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  1. Dannyzou is offline
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    #1

    Let's talk about seamless plastic ball

    What's your opinion on seamless plastic balls?

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    #2
    'less' spin. 'less' speed. I've already tried 4 brands,.. 'less' = just a tad differences

    1. Xushaofa seamless 40+ - heaviest, fastest feeling that I've tried
    2. stiga optimum 40+ - the lightest feeling at medium fast speed that I've tried, average durability
    3. double fish 40+ - between stiga and xushaofa
    4. nittaku SHA 40+ - durability at its best.. a tad slower than Xushaofa

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    #3
    tacky rubbers imo puts the most spin in polyballs
    "Short Pimples FH forces you to become a perfectionist of your own stroke"

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    #4
    Like orient said less speed and less spin, I have mostly been playing with the nittaku SHA 40+ and double fish 40+.

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    #5
    I will try out the Stiga opimun 40+ ball in the weekend.

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    #6
    Hit at Boston TTC and half their club is using Joola 40+ ball.

    I want to torch every 40+ ball I can find.

    The timing from the bounce is so different. I hope I can learn and adjust.

    Like it or not, these new balls are here to stay.
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  7. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyzou
    What's your opinion on seamless plastic balls?
    Just for reference, all comments so far ignored, did not read, or somehow did not understand that the original post was NOT talking about the POLY BALL. So far everyone's comments have been about any old poly ball and all mentioned were poly balls WITH SEAM.

    The original post IS talking about THE SEAMLESS POLY BALL. I think they are only available from Xushaofa. The seamless poly ball seems better than all the others. The closest to that is the Nitakku (with seam) poly ball.

    I think playing with the seamless poly ball is okay. Not great. A little worse than a celluloid ball but we will live. I don't think it matters any more. They all suck but they are all good enough to play a good match.

    And again, the seamless ball from Xushaofa is better than all the others.

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    #8
    Not sure if anyone other than Xushaofa supplies seamless balls yet, although the ITTF site implies that several makers will be doing so. Most people's experience this far with poly balls has been with the seamed variety. In any case we can't really judge until the Nittaku Premium poly balls become obtainable, hopefully these will set a standard against which all the others should be judged !
    Second/spare blade: Joola K7 with Tibhar Evolution MX-P (forehand) and MX-S (backhand)

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    #9
    1 word - expensive

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  10. Baal is offline
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    #10
    For the last 12 weeks or so, I have played almost exclusively with polyballs and I have spent a lot of money trying various brands, also letting people at my club, ratings from 1500-2600, try the balls that I buy. Also, at this point, nearly everyone at my club has switched to polyballs to get ready for national tournaments. I am around 2100 myself, and play pretty standard two wing spin game, and have been playing a really long time (I am in my 50s). I went through the 38 to 40 switch, the speed glue ban. Everything. The first time I played Dan Seemiller he had the same color rubber on both sides of his racket (it was legal then) . I play with a Butterfly Viscaria with T05 on both sides, usually on Tibhar Smash 28 tables in Houston Texas. (I mention this because maybe the table you use makes a difference, I'm not sure).

    All of the polyballs are a little slower and a little less spinny because of their greater size. Their weights are close enough to the same that the difference in the feel of the weight is almost certainly not due to the weight itself. (Think about how when you kick a half-inflated football, it feels heavier). They will all tend to sit up a bit on pushes. Some people say the XSF ball feels heavy, some say it feels light. I don't notice any issues with ball weight.

    Among the plastic balls, the XuShaoFa (XSF) ITTF approved ball is clearly a superior product -- as things stand now. I would actually say vastly superior. This is because unlike all of the Chinese seamed balls, the bounce is as high as celluloid. They provide a consistent playing quality. Their roundness is also superior. And there is absolutely no comparison regarding durability, the XSF balls last much longer than any other plastic ball, and that part is not even close. They are also cheaper at least in North America. This is not based on a small sample. I now have a bucket of about 60 of them. When they break, which does occasionally happen, they fracture completely, sometimes in the middle of a point, which is different from celluloid. But if they don't fracture, they wear a long time. By the way, this opinion is shared by every single member of my club who has tried the XSF seamless balls. In fact, the better the players are, the more strongly they express the preference for seamless. One recent US National team member in fact told me that actually he didn't want to play with the XSF balls because he knew after about five minutes that he would like them better and then it would annoy him to play in tournaments where the crappy seamed balls were being used. But then today he got so angry that he asked me to give him a few of the XSF balls.

    The seamed balls I have used the most are DF, DHS, Joola, TSP, Nittaku SHA (which is made in China). They are on average all the same more or less, although for some reason the Joola and TSP ones seemed unusually bad, but maybe that was just the luck of the draw. All of these seamed Chinese balls have a quite low and inconsistent bounce, and poor durability. I would gladly join Der Echte in torching all of them. There are several buckets of DHS and DF polyballs at my club so my sample of these is pretty large too. The low bounce is much more difficult adjustment than the reduced speed and spin. Sometimes the ball more or less slides and too often it's just not where all logic and experience says it should be, and this is not a problem with XSF once you adjust to speed, which is frankly quite easy.

    By the way, I have used all of these balls in all sorts of playing situations. Drills, matches against many types of players, and also coaching, where for example I am just blocking for people, or feeding balls, etc. The problems with seamed balls are a lot more apparent in match play than when you just loop and block or do some drill where you pretty much know where the ball is going.

    I also need to emphasaize that I was very skeptical at the beginning about seamless balls, because the earlier versions we got were truly dreadful. Horrible sound bad play, just crap. So, if you have only had experience based on some of the older non-approved seamless balls, that is not the way things are with the current ones. I have no commercial interest in any equipment or ball either, and I don't know anyone who does.

    I should maybe mention that the seamless balls I have tried have all been sold with XSF label and all are ITTF approved, and based on stamps on the box (XCAD and XDAD) were manufactured in March and April of this year. For some reason ALL of the Chinese seamed balls I have tried were made in June of this year. So maybe in time they will improve.

    I have received word from Iruiru that my Nittaku Premium (Japan) polyballs have shipped. I have only played with one of those balls, it was pretty good. Better than Chinese seamed balls for sure. But truth be told, I still preferred the good XSF balls. And the Nittaku Premium are going to be really expensive.

    Hopefully that is the information you were looking for. Obviously this is just my opinion (supported by a lot of different people at my club and elsewhere).

    Oh, one last thing. Some people have said that this will hurt choppers and loopers. I doubt it, not in the long run. One of my playing partners is a short pip penholder, and he really likes the polyballs, pretty much all of them, and he is tougher now with these balls. I agree with people who say this style might make a comeback.

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    Last edited by Baal; 10-12-2014 at 06:49 AM.

  11. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #11
    Yeah, I think the seamless XSF poly ball is better than the others. Thank you, Baal, for a great post.

    I think the problem with the XSF poly ball is a copywrite or a patent on the production, where, if the other companies wanted to produce seamless balls they would have to pay Xoshoafa for the rights and the fee would be a large one. I could be wrong about this. But, I think, originally, all poly balls were supposed to be seamless when they mandated the new balls and the companies that were not XSF banded together to make it so they could produce seamed poly balls rather than paying the large monetary fee to be able to produce seamless. I also believe Adnan Sharara had something to do with setting up the patent and then with setting things up so that table tennis would switch to seamless poly balls. In other words, the reason for the switch to the poly ball, right from the beginning, was money, not a ban on celluloid.

    I am not sure of those facts, but I got them from somewhere and it is interesting that nobody except XSF is making the seamless ball in spite of them really being much better.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 10-13-2014 at 04:46 AM.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    1 word - expensive
    Indeed, but it seems to be part of TT that we happily (?) hand over up to 50GBP for a sheet of rubber and then complain about the price of good-quality TT balls. By comparison a top-class football can cost £100 or more and a cricket ball of similar quality costs upwards of £65 and lasts for less than a day's play.

    It's a close-run thing, but in the 10 months that I've been at my club I've heard more balls spoken about balls than any other subject.
    Second/spare blade: Joola K7 with Tibhar Evolution MX-P (forehand) and MX-S (backhand)

  13. Baal is offline
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    #13
    Carl, I'm a little confused about this too. Here is what I do know. I know XSF is now making balls for several other companies, including Nexy, Champion, Yinhe, Palio, Ipong and others that I am forgetting. Among these the only ones I have tried have XSF label, but I will hit with one of their "Ipong" balls later today. But there is also apparently a company in Germany called Weener (best known for making balls for underarm deodorant dispensers) who have developed a seamless ball of their own, but that may be the one that is tied up in patent issues. What little I can find on the internet is pretty unclear. Right now there are only five factories in the world that can make plastic balls: Two factories for making seamed balls in China that use the same process; the XSF seamless ball factory in China; Weener in Germany, seamless, as far as I know none of their balls are on the market; and Nittaku Japan whose first Premium seamed balls are now being shipped out, and who use a different material than other seamed polyballs.

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  14. Baal is offline
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    #14
    One update.  Today somebody brought some IPong seamless balls, presumably made by XSF, but not ITTF approved.  They were terrible, essentially the are the same as the XSF balls were a year ago.  Horrible sound, funky play.  Only good for serving practice. My guess is that XSF had a bunch of these left over from before and are selling them as basically practice balls or something.

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  15. Der_Echte is offline
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    #15
    Baal better hurry up to join me....
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  16. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte
    Baal better hurry up to join me....
    Hahahaha. I will join too.

    I watched a few guys between 2400-2600 (USATT rated) playing matches with a Nittaku Sha Poly Ball today and they kept cursing about how bad it was. Their timing was thrown off and on touch shots the ball kept just falling off their rubbers. At one point one of them said, "you can't do that shot with this ball, you can't grab it," about a touch shot the other player tried to make. But the guy who had done the most practice and training with the Poly ball was winning all the matches even though he is 200 points lower than one of the players he was up against.
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  17. Dannyzou is offline
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal
    For the last 12 weeks or so, I have played almost exclusively with polyballs and I have spent a lot of money trying various brands, also letting people at my club, ratings from 1500-2600, try the balls that I buy. Also, at this point, nearly everyone at my club has switched to polyballs to get ready for national tournaments. I am around 2100 myself, and play pretty standard two wing spin game, and have been playing a really long time (I am in my 50s). I went through the 38 to 40 switch, the speed glue ban. Everything. The first time I played Dan Seemiller he had the same color rubber on both sides of his racket (it was legal then) . I play with a Butterfly Viscaria with T05 on both sides, usually on Tibhar Smash 28 tables in Houston Texas. (I mention this because maybe the table you use makes a difference, I'm not sure).

    All of the polyballs are a little slower and a little less spinny because of their greater size. Their weights are close enough to the same that the difference in the feel of the weight is almost certainly not due to the weight itself. (Think about how when you kick a half-inflated football, it feels heavier). They will all tend to sit up a bit on pushes. Some people say the XSF ball feels heavy, some say it feels light. I don't notice any issues with ball weight.

    Among the plastic balls, the XuShaoFa (XSF) ITTF approved ball is clearly a superior product -- as things stand now. I would actually say vastly superior. This is because unlike all of the Chinese seamed balls, the bounce is as high as celluloid. They provide a consistent playing quality. Their roundness is also superior. And there is absolutely no comparison regarding durability, the XSF balls last much longer than any other plastic ball, and that part is not even close. They are also cheaper at least in North America. This is not based on a small sample. I now have a bucket of about 60 of them. When they break, which does occasionally happen, they fracture completely, sometimes in the middle of a point, which is different from celluloid. But if they don't fracture, they wear a long time. By the way, this opinion is shared by every single member of my club who has tried the XSF seamless balls. In fact, the better the players are, the more strongly they express the preference for seamless. One recent US National team member in fact told me that actually he didn't want to play with the XSF balls because he knew after about five minutes that he would like them better and then it would annoy him to play in tournaments where the crappy seamed balls were being used. But then today he got so angry that he asked me to give him a few of the XSF balls.

    The seamed balls I have used the most are DF, DHS, Joola, TSP, Nittaku SHA (which is made in China). They are on average all the same more or less, although for some reason the Joola and TSP ones seemed unusually bad, but maybe that was just the luck of the draw. All of these seamed Chinese balls have a quite low and inconsistent bounce, and poor durability. I would gladly join Der Echte in torching all of them. There are several buckets of DHS and DF polyballs at my club so my sample of these is pretty large too. The low bounce is much more difficult adjustment than the reduced speed and spin. Sometimes the ball more or less slides and too often it's just not where all logic and experience says it should be, and this is not a problem with XSF once you adjust to speed, which is frankly quite easy.

    By the way, I have used all of these balls in all sorts of playing situations. Drills, matches against many types of players, and also coaching, where for example I am just blocking for people, or feeding balls, etc. The problems with seamed balls are a lot more apparent in match play than when you just loop and block or do some drill where you pretty much know where the ball is going.

    I also need to emphasaize that I was very skeptical at the beginning about seamless balls, because the earlier versions we got were truly dreadful. Horrible sound bad play, just crap. So, if you have only had experience based on some of the older non-approved seamless balls, that is not the way things are with the current ones. I have no commercial interest in any equipment or ball either, and I don't know anyone who does.

    I should maybe mention that the seamless balls I have tried have all been sold with XSF label and all are ITTF approved, and based on stamps on the box (XCAD and XDAD) were manufactured in March and April of this year. For some reason ALL of the Chinese seamed balls I have tried were made in June of this year. So maybe in time they will improve.

    I have received word from Iruiru that my Nittaku Premium (Japan) polyballs have shipped. I have only played with one of those balls, it was pretty good. Better than Chinese seamed balls for sure. But truth be told, I still preferred the good XSF balls. And the Nittaku Premium are going to be really expensive.

    Hopefully that is the information you were looking for. Obviously this is just my opinion (supported by a lot of different people at my club and elsewhere).

    Oh, one last thing. Some people have said that this will hurt choppers and loopers. I doubt it, not in the long run. One of my playing partners is a short pip penholder, and he really likes the polyballs, pretty much all of them, and he is tougher now with these balls. I agree with people who say this style might make a comeback.
    Baal, thank you for your support on seamless plastic ball.

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  18. Dannyzou is offline
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    #18
    Seamless ball is indeed a patent, no other manufacturer in the world has the technology to make seamless balls so far. That means all the seamless balls you see or use are made by the one manufaturer. XSF is the first seamless ball brand that registered on ITTF, but not the name of the manufacturer.

  19. Tinykin is offline
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    #19
    The ITTF have created one almighty balls-up.
    Happily for me, my local league is sticking to the cell-ball until the season's end.
    Veterans tournaments are also sticking with the cell-ball.
    Let's see what happens for the start of next season, for remember, the cell-ball will still be legal.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyzou
    Baal, thank you for your support on seamless plastic ball.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyzou
    Seamless ball is indeed a patent, no other manufacturer in the world has the technology to make seamless balls so far. That means all the seamless balls you see or use are made by the one manufaturer. XSF is the first seamless ball brand that registered on ITTF, but not the name of the manufacturer.
    Does it means there is no point using different brands - if all balls are manufactured by one manufacturer, do they differ? I though somebody said there was five manufactures,so I am little bit confused now..
    Last edited by alexander.groh; 10-15-2014 at 12:41 PM.

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