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 Post subject: 955
PostPosted: 05 Jul 2007, 02:57 
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Unorthodox Batman
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Well, after reading Haggis posts for some time now and respecting his opinion very highly I've decided to try a sheet of this - it's going to be very different to my normal frictionless game, but I'm hoping I may gain as well as lose with this rubber. One of my early experiments with the frictionless ban coming!


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2007, 07:48 
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Thanks for the vote of confidence dingwol2! I suggest you go for 0.6mm and on a slower type blade (ALL+ to off-), it seems to be most effective there.

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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2007, 22:12 
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I have a Hallmark Aurora on order - slower backhand for the LP's but with a fast(ish) forehand for my SP's.

Having tried Barricade, I realise that the slow, controlled blade was ok for my backhand but I lost my real killer smash. Hence the combination blade.

Will be intrigued to see how I get on with a grippy pip as I have very little experience with this kind of kit.


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2007, 18:05 
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Unorthodox Batman
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The 955 and Aurora blade has arrived now. I have had the obligatory hit against the wall (!) and I'm just amazed at the speed of these pips compared to the usual frictionless OX I play with. By putting this onto a slow blade I expected a fairly dead reaction to the ball, but that's definately not what this produces. It feels as fast, if not faster, than my tango ultra 2mm on the fast side of the combi blade - scarey!

It's going to be interesting to see how this one goes. I can do you a review from the point of view of a normal f/l pip player - hope to get a chance to try this out in anger during the next week. I'm almost already writing this off, but will try to keep an open mind.


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2007, 18:14 
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dingwol2 wrote:
It feels as fast, if not faster, than my tango ultra 2mm on the fast side of the combi blade - scarey!


Is it possible you've got the sides of your combo blade reversed? Tango Ultra is a fast rubber.

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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2007, 18:42 
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The 955 is a lot faster than something like SB, but not one of the fastest pips I've tried. They are also a little springy, which works well for chopping, but not so good close in. Did you get the 0.6mm version?

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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2007, 03:43 
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Yes, I have this in 0.6mm. I hope the rubbers are not the wrong way around - I don't think so. I have the side with the handle label as the faster forehand. The supplier made the bat up for me, so if this is wrong, I'm gonna be angreeee!


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PostPosted: 13 Jul 2007, 21:59 
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I had 30 mins with this last night and was quite encouraged. I think with practice I could convert to this grippier pip. I definitely lost some control when compared to scalpel and I struggled at times to get the correct bat angle for returning top spin - putting quite a lot into the net. I also struggled against a hard, flat attack, when I am used to a fairly passive block with scalpel, but this would often go long with 955.

However, I could still work some excellent acute angles and drop the ball very short over the net, with a reasonable amount of touch. And attacking against chop was possible with far more aggression. Blocks were also possible at more pace than my normal frictionless. And chopping from the table, I could mostly return a low ball, with quite a lot of back spin, often then put into the net.

Against a better player, life was harder with this and he said my old set up was more effective - but then again, I only used it for half an hour. Depending on what the ban, I will be giving a switch to this rubber some serious consideration, although maybe not on this blade - I may transfer it to my usual Comb Ultra.

The Auroro blade disappointed me. F/h is supposed to be reaonable speed, but I felt this was too slow. It had some good control, but I felt it was flimsy and it left me rather toothless. Maybe I'm too used to my big, fat balsa frying pan!


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PostPosted: 14 Jul 2007, 00:38 
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Dark Knight
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That does sound encouraging! The change is quite big, but so is the potential
with this rubber. Keep practicing... it will pay off!

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PostPosted: 14 Jul 2007, 19:02 
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I will - it's just hard because I know I'll lose a lot early days with this, because I don't have the instinctive feel for it. This is going to have to be a longer term experiment for me.


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2007, 17:42 
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An update. I played with this for around 45 mins last night. I loved it back from the table and could chop the ball so low back to my opponent with a lot of back spin. But, and this is a big but for my game, when I was up at the table I had so little feel for what the right shots were. When I played against heavy top spin, I really struggled to get the bat angle closed enough to play the ball back, and because of the grip from these pips, I regularly was high and long in my attempted blocks. When they did go back, I had been too passive so my opponent had no trouble killing the second ball.

I played a really decent player with this and hardly had the opportunity to attack with it. He didn't fear looping to me with this as the effect just wasn't there. So my early conclusion is that this rubber would be OK for me if I decided to get back from the table and defend 95% of the time. But I then lose my forehand kills, so this is not really the way I want to play. I'm happy to be back for 50% of the time max. My opponents told me they would be much happier to play the 955 than scalpel.

I know it's early days, and although I haven't written this off yet, it's heading that way rapidly. I really want a close the the table alternative to scalpel which will get through the ban, does not have this level of grip, and gives better control than 955 - guess I'll just have to be less impatient and wait to see what comes out in the next 12 months. With Hallmark and Dr N developing rubbers which should be just above the minimum friction tolerance, I think these will be the way for me to go, when they ultimately arrive.


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2007, 17:57 
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Blocking passively with this rubber is not a good idea, as the ball really grip into the rubber (as you found yourself).

What you need to do close the bat angle a little and have a forward movement with the bat... this blocks it back faster, and with more sink (spin reversal)., and is much easier to control. You can speed up the stroke making it virtually a counter hit. The strokes then becomes similar to a normal bh counter hit, but comes back slower with some spin reversal...

It's quit an effective shot, and much easier to judge and more forgiving then the passive block.

Glad to hear you like chopping with it, since it's really awesome for this... even against very fast loops/hits...

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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2007, 22:11 
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I've a friend who plays in quite high leagues who plays a very attacking game using the globe on 1.5mm sponge.
You have to forget the frictionless' spinreversal' passiveblock IMO. Your basic strokes against topspin need to be a choice of chop block, closed 'moving forward' block - which will give either no using or slight backspin, or nospin or topspin punch blocks. The idea is to constantly very the spin.
I've moved to saviga from razor to try and prepare for the frictionless ban (yeah I know saviga will probably be banned), and its not just the strokes that change but the game plan too...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 21 Jul 2007, 00:49 
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Hmmmm... can't get 955 in 1.5mm sponge although admittedly I've got a sheet (Hallmark sponge and 955 OX).

Basically thats what I do - you can reverse spin, they'll be not much reverse spin on 1.5mm 955 but there is with 1.5mm Frustration. You play chop blocks on defense, swipes (sidespin) and punch blocks. The pips allow an allround game. The advantages of this style are:
1. The opponents serve must be good - otherwise you'll immediately attack it *
2. You can suddenly shift style to reverse spin so the amount of variation at your disposal is huge
3. You twiddle and loop with inverted on both backhand and forehand..... the ball is moving fast so the opponent has little time to adjust.
4. You are pretty immune to the incoming spin unlike inverted

* Thus it can open up the game immediately - they serve you blast - with little spin - the return (if it happens) will often not carry much spin - so I can spin and do anything with the ball.

The disads:
1. When you hit your technique must be good and I have to hit very hard with a loop style stroke to get enough topspin to get it over the net and I mean VERY hard on both backhand and forehand (lactic acid build up in the playing arm).
2. Massive problem playing 'drop shots' - not only are they difficult to control with a springy rubber on 1.5mm sponge, the loss of reverse spin means they are much much easier to return. Drop shots are basically dead in this style *sob*
3. You can't have a rubber specially for your backhand - you've got to comprise what both backhand and forehand can accommodate. I would like a rubber with a high throw for my backhand.
4. Once the ball drops too far below the level of the net - at about the level of the table you can't easily get this back on the pips and attack. Its easy to do with inverted of course. Thus you need to take the ball either immediately off the bounce (punch block) or at the height of its bounce (loop type stroke)

Its swings and roundabouts - the big advantage is that the style is unusual.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 21 Jul 2007, 01:48 
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Mathias wrote:
Hmmmm... can't get 955 in 1.5mm sponge although admittedly I've got a sheet (Hallmark sponge and 955 OX).


yeah he got it made up for him - beauty of chinese pips, cheap and easy!
I'm finding it quite hard to get these more active strokes going when I'm in trouble, my default is to play passive when I've lost the initiative - if I'm in control no problem, but if I'm out of position, loosing, and approaching a crucial point of the game I'm playing passive strokes. Need to spend the summer grooving the strokes in...

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