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    Reviews posted by yoass
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    Avatar yoass
    Total reviews: 5
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    Reviews Rubbers(4)
        Posted 12-18-2017
        5.00 Responsive, predictable power
        • Feeling
        • Spinny
        • Spin-insensitive

        • Arc
        My go-to rubber for BH, and on and off for FH too. I've been trying out a few rubbers: Tenergy 05 (FH presently) and —80, Rozena, Rakza 7 and —Soft, Nanoflex FT40, Rasant Grip, Rasanter R42 and —R/V47, Evolution EL-S. My level is intermediate, and as I'm aging my eyesight, agility and stamina aren't improving. I don't expect to improve my overall level of athleticism much if at all, which leaves skillz and smartz as areas for improvement. Usually, I play an offensive game, staying close to the table, opening up on both wings but not necessarily brush-looping or powerdriving everything; I also like to have the (very) aggressive counter, punch block as an option, and when having the option my favourite kill is the flat hit smash, both on BH and FH. The main blade I'm using is the Andro Treiber K, which is quite similar to the perhaps more well-known Butterfly Viscaria or Timo Boll ALC blades.

        Nanoflex FT 48 is remarkably apt to my game. In direct play, it to me is unrivalled. No other rubber even comes close. This is especially true for active blocks, aggressive counters, classic flicks (not much used anymore, but the body remembers and executes, still) and smashes.

        It is at 48º relatively hard, and many opt for something softer as a BH covering. I did find T05 and Rakza 7 a bit edgy, a bit too explosive, on the BH side, so much so that confidence in passive play (pushes, chopblocks, passive blocks/drop shots) and service reception in general suffered a bit. Not with FT48. My lithmus test there is if I can execute a very controlled slow, ultra-spinny brush loop on a strong push or chop dripping with underspin. With FT48 I can do that confidently (and with FT40 easily, but that's a different story). And there's no other rubber I've tried that lets me do this and is a good companion as well in passive play and flat hits. EL-S does bring these things to the table, but not as strong as FT48 does. Rasanter V47 does come somewhat closer, but is the lesser of FT48 in direct play.

        When forced away from the table, FT48 offers extra gears of power and spin for counterlooping. And if you're sent fishing, lobs are controlled so you can still press the opponent by loading them with spin and placing them awkwardly — killing a weaker attack from second position a moment later.

        It is rather insensitive (like Rasanter) to incoming spin, while still (again, like Rasanter) being able produce high spin levels when sufficiently engaged. If you supply the head speed and power and find the proper contact angle, spin will be deadly. If for some or other reason a fifth-ball offers itself as an opportunity, the resulting loop often wins the point or severely presses the opponent not merely by its speed, but mostly by its depth and level of spin. An open invitation to return to the table and kill it often gets extended after such a powerloop — if the ball returns at all. That being said, Tenergy 05 (but not T80) trumps FT48 in spinlevels in brush loops, kill loops and counterspins; which is why I'm tinkering it (again) with it for my FH, which is slightly more spin-oriented than my BH. I should not forget to mention here that the arc FT48 provides is not as high as some. You need to adapt your technique, and re-find your angle, when opening heavy backspin, and you'll open with some speed and an arc that is lower than T05 or FT40. To many, including me, that means that opening up on backspin with power is slightly less easy than with these high-throw rubbers. The window of safety over the net is slightly lower. I consider this to be a reasonable price to pay for the exceptional qualities offered in active blocks, counterhits and counterloops on my BH side and am still making my mind up about this on the FH side of things.

        It's all in the balance. One can interchange and play with any of these modern(ish) rubbers, and each one has its own mix of stronger and weaker points. If all you do is brush loop everything, you might prefer something else.

        Yet even in that balance, there are winners and losers; some that in the balance truly excel. I do dare to claim that FT48 is superior to T80 in every aspect relevant to me; and don't misunderstand this for a statement about T80 being a weak or poor rubber. It is not: T80 is a powerful, and versatile weapon in its own right. Which is shadowed by this precious little thing that FT48 is.

        Still judging things in the balance, the Rasanter family comes close. To me, FT48 has a slight edge over them in direct play, when spinning they are comparable and close; perhaps a max-sponged R42 might offer a more comfortable spin-oriented game than a 2.1 FT48, at the cost of the direct game. Rozena is very good, in the balance of things, but to me FT48's direct play feels superior and when spinning they are comparable, with Rozena reminding slightly more of the tenergies — a comforting feel, for many.

        My relations with TT equipment are becoming more and more stable over time. I've been happily married to my blade for a long time, and I've been using FT48 for a long time, have strayed for a short period of time, returned to it happily and am now resolved to stay with it, convinced there's nothing else that suits the BH better out there. As for my relation with the T05 now living with me on my FH, it's complicated, and I'll either evolve to grow into a lasting relation with it — or settle upon FT48, probably a slightly thicker one, or a Rasanter or Bluestorm at some point.

        1 people liked this review
        Posted 05-27-2017
        4.00 Fun but not folly
        • Balanced
        • Fun

        Having dropped a few remarks about Rozena before and being challenged to do a proper review I thought, well, why not.

        I'm a Tenergy renegade. A lot of T05 I liked, ut as Scott Yu so succinctly put it, I'm probably just not good enough for the entire dog & pony show. What worked for me: opening up, usually leading to a decisive advantage even if not a immediate winner. When pressed, it also enabled strong comebacks from second position. Yet not everything worked; the short game, service reception, they remained insufficiently robust. There you have it, just not good enough. Adding insult to injury, I also made debilitating errors instead of killing counters/blocks, and flat hits in general became a strange hit and miss thing. And I loathed having that intuitive, natural kill shot's confidence undermined. Yes, powerful spinny loops, and yes, stupid errors when applying caution.

        So I was curious about Rozena, and ot to play with it about an hour with Rozena 2.1 on Stiga Emerald VPS V. There was a Mantra H 2.0 on that frame as well. Later, I got to hit with Rozena 2.1 mounted on FH and BH of a Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon frame. I'll go through a few basic techniques.

        Service took a little getting used to. At first my serves were a bit long, and it took some effort to adapt. Service being a relative weakness of mine, I could still perform my repertoire with confidence and with good results after that. Short and spinny, fast and long, these went well. For some or other reason I had excellent results in imparting heavy sidespin. Which of course then bit me back when returned. (Just. Not. ...) Underspin serves, nospin serves: yes. Certainly better than T05 (for me), and on a par with other modernish rubbers I know well: Rasant Grip, Vega Pro get me about the same results.

        Service reception
        was a relief compared to T05, offering me a much wider range of options. More passive approaches worked well too, whereas I could get by using T05 in a gung-ho mode, attacking everything even when too risky (for me). I felt surer even than my regular go-to gear, especially on the OCC. Active reception of short serves by flicking, kill-flicking or banana-flicking felt certain too (within the confines of my abilities, that is), but less lethal than with T05. Or Rasant Grip. Or Rasanter. Quite near to Vega Pro, to my taste.

        Short game is where Rozena shone. I had an immediate sense of control in touch play, with precision placement and excellent feel of varying spin - either loading it, or slightly lifting it and making it deadish (and probably pop up a bit), all that went confidently.

        I'm not a defender and while I tried a few chops, I don't dare to remark about that. But I can make a few remarks about lobbing and such. When pressured from the table, Rozena gave me safety in lobs. You need power and speed, and Rozena has it. I've dealt with other rubbers, though, that are harder to use this way when having to deal with stray or strange sidespin. The type of ball you get on slight mishits, or when you meet one of these strange fellows that manage an aggressive attack with long pimples. Rozena suffered less there, and you can have lots of fun loading up lobs with your own spin and wreak havoc that way. Also, once you're in position to fight your way back to the table...

        Counters, blocks and flat hits are excellent. I like spinning on both wings near the table, and closing in for a kill with a direct hit, taking the ball right of the bounce. That goes for active blocks especially, aggressively punching your opponent's supposedly lethal spins back like speeding bullets. Rozena behaves well here, with a great sound upon impact. The feeling is crisper than T05, Rasant Grip, Rasanter, but slightly less so than Mantra H, Vega Pro. Rozena, for me, is a far better rubber for direct hits (all kinds of them) than T05 ever was. Opening up a loop, then closing in for the kill? Absolute confidence with Rozena. (As with Mantra H, or Vega Pro. Not with T05, not with Rasant Grip, not with Rasanter.)

        Looping with Rozena put a smile on my face immediately. For it recalled the good things about T05, albeit a bit duller. Once you relax that swing you feel the ball being chewed up and spat out, in that special way. Rasant Grip and Rasanter have that feeling too, but Rozena (and T05, even more) are much heavier-handed here. Rozena is like Vega Pro here with a similar feel, but to me it felt Rozena just chewed on that ball a bit longer and harder. Counterloops work well, with one caveat: you need to put in more power, more stroke, than you would with T05. Once you get the power in, you get great safety and a good arc. I don't know why (just. not...), but the thing is my opponents tell me that with T05 and Rozena the first few loops are heavily loaded, and the consecutive ones slightly less so. With Rasant Grip, Vega Pro, Rasanter they tell me my opening/first few loops are slightly less spinny, but the third, fourth get ever more loaded. This is obviously my deficiency. For now, I'm not sure which I prefer.

        Fun and balance is what I got out of Rozena. Table tennis not being a single player game, you need to adapt to your opponent. If things don't work out, you need to change your game and try other options. These options need to be there, then. Rozena did let me change my game with confidence. But it doesn't do that in the "servant of all, master of none" kind of way; it really brings things to the table, for me at least. Excellent service reception, both active and passive. Disturbingly short passive blocks, very speedy active blocks with amazing control; counters, smashes - including hitting through underspin and wonky, wobbly balls — with confidence. Loops bring a smile to your face, with gracious arcs, good power and good feedback. You feel you hit it right, you hear you did it right. Your opponent does so to, and some get to fear that sound.

        So Rozena yes or no? Certainly, you can file it away as T05's dimmer sibling. But that doesn't do it justice. Rozena brings a good balance, in its own way. In the end, I pretty much don't care if I win or lose. What matters is playing with fun, feeling connected to the game and knowing that what you feel you're doing right actually does work. Rozena has some of that safety to offer, while still offering tons o'fun. Nice one, BTY.

        4 people liked this review
        Posted 05-19-2017
        4.00 Lively but not too edgy, speedy but not uncontrollable
        • Blocks well
        • Flat hits trusty
        • Good window

        • Service control
        When resuming play, I started out with the classics I grew up on (Sriver, Mark V, Friendship) then was tossed a sheet of Tenergy 05. My level rose quickly, and I discovered two things: a new depth in spin-based attacks close, near and far from the table - and fragilities in service reception, pushes, counters, passive blocks and smashes.

        So I took a step back, and got pointed to Vega Pro. The good thing is: it's not T05, but it has some of the properties I liked about it. It's definitely tamer, but that feeling of chewing up the ball when swinging is just there. Direct hits feel crisp and direct, which I like, rather than somewhat muffled like in many other rubbers, especially the softer-sponged ones.

        It is a bit heavier than most rubbers. Easy to adapt to for me, but then again, those that insist upon very lightweight rubbers should look elsewhere.

        All playing properties, in the end, are trade-offs. The tradeoffs in Vega Pro do work for me in many aspects of the game. My active blocks may be a bit better with Mantra H or Tenergy 80, opening up a heavy backspin ball may be a bit more lethal with Tenergy 05, pushes and serves are probably better with Rasant Grip; but in the balance, this works for me.

        Added to that, it's relatively cheap and I found it to be more durable than most. It's outlasting my T05 and Rasant Grip sheets, and still feels reliable.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 01-24-2017
        5.00 Control first, but power aplenty
        • Feeling
        • Spin
        • Gears

        • flat hits
        After playing with a few months, trying both BH and FH, I find my spins -- both slow and spinny and powerdrives -- gained a lot. On the backhand, the excellent crisp feel compared with a long dwell allowed my to experiment in variations, and I've added a very slow and very spinny service return/underspin opening to my repertoire. On my FH, I went through the same and added a few more high gears to my countertopspin attacks.

        Coming from somewhat harder rubbers, I'm still busy adjusting for all-out flat smashes and aggressive, direct openings. Anything spinny is a breeze. Blocks are also excellent, ranging from very passive blocks (bouncing twice on the opponent's side) to very aggressive speed monsters. These require very little and subtle leg, hip, torso, shoulder, arm, wrist action but can be devastating -- and always extremely precise, and controlled. I'll be seeking the limits of this beasty for an extensive period before exploring anything else. Would buy again and will not change in the foreseeable future.

        I've tried it with a Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon, a Timo Boll ALC and an Andro Treiber K. It worked well on all, with the Treiber K winning out on depth of feeling and subtlety of play, the OCC having the upper hand when it comes to sheer explosive power, and the TB ALC inbetweenish (but closer to the Treiber K than to the OCC).
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 01-09-2017
        5.00 Treiber K: up there with the best for OFF play
        • Feeling
        • Gears
        • Ultimate control

        Koto outer layers, ALC fiber, Koto core.

        My blade of choice. I've been a Stiga person, first learning the game on a "Stellan Bengtsson" Offensive, then an Allround Classic Carbon followed by an Offensive Classic Carbon when returning to the game after a long hiatus.

        Never unhappy, but I felt my game needed a change. I returned closer to the table and longed for a slightly differently balanced frame. I tried BTY Viscaria and Timo Boll ZLC, and liked some (the power, mainly) but not all of it. Then a coplayer got himself a Timo Boll ALC, and I liked it a lot and went out to get one. As these things go, I was challenged at the shop to try the Andro Treiber K too, and fell for it swiftly. Slightly slower, perhaps, but with an even deeper feel to it. It turned out an excellent match for all rubbers I've tried with it - BTY T05, Xiom Vega Pro, Andro Rasant Grip all worked well on it.

        Some say, never change equipment, and I'm not too overly keen on it myself. However, this change did help me improve my game. Touch play, active and passive blocks, smashes, brush loops and power drives gained consistency, ball placement got a bit more precise and secure. A keeper.

        1 people liked this review
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