Assistance/advice with equipment upgrade (1st custom racket) (Update!)

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Sorry. You can go for 2.1, the difference doesn't really matter now...
 
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No particular recommendations here (because it's hella confusing putting everyone's very specific opinions into perspective) but here's my general point of view:

1. a "carbon" Atemi (or any other premade bat marked as "carbon" that I know of) is incomparable to a professional grade blade. They're usually dull, heavy and slow although a blade with balsa might be ok-ish in terms of weight. Put it on a scale, see what the setup weighs right now!

2. If you feel like you've moved past the pre-made bat stage, go for it.

3. Given you've been playing for less than a year, I'm assuming you're still heavily developing your technique. I would default to 5-ply all wood blades for that.

4. Get a blade that has a lot of reviews and user experiences, something well known. You can use that knowledge later when you want to move to different rubbers. (Keep in mind that reviews might be from before ball changes etc.)

5. Get a blade that isn't extreme in anything. Today's ball does warrant getting a blade that's faster than average, but I wouldn't go for flat out fast blades.

6. Get a rubber that isn't extreme in anything either, and get it in a thickness commonly used. It makes for easier comparison, as well as finding out where your technique is the problem and where the gear might be limiting (in the future)

As long as you pick a decent blade, you can use it for years on end. I like a few of the suggestions (Korbel, YEO) but that's just my preference. Getting anything in that speed range will work well.
I see! Thank you very much for the tips, I truly appreciate it
 
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Sorry. You can go for 2.1, the difference doesn't really matter now...
Ah, very well then. Petr Korbel with H37 2.1 mm on backhand & H38 2.1 mm for forehand. I'll definitely consider this as well. Thank you very much 🙏🏼
 
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Some interestingly specific recommendations above...can't comment on that but glad you're going in positive direction. Keep in mind demand from the equipment encourages growth, as long as it is progressive.

I'll input a little about YEO since it's a very good and affordable product. Contrary to what many claimed it is definitely not a fast blade in modern era, but can go a long way into intermediate level paired with different rubbers. It can achieve decent speed with faster rubbers and it can be dead with really soft rubbers. However, since you are athletic and don't mind to use some extra effort, YEO paired with Rakza 7 Soft/X Soft (select one or both, doesn't really matter) can have huge benefits in developing technique. While being very slow, this setup will give maximum feeling, reflect accurately on your racket angle and force applied, and teach you more about spinning.

Once you have gained the most out of this setup, the best part is its upgrade path. Down the line you can experiment with a lot of combinations. First step would be upgrading Rakza 7/X Soft to the regular version. Then you can experiment more rubbers on the same blade, or stay with same rubbers and upgrade to the carbon versions down the same line or other blades.

To share a case, my total beginner friend started with a decathlon premade setup at first, and can use Ma Lin Carbon with Rakza Z/DNA Platinum S to perform forehand/backhand strokes no problem now at 6th session. He did not like the tackiness/bounciness at very first try, but adjusted very quickly. Now he understands the original setup's limitations and cannot turn back. (Will admit he is a fast learner and good at bodily coordination, but the main point is how user friendly YEO is, and its compatibility with various rubbers.)
 
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Some interestingly specific recommendations above...can't comment on that but glad you're going in positive direction. Keep in mind demand from the equipment encourages growth, as long as it is progressive.

I'll input a little about YEO since it's a very good and affordable product. Contrary to what many claimed it is definitely not a fast blade in modern era, but can go a long way into intermediate level paired with different rubbers. It can achieve decent speed with faster rubbers and it can be dead with really soft rubbers. However, since you are athletic and don't mind to use some extra effort, YEO paired with Rakza 7 Soft/X Soft (select one or both, doesn't really matter) can have huge benefits in developing technique. While being very slow, this setup will give maximum feeling, reflect accurately on your racket angle and force applied, and teach you more about spinning.

Once you have gained the most out of this setup, the best part is its upgrade path. Down the line you can experiment with a lot of combinations. First step would be upgrading Rakza 7/X Soft to the regular version. Then you can experiment more rubbers on the same blade, or stay with same rubbers and upgrade to the carbon versions down the same line or other blades.

To share a case, my total beginner friend played with a premade setups at first, and can use Ma Lin Carbon with Rakza Z/DNA Platinum S to perform forehand/backhand strokes no problem at 6th session. He did not like the tackiness/bounciness at very first try, but adjusted very quickly. Now he understands the original setup's limitations and cannot turn back. (Will admit he is a fast learner and good at bodily coordination, but the main point is how user friendly YEO is, and its compatibility with various rubbers.)
I see! Thank you very much for your input 🙏🏼
 
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Hello, everyone! I am here with an update. I've decided to go with:

  • Butterfly Petr Korbel
  • DHS Hurricane 3 Neo (2.1mm on forehand H38 & 2.1mm on backhand H37)
  • Revolution Nr.3 water-based glue
After thorough consideration and bit of hesitation, I ended up going for Chinese rubbers and perhaps even their playstyle. Of course, I am still fairly new with barely 7 months of active playing experience, however, after some experimenting with other people's tensor rubbers and European set-ups, I found that I lack the control and came to dislike the catapult effect as well as lack of dwell time. I absolutely love the Chinese rubber idea of "You get as much as you give", giving a ton of room for subtility and 1:1 feedback from the racket - just giving my all, putting entire weight behind my strokes when I want to and not worrying much about holding back and overshooting. My only concern is - how should I glue this rubber? I've heard and read countless opinions. Some say it's already factory pre-glued and doesn't require glue at all, others - 1 layer or even 2... I truly appreciate y'alls help, thank you 🙏🏼
 
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Pre-glued doesn't sound likely - pre-boosted perhaps which is a different thing (booster, in short, is used to make the sponge part swell up slightly, putting the rubber surface area under a bit of tension. If you dislike tensor effect, don't worry about boosting at all.)

A linear setup sounds like a wise decision. As you gain experience, you may find the setup eventually starting to lack, at which point you can always opt for a step up in rubber - or you may be really happy with it for a long time. Or just want to try something different. But starting with something that behaves predictably is a great choice.

As far a glue is concerned: on new equipment, it's likely that 1 layer of glue will not be enough to make the rubber stick properly and evenly. The good news is, it's hard to do something really wrong. Even if the rubber turns out to be pre-glued, that's just fine then isn't it?
Don't worry too much - spread a layer on blade and rubber, let it dry for a good bit, put the rubber on and you're done. If it doesn't look nice and evenly flat, or you can peel off flaps on the side with only a tiny bit of force, take the rubber off and glue again.
I like to use a roller (usually a can of deodorant or something) to roll the rubber on, others like to press with something heavy like a book, even others just press on by hand and that's it. We all end up with a working setup.

As for cutting: You can cut before gluing or after, using scissors or a (really) sharp knife. Again, this is up to preference (and available tools). I've never tried tracing the contours of my blade onto the rubber and cutting before glue, but it sounds like a smart idea which I might do in the future. Also, all my knife blades suck, so I use scissors.

Before I did my first bat, I didn't know anything about gluing either. But I just did it with a bit of common sense and that was enough. It's really not rocket science, despite some people making it into something much more complicated.
 
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Pre-glued doesn't sound likely - pre-boosted perhaps which is a different thing (booster, in short, is used to make the sponge part swell up slightly, putting the rubber surface area under a bit of tension. If you dislike tensor effect, don't worry about boosting at all.)

A linear setup sounds like a wise decision. As you gain experience, you may find the setup eventually starting to lack, at which point you can always opt for a step up in rubber - or you may be really happy with it for a long time. Or just want to try something different. But starting with something that behaves predictably is a great choice.

As far a glue is concerned: on new equipment, it's likely that 1 layer of glue will not be enough to make the rubber stick properly and evenly. The good news is, it's hard to do something really wrong. Even if the rubber turns out to be pre-glued, that's just fine then isn't it?
Don't worry too much - spread a layer on blade and rubber, let it dry for a good bit, put the rubber on and you're done. If it doesn't look nice and evenly flat, or you can peel off flaps on the side with only a tiny bit of force, take the rubber off and glue again.
I like to use a roller (usually a can of deodorant or something) to roll the rubber on, others like to press with something heavy like a book, even others just press on by hand and that's it. We all end up with a working setup.

As for cutting: You can cut before gluing or after, using scissors or a (really) sharp knife. Again, this is up to preference (and available tools). I've never tried tracing the contours of my blade onto the rubber and cutting before glue, but it sounds like a smart idea which I might do in the future. Also, all my knife blades suck, so I use scissors.

Before I did my first bat, I didn't know anything about gluing either. But I just did it with a bit of common sense and that was enough. It's really not rocket science, despite some people making it into something much more complicated.
I see! Thank you very much for the input. I guess I'll make sure to check the condition of the sponge after unboxing the rubber - to see if it isn't sticky already.
 
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Hello, everyone! I am here with an update. I've decided to go with:

  • Butterfly Petr Korbel
  • DHS Hurricane 3 Neo (2.1mm on forehand H38 & 2.1mm on backhand H37)
  • Revolution Nr.3 water-based glue
After thorough consideration and bit of hesitation, I ended up going for Chinese rubbers and perhaps even their playstyle. Of course, I am still fairly new with barely 7 months of active playing experience, however, after some experimenting with other people's tensor rubbers and European set-ups, I found that I lack the control and came to dislike the catapult effect as well as lack of dwell time. I absolutely love the Chinese rubber idea of "You get as much as you give", giving a ton of room for subtility and 1:1 feedback from the racket - just giving my all, putting entire weight behind my strokes when I want to and not worrying much about holding back and overshooting. My only concern is - how should I glue this rubber? I've heard and read countless opinions. Some say it's already factory pre-glued and doesn't require glue at all, others - 1 layer or even 2... I truly appreciate y'alls help, thank you 🙏🏼

I put 2 layers on rubber and 2 on blade. This is because it is easier to remove the glue, if there is more of it...

If there is factory glue on the rubber, then just 1 on top of it...

You'll find your way in no time...
 
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I put 2 layers on rubber and 2 on blade. This is because it is easier to remove the glue, if there is more of it...

If there is factory glue on the rubber, then just 1 on top of it...

You'll find your way in no time...
Thank you, I appreciate your reply 🙂
 
If you want something slow and controllable with plenty of spin.
Yasaka Offensive Extra with Yasaka Mark V max on both sides. Mark V will also last longer than all ESN rubbers. If You want a cheaper rubber, Neottec Katana.

Cheers
L-zr
 
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This is probably the clearest guide around Youtube, please take a look and good luck with your first time gluing :) A little reminder is that do the job swiftly and don't brush over the same place over and over. It is easy to make this mistake and you will see what I mean if it happens! Have to admit here even gluing over a hundred times I still mess up sometimes...

In case of unevenness, it is best to apply a second layer after the first layer completely dries than to try adding more when part of it is already drying. If you really messed up, just wait for everything to dry out, remove the entire layer of glue did wrong, and redo. Make sure to remove glue carefully as it can cause damage to the sponge or even the blade if the veneer is of low quality or not sealed properly. Luckily you are using Butterfly and H3 so both should have high degree of damage tolerance.
 
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This is probably the clearest guide around Youtube, please take a look and good luck with your first time gluing :) A little reminder is that do the job swiftly and don't brush over the same place over and over. It is easy to make this mistake and you will see what I mean if it happens! Have to admit here even gluing over a hundred times I still mess up sometimes...

In case of unevenness, it is best to apply a second layer after the first layer completely dries than to try adding more when part of it is already drying. If you really messed up, just wait for everything to dry out, remove the entire layer of glue did wrong, and redo. Make sure to remove glue carefully as it can cause damage to the sponge or even the blade if the veneer is of low quality or not sealed properly. Luckily you are using Butterfly and H3 so both should have high degree of damage tolerance.
Thank you very much for your reply! Sounds good. I've watched this video a while ago, however, I thought the glueing process might differ for the Chinese rubbers, so I've decided to confirm, just in case... 🙂
 
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Most of my experience is pre-water glue, the old VOC glue was easier to work with, I never needed multiple layers and didn't have to use a sponge because there was a brush included in the glue can.

Actually done and explained by someone working at a TT shop. Same process basically, but he glues 729 which is a more Chinese rubber so I figured this might be interesting to see.

So here's my takeaways after doing 2-3 bats with water glue:
- 2 layers is better than one. Sticks better, removes better. Also, apparently almost everyone uses at least 2 layers on both blade and rubber for new equipment nowadays.
- letting the layers dry makes for better contact (and less mess)
- never use a sponge with semi-dried or completely dried glue in it. You get these annoying little sticky balls and they are a real pain to get off.
- containers with built-in applicators suck because you will simply never get the glue completely rinsed out of it. Unless you plan on using all of the glue in one go (within half an hour) really just stay away from built-in applicators.

Yes, I think modern glues are a bit more annoying. But they're still not rocket science.
 
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says I am addicted to table tennis... 🥲
Most of my experience is pre-water glue, the old VOC glue was easier to work with, I never needed multiple layers and didn't have to use a sponge because there was a brush included in the glue can.

Actually done and explained by someone working at a TT shop. Same process basically, but he glues 729 which is a more Chinese rubber so I figured this might be interesting to see.

So here's my takeaways after doing 2-3 bats with water glue:
- 2 layers is better than one. Sticks better, removes better. Also, apparently almost everyone uses at least 2 layers on both blade and rubber for new equipment nowadays.
- letting the layers dry makes for better contact (and less mess)
- never use a sponge with semi-dried or completely dried glue in it. You get these annoying little sticky balls and they are a real pain to get off.
- containers with built-in applicators suck because you will simply never get the glue completely rinsed out of it. Unless you plan on using all of the glue in one go (within half an hour) really just stay away from built-in applicators.

Yes, I think modern glues are a bit more annoying. But they're still not rocket science.
Thank you once again, some great additional information! I've received my forehand sheet yesterday, I checked and the sponge seems to be pre-glued or whatnot (it's quite sticky), for the DHS Hurricane 3 Neo that is... Just need to remove the protective firm that's covering it. Would that still require 2 layers of glue?
 
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Honestly, I don't know. Opinions around the Internet seem to vary between "only glue the blade" and "just glue like any other rubber".
Personally, I would try to glue the blade only (2 layers) if it feels like the rubber would really stick well. And if it doesn't work, just do it again and glue the rubber too.
 
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Honestly, I don't know. Opinions around the Internet seem to vary between "only glue the blade" and "just glue like any other rubber".
Personally, I would try to glue the blade only (2 layers) if it feels like the rubber would really stick well. And if it doesn't work, just do it again and glue the rubber too.
Sounds good, thank you 👍🏼
 
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Thank you very much for your reply! Sounds good. I've watched this video a while ago, however, I thought the glueing process might differ for the Chinese rubbers, so I've decided to confirm, just in case.
There is no difference gluing whichever rubber. Just for reference, gluing one layer on the blade and two on the rubber is the common practice in Hong Kong, which is similar to practice in China. Some glue three or even four layers for competition, but I have to add that most people who do that would (should...) have decent gluing skills and each layer would be super thin and well-spread. It also depends on the glue's viscosity for this matter since Chinese glue tend to be very watery comparing to, say, Finezip, which is super viscous where one good layer on both surfaces sometimes suffice.

I do agree old glue with built-in brush is way more convenient and saves a lot of boosting job. Kinda miss old times.
 
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There is no difference gluing whichever rubber. Just for reference, gluing one layer on the blade and two on the rubber is the common practice in Hong Kong, which is similar to practice in China. Some glue three or even four layers for competition, but I have to add that most people who do that would (should...) have decent gluing skills and each layer would be super thin and well-spread. It also depends on the glue's viscosity for this matter since Chinese glue tend to be very watery comparing to, say, Finezip, which is super viscous where one good layer on both surfaces sometimes suffice.

I do agree old glue with built-in brush is way more convenient and saves a lot of boosting job. Kinda miss old times.
I see! I appreciate the response, definitely gonna keep it in mind
 
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