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  1. juice is offline
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    #1

    Advice for a first custom paddle

    Hey everyone!

    First post here and as the title says, I'm looking for some advice on a making a custom paddle. Sorry for posting one of these posts, as it is probably posted way too much, but I feel like I am at a point where I am a bit confused as to what I should get and I don't want to spend any unnecessary money due to lack of resolve in making a post.

    In terms of skill level, I consider myself between beginner to intermediate. I have never actually played at a club level, only with my friends and at the recreational level. Though different, I do come from a tennis background, so I was able to develop my strokes faster due to that experience. I want to say that I play an offensive style of table tennis where I favor drives and loops versus blocks and chops. However, I do implement a lot of chops into my gameplay as well. I also play with a shakehand grip.
    I have been seeing myself start play close to the table and then take a step or so back to begin driving and looping lately. My backhand side is definitely less consistent than my forehand and that's mainly due to needing to develop the stroke more. I sometimes see myself opting to chop/block with my backhand due to the inconsistency of my backhand flick. However, I wish to be able to be able to comfortably attack and finish with my backhand. In terms of my forehand, I have been having a lot of emphasis on generating spin through my own rotation (something that I have already developed really well through tennis). I have a lot of confidence in my forehand in terms of rallying and putting it away with flat shots as well, though it still needs development as with all techniques.

    I was not able to play for the entirety of 2020 due to the pandemic, but now I am able to play again, which has essentially re-sparked my drive that I had at the beginning of that year. In terms of length of time playing, I started in 2017 due to my dorm at university having a table tennis table and from there I was hooked. I did not necessarily practice consistently and I would really only play once or twice a week, moreso during 2019. As of right now, I am beginning to play once or twice a week again. No formal training / self taught for the most part. Also, I am 22 right now if that means anything.

    Now to the actual post, I have spent a fair bit of time going through a lot of forums, videos, and what not on beginner to intermediate paddles and what rubbers to get. So much so, that I feel a bit swamped on information and I am not really sure what I should actually go with. I'm in the market for a ALL+ to OFF- blade, where I believe I am leaning more towards OFF- at the moment. In terms of rubbers, there is so many options that it's a bit perplexing as to which I should go for. I have only ever played with a pre-made Eastpoint Paddle with the pips out such as this one

    **Just realized I can't post links or images since I just made my account, but if you google search Eastpoint Sports Table Tennis Paddle, it should be the first amazon link that shows up.

    I have gotten used to it and it feels way better than the pre-made paddles we have that are not pips out (but I assume it's mainly because the rubbers are most likely dead on those paddles). As a result, I am not entirely sure as to whether or not I should opt for a rubber like this even just for my forehand side. I understand that I should refrain from thinking about having two different rubbers at this stage of skill, but it's just something I have been pondering on for a bit.

    In terms of blades, here's a few I have noted:
    Yasaka Sweeden Extra
    Butterfly Primorac Off-
    Samsonov Alpha
    OSP Virtuoso Off-

    I am bit stuck on rubbers for the most part. I guess an ALL+ to OFF- rubber is something I would want if that's a thing. I have seen a lot of recommendations for Mark V, Sriver and Vega Intro. I also know there's a lot of Chinese rubbers that are really good, but I am not sure which one's to choose. Also going to reiterate on if it's a play to have a pips out rubber on the forehand since I am so used to it.

    If I don't have to spend more than I need too, then that would be preferred.
    Thank you in advance!

  2. Lazer is offline
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    #2
    Hi,
    You have the right idea. A Yasaka Sweden Extra may be the last blade You'll ever need. I suggest Mark V rather than Sriver. I used to play Mark V and super Sriver 50 years ago, so when I started to play again of of course I wanted the same. Super Sriver is not awailable but Sriver was so I selected this. Its lame believe me. You can also try Rakza 7 which is more modern and not much more expensive than Mark V. Its a little faster but its probably going to be fine.

    Some of my second blades are a Stiga evolution allround which has Tibhar Evolution MX-S, That blade is fine but rubber is probably too fast, and a Yasaka Sweden (A little slower than the Extra) which has Tibhar Evolution MX-P. That blade is also fine but again the rubber is too fast for now.

    The other blades are fine too but I beleive the Yasaka is the least expensive.

    Cheers
    L-zr

  3. juice is offline
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer
    Hi,
    You have the right idea. A Yasaka Sweden Extra may be the last blade You'll ever need. I suggest Mark V rather than Sriver. I used to play Mark V and super Sriver 50 years ago, so when I started to play again of of course I wanted the same. Super Sriver is not awailable but Sriver was so I selected this. Its lame believe me. You can also try Rakza 7 which is more modern and not much more expensive than Mark V. Its a little faster but its probably going to be fine.

    Some of my second blades are a Stiga evolution allround which has Tibhar Evolution MX-S, That blade is fine but rubber is probably too fast, and a Yasaka Sweden (A little slower than the Extra) which has Tibhar Evolution MX-P. That blade is also fine but again the rubber is too fast for now.

    The other blades are fine too but I beleive the Yasaka is the least expensive.

    Cheers
    L-zr

    Thank you for the post and also sorry for the late reply!

    Appreciate the suggestions and I've taken it fully into consideration. I've been leaning towards the Yasaka Sweeden Extra and will put Rakza 7 on both sides. However, there's a few things I would like some clarification on.

    For one, what thickness should I use? 1.8, 2.0, or MAX? I am assuming it's just safe to just go 2.0. Also, I understand that there's a soft version of Rakza 7 that I have read that it is apparently better for beginners. Is that necessarily true? I know that it's probably subjective to the player, but just curious towards the opinion on that claim. Reading a bit more into it, I kind of want to use Rakza 7 Soft on the backhand and Rakza 7 on the forehand due to the latter being harder and also that I am more used to a harder surface since I played with a pips out pre-made paddle. The reasoning for opting to the soft on BH is for more control for flicks since that is currently what I do with my BH. I would love to incorporate BH looping as well into my game so more control is what I was thinking. What thickness would be recommended if I were to do so? Would it still be 2.0 on both? I read that the thicker the rubber, the less control/more offensive the ball contact will be. I'm thinking 1.8 for the Rakza 7 Soft on BH and 2.0 for Rakza 7 on FH. I think since this would be my first custom paddle and first time trying any real rubbers, I shouldn't opt for a MAX thickness. If I am overthinking everything, please call me out on it!


  4. Lazer is offline
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    #4
    I think that Sweden Extra is too slow for Rakza 7 Soft. Instead on backhand go a little bit thinner if You want a slower pace. So 2,0 on FH and 1,5 - 1,8 on BH.
    Rakza 7 Soft is a really slow rubber and Rakza 7 although not slow it's not super fast either. Look at one of Dan's later review videos and he has put numbers (for a few rubbers) to this so its comparable between different manufacturers. I find them rather accurate.

    I have a Primorac Carbon which is super fast. I need to put something slow on there and I opted for Rakza 7 Soft. All my blades (8 of them) have a similar speed because I adjusted this with rubber. There are other blade characteristics that are not changeable like this but for starters the speed is the most important.

    Cheers
    L-zr

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    #5
    If you have played with pips-out, there will be a massive difference if you go with Rakza 7/7 Soft. This is a very spinny rubber compared to pips-out. Perhaps you should check out 729 Focus III Snipe in 42/44 deg hardness before you go to Rakza or similar. This one is lighter, and not that spin sensitive, at almost 25% of the price of Rakza. Very much rubber for the buck, and you may get a feeling of where you want to go. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1608620179.html

  6. WingTT is offline
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    #6
    Yasaka Sweden Extra is a fine controllable blade. The top veneer is a bit on the harder side however and you may find a blade with limba top veneer to have a more comfortable feel in generating spin.

    Realize that Yasaka Mark V and the even less spinny Sriver are 50 year old rubbers that had gained "legendary" status back when in the speed glue era and have become memes since. If you listen to those people that spread this meme and actually waste you money on buying them to play a modern offensive style, you will surely regret it as those rubbers will mold your habits with its limitations especially with 40+ plastic balls if you keep at it. The Mark V is simply too soft and does not have enough spin. I bet few if any people who recommend Mark V are actually playing it themselves or are playing a modern offensive style with over the table backhand flicks against underspin serves or looping long underspin returns or are hard counterlooping. They are blindly recommending a meme.

    The Following User Likes WingTT's Post:

    MK73

    Last edited by WingTT; 04-30-2021 at 06:33 AM.

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    #7
    I would recommend Primorac Off- (Japan Version) or Xiom Offensive S, both have Limba top plies, that means they have a soft touch on ball impact, give a nice feedback and are easy to play with (the Xiom blade is also quite cheap). The OSP Virtuoso Off- is also very good, but it's very expensive too, so probably not a good idea to buy this as a first racket. Rubberwise Razka 7 (fh) and Rakza 7 Soft (bh) are excellent choices for your level of play and you should definitely stick to your plan to buy those (an alternative could be Xiom Vega Europe both on fh and bh). I would buy fh + bh rubbers in 2.0mm thickness. Thicker rubbers are a bit less controlled, but they will help you to create more spin, develop your strokes properly and become more consistent. This is what you want to learn now.
    Last edited by MK73; 04-30-2021 at 08:22 AM.

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