, if it's promising, on Thursday as well. That's about five hours of straight drills, so I should know if one is better. If they play the same I'll go with Moristo. It's cheaper, and Mima Ito.

Then this particular EJ adventure is over. It's a pain in the ass. Plus I'm leaving for the B75 on 13th July, and I want to play at least the rest of this year with the same setup I use at camp. Then I'll decide if the pips experiment is worth continuing into 2019.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 05 Jul 2018, 06:26 
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This bout of EJing is finished. I chose Moristo SP and the P700 st. T05 fh still of course. It's very easy to hit a quality shot with the moristo, as long as I get behind the ball with good balance. Maybe that sounds stupid, if you are in perfect position it should be easy to make a good shot with anything. But I didn't find that to be the case with inverted on my bh, or with the other two SP I tested. So moristo is it.

I celebrated the 4th of July by playing a few hours with regular training partner BFAftH. I won seven matches only dropping three sets. It's the best result I have ever had vs BFAftH. Of course, he may have been a bit off today, we will see next time how it goes.

One thing I still need to work out is whether I will ever actually twiddle in matches. If not I will put grip tape on the handle to move the balance down.

Now I can go back to working on re-setting my feet between every shot. That was supposed to be this year's project. And I have a ton of SP techniques to learn. It will keep practice interesting for a few years at least.


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