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PostPosted: 06 May 2011, 23:41 
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I'm sure this has been done to death, but I figured I would give it a shot and get your thoughts. A little about myself, I played tennis all my life and have transitioned into table tennis. I play about 2 hours a day and really want to step up my game.

I decided to get a custom bat and I have already ordered it, so too late to change, but I wanted to get your thoughts on my choices and any kind of tips you might have. I spoke with a custom shop, described how I play and who my normal opponents are and this is what he came up with and what he sent me.

Backhand rubber is 1.5mm sponge Friendship 563 medium pips out (black).
Forehand 2.0mm sponge Donic Baracuda (red).
Blade is 9-10-9(from Blades by Charlie), instrument quality vertical grain cypress.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Regards,
George

Edited to add: Received blade. Love it, pictures and review on second page.


Last edited by Kerbouchard on 10 May 2011, 09:16, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 00:40 
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You'll do allright with that and you'll get along with this crew using that setup. One of these days, you'll want to tryout Silver's Schildkrot setup though...

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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 01:25 
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Thanks, I never realized how much there was to learn about table tennis. Reading a lot of the posts on this forum makes me wonder if you guys are speaking a different language.


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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 05:36 
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Wow, hard to believe somebody could get so much info from just an equipment spec. Lets me know you and Charlie both know their stuff.

I used to play a lot of tennis, but just started playing table tennis about 3 months ago. I was always more of a billiards player, but one of the guys I hired was really into ping pong. We have pool tables and ping pong tables at work so I get to play a couple hours a day. In any case, he thought he was pretty good and at first he beat me but now I regularly destroy him. That's when I found out he wasn't really that good to start with. In the evening, there are a few chinese and south african players that I have started playing with and it's a completely different game. My biggest problems are handling one of the guys extreme backspin on the serve. I guess Charlie picked the bh side to help me deal with their serves. I guess you could call me an offensive player. If the ball is high, I will smash with my forehand and backhand, but I feel more comfortable on my forehand side. I would like to use spin more, but the paddles I have available to me aren't very well suited to it. Basically, by your guys standards, I would be a beginner and want to develop my all around game until I decide what type of player I really am. I know that I will probably never be a defensive player. It just doesn't really suit my personality.

In any case, thanks for your detailed reply. It sounds like I made the right choice by putting my trust in Charlie.


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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 10:16 
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Blade: Trinity Carbon
FH: Victas VS > 401
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Spinny backspin serves are quite easy to return with any rubber, as long as you know what's on it. Going for a pimple rubber will certainly help you return this (and you can even attack them with this quite effectively) so it's good advice in this respect, but just keep in mind that it's not helping you to learn how to deal with the spin, which might slow you progress in future.
As mentioned above already, Baracuda is quite a spinny rubber, and with the right technique it should allow you to bring plenty of spin into the game.

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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 13:51 
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The more I am reading and learning, the happier I am with the choice I made.

As far as returning spinny backhand serves, yes, a lot of it is just that I am inexperienced. I know, in theory, what I am supposed to do...open up the racket a lot and either chop it or just block it, but unfortunately, I seem to have one of three outcomes...into the net, off the table, or to high which sets my opponent up for a winner.


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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 14:28 
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If you return the backspin server, and you push it

1. into the net: you need to make lighter and softer contact, and the ball won't dig in as much. Holding the bat angle more horizontal will also help.

2. long: again you're pushing too hard, try a much slower stroke with softer contact.

3. high: there was not as much backspin as you expected, so you over-compensated.... you need to close the bat angle more, or speed up your push, which will create more back and keep it lower.

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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 15:14 
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To push a short chop serve, try contacting the ball "on the way up". The push stroke should only be INCHES long. Let the ball do the work. Stroke should be forwards and DOWN. Do not "lift" the ball. This will give a short, low return.

If you let the ball start down, you have to lift the ball further and it will have to go high to clear the net and bounce high. Try to contact it before the peak of the bounce.

To return a fast chop serve, either block it off the bounce, (on the way up) or loop it. (topspin it) Block stroke should be very short also. Let the ball do the work unless it is high enough to "punch block". Experiment with the angle of the bat. If it goes long, close the bat. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 16:26 
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Thanks a lot for the pointers.

I think a lot of my trouble is that I play such a variety of players and different game formats. For instance, during lunch, I play against a very aggressive hitter that can basically return my spin shots with more spin. In the evening, I play doubles with two chinese guys, one with a pen hold grip, the other with the wicked backspin, and two South African's who mostly chop until they get a ball they can attack. Since the guys who play doubles are better than me, I sit out quite a few games, and I don't really get a chance to play my game. Add to that the fact that when playing doubles I try to play more conservatively to not blow points, but I end up hitting too soft or too hesitant for my shots.

After the doubles game breaks up, one of the guys usually sticks around, and today I won 5 and he won 2. He plays a lot better than me in doubles, but in singles I can open up my game and be more aggressive. After all, if I miss a shot, it's only me who lost a point, not my partner. After he goes home, I play against one of my employees who doesn't have a backhand because of how he holds his paddle but he has a vicious forehand. I beat him 8-0.

I think a lot of it is just confidence and that when I play doubles I hold back, increasing my mistakes, plus some of those guys are just really good.

I've been watching youtube videos and reading tutorials. Hopefully, when my racket comes in on Monday those guys will be facing not just a player with better equipment, but a different player all together.

Thanks again for your feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: New custom bat
PostPosted: 07 May 2011, 23:41 
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Thanks speedplay, any advice on making the transition as smooth as possible? It looks like your gear is kind of similar in function to what I am getting.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2011, 05:02 
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Thanks so much for all the input and advice. I am a little nervous because I have been trying to do research and there doesn't seem to be a lot of info on combination rackets.

Based on everything I have read, I think I have it figured out how I would play, but I would love some feedback.

Serve, baracuda side with max and varied spin and every once in a while switching it to the med pip side to serve a dead ball.
Return of Serve, for people who use a lot of spin, friendship side hitting flat and not necessarily compensating for spin as much as before; or can I attack a heavy backspin using a looping shot? Or will it just go into the net. For non-spinny shots, use baracuda side and attack for a winner.
Forehand, attack when available or loop or chop depending on what my opponent sends me.
Backhand, chop or push...generally a flat hit and keep the ball low.

Does that sound about right?

Oh, and I really wanted to say thanks once again to everybody that responded. I kind of expected snobbish answers and you guys were very helpful. I appreciate it.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2011, 05:51 
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ive seen chtcheninine twiddle to inverted on his FH or pips on his BH and the opponents usually shoot the ball off the table, or dump the ball into the net. be forewarned however, its easier if you dont twiddle at first, and to get used to your equipment. then after you can play well with your setup, start playing with the paddle the other way around, BH is now FH and FH is now BH. play like that from time to time, and after you get the hang of it you can start to actively twiddle without worrying much because you already know how to play both rubber on FH and BH.

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PostPosted: 08 May 2011, 06:05 
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I have a feeling I will be 'chickening out' quite a bit at first. Afterall, I think a lot of the reasons Charlie is designing this bat for me is because I have so much trouble returning Manoch's(sp?) serve. He uses a backhand, extreme underspin serve and seems to barely hit the ball. It generally results in me putting it into the net or putting it up high where it is killed. I have never gotten a chance to play Manoch in singles. It has always been doubles, so my mistakes are taken out on my partner. It makes me feel very uncomfortable and leads to lots of unforced errors.

I wish it was a different style of play as I don't feel like I am good enough to play doubles with those guys, but that is all they play. So, basically, my choices are to play singles with guys I can beat, or doubles with guys that are better than me. It makes me play a different style than I want to and makes me very uncomfortable. Perhaps, I will step out of the doubles games with the advanced players and just observe until I get confidence in my new racket and skills.

For what it's worth, there is a guy who plays with that group who stays after and will play me singles. On Friday, I won 3 in a row, he won the next, and I won the next two. He is very competitive in that group but in singles I can beat him. In doubles, regardless of my partner, we typically lose. I have a feeling those guys just don't want me as a partner, which I can understand, but it also makes me more timid and making more mistakes. The weird thing is, I have looked at it, and although I am the weaker player, they typically lose more of the points. I think they try to be more aggressive with me as a partner because they don't think they can count on me. In any case, it is a weird dynamic, and I just want to elevate my game to a point where I don't feel uncomfortable playing with those guys.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2011, 06:48 
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Oh, forgot to mention, I am also a photographer, so will certainly post pics as well as a review as soon as I receive it. I am very excited, even if my game will suffer for a while until I get used to it.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2011, 18:21 
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speedplay wrote:
The best way to improve your game is by playing it, not by trying to change it to suit your partner. Sure, playing double is really about playing shots for your partner, but in your case, I think you should rather play your own game and have your team mate adapt to your style.

If you are the "worst" player in that group, then why should you have to adapt? It'smore likely that they will be able to adapt to you then the other way around. You win as a team and you lose as a team, so no need to feel bad for your partner, unless you go for crazy attacks (and misses) all day long.


Sounds like great advice...I just wish I could get my head out of the way and play my game. But there is nothing so demoralizing as popping a ball up and watching it get smashed right back at my helpless team mate.


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