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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2018, 13:59 
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Didn't want to threadjack so this is really aimed at iskandar


iskandar taib wrote:
You know, come to think of it.. I've never played with Sriver or Mark V, so I'm not qualified to say (though I suspect the old ASTI rubbers were similar - though I was speed gluing those).


How did you manage to avoid Sriver and Mark V?

Also, I noticed that Sriver was 1967 and is now 51 years old. Mark V was 1969 (i think) and is 49 year old. I'm sure the formula has had quite a number of running updates though.

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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2018, 19:37 
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I suspect that since they're over $10, they're way over his budget. The man loves a bargain. ;) :lol:

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 06:42 
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When I had actually started buying rubber (ca. 1980) there were lots of other choices. First thing I bought was Tackiness Chop (BIG mistake). And then Chinese rubbers started appearing, tried a sheet of 729, then PF4 (delaminated!). Can't remember what else I bought that decade (other than some long pips stuff like Phantom 009), but Sriver and Mark V were just too mundane when there was stuff around like that Joola rubber with two layers of sponge (can't remember what it was called) and stuff like Juic Spinspiel. Then I stopped playing for quite a few years, when I came back ASTI rubber was available, it was a little cheaper so I went through several sheets of that while using their speed glue and booster. I was also making blades, and was around when ASTI went bust and was selling off sheets for $10 (bought about a dozen sheets which lasted a while). And then I stopped playing again for a few years until a couple years ago when I discovered AliExpress.

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 07:00 
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So, which rubber is the oldest* today? Is it RITC 729? :)

*old as years in the market.

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 07:40 
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BeGo wrote:
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So, which rubber is the oldest* today? Is it RITC 729? :)

*old as years in the market.


Finding that out would be a LARC.
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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 07:55 
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Looks like 729 was founded in 1972 and the 729 rubber released in, literally September 1972

I guess that doesn’t hold true for, eg, 563 though :p

I haven’t found anything on what the first inverted sandwich was yet

Too bad archive.org didn’t cache the pictures from ittf museum

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 08:09 
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Silver wrote:
I haven’t found anything on what the first inverted sandwich was yet

Too bad archive.org didn’t cache the pictures from ittf museum

I think Armstrong claim to have invented the inverted rubber, don't know what it was though, or if it's still made.

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 11:31 
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This is what I remember from reading various sources. Armstrong made Satoh's bat - the Japanese Penhold bat with the 5/16" thick bare yellow sponge, with which he won the World Champs (1952 IIRC). And then this gave rise to many companies experimenting with sponge - mostly bare, mostly very thick. Towards the end of the 1950s it was mainly a few Japanese players who were experimenting with what we know of today as "sponge rubber" but was referred to back then as "sandwich" - sponge (thinner than was normal) underneath regular hard rubber. Sometimes the rubber was inverted. This was also a time of great turmoil and conflict - some tournaments banned sponge, I saw a photo of players holding a demonstration outside one of them, and there was a huge amount of animosity between "spongers" and traditionalists. Since ANYTHING could be used, where sponge was allowed, there was a huge range in what people brought, and it was getting increasingly difficult to predict what was coming back at you. So in 1959 ITTF decided to limit the choices of surface to four - hardbat, sandwich, inverted sandwich and bare wood. And sandwich/inverted sandwich was limited to 4mm thickness. This came from the Japanese experiments with sandwich, it was seen to be viable, though IIRC the Japanese actually wanted more thickness (6mm IIIRC). THIS was when the likes of Butterfly, Yasaka, Nittaku, Armstrong, et al. began marketing the sort of "soft rubber" that we're familiar with today. The Butterfly offerings were C4 (regular sandwich) and D13 (inverted sandwich). (Makes you wonder what "C3" and "D12" were...) Even back then the Chinese were playing internationally, despite the upcoming Cultural Revolution - I'm sure, like everyone else, before 1952 they were using hard rubber and after 1952 all sorts of varieties of sponge. And after 1959? When did they start manufacturing their own sandwich rubber? Possibly - I suspect the proletariat rec players in the cities and hinterlands were mainly still playing with hardbat, while the international players had access to C4 and D13. Eventually they did start making sandwich - and I'll bet most of it was the pips-out sort, since back then that was the default Chinese style. I don't know if many people remember the cheap rec pre-mades coming out of China - really poor quality, the topsheet eventually came off, but they did have inverted sandwich on them. I'll bet these had hard rubber on them way into the 1960s. By the 1970s and 1980s I'm sure they were producing tournament-grade rubber at full tilt, players like Guo Yuehua and Cai Zhenhua were using Chinese products (the initial inverted 729 that appeared in the US was plum colored, which Guo Yuehua used). I know they were also selling sponge and topsheets separately and quality control was poor based on my contact with Yan Jun, who was an ex-2nd tier National Team player in his 30s who was doing a PhD when I was - he said you'd find a sponge you liked, and once you'd found it you'd just replace the topsheet (he was a pips out hitter - there was another one there as well at the time, a woman, who was even better than he was). He had topsheets and sponge for sale, wish I'd bought a couple sheets.

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 11:49 
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There is an English guy who was on OOAK thinking I had some inside info on the celluloid to plastic ball changes, as I had made some points in the threads on the change over back when. He is apparently working on a book about the development of all table tennis equipment, concentrating on racket coverings. I responded to him that he should document things like the minimum friction rule and pimple aspect ratio rule for pimples out as part of what he was doing. Unfortunately he did not seem enthusiastic about this side of things - I can't remember whether he used the words "junk rubber", but he was pretty dismissive of anything other than double winged looper rubber.

<looked up my PMs - haven't deleted those ones yet>.

Grahamfbatts was his forum name. It was back in January. He used the term "funny rubbers".

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 13:36 
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I think the changes in equipment (and the resulting uproar and outrage) between 1952 and 1960 were far more dramatic than the aspect ratio rule, the friction rule, etc. in the way it impacted the game. In this case, it wasn't ITTF ALLOWING sponge, it allowed ANYTHING, it was just that it wasn't until 1952 that someone found something better than hard rubber and was good enough to take advantage of it. By all accounts, there were occasional users of sponge here and there before Satoh but they didn't have much of an impact. I find the changes to equipment in this period in history far more fascinating than the later changes, and it hasn't really been documented that well. Satoh was like HMS Dreadnought - the man himself sort of disappears from history after the 1952 Worlds (aside from the promotional tours of the likes of Reisman to Japan in the following year) but the changes he brought continued to influence table tennis until today. The aspect ratio rule and the minimum friction rule did affect some players, but none of these were at the pinnacle of the sport. The introduction of sponge, on the other hand, upset the very top levels - the players at the pinnacle suddenly found themselves being beaten by people no one ever heard of, and had to adapt - or retire. The plastic ball?? Aside from the griping (hugely facilitated by the fact that we now have the Internet), honestly - what has it done to upset anything at the International level? The same people are still winning as much as they were before the change. Can you point to any player whose world ranking has tanked, or risen dramatically just because we're now using the plastic ball? The 38 to 40mm ball change was far greater, and from what I remember, the kerfuffle was far more intense (back then it was just Usenet and one or two forums).

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 16:28 
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iskandar taib wrote:
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Can you point to any player whose world ranking has tanked, or risen dramatically just because we're now using the plastic ball?


Harimoto is alleged to be taking more advantage of the characteristics of the more recent plastic balls with LGY (?) second.

Who was it that beat Ma Long again and is also top 10 according to the ITTF rankings?

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 16:57 
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However, can you show definitely that Harimoto's rise in the rankings was due to the plastic ball? I think it'd be a real stretch. He's young, he trains hard, he's getting bigger and stronger, he's on the way up plastic ball or no plastic ball. He did "suddenly" appear on the world stage at about the same time the plastic ball appeared, but then again he was, what, 13 or 14 at the time? You can't say he wasn't ranked higher while the celluloid ball was in use because, I mean, what sort of ranking would you expect a 10 or 11 year old to have?

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PostPosted: 14 Jun 2018, 02:20 
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I know who that is, am Facebook friends with him and occasionally visit the club where he coaches. I can pass on any questions if that helps.
Retriever wrote:
There is an English guy who was on OOAK thinking I had some inside info on the celluloid to plastic ball changes, as I had made some points in the threads on the change over back when. He is apparently working on a book about the development of all table tennis equipment, concentrating on racket coverings. I responded to him that he should document things like the minimum friction rule and pimple aspect ratio rule for pimples out as part of what he was doing. Unfortunately he did not seem enthusiastic about this side of things - I can't remember whether he used the words "junk rubber", but he was pretty dismissive of anything other than double winged looper rubber.

<looked up my PMs - haven't deleted those ones yet>.

Grahamfbatts was his forum name. It was back in January. He used the term "funny rubbers".


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PostPosted: 14 Jun 2018, 07:46 
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iskandar taib wrote:
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However, can you show definitely that Harimoto's rise in the rankings was due to the plastic ball? I think it'd be a real stretch. He's young, he trains hard, he's getting bigger and stronger, he's on the way up plastic ball or no plastic ball. He did "suddenly" appear on the world stage at about the same time the plastic ball appeared, but then again he was, what, 13 or 14 at the time? You can't say he wasn't ranked higher while the celluloid ball was in use because, I mean, what sort of ranking would you expect a 10 or 11 year old to have?


No I can't, as correlation is not causation. You likewise can't prove that it isn't, however the onus of proof is on me for proposing it.

It has been theorized that the new plastic balls would advantage short pips hitters and the women's game because of less spin etc. People have been comparing Harimoto's game : staying at the table; relatively short swings; preponderance of backhand play; to the top women's game. It seems that as long as he makes his opponent play his "game" that he wins, while if he is forced away from the table and into a more forehand dominated (traditional male) game he doesn't do as well. Playing his "game" is much advantaged by the new plastic ball.

It is undeniable that Harimoto is very gifted to be where he is at his age. It is difficult to say whether it is really because his game suits the plastic ball or whether he would be as well placed if the ball was still celluloid or even 38mm, although I doubt whether his current game would have brought him to where he is now under such different conditions.

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PostPosted: 14 Jun 2018, 12:39 
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Harimoto isn't the only one who tries to play close to the table, though - a lot of the Japanese men (and as you note, the women) do. I'd argue that, leaving Harimoto aside, there hasn't been any dramatic changes within the top 20 or 30 mens' rankings that have happened since the advent of the plastic ball. Ma Long's still at the top, Zhang Jike and Xu Xin are still up there, as are Ovtcharov and Boll, there are one or two of the younger Chinese who have broken into the top ranks, but I can't think of any of the top 20 or 30 who have slid precipitously down the rankings as a result of the new ball. As such, I can conclude that the new ball isn't all that much of a change from the old one, despite the collective gnashing of teeth about it online, and everyone at the top has easily managed to adapt. Major changes DID occur after 1952, though. The masters of the game at the time were mainly European choppers, Satoh (and subsequent sponge users in the following years) took them apart. Reisman semi-retired, I don't think he played on another US Team (the thinking was that 1952 was supposed to be "his" year).

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