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  1. langel is offline
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    #81
    If the qantity of EJ threads drop, the commercials will follow, and that's not good for the forum, yeah?

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  2. Der_Echte is offline
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    #82
    Quote Originally Posted by pgpg
    Der_Echte was not really making an argument that we should prohibit all equipment discussion on this forum, I think: his main points were that A) these threads suck out a lot of oxygen from discussion of more important TT things, like technique, tactics, mental game etc. and B) it indirectly suppresses participation by coaches and higher level players in this forum, since all they see is constant flood of threads about most recent blade/rubber, koto vs. limba, 'what should I get as my first setup' threads etc...
    I hope I didn't say or convey that.

    Most of the leading posters not raw beginner level are actually EJs.

    Maybe I could create a thread similar to gist of Next Level's excellent post a few replies back.

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    President, Korea Foreign Table Tennis Club. Hit us up on TTD or Facebook
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    #83
    My problem with the EJ threads is that they are just opinions. I would prefer real evaluations like what PathFinderPro did a few years ago but that is a lot of work. What was interesting is the difference in opinion between the weaker players and the stronger players. Basically, what is good for player A is not good for player B.

    There are so many different rubbers and paddles today that many have got to be very similar. I find it amazing that people get excited by a 'new' rubber from ESN. Do you really think ESN makes that many different types of sponge and rubber top sheets? The molds might look different but I bet that many of the top sheets and sponges are the same material.

    Another question, why do we buy rubbers from Tibhar, Donic, etc when the source is ESN? Why can't we just cut out the middle man and all the phony advertising and simply buy from ESN?

    I have gone through an EJ phase. It didn't help my play but it did help me understand how different rubbers work like LP, SP, MP and anti. Now I know how to play with them and against them. Rule #1. Don't Panic!

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  4. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #84
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Others have said it already but EJing is not about the human desire to improve but what human beings do when they have wealth and choice. While it is not an absolute, human beings tend to hunt and gather things. So looking for the best tools is just human nature and in this era of wealth, having multiple options leads to people trying out more stuff. Maybe some people only wear one suit or set of clothes. I am not one of them.

    I am an EJ and I don't see anything particularly wrong with it. I think the real issue with online EJing is that there is a disproportionate focus on what the results of EJing gives you vs what it realistically can give you.

    First and foremost, let us dispense with silly statements, some of which I have being guilty of writing without proper qualification like "equipment doesn't matter" or "equipment matters".

    It is clear as some people wrote in this thread that equipment does matter. Even Timo Boll when reviewing his blade discusses what happens when he tries Tamca 5000 blades and that the problem is the lack of arc which he struggles with not on the easy higher balls but on the low balls. Playing a hitter style with inverted is possible but is in some ways not as optimal as doing it with short pips. Same for chopping topspin - better to use long pips than inverted for most players unless they want to do a lot of lobbing on the backhand. There are people who have made careers out of being exceptions but you get the gist.

    The problem begins when a player says that they want to improve and their equipment is not letting them improve. Here, the most common issue is lack of appropriate instruction. And inappropriate instruction comes in different forms. Some coaches do not investigate the equipment of their students. Others will not at least present a student with a theory of equipment to work with. Finally, some coaches do not get their students out of the bad habit of focusing on whether the ball hits the table and into the good habit of trying to hit the ball the way they should be hitting it. Older learners want to hit the ball hard and on the table and to do so, they often compromise on proper strokes.

    Another facet of inappropriate instruction is that unless someone has consistent technique, which is loaded into muscle memory, it is extremely difficult to know how much of your issues are coming from your technique and how much are coming from the equipment. When I didn't loop, I used to struggle with a lot of equipment as I didn't know how to use spin to reduce my margin of error. If I was having a good day in my home club and my timing was on, I would win. If I was having a bad day and my timing was off, or I was at an away club where the air was different and the tables were slower, I would be missing balls against unfamiliar opponents. And then I would be angry about using an DEF blade and wish I was using an ALL+ or OFF+ or whatever the day seemed to dictate with the weather.

    I tell people in modern table tennis that if you are a modern topspin player, until you hit roughly 1600 or so with your looping technique, equipment doesn't really matter because you will not really know what it does for you. If you are playing for over 4 years and below 1600 as an adult, then your technique has likely matured and my advice at that point is similar. It is when you have 1600+ or maturing technique that equipment investigation can yield some benefits. But the benefits are not more than a small percentage of your level. And they are more to be found in switching across classes of speed and spin in rubber (DEF vs ALL vs OFF) vs changing from one ALL blade to another ALL blade or one OFF blade to another OFF blade. But if your technique is not stable, all these evaluations will just be a waste of time.

    One of the underrated aspects of EJing is how it makes you feel. It is common for people to denigrate the importance of subjectively feeling good about your equipment. But in fact, I partly EJ because I want to feel good about my equipment. What has surprised me though is how my taste in equipment has changed especially with the new plastic ball. No, not the speed per say which is still OFF+ to OFF, but that outer plies I used to hate like Koto, Walnut and Mahogany I now like and outer plies I once loved like hinoki and limba feel dead to me. Not sure what caused it but it is what it is.

    To cut a long story short, it is the EJ who comes here thinking that getting new equipment will make him a radically better player, when he would never argue that having a better car will clearly make him a better driver or that having better bicycle will make him a faster cyclist. These things add 2% to 3% at most and 2-3% can be a lot when the margins are thin (where we have high level technique that is almost or very mature). But it is not a lot when looking at the bigger picture of TT improvement. That I think is where a lot of the confusion comes from.
    Yep. Another great post. That is what NL does.

    I think this thread was an excuse for a new topic....Looking at EJing as a subject. Rather than something else.

    And with most of the EJing threads, if you took out the idea that changing equipment will improve the person's play, and if you took out what is almost unavoidable....that so many lower level players will invariably want something that is wildly inappropriate for their playing skills, then of course we can have EJ threads that are simply about the fact that it is fun to try new gear and, AS NextLevel points out, it is good to feel good about your gear. It is really nice to have a setup where you feel, "I love this freakin' racket."

    A fun example of a unique and wonderful kind of EJ is rokphish!!!!! The guy must have like 30,000 blades. I think he may have every blade ever. I would never give him a hard time for it. He isn't complaining he got the wrong setup. He isn't complaining the newest blade he got didn't live up to his expectations. He just loves trying new stuff and new stuff and new stuff and he can afford to keep it all and not try and bore us with his insecurities.

    Just one screen grab from rok's instagram:

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    I mean, look how many blades he is sealing all at once. All newly purchased.

    I remember when he posted that. He was happy. Those were a few of his new acquisitions that he was looking forward to giving a test drive. He was enjoying the process. He wasn't bemoaning not being able to find the right setup so he could magically improve. And he wasn't thinking about selling the ones he decided were not up to his specifications. He was reveling in the joy of playing and trying them all. That version of EJing is totally fine. And kind of fun.

    I personally like my setup and don't need to try other things anymore. But I am really happy with what I have and I like it so much I get all my EJing from my setup.

    And, so, perhaps this thread was for a different topic and a different perspective on EJing. Moving away from the threads where people are asking how they can change their gear and magically improve their skills. But, certainly an EJ like Der who is the Janitor of his own TT company, is not denigrating all EJing. Just shining some light on the kinds of EJing that bring you down a deep, dark rabbit hole that is hard to dig yourself out of.

    "Oh, look, I found my real, fake, Pro, National, T05 and H3 down here....Say, is that the goon squad over there? Gotta Go!"

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 02-02-2019 at 07:35 AM.
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
    Spin is Everything

  5. jawien is offline
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    #85
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Others have said it already but EJing is not about the human desire to improve but what human beings do when they have wealth and choice. While it is not an absolute, human beings tend to hunt and gather things. So looking for the best tools is just human nature and in this era of wealth, having multiple options leads to people trying out more stuff. Maybe some people only wear one suit or set of clothes. I am not one of them.

    [...]
    Yep, NextLevel's post is very rich. Based on it, let me reiterate my experience - hope won't bore you : ) Maybe I'll understand something too.


    Say, you want to develop an optimal game, make it athletic, engage body as much as possible. Seemed to me Zhang Jike's was the optimal one and most diverse - it was like 2013. He was playing H3 something and t64 with his Viscaria. So I had an idea, strong spiny fh (as close to Jike's as possible) and a firm, game controlling bh. As I already wrote, there were problems:
    first, H3 National something was nowhere to be found, plus I wanted to be legit (league matches) so no boosting and "commercial H3" without boosting was "dead" (Zeio I admire you for being able to use it).
    second: t64 + viscaria was definitely too fast for me ...
    third: sure I wanted the fh to be like Jike's, but ... more diverse at the same time ... ha ha.

    so here's how the ej dance stared ...


    Interestingly enough the setup changes happened mostly during the league season. I was fighting for this 2-3% percent, NextLevel wrote about, I thought were responsible for me loosing the game. If it was only me ... but it was about the team, so it seemed even more urgent matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Yep. Another great post. That is what NL does.
    [...]

    I personally like my setup and don't need to try other things anymore. But I am really happy with what I have and I like it so much I get all my EJing from my setup. [...]
    Unfortunately having current state of affairs ... tt is a technical sport, where the nuances make a difference. My perception is that, figuring out the proper equipment is basically an integral part of the development process. The equipment for sure will influence the technique you are developing.


    Many of my colleagues, just like Carl, stay with the same setup ... but for me ... I think knowing other options (even if you are staying with your blade) seems more diverse ... The trick would be to keep the proper balance, I guess.

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    Last edited by jawien; 02-02-2019 at 12:48 PM.

  6. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #86
    For me, I am pretty sure I improved a lot more when I stopped messing around so much with my equipment and focused on the rational process of assessing my skills and weaknesses and finding ways to train that would strengthen my weaknesses and still develop my strengths.

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    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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  7. bircham boi is offline
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    #87
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    For me, I am pretty sure I improved a lot more when I stopped messing around so much with my equipment and focused on the rational process of assessing my skills and weaknesses and finding ways to train that would strengthen my weaknesses and still develop my strengths.
    And this is the voice of common sense.

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  8. NextLevel is offline
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    #88
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    For me, I am pretty sure I improved a lot more when I stopped messing around so much with my equipment and focused on the rational process of assessing my skills and weaknesses and finding ways to train that would strengthen my weaknesses and still develop my strengths.
    As a contrast, I improved all through my years of EJing until I was too injured to continue to play. The main thing is that I worked on my technical and tactical instruction all those years as well. Maybe the equipment changing hurt but I don't think so. In fact it gave me a perspective on equipment that many people don't have and often just talk about.

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    Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

    "We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training" - Archilochus

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    #89
    There is a large and well-established table tennis center near me. When a junior starts out there they are issued a 5 ply all wood allround racket with 1.9 Sriver on both sides. And told that when they get to 1700 or so we can discuss upgrading.

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  10. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #90
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    As a contrast, I improved all through my years of EJing until I was too injured to continue to play. The main thing is that I worked on my technical and tactical instruction all those years as well. Maybe the equipment changing hurt but I don't think so. In fact it gave me a perspective on equipment that many people don't have and often just talk about.
    I think this makes perfect sense. I don't think messing with equipment slowed me down when I did. I do think not being focused on what would improve my play did.

    I think, for a player at a lower level, that can be different.

    But I am confident you were focused on the improving the technique thing straight through the period when you were changing equipment regularly. And you were at a decently high level that your technique was pretty solid when I met you. Solid and sort of optimized to what you have going on in your joints.

    And I do think, the way you changed equipment and tried different kinds of equipment to see how different things helped or hindered what was going on with wrists, shoulder, hips and knees, gave you a nuanced understanding of how different blades, rubbers and combinations gave certain different tactical advantages to short game, blocking, serving, countering that not many people have an understanding of. I particularly noticed this around the time you started exploring faster blades with less spin sensitive rubbers.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 02-03-2019 at 03:43 AM.
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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  11. langel is offline
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    #91
    There is a great difference between sporadic and haotic EJing, and well thought and informed change of equipment. When the change of equipment follows the development needs, it wil help. Sometimes this change may be appropriate for the development, but the player may feel not so well with it, so he will continue to EJ in the field and its helpfull too. A beginner or a developing player would be lost in the equipment jungle without a help. A good coach would help. A well shaped asking may find a good answer in a forum. But the problem is that not all coaches are good /sorry/, very few questions are well formulated /of coarse they can't be/, and a lot of the answers are not appropriate /and some very appropriate may be claimed as absurd by the forum experts/. All this is absolutelly normal and inevitable as the forum is a mirror of the jungle outside. Of course it can be moderated, rulled and framed, polished and matted, its a matter of the governor politics.

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    #92
    I COMPLETELY agree with the original post.
    I first started getting coaching last year in March (played for fun as a kid), and I've gone from USATT 800 to USATT 1600 in that time.

    The only equipment I've owned are a premade paddle, an OFF+ paddle, and an OFF-/ALL+ paddle (current setup).

    On the contrary, I've taken 50+ lessons and spent wayyyy more time in the training hall, watching videos, talking to coaches, etc. than browsing the forums.

    Is it a coincidence that I gained 800 points in less than a year? Probably not.

    I'm not trying to brag; I'm just trying to illustrate the progress one can make if you focus on training. Other than switching to a slower blade and slower rubbers, I haven't changed my equipment often at all. So please take the OP seriously.

    I have tried putting together an equipment buying guide for my local club to prevent the newer members from becoming equipment junkies. Check it out here:

    https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/for...-your-own-gear!
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    Please note that I didn't originally think I'd post it on the forums so some of the info may not apply to people here, but I thought maybe some developing players could benefit if I shared it. It's still a rough draft, but I'd appreciate comments/suggestions on that thread.

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    Last edited by Lzrby; 02-06-2019 at 08:51 AM.

  13. jawien is offline
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    #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Lzrby
    [...]
    On the contrary, I've taken 50+ lessons and spent wayyyy more time in the training hall, watching videos, talking to coaches, etc. than browsing the forums.
    [...]
    Same here actually, I was working hard on my technique taking lessons (also with Leszek, if he had time ...), just like on the vid in this thread.
    https://www.tabletennisdaily.com/for...hes-a-backhand

    But Leszek was a professional, he was far ahead of me (and of course still is) in terms of ... everything ; ) so he had no interest in my equipment theories.

    For many of my counterparts or other coaches there were only 2 types of rubbers (Chinese and Euro/Jap) and 2 types of blades all and off. While it was obvious for me I could find a whole range of Euro/Jap combinations with totally different characteristics. I had no one to ask, so I started digging myself.

    As I said, the problem was, I tend to look for "the one". More rational thing would be to have a base setup and then experiment from there, then just in case experiment didn't work, you would have something to comeback to.

    Also, @Carl I admire the fact, you can keep your mind away from the equipment and focus on training, tactics and so on ... I'm not saying my way is better ... yours is rational for sure ; )

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    Last edited by jawien; 02-04-2019 at 08:51 AM.

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