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Testing bats and rubbers while stuck inside due to Covid-19
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Author:  PRW [ 29 Mar 2020, 08:07 ]
Post subject:  Testing bats and rubbers while stuck inside due to Covid-19

So, New Zealand is in a 4 week shut down - people to stay at home, all businesses except essential services shut down. Working from home for the next 4 weeks, not sure if I will continue to get paid.

While not playing any competitions - I thought I would try out all the random blades/ rubbers that I never get to try, and post what I think. All is relative to me - used to playing with very soft rubbers. All rubbers max. Luckily, I have a store room downstairs where I can play. Will edit as evolves!

1. Hallmark Ultra balsa, Joola Maxx-P FH, Rakza 7 soft BH
- this is my current combo I have been playing with for the last year. Very good overall combination. R7S is a very good, reliable rubber, with more than enough spin, while still not too grippy that it struggles with return of serves. JMP is a good combination of enough grip to play a thin loop, and enough power. However, sometimes not enough arc for me - clips the top of the net too often.

2. Dr Neubauer Firewall Plus balsa, Rakza 7 Soft FH, Joola Samba BH
- great control. With blocking at incorrect angle, ball can still go on - and able to block easily. Placement on attack is easy. Blade doesn't have the ultimate speed of the Hallmark, but I seem to keep the ball on the table a lot longer. Against a more powerful player though, I may struggle to win the point outright.

3. Hallmark Ultra balsa, Joola Rhyzer 43 FH, Gold Arc 8 BH
- Rhyzer similar feeling to JMP, but a bit harder. Very grippy, harder sponge than JMP (but still relatively soft, slightly higher throw. Good rubber, work in progress. Gold Arc 8 is an unusual rubber for me - very good allround, harder than I am used to. I struggle therefore sometimes to know exactly how much grip it has, and get a controlled arc.

4. Re-impact Preference balsa, Joola Maxx-P FH, Rkza 7 soft BH
- most unusual combination in this list. With the balsa/ cork blade, and soft rubbers, it feels like playing with a giant sponge - but it works. With the ball staying on the blade so long, can develop tremendous spin. Doesn't have the ultimate snap speed of the Hallmark, needs a proper looping technique to get speed. Easy to play with, but cannot play a "lazy" attacking game. Huge potential, to be tested further.

6. Timo Boll ZLC, GA8 FH, GA 8 BH
- beautiful blade that can do everything. However, I like to security of an oversize blade (missing or catching the ball on the top edge. If I was fitter, and playing more often, I would probably use this - but with softer rubbers than the GA8 I have on at the moment. Great for controlled attack, flicking, blocking.

7. Hallmark Ultra balsa, TSP Ventus Spin FH, 729 Presto spin BH.
- my new possible favourite combo. TSP Ventus spin is not as bouncy as the Joola rubbers, seems to have the same spin, has a higher arc - really impressive. I was surprised that I like the 729 Presto speed as much as I do - it seems very reliable, not as bouncy as the Rakza 7 Soft, but more than enough spin, and great punch.

8. Hallmark Ultra balsa, Hexer Powergrip SFX FH, Hexer Powergrip SFX BH
- very, very powerful combo. Great spin, great control. Trying to work out if not too bouncy. Huge, arcing spinny loops

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