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    1. Top | #1
      Wister is offline
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      Why pro and amateur have similar setup ?

      Hello,

      I wonder what equipment pro really use, especially as it often seems very similar to what amateurs used. For example we see in Dan reviews that Pitchford plays with viscaria and T05, Drinkhall with a carbon blade with MXP. But these combo are often also found in the hand of amateur players.

      And i find it a bit surprising as they have very different level. I mean how is it possible to require the same setup at like 2000 / 2200 USATT level and pro level ?

      So is it that the pros actually plays with harder version ? Always boosted ? Thicker blade ? Or does it means that for example an ALC blade + 48° rubbers is actually a pro setup and we should not plays with this kind of setup as amateurs ? Or maybe it's normal to have the same setup as them ?

      What is your opinion on it ? I'm curious about it

    2. Top | #2
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      It does depend on the level of the player and the player's touch and feel.

      Usually a player at the level of 2000 or 2200 (USATT rating) Has enough skill to use anything he/she wants.

      But with players lower than that, often they choose to use equipment that makes it a little harder for them to develop their skills as fast. Most players of mid- or lower level should probably be using all wood blades in the Off- or All+ speed class and using simple, middle of the road rubbers that allow for control.
      Spin Everything.

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    4. Top | #3
      Wister is offline
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      I'm not very used of USATT rating but for me there is a huge gap between 2000 USATT and pro level (2800 USATT ?). Maybe i'm wrong about the rating etc.. i want to mean between a good amateur (regional level, if it means anything) and a pro.

      I would be surprised that a this big level difference don't require to use different type of equipment ?

    5. Top | #4
      Xylit is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wister View Post
      I would be surprised that a this big level difference don't require to use different type of equipment ?
      Why should better equipment be required for pros? In the end they play the same sport as non-pros with the same rules, balls, tables etc.

      You can buy the exact same tennis racket Roger Federer uses.
      You can buy the exact same shoes Lionel Messi wears.
      You can buy the exact same golf clubs Tiger Woods uses.
      You can buy the same racket Timo Boll uses (not his special rubber versions but still very close to his equipment).
      You can buy the exact same darts Michael van Gerwen uses.
      etc

      But all those things won't make a pro of anyone. Professional players are just much more skillful, that's all.

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    7. Top | #5
      Airoc is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wister View Post
      So is it that the pros actually plays with harder version ?
      Mostly. And different rubbers - same name, though. Some get pre-boosted, quality selected rubbers still close to the commercial versions. Some get custom-made.
      And some play top level table tennis with tenergy05 from the shop

      Quote Originally Posted by Wister View Post
      Always boosted ?
      Very likely.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wister View Post
      Thicker blade ?
      Don´t think so.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wister View Post
      Or does it means that for example an ALC blade + 48° rubbers is actually a pro setup and we should not plays with this kind of setup as amateurs ? Or maybe it's normal to have the same setup as them ?
      Well, the faster the blade and the harder and faster the rubbers it is more likely a setup that a pro can use.
      However, if you have a fast attacking game with emphasis on spin you couldn´t use a slow-ish blade with thin slow rubbers just because you are an amateur - you would use ALC + 48 degree rubbers for example, as you said.

      You just wouldn´t make as much out of it, and that is what makes the real difference: the player, the talent, the stroke, the movement.

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    9. Top | #6
      yoass is online now
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      To put it rather bluntly: a pro is just an amateur that’s living off his hobby.

      It’s the same game, same requirements. Different play styles and different skill levels of course influence what is needed and what can handled responsibly, but that’s not a pro vs amateur thing either. At best you might hold that most pros are more skilled than most amateurs, but that’s it.

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    11. Top | #7
      Hysteresis is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xylit View Post
      Why should better equipment be required for pros? In the end they play the same sport as non-pros with the same rules, balls, tables etc.

      You can buy the exact same tennis racket Roger Federer uses.
      You can buy the exact same shoes Lionel Messi wears.
      You can buy the exact same golf clubs Tiger Woods uses.
      You can buy the same racket Timo Boll uses (not his special rubber versions but still very close to his equipment).
      You can buy the exact same darts Michael van Gerwen uses.
      etc

      But all those things won't make a pro of anyone. Professional players are just much more skillful, that's all.
      I think the point is not that they either require or have access to different equipment. But that the professional's equipment might just not be the most suitable for a lower level player.

      And Upsidedowncarl's post hits the nail on the head. Yes, amateurs CAN and do have access to, more or less, the same equipment as professionals, but in most cases they SHOULDN'T because the equipment is too fast for them.

      Plenty of lower level players play a lot of tentative points where they try to take the energy off the ball so they do not overhit. This is generally a bad position to be in. You want to have the confidence to overpower the natural flight of the ball with your arc (or just be comfortable playing hard with less arc) so that you don't have to be taking energy off the ball just to be safe.

      Professionals tend to use fairly fast equipment, because they already have the technique and confidence to be in control of it. While amateurs can ostensibly have access to the same equipment, this is often a bad idea.

      That said, 2000-2200 players, might not find professionals' equipment suitable, but they should at least be good enough to know whether it is suitable or not.

      But as to the original question of the thread. Lots of amateurs use basically the same equipment as professionals because
      a) We live in materialist societies that often conflate the expensive tools competent people use with that competence itself. Or are willing to pay extra for that equipment as a status symbol.

      b) Professionals play the game alot, they probably know a thing or two about which setups of equipment are good, good amateurs are likely to find similar setups.

      c) Equipment manufacturers are corporations, who like profit. Prestige is a good marketing tool and they are happy to exploit it for profit.
      Last edited by Hysteresis; 08-10-2019 at 10:28 AM.

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    13. Top | #8
      yogi_bear is offline
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      Sponsored players can ask the company to customize their equipment from sponge hardness to blade weight.

    14. Top | #9
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      The interesting thing is, even though the top players today generally use setups that are faster than the setups of the top players 15-20 years ago, still the top players are not using setups that are crazy fast. They are sort of manageable speeds. And those top players add the rest of the speed and spin they want with good technique.

      There is a big big big big gap between a 2000 level player and a top pro. But a 2000 level player often has the touch to use the same stuff the pros use. By about 2300-2400 a player stops looking like an amateur and by about that level, a player's technique stops breaking down when the play someone who gives them problems. They may lose. They may get dismantled by a higher level player. They may mentally fall apart. But their technique won't break down as their mental game does. A 2000-2250 level player's technique can still fall apart as they are being dismantled by a better player or by a player that poses specific problems for their game.

      And there is a vast ocean between a 2400 level player and a 2800 level player. But, still a 2000, a 2200, a 2400, a 2600 and a 2800 level player can usefully use the same equipment.

      Would a 2000 level player still benefit from an all wood 5 ply Off- blade? Probably. But he can handle a TB ALC.

      A 1200-1800 level player, and I am guessing a large number of forum members are in that category, would benefit from a modest setup like: Primorac Off- with Vega Pro.

      BTW: in 2005, 8 of the top 10 used an all wood blade. Today most of the top 10 use an ALC blade. ALC is nowhere near as fast or unforgiving as a Schlager Carbon or a TB T5000.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 08-10-2019 at 01:42 PM.

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    16. Top | #10
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      So, there is a distinction between what a player can productively use and what will be best for the player.

      And there is a distinction between what a player can get their hands on, and whether it will be totally inappropriate for their development of certain skills like touch and feel.

      The players in the over 2000 category already have fairly decent touch and feel even if they could improve their technique.

      The players in the lower category will limit the development of their stroke technique until they develop sufficient touch and feel. Therefore, most players in that lower category tend to choose setups that would probably get in the way of some of their development of skills.

      However, I have seen a kid, 12 years old go from 1200 to 2400 in a matter of months with good coaching and using a TB ALC. So, it may also depend on the person, the age, the level of talent.

      Generalized info is useful. But there are always exceptions.

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    18. Top | #11
      Airoc is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      top players are not using setups that are crazy fast.
      Good point.

      The emphasis is on rotation, and the rest is good technique.

      I often read about professional rubbers being "catapult monsters". But a professional player wouldn´t want his rubber to behave like a trampoline.

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    20. Top | #12
      Wister is offline
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      Very interesting answers from everybody But in conclusion, does pro and amateur really use the same setup ? (seems often to be ALC blade + 48° rubbers). It seems to me that nobody (except Airoc and maybe others) said that they use something different than good amateurs

      For me three solutions
      1/ The pro play with other equipment, like custom hardness (50°+) that are boosted
      2/ Currently, no equipment exist that is faster and more offensive in pro player hand that won't sacrifice too much the control, that's why we don't see anything else than ALC and 48° rubbers. So good amateurs can handle this kind and setup and pro can't find anything really better
      3/ Actually the amateurs shouldn't plays with this kind of set up, even at 2000 USATT level, despite being able to control it more or less

    21. Top | #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wister View Post
      Very interesting answers from everybody But in conclusion, does pro and amateur really use the same setup ? (seems often to be ALC blade + 48° rubbers). It seems to me that nobody (except Airoc and maybe others) said that they use something different than good amateurs

      For me three solutions
      1/ The pro play with other equipment, like custom hardness (50°+) that are boosted
      2/ Currently, no equipment exist that is faster and more offensive in pro player hand that won't sacrifice too much the control, that's why we don't see anything else than ALC and 48° rubbers. So good amateurs can handle this kind and setup and pro can't find anything really better
      3/ Actually the amateurs shouldn't plays with this kind of set up, even at 2000 USATT level, despite being able to control it more or less
      In an interview Marcos Freitas said that when he was 18 or so, he walked into a store and bought 2 Butterfly Michael Maze blades off the shelf. At the time of the interview which was a few years ago now, he was still using those blades as his main and backup.

      So some pros do just use what they get. And some get things customed.

      But a lot of pros will also get a company to send them 50-60 of the blade they like and try all but keep 3-4 which felt the best. So some of how they get the equipment they get is because the companies will do things like that for them. Most of us would not get 50 blades to try and see what we liked to keep the best of the best. Only top players would get that kind of treatment.

      Of course there are things like how Wang Liqin used a Clipper with a DHS Hurricane King handle, or how FZD uses a Viscaria with a Stiga Infinity handle. But most pros don't do stuff quite that blatantly.

      With the rubbers, some pros do have specific things like a specific sponge hardness. But that stuff is not that different from what you get when you just buy either. Like, if you weighed 50 sheets of Red T05 they would all weigh slightly different weights. The ones that are heavier have denser sponge. Some pros choose their rubbers that way. Denser sponge is a little harder.

      But it is not really that different than what you would get off the shelf except that they have the companies give them selected products. And some pros care more about that stuff than others.

      So, like a true TT EJ, I think you are making a little too much about this. Equipment does not matter as much as people may think. Technique is much more important.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 08-10-2019 at 05:41 PM.

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    23. Top | #14
      Lula is offline
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      I think in general players that are not pros play with way too fast equipment. I think pros really understand the importance of serve and return so they Do not have much faster than many other players that are not pros. The lower the level the more important players think it is to loop and smash crazy hard But Maybe they miss other more important things.

      Maybe pros also have good technique so they Do not need so fast equipment or Maybe they have much faster things because they boost the shit out of their rubbers.

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    25. Top | #15
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      Thanks Lula, I didn't know the Pro's used shitty rubbers so they have boost it out.

      ....
      Last edited by Loopadoop; 08-10-2019 at 10:50 PM.

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