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 Post subject: unstable wrist problem
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 16:31 
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hey penholders

my forehand has been more powerful over the past few months and i feel great

however the most frequent problem i had when playing a forehand topspin is an unstable wrist

my coach (whom is a penholder himself) wants me to have my wrist fixed in place (a little wrist is still allowed) which i find really uncomfortable and a little taxing on my wrist since i just force it in place

any tips on fixing it? maybe my finger pressure on the blade is not strong enough?


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 18:06 
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netdriver wrote:
hey penholders

my forehand has been more powerful over the past few months and i feel great

however the most frequent problem i had when playing a forehand topspin is an unstable wrist

my coach (whom is a penholder himself) wants me to have my wrist fixed in place (a little wrist is still allowed) which i find really uncomfortable and a little taxing on my wrist since i just force it in place

any tips on fixing it? maybe my finger pressure on the blade is not strong enough?


Most problems come from a mismatch between the grip, the stroke, and weight/shape of the equipment. It would be hard to diagnose without detailed pictures of your grip and ideally a video of your strokes.

Thumb pressure on forehand alleviates some of the stability problems, but again, it depends on the grip you are uising: shallow/deep (on the front and back, in fact you can have shallow in the front and deep on the back and vvs), wide/narrow, degree of backside splay, # of fingers on the backside, and contact point of fingers on the back side. I find a combination of deeper, wider, and straighter fingers to be beneficial to stability.

I think what your coach meant is to only allow 1 plane of movement for the wrist and ensure consistent angles, not to fix it entirely. Again, this would depend on your grip and stroke.

BTW, if you have a coach, wouldn't these questions be much easier resolved during the session?

I've been making subtle adjustments to my grip for years. If you just want a good starting point, I recommend Ma Lin for a modern game, and Li Furong for an optimal single sided grip.


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 00:49 
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lasta wrote:
Most problems come from a mismatch between the grip, the stroke, and weight/shape of the equipment. It would be hard to diagnose without detailed pictures of your grip and ideally a video of your strokes.

Thumb pressure on forehand alleviates some of the stability problems, but again, it depends on the grip you are uising: shallow/deep (on the front and back, in fact you can have shallow in the front and deep on the back and vvs), wide/narrow, degree of backside splay, # of fingers on the backside, and contact point of fingers on the back side. I find a combination of deeper, wider, and straighter fingers to be beneficial to stability.

I think what your coach meant is to only allow 1 plane of movement for the wrist and ensure consistent angles, not to fix it entirely. Again, this would depend on your grip and stroke.

i dont understand what you meant by shallow and deep, but i will show photos of my grip later on

i will try to take videos too, though maybe by next week's session hopefully

just after posting this thread, i have experimented on thumb pressure for a while

just like what you said, i found out that it fixed my wrist in place during forehand strokes and therefore stabilizing the wrist. however, i find that my forearm is too tense for a quality shot when i pressed the wings down with my thumb firmly
lasta wrote:
BTW, if you have a coach, wouldn't these questions be much easier resolved during the session?

dang, the thought of that didnt come to my head at all :headbang:

i was too focused during the session to think of asking questions, but i will ask him the question by next week's session and share his answer to you
lasta wrote:
I've been making subtle adjustments to my grip for years. If you just want a good starting point, I recommend Ma Lin for a modern game, and Li Furong for an optimal single sided grip.

i made a lot of adjustments to my grip too, not just finger placements but also sanding the wings of the blade

thank you but i think i am fine without a starting point because i find my current grip to be very satisfactory

the grip is recommended to me by my coach too

maybe i should have clarified earlier in the thread, but im a one-winged jpenholder. apologies :P


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 02:13 
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Problem in the wrist may be from the grip or the weight of the set up.
If you are using a JPen set up (with only one rubber), the weight shouldn't be a problem. As Lasta has suggested for FH, put pressure on the blade with the thumb. Also, put pressure with the tip of the middle and index fingers. If it is a JPen blade you're using, rest the tip of the ring finger at the tip of the cork handle too. Penhold grip should not be too tight.
It is good that your coach plays penhold too. He can give you a lot of tips, especially when it comes to BH. FH is the easy part.


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 14:51 
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shaolinTT wrote:
Problem in the wrist may be from the grip or the weight of the set up.
If you are using a JPen set up (with only one rubber), the weight shouldn't be a problem. As Lasta has suggested for FH, put pressure on the blade with the thumb. Also, put pressure with the tip of the middle and index fingers. If it is a JPen blade you're using, rest the tip of the ring finger at the tip of the cork handle too. Penhold grip should not be too tight.
It is good that your coach plays penhold too. He can give you a lot of tips, especially when it comes to BH. FH is the easy part.


i actually struggle with FH a lot though not so much nowadays as my FH grew to be my most valuable weapon but the wrist issue still persists time to time

TPB came naturally to me :D

my blade weighs 118 g with rubber on but i do not believe that the weight of my jpen is causing the problem

anyways here are photos of my grip:

https://imgur.com/gallery/tFH2MtY

i dont really hook the cork deeply due to my fingers being too short to do so without affecting the angle of the blade

whenever i hook the cork deeply the blade angle protrudes outwards rather than being roughly in line to my forearm

only partially hooking the cork allows my blade to be closed enough to be parallel to my forearm when i put pressure with my thumb

sometimes my middle and ring finger touches the back of the blade

sometimes only my middle finger provides pressure on the back with my ring finger stacked ontop of it to stabilize it. i find that it helps me close the blade angle more if i want to and allows me to transition from FH to BH faster

my pinky finger does not touch at all

let me know what you think about my grip


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 16:47 
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I'm getting the impression you are trying for an extreme forehand-oriented grip. The grip necessarily forces an open angle, and I'm guessing you had to compensate for the angle by twisting the wrist?

I think you are overextending your thumb too much, it should be more or less parallel with the handle, you are pushing it right through the middle.

Also, of the back side, I'm getting the impression that the contact point of your 2 fingers are very open (past the middle axis), bring them to line up with the axis or even less (more closed).

One thing about Jpen blades I don't like is how narrow the neck is, you really have to hook your index finger to get a stable grip. There is no hard rule for the blade to be parallel with the forearm.

Try to give the grip a slight clockwise twist, thumb shallower, index deeper, back fingers more closed.


Last edited by lasta on 09 Sep 2019, 16:52, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 16:49 
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BTW, adding a piece of sponge on the back helps alot in regards to comfort. Look at Kaii Yoshida. I actually do this in the front as well, sponge is more comfortable than cork.


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 20:34 
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lasta wrote:
I'm getting the impression you are trying for an extreme forehand-oriented grip. The grip necessarily forces an open angle, and I'm guessing you had to compensate for the angle by twisting the wrist?

I think you are overextending your thumb too much, it should be more or less parallel with the handle, you are pushing it right through the middle.

Also, of the back side, I'm getting the impression that the contact point of your 2 fingers are very open (past the middle axis), bring them to line up with the axis or even less (more closed).


i think my fingers at the back side are right on the axis though haha, but i will experiment with your suggestions with the thumb position and on the back side

funnily enough, i used to twist my wrist to get the angle i wanted but now that ive shaved my jpen's grip even deeper than before i only have to exert pressure on my fingers to get the blade to be parallel to my forearm


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 20:43 
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lasta wrote:
One thing about Jpen blades I don't like is how narrow the neck is, you really have to hook your index finger to get a stable grip. There is no hard rule for the blade to be parallel with the forearm.

Try to give the grip a slight clockwise twist, thumb shallower, index deeper, back fingers more closed.


there is one korean jpenholder on youtube that modified his cork handle to be thicker in a way that you have a much bigger area to hook your fingers around with

maybe i should frankenstein my jpen further :D

though there is no hard rule for the blade to be parallel to the forearm, i find that it helped me a lot in forehand topspin because your blade becomes an extension of your arm


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 20:46 
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lasta wrote:
BTW, adding a piece of sponge on the back helps alot in regards to comfort. Look at Kaii Yoshida. I actually do this in the front as well, sponge is more comfortable than cork.


i should try that as well

the more the cork absorbs the sweat of your fingers, the smoother the surface of the cork. ive held a jpen with a slippery smooth cork before, it wasnt fun

though, what did you use to attach the sponge? double sided tape? i dont really want to permanently graft a sponge on the back


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 20:54 
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netdriver wrote:
lasta wrote:
BTW, adding a piece of sponge on the back helps alot in regards to comfort. Look at Kaii Yoshida. I actually do this in the front as well, sponge is more comfortable than cork.


i should try that as well

the more the cork absorbs the sweat of your fingers, the smoother the surface of the cork. ive held a jpen with a slippery smooth cork before, it wasnt fun

though, what did you use to attach the sponge? double sided tape? i dont really want to permanently graft a sponge on the back


Just regular table tennis glue. The same way you would attach a rubber. Try to pick slightly softer and more porous sponges, they are less likely to slip (especially when sweaty). I use Xiom Vega's sponge, also happens to be black (my back side is painted black).


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 20:58 
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lasta wrote:
Just regular table tennis glue. The same way you would attach a rubber. Try to pick slightly softer and more porous sponges, they are less likely to slip (especially when sweaty). I use Xiom Vega's sponge, also happens to be black (my back side is painted black).


guess ill speedglue a piece of sponge to the back of my jpen to boost my performance :lol:

do you think a 729 focus 3 snipe sponge would work well? the topsheet is crumbling apart like crazy


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 21:57 
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netdriver wrote:
lasta wrote:
Just regular table tennis glue. The same way you would attach a rubber. Try to pick slightly softer and more porous sponges, they are less likely to slip (especially when sweaty). I use Xiom Vega's sponge, also happens to be black (my back side is painted black).


guess ill speedglue a piece of sponge to the back of my jpen to boost my performance :lol:

do you think a 729 focus 3 snipe sponge would work well? the topsheet is crumbling apart like crazy


I have got a J-pen with rubbers on both sides. 168 grams total weight.

Also MX-P rubber should be good enough to survive glancing hits on the table ( but not if you hit it at the table edges ... not many rubbers will survive that )

Not sure which topsheet is crumbling and how you are thinking about replacing what with sponge from an old 729 F+S-III :-P

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Backup C-pen blades:
  • TSP Black Balsa 7.0 :
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    2. FH/BH-*blank*
  • 729 Bomb : FH/BH-TG2Neo/H3 Orig
  • TSP Versal C-P : FH/BH-729SuperFX
  • Stag Balsa Koto : FH/BH-XOmegaVA/YJupiter-II
Fun blades:
  • Yasaka Battle Balsa(ST) : FH/BH-YRakza7/H2 Orig
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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 22:20 
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man_iii wrote:

I have got a J-pen with rubbers on both sides. 168 grams total weight.

Also MX-P rubber should be good enough to survive glancing hits on the table ( but not if you hit it at the table edges ... not many rubbers will survive that )

Not sure which topsheet is crumbling and how you are thinking about replacing what with sponge from an old 729 F+S-III :-P


actually the jpen with the mx-p isnt mine

its from a youtuber, just wanted to show the modified cork handle

about the focus 3 snipe i figured that i could attach its sponge to the back of my jpen for comfort since its topsheet is already crumbling

i glued the sponge to the back just now, kinda had mixed feelings with it

the grip is pretty snug now but i felt like the thickness of the blade went up (the sponge is 2.1mm and the jpen itself is 9mm) and the feel of the jpen seems pretty muted

ill have to take it out for a test drive sometime after in a session or a match


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 23:32 
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s*** I forgot, those hinoki blades are thick like chopping boards, and not exactly precise feeling. Maybe the sponge thing was a bad idea. Haha.


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