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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2012, 03:55 
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I changed back to using the Joola Toni Hold Whitespot; it is simply the best blade for anti - very stable, no changes in gear (the Tibhar Defense Plus does have that, and attacking with the anti was a problem, due to the balsa in the blade), and good countering options. The only thing left is deciding on the forehand rubber. I want it to be 1.8 mm (and red, since the Ellen is black). I tried slow and allround rubbers (Globe 999 on soft sponge, Stiga Chop & Drive, Tibhar Varispin, and LKT Pro XT); so far the fastest (LKT) is the best, because defending with anti you have to vary a lot, so you do have to able to attack with speed too and preferably also ad mid-distance sometimes, mixing it all up. But I have the impression the rubber should be even faster and spinnier. I won't go for the Tenergy or anything that fast, so I settled on the DHS Skyline 2 - I have yet to try it.

Another thing - I had the opportunity to play with a Butterfly Super Anti (1.5 black), mounted on a Yasaka Gatien Extra blade, with a soft Sriver on the forehand. It was a surprise: it felt I had total control and everything was easy, even counter-driving. But in the match I found out it can't vary the spin much when you are chopping - chopping itself is great, and returns lots of spin on spinny incoming balls, but you can't add spin, so a smart player will feed you medium spin and attack the return hard. The Ellen is much more useful for varying the amount of spin you return, so I decided I'd stick to it. Nevertheless I was very impressed with the Butterfly. Now I can imagine why it's a classic.

The last thing I will try to decide is whether there even better blades than the Toni Hold Whitespot; I would like it to be just a notch faster. I have been thinking about the Tibhar Stratus Powerdefence, which is said to be rather hard (which would be OK for the anti) or the Joola Flame Low, or perhaps even the (heavier) Butterfly Powerdefence...

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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2012, 11:18 
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I've taken the plunge and switched from GD Talon LPs to Nittaku Best Anti. I reached a plateau at which the better players just have no problem with my LPs. I've never been able to really attack with LPs without making too many errors. I'm hoping that I can use the NBA to improve my bh attack!

 

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012, 05:00 
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Hi Kees

I am using Joola Flame Low with Timeless. I previously used Tibhar Stratus Powerdefense with Grass DTecs.

The Flame Low is softer and has more control than the Powerdefense in my opinion although I am of course now using an anti rather than a long pip and am using a tacky rubber with hard sponge on the forehand side.

Hope this helps if you decide to switch.

Bulldog.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012, 06:20 
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Bulldog wrote:
Hi Kees

I am using Joola Flame Low with Timeless. I previously used Tibhar Stratus Powerdefense with Grass DTecs.

The Flame Low is softer and has more control than the Powerdefense in my opinion although I am of course now using an anti rather than a long pip and am using a tacky rubber with hard sponge on the forehand side.

Hope this helps if you decide to switch.

Bulldog.


Thanks! Very useful! Tibhar rates the control of their Defense Plus blade as 10, but it is markedly less than the control of my Joola Toni Hold Whitespot, in my experience, so I had my doubts about Tibhar's rating system and you kind of confirm them. I won't go to a Tibhar if I change blades.

I am curious as to what rubber you have on your forehand. Do you attack with it? Does it offer enough speed for that?

Yesterday I played a tournament, 4 doubles, 8 singles, using the TH Whitespot with Tibhar Ellen 1.5 and LKT Pro XT 1.8; playing in a team with one of my sons I played 2 classes above my normal rating, so I had a tough time anyway, but I did more or less well. Main problem, again, was that my attacks lacked speed. When I attack it is either when receiving a serve or when I come in after a chop when the opponent decides to push or drop (which happened a lot, because even at this level most opponents do not want to risk looping more than once when I am chopping). On service-reception the problem is small, since there is little time for the opponent to see the attack coming and most of the time I attack over the table so there is a good angle. But coming back in to attack a push or drop-shot is another matter; the opponent sees it coming and gets ready and then the speed of the attack even combined with the spin is not enough to produce a winner, so I have to loop and back off again, and come in to loop, and back off again, and so on, which is tiring me out and eventually takes the edge of my game. I lost 5 out of 8 matches in the final game with 13-15, 12-10, and so on. Good matches, but frustrating nonetheless. I really think I need something faster on the forehand, but I don't want to sacrifice spin and control for it!

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012, 06:39 
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Well yesterday I spent the day at my club learning to use the Nittaku Best Anti. It is definitely different than pips! This rubber is of exceptionally high quality (one of the reasons I went for the Nittaku brand first). The top sheet has very little grip at all but probably slightly more than some of the more "slippery" antis I've seen used by others. I was expecting the 1.3 sponge to be softer, but maybe it is only "soft" by anti standards? Seems pretty hard to me. When bouncing a ball on the rubber there is no bounciness at all. Drop a ball from about a foot high and it bounces twice and then on what would be the third bounce it just dies on the rubber. The bounce is not really a bounce, it's a "thud." :lol:

I was able to start practice with a USATT 2000 rated long-pip chopper as my practice partner. He understands pips and anti better than anyone in our club. So we worked first on simple pushes against topspin, then on no-spin, and then against his pips. No-spin balls gave me the most trouble. Then we worked on hitting (attacking) underspin. This was something that even with Pogo and other "hitting" pips I never could get consistent enough to have confidence to hit in games. I found hitting against underspin with the NBA to be MUCH easier than with long pips. For now, after only one day of practice, I have to hit at about 60% power. But in about 10 or more practice matches I was able to hit well and often and gained a lot of confidence. I think the power of the hit will just get better as I play it more.

The NBA seems more sensitive to spin than my LPs (GD Talon or Pogo) and I'm going to have to work on my serve receive with the new anti. Some of that I think is just how dead this rubber is in the short game as I left many shots short of the net. But on the other hand, I was able to start hitting underspin serves that were even the least bit high. I could never do that with LPs so was stuck with pushing as my only tactic. As for the deadness aspect though, on hard loops I was able to block them so that they just sort of floated and died in midair. If I could get them just short over the net, the ball never came back as it would double-bounce almost like a net dribbler. On longer blocks to the endline even some pretty good players were whiffing like crazy as they expected to loop but the ball either dropped dead on the endline or just barely over.

Farther back from the table or on short dead pushes though, this rubber MUST be played with some aggressiveness or it just won't get back to the net. I had several shots just hit my bat and die. (And I have an OFF blade.) In other words, at slow speeds the NBA is not going to give you anything more than what you put into it. However, at higher speeds blocks are a breeze and almost hard to hit long unless it's a very spinny loop and the bat angle is wrong. Offensively, I found the rubber very linear as the harder I hit it the faster it got. I think part of that is because of the 1.3 sponge and I was hitting more off the blade itself.

So, my first impressions were good! Now all I have to do is get rid of some of the LP habits that don't work well for anti and work on a consistent attacking hit and I'll have a new weapon on my bh that will surprise some of my usual opponents.

Oh, one other thing...since I've been playing LPs for a good while now my opponents were asking "Long pips on your red side, right?" And I said, "No, inverted both sides now." Only one asked to look closer and the rest never seemed to catch on that it was anti. So I think anti is going to offer a "stealth" factor to the unwary. Advantage to me! :rock:

 

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012, 08:05 
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Hi Kees

Tibhar Grip S Europe max in black. Good for topspin drive and loop but also has a low gear for block/push. I love it to bits!

Bulldog.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2012, 10:01 
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cyber1call wrote:
Oh, one other thing...since I've been playing LPs for a good while now my opponents were asking "Long pips on your red side, right?" And I said, "No, inverted both sides now." Only one asked to look closer and the rest never seemed to catch on that it was anti. So I think anti is going to offer a "stealth" factor to the unwary. Advantage to me! :rock:  

How very EVIL :devil: :devil: :devil: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 01:01 
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This week I experimented some with faster rubbers on the forehand, to no great success - gain in speed in attack is loss of control in defense. So I've made the decision to go for max control and concentrate on variation instead of trying to force winners with counter-attacks. I will change my set-up accordingly: Joola Toni Hold Whitespot blade (straight) with Joola Toni Hold Anti (black, 1.5) and Joola Topspin C (red, 1.8). It's a pretty classic set-up... The anti is quite a bit firmer than the Tibhar Ellen Def I have been using, also very slightly slower, offering the best possible control in defense; it is also reputed to be slightly less grippy overall, so attacks should be harder but also a bit more disturbing. The Topspin C is a tacky, rather soft (38 degrees) very spinny rubber with moderate speed and should be good for both safe and heavy chopping, but also for counter-attacking. I will keep the other combination as a second set-up and see what will work best.

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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 17:55 
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I once ventured using Joola Amy Control when I became frustrated reading opponents serve. I made good improvement in my receiving and outside chop but my offense in the backhand was sacrifice. Went back using mark v.. But in the future, I am contemplating of going back to anti with timeless or lp...

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2012, 00:58 
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Today I played an opponent who is a quick attacker with a very fast and high quality forehand (inverted: Shriver) and a blocking backhand (Butterfly Super Anti). Until now I used to loose or win by a hair, but this time I had prepared different tactics: I returned every ball I couldn't chop hard to his backhand and attacked his return hard with my Tibhar Ellen. It worked. We had a lot of anti-to-anti rallies and as he is not used to attack with his, I had the upper hand. I beat him in straight sets with big margins. The Ellen turns out to be a very reliable attacking rubber - as Antipip already mentioned in some of his invaluable reviews.

My style has been changing, subtly, over the last weeks. I used to focus on long distance chopping, first maximizing spin and later in the rally varying it, but no opponent is looping my chops more than once or twice, so I have to attack their weak returns more frequently, which I now actually do and plan for, often using the anti for it. That is working out great. Attacking backspin with the Ellen is easy and effective, despite its relative low speed, because placement is very accurate with it, and attacking low-spin or topspin balls is becoming increasingly effective - also on service-return. My game has become more aggressive because of this and that seems to suit me ( :oops: ). I have to move in and out more, but as I am now planning for it, so I can start earlier, it goes pretty well. Anticipation is everything.

Now I hope that the Joola Toni Hold Anti (I will get it in two days) will be a bit more venomous than the Ellen... If it isn't, I will stay with her. Just a while longer, and it will be love... ;)

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2012, 02:08 
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Sorry, I played TH for more than two decades: It is not toxic at all, just safe, safe, safe ...
However, tell us what you experience.

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2012, 02:23 
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Slick wrote
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Sorry, I played TH for more than two decades: It is not toxic at all, just safe, safe, safe ...
However, tell us what you experience.

I will!
By the way, it is interesting that venomous is equivalent to toxic in Russian. I like Slav languages, they are so expressive...

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2012, 02:25 
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Kees wrote:
By the way, it is interesting that venomous is equivalent to toxic in Russian. I like Slav languages, they are so expressive...
Its the same in English too, isn't it?

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2012, 02:35 
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Slick wrote
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Its the same in English too, isn't it?

Not quite. Toxic is harmful, venomous is harmful but the origen is a snake. It is the same in Chinese too. Picture a King Cobra, lashing out for you. That is venomous. Its toxin (after the bite) kills, but it does so also without the extremely fast bite. I do like the image of fast lashing out and killing. So "venomous" has something extra over "toxic" for me.

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2012, 02:42 
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I'm going through the same transformation since I switched to the Nittaku Best Anti 1.3. It's a lot grippier than I expected and I must watch the spin a lot closer than I had to with LPs. But it is a very dead rubber at slow speeds and will definitely slow things down. I found out last night that I can do a backhand roll on no-spin or light topspin balls that is almost a slow loop. That seems much more effective than trying to just chop block.

I've also been working on attacking more and I've been hitting better with the NBA than I ever could with LPs. The hits aren't real fast yet as I'm working on my control, but they've been getting faster with practice. Hits with the NBA seem to have very little spin regardless of the incoming spin and thus are very flat and skip low on the bounce. This proves very hard for opponents to return even when the hit is not super fast. On the other hand, if I can hit it really hard, they almost never come back.

So far my biggest weakness with the NBA is high balls deep to the bh corner...but that was a weakness with the LPs too! (Any suggestions as to how to deal with that?)

 

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