Are 5 ply all-wood blades still should be the first blade for beginner?

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Hello everyone, I have a question. I'm currently looking to buy myself a new blade. Previously, I had 2 carbon blades as my first and second blades and i've sold all of them (Donic Waldner Black Devil Carbon Balsa as my first, and Butterfly Garaydia ZLC with Tenergy 05 FH/BH as my second). I would like to restart my journey in table tennis by going back to basic. I've read some articles about beginners should start their career with a 5 ply all-wood blade, with non-tensor rubber. But I think most articles I read were dated quite old, when rules haven't changed yet (ball size, ball material, speed glue). With new changes, I wonder if the same rule of thumb still applies for current, more modern, table tennis. With the same rule of thumb, I'm thinking of buying:
- Butterfly Falcima (5 ply, all wood. Although, I haven't heard much about this new blade)/Petr Korbel/Primorac
- FH/BH Yasaka Mark V 2.0 (The classic rubber)

If the game has changed quite a bit, and 5 ply all-wood with non-tensor rubber is no longer the norm, I would like to try:
- Butterfly Viscaria, or maybe a 7 ply all-wood blade
- FH/BH Yasaka Rakza 7 2.0

Thanks for spending your time replying this post.
 
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I made the mistake of starting with carbon and went back to 5 ply wood and it is working much better.

I'm not ruling out that there are some highly gifted and very motivated beginners who can make starting with carbon work but I think for the large majority starting out with an all or all+ wood blade for a year or two is probably better.

The carbon is not giving beginners more power either as likely they will get gunshy and start to hit weaker to control the carbon blade.

I have much more fun with my all wood blade now, i even went back another level from my yinhe earth off- to sanwei m8 all blade (maybe I will go to the yinhe in a year or so)
 
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I made the mistake of starting with carbon and went back to 5 ply wood and it is working much better.

I'm not ruling out that there are some highly gifted and very motivated beginners who can make starting with carbon work but I think for the large majority starting out with an all or all+ wood blade for a year or two is probably better.

The carbon is not giving beginners more power either as likely they will get gunshy and start to hit weaker to control the carbon blade.

I have much more fun with my all wood blade now, i even went back another level from my yinhe earth off- to sanwei m8 all blade (maybe I will go to the yinhe in a year or so)
 
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I think it depends on your physical condition. I had a similar idea and went back to a Yinhe W6 (Aneigre top) + Moon rubbers (tensor) temporarily from faster blades but that resulted in a smaller sweet spot which didn't help and more work needed for hitting, speed would have been OK. Then I tried a much faster blade (DHS Fang Bo B2X) with the same rubbers, and this was predictably a bit too fast for good control. Then back to Yinhe 970xxA (Koto top inner carbon, Pro Feeling successor) which has very good control, sweet spot, and acceptable speed.
So I am finding there is tradeoff where the 5-ply blades even with harder top layers with non-extreme rubbers are too slow. Good for learning new techniques but not for tournaments IMHO.
Butterfly Viscaria is external carbon, and I found that the Yinhe Pro-01 clone is a little too fast for me. Nice control though.
So I narrowed my choices to Yinhe 970xx-A or Pro-01 with FastArc-G1 or Yinhe Moon Medium forhand and Yinhe Moon Soft backhand.
My 5- or 7-ply blades are for training only.

I recommend to invest in a couple of lessons and get a coach's recommendation.
 
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I see, so perhaps I should really go back to 5 ply all-wood blade then, how about rubber? should I stay with the classic? I'll be sticking with Mark V 2.0

 
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Do you have any recommendation for blades, which are good for training, but still considered okay for some amateur level tournament? I'm planning to only have 1 blade.

 
You could try Mark V HPS. It has the same top sheet but a little more modern sponge. I love on my 5 ply all wood blade. The speed decided by the composition and with hard wood an all wood blade can be just as fast without any carbon layers.

Cheers
L-zr
 
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You could try Mark V HPS. It has the same top sheet but a little more modern sponge. I love on my 5 ply all wood blade. The speed decided by the composition and with hard wood an all wood blade can be just as fast without any carbon layers.

Cheers
L-zr

I see, with the sort-of inclined price of the Mark V HPS compared to the standard Mark V, will you still recommend the HPS version? or will you pick another rubber instead?

 
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I see, so perhaps I should really go back to 5 ply all-wood blade then, how about rubber? should I stay with the classic? I'll be sticking with Mark V 2.0


Contrary to what most people recommend to beginners i made a different calculation for myself.
The most recommended rubbers for beginners are classic rubbers that have next to no catapult effect and pretty low spin capability. That might be nice to train with, but if you start playing against others you will have to work harder for your points than the more advanced players that do not only have the superior technique on their side but also the rubber that gives them more spin and speed.

If you think you will play tensor rubbers with catapult finally once you got your basic technique training finished, you will need to learn to cope with totally different rubbers that are actually competitive and behave differently than the classic rubbers like the Mark V 2.0.

I don't know what the real equation is in terms of time needed to come to a specific technical skill level and how much time you would need to learn to play with a totally different type of rubber, but i guess it is a longer time than simply starting with similar rubbers already.

My imaginary example would be:
Starting with classical rubbers vs starting with mildly catapulty tensor rubbers:
12 Month training with classical rubbers to get a sound basic technique and getting your a$$ whopped by every 14 year old who blasts stronger topspin with his tensor rubbers than you nearly dislocating your shoulder while trying to get similar power and then after the 12 month additional 3 month at least to change your technique to match the now proper catapulty tensor rubbers that you are going to lose. So you spend 15 month to get to a state where you are still relatively new to proper rubbers and need to adjust the technique that you learned and got used to for one year instead of probably simply starting with a low catapult tensor that you would play in a year anyways. This way you can adjust to that type of rubber for longer period of time and already win a few points and matches here and there which will add to your motivation.

I personally found out that i do like rubbers with low catapult on my forehand and more catapult on my backhand, so i play the Nittaku FastArc G-1 on the forehand and the Tibhar Evolution EL-S on the backhand. That fits my mainly forehand oriented playstyle. If you record yourself playing you might be able to see things you would not have noticed without reviewing your own play and you could probably see what would help you most.





Do you have any recommendation for blades, which are good for training, but still considered okay for some amateur level tournament? I'm planning to only have 1 blade.

I made a similar mistake by going from a 40€ premade bat to the stiga Infinity VPS which was already too fast for me and that one is only 5ply wood.
I would recommend something with good control and feel. Depending on your budget you could go Donic Appelgren Allplay (allround), Yasaka Sweden Extra or even Nittaku Violin (if you wanna spend that paper and enjoy butterfly-like quality ;)).

 
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Why do we believe that an all wood blade is always better? Once i tried my Xiom ALC blade i never looked back. It have a nice sweet spot, low vibration and even cheap rubbers shine with speed and spin. My game improved and i can compete with better players.

If you want to tame the beast you can use tacky chinese rubbers, and learn to brush the ball.
 
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Contrary to what most people recommend to beginners i made a different calculation for myself.
The most recommended rubbers for beginners are classic rubbers that have next to no catapult effect and pretty low spin capability. That might be nice to train with, but if you start playing against others you will have to work harder for your points than the more advanced players that do not only have the superior technique on their side but also the rubber that gives them more spin and speed.

If you think you will play tensor rubbers with catapult finally once you got your basic technique training finished, you will need to learn to cope with totally different rubbers that are actually competitive and behave differently than the classic rubbers like the Mark V 2.0.

I don't know what the real equation is in terms of time needed to come to a specific technical skill level and how much time you would need to learn to play with a totally different type of rubber, but i guess it is a longer time than simply starting with similar rubbers already.

My imaginary example would be:
Starting with classical rubbers vs starting with mildly catapulty tensor rubbers:
12 Month training with classical rubbers to get a sound basic technique and getting your a$$ whopped by every 14 year old who blasts stronger topspin with his tensor rubbers than you nearly dislocating your shoulder while trying to get similar power and then after the 12 month additional 3 month at least to change your technique to match the now proper catapulty tensor rubbers that you are going to lose. So you spend 15 month to get to a state where you are still relatively new to proper rubbers and need to adjust the technique that you learned and got used to for one year instead of probably simply starting with a low catapult tensor that you would play in a year anyways. This way you can adjust to that type of rubber for longer period of time and already win a few points and matches here and there which will add to your motivation.

I personally found out that i do like rubbers with low catapult on my forehand and more catapult on my backhand, so i play the Nittaku FastArc G-1 on the forehand and the Tibhar Evolution EL-S on the backhand. That fits my mainly forehand oriented playstyle. If you record yourself playing you might be able to see things you would not have noticed without reviewing your own play and you could probably see what would help you most.





I made a similar mistake by going from a 40€ premade bat to the stiga Infinity VPS which was already too fast for me and that one is only 5ply wood.
I would recommend something with good control and feel. Depending on your budget you could go Donic Appelgren Allplay (allround), Yasaka Sweden Extra or even Nittaku Violin (if you wanna spend that paper and enjoy butterfly-like quality ;)).

Thanks for the explanation. I'll make sure to consider it.

 
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Why do we believe that an all wood blade is always better? Once i tried my Xiom ALC blade i never looked back. It have a nice sweet spot, low vibration and even cheap rubbers shine with speed and spin. My game improved and i can compete with better players.

If you want to tame the beast you can use tacky chinese rubbers, and learn to brush the ball.

I think it's more about having your technique polished, not solely because you have an expensive blade/rubber

 

I see, with the sort-of inclined price of the Mark V HPS compared to the standard Mark V, will you still recommend the HPS version? or will you pick another rubber instead?

It’s slower than an average ESN rubber but faster than regular MarkV. I get a little less spin on hard shots but I hit the table almost all the time.,, It last just as long as an ESN rubber. I recommend what you play the best with. When I got my blade from SDC I wanted to start slow and work myself up so I started with regular MarkV. That turned out too slow. Then I tried HPS it turned out quite good and I play great with it. It’s definite slower than Rakza 7, so if you think the average ESN rubbers are a little too fast and MarkV a little too slow I would recommend this.

Cheers
L-zr
 
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It’s slower than an average ESN rubber but faster than regular MarkV. I get a little less spin on hard shots but I hit the table almost all the time.,, It last just as long as an ESN rubber. I recommend what you play the best with. When I got my blade from SDC I wanted to start slow and work myself up so I started with regular MarkV. That turned out too slow. Then I tried HPS it turned out quite good and I play great with it. It’s definite slower than Rakza 7, so if you think the average ESN rubbers are a little too fast and MarkV a little too slow I would recommend this.

Cheers
L-zr

Thanks for the insight! I'll definitely consider this as a choice

 
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Do you have any recommendation for blades, which are good for training, but still considered okay for some amateur level tournament? I'm planning to only have 1 blade.

There are still some pros that use all-wood, even 5-ply, blades... Simon Gauzy (7-ply), Sabine Winter (5-ply, andro Novacell Off), Emmanuel Lebesson (5-ply, Tibhar Lebesson). Also some younger players (3. Bundesliga) like Lukas Bosbach use 5-ply blades (andro Novacell Off)...

Butterfly Primorac, the faster Korbel or a Yasaka Sweden Extra are always a safe choice. Personally I would not recommend even slower blades like the Appelgren Allplay or Stiga Allround Classic if one wants to use slower rubbers.

 
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There are still some pros that use all-wood, even 5-ply, blades... Simon Gauzy (7-ply), Sabine Winter (5-ply, andro Novacell Off), Emmanuel Lebesson (5-ply, Tibhar Lebesson). Also some younger players (3. Bundesliga) like Lukas Bosbach use 5-ply blades (andro Novacell Off)...

Butterfly Primorac, the faster Korbel or a Yasaka Sweden Extra are always a safe choice. Personally I would not recommend even slower blades like the Appelgren Allplay or Stiga Allround Classic if one wants to use slower rubbers.

I see, thanks for all the answers. I ended up buying Butterfly Falcima (5 ply all wood) and I pair it with Mark V 2.0 thickness on both sides. I'll play with the set for a year and I'll revisit the rubber when I'm playing way better. I'd like to try the HPS version of the Mark V next time, and perhaps the Rakza 7, MX-P, Vega Europe :D

 
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Why do we believe that an all wood blade is always better? Once i tried my Xiom ALC blade i never looked back. It have a nice sweet spot, low vibration and even cheap rubbers shine with speed and spin. My game improved and i can compete with better players.

If you want to tame the beast you can use tacky chinese rubbers, and learn to brush the ball.

did you start off with an alc blade?

 
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allround is more popular because it is a blade decided with more control over its speed.
when speed is high, control is low, so its all about getting the best balance for you.

For most beginners, the ideal balance is shifted toward more control and less about speed. Hence why all, all+ or off- wood blade is ideal.

Overs the years I have heard of using chinese rubbers, classics/non tensors, but I do recommend entry level tensors, or softer sponge tensors with allround blade.
So far so good in such recommendations with my students (adult students)
 
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