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  1. CluelessTTDad is offline
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    #1

    Help: Blade/rubber for son 11

    Hope you guys can help... my son has been playing close to 3 years and has reached a pretty high standard. He's been using a Donic Appelgren Allplay with Vario rubbers for the last couple of years. For the last 6 months or so he's been hankering after something faster. His grandparents bought him a Butterfly Timo Boll ALC with Tenergy rubbers for his birthday a couple of weeks ago... needless to say he loves it but a couple of coaches have said it is too fast for him. He's played a couple of competitions with it and seemed to me like he was playing well.

    Is it too fast ? Any way to slow it down with different rubbers ? I wouldn't want to tell him to shelve it for a couple of years.

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    #2
    Maybe some slower rubbers help. Something like Donic Acuda S1 or Stiga Mantra. These rubbers are rubbers that I've used in the past and find it great. Their speed are no doubt fast but still very controllable.

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    #3
    Hard question without seeing him in action. It's clear that TB ALC is fast and serves well for attacking players who play 95% of shots with heavy loops from both sides. Again hard to say if 11-y-o can reach that level (from my experience very unlikely) and if his coach says it's too fast (too early to go to composite blade) then he is probably right. I would say some OFF all-wood blade like BFLY Korbel or Tibhar Startus Power Wood should give him the best control and feeling to develop the technique further without having trouble to finish the point (because of lack of speed). And as he is using Appelgren Allplay he might even be fine with OFF- blade like Yasaka Sweden Extra.

    (My story to complement: when I was 8-10 I've started with some DEF/ALL slow blade and BFLY Tackiness rubbers back in early 90s. After that I really wanted something faster and because no couch advised me I persuaded my parents to buy me BFLY Mazunov OFF+, at that time one of the fastest but luckily still all wood blade. It took me like 3-4 years of so-so development and seeing my team mates growing faster to realize that BFLY Primorac OFF- would do much better job to me. I've plaid with OFF- then till I left the game at my early 20s. After coming back one yer ago Primo OFF- was still very good tool for me, I've just chosen YSE because of little bit more feel but that's rather personal and speed/control is almost the same. I've did 129:2 in minor regional league last season and I would recommend to go with similar set-up to all these kids I've plaid and beaten

  4. chuckjordan2 is offline
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    #4
    Talk to the coach; put the tenergy on the appelgren. It'll increase the speed, yet, still have feeling because of the wood.

  5. yoass is offline
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CluelessTTDad
    Hope you guys can help... my son has been playing close to 3 years and has reached a pretty high standard. He's been using a Donic Appelgren Allplay with Vario rubbers for the last couple of years. For the last 6 months or so he's been hankering after something faster. His grandparents bought him a Butterfly Timo Boll ALC with Tenergy rubbers for his birthday a couple of weeks ago... needless to say he loves it but a couple of coaches have said it is too fast for him. He's played a couple of competitions with it and seemed to me like he was playing well.

    Is it too fast ? Any way to slow it down with different rubbers ? I wouldn't want to tell him to shelve it for a couple of years.
    Hard to tell. To you he seems to be playing well, but the thing is: to our observation, and in our memory, the glorious, epic winners are noted clearly, but the flukes (in serve reception, in slight misses that should have sealed a nearly-won really) sort of fade out.

    If your son is a prodigy, the TB ALC/Tenergy combo might be wonderful. If he's still strugging to combine power and consistency, something a notch down might be better.

    And I'd be looking at the blade rather than the rubbers. I happen to think Tenergy can be quite controllable on an OFF- blade.

    I thought I played well with a blade quite close to the TB ALC, and indeed, I dominated the rallies and hit spectacular winners. However, I also lost a lot of matches due to too much unnecessary errors. Sealing the rallies is fine and dandy, but you first need to get to the point in which you get to engage them. I toned down a little, started using an inner layer-style composite blade instead, and, well, I haven't lost a single match since. The winners are less spectacular, but the basis is much more solid.

    But that's for me. It may be quite different for your kid. It may help to count (tally) the points. How much return errors? How much advantage can he create from his own serves? How stable are his opening shots? How much unforced errors during rallies?
    Last edited by yoass; 04-23-2018 at 12:14 PM.

  6. Lightzy is offline
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    #6
    Kids can adjust to anything fast.
    If it was my kid and I saw him enjoying hitting spectacular winners with the 05, I'd stay with that, trusting he'll adjust and start putting more balls on the table thereby developing touch for the equipment.

    Maybe the spectacular winners and topspins, along with the oohs and aahs he gets when doing them, will give him the feeling that he's a really good player with a few technical hitches instead of an average player that does everything well averagely and weakly, which is a great boost to confidence and he'll train more etc.

    In order to motivate someone you need to make him like a rough diamond, not like a polished .... not diamond.

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    #7
    Some great advice so far... many thanks.

    I haven't noticed him struggling with the speed of the bat, i.e. hitting balls too long (?). In the two competitions he's played with it he's finished top-3, the first one (regional championship) was a day after getting it with zero practice... probably where I'd expect him to finish at this point in time when he's playing kids that have been playing for 6 years+.

    I may well video some of his matches to take an objective look at how he's playing... the reality at the moment is, he loves it and can't wait to play every minute of the day.

    And I'd agree with the comment that at that age, one cracking winner is worth the price of a few mistimed shots.

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    #8
    Needless to say carbon blade is just addicting to use. Especially ALC blades, they are stupid fun to loop with when you get it right.

    Getting used to a new blade, especially with that level of jump in speed will always take some time to get used to. As long as the user has good enough touch and can react to their own speed and controlling the ball well, I don't see why not

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    #9
    I'm a longtime lurker and I've made an account just to post an answer, because I'd hate to see a young player lose his motivation for the sport.

    I've been an active youth trainer for around 8 years now and we had this exact situation last year with a 12 year old boy with the exact same racket and rubbers. It caused a lot of discussion between our group of 3 trainers and I've talked to a lot of other people about it. We agreed it would benefit his technical growth much more using a slower racket, since the speed and springiness of the tenergy dear doesn't provide the same sense of feedback as a slower rubber would. In other words, it's much easier to "cheat" and execute technically bad strokes and the ball will still have enough power and spin making you believe you made a really good shot.

    On the other hand, a good trainer will correct you, no matter how the ball landed on the other side. As long as this feedback is provided, the risk of learning bad stroke execution can be minimized.

    Lastly, the most important factor is for the child to have fun. Having fun and being motivated to play and train is the most impactful thing to getting better. Even if he will have to practice more to get a better feel for the racket, having fun doing so is all that matters.

    Alas, our team arrived at this conclusion a bit too late and our young one stopped playing for a while. He really really wanted to use that awesome butterfly racket! Luckily he started training again about 2 months later and doing well!

    So in the end, it is your kids decision to make. Don't force him too much and with time, he might come to the conclusion himself!

    Of course, this all depends on the type of person your child is. I could go on about this for hours, but I need to give a training session soon. Good luck!

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  10. CluelessTTDad is offline
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    #10
    This is great advice !

    Quote Originally Posted by GxZ
    I'm a longtime lurker and I've made an account just to post an answer, because I'd hate to see a young player lose his motivation for the sport.

    I've been an active youth trainer for around 8 years now and we had this exact situation last year with a 12 year old boy with the exact same racket and rubbers. It caused a lot of discussion between our group of 3 trainers and I've talked to a lot of other people about it. We agreed it would benefit his technical growth much more using a slower racket, since the speed and springiness of the tenergy dear doesn't provide the same sense of feedback as a slower rubber would. In other words, it's much easier to "cheat" and execute technically bad strokes and the ball will still have enough power and spin making you believe you made a really good shot.

    On the other hand, a good trainer will correct you, no matter how the ball landed on the other side. As long as this feedback is provided, the risk of learning bad stroke execution can be minimized.

    Lastly, the most important factor is for the child to have fun. Having fun and being motivated to play and train is the most impactful thing to getting better. Even if he will have to practice more to get a better feel for the racket, having fun doing so is all that matters.

    Alas, our team arrived at this conclusion a bit too late and our young one stopped playing for a while. He really really wanted to use that awesome butterfly racket! Luckily he started training again about 2 months later and doing well!

    So in the end, it is your kids decision to make. Don't force him too much and with time, he might come to the conclusion himself!

    Of course, this all depends on the type of person your child is. I could go on about this for hours, but I need to give a training session soon. Good luck!

    Sent from my PLK-UL00 using Tapatalk

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    #11
    Just a quick update... my son played all day at a TT camp yesterday, a respected coach in the area told him the bat was perfect for his style of play and he has the technique to handle it ...

    So.... taking all this advice into consideration I'm going to leave him play with it for a few months, at least until the start of next season in September, and monitor his progress in the process.

    Thanks to everyone for your input !

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    #12
    let us know how it will work out for your son in the future

  13. CluelessTTDad is offline
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    #13
    How fast things change ! My son is now training at another camp for two days... coach there says he should use slower rubber... just goes to show how opinions differ.

    Anyway... he recommended Xiom Vega Pro - any thoughts ? Any different to Tenergy 05 FX ?

  14. Garrison is offline
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    #14
    I wish I had those grandparents It's usually good to listen to coaches. I don't see a problem with the speed of the blade, the Boll ALC has a lot of control. A lot of players seem to like the Vega Pro and it is also much more cost efficent than the Tenergy

  15. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #15

    Help: Blade/rubber for son 11

    Quote Originally Posted by CluelessTTDad
    How fast things change ! My son is now training at another camp for two days... coach there says he should use slower rubber... just goes to show how opinions differ.

    Anyway... he recommended Xiom Vega Pro - any thoughts ? Any different to Tenergy 05 FX ?
    Vega Pro is more linear and easier to control. You may also want to look at Nexy Karis-M. That is amazing for control and linearity. Or you could look at Vega Intro.

    At his stage, anything that makes him work a little harder to generate pace and spin but still allows him to develop high level technique is worth it.

    But there are lots of times when a kid that age who is developing that Fast just keeps playing with top of the line gear and grows into it.

    Still, I remember when Abe Gold was about 12 and using a Viscaria and H3 + T05 and Der_Echte gave him a more basic setup with much more control and within weeks his level jumped 300+ points (USATT rating). He said he just felt like he couldn’t miss and everything went in and where he was aiming.

    Der_ is good like that.

    I know you don’t want him to shelve the TB ALC. However, if you gave him a Primorac Off- with Nexy Karis-M, Vega Intro, Vega Pro or Vega Europe, it would actually make sense for his development.

    Going from Appelgren Allplay with Vario to TB ALC with T05fx is kind of like going from 1970s VW Bug where the engine has been modified so it cannot go over 40 mph to an Indy Car. Something in between the two would be a worthwhile step.

    Another way of telling is, if he has been playing the TB setup for a more than a few training sessions and he still is missing shots long that he would have made with the old setup, or he is cutting down his stroke to get the ball in, then you should get an Off- blade with control rubbers ASAP.

    Sorry if that is not the news you wanted. But....the TB blade won’t get old. It is just worth having him develop further with something that gives him better control and allows him to use his own strength to develop the good stroke technique for a while longer. The jump from All setup to Off++ setup is a big one.


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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 04-26-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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  16. Der_Echte is offline
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    #16
    I think Vega Pro is a control oriented rubber with a very dynamic topsheet. Very suitable for a developping player trying to grow a flexible offensive game or even all round game. The kid would do just fine with it. I have a sheet of Vega Pro on one of my Kim Jung Hoon blades. Very controlled good spin potential in many strokes.

    Karis, all variants, M, +, and H, are in the same category (H being more explosive)... but Karis does it in a totally different way one would need to hit with to feel for yourself.

    I think Abe was already primed to increase his level back then, but the blade and rubber I gave home were OFF control oriented. It helped and didn't hurt his game.



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  17. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #17
    Part of the info is, a blade like Primorac Off- is fast enough—much faster than Appelgren Allplay—but will still make him work and put a little extra effort into his strokes. This will force him to learn to time his legs and hips with his contact to get more power and it will force him to follow through fully, keep very fast rack speed, and develop his own power.

    The Allplay has already done that. But what you want to watch out for is whether his stroke is smaller, less complete or slower with the TB ALC.

    If he is compensating for the speed of the new setup by compromising the quality of the stroke so that he gets the ball, then a setup in between the pace of the old setup and the new one is worth considering.

    But if he has not had to adjust the dynamics of his swing to keep the ball on the table, then the new setup may be fine.

    If you have footage of him with the old setup from before he used the new setup, and footage of him after getting used to the new setup (so not first few training sessions with TB setup) and you compare the strokes for speed and followthrough, if he has cut down his swing, change to an Off- control setup. If he has not, even if he was missing some shots long (which you say he is not) then the TB blade is fine and just get slightly more controlled rubbers.


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  18. CluelessTTDad is offline
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    #18
    Great advice... I think I'm following

    So he's played close to 25 hours this week at two different TT camps (which I think is a lot for an 11-yo)

    The first three days he played well (I think, I wasn't there), had no problems controlling his shots, coach said the blade/rubber was fine.
    Today he played badly (I think, wasn't there), missed a lot of topspins long, different coach says he needs slower rubber.

    When I've played with him, to my untrained eye he doesn't look like he's cut down his swing at all but I will monitor. In fact he trained with a top-200 player last week where he was hitting 50+ topspin rallies both forehand/backhand without problem.

    At least now I have some alternatives....

    Primorac Off- with Vega Pro - slowest & more controlled option if he has cut back his stroke
    Timo Boll ALC with Vega Pro - medium option if he hasn't cut back his stroke
    Timo Boll ALC with Tenergy 05FX - as is, fast option, unlikely this is ideal

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    #19
    And answering my own post...

    Would I be right in thinking that a Primorac Off- with Vega Pro would never be the wrong choice regardless of how he was handling the TB ?

    I might be able to sell him the idea he can come back to the TB in 12 months (saves me buying him a present for his next birthday )

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  20. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #20

    Help: Blade/rubber for son 11

    Yep. I will take it a step further. The Primorac setup will be better for him his developing to a higher level no matter what.

    And I have seen guys at quite high levels use a Primorac or an even slower all wood blade as their weapon of choice. So it is not a blade that he would even really grow out of. Like, 2 or 3 years ago, in the European Championships there were several players using a Primorac Off- as their blade.

    Maybe it is not needed. But there is no way to go wrong with a Primorac + Vega Pro.

    One more detail: it is more expensive and not needed. But it is a similar blade, similar ply construction, with similar speed. Ma Long was using a Nittaku Acoustic till he was top 5 in the world. To be honest, he probably still could be using that without a change in level.

    And it is definitely possible that part of the reason Ma Long has so much power in all his shots was that he was using an all wood 5 ply blade that made him work for his power until long after his technique was fully developed.

    Hopefully this information is helpful.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 04-26-2018 at 06:43 PM.
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