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    1. Top | #1
      NewTimes is offline
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      TTD Member Country: United States
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      Pointers welcome from 37 year absence

      This is my first post so be gentle. I feel like I have been in a time capsule that has just been opened up. In 1980 I worked in Dallas, Texas at a new recreation center that had two table tennis tables and fortunately for me, I was exposed to table tennis players vs. ping pongers. I got into it. Played in a couple tournaments and had in 1980 a 1,204 rating. I played very little afterwards. Then six weeks ago, after at least 38 years of being away, I ventured to a club in central Florida to observe play. Wearing sandals, I did not expect to play, but the owner of the club encouraged me, sandals and all, using a chipped, battered and rubber torn club racket. I was surprised how well I did now at 66. My hand eye coordination was only a fraction of my 1980 level. Misses, and I mean missing the ball completely was about 50% of my play. But I was enthused that I was able to at least play. All the beginner players at the club beat me, as expected.

      I returned the next week, I arrived early to talk with the club owner about a racket. His recommendation of me spending "about $150" for a good setup was more than I wanted to invest at that time in my development. So I ventured to a local Academy Sports, bought a $30 off the shelf Stiga Torch. It was a marked improvement from the chipped and battered club paddles. In the next few weeks I progressed rapidly. And I noticed the Torch had a mushy rubber and that I had to strike the ball harder to have it react. I needed a real racket.

      So the past three weeks I have been attempting to educate my self about how to make a wise racket and rubber purchase. Compared to 1980 when Shriver was king, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of choices and combinations. I've driven my wife crazy watching YouTube videos of paddle and rubber reviews. I've even watch Japanese videos not understanding the language but watching the players forms.

      Yesterday, the used racket that I purchased on eBay arrived. With fees and shipping it cost $59. A Sanwei Fextra 7 racket with Tibhar Exposition MX-P rubber on both sides. Before the howls begin, let me explain my thought process. First, I read, researched and watched videos on the two products. I know the MX-P is fast and a challenge to control. I know the dilemma one can experience if their equipment excels their skill level. I know going from the mushy Torch to the MX-P is like taking off training wheels to driving the new C8 Corvette. But it was only a $59 investment and I believe the Fextra 7 is an appropriate paddle for me.

      So today, I play my first time with the Sanwei Fextra 7 and the Exposition MX-P at the club. I know it is going to be a major difference. As a comparison, last night I bounced balls on the Torch. Then I bounced on the MX-P. The ball popped off the MX-P and slugged off the Torch.

      Of all the improvements since my return six weeks ago, my backhand has developed the best. I watched enough videos and practiced developing better serves. My hand eye coordination has improved significantly. I have improved. I'm guessing I am about 1000 at present and, if I was a wagering man, I would say the new set up, after 3-4 times playing I'll win 1-2 points more game, which will mean I will more of the deuce games I am now losing. The good news I am not having to ice my knees several times after I play and no more Advil for the muscle discomfort. Stretches really do work.

      Every time I came to the site I was encouraged "to make a first post", so here it is. And future posts will not be as lengthy. But those who have read to this point, I welcome any pointers and insights. About what should I watch for today beyond the obvious? And if anyone else can share their setup. If my improvement continues, which I am optimistic about, that $150 racket may be in my immediate future. Just not today. Comments welcome.
      Last edited by NewTimes; 08-10-2019 at 12:12 PM.

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      NextLevel (08-14-2019)

    3. Top | #2
      burhanayan is offline
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      Welcome! I was back after 9 years too. I regret that I gave up on this sport...

      I have lots of over 70 and 80 friends in my club right now and they are around 1500 TTR, 1850 USATT. This sport has absolutely no age limitation.

      My recommendation would be just stick with the equipment you have and focus more on your technique, game, strategy.

      Aand most importantly "Have fun!"

      Best.

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      Last edited by burhanayan; 08-10-2019 at 01:40 PM.

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      NextLevel (08-14-2019)

    5. Top | #3
      yoass is online now
      says modestly attempting kōhaiship
      of Jeul-Tak
       
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      Welcome! KBO, don’t overthink equipment, and enjoy!

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      NextLevel (08-14-2019)

    7. Top | #4
      NewTimes is offline
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      The fun part has been the most gratifying. My wife has been after me for years to exercise. I would start on the treadmill, or walking or swimming but eventually find an excuse not to continue. Playing table tennis has generated a strong interest to excel and it gives me great exercise. So far I've lost 9 pounds. It's a win-win. I'm having fun, meeting interesting people and exercising. Thanks for the reply.

    8. Top | #5
      NewTimes is offline
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      I've driven my wife nuts with all the researching I've done on equipment. At 66, I have a maturity and focus lacking in my mid 20's. I study the game now. I'm watching how others approach the game and the finer nuances. When I first began to play it was with physical skill with little importance to the strategy of the game. Now I realize I will develop faster studying the game as I evolve and applying those beneficial aspects. Playing smarter, not harder.

    9. Top | #6
      Loopadoop is offline
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      Consider putting Long Pips OX on one of your paddles for bh, keep the 4h rubber.

      A lot of good info here. Read the lengthy Intro, 5-10 minutes, well worth your time. Then you can come back here and make a better decision.

      https://m.facebook.com/NorthLittleRockTableTennisGroup/

      A good Coaching source for inverted rubber and long pips players.

      Free detailed step by step coaching videos available at:

      YouTube yangyang TT

      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC10...Ttsu1a9lW5r4Sg

    10. Top | #7
      JHB is offline
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      If you are tempted to become a pimp as Loopadoop suggests, be prepared for your popularity among your fellow club players to sharply diminish and to hear stage whispers about "****ing long pimples" as you pass by.......

      But seriously, several things have changed. I myself did not play from about 1981 until 2014, and I found that :-

      - The balls are very different. They're bigger, and now they are made from a different material too.

      - Blade technology has improved. My old 1979 Stiga Super Carbon felt slow compared to modern blades.

      - Rubbers seem to have more grip and speed - Sriver was superceded by Bryce, which was in its turn superceded by Tenergy.

      - There have been numerous tweaks to the rules. Playing to 11 rather than 21 is the most obvious, although of course in friendly games you're not obliged to do that and many still don't. The service rules have certainly been "beefed up" several times, and what was legal in 1980 sure ain't now. Unfortunately lots of club players (in England anyway) don't make any attempt to conform to the service rules, and I hear many fascinating excuses for failing to do so. Lastly you may recall that we used to have to play in "dark clothing" whereas now the rule says that clothing "must not be predominately the same colour as the ball" which can mean just about anything Butterfly, Joola, Tibhar, Donic et. al. want it to mean.

      Most importantly, enjoy the game and the exercise - welcome back !!
      Second/spare blade: Joola K7 with Tibhar Evolution MX-P (forehand) and MX-S (backhand)

    11. Top | #8
      yogi_bear is offline
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      Did you choose a max thickness? 1.9mm should have been fast enough.

    12. Top | #9
      NewTimes is offline
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      I remember the 21 point games. And I'll admit, even though it's at times overwhelming to be a newbie at 66 with the plethora of choices, I like how the game has changed and advanced.

      I just back from playing and my game went as I expected. I was long on many shots. I also noticed considerable more spin on my backhand. The ball seemed to dive down and catch the table more. Serves were another thing. I missed a bunch. I'm attempting to learn basic serves, and to switch to a new set it, I'll need to practice a lot more. My serves were weak to begin so lots to get a feel with the need racket.

      Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

    13. Top | #10
      NewTimes is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      Did you choose a max thickness? 1.9mm should have been fast enough.
      The racket came assembled. The thickness says 2.1. From what I've read a lower thickness would have been better. I was encouraged with increased top spin on my FH and BH. I'm confident after playing today I'll learn to adjust to the set up to advance my game.

      Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

    14. Top | #11
      Loopadoop is offline
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      The majority of the over 60 players and over 60 best players have long pips on one side. Only a few play with inverted on both sides.

    15. Top | #12
      NewTimes is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Loopadoop View Post
      The majority of the over 60 players and over 60 best players have long pips on one side. Only a few play with inverted on both sides.
      I'm still hoping I can be a predominate offensive player. I'm encouraged with my BH advancement in the past 6 weeks. Pips out may be in my future but my hand eye and reaction response is improving.

      Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

    16. Top | #13
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Near Clearwater TT Club?

      On BH wing, try to use just mainly the lower arm on your shot and make the stroke not so long, will keep you out of trouble.


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    17. Top | #14
      NewTimes is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte View Post
      Near Clearwater TT Club?

      On BH wing, try to use just mainly the lower arm on your shot and make the stroke not so long, will keep you out of trouble.


      Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
      I'm in Daytona Beach and I play on Saturday's in Orlando. I play at a local rec center usually Tues and Thur.

      On my BH, I want to develop more power and your mention is good advice. A short, powerful stroke rather than a long, time consuming action.

      Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

    18. Top | #15
      Simas is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by burhanayan View Post
      Welcome! I was back after 9 years too. I regret that I gave up on this sport...

      I have lots of over 70 and 80 friends in my club right now and they are around 1500 TTR, 1850 USATT. This sport has absolutely no age limitation.

      My recommendation would be just stick with the equipment you have and focus more on your technique, game, strategy.

      Aand most importantly "Have fun!"

      Best.

      Sent from Tapatalk
      So true

      TT at amateur level is more about control and smart play then strength. You can play at good level for a very long time. When you can't, you switch to frictionless pips and drive everyone nuts

    19. Top | #16
      yogi_bear is offline
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      Well, if you play a lot you can adjust soon enough and also enjoy the game again.

    20. Top | #17
      NewTimes is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      Well, if you play a lot you can adjust soon enough and also enjoy the game again.
      That's my hope. To continue to see reflexes improve and overall improved play. As I have aged, one if my favorite lines in my work career was, to work smarter, not harder. That's also identical to me venturing back into TT at 66.

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    21. Top | #18
      NewTimes is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Simas View Post
      So true

      TT at amateur level is more about control and smart play then strength. You can play at good level for a very long time. When you can't, you switch to frictionless pips and drive everyone nuts
      I last week again watched the CBS Sunday Morning segment about Will Shorts. It was impactful, not about his everyday play, but the combo of working crosswords stimulating one part of the brain and table tennis stimulating the other. To any senior who is serious about taking actions to keep one physically and mentally fit, what a great mention and plan. As my body adjust and regains strength, and soreness lessens, I'll increase the time a week I play.

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    22. Top | #19
      chuckjordan2 is offline
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      just play like *%&#(
       
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      Just play and learn. Find your style. With so many media venues (youTube, Net, etc) there's so much information at your fingertips. Enjoy the ride....

    23. Top | #20
      NewTimes is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by chuckjordan2 View Post
      Just play and learn. Find your style. With so many media venues (youTube, Net, etc) there's so much information at your fingertips. Enjoy the ride....
      Wife is getting the standard response with myself in retirement, twice the time of husband with half the income. Mix in hours of watching YouTube videos on equipment, serves, reviews, many times in foreign lanuages, well you get the picture. I don't smoke drink or play golf. My renewed interest is TT. Life is good.

      Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

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