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    1. Top | #1
      Martijn Heemskerk is offline
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      What kind of composition would you recommend me?

      Hey all,

      You might've seen my name come across this forum the last few weeks because im trying to get a blade to work for me. However, so far i just cant manage to get what i want. So instead of trying to get something to work i have, maybe you can recommend something completely fresh for me that i can have a look at. I will try to explain my play style to you guys. I would've loved to add a video, but due to corona i wont be holding a blade till the 1st of june most likely (but the itch for a new blade remains).

      Even though i play not that high i've had the privilege to play for my national student team (due to making the third half that much more enjoyable ). I played very highly rated players here (some were even 120 of the world). My play style currently focusses around my forehand topspin, which even some of the top players there said was very good. When im positioned correctly its a very deadly shot, both due to the spin and the speed. My backhand on the otherhand is very weak, im currently mostly slicing the ball to keep it in play and hopefully get a ball on my forehand and open this ball. During practice when i have no worry in the world i can play some very decent backhand loops, but they are far from consistent and especially during matchplay i chicken out and just keep on slicing.
      Due to my student life i've gained 40 kilos and am trying to work them off now (currently on 10 kilos less). This means im going to hopefully be able to be in a good position for my forehand more often.

      What i want to practice when i get back to training after corona is a confident backhand, being able to open up with my backhand to get myself into the game, put pressure on my opponent and finish with my deadly forehand.

      So for my blade. I will be looking for a blade with a lot of feeling, so that i can start developing my backhand more and hopefully get more confidence so that i can play the matches how i want, instead of relying on my opponent. However i dont want to lose too much power for my forehand (speed or spin), i have a good feeling for the ball and can generate a lot of speed and spin, but i dont want to turn my weapon into a wet noodle so to say.
      Would love to hear what you guys would suggest and mostly why you suggest it so that i can make a more thought out decision.

      With kind regards,
      Martijn

      P.S. What i played with was a Timo Boll ALC blade with T05 max (boosted) on FH and Rozena max (boosted) on BH. Currently trying to get a Xiom icecream azxi to work, but no succes yet.

    2. Top | #2
      lasta is offline
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      Hi Martijn,

      A lot of information to cut through, yet at the same time; not much useful to go on. Sorry.

      1. How long have you been playing? I've played against WR200 visitors but that doesn't say much about my level haha.

      2. What's wrong with your current set up? What's not working with the Xiom? How would you want your next setup to be different? So far, I'm guessing you want something with more "feeling". What kind of feeling?

      3. I'm getting the impression that your backhand problems are due to confidence/inexperience, but I don't want to judge. Do you want to play defensive, or are you doing it only because you are forced to?

    3. Top | #3
      lasta is offline
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      I posted this before, but helps with a more objective recommendation for blades.

      Try to decribe your preferences in the following areas:

      Performance:
      -Low impact speed (pushing, blocking, flicking)
      -High impact speed (smashing, full effort loops/drives)
      -Do you want it to be overall faster or slower than the Boll ALC

      Basic characteristic:
      -Stiffness
      -Hardness (on low impact)
      -Solidity/density (on high impact)
      -Weight

      Feel (this part gets very subjective):
      -On low impact shots, do you want springy and snappy feel or precise and linear?
      -On high impact shots, do you want the blade to "envelope" the ball (ie a "captive/deep hold" feeling) or do you want to feel as if something is pushing hard against the ball ("repulsive/reinforced").
      -General feedback on impact (sharp or dull, crisp or marshmallowy?)
      -Do you want to feel exactly where the ball contacts on off-center impact, or do you want a more uniform sensation even when slightly miss-hit (ie large or small sweetspot).

      Everyone's preference is different, and some aspects must be given up for others.

      I've posted a table on Mytt: http://mytabletennis.net/FORUM/nexy-...opic87649.html
      If you can fill in your preferences with 1-10 using the Boll ALC as the control variable, I'm sure you can get a pretty accurate recommendation.

      Rubbers are a lot more homogenous than you think. Generally speaking, do you want something harder or softer than the T05?
      Last edited by lasta; 1 Week Ago at 03:02 PM.

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    5. Top | #4
      Martijn Heemskerk is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by lasta View Post
      Hi Martijn,

      A lot of information to cut through, yet at the same time; not much useful to go on. Sorry.

      1. How long have you been playing? I've played against WR200 visitors but that doesn't say much about my level haha.

      2. What's wrong with your current set up? What's not working with the Xiom? How would you want your next setup to be different? So far, I'm guessing you want something with more "feeling". What kind of feeling?

      3. I'm getting the impression that your backhand problems are due to confidence/inexperience, but I don't want to judge. Do you want to play defensive, or are you doing it only because you are forced to?
      1. Ive been playing for 16 years now, started when i was around 9 and im currently 25 years old.

      2. My xiom is too fast i think, i dont have much feeling with the blade and it shoots straight forward without any kind of arc, which means i need to take the ball on the perfect point or it will go in the net. What i liked about the TB ALC setup was the feeling it gave me. I was thinking of maybe a faster wooden blade for the feels of wood but with sufficient speed.

      3. confidence plays a very big role here. I dont want to play defensive, i kinda hate it. There are plenty of balls i get on my backhand that i could open on, but i chicken out and dont open these. However after seeing this ball my mind says to itself, you shouldve attacked that shot. This has the effect that i automatically attack the next shot (which usually is a lot harder) and play in the net, which further decreases my confidence.
      But the inexperience doesnt help. Ive always steered away from my backhand, i just held the ball into play with my backhand. And when i was younger and weighed less i would choose a ball, walk around my backhand and attack with my forehand. So my forehand attack has always been my only attacking move i had so far, and i want to change this.

      Hopefully this is of help, if you have more questions feel free to ask

    6. Top | #5
      Eric_Wan is offline
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      stiga blades have pretty good feeling, as of why most Chinese kids use them to develop technique

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    8. Top | #6
      Martijn Heemskerk is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by lasta View Post
      I posted this before, but helps with a more objective recommendation for blades.
      Performance:
      -Low impact speed (pushing, blocking, flicking)
      I want not too much speed for low impact shots, i want these to be with high controll.
      -High impact speed (smashing, full effort loops/drives)
      For loops and drives i want to have a good kick feeling but paired with good spin.
      -Do you want it to be overall faster or slower than the Boll ALC
      I think slower, since im mainly going for control atm so i can start getting the confidence in my backhand i need.

      Basic characteristic:
      -Stiffness
      -Hardness (on low impact)
      -Solidity/density (on high impact)
      -Weight
      I dont know too much about the effect of the basic characteristics would you maybe care to explain briefly?

      Feel (this part gets very subjective):
      -On low impact shots, do you want springy and snappy feel or precise and linear?
      I want to be able to very confidently place my flicks on the table, they dont need to be fast, just spinny so i can get into looping afterwards.
      -On high impact shots, do you want the blade to "envelope" the ball (ie a "captive/deep hold" feeling) or do you want to feel as if something is pushing hard against the ball ("repulsive/reinforced").
      When i go for a high impact shot its usually to get a finisher. Therefore i would like my high impact shot to get a decent kick to get the ball past the opponent, however i dont want to sacrifice too much spin for speed.
      -General feedback on impact (sharp or dull, crisp or marshmallowy?)
      I want a sharp and crisp feedback on impact.
      -Do you want to feel exactly where the ball contacts on off-center impact, or do you want a more uniform sensation even when slightly miss-hit (ie large or small sweetspot).
      Do you mean wether or not i want to feel it when i dont hit the ball corectly? if so, yes very much.


      Rubbers are a lot more homogenous than you think. Generally speaking, do you want something harder or softer than the T05?
      im not too familiar to the effect of rubber hardness. Ive played with tenergy since i think it was released. A trainer i once had suggested Rakza 7 for me, i tried it and hated it, felt like i could not generate spin even if i wanted to.What would you recommend?

      Also i took a look at the website, but like i said at the basic charateristics, would you be able to briefly explain what they do/mean exactly?
      Last edited by Martijn Heemskerk; 1 Week Ago at 04:29 PM.

    9. Top | #7
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Yeah, the truth is, what you are asking about seems to have more to do with feeling and control than anything else. And the truth is everyone has different feeling in their hands. Some prefer softer woods, some prefer harder woods.

      TB ALC has a fairly hard top ply and the Arylate in the ALC weave gives the blade some softness underneath that ads to the snap on the rebound. This works for a lot of players. But you need to have fairly high level technique for it to work for you. It sounds like that works for your FH but not your BH.

      The best recommendation I can give is to get a lot of people you play with to let you try their equipment, and after you try lots of different setups, start looking to figure out which ones you liked and why.

      Off the top of my head, a blade like a Stiga Clipper or a Stiga Rosewood might be ones to test to see how they feel. A Korbel might be a bit slower than you want. But it would be worth trying to see if you like how it feels. If it feels good to you, you might think about trying an OSP Martin.

      Other blades you should consider trying:

      Butterfly Photino
      Darker 7p-2a7t

      Those are fairly fast but have a Hinoki top ply which is soft. The Darker blade is all Hinoki. The Photino has Zylon in it.

      The important thing is, to try a lot of setups so you can start seeing if your hand feeling and your technique work better with softer top plies or harder.
      Spin Everything.

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    11. Top | #8
      lasta is offline
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      Great!

      Now, some more narrowing down:

      High impact "kick": most blades with "kick" are non-linear and can have different "throw angles" depending how hard you hit. For most people, this gives an impression of poor control and can take more experience to generate enough spin on fast swings. Are you sure this is what you want? Most modern loopers prefer something in the "hold/captive" category (which is where the Boll ALC belongs). It doesn't mean a blade without kick is slow, simply that output tapers slightly when you hit very hard.

      For what I gather:
      Overall slower and with emphasis on spin and control.
      Sharp and crisp: usually achieved with a slightly harder blade.
      Feedback on mis-hits: usually a blade with a smaller "sweet spot". Perhapps a thin-ish blade.

      My preference would be the Donic Persson Powerplay. Fairly thin 7-ply and one of the best feeling blades I've played with. Sharp and crisp, solid, yet flexible and not so fast.

      Stiga Rosewood is sharp and crisp as well, but the differentiation between hard outer ply and soft inner might give the impression of hollowness. I don't like that feeling, but maybe you wouldn't mind. The Rosewood 7 will feel a little more substantial than the 5, but still hollow.

      Photino is a classic example of "high kick". Soft and springy, but much faster than the Boll. Might be hard to control, and not very good feedback on off-center hits. More "bouncy juicy" than sharp and crisp.

      Darker 7p-2a7t is one of my favorite categories, but not everyone's cup of tea. Soft-ish, but very solid and with a mild "kick". I think its controllable, but its actually faster than the Boll.

      A thinner Clipper (<6.6mm), TSP SWAT, or Sanwei Fextra are worth looking into. A bit faster than the Persson Powerplay, but not as crisp.

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    13. Top | #9
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Also, drill BH loop vs backspin a lot, a lot, a lot. Multiball, bucket after bucket of multiball heavy backspin to the BH and you attack over and over. After doing a few 100,000 balls, (30-100 buckets a week for a few weeks) your BH will be your other weapon.

      The issue you are talking about with BH is simply an issue of training the BH to handle those shots.

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    15. Top | #10
      Kuba Hajto is offline
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      You might also want to consider XIOM Vega/Omega blade range. The latter has been discontinued but is still available in some places. If one of your colleagues in your club, I suggest asking them to let you try it.

      I will not recommend it to you blindly though. I don't think I am competent enough to speak about this yet. I really like it, because it suits my criteria. I wanted to have hard top, crisp, good feeling, long dwell time, looping blade and I think that's how I would describe this blade. All of my sparing partners really enjoyed it, but it is a bit different than other propositions. Definitely worth a try, wether it is worth to purchase it is a different story.

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    17. Top | #11
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      Nittaku ludeack is another thin 7 ply crisp blade.
      Its a dream looping blade I have to say.
      A bit longer handle than usual but handle it self is a bit on the thin and round side.
      You should check that blade for sure.

    18. Top | #12
      Martijn Heemskerk is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      Yeah, the truth is, what you are asking about seems to have more to do with feeling and control than anything else. And the truth is everyone has different feeling in their hands. Some prefer softer woods, some prefer harder woods.
      Ive heard a few people talk about the stiga rosewood and clipper so far. My question would be what kind of rubbers would you pair these with.
      I've recently watched the video of dan and gauzy trying his blade. That got me looking at the setup: R53 FH, R50BH and the SL blade. However i do see online that the SL blade is quite fast and has less control than for example the rosewood and the clipper. What are your thoughts on this setup, gauzy called it having more control, but then again, i aint gauzy.

    19. Top | #13
      Martijn Heemskerk is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by lasta View Post
      Great!

      Now, some more narrowing down:
      What exactly then do you mean with kick? i thought this meant catapult. I feel as though when i hit the ball correctly with the tb alc the ball would "reward me" and fly off the bat and towards the opponent. The way you describe it (variable throw angle) would not help me develop a consistent backhand opening.

      Regarding what you've gathered is all correct. though i wonder what sweet spot really means, wouldnt i want a big sweetspot so that the whole blade has the desired effect on the ball, or does this mean you have more feedback wether or not you hit the ball dead in the centre of the blade?

      That donic blade is quite cheap, so i might just give that a go! (i think i actually played with that blade when i was younger or at least my brother did.

      Regarding the rosewood, what do you mean exactly with a hollow feeling? i have gotten that blade recommended a few times now, so its something i want to look into. for the other blades i dont think those will be a match, the tb alc was fast, i liked it, but i dont think i will need more speed per se.

      Also like i replied on UpSideDownCarl what are your thoughts on the following setup: R53 FH, R50 BH and the SL blade gauzy claimed to have high control, but then again he is a pro. The blade is a wood blade with ebony making it a harder blade. However looking at the other suggested blade from you guys it seems a bit faster and less contol.

    20. Top | #14
      Martijn Heemskerk is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      Also, drill BH loop vs backspin a lot, a lot, a lot. Multiball, bucket after bucket of multiball heavy backspin to the BH and you attack over and over. After doing a few 100,000 balls, (30-100 buckets a week for a few weeks) your BH will be your other weapon.

      The issue you are talking about with BH is simply an issue of training the BH to handle those shots.
      I would honestly love this, sadly at the club i play at now this isnt an option. Maybe i can find someone who would also like and we can multi ball eachother.

    21. Top | #15
      Kuba Hajto is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Martijn Heemskerk View Post
      I would honestly love this, sadly at the club i play at now this isnt an option. Maybe i can find someone who would also like and we can multi ball eachother.
      Yes, find a partner and order 200-300 balls and buy chepest basket in nearest ikea that will hold them. I use Huieson balls, just because they are the cheapest non totally crap, like 0.14$ a ball (i bought 100 of them for 14$). They work just fine for training, they are easy to damage though. You can always around in a club, there will be someone who wants to train for sure.

      BTW is there somewhere a tutorial how to feed multiball? Should I feed the ball before it bounces on the table or after, maybe directly from hand? (i've never been officially professionally trained with multiball, thus the question)

    22. Top | #16
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by Martijn Heemskerk View Post
      I would honestly love this, sadly at the club i play at now this isnt an option. Maybe i can find someone who would also like and we can multi ball eachother.
      Yep. Find a training partner and trade multiball buckets. Skill at feeding multiball is a good one to have because then you can do this kind of trade to work on skills you need to hone.

      As far as rubbers. I really would not change the rubbers and the blade at the same time if your issue is control with the BH. And if your issue is control with the BH the idea of getting rubbers that are significantly harder for the BH (50-degrees is way harder than what you are using, way way way harder) it would not be intelligent to make that kind of switch.

      The rubbers you are using will work on all and every blade. Start with changing one thing at a time.

    23. Top | #17
      Der_Echte is offline
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      It wouldn't hurt you one bit at all to slap you favored rubbers on the Persson Power Play (like lasta suggests - or at least one in its class) for .5-1.5 years and have at it. Especially the Rosena or rubbers like it (not so hard control class rubbers) on BH.

      Those rubbers on the PPP will provide a much easier feel with an overall slower rebound. Once you develop better feel and deeper impact (Here I mean accelerating a little later - once ball is in topsheet), you will be able to make spin much easier and your consistency and quality of ball will improve.

      Well, you have the work to do, but a blade in the class of PPP with your rubbers, especially the not too firm rubber on your BH will get a good chance to develop better impact dynamics and possibilities like control of spin, speed and depth. It isn't a guarantee, but a very good chance.

      I developed my BH for 4 years in Korea with a medium sponged medium speed $8 rubber on BH... and every time I stepped down to a wooden blade and worked on what I mentioned, I always improved.

      I might credit the 1 year+ I played with the PPP and softer rubbers and the several months with the Akkad for my improvement of 3+ levels over the last 2 years. Maybe I was due for it given the players I was playing with, but the type of I equipment I moved to also made me focus on better impact control and point construction.
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    25. Top | #18
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      In wttc06 you can find that Lucjan Błaszczyk used persson power play with <torpedo?> when he played with Timo boll....and he had 6 setballs...
      Old school top players with perfect forehand used black Old good hurricane 3 (with glue)on their backhand.
      This is perfect slow Spinny sticky rubber with high throw and gives you space to play with longer move and easy to block incoming spin.

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