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 Post subject: The plastic ball and LPs
PostPosted: 29 Mar 2017, 09:35 
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Hi I've been playing a long pip push block game for the last few years. I've been developing an aggressive game of attacking backspin and hitting hard punches. Two years ago we played quite a bit with the xsf ball. Didn't think about it much. Then we got a load of Gamblers 3 star poly blend ball. We played with those for the last two years. Anyways, I picked up some nittaku 3 star 40+ to test out and I can't seem to hit anything. The ball is lighter and seems to carry. I end up playing very tentatively and opening myself up for attack.

Anyways, I was just wondering if anyone else has had these problems and what has your solution or how have you had to do to deal with the differences.

I know this comes up all the time, apologies if you feel I'm beating a dead horse.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2017, 11:54 
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Weird...most people would tell you the nittaku are the most reliable in terms of play. I think they are far more controlled and less apt to sail than the XSF balls. Feels the most celluloid-like in my opinion.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2017, 13:48 
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I suspect it is the SHA version of the Nittaku, as the JAP version is noticably heavier than most others out there. If you use the Joola, the Tibhar or a few others like them, they are also quite light and take a little getting used to. As an LP player, I find the lighter balls actually give me an advantage over the heavier balls like the JAP Nittaku...or more correctly, the JAP ball gives loopers and attackers more advantage as they can send it faster at you and you don't get so much "float" when sending it back off the pips.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2017, 14:16 
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My impression is that the Nittaku ball is heavier and less spinny than other balls, such as the XSF ball. It's sort of like playing with a rock ... which, at this rate, is what we're rapidly moving toward, and the result is that finesse players like pips players who use spin variation to win points are disadvantaged, while the advantage goes to players who can whack the ball hard and fast. Sort of like in regular tennis, where pure strength and athleticism are the main tools necessary to prevail. Kind of sad, isn't it?

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2017, 23:02 
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TraditionalTradesman wrote:
My impression is that the Nittaku ball is heavier and less spinny than other balls, such as the XSF ball. It's sort of like playing with a rock ... which, at this rate, is what we're rapidly moving toward, and the result is that finesse players like pips players who use spin variation to win points are disadvantaged, while the advantage goes to players who can whack the ball hard and fast. Sort of like in regular tennis, where pure strength and athleticism are the main tools necessary to prevail. Kind of sad, isn't it?


Which Nittaku 40+ ball? The Nittaku SHA is a rebranded DHS cellulose acetate that was introduced in 2014. It weighs about 2.76 grams on average. That is also the weight of the XSF ball. If those balls were any heavier, ITTF would not approve them.

The Nittaku Premium 40+ ball (which I think this poster is commenting about) is made of ABS plastic, in Japan. It is the lightest 40+ ball currently approved by ITTF. It weighs on average about 2.68 grams and if they were lighter the ITTF wouldn't approve them. (The allowable weight range and weight variations are outlined in the Technical Leaflet T3 from ITTF).

Those measurements are averages of at least 12 balls of each type on the same well calibrated laboratory scale. The differences don't seem like much but are enough to have some effect on how the balls play. For some reason quite a lot of people think the Nittaku is heavier when they play with it. I have read and heard this a lot. Twice on this thread alone!!! But it is objectively not the case. I think it is because the Nittaku is harder and just feels more solid, some might say they feel like rocks. I personally find them to be closer to celluloid than any of the others, it is just that their price is absurd. But again I emphasize, when measured on a scale, the Nittaku Premium is by a substantial margin the lightest plastic ball sold today.

The newest 40+ ball to be released (the DHS D40+) is also made of ABS plastic (like the Nittaku Premium) but weighs more, about 2.76 grams again (like most of the other plastic balls). I am perfectly happy to play with any of those three -- the Nittaku Premium, the seamless balls, or D40+ because they are round, have a consistent bounce that is at least as high as celluloid and generally don't break too much (especially XSF and D40+).

The thing is the weight measurements indicate that people's subjective impressions can be wrong. The various plastic balls are not identical that is for sure, but the question is WHY and HOW are they different? I think different players look at different aspects of the ball's behavior to draw their impressions and so disagree about things like spin, weight, hardness, etc. Especially spin. Nevertheless, weight, hardness, roundness, and surface texture can be measured directly. Spin is always inferred indirectly, from how the ball arcs, bounces, or reacts to a racket. And all of those things are affected by factors in addition to the actual revolutions/second.

As for the OP's original question, about plastic balls and LP's, he asks about THE plastic ball. And maybe one can't entirely generalize, maybe you need to specify WHICH plastic ball.

If I spend a lot of time playing with Nittaku Premium, it takes me a full session of a couple hours to adjust to seamless and feel like I can play my best with them. It turns out that I can adjust between Nittaku Premium and a D40+ pretty much immediately, even thought their weights are different. So a lot of this is just getting used to something. We never had to deal with that in the celluloid era.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2017, 23:30 
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Yes, I am talking about the Nittaku Premium. I have not weighed it, and I do not know whether the actual ball corresponds to the weight measurement you're reporting, but what I do know is that I and all the others I know who've play with it have a similar impression, which is that it's more solid and less spinny. Perhaps this is because, as you say, it's harder, or perhaps it's because the weight is incorrectly reported or perhaps it's for some other reason. To me, the reason is less important than the reality that it's a ball that, due to its lower spin, favors brute force and athleticism over finesse and the thinking man's game. This is unfortunate and threatens to turn table tennis into a game just like tennis, where you have muscled up grunting behemoths whacking away at a weighty projectile as hard as they possibly can.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2017, 02:16 
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This is what I ordered.
http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/ ... -3pcs-seam

It is most definitely lighter than the Gambler 3star poly blend. It is tougher to turn the spin from back to top, but more noticeably from back to top, with the same consistentcy. It plays top spin to topspin with inverted really nicely in rallies, very easy to do inverted blocking. But flat smashes with inverted and pips have been hard for me.

I'm sure it's partly because I have gotten used to the other ball but, it's not making my life easy.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2017, 04:38 
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No the weight is not incorrectly reported. I did the measurements myself. (I am a scientist and have really accurate balances in my laboratory). The Nittaku Premiums are definitely lighter. (A poster at MyTT, wturber, found the same thing, he also thinks they may have slightly smaller diameter).

But you definitely are not alone in thinking the Nittakus feel heavier. Many people say that! To be honest, they felt that way to me also the first time I played with them. I would probably still think so if I hadn't weighed them. So from that I conclude that people get a sensation from the ball striking the racket and interpret as the weight of the ball even when it is something else (or more than one thing).

The weight differences we are talking about between a Nittaku Premium and, say, a XSF, are around 2%. So if the Nittaku for some reason moves through the air 3% faster, than its actual momentum would be greater even if the ball is lighter. They definitely give a really solid feel. So does the D40+l very similar.

I don't play with LP, so I can't judge how that affects ball choice. wturber, who likes to play hardbat, really dislikes the Nittaku balls. I like them, and where I play nearly everyone is a spin-based offensive player, and the Nittakus have been the most popular ball in spite of their stupid price. I think with D40+ that is about to change.

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2017, 19:05 
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TraditionalTradesman wrote:
My impression is that the Nittaku ball is heavier and less spinny than other balls, such as the XSF ball. It's sort of like playing with a rock ... which, at this rate, is what we're rapidly moving toward, and the result is that finesse players like pips players who use spin variation to win points are disadvantaged, while the advantage goes to players who can whack the ball hard and fast. Sort of like in regular tennis, where pure strength and athleticism are the main tools necessary to prevail. Kind of sad, isn't it?


Nail on head!

Actually the premise of the sentence describes how I have struggled continuously with the new ball, over the cell ball!

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PostPosted: 03 Oct 2017, 10:24 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
I suspect it is the SHA version of the Nittaku, as the JAP version is noticably heavier than most others out there. If you use the Joola, the Tibhar or a few others like them, they are also quite light and take a little getting used to. As an LP player, I find the lighter balls actually give me an advantage over the heavier balls like the JAP Nittaku...or more correctly, the JAP ball gives loopers and attackers more advantage as they can send it faster at you and you don't get so much "float" when sending it back off the pips.


Which balls do you use Reb?

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