Developing adult player - advice and TB ALC with Tenergy 05?

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Hi all, this is my first post having been lurking for the past few weeks.

I'm 34 and started playing TT 3+ times per week a few months ago at a club including some coaching. I have a long tennis history having played high level county so plenty of bad habits showing through in TT. However I've progressed really well to now likely due to hand/eye/racquet co-ordination.

Here's my issue.

I initially bought a Bribar Winning Loop which came with Friendship 729. It was OK to begin with but felt very hollow and I didn't much like the grip.

After intense googling and chatting to a few other players I decided to invest in a Timo Boll ALC ST with Tenergy 05 rubbers on each side. It came pre-made from Tees Sports as the pro line model. I really like it (perhaps some slight reservations about the grip and it feeling head heavy) and I've been playing pretty well with it up to a point.

But, is a setup of this type a mistake so early on and will it harm my overall development? My coach mentioned these rubbers aren't optimal although they haven't suggested an alternative.

I have no major issues controlling the power although it can feel pretty fast at times. My BH is very strong, FH inconsistent especially when applying high topspin and I don't have a great deal of touch at the moment. I also struggle with returning high spin serves.

I'm toying with the idea of an all wood blade with some tackier (perhaps Chinese) rubbers as I form the foundations of my game - what do people think? And do you have any recommendations? It's important to me that I develop a solid fundamental game.

Based on my reading, a Nittaku (Septear, Acoustic, Violin) with Hurricane Neo could be an option?

Thanks all in advance for any input!
 
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Doesn't really matter what you use in the beginning. Your skill level probably isn't good enough to take advantage of each setup's characteristics and no, it won't harm your development.

 
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T05 is a feisty beast to tame. I found it too hot to handle in the short game, though I had much fun with it fir the rest.

The TB ALC is a fine blade, even though fast, and, as you note, balanced towards the head.

H3 Neo is taxing in other ways. It demands more effort, and (to me) feels less reliable in direct play - flat hits, flat punches, smashes.

My compromise has been to tone down a bit. Rozena is fine; and I consider Vega Pro a superior T05 for those of us not ranked amongst the world’s top 1000. T19 is also worth considering - a kinder, gentler T05.

And, having said all that, I’m a big fan of Fastarc G-1, in this hazy category of T05-like without the mercurial unforgiveness.
 
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Thanks for the comments both. For certain my skill level isn't high at present, and that's absolutely why I don't want to be either a) equipment dependent or b) falling behind because I'm not ready for the setup as my coach suggested.

Since posting this earlier I've been reading, reading, reading.. and I think another top contender has emerged - and it will prompt a change.

The Yasaka Sweden Extra sounds like what my coach is suggesting I need, i.e. equipment which encourages me to focus on the mechanics and basic shot-making foundations.

I feel that given it's a very inexpensive outlay that the experiment is worthwhile. After all, I can easily revert to the ALC and pick back up where I am today having spent some time playing in a more controlled manner.
 
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Hi all, this is my first post having been lurking for the past few weeks.

I'm 34 and started playing TT 3+ times per week a few months ago at a club including some coaching. I have a long tennis history having played high level county so plenty of bad habits showing through in TT. However I've progressed really well to now likely due to hand/eye/racquet co-ordination.

Here's my issue.

I initially bought a Bribar Winning Loop which came with Friendship 729. It was OK to begin with but felt very hollow and I didn't much like the grip.

After intense googling and chatting to a few other players I decided to invest in a Timo Boll ALC ST with Tenergy 05 rubbers on each side. It came pre-made from Tees Sports as the pro line model. I really like it (perhaps some slight reservations about the grip and it feeling head heavy) and I've been playing pretty well with it up to a point.

But, is a setup of this type a mistake so early on and will it harm my overall development? My coach mentioned these rubbers aren't optimal although they haven't suggested an alternative.

I have no major issues controlling the power although it can feel pretty fast at times. My BH is very strong, FH inconsistent especially when applying high topspin and I don't have a great deal of touch at the moment. I also struggle with returning high spin serves.

I'm toying with the idea of an all wood blade with some tackier (perhaps Chinese) rubbers as I form the foundations of my game - what do people think? And do you have any recommendations? It's important to me that I develop a solid fundamental game.

Based on my reading, a Nittaku (Septear, Acoustic, Violin) with Hurricane Neo could be an option?

Thanks all in advance for any input!

As an adult beginner I would use an all wood 5 ply blade and a slower, softer european rubber.

I started with fast blade and chinese rubber too and it didn't work out too well for me (btw I also played tennis).

Now I went to a 5 ply allround blade (sanwei m8) and gewo neoflex eft 45 on both sides and I feel I'm slowly improving my technique albeit it's still lacking of course and needs more work.

Obviously you can learn with chinese rubber, millions of Chinese have proven that but I guess most Chinese players start like age 5-8 with playing when motor learning is easier than with adults.

 
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As an adult beginner I would use an all wood 5 ply blade and a slower, softer european rubber.

I started with fast blade and chinese rubber too and it didn't work out too well for me (btw I also played tennis).

Now I went to a 5 ply allround blade (sanwei m8) and gewo neoflex eft 45 on both sides and I feel I'm slowly improving my technique albeit it's still lacking of course and needs more work.

Obviously you can learn with chinese rubber, millions of Chinese have proven that but I guess most Chinese players start like age 5-8 with playing when motor learning is easier than with adults.

Agree that seems to be a very sensible approach.
Sweden Extra: fantastic blade. Trust your coach.
Going for it. I'll stick to ST handle (I'm BH dominant) so now just need to decide on some rubbers..

 
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In typical style I'm second guessing the rubber choice and I'm unsure whether Max or 2.0 would be the best move on my Sweden extra.

After all I'm making this change to install more control and develop more feeling in my technique as a newer player, and therefore wonder whether coming from 2.1 T05 on my TB ALC, I should instead go for 2.0 Vega thickness on the YSE.

Does anyone have any recommendations or first hand experience? Or should I start at 2.0 and upgrade later if I feel it's lacking?
 
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2.0 or 2.1 thickness depending on the brand is far enough for us mere mortals, I've tried Rasanter R47 on the max thickness and it was a bit too much, the short game was sometimes difficult to control.

Soft to mid rubbers meaning 35 to 47° hardness + 2.0/2.1mm thickness on a 1250 Hz blade , being either 5 or 7 ply all wood, is enough really. The Yasaka Sweden Extra is a safe and very good choice indeed, I think it will pair well with some Rozena, Tibhar FX to EL rubbers, the MX series being too much fast here, Stiga DNA Future and Pro rubbers from S to M, Andro Rasanter R37 and R42 not higher and no ultramax thickness, stick to the 2.0mm version cos' those Ransanter series are damn bouncy.
 
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Most recommend around 1.8 to 1.9 for beginner level players. That offers a bit more control than max but I read very thin ones) like 1.5) aren't good for learning technique either as they work better for flat hitting than looping.
 
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Thanks for the comments both. For certain my skill level isn't high at present, and that's absolutely why I don't want to be either a) equipment dependent or b) falling behind because I'm not ready for the setup as my coach suggested.Since posting this earlier I've been reading, reading, reading.. and I think another top contender has emerged - and it will prompt a change.The Yasaka Sweden Extra sounds like what my coach is suggesting I need, i.e. equipment which encourages me to focus on the mechanics and basic shot-making foundations.I feel that given it's a very inexpensive outlay that the experiment is worthwhile. After all, I can easily revert to the ALC and pick back up where I am today having spent some time playing in a more controlled manner.

Your coach was right. You should go for it. Also, ask him what rubbers to use.

 
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Most recommend around 1.8 to 1.9 for beginner level players. That offers a bit more control than max but I read very thin ones) like 1.5) aren't good for learning technique either as they work better for flat hitting than looping.
Another myth, A loop should be with a thin hit. Yes in general You will get a bit less spin but the technique is the same.

Cheers
L-zr
 

NDH

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Hi all, this is my first post having been lurking for the past few weeks.

I'm 34 and started playing TT 3+ times per week a few months ago at a club including some coaching. I have a long tennis history having played high level county so plenty of bad habits showing through in TT. However I've progressed really well to now likely due to hand/eye/racquet co-ordination.
Morning Antse7en,

I'm confused, which is very easily done on a Monday morning!

What ages were you playing at a high level in the county scene? And how long did you play for until you stopped?

I'm assuming you had coaching back then to get you to that level in the first place? How many years did you have coaching for?

A lot of potential assumptions here, but a high level junior in the UK, is not going to revert back to an "adult beginner" if you are only 34.

To put it into some perspective, I played a "decent" level as a junior, making the county team and playing some good matches.

I stopped playing from the ages of about 18 through to 26/27, and when I came back, I used the same blade I did before.....

The infamous, Schlager Carbon, which is essentially a rocket ship disguised as a blade (pairing it with T05 none the less!)

But if you are playing 3 times a week, including coaching..... It won't take you long before you are back in the big time!

OK, some more questions......

The classic..... Do you have any video of you playing? It's always helpful (there is a video safe thread to stop people commenting who aren't approved, or you can send the video to someone you trust on the forum).

Are you playing in a league currently? Care to share your stats (it's not scientific, but for the UK folk, it'll help gauge where you are at currently). A link to the TT leagues page would be good (or whatever website your league uses if it's not the TTE one).

As for taking equipment advice from UK coaches..... Hmmmmmm, I've met very few local level coaches who are knowledgeable about equipment. They typically advise the same stuff that they've been advising for years, and don't know a huge amount about it in general.

A lot of other potential talking points, but I've already asked enough!
 
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Morning Antse7en,

I'm confused, which is very easily done on a Monday morning!

What ages were you playing at a high level in the county scene? And how long did you play for until you stopped?

I'm assuming you had coaching back then to get you to that level in the first place? How many years did you have coaching for?

A lot of potential assumptions here, but a high level junior in the UK, is not going to revert back to an "adult beginner" if you are only 34.

To put it into some perspective, I played a "decent" level as a junior, making the county team and playing some good matches.

I stopped playing from the ages of about 18 through to 26/27, and when I came back, I used the same blade I did before.....

The infamous, Schlager Carbon, which is essentially a rocket ship disguised as a blade (pairing it with T05 none the less!)

But if you are playing 3 times a week, including coaching..... It won't take you long before you are back in the big time!

OK, some more questions......

The classic..... Do you have any video of you playing? It's always helpful (there is a video safe thread to stop people commenting who aren't approved, or you can send the video to someone you trust on the forum).

Are you playing in a league currently? Care to share your stats (it's not scientific, but for the UK folk, it'll help gauge where you are at currently). A link to the TT leagues page would be good (or whatever website your league uses if it's not the TTE one).

As for taking equipment advice from UK coaches..... Hmmmmmm, I've met very few local level coaches who are knowledgeable about equipment. They typically advise the same stuff that they've been advising for years, and don't know a huge amount about it in general.

A lot of other potential talking points, but I've already asked enough!

Hey NDH!

I wonder whether you have misinterpreted the fact I played high level tennis and not table tennis, but assuming that isn't the case..

I started playing tennis at around 7 years old, playing right through including a school scholarship, weekly matchplays (old system 3.1), until I had a pretty major back injury and stopped dead by 24. That was 10 years ago now. Oh absolutely, coaching wise I had squad play 3-4 times per week, 1:1 weekly, pretty intense.

 

NDH

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NDH

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Hey NDH!

I wonder whether you have misinterpreted the fact I played high level tennis and not table tennis, but assuming that isn't the case..

I started playing tennis at around 7 years old, playing right through including a school scholarship, weekly matchplays (old system 3.1), until I had a pretty major back injury and stopped dead by 24. That was 10 years ago now. Oh absolutely, coaching wise I had squad play 3-4 times per week, 1:1 weekly, pretty intense.

I’m just going to retreat back into this cave and not appear again for a while 😂

Yes, definitely thought you played table tennis previously!

Ok, so let’s just ignore the vast majority of what I said previously.

It’s a big generalisation, but an all wood blade with controlled rubbers are going to be the best for someone in your position.

There really are a lot of options, and reading the various reviews and opinions only makes it harder to work out what’s going on!


What I would say, is that if you are playing often, and having coaching, you’ll quickly improve and move on to better equipment.

So unless money isn’t a concern at all (in the UK at the moment, that would be a nice novelty! 😂), perhaps go for something on the more cost effective end of the scale.

Are you playing in a league at all?

 
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I’m just going to retreat back into this cave and not appear again for a while 😂

Yes, definitely thought you played table tennis previously!

Ok, so let’s just ignore the vast majority of what I said previously.

It’s a big generalisation, but an all wood blade with controlled rubbers are going to be the best for someone in your position.

There really are a lot of options, and reading the various reviews and opinions only makes it harder to work out what’s going on!


What I would say, is that if you are playing often, and having coaching, you’ll quickly improve and move on to better equipment.

So unless money isn’t a concern at all (in the UK at the moment, that would be a nice novelty! 😂), perhaps go for something on the more cost effective end of the scale.

Are you playing in a league at all?

Haha, I did wonder! No worries at all.

Honestly speaking, money isn't a major concern and relative to my other main interest (clay pigeon shooting) table tennis isn't expensive at all!

I have the Timo Boll ALC with T05s already, so I almost expect I'll progress 'back' to that in the future, and for the time being the Yasaka Sweden Extra with Pro/Europe in 2.0 will hopefully allow me to develop more control and better fundamental mechanics in my strokes.

I'm not in a league yet, but that's the aim. I've just joined a club who run 4 teams and they want to get me involved.

 

NDH

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NDH

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Haha, I did wonder! No worries at all.

Honestly speaking, money isn't a major concern and relative to my other main interest (clay pigeon shooting) table tennis isn't expensive at all!

I have the Timo Boll ALC with T05s already, so I almost expect I'll progress 'back' to that in the future, and for the time being the Yasaka Sweden Extra with Pro/Europe in 2.0 will hopefully allow me to develop more control and better fundamental mechanics in my strokes.

I'm not in a league yet, but that's the aim. I've just joined a club who run 4 teams and they want to get me involved.

Sounds good!

I definitely think it's the right decision moving away from T05 and the TB ALC.

Under usual circumstances, I'd say it would be 3-5 years before you would be looking to use that!

The biggest mistake I find people make is that the rubbers/blade they use when starting out do too much of the work for them.

Without seeing you play, there is a big risk of the Europe 2.0 being too fast still (lots of viewpoints on this, and mine is only one, so take that into consideration).

If you are getting coaching, it's less of an issue.

But I see a lot of beginners with faster equipment that will never truly learn the arm speed required to play big shots at a high level because if they have a fast arm speed as a beginner (with fast rubbers), the ball is very uncontrollable.

So they end up adjusting, and ultimately playing a "blocky" type game, with no real attacking prowess.

That's why cheap, tacky Chinese rubbers are very good at the start, because the rubber doesn't do the work for you.

You have to play with a fast arm, and your spin and speed potential grow as a result of it.

If I'm being honest though, all of this advice is generic, and without seeing how you play currently, it might be irrelevant (like so much of what I've said so far 😂).

If there's a chance you can post video, you'll get some much better advice.

If you already have decent strokes and technique (for a beginner), the route you've gone down will be fine.

Either way, playing in a club, league and coaching..... You'll have no real issues if you keep doing it!



 
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