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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2021, 03:58 
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Hello everyone, nice to meet you. I've liked ping pong since I started playing when I was maybe 24 yrs old. I've not gotten much time or opportunity to practice, frequently putting the game down for years at a time since then. I'm 32 now and I've taken a liking to a ping pong club that exists in the next town over, as there isn't one where I live. They only meet up once a week, and only for a few hours that day, and I miss the first hour due to work, but I can make it there and try my hardest. I've been learning a lot from the players there, who are all much much better than me; I feel very lucky to ever score against the very experienced players there.

After much practicing though, I can occasionally win a game, occasionally I said, from the least skilled members there, so I think I'm making progress. So far, I've only been using the loaner bats, that the club lends out if you don't have your own. These are all old and beat up bats. There's one among those beat up bats that has a little bit of life and stickiness to it still, so I've been using that one. I've been thinking about finally taking the plunge and committing money to just buying my own bat though, so I have a good base line to finally start improving myself. I've been reluctant to drop money on a hobby that I only get to play once a week, and only for a little bit, but I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt since I finally got a new job.

I'm a shakehand player, almost totally self-taught except for youtube videos and the advice I get from the goodhearted people at the Ping Pong Club. I'm thinking that a pre-assembled bat would be good. I'm thinking about the beginner combo from Cole's Table Tennis, or the Eastfield Allrounder off of Amazon. I'd like to ask a community that doesn't have a financial interest in plugging any given product though before I make a decision, so I came here. Thank you in advance for any help.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2021, 06:29 
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Hi, it's great that you're having fun playing table tennis!

Here are some words of advice when purchasing a racket:
- I would not recommend buying a pre-made racket. With those rackets, the rubbers are often attached with some kind of superglue, and it's not possible to remove the rubber without damaging the blade. So when the rubber becomes dead you have to buy an entirely new racket. When the racket is assembled, you can remove the rubbers and put on new rubbers.
- Pre-made rackets are something different than rackets that are assembled at the shop. Those are normally OK, and you can remove the rubber. Basically all shops offer bat assembly or "combos" that are assembled there. If you are afraid of having to do the rubber replacement later on, just ask around in the club, there'll normally be at least one guy who will do it for you.
- So you need to decide on a blade and rubbers. For the blade there is one piece of advice that I'd definitely recommend to follow: Go for a 5-ply all-wood blade. Everything else (carbon, 7-ply) does not make sense for you.
- Rubber is a bit more difficult. Many more modern rubbers don't last that long. From the ones I've seen at cole's, I can say that 999/999t is very good value for the price. It lasts quite long and I've played with that rubber myself for several seasons. There are other rubbers that might feel better or be faster, but from those I've tried they're either more expensive or don't last as long. But perhaps someone else has more experience with rubbers.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2021, 15:44 
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I don't know the condition of the bats you were playing with, but the first time you pick up a bat with sandwich rubber it's going to be traumatic. You won't be able to control anything. But you'll have to stick with it and learn to play with it.

What the previous poster was saying about pre-made bats is true. These are the bats that you find in general stores (Wal-Mart, etc.) and even sporting goods stores or Amazon. They might even have well known brand names such as "Butterfly" or "Donic" or "Tibhar". Don't get any of these bats. Instead, I'd suggest getting one of these:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1308156861.html

It's the blade I play with plus a basic Chinese rubber. It should take about 3 weeks to arrive. Or if you live in the US and can't wait, maybe one of these:

https://www.zeropong.com/assembled-bats ... bers-p-519

(The only thing wrong with this one is the thinner 1.7mm sponge - it should be OK to begin with, you can upgrade the rubber later.)

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2021, 11:19 
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iskandar taib wrote:

https://www.zeropong.com/assembled-bats ... bers-p-519

(The only thing wrong with this one is the thinner 1.7mm sponge - it should be OK to begin with, you can upgrade the rubber later.)

Iskandar


What's wrong with 1.7mm? According to my research, that seems like a normal thickness sponge. I don't have personal experience though, so I thought I'd ask.


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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2021, 02:32 
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With your mention of Cole's and Amazon, I guess you are in North America. I'd go for Cole's "Premade Buster" with max rubbers on both sides. I see that he is out of stock on flared handles (slight "hourglass shape" ; narrower in the middle) for this one, so you'd have to go with a straight handle. Most people prefer the flared handle shape, but for me it is straight only.

You'll be fine with the beginner combo too, which offers the flared handle option. I suggest the Illumina rubber option for that, but there is no need to overthink this. Whatever you fancy...

Iskandar's suggestions are also good, if you want to look beyond the sites you already have found. Eastfield is unknown to me. May be fine, but I'd go with a well known supplier.
Keyboard wrote:
What's wrong with 1.7mm? According to my research, that seems like a normal thickness sponge. I don't have personal experience though, so I thought I'd ask.

The given measure is the thickness of sponge under the solid topsheet. I'd recommend max sponge for anyone still building their basic technique. It allows you to perform the "high enery" strokes (smash, loop, flick) with confidence. With thinner sponge you may experience "bottoming out" where you lose a bit of the energy - spin and friction "pull" - in your hardest strokes.

Sponge adds significantly to weight, so thinner sponge may be recommended for children, and for players with weak wrists who cannot sustain prolonged play with maxed-out rubbers, and who also do not have the force to bottom-out that rubber. There are some other situations (with specialised blades or special rubber combinations/technique) where thin sponge (or even no sponge) makes sense.


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2021, 23:12 
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What's your budget?


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