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View Full Version : Your first setup, Or where did it all go wrong?



Boogar
09-30-2016, 08:16 PM
Inspired by a recent thread I took myself the freedom to create this thread.

So what happened? :)

My first real racket was a premade Stiga bat > something like this http://stigatabletennis.com/en/products/flexure-5-star/

It did cost about 125$... However it wasnt even that bad, soft rubbers and not too fast. Actually a good setup :D

I played it until it had no grip anymore and then switched to Yasaka Super 7 i think. Unfortunately I smashed it into the table and it broke. I had Hurricane 3 Neo and Vega Pro on it. The rubbers I found after researching a lot...

After that i switched the to Stiga allround classic with the same rubbers.

THEN IT HAPPENED!

I thought to myself. Now that i am such a pro I need the best equipment to get even better. I searched the world wide web for answers. And I found em. In form of a post of Carl :-P Its quiet some time ago. You had the young Waldner Avatar back then.

So i did what i was told and bought a Stiga Clipper CR with a max Xiom Omega V and max Xiom Vega Pro. I didn't understand the ****ing stiga handle names ... i still don't. I ended up with the legend grip, which is a handle made for giants to put it mildly.

I realized soon that this wasn't the way to go (after i lost to a 9 year old at our club) and switched back to H3Neo and Vega Pro.

edgy
09-30-2016, 08:20 PM
My first one was a custom def/def- bat. Was not a good one to learn the game on. Switched to a Stiga allround and everything was great after that.

OldschoolPenholder
09-30-2016, 08:42 PM
Beat me to making this thread, was busy with work.

Not my first setup, but a horrible blade for me I had was a Yasaka one-ply PH blade. Don't remember details of it... only remember i played with it for a little while. Went to loop and lost my grip... it flew from the front of the club to the back of the club ... a little over the length of 2 courts. One ply snapped in half :(

Archosaurus
09-30-2016, 09:16 PM
Started playing on a completely rubbish premade setup, ALL- maybe ALL at best. Tried some better low-mid end stuff, too, but didn't really have the ability to see much a difference other than it was faster.

For years now, I've not been an idiot about equipment of any kind and I like to do my research on things, so I looked around then asked here. Settled on my current setup, which is Stiga Allround Evo with 729 FX on both sides, blue sponge on FH because it was on a discount. :rolleyes:

I bought the setup due to economy concern and encouragement from many people, notably Carl and Der_.

I don't think I would need to upgrade my blade any time soon, but I would probably want a rubber upgrade to a more difficult, better modern rubber a little bit down the line.

Jabugo
09-30-2016, 10:31 PM
It's interesting to read how everyone's paths are so different.

I'm a real oldy that came from a small town in the pacific northwest. I started in middle school with a no-name pre-made from K-Mart for less than $4. I loved it since it had inverted rubber (blue topsheet!) with sponge compared to lots of my friends who used either spongeless pips or sandpaper. It was the first time I realized how a piece of equipment could make the game so unequal.

The one other penhold player was a classmate who one day got a gift from a foreign relative: a Butterfly Senkoh 1 with Sriver rubber. A school tournament was started, and no one could beat him. Again, I realized how equipment dramatically elevated a player beyond all others. For a penhold player, that became my grail setup which I finally obtained when I was in high school after moving to California.

Hurricane rubber was a game changer. It was so strange to drop a ball onto the paddle only to see it stuck on the rubber like a magnet. It felt so slow and different from Sriver/Mark V. But lots of friends and relatives who started to play all used it, and we grew together using it.

The market has exploded with all kinds of rubber because of ball changes, but Hurricane has worked fine with everything. I came to this forum sometime last year, and from reading other's experiences, was inclined to try something different. For my style (looping), I can play interchangeably with H3, OVA, and MX-P. T80 is good, but I do not think it is worth the price (just my opinion). I have learned that what other people experience is not necessarily what I will experience with any given piece of equipment, and the most important thing is to try it out yourself. I have also tried H8, EL-S, and Stiga Genesis which seem like a big departure for me compared to H3, OVA, and MX-P. OVA and MX-P are fun to play with, while H8, EL-S, and Genesis are frustrating. If I had match play, H3 gives me the most confidence perhaps because I have spent the most time with it. That is probably the key to successfully using any equipment: spending more time with it. Also be open to experimenting since it does provide insight into your own game when you try different things, but make sure you have a solid foundation setup which you can refer to as a control group for comparison. Without that, EJing will probably only confuse you, although it may be fun.

Vrael
10-01-2016, 12:06 AM
My first bat was atemi or some other brand, don't even remember. After 3 months of training (in worst group since I just started table tennis) I won my club tournament (with people that were training much longer, but similar age).

I decided to get first "expensive" rackt and it was BUTTERFLY ZORAN PRIMORAC 7000. After 6 months of training with it I decided to go to the table tennis camp and to make my first custom racket and it went terrible wrong there. Of course as a young stupid kid I just wanted to spin,spin,spin!

I got korbel magihand (model like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Butterfly-Concave-Offensive-unbespielt-Condition/dp/B00O305MGK). Most spinny rubber I could find, so it was black butterfly D'or max (I can't find any information about it now, but still have it in my closet) and max sriver G3.

Liten
10-02-2016, 07:10 AM
My first blade (still with me) was not so bad. Premade Stiga Original wrb..

But. Getting back to TT some 27 years later I said yo myself - you make your own money - get a fast one!
Stiga hybrid wood. 9 ply. Huge sweetspot.
Decent with tensors like the stiga boost series.. but I got h3 neo and tg2 neo.. bad move. I should have focused on the game, not the gear. Took me a long time to adapt back and forth between chinese rubbers and tensors.
Switching from SH to penhold during this time didn't help ether in choosing equipment suitable for me.. :/

The banda / rakza 7 setup I use today is nice. Suits my skill level. Good speed. But, the amout of spin and speed others in the club generate with way slower setups makes me think ill have to start over again. Rethink it all... Well. Ill get there eventually. :)

James Livesey
10-03-2016, 01:25 PM
only been playing seriously a couple of months, but my setup hasn't changed much. 729 off- 5 ply all ayous blade is certainly fast enough, and seems to have enough flex to get high throw and plenty of spin (it cost me 8 pounds half price). I originally started on Hurricane III neo max thickness for fh. this was a mistake. I've moved to Skyline TG2 neo at 2.1 and it's slightly easier to control, and there's more spin which i find more fun. obviously a bit slower but placement and spin wins points more than speed. also, it is better on serves. learning penhold fh on tacky is extremely fun, as it is unforgiving so gives great feedback on all your strokes. You have to be very active, getting to a great position and then using your whole body (feet, legs, hips, shoulders and arms) to get a good stroke. my BH is the complete other side of the spectrum. Friendship focus III snipe. super cheap, soft and very spinny and fast. the RPB loop is tricky but this rubber is very forgiving. It's not uncommon that i'm really stretching/running to get a ball, wildly swing bh and land a good loop. doesn't happen very often on the fh...i'm aiming to upgrade the bh when it wears out (I play 10-13 hours weekly plus daily service training so likely in a few months) to a cheapish, soft tensor (not tenergy). I'll max out the thickness of the skyline. At the end of the season I might upgrade my blade to a better quality five ply, all wood off- blade. probably stiga.

UpSideDownCarl
10-03-2016, 01:39 PM
I didn't understand the ****ing stiga handle names ... i still don't. I ended up with the legend grip, which is a handle made for giants to put it mildly.

It's funny. I'm a little guy. My hands are not very big either. The Legend flare handle does not feel very large to me. It feels like a fine size. And the size of the "smaller" Master flare is almost the same size.

It is true that if you switch from a Legend handle to one of those Butterfly handles like the handle on a TB ALC, it feels like you are holding a popsicle stick in your hand. But once you are used to it, either handle is fine. And it sort of comes down to personal preference. But someone with a hand in a normal size range should be fine with the Stiga handles.

From memory, I think this is how the Stiga handles are named:

1) Legend = Large flare
2) Master = Small flare (perhaps 1-2 mm thinner at the base almost the same in the middle)
3) Winner = Anatomic
4) Peter = Straight


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ajtatosmano2
10-03-2016, 01:41 PM
Old Joola off+ wood (with very good feeling).
FH: DHS Skyline 2 2.0mm
BH: Friendship 729 Super FX 1.5mm

Archosaurus
10-03-2016, 02:34 PM
It's funny. I'm a little guy. My hands are not very big either. The Legend flare handle does not feel very large to me. It feels like a fine size. And the size of the "smaller" Master flare is almost the same size.

It is true that if you switch from a Legend handle to one of those Butterfly handles like the handle on a TB ALC, it feels like you are holding a popsicle stick in your hand. But once you are used to it, either handle is fine. And it sort of comes down to personal preference. But someone with a hand in a normal size range should be fine with the Stiga handles.

From memory, I think this is how the Stiga handles are named:

1) Legend = Large flare
2) Master = Small flare (perhaps 1-2 mm thinner at the base almost the same in the middle)
3) Winner = Anatomic
4) Peter = Straight


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My hands are fairly small, because I'm not that big either, but the Master handle on the Allround Evo feels good. Didn't feel big when I first held it. Anything smaller feels like it's severely undersized. Hell, I think I'd prefer a larger handle.

I don't even know how this works. Maybe something to do with hand geometry, too.

Xanderngzien
03-05-2017, 12:26 PM
My first bat was some unknown brand with the typical 0.00001 cheapo yellow "sponge" but its just some slice of styrofoam

SilentRain
03-05-2017, 03:02 PM
When I first started playing as a kid (8 or 9?) my setup was selected by my coach and I did not have any issues. I stop training and playing completely when i was 15. Then University happened and I got back into the groove (5 years later) but was using my old setup (SK7 with old dead butterfly catapult). Decided to get new equipment but this time without any1 to assist me but the internet (which is not necessary the best choice). Got TB ALC with T05 and T80 and where everything went wrong. I was unable to cope with the sudden increase in speed. You know, standard jump from all wood to carbon and being out of touch too. Luckily my Training mate was getting a Viscaria and decided to sell me his old Stiga Clipper CR WRB for 10 pounds. Took the painful decision to get new slower and control orientatedf rubbers to play with for a year.

When I finally got my technique back, I went back to the TB ALC where I was finally able to control and use it without too many mistakes. Used it for 2 years but hated it as the ALC and combination of rubbers that i like to use made it have a very numb feel/ feedback. Evemthou i was winning and could control it well, I did not enjoy the blade at all as it each shot felt like playing with a brick.

Thats where i made my second mistake, I was not willing to get a non wood blade and since i was going to spend a lot for a new blade, i thought I might as well try how different carbon type blades play. I got the JM ZLC and loved it. It was fast and powerful but the Limba outer ply together with ZLC layer gave it a nice feel which the TB was sorely lacking. But the flaws quickly became apparent. The setup was just too fast for me, even after using for 6 months playing reguarly together with a coach, I was making too many mistakes. Not to mention I found myself relying on the blade to do all the work for me instead of using my own abilities. This made my technique drop as I was afraid to hit the ball hard in fear of it flying out of the table. So instead i was just grazing the ball which was not enough to finish the point. I decided I had to go back to the TB ALC or Clipper, both options being unatractive to me. Then a 3rd option presented itself to me.

My coach decided to sell his second hand (3rd hand to me) HL5 as he was getting a new blade. The HL was sold at 30% discount and after trying it I decided to buy it as it behaved similarly to the TB ALC but with more control and a lovely wood like feel. I was no longer relying on the blade to do the work for me and my technique started to improve again. So far I've been using this balde for 3 months now and i dont see myself getting anything new as I could control the blade well just like how i could control and use the TB but with the extra bonus of superior feel and control.

So thats my painful lesson. Alls not lost thou, I finally know how different setups and different woods plays and now know what setups i like and which i dont like. Furthermore my extra equipment was passed on to my other family members who I felt ready for my other setups as they were still using very old and outdated equipment which they did not upgrade due to them being unwilling to fork out the $$$ for a new one.

yoass
03-05-2017, 04:28 PM
I started out end of the seventies with crap gear, then a slightly damaged Stiga Offensive blade ("Stellan Bengtsson", its side splintered, probably by slamming it into the table in frustration) with Mark V 2.0.

This was considered a speed monster back then, ill suited for a beginner. I plodded on, and while my direct game's stability lacked somewhat I did develop a reliable and versatile brush loop. Spinny. I replaced it with another Stiga Offensive frame, a Kjell Johansson, when I managed to scrape together sufficient coinage to buy it from another player that just had bought the first ever (or so I recall) carbon frame ("Super Carbon"). That Kjell Johansson had a conic handle, to my hand the best ever. I still wonder where it is; I seem to have displaced it during my long hiatus, sadly. Otherwise I don't think I would ever have bought another.

In the end I think it was not so bad for a beginner after all, this Offensive with Mark V.

UpSideDownCarl
03-05-2017, 07:07 PM
When I first started playing as a kid (8 or 9?) my setup was selected by my coach and I did not have any issues.....

Excellent post.


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Garrison
03-05-2017, 07:31 PM
My first blade was very close to what my mom played so I don't have any of these stories. :(

yoass
03-05-2017, 07:58 PM
I started out end of the seventies with crap gear, then a slightly damaged Stiga Offensive blade (its side splintered, probably by slamming it into the table in frustration) with Mark V 2.0.

This was considered a speed monster back then, ill suited for a beginner. I plodded on, and while my direct game's stability lacked somewhat I did develop a reliable and versatile brush loop. Spinny.

In the end I think it was not so bad for a beginner after all.

Shuki
03-06-2017, 03:18 PM
Every time I try a hard sponged rubber, like H3, and I lose my touch. Things go wrong.

ttmonster
03-06-2017, 09:39 PM
I started in early nineties in my school. We had two very old table tennis tables which used to be frequently not available because it occupied the only "Hall" we had .. I had three classmates who used to take coaching and used to beat us up with their trained game and better setups ( both of them had different versions of blade from a company called Shield

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqprjf6tE4U

but I could never get one of those , it was too expensive to ask from parents ... ( would have been 4-5 USD back then ) , so I played with a cheap pre-made paddle which was around 1/1.5 USD back then till I got job which was after 2004

After I got my job I bought a Jonyer H with Mark V on both sides , which helped my game to improve somewhat but then the years of playing with dead paddles did not help with the technique ....

Then in 2009 - 10 I got my first Carbon Paddle Waldner Senso Carbon with Tenergy 05 and 05 FX and somehow endedup losing my Jonyer ... :( ...

the WSC broke from the neck after playing for an year and then I got my ZJK ALC , I also do have a Long 5 and a Samsonov Alfa that I did not play with ...

I wish I had a Jonyer H with Mark V back when I started , it would have made wonders for the strokes that I learnt myself ... it took me a lot of time to learn to make spin and understand spin .. the journey continues ...

Jaffar Lone
03-07-2017, 05:11 AM
The first blade that i used was 'champion', that was way back in 1987 when i started playing table tennis... i was more of a hobby player back then and i stopped playing also. Started again in 1996 and it was the butterfly wakaba series. In between i used Shield, Mandarin and what not. Once i started club level table tennis i was fortunate enough to get in touch with a donic distributor and i switched to person powerplay seno... after that it was the chuan senso carbon. In 2013 i switched to DHS hurricane Wang Liqin and recently i changed to nittaku's ma long 5. In between i tried Timo boll ZLC and Xiom's Stradivarius.
Been quite a journey so far. Used to be a pure forehand smasher back in the day and now am a spin oriented attacker.

Umut
03-07-2017, 08:56 AM
my first setup was andro super core cell off+ blade and andro 450 rubbers. It was terrible choice, i just thrusted seller values before buying. In speed glue era, andro was almost new, rubbers are not good like hexer or rasant. I used so much speed glue to increase feel, control, speed, spin, eventually rubbers are died quickly.
After that with the suggestion of my coach, we bought second hand bty primorac carbon, byt bryce fx, tg3 blue sponge. it was amazing i was very happy with that combination. Eventually, speed glue is banned and i switched to andro hexer power sponge rubbers, it was quite okay. however, while i was playing better players than me, i felt lack of control over table. Primorac Carbon was fast like rocket and stiff like rock.
To get more control, i bought bty timo alc and xiom elite for both sides. it was second mistake i made. bty timo alc was not so controlled as i wanted. it was stupid action. also elite rubbers are too mushy for my taste. then i bought tenergy 05 and fx. it was quite nice to play than elites still no control of course.
Then i searched and bought avalox 550, it was okay but after alc it feels dull and very slow.
Then i bought rosewood V, it was quite fine blade i did not know its beauty at that time. i was not quite happy with that, then i dropped in match it cracked. i repaired but not used anymore.
Then i bought yasaka extra offensive with suggestion of my friend and vega pro rubbers, it was nearly perfect, i found most of i wanted. straight shots, quick spins, over table aggressive flicks etc.
Then i quit playing for 3 years, then i wanted to softer taste and control for rehab. i bought yasaka sweden classic and hurricane 3 and yasaka rakza 7, its good but very slow for hurricane 3 rubber, then i bought stiga infinity its quite perfect but still lack power for hurricane and mine was 98gr it was heavy as dumbbell. So i bought hurricane long 3 blade recently. After playing couple session i impressed a lot, but thinking to buy viscaria or long5 for more power with this stiffness and hardness. i think it fits my taste.

Then i realized i became EJ, or i already was EJ, my first setup was not wrong.

Suga D
03-07-2017, 05:03 PM
Every time I try a hard sponged rubber, like H3, and I lose my touch. Things go wrong.

?huh? Did i miss something?

12411

Shuki
03-07-2017, 07:08 PM
?huh? Did i miss something?

12411


I like soft sponge.

UpSideDownCarl
03-07-2017, 09:06 PM
I actually think it is quite interesting how the theme of "Your first setup," is tied to the idea of, "or where did it all go wrong?"

All my setups went right in some way. Even the ones that were not good for me. Because they all brought me deeper into my love and addiction for this great sport!

I remember as a kid having one of those old terrible hardbats from the 1970s that were heavy like a tank. I remember realizing I could buy Butterfly Sponge rubber from the sporting goods store I got all my baseball and skateboarding equipment. I remember buying two sheets of rubber and thinking they were crazy expensive. I don't remember the price. But the two sheets together cost me what a baseball fielders glove would cost. It may have been $15.00 each. But back then that seemed like a fortune to me. And I remember feeling like I spent a large portion of my summer job earnings on those rubbers.

I don't remember how I cut them. I don't remember how I glued them. I don't remember how I got that old green pimpled rubber off both sides. I do have a memory of the blade face with this weird cloth from the pips rubber and that it was crazy hard to get off. But I don't really remember much aside from hitting the ball with it. And that $0.50 (fifty cent) hardbat with those crazy expensive rubbers felt like a wet dream to me back then.

Back then if I had known there was a such thing as TT clubs, coaches, high level play, I would have gotten fully sucked in at the age of 12 (40 years ago!!!).

Then 15 years later, after not really playing in 15 years, I found premade Butterfly blades at that same sporting goods store.

I got a Jonyer H. It had Sriver on both sides. Then I got one Mazinov and another. They both had Sriver on both sides as well. That was in 1991. And the Jonyer cost $70.00 and the Mazinovs were $100.00. Man that is a lot of money from back then. But I was between jobs, had the money and was addicted. The rationalization for why I got more than one was that I was playing at a pool hall. And I let my friends borrow the other two.

But then the guy at the pool hall told me about a club. I went. I became a member. Then three months later I got a job, moved to a new apartment. And didn't play again for another 18 years.

When I started playing in 2009 it was really as a beginner. I made some equipment purchasing mistakes then too. But I don't regret any of them and all of them also brought me deeper into the sport. So, I would never categorize any of my setups as "Where did it all go wrong."

But that doesn't stop me from being jealous of rokphish's EJ-quipment Collection. Now I would probably say, "that is where it all went right!" [emoji2]


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ttpshot
03-08-2017, 01:22 AM
My first racket was Gergery with 1.8mm Tackiness Drive. Looking back, it was pretty good choice as Gergery was nice and light and non-speed glued T-Drive was very easy to handle.

20 years later, I'm on my 4th Gergery. Can't part myself from that chunky grip and the crisp Hinoki feeling.

UpSideDownCarl
03-08-2017, 02:34 AM
My first racket was Gergery with 1.8mm Tackiness Drive. Looking back, it was pretty good choice as Gergery was nice and light and non-speed glued T-Drive was very easy to handle.

20 years later, I'm on my 4th Gergery. Can't part myself from that chunky grip and the crisp Hinoki feeling.

Gergely is an awesome blade and Hinoki is a unique wood. Very addictive how well it grabs the ball and helps you spin.


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