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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 07:50 
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Blade: Stigma All-round Classic
FH: Joola Samba plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba plus 2.0
Dear All,

I have been reading these forums which are very helpful... and realized that I might not have the proper setup. Please can you advise me what you think whether it can work or if I should change?

I am 40+ years beginner playing in club for 12 months, 6 months with premade bat, 6 months with my current setup (Stiga Allround Classic with Joola Samba+). I am told I have decent feeling, blocks and ball placement. My style is FH loops, BH blocks and drives, FH spinny serves. I also push a lot as I do not yet have the consistency to attack (every) underspin - but I tend to loop more an more. Last few months, I have also table/robot at home and together with club and matches I probably get 15+ hours of play weekly - and I progress nicely. Still, my biggest weakness is serve return (I cannot read spin well) and inconsistent short/push game.

Reading on the forums, I realized that some of my stregths (BH blocks, FH loops) but also weaknesses (inconsistent play) might be due to the flex blade/very soft rubber combo.

My long-term objective is to learn the proper technique (although I do not think it is that bad now) - but I certainly felt a difference in strokes when I was testing harder rubbers (Varispin on the same Stiga Allround Classic). At the same time, I would like to not sacrifice (much of) my current level - with Varispin I could clearly feel the blocks and loops were just not as effective...

What would be your advice?
1) keep the current setup
2) make the full switch to something more proper for learning technique - e.g. Stiga ARC with Mark V?
3) work my way bit by bit from the very soft Joola Samba+ to harder and harder rubbers (next step maybe Rakza 7 Soft)
4) what about having two bats - one with Mark V for robot/stroke training and also keep the current one for matches/training in club
5) any other advice?

Thanks a lot. All the best, David

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Blade: Stiga Allround Classic
FH: Joola Samba Plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba Plus 2.0


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 12:30 
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Hi David,

Your strengths and weaknesses are due to your experience, not your gear. As you get more consistent (by playing more, focusing on technique, practicing with a purpose etc), the impact of changing gear will become less. Serve return is never easy (as you get better, so do the serves of your opponents), and if you have trouble with push/short game, it's hard to recommend a faster set up.

You have 3 choices:

1. The natural way: Keep the current setup, replace the "same" rubbers when they get old (6 months). Keep playing until you are able to consistently execute all the basic strokes under varying conditions. By that time, you would have solid basics and I guarantee that by reaching that stage, you will know exactly what you want for the next set up.

2. The discovery journey: Try everything, read up on different blade composition and construction types, topsheet/sponge hardnesses/ratios, try out different "types" until you get to the stage where you can guess how a blade and rubber combo "feels" just by looking at the physical specs. This is a long way around but by the end of the journey, your technique should be solid as well. But this takes longer as during the early stages, every change brings a short transition period where your consistency goes down. I recommend EJ discovery after the basics.

3. Trust other people's opinion: any good coach or more experienced player will be able to recommend a solid setup consistent with your level. But people are fickle. You will likely still be curious and likely go out and try stuff anyways....

I took 2, I recommend 1. For 3: Get a BTY Primorac, 2 sheets of Rakza 7 and don't ask questions.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2020, 15:05 
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The blade is fine - lots of very good players use it, or something similar to it. The rubber, though.. there's something softer than Rakza 7 Soft?? :lol: Sure, I think you'd be able to handle Rakza 7 easily.. it's a pretty soft rubber as rubbers go in any case.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 06:39 
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Blade: Xiom Hayabusa Z+ FL
FH: Victas V-15 Stiff Bl Max
BH: DrN Killer ProEvo Red 1.5
iskandar taib wrote:
The blade is fine - lots of very good players use it, or something similar to it. The rubber, though.. there's something softer than Rakza 7 Soft?? :lol: Sure, I think you'd be able to handle Rakza 7 easily.. it's a pretty soft rubber as rubbers go in any case.

Iskandar


Good advice so far. He's right the blade is fine, as for the rubber, Samba+ is 35 degrees from the Joola website, while Rakza 7 soft is 37-42 according to the Yasaka website, so lets split the difference and say it's 40 degrees. Since they are both made in Germany I'm guessing the same hardness scale. So apparently there is something softer than Rakza 7 soft! Who knew? It felt softer than that to me when I had a sheet.

So the rubber should be fine to start with. Spend the money you would have spent on testing new equipment and hire a coach. You'll get better faster with a coach and lots of practice than you will searching for the "perfect" combination.

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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 18:45 
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Blade: Tsp Black Balsa 3.0
FH: t05 1.7boosted
BH: 388d ox
I found that medium/medium hard rubbers work better than soft on allround classic,passive and offensive strokes

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Modified Yin-He T2 Tenergy 05 fx 1.9/388d ox


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2020, 20:10 
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Blade: Stigma All-round Classic
FH: Joola Samba plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba plus 2.0
lasta, iskandar taib, 1dennistt, dazzler - thanks a lot for your answers. These are really helpful... They support what I believe logically makes sense. Do not change equipment too much, concentrate on technique and possibly hire a coach to work on that...

I am planning to:
- Stay with the Stiga ARC and when it is time to change the rubbers go with something slightly harder - probably the Rakza 7 Soft. (And if this seems to work - I will remember dazzler's answer and possibly go to slightly harder setups later...)
- To attend weekend workshop in my area with experienced coaches to work on my technique.
- I still want to test something like Tenergy 05 on other people's bats in the club - just to see how that feels like... I believe the Varispin (although slightly harder) was not really a fair comparison to something like Samba+. But that is probably again the EJ in me coming out... :)

Let me know if you have any comments on the above that you think might help me.
Thanks for your help. All the best, David

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Blade: Stiga Allround Classic
FH: Joola Samba Plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba Plus 2.0


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 07:37 
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I'd rather go with Rakza 7 myself, rather than the Soft. If you're going to try something different, try something a little more different while not going overboard. Tenergy 05 would be a lot harder I think. You could, later on, try something Chinese. AK47 Blue for instance.

You could also try one (or two, or three :lol: ) of these blades - they're on sale at the moment and I like them better than the Stiga Allround Classic that I have:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32768953294.html

(At that sort of price... why not? :lol: )

(Opening the Candy Store.. :lol: )

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2020, 18:58 
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I just bought an M8 purely on an enthusiastic impulse :D With Isk's positive feedback and repeated recommendations on this blade and at a bargain price of under $10 AUD, why not? Surely a winner whether used or not! :)
Apologies also for hijacking this thread.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 19:36 
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Blade: Stigma All-round Classic
FH: Joola Samba plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba plus 2.0
iskandar, thanks a lot again.

Thanks for the tip on the blade. Looks very interesting. Why are you saying you like it better - did you play with it?

On the rubber - you hit a bit my logic - to go with something more different to really see the difference. On the other hand, when I look at the sponge hardness ratings and grades which I compiled on internet (see attached file) then the Rakza 7 seems to be still kind of hard - the manufacturer given seems still OK but the user reviews (of course to be taken with grain of salt) put it right next to Tenergy 05. Maybe then something like Tenergy 05fx?

Attachment:
TT Rubbers List.PNG
TT Rubbers List.PNG [ 29.1 KiB | Viewed 305 times ]


All the best, David

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Blade: Stiga Allround Classic
FH: Joola Samba Plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba Plus 2.0


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 21:04 
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Blade: Tsp Black Balsa 3.0
FH: t05 1.7boosted
BH: 388d ox
I found 05 fx too soft on allround classic,t05 works better but surprisingly I couldn't get enough zip in topspin drives compared to my def blade(tsp black balsa 3)
Some of the sponge hardness figures in your table have chinese hardness values for Euro/Jap sponges ie: T05 is 36° T05fx is 32°
Here is a table that converts:
Attachment:
sponge-hardness-conversion-chart.jpg
sponge-hardness-conversion-chart.jpg [ 37.84 KiB | Viewed 281 times ]

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Modified Yin-He T2 Tenergy 05 fx 1.9/388d ox


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2020, 01:28 
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TTbuddy wrote:
I just bought an M8 purely on an enthusiastic impulse :D With Isk's positive feedback and repeated recommendations on this blade and at a bargain price of under $10 AUD, why not? Surely a winner whether used or not! :)
Apologies also for hijacking this thread.


Only one? :lol: At $5.76 a blade INCLUDING SHIPPING you need a matched pair. Or a matched half dozen.. :lol: How are you going to compare rubbers otherwise?

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2020, 01:32 
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dantosik wrote:
Thanks for the tip on the blade. Looks very interesting. Why are you saying you like it better - did you play with it?


Yes, I play with it after trying a lot of other blades. Great control, really nice feel. Since the price was so low (and when prices went down even more over some sales a couple years back) I bought a bunch of them to sell to some co-workers - who promptly lost interest in table tennis.. :lol: The penhold version appeared maybe 2-3 months back, but were relatively expensive (or rather, the cheap source didn't have any) but the current sale (ends in a day or so) has them for $5.76 including shipping, so I ordered two more this afternoon :lol: (penhold ones..).

dantosik wrote:
On the rubber - you hit a bit my logic - to go with something more different to really see the difference. On the other hand, when I look at the sponge hardness ratings and grades which I compiled on internet (see attached file) then the Rakza 7 seems to be still kind of hard - the manufacturer given seems still OK but the user reviews (of course to be taken with grain of salt) put it right next to Tenergy 05. Maybe then something like Tenergy 05fx?

Attachment:
TT Rubbers List.PNG


All the best, David


I suppose I should actually go look it up but on this forum Rakza 7 and Baracuda are the names that come up when people recommend soft Tensors. As you say, crowdsourced numbers aren't reliable. And the Japanese use a different scale (Rakza's actually made in Germany and uses the ESN scale). Tenergy 05 has the reputation for being fast and "hard to handle", so I thought it'd be hard. They recently came out with a harder version of it, as well. Pretty much all the top international players use it, with a few exceptions. I've been on a quest to find a rubber so fast and so uncontrollable that I can't use it, and haven't found one yet. I've tried Evolution MX-P, Rasant Turbo, Rakza X, and a couple of others but I haven't tried Tenergy 05 yet (just too darned expensive but I'll get to it one day).

dazzler wrote:
I found 05 fx too soft on allround classic,t05 works better but surprisingly I couldn't get enough zip in topspin drives compared to my def blade(tsp black balsa 3)
Some of the sponge hardness figures in your table have chinese hardness values for Euro/Jap sponges ie: T05 is 36° T05fx is 32°
Here is a table that converts:
Attachment:
sponge-hardness-conversion-chart.jpg


This is a long-held misconception, repeated time and again by posters referring to earlier posts... This table comes from the Yinhe catalog. The scales on that table are actually the Shanghai (on the right) and Tianjin scales. If I recall correctly Shanghai uses Shore A, I forget what Tianjin uses (see the DHS interview thread). Try using Google Translate on your phone - just point your phone's camera on the graphic on the screen.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2020, 02:08 
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Compared to Samba, everything is hard lol.

But in the grand scheme of things, Rakza is not very hard. Middle of the road in everything really. Which is what makes it great!


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2020, 05:32 
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iskandar taib wrote:
TTbuddy wrote:
I just bought an M8 purely on an enthusiastic impulse :D With Isk's positive feedback and repeated recommendations on this blade and at a bargain price of under $10 AUD, why not? Surely a winner whether used or not! :)
Apologies also for hijacking this thread.


Only one? :lol: At $5.76 a blade INCLUDING SHIPPING you need a matched pair. Or a matched half dozen.. :lol: How are you going to compare rubbers otherwise?

Iskandar

Want to own (one at least!) considering all the good things we hear about the M8 Isk with no intention to test or make any comparison with this blade ;) :D


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2020, 17:47 
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Blade: Stigma All-round Classic
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BH: Joola Samba plus 2.0
dazzler, lasta, iskandar,

Thanks for the additional feedback. I think I am set now. For the next rubber change I go with Rakza 7 (not soft) and stick to the Stiga blade. (Along the lines of changing one thing at a time to make proper comparison :))

I will hopefully come back to the forum and give feedback on the combo.

Once I think of changing the blade and if I then do not want to go with something harder I will definitely think of the M8.

All the best, David

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FH: Joola Samba Plus 1.8
BH: Joola Samba Plus 2.0


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