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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 18:15 
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I used to work in the hi-fi business, back when it was still quite popular, and affordable. Many people used to change equipment in a manner that would make a TT EJ gasp. And we're talking about items costing thousands of our English pounds, back when it was still worth something. Often, these people would only own a small number of records, and would just test the equipment with a few chosen minutes of music. Some were very scornful of equipment that didn't sound as close as possible to real live music and people who bought equipment purely because of the bass boom etc. Some assumed that "the closest approach to the real thing" was the only worthwhile aim. Some of us went to concerts a lot (my company sponsored the LSO) and knew that that experience could not be reproduced at home.

However, they all helped keep the industry going. And all varieties of consumer enjoyed themselves, so good luck to them, I say :rock: . In fact, there is no inherently morally superior attitude. It's a hobby, after all.

In table tennis, some take it for granted that the aim is to play competitively and win. But there are large numbers of people who play just for fun, even if they play in leagues, and the EJ instinct sometimes becomes part of that. Neither side can claim moral superiority.

Personally. I started back in the game after a 50 year layoff, only ever having played for 1 year as a 13 year old. I am not aiming to be WR 1: realistically I am pretty sure that even local neighbourhood championships are unobtainable to me. I try to improve, but am going through a period where I know I have better strokes but find it hard to implement them to get better results in matchplay :headbang: . I play with one of 2 similar bats in competition, but own and enjoy trying a lot of other stuff outside of that. So sue me. If I ever lost the sense of fun and curiosity, I would probably stop playing altogether. It's a hobby, after all.

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 18:19 
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I think a person who buys TT stuff regularly by themselves, even with valid reasoning or upgrading equipment, still is an EJ. The only way to be an Anti-EJ is if your coach or trainer tells you to go buy the equipment and then you stick with it until the coach again recommends something new.

The TT person who cares the least about buying TT stuff and instead focussing on their game, coaching and winning matches is the proper anti-EJ :lol: :rofl: all of us can get by being EJs :o :lol: :rofl:

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 21:33 
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I currently have 3 identical setups; 2 in my main TT bag (1 main and a spare in case of 'accidents). I keep the 3rd at work where I have practice opportunities, along with a bucket of balls for service practice. I buy 3 pairs of rubbers a year, always the same, and the main bat gets them with the 4-month old set going onto one of the other two.

I wouldn't rule out changing and I do dabble a little in the summer but I would advocate three points;

1: Changing equipment too often hinders progress
2: The bat is never to blame for me missing a shot
3: Lots of players use setups waaay too fast for them.

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2018, 19:06 
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I tried the EJ approach to improvement. When changing my playing-style towards modern defense I began to read table tennis related blogs. Most of them are concerned primarily with equipment, so I too began a search for the "best" equipment for my new style. Since then every season I have been using more blade/rubber-combinations than the previous one. The more I tested and changed my setup, the more my performance suffered. Even sticking to one setup for only a few months made my results got measurably better.

I have to draw the obvious conclusion, that a change of equipment does not improve any skill required to play table tennis. It can be fun, ok, but honestly I can't think of any advantage of using one rubber instead of another - at least as long as they belong to the same type of rubbers.

I often read statements such as "rubber x creates more spin then rubber y". Is it really the rubber which creates the spin? Imagine a contest where the person wins, who makes a shot with the most spin. 3 tries. Timo Boll using Sriver against an average Tenergy 05-user. On whom would you bet? Or one step further: Timo Boll using FS 804? Do you even consider him having a chance?

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2018, 13:20 
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0x556c69 wrote:
I often read statements such as "rubber x creates more spin then rubber y". Is it really the rubber which creates the spin? Imagine a contest where the person wins, who makes a shot with the most spin. 3 tries. Timo Boll using Sriver against an average Tenergy 05-user. On whom would you bet? Or one step further: Timo Boll using FS 804? Do you even consider him having a chance?


There lies the fallacy... Rubber X creates more spin than rubber Y, but when comparing the rubbers you use two different persons. When comparing different rubbers or blades, you don't change the person. You are trying to compare ABC rubbers for you, so you is the person and doesn't change. Then you would see the difference in rubbers used with your own style and level of play.

Timo uses cheap rubbers will beat you even when you use Tenergy. But say Timo playing Dima, and he can't use Tenergy but cheap inverted rubbers. I'm sure Dima wins hands down.

Better equipments will help and have big difference if/when the person using them can utilize them to his/her benefit.

When one wins with cheap equipments it proves of his/her proficiency in using said equipments, and not necessarily the cheap equipments are better than the better (more expensive) equipments.

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2018, 18:42 
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0x556c69 wrote:
I have to draw the obvious conclusion, that a change of equipment does not improve any skill required to play table tennis. It can be fun, ok, but honestly I can't think of any advantage of using one rubber instead of another - at least as long as they belong to the same type of rubbers.

I often read statements such as "rubber x creates more spin then rubber y". Is it really the rubber which creates the spin? Imagine a contest where the person wins, who makes a shot with the most spin. 3 tries. Timo Boll using Sriver against an average Tenergy 05-user. On whom would you bet? Or one step further: Timo Boll using FS 804? Do you even consider him having a chance?


We have bats which we lend out to players who don't have their own. They are pre-made bats made by the likes of Sunflex and others. "They" are capable of generating some spin and are slow. When I let kids switch from one of those to mine, it's like "wow, yours is so fast and bouncy". Serve to them when they are using a pre-made bat and the ball kicks off their bats but they have a chance of returning it on the table, even guessing. Serve to them and they try and return with mine and the ball goes wild off the end of the table, in to the net or off the side - that's exactly the same serves given to the "pre-made" bats. Can you play with any setup, yes you can. Do rubbers and especially blades make a difference, most certainly. From my experience, it can make a huge difference when you start to play and as your standard improves the margins become smaller. However, when you play at the top level, those 1% differences can be the difference between being world champion and well, who remembers runners up?

Does equipment win the match. Most definitely not. Place your bat on the table and walk away from it. Then ask your opponent to serve. Does your bat take on a life of it's own, leap up and return the ball? NO. This isn't the "sorcerer's apprentice" at work. Players win matches, equipment can be selected to compliment someones ability and style.


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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2018, 02:03 
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I believe some experimenting/EJing is healthy, especially for self-learned players. The setup can have more influence when not all your strokes are perfect. But you should grow out of EJ eventually to keep a consistent level of play.

Of course, if the goal is not to win as much as possible, then EJing is perfectly healthy, since I don't see it as addictive as many other vices.

I have tried 5 Cpens, 2 Jpens, and one shakehand blades, and a few rubbers. My current Cpen setup was found about midway. I think it's likely ideal for me.

I found that I like 5-plys with good speed, Chinese rubbers, don't like Tenergy for FH; can't get used to Jpen throw; and I'm decent with Shakehand in doubles but are destroyed in singles due to speed. I wouldn't have had these experiences if no EJing, and it makes me more confident in my current setup and chosen style.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 13:38 
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What do you mean by - "...can't get used to Jpen throw..."?


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 13:59 
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carbonman wrote:
What do you mean by - "...can't get used to Jpen throw..."?

The throw angle is too low.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 14:11 
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Sorry I still don't understand throw angle in relation to a grip. Can you explain more please.


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 14:53 
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carbonman wrote:
Sorry I still don't understand throw angle in relation to a grip. Can you explain more please.


Throw angle is an (unscientific?) property of a blade or rubber, not related to the grip. The Table Tennis DB ratings for throw angle is pretty accurate to me. Low throw makes the trajectory flatter and harder to clear the net given the same stroke. One-ply Hinoki Jpens all tend to have low throw.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 15:00 
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So it is the composition of the blade rather than the fact that it is a Jpen (or Cpen etc) of which we can say it has high-throw or low-throw?


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 15:08 
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carbonman wrote:
So it is the composition of the blade rather than the fact that it is a Jpen (or Cpen etc) of which we can say it has high-throw or low-throw?


Correct.

Obviously, saw your earlier post, I'm an EJ compared to you. :lol: But I've purchased the last blade in my life I think...I hope..

To me throw angle is pretty important tho. More balls landing despite our flawed techniques.

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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2018, 05:25 
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I used to be a chronic EJ. I have bought a lot of blades and rubbers over the years and only sold two. Both were shakehand blades that I sold. I bought them because it is hard to get Cpen blades here, locally since pretty much no one here plays Cpen. So I bought the two shakehand blades and made do with them, many years ago when I had suddenly gotten into TT and I got addicted. Eventually I started ordering from abroad and have even bought from Tommy Zai. My EJ craze has led me to such beauties like the Nittaku Violin and the Darker Speed 90. I own all-wood, multi-ply, single-ply, and carbon blades. I have tried Jap rubbers, Chinese rubbers, Euro rubbers, and even tried pips out and OX rubbers.

I even got a blade made my AmericanHinoki and also own one made by BladesbyCharlie. I progressed from shakehand blades that I sanded down or sawed the handle off a bit to turn into Cpen, to Cpen blades, to Jpen blades. I am now equally comfortable in either style but prefer Jpen because I feel the forehand is more powerful and I try to turn every attacking opportunity into a forehand.

I love to experiment such that I even started practicing with my left hand and became pretty good at it, even managing to win a few matches. So EJing came/comes naturally to me. It has nothing to do with money, or wanting to show off what I own but simply to do the interest in how each blade or rubber plays. In fact it is this technical side of the game, the physics and the mechanics of blade construction and sponge/rubber consistency that is such a huge draw for me. I like how table tennis is not just physical but so scientific and cerebral as well. I see it as physical chess with some elements of ballet and artistry tossed in.

Needless to say my EJing days are behind me and I am happy with the collection I have and still use different blades because I enjoy playing with them all and the subtle changes in feel and throw that they have. I cannot however promise that I will never see a blade in the future that will be love at first sight and I will buy it just because I like how it looks, even if I can't handle it on the table.

It is like changing the flavor of the food I have or trying different kinds of tea.

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PostPosted: 04 Apr 2018, 15:41 
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rokphish2 wrote:
0x556c69 wrote:
I often read statements such as "rubber x creates more spin then rubber y". Is it really the rubber which creates the spin? Imagine a contest where the person wins, who makes a shot with the most spin. 3 tries. Timo Boll using Sriver against an average Tenergy 05-user. On whom would you bet? Or one step further: Timo Boll using FS 804? Do you even consider him having a chance?


There lies the fallacy... Rubber X creates more spin than rubber Y, but when comparing the rubbers you use two different persons. When comparing different rubbers or blades, you don't change the person. You are trying to compare ABC rubbers for you, so you is the person and doesn't change. Then you would see the difference in rubbers used with your own style and level of play.

Timo uses cheap rubbers will beat you even when you use Tenergy. But say Timo playing Dima, and he can't use Tenergy but cheap inverted rubbers. I'm sure Dima wins hands down.

Better equipments will help and have big difference if/when the person using them can utilize them to his/her benefit.

When one wins with cheap equipments it proves of his/her proficiency in using said equipments, and not necessarily the cheap equipments are better than the better (more expensive) equipments.


But the crux of the EJ argument does not concern cheap vs expensive equipment. (EJ's usually dont go and buy pre-mades and the like) Rather, they tend to buy 'different' equipment of a similar price, type and quality. The question (as I see it at least) is: Is there any point in doing this? Another question could be: To what extent is a placebo effect in operation with EJing? Whilst using Tenergy rather than Rasant or Evolution (for eg) could make a very small difference at the highest level I think further down the food-chain the difference is virtually or totally non-existent. Such is the case for me.

Ranger-man wrote: "It is like changing the flavor of the food I have or trying different kinds of tea." Perhaps, but sometimes I think EJing is more like buying various Big-Macs but from different MacDonald's outlets. :)


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