Advice on my next blade & rubbers. Primorac off- with cj8000 biotech??

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Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some advice on my next table tennis blade and rubbers.
I'm currently using a palio tct (ti + carbon) blade with cj8000 biotech rubbers on both sides. I really like my current set up but realise that as an intermediate player I should perhaps have a less stiff blade. I watched a YouTube video which mentioned that an all wood blade would be a good choice for begginers / intermediate player as it provides a good level of vibration which seems to be an important characteristic for developing better technique.
As a begginer it seems I made the classic mistake of jumping up to an overly offensive blade.
I thought I might try buying the blade and rubbers seperate and putting them together myself. I'm aiming for a budget friendly build.

I'm thinking:
Blade: Butterfly Primorac OFF-
Rubbers: CJ8000 biotech 2.2mm

Another option for the blade might be the Butterfly Korbel OFF?

I've stuck with the same rubbers as I currently have as I like them, they seem to provide a good level of spin, they are also pretty cheap on aliexpress! :)

I should mention I play shakehand grip and would consider myself to have an all-round leaning towards offensive play stye - I think...

Any advice / suggestions welcome.

Thanks,

Robbie
 
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Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some advice on my next table tennis blade and rubbers.
I'm currently using a palio tct (ti + carbon) blade with cj8000 biotech rubbers on both sides. I really like my current set up but realise that as an intermediate player I should perhaps have a less stiff blade. I watched a YouTube video which mentioned that an all wood blade would be a good choice for begginers / intermediate player as it provides a good level of vibration which seems to be an important characteristic for developing better technique.
As a begginer it seems I made the classic mistake of jumping up to an overly offensive blade.
I thought I might try buying the blade and rubbers seperate and putting them together myself. I'm aiming for a budget friendly build.

I'm thinking:
Blade: Butterfly Primorac OFF-
Rubbers: CJ8000 biotech 2.2mm

Another option for the blade might be the Butterfly Korbel OFF?

I've stuck with the same rubbers as I currently have as I like them, they seem to provide a good level of spin, they are also pretty cheap on aliexpress! :)

I should mention I play shakehand grip and would consider myself to have an all-round leaning towards offensive play stye - I think...

Any advice / suggestions welcome.

Thanks,

Robbie
A few comments:

1) Isn't Korbel a bit cheaper than Primorac. If you want budget friendly, Korbel might be a slightly better choice. I know a top player who still uses his Korbel from like 15 years ago! Lol, some top players really do not change their equipment like ours. If they like their blades, they will keep on using it. He plays with Tenergy 05 on the forehand and Revolution EL-S on the backhand.

I feel that many people in the Primorac series have moved onto the Primorac carbon. But Primorac carbon is very very fast. A side topic. One guy talked to Primorac in the US in the 1990's Gilbert's cup series (you can check out those video's on YouTube). Primorac told the spectators around him that he indeed used Primorac carbon but it was so fast that unless you play 5-6 days a week, 4-5 hours a day, he would not recommend anyone using Primorac carbon.

So I think Primorac v.s. Korbel wood would be interesting.

2) I really like Tibhar 5-ply or 7-ply wood series. I own six Tibhar Stratus Power Wood (yes I am not joking). I use it to test out different rubbers since using the same blade is the only way you can tell the differences between various rubber. One of the blade has Rakza 7 on the forehand and Friendship long pips on the backhand for me to fool around at the club. The "Pong Professor" (AKA Patrick Hrdlicka) uses Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition. he has tested a lot, a lot of equipment. Just check out his equipment reviews on TT11 and on YouTube. I am jealous as to how many blades and rubbers he has gotten to test over the years and he settled on Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition. That says something. He also tested out Tibhar Szocs Signature 1 recenty and he really liked it (it is similar to his current blade but slightly different). All three are well priced too so you won't breakt your bank.
 
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Any allwood 5-ply blade -5.7 mm thick will do the trick. I would recommend Alser 5 All, but it’s no longer in production. Yasaka Sweden Extra gets very close though, same thickness but a softer 2:nd layer.

Cheers
L-zr
 
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Robbie, Sanwei Fextra would be a cheaper option, it's one of the best budget all-wood blades you can buy, less than 25€ on Aliexpress. It's a 7 plywood blade with a lot of control, spinny and speedy, but not so fast and is less stiff than your current Palio. IMO, it would be a very good partner for the CJ8000 biotech.
 
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I'd recommend not buying a Primorac. It's listed as OFF-, it's actually an ALL/ALL+ with the new ball. So you'll be paying $75 for a slow blade that will require you to buy expensive tensor rubber in the future to speed up your setup. Given that you like the value of CJ8000, I'm assuming this is not a situation you'd like to be pushed into.

Your blade is incredibly stiff. Going from what you have to a soft and slow 5 ply seems like a huge change. You can try the popular 7 ply Chinese value blades like the Sanwei Fextra, Yinhe U2, and DHS PG7. Hell, you can get all 3 for the price of one Primorac.

I think the Fextra is a good middle ground between a 7 ply and 5 ply. 6.0mm and good for looping but also stable enough for good blocking. It's only $20 so you won't experience any sunk cost fallacy. After playing with it, if you want something stiffer/faster, you can change to a harder/thicker 7 ply like a Yinhe PD 437/537, Clipper, Samsonov Force Pro, etc. If you want something even more flexible, then you can consider a true 5 ply under 6.0mm.
 
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I feel bad. The OP wanted a Butterfly wood blade. And everyone is like no, everything else is good, just no Butterfly :)

I wouldn't feel bad for Butterfly. Their marketing is so effective that it has most in the TT community believing that a $75 all-wood starter blade is a 'value' option.

Whatever they lose out now they'll make back many times over in a few years when OP is unable to resist buying their latest player-acronymed composite blade.

But their real cash cow is getting players hooked on Tenergy and Dignics, and coming back every couple of months for a fresh fix.
 
says Buttefly Forever!!!
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I wouldn't feel bad for Butterfly. Their marketing is so effective that it has most in the TT community believing that a $75 all-wood starter blade is a 'value' option.

Whatever they lose out now they'll make back many times over in a few years when OP is unable to resist buying their latest player-acronymed composite blade.

But their real cash cow is getting players hooked on Tenergy and Dignics, and coming back every couple of months for a fresh fix.
IMG_5852.jpeg
 
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TTD is a forum made up of BTY haters. I feel like a minority here...
Lol, I rather say that the forum is filled with "more sophisticated" equipment EJ's. Or the equipment EJ's cannot afford to indulge in buying and trying various Butterfly products. :) :)
 
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You know, I've tried playing with this blade and I can tell you that spinning is difficult and sometimes impossible. Blocks and no spin play is great. We ended up removing the top veneer from this blade, sanding down as much of the carbon underneath as possible, and sticking on 0.7mm mahogany veneer to slow it down a bit and give it a hold. It has become much better, it is possible to create rotations and I can recommend this option for reworking this blade. In the photo, this blade is separately on the right.
1.jpg
 
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My previous post concerns the TCT blade itself. As for the recommendations for inventory, it is advisable to know your level of play, because with the improvement of the game, you need to improve the inventory, selecting it for the new technical capabilities. Based on the blades that you wrote, Korbel will be better with this rubber.
 
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Thanks for all the help folks!
The massive selection of blades and rubbers on the market is dizzying so it's great to have some more experienced folk offer advice.

I've just ordered a Sanwei Fextra 7 and CJ8000 biotech rubbers.

I'll let you know how I get on in June when it arrives in June. 👍👍👍
 
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Thanks for all the help folks!
The massive selection of blades and rubbers on the market is dizzying so it's great to have some more experienced folk offer advice.

I've just ordered a Sanwei Fextra 7 and CJ8000 biotech rubbers.

I'll let you know how I get on in June when it arrives in June. 👍👍👍
Hi Robbie, I am an equipment junkie who has been trying my best to keep my trigger finger off the various table tennis supplier websites. I currently have 6 Tibhar Status Power wood and 2 Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition.

can you please update us how you like Sanwei Fextra 7? I love love all wood paddles. I have 5 other carbon blades that I am NOT using because they are too fast. So I think you made a great choice and I will be very curious how you like the Sanwei Fextra. thanks!
 
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Hi Robbie, I am an equipment junkie who has been trying my best to keep my trigger finger off the various table tennis supplier websites. I currently have 6 Tibhar Status Power wood and 2 Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition.

can you please update us how you like Sanwei Fextra 7? I love love all wood paddles. I have 5 other carbon blades that I am NOT using because they are too fast. So I think you made a great choice and I will be very curious how you like the Sanwei Fextra. thanks!
No problem. 👍
 
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Hi Robbie, I am an equipment junkie who has been trying my best to keep my trigger finger off the various table tennis supplier websites. I currently have 6 Tibhar Status Power wood and 2 Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition.

can you please update us how you like Sanwei Fextra 7? I love love all wood paddles. I have 5 other carbon blades that I am NOT using because they are too fast. So I think you made a great choice and I will be very curious how you like the Sanwei Fextra. thanks!

I've never played with a TSP but I imagine the Fextra to be extremely similar to it. They are both around similar thickness (6.0mm vs 6.2mm). And their composition is pretty much the same with two limba outers. The ayous core of the Fextra is 3 layers compared to the TSP's one layer, but Sanwei's marketing suggests those 3 layers behave like one layer. I imagine the Fextra to be a bit less stiff despite being a 7 ply. They are both in the same OFF- range in frequency (~1300 to ~1400 hz).

If they are any different, I'd expect the Fextra to be just slightly slower and more linear than the TSP, but that's just me speculating. Once I tried the Fextra, I ended up buying 3 Fextras myself and retiring my Acoustic and YSE. So I can compare it to those two blades. YSE feels dead compared to both Acoustic and Fextra. The ball contact feeling just isn't as nice maybe due to the different outer layer. Control is good but there is no cracking higher gear as the blade is pretty damn slow especially with harder tacky rubbers. It's probably a better base for bouncy rubbers but I'm not interested in that sort of setup.

Acoustic is very lively, flexy, and catapulty. But it's very thin at 5.6mm and didn't feel very stable. Too much flex when blocking and the ball felt heavy when contacting the blade due to the thinness. I bet that it'd feel just right for the smaller, lighter ball and was likely designed that way. I would love for Nittaku to release a more beefed up version of the Acoustic that's slightly thicker and more stable for the new ball (also make the bigger handles more available).

Fextra for me fixes the stability and linearity issues of the Acoustic while having a perfect sized handle for me. The ball feel still is great, better than YSE. If anything it lacks is the premium finish feel of the Acoustic. I have the feeling that 5 ply blades were the best option for developing players with the old ball. And that recommendation stuck around with the new ball and players felt they needed bouncier rubbers to compensate. I think the Fextra is a different and maybe a better approach. Increase the stability and thickness and speed a bit with a blade somewhere in between typical 5 ply and 7 ply and you don't have to go the bouncy rubber route. TSP might be similar in this respect being a beefier and faster than average 5 ply.
 
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I've never played with a TSP but I imagine the Fextra to be extremely similar to it. They are both around similar thickness (6.0mm vs 6.2mm). And their composition is pretty much the same with two limba outers. The ayous core of the Fextra is 3 layers compared to the TSP's one layer, but Sanwei's marketing suggests those 3 layers behave like one layer. I imagine the Fextra to be a bit less stiff despite being a 7 ply. They are both in the same OFF- range in frequency (~1300 to ~1400 hz).

If they are any different, I'd expect the Fextra to be just slightly slower and more linear than the TSP, but that's just me speculating. Once I tried the Fextra, I ended up buying 3 Fextras myself and retiring my Acoustic and YSE. So I can compare it to those two blades. YSE feels dead compared to both Acoustic and Fextra. The ball contact feeling just isn't as nice maybe due to the different outer layer. Control is good but there is no cracking higher gear as the blade is pretty damn slow especially with harder tacky rubbers. It's probably a better base for bouncy rubbers but I'm not interested in that sort of setup.

Acoustic is very lively, flexy, and catapulty. But it's very thin at 5.6mm and didn't feel very stable. Too much flex when blocking and the ball felt heavy when contacting the blade due to the thinness. I bet that it'd feel just right for the smaller, lighter ball and was likely designed that way. I would love for Nittaku to release a more beefed up version of the Acoustic that's slightly thicker and more stable for the new ball (also make the bigger handles more available).

Fextra for me fixes the stability and linearity issues of the Acoustic while having a perfect sized handle for me. The ball feel still is great, better than YSE. If anything it lacks is the premium finish feel of the Acoustic. I have the feeling that 5 ply blades were the best option for developing players with the old ball. And that recommendation stuck around with the new ball and players felt they needed bouncier rubbers to compensate. I think the Fextra is a different and maybe a better approach. Increase the stability and thickness and speed a bit with a blade somewhere in between typical 5 ply and 7 ply and you don't have to go the bouncy rubber route. TSP might be similar in this respect being a beefier and faster than average 5 ply.
I have never played with Acoustic wood. I have an Acoustic carbon. too fast for me.
 
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UPDATE
So I thought after receiving so much good advice and commentary from you lot I better let you know how I got on. I'm a novice to intermediate table tennis player so take my review / comments with as much weight as they deserve.
This is the first time I've put together my own bat - good fun but a bit of a challenge to get just right.

Performance
I found the Fextra to be a lot slower than the Palio TCT - a very noticeable difference that took a while to get used to. This does mean that it seems more forgiving when I'm flustered by a fast ball - a lot of the time now I get it back (albeit clumsily) just by getting the bat in front of the ball. It seems pretty good with regards to getting more spin and having more control - perhaps more contact with the paddle before pinging off? I found the difference in performance / speed quite surprising considering that the rubbers are the same on both old and new bat.
Having gotten used to it, I'm enjoying my new bat and have no desire to switch back to old faithful (Palio TCT).

Size
The bats are pretty identical in size (sizes below) deceptive as the padded edge tape on the Fextra makes it look a lot bigger in the photos. I would say the main difference would be the Fextra seems to have a bit more of a generous curve on the bottom edge of the blade.
Width: 150mm
Height: 257mm /258mm
Handle: 100mm

Build
Blade: Sanwei Fextra 7 (sealed with two thin coats of Osmo oil)
Rubbers: CJ8000 biotech H40 - H42
Glue: Copydex (had to have a few tries applying the rubbers but I got there in the end)

Cost (at time of order)
Blade (+tape): £17.65 AliExpress
Rubbers: £16.18 (2 x £8.09) AliExpress
Total £33.83 + glue / Osmo oil.
I feel like this set up is pretty budget friendly and I'm happy with the quality / performance.
 

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I'd recommend not buying a Primorac. It's listed as OFF-, it's actually an ALL/ALL+ with the new ball. So you'll be paying $75 for a slow blade that will require you to buy expensive tensor rubber in the future to speed up your setup. Given that you like the value of CJ8000, I'm assuming this is not a situation you'd like to be pushed into.

Your blade is incredibly stiff. Going from what you have to a soft and slow 5 ply seems like a huge change. You can try the popular 7 ply Chinese value blades like the Sanwei Fextra, Yinhe U2, and DHS PG7. Hell, you can get all 3 for the price of one Primorac.

I think the Fextra is a good middle ground between a 7 ply and 5 ply. 6.0mm and good for looping but also stable enough for good blocking. It's only $20 so you won't experience any sunk cost fallacy. After playing with it, if you want something stiffer/faster, you can change to a harder/thicker 7 ply like a Yinhe PD 437/537, Clipper, Samsonov Force Pro, etc. If you want something even more flexible, then you can consider a true 5 ply under 6.0mm.
He can still go for Korbel, which is not so slow given it's 5-ply all wood blade. 7-ply construction doesn't automatically translate into more power, and it means more stiffness, too. Korbel is also a blade that he can stick to even if he becomes an advanced player. Old cheap Fextras are discontinued, while still available, bur they suffer from inadequate quality control, which means one Fextra can differ significantly from another
 
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