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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 00:32 
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There are quite a few threads on table tennis forums about what the "Pro's" use. Generally speaking I read them with a passing interest and no more. However, I've decided to try an experiment. People in the league I play tend to not be obsessed with pro's equipment. They either replace their rubber when it's worn out, falling to bits or when Bill Thornton brings his stall down once a year at our fun summer league.

There's also only a passing interest in what is the latest, fastest, best, hyper control super speed, orbital spin rated, plastic ball optimised rubber now being sold and even less interest in blades.

So I've decided to try out a little test. Would any of our league players be willing to swap their setup for one I've put together based on what I've been told a professional player uses. First though I had to choose the player. As I like to try to try and play up to the table counter hit, attack with short pimples on my backhand, inverted forehand - emphasis on try - I identified someone who's style I like. I settled on Mima Ito.



According to a UK distributor for Nittaku products she uses Fastarc G-1 max and Moristo SP 2.2mm. Her blade is listed as Nittaku Acustic Carbon. Not a cheap set up. Actually a :swear: expensive setup and I've never used Nittaku products before except for their balls and seldom if every used 2.2mm sponge on my short pips. But at least when I've finished the test I can use it :devil: I know people say professionals get the best quality etc but this is as close as I can get and when the Indian National Team visited Preston a few years ago, they were asking where to buy Tenergy from, so not everyone who plays professional level gets "free" "selected" equipment.

The blade has arrived. Excellent service from Presports. The G1 and Moristo will arrive shortly. I've an idea of who I want to ask in our league to take part and how to test this, but it will probably have to wait till our season ends at the beginning of April. Different people, all pimple players on their backhand, all different abilities and none who follow the professional game to the extent of knowing which player uses what and the significance of "my" Nittaku setup.

The question is, after having a reasonable knock with "Ito's" setup up, will they
- want to change their setup for "Ito's", or
- only part of her setup, or
- none of it at all - and
- why will they think that and lastly
- will their opinon change once they know which professional uses the Nittaku setup and it's cost?

What do you think? How important is it that we know what the pro's use. I have my opinons but I'd be interested to know yours.


Last edited by Debater on 10 May 2017, 05:42, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 02:37 
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Presports is the outfit a mile down the road from where I work. I can order something online, give them a call and they'll send someone down to the parking lot with it.. :lol:

As for using pro stuff - don't know about the women but the mens' setups are just too plain heavy for me, I think. And when I tried something similar to Fukuhara Ai's setup (medium pips on the backhand) I gave up after two days.. :lol: Couldn't make heads or tails of it. Ito Mima's style is very similar to Ai-chan's - very close to the table blocking and driving on both forehand and backhand, I wonder how many people (even pips players) play like that.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 03:03 
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Yes, I read your post on the Presports thread. You are very lucky living so close to a table tennis seller :envy:

Did you pair the Pips rubber she uses with the same blade and forehand rubber also with the same sponge thickness?

I'm sure not many play like Mima Ito but that is part of the point. Perception, reality and ambition.

Not many play like any of the professionals but there is still an obsession with what they use. And the same is true for other sports.

I agree about weight. I have always sided with a light setup. Playing close to the table I don't like feeling like I'm wielding a club, less reaction time. I'm curious though to see if extra weight increases stability in blocking and helps generate more power with shorter arm and wrist movements. A trade off between light but longer arm movements where there is more to go wrong and slower but shorter movements.

On a separate topic Iskandar Taib, you have been thanked by forum members 491 times, only haggisv has been thanked more times to my knowledge, but have never thanked anyone using the thanks feature on the forum. Why is that?


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 05:30 
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On a separate topic Iskandar Taib, you have been thanked by forum members 491 times, only haggisv has been thanked more times to my knowledge, but have never thanked anyone using the thanks feature on the forum. Why is that?

Thanks Debater. :D

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 05:51 
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Hmm, I can safely say I wouldn't use Timo Boll's setup. I do not like T05; it feels weird, and I prefer lower throw rubbers :P
I like the blade though! It's nice and stiff, although I would prefer a harder feel. Arylate-Carbon feels nice :)

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 07:17 
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I know I shouldn't use a pros set up but if I won one in a competition that was worth $200-$300 I doubt I could resist.
As far as your experiment, I bet people would be more interested once they know the price and reason. At first it will just be different however I expect that once price and origin is known, the mindset will change to 'better'.

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 09:10 
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What? Changing my setup with another ones pro-setup? I've thought up to the very minute that my setup is already a pro one, but no. Now I'm seriously confused.

And no, I won't change it.

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 11:02 
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Each to his own. In my case for level use and requirement it's thanks but NO thanks ;)


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 11:45 
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It would be interesting to be able to have say 30 minutes with a pro's set up just to see if it is less forgiving than my own, or whether it is more forgiving and it is just that a pro can just get more out of it.

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 12:35 
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I know I am a beginner level player when I can only effectively use beginner rubbers :lol:

But aside from the cost of the pro setup and given a chance to get an autographed version of the any said pro's setup ;-) sure ! I will put it up on Ebay :rofl:

Playing with same setup as the pros would not work very well for me. :D

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 18:34 
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One of the reasons I'm really interested in doing this test is that I've spent years buying table tennis equipment and I've still not settled on a setup that I can pickup and then forget about in a match. By choosing the same setup of a player who's style I can aspire to it removes for me the uncertainty around what to choose - I'm condensing time and learning from Mima Ito's experience. Sure I'll never be as good, move as well, train as hard be as young... but now I can focus on other things. I don't need to worry about sponge thickness - something I've never settled on with short pips having switched from OX to 1.5 to 1.0 to 2.0 and now I'm playing with 1.8m. Id never considered using 2.2mm probably because I'd tried that thickness in inverted on my backhand and never been able to control it finding too lively up close to the table. I'd prejudged it for short pimpled play.

And the same is true of the weight of a blade. My andro supercore carbon light weighs from memory 72g. The Acustic Carbon is listed at 92g - way heavier than I'd normally consider and I've weighed my Acustic Carbon and it is spot on 92g but in my hand I could swear it weighs comfortably less than that. My mum was there at the time and I asked her to hold boyh the Acustic Carbon and a Butterfly Schlager Precision off- which i know weighs 93g. With absolute certainty and without hesitatition she said the Acustic felt noticeably lighter. I don't know if that is caused by the different handle shape and the texture of the wood feeling different but the handles are the same length and the centre of balance seems similar.

Bottom line gone is the confusion of what make, model, sponge hardness, thickness, colour forehand and backhand, weight and wood constuency of the blade. The only uncertainty is whether Mima Ito uses flared or straight handle. I have gone for flared as experience has shown me I prefer flared feel in my hand (bit of built in bias if Mima Ito uses a straight handle but I'm intending to use this setup myself and I can't afford the luxury of buying 2 Acustc Carbon's). Now I know there are differences of opinion about what beginners should start to play with but what would have happened if I'd actually done this at the start of my playing career. Would it have saved me money, lots of money and time and confusion and I could have focused on technique and practise and coaching and probably have a much better technique than I have now?

If your primary objective is to improve, can you ever have too much choice?


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 19:15 
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Debater wrote:
Yes, I read your post on the Presports thread. You are very lucky living so close to a table tennis seller :envy:

Did you pair the Pips rubber she uses with the same blade and forehand rubber also with the same sponge thickness?


No, it started because someone mentioned that 563 was "similar" to what she uses. So I bought a sheet and stuck it on the backhand side of what I was using at the time. Thought I'd give the play-close-to-the-table-hit-off-the-bounce on the backhand style a try. It's a lot harder than one might think, since you have to react very quickly and move quickly. AND it totally messed up my forehand as well.

Quote:
I'm sure not many play like Mima Ito but that is part of the point. Perception, reality and ambition.

Not many play like any of the professionals but there is still an obsession with what they use. And the same is true for other sports.


Still, if you're passing the bat around for people to try, most people DO play the usual two-sheets-of-inverted game, even if they're no where near as good as the pros, and you'd be more likely to get takers. Among pips players, most would be choppers, so I wonder how well Ito-san's setup would work for chopping.

Quote:
On a separate topic Iskandar Taib, you have been thanked by forum members 491 times, only haggisv has been thanked more times to my knowledge, but have never thanked anyone using the thanks feature on the forum. Why is that?


I think I get thanked more than most because I post far more than I should be posting.. :lol: It was months before I even NOTICED that that feature had been added to the BBS and by then it was well underway, I'd gotten quite a number of thanks already. And so I never got into it - it does seem to be a very social-media-facebookish type thing to do anyway.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 19:48 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Debater wrote:
Quote:
On a separate topic Iskandar Taib, you have been thanked by forum members 491 times, only haggisv has been thanked more times to my knowledge, but have never thanked anyone using the thanks feature on the forum. Why is that?


I think I get thanked more than most because I post far more than I should be posting.. :lol: It was months before I even NOTICED that that feature had been added to the BBS and by then it was well underway, I'd gotten quite a number of thanks already. And so I never got into it - it does seem to be a very social-media-facebookish type thing to do anyway.


This brings us to the really important question: who will be the first to be thanked by Iskandar??? :party: :rock: :Chop: :P

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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 20:15 
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iskandar taib wrote:
It's a lot harder than one might think, since you have to react very quickly and move quickly. AND it totally messed up my forehand as well.


Watching the way Mima Ito plays, she seems to hold her bat quite high and far out in front of her slightly outside the right side line of her body allowing her wrist to flex back and play the ball directly in front of her with short quick actions and which favours her backhand stroke. A lot of her forehands seem to be played square on to the table and can be cramped by a deep fast ball in to her pocket which gives her more problems. That's not the style or technique double inverted players seem to use. I think it's more a question of the strengths and weeknesses of each style rather than the equipment she uses. Besides, for me, messing up what is already messed up isn't an issue. :lol:

iskandar taib wrote:
Still, if you're passing the bat around for people to try, most people DO play the usual two-sheets-of-inverted game, even if they're no where near as good as the pros, and you'd be more likely to get takers. Among pips players, most would be choppers, so I wonder how well Ito-san's setup would work for chopping.

As I said, the players would be inverted forehand, short pips backhand and not double inverted players. Different ages and abilities. Only two would consider stepping back and chopping and only then if driven back from the table so in match play it's not their desired style to chop.

iskandar taib wrote:
I think I get thanked more than most because I post far more than I should be posting.. :lol: It was months before I even NOTICED that that feature had been added to the BBS and by then it was well underway, I'd gotten quite a number of thanks already. And so I never got into it - it does seem to be a very social-media-facebookish type thing to do anyway...


Thank you for your reply. This feature of the forum was widely discussed in this thread.

"New forum feature: 'thanks for the post" viewtopic.php?f=8&t=18591

For me the thank you button is a quick and easy way of expressing gratitude for a post which added a lot of value to a topic of discussion or which is a question I would have like to ask. Receiving them is nice as it's a sign you're doing something members consider to be of benefit, but giving thanks is more important and serves more purpose. Just a personal preference :)


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 20:42 
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Re the thank: I just see it as a nice way to show someone you read their post and was interested in it despite perhaps not having anything to say. If you think no one is interested you may be less likely to post something in the future.

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