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  1. Equaaz is offline
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    #1

    Blade Replacement - Carbon or All Wood ?

    Hi everyone !

    I would like to have your opinion on the conditions necessary to pass from a 5 ply wood to a 7 ply or a 5 + 2 carbon please?

    Here is my situation, I resumed table tennis a few months ago after several years of absence and I quickly bought an Andro Novacell Off (FL) blade with Xiom Vega Europe (2mm FH) and Xiom Vega Euro DF (1.8mm BH).
    I damaged this blade recently but since I lacked control and rotation, I bought, on the advice of a national player in France, a DHS Power G7 with two non-boosted H3 Neo.
    This new racquet does not suit me either, the PG7 vibrates tremendously and feels hollow with unbalanced weight distribution and the H3 Neo on the backhand is taking too much effort from me right now.


    I am considering two possibilities, going back to a 5 ply wood like the Xiom Offensive S or the Tibhar Stratus Power Wood, or going directly to the final blade that I would like to use in the long term like the Viscaria or maybe the Xiom Stradivarius. What would you do knowing that I see more and more children with carbon blades and that the Viscaria has a wide handle which would suit me perfectly?
    Okay I'm not a child anymore (24 years old) but is it too late to follow this example?
    For the Rubbers, I am thinking of keeping an H3 Neo in FH and taking a Tensor in BH.

    Thank you !

  2. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #2
    It is hard to say without seeing you play.

    But if you are at a decent level of play, either choice could be fine.

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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
    Spin is Everything

  3. Lula is offline
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    #3
    I think your final blade also could be an all wood blade. If the kids level aren’t pretty high then I think it is wrong to give them carbon blade. I think the majority benefits from slower blades if the technique is still in development. Carbon blades could work as well of course. I believe Viscaria have a pretty good feeling. Perhaps an inner carbon blade could be a alternative?

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    #4
    I play with Chinese blades and rubbers, and a setup that works good for me is a faster blade with not that much vibration, like the Yinhe V14 PRO, DHS Power G9 or DHS Power G5X. There are so many "carbon" variants nowadays, and these ones (V14 PRO/Power G5X) got quite good feel. DHS Power G9 is an all wood blade, and the fastest of these three.

    Regarding rubbers, I had problems with my poor backhand technique and Chinese rubbers. Forehand is H3N 41 deg or a boosted H3 41 deg. Backhand I used to go with Andro Hexer Grip/Powergrip series to get good spin and a softer touch and a little more springy sponge. However, now I'm using DHS Hurricane 8-80 38 deg on BH. It's a bit more dead than the Hexer rubbers, but softer than the normal Chinese rubber, giving me more feeling in the short play. And it's very grippy/tacky.

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    I think your final blade also could be an all wood blade. If the kids level aren’t pretty high then I think it is wrong to give them carbon blade. I think the majority benefits from slower blades if the technique is still in development. Carbon blades could work as well of course. I believe Viscaria have a pretty good feeling. Perhaps an inner carbon blade could be a alternative?

    I have the impression that carbon is becoming the norm, especially because it widens the Sweet spot. I actually thought of inner blades like a Ma Lin Carbon for example, but I'm not sure I like their double speed. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to try one.


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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mocker88
    I play with Chinese blades and rubbers, and a setup that works good for me is a faster blade with not that much vibration, like the Yinhe V14 PRO, DHS Power G9 or DHS Power G5X. There are so many "carbon" variants nowadays, and these ones (V14 PRO/Power G5X) got quite good feel. DHS Power G9 is an all wood blade, and the fastest of these three.

    Regarding rubbers, I had problems with my poor backhand technique and Chinese rubbers. Forehand is H3N 41 deg or a boosted H3 41 deg. Backhand I used to go with Andro Hexer Grip/Powergrip series to get good spin and a softer touch and a little more springy sponge. However, now I'm using DHS Hurricane 8-80 38 deg on BH. It's a bit more dead than the Hexer rubbers, but softer than the normal Chinese rubber, giving me more feeling in the short play. And it's very grippy/tacky.

    Thanks.
    I don't think I will order a DHS blade again, but the Yinhe actually intrigue me. The V14 Pro looks more like the Timo Boll ALC but the Pro-01 is more like the Viscaria.
    My backhand technique is far from perfect, but whatever happens my shoulder will not support the H3 Neo for long, while in FH no problem.


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    #7
    Get the Viscaria now. You want one, that's clear from your posts. So you will end up buying one sooner or later anyway. Might as well try it first. Especially since you like the handle feeling, and that is very important.

    If you are happy with viscaria then you saved some time and money. If it turns out to be too fast for you or whatever, you can either buy slower rubbers, or change to a TSPW or offensive S later. There is always a market for used viscarias.

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  8. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brs
    Get the Viscaria now. You want one, that's clear from your posts. So you will end up buying one sooner or later anyway. Might as well try it first. Especially since you like the handle feeling, and that is very important.

    If you are happy with viscaria then you saved some time and money. If it turns out to be too fast for you or whatever, you can either buy slower rubbers, or change to a TSPW or offensive S later. There is always a market for used viscarias.
    I do agree with this.
    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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  9. Amit Mehta is offline
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    #9
    I've been following this thread with a lot of interest because I'm in a similar dilemma. I'm currently using Viscaria paired with H3NEO on FH and Rakza 7 on BH. I used this setup during the practice and also during the competition (At this moment, I play at quite a low level but my success rate is high and we just narrowly missed the promotion to a higher class, But overall I'm still developing proper techniques). My previous blade was Stiga Infinity VPS V, which I didn't like much because the edges near the handle are quite sharp (I did use sanding to make it smoother but i think, I didn't do it well) and also for me switching between the FH and BH with Infinity VPS V is not as good as with Viscaria and that's one department, in which I've improved a lot, since I started using Viscaria, My backhand improved a lot and my overall game also improved. Some of my club mates also told me the same thing. So far so good, but even during the practice, I noticed that a lot of time, the balls started going out with my FH loop. Closing the blade a little to counter that is understood but then, with a chinese tacky rubber on FH, one has to use proper action every time and also, you can't do very easy/relaxed loops, because then the ball will land into net; you always need to put effort. Because of this, I started hesitating FH loops, which was actually my favorite and started relaying more on other shots, serves, blocks, backhand etc. While doing so during the practice, I didn't realize was that over time, my muscle started recoding this hesitation and in the competition it became quite evident that I was using lesser and lesser FH loops and taking lesser and lesser initiative on the FH side.

    I mentioned sometime back in another thread, that I've no intention to change my blade, but now I'm confused as to what to do. Couple of things that I'm thinking of:
    1. Stick to the blade and change the rubber on the FH side to a more forgiving one, say, Tibhar Aurus Prime or Rakza 7 or maybe something else ? I really do not like soft/mushy rubbers.
    2. Stick with the rubber (I do like the Chinese tacky rubber for spin and for short play) and change the blade with a slower, all wood type, say, Tibhar Szocs Signature 1, Butterfly Primorac ?

    I think, i can benefit a lot with a setup that is a little more forgiving, and which keeps the ball a little more in contact with the blade to give me that extra feeling. At my level, speed is really not the issue, it's the consistency to keep the ball on the table and the ability to place the ball properly,

    P.S. I'm currently on vacation and hence I can't upload a video of my practice session. A 1 min older video of myself however is here on YouTube.

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  10. NDH is offline
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Amit Mehta
    I've been following this thread with a lot of interest because I'm in a similar dilemma. I'm currently using Viscaria paired with H3NEO on FH and Rakza 7 on BH. I used this setup during the practice and also during the competition (At this moment, I play at quite a low level but my success rate is high and we just narrowly missed the promotion to a higher class, But overall I'm still developing proper techniques). My previous blade was Stiga Infinity VPS V, which I didn't like much because the edges near the handle are quite sharp (I did use sanding to make it smoother but i think, I didn't do it well) and also for me switching between the FH and BH with Infinity VPS V is not as good as with Viscaria and that's one department, in which I've improved a lot, since I started using Viscaria, My backhand improved a lot and my overall game also improved. Some of my club mates also told me the same thing. So far so good, but even during the practice, I noticed that a lot of time, the balls started going out with my FH loop. Closing the blade a little to counter that is understood but then, with a chinese tacky rubber on FH, one has to use proper action every time and also, you can't do very easy/relaxed loops, because then the ball will land into net; you always need to put effort. Because of this, I started hesitating FH loops, which was actually my favorite and started relaying more on other shots, serves, blocks, backhand etc. While doing so during the practice, I didn't realize was that over time, my muscle started recoding this hesitation and in the competition it became quite evident that I was using lesser and lesser FH loops and taking lesser and lesser initiative on the FH side.

    I mentioned sometime back in another thread, that I've no intention to change my blade, but now I'm confused as to what to do. Couple of things that I'm thinking of:
    1. Stick to the blade and change the rubber on the FH side to a more forgiving one, say, Tibhar Aurus Prime or Rakza 7 or maybe something else ? I really do not like soft/mushy rubbers.
    2. Stick with the rubber (I do like the Chinese tacky rubber for spin and for short play) and change the blade with a slower, all wood type, say, Tibhar Szocs Signature 1, Butterfly Primorac ?

    I think, i can benefit a lot with a setup that is a little more forgiving, and which keeps the ball a little more in contact with the blade to give me that extra feeling. At my level, speed is really not the issue, it's the consistency to keep the ball on the table and the ability to place the ball properly,

    P.S. I'm currently on vacation and hence I can't upload a video of my practice session. A 1 min older video of myself however is here on YouTube.

    Firstly, Amit.... THANK YOU for posting a video (even if it's a couple of years old). This is the absolute minimum for any serious advice - It really makes a difference.

    You might play at a low level, but your ability from the video would indicate that your success rate is down to the fact you are likely playing in a league/division that is too low for you.

    It's always difficult to judge that particular aspect, as you might have a really strong league where you play, and actually, the lower divisions are still really good - But on the basis of your video, you look to be a good player.

    OK, rubbers.

    Personally, as a European who has been coached in a European way, I hate the Chinese rubbers. It also doesn't help that I'm 6ft 4 and "Chinese quickness" isn't my strong point, but unless you are putting 100% into every loop, Chinese rubbers will always leave you feeling underwhelmed.

    From experience, there aren't many (any?) players who play at a non pro level that can truthfully say they have the movement, speed and technique to get the most out of their Chinese rubbers.

    Now, if you want to use them simply because you want to...... That's a different matter, and I imagine this is what the vast majority of the players using these rubbers are doing.

    However, based on your technique (and comments), I think you'd benefit from European rubbers (of which there are many to chose from).

    You can still go down the slightly tackier/harder route if you want (Dignics 09c for example), but even something like Tenergy 05 Hard would be good (and
    cheaper).

    There seems to be some sort of "pride" issue with admitting that table tennis players aren't quick enough, powerful enough, or have the right footwork to maximise a Chinese tacky rubber....... But that is the reality for the vast majority of us.

    Based on your clip and comments, I think you'll find your loops will have more spin, more speed and you'll be able to play much better shots from bad positions than the rubbers you are currently using (if you move to something like a Tenergy).

    Good luck!




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  11. Equaaz is offline
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    #11
    Thanks everyone, I took note of your recommendations and even learned other things from @NDH and @UpSideDownCarl's responses on other threads. As soon as possible I will try to film my training to get more personalized advice. It is not something common on the French forums but it is indeed a good idea.

    After some thought, I am now convinced that it is best that I exercise restraint and perfect my game on a blade with a lot of control and feedback before spending my savings on a viscaria or other carbon wood like that. Objectively I still have a lot of work ahead of me and it is better to avoid slowing down the results with too fast equipment. Does my reasoning seem correct to you?

    Finally, I just have to choose a perfect blade for a looper, like the TSPW or Offensive S on which I will most certainly put an H3 Neo FH and Vega Pro 2mm BH. I discovered the Timo Boll ZLF, thanks to Carl's messages, it is indeed another alternative but its price does not suit me.

    My playstyle is changing way too fast in recent weeks, as a lot of people around me help me in my progress. I can't imagine putting $ 200, for example, into a blade as my needs and playstyle change. It only remains for me to find the ideal blade while waiting to see the day when I run out of power. A 5 ply, good in loop, offensive, of good manufacture and below $ 50 if possible. If you have any other suggestions, I'm interested.

    The biggest flaws are my irregularities in the match, my returns of service (except when I flick) and especially my lack of confidence and my stress. (My hand trembles in an official match). I just need gear that will give me confidence, not a rocket. 😁

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    Last edited by Equaaz; 12-14-2021 at 12:45 AM.

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Equaaz
    After some thought, I am now convinced that it is best that I exercise restraint and perfect my game on a blade with a lot of control and feedback before spending my savings on a viscaria or other carbon wood like that. Objectively I still have a lot of work ahead of me and it is better to avoid slowing down the results with too fast equipment. Does my reasoning seem correct to you?

    It only remains for me to find the ideal blade while waiting to see the day when I run out of power. A 5 ply, good in loop, offensive, of good manufacture and below $ 50 if possible. If you have any other suggestions, I'm interested.
    That sounds sensible to me - good call!

    The blades you mentioned (ie. TSPW and Xiom Offensive S) are both very good options. Both are good value for money and well-proven blades. To those options I would only add the Tibhar Lebesson which has a slightly different feel as it has mahogany medial plies and a slightly smaller face. You should be able to pick up any of those three at around €30.

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    #13
    Hi bro

    I am and novice player still learning proper technique.
    MY EXPERIENCE have been returning to active play in june 2021 with innerfiber zlf and dignics 80 1.8mm
    The blade is slow and considering i dont control that much with this plastic ball i found the blade was too slow
    In july my dad gave me for my birthday: Franzisca innerfiber zlc paired with 2 max rozena.
    My game improved a lot, didnt lose control and gain speed
    3 months later and training twice a week (1 hour) and 2 or 3 days playing i switched to raksa X fh and raksa 7 bh and I cant be happier.
    My humble opinion is go for a fast blade ALC like viscaria and you wont regret it, the plastic ball is slow and with a good form you will play just fine.

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    #14
    The main difference between OffS and SPW is the handle size. SPW has a much thicker, bulkier handle, whereas the OffS has a regular width but a thinner thickness. Although even with heavy rubbers my OffS still feels fairly balanced vs a blade like Korbel which has a relatively small handle and feels a bit more head heavy. Another option to throw into the mix is the Gewo Zoom Pro, it is a bit cheaper than OffS and SPW but the quality is still high, it is a bit slower than both other options but not by much. Handle is a tad smaller than SPW but bigger than OffS.

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    The only thing I complain about is not being able to play enough

  15. NDH is offline
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cabrera
    My humble opinion is go for a fast blade ALC like viscaria and you wont regret it, the plastic ball is slow and with a good form you will play just fine.

    On this point, everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinion, and I'm not trying to get you to change your own opinion......

    But...... For any other novice players or beginners looking for advice..... As an experienced player who plays at a high level in the UK, getting any sort of Carbon or OFF/OFF+ blade when you are learning the game is a BIG mistake.

    My son has been playing "properly" for a year or so (longer, but that little thing called the Coronavirus got in the way).

    His blade is an ALL blade which is pretty slow in today's game, with rubbers that are 1.8mm, cheap, Chinese, tacky and also slow.

    If I were to use his blade, I can still produce a lot of power, speed and spin from the bat. That just comes down to technique and experience.

    This whole "the plastic ball is slow" is a red herring that people learning the game should ignore.

    The principles of learning the sport remain the same - You need to learn the proper technique and touch before you can really make the most of the faster blades and rubbers.

    Novice players will seriously struggle to improve if they move to a fast set up (like an ALC blade) too quickly, because they won't have the technique or touch to control it.

    I've just bought my son his next bat (for Christmas) and it's still an all wood blade, but a little more on the OFF side (paired with attacking rubbers that aren't too quick).

    He'll be playing 4 years plus (with weekly coaching and weekly matches) before he moves to a Carbon blade.

    So if you are serious about improving your technique and overall game - Learn it first on a slow set up, and then gradually take a step up each time you feel it's needed.

    My very rough recommendation would be:

    Beginner: All-round wood blade with all-round rubbers (slightly tacky so you can play full strokes and get grip).
    Improver: OFF wood blade with all-round to OFF rubbers (like DHS GoldArc 5)
    Next Step: OFF wood blade (probably the same blade as before) with quicker rubbers (Tenergy might be suitable here depending on skill level)
    Good Player: It's only at this stage would I recommend a carbon blade (paired with the same rubbers as before)

    Once you get to the "Good Player" stage, you should really have an idea of what you need and what is suitable for your game.

    Everyone learns the sport at different speeds, but I'd be very surprised if people reached the "good player" stage in under 4 years.

    Those who do will need a lot of 1 to 1 coaching and plenty of playing/training time!

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    Hi Equaaz,

    I am using Xiom Offensive S and Solo (both are lovely all-wood blades). Of them, Solo vibrates less (but it still has some vibrations to a healthy extent, and it is only semi-stiff, not that stiff, like a Viscaria) - I would suggest trying these rubbers: Victas Ventus Extra, Nittaku Fastarc G-1 - these are truly offensive rubbers, but with relatively great control.

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    Last edited by damszelfly; 12-15-2021 at 09:19 AM.

  17. Amit Mehta is offline
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    Firstly, Amit.... THANK YOU for posting a video (even if it's a couple of years old). This is the absolute minimum for any serious advice - It really makes a difference.

    You might play at a low level, but your ability from the video would indicate that your success rate is down to the fact you are likely playing in a league/division that is too low for you.

    It's always difficult to judge that particular aspect, as you might have a really strong league where you play, and actually, the lower divisions are still really good - But on the basis of your video, you look to be a good player.

    OK, rubbers.

    Personally, as a European who has been coached in a European way, I hate the Chinese rubbers. It also doesn't help that I'm 6ft 4 and "Chinese quickness" isn't my strong point, but unless you are putting 100% into every loop, Chinese rubbers will always leave you feeling underwhelmed.

    From experience, there aren't many (any?) players who play at a non pro level that can truthfully say they have the movement, speed and technique to get the most out of their Chinese rubbers.

    Now, if you want to use them simply because you want to...... That's a different matter, and I imagine this is what the vast majority of the players using these rubbers are doing.

    However, based on your technique (and comments), I think you'd benefit from European rubbers (of which there are many to chose from).

    You can still go down the slightly tackier/harder route if you want (Dignics 09c for example), but even something like Tenergy 05 Hard would be good (and
    cheaper).

    There seems to be some sort of "pride" issue with admitting that table tennis players aren't quick enough, powerful enough, or have the right footwork to maximise a Chinese tacky rubber....... But that is the reality for the vast majority of us.

    Based on your clip and comments, I think you'll find your loops will have more spin, more speed and you'll be able to play much better shots from bad positions than the rubbers you are currently using (if you move to something like a Tenergy).

    Good luck!

    There was some issue with my login (Maybe some other people who have used Facebook account for login, have also noticed this issue. My solution was to reset the password and then it worked), and hence I couldn't reply you earlier.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and guidance, really thanks a ton!!! I'm convinced with your advice and I plan to replace H3NEO on FH side with a European style rubbers .I think at this moment, Tenergy 05 might be too much for me, hence I'm thinking of getting Nittaku Fastarc G-1 for my FH. As mentioned before I was thinking of Rakza 7 also for FH, but that rubber I already have for my BH, so, just out of curiosity, and based on videos on YouTube and some reviews. I decided to pick this one. Seems like a rubber that might suit me well. If not then will swap it with my Rakza 7 on BH.

    Hopefully, in about a month will share my experience.

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    Last edited by Amit Mehta; 12-15-2021 at 02:33 PM.

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    On this point, everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinion, and I'm not trying to get you to change your own opinion......

    But...... For any other novice players or beginners looking for advice..... As an experienced player who plays at a high level in the UK, getting any sort of Carbon or OFF/OFF+ blade when you are learning the game is a BIG mistake.

    My son has been playing "properly" for a year or so (longer, but that little thing called the Coronavirus got in the way).

    His blade is an ALL blade which is pretty slow in today's game, with rubbers that are 1.8mm, cheap, Chinese, tacky and also slow.

    If I were to use his blade, I can still produce a lot of power, speed and spin from the bat. That just comes down to technique and experience.

    This whole "the plastic ball is slow" is a red herring that people learning the game should ignore.

    The principles of learning the sport remain the same - You need to learn the proper technique and touch before you can really make the most of the faster blades and rubbers.

    Novice players will seriously struggle to improve if they move to a fast set up (like an ALC blade) too quickly, because they won't have the technique or touch to control it.

    I've just bought my son his next bat (for Christmas) and it's still an all wood blade, but a little more on the OFF side (paired with attacking rubbers that aren't too quick).

    He'll be playing 4 years plus (with weekly coaching and weekly matches) before he moves to a Carbon blade.

    So if you are serious about improving your technique and overall game - Learn it first on a slow set up, and then gradually take a step up each time you feel it's needed.

    My very rough recommendation would be:

    Beginner: All-round wood blade with all-round rubbers (slightly tacky so you can play full strokes and get grip).
    Improver: OFF wood blade with all-round to OFF rubbers (like DHS GoldArc 5)
    Next Step: OFF wood blade (probably the same blade as before) with quicker rubbers (Tenergy might be suitable here depending on skill level)
    Good Player: It's only at this stage would I recommend a carbon blade (paired with the same rubbers as before)

    Once you get to the "Good Player" stage, you should really have an idea of what you need and what is suitable for your game.

    Everyone learns the sport at different speeds, but I'd be very surprised if people reached the "good player" stage in under 4 years.

    Those who do will need a lot of 1 to 1 coaching and plenty of playing/training time!

    Thank you for replying my post bro

    Yes I agree with you, thats why I began my statement with my experience
    there are some factors that we dont mention you livein UK, I live in Panama (hot place, the ball travels different here)
    The best way to improve is to train there is no shortcut and no setup will make up for training
    You live in a country where high level table tennis is played, here, we are still developing so I am pretty sure you have more experience than me, so thanks for the advice

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  19. NDH is offline
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cabrera

    Thank you for replying my post bro

    Yes I agree with you, thats why I began my statement with my experience
    there are some factors that we dont mention you livein UK, I live in Panama (hot place, the ball travels different here)
    The best way to improve is to train there is no shortcut and no setup will make up for training
    You live in a country where high level table tennis is played, here, we are still developing so I am pretty sure you have more experience than me, so thanks for the advice

    No worries - I always encourage everyone to give their opinion, even if it goes against the usual thinking.

    It's even better when someone states their level (as best they can, like you did), so anyone reading knows where the advice is coming from.

    I much prefer playing in hot conditions - I played in a really cold hall last night and the playing conditions are really slow!


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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    No worries - I always encourage everyone to give their opinion, even if it goes against the usual thinking.

    It's even better when someone states their level (as best they can, like you did), so anyone reading knows where the advice is coming from.

    I much prefer playing in hot conditions - I played in a really cold hall last night and the playing conditions are really slow!

    Thank you bro, I expect to learn a lot from better players of other countries, for example here in Panama, the dignics 09C has mixed reactions because of humidity, sticky rubbersdont work as well as in europe or asia.
    Its interesting to analyze those factors like humidity, level above sea because the ball does travels diferently.
    Alot of players in my club has switched successfully from wood to composite because we gain speed rotation sacrificing a little control, but maybe ifI play in europe I will miss all my topspins and dont land anything on the table.

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