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

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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.

He played tennis, NOT table tennis ;)



Sorry, i must have replied to a cached version of the thread that did not clear this up yet
 
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The Xiom Vega Europe is rated @ 40° hardness only, it's a soft rubber so, if really your coach is afraid about your ability to control it yeah maybe getting the 1.8mm version will be safe. To me there's no reason to be scared with a YSE blade + 2.0mm Vega Euro on both sides, the Vega Euro has been released more than a decade ago in the cell ball era, so it will feel even more soft with the P ball now. It's now an old gen rubber.
 
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Listen to the sound of ML and FZDs loops here. Is that the sound of a thin hit? Or is this what you mean by a thin hit?

I didn’t watch the video but I can tell you this much. Most hits that today is called loops I consider to be topspin drives. A true and pure loop should be hit thin. This is something you can feel when you hit the boll. But yes maybe there is something you can call loop drive too. All topspin hits are not loops. This all unimportant mumbo jumbo really. The important thing is yes you don’t need a thick rubber to get spin. With a thinner one you just get a little less but your pushing game becomes much easier.

Cheers
L-zr

 
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The Xiom Vega Europe is rated @ 40° hardness only, it's a soft rubber so, if really your coach is afraid about your ability to control it yeah maybe getting the 1.8mm version will be safe. To me there's no reason to be scared with a YSE blade + 2.0mm Vega Euro on both sides, the Vega Euro has been released more than a decade ago in the cell ball era, so it will feel even more soft with the P ball now. It's now an old gen rubber.

That's interesting.

I've really decided to just adopt a test & learn mentality. There's simply too much equipment and too many choices out there. I'm starting off with the 2.0 on each side( both Pro and Europe) whilst I've also ordered Max in each rubber to enable a quick 'upgrade' later on should I feel either under powered or unable to generate enough spin on loops.

All of this of course will be based on how it feels and performs, with any adjustments made accordingly as learning experiments.

 

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!


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

I have known several county level tennis players. Of those who commited to playing table tennis, all of them were competing with the local league TT elite within 2-3 league seasons.
After all, Tennis on a Table (TT) was invented and shaped by tennis players.
 
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Well, I had planned to have uploaded some footage of me playing with the new setup this week having order it 20/11 from TT11, however after issues with both the company and DHL this hasn't been possible. Hopeful I'll actually receive the equipment this week before 02/12. Not ideal but it is what it is.

In the meantime I've dropped the TB ALC and this week I'm using my old Bribar winning loop with pretty thin Friendship 729 rubbers for more focus on control.
 
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It’s arrived!

It feels great in the hands. The grip (for me) is actually much more pleasant than the TB. Does feel slightly more head heavy than I expected - combination of the handle and rubber weight I assume. Rudimentary test at home tells me the Pro and Europe runners will be plenty spinny enough. Look forward to playing with it!

Footage to come tomorrow.
 
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I got some brief warm-up footage today, will upload tomorrow.

In terms of the setup:

Played with it today and the blade is very nice.

I did notice however that the Pro (in particular) and Europe rubbers still present much more of this spring or ‘catapult’ effect and obvious bounce than I was expecting. Almost similar to the T05 rubbers on the TB I am moving away from. I probably didn’t perceive the feeling or control I expected. When I use other players setups with a multitude of rubbers they all seem to instantly have greater ‘feeling’ upon contact with the ball whereas it feels comparatively numb on both the ALC and YSE (although to a lesser extent).

I am going to assume the viewpoint that this is just a case of perseverance and proper technique development for the time-being.
 
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you will of course need to train your arm and hand not go give too much power on a contact, so that you can play a proper short game and not blast every ball long. It should be easier with the YSE, but still with tensor rubbers these have a certain catapult effect and the softer the rubber's sponge, the earlier this catapult can kick in (even on slight touches).
 
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i played around for with 42° - 45° rubbers for the first few month and found the 47.5° sponge of the nittaku fastarc G-1 unplayable at that time (even though it has less catapult than any of the others i used), but now 5 month later i would say that 47.5 is pretty much the sweet spot for me and i do like many rubbers in that range. for the backhand i even opted for a 50° hybrid, because without early catapult the short game is so much easier.
 
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Makes total sense.

I also noticed BH flick was much harder than with both the TB and even the cheap Bribar with 1.5 Friendship rubbers on.

Does make me wonder if I have a preference (how aware of it I am consciously is another thing) for harder rubbers.

Hopefully the video you've got will answer most questions!

Very hard to offer advice without it :)

 
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I got some brief warm-up footage today, will upload tomorrow.

In terms of the setup:

Played with it today and the blade is very nice.

I did notice however that the Pro (in particular) and Europe rubbers still present much more of this spring or ‘catapult’ effect and obvious bounce than I was expecting. Almost similar to the T05 rubbers on the TB I am moving away from. I probably didn’t perceive the feeling or control I expected. When I use other players setups with a multitude of rubbers they all seem to instantly have greater ‘feeling’ upon contact with the ball whereas it feels comparatively numb on both the ALC and YSE (although to a lesser extent).

I am going to assume the viewpoint that this is just a case of perseverance and proper technique development for the time-being.

I'm in the same boat as you in terms of training time (been getting coaching 3x a week for a few months, just starting to play matches in a local league). I've been playing with a Nittaku Acoustic and some Fastarc rubber (C-1 FH and S-1 BH). I've used this setup up until a couple weeks ago

Then I tried my friend's All+ blade. I instantly felt a boost in control compared to the speedier Acoustic and springy and bouncy Fastarc rubber. I was more consistent with this blade one minute into using it compared to my setup I trained with for months. After that I borrowed my nephew's Donic Appelgren with cheap chinese rubber (Yinhe Mercury 2) and played some league games and I played way better with it.

I've seen people say that beginners will get used to the catapult effect, but it still feels uncontrollable and unpredictable to me compared to the slower and hard Chinese rubber. With the bouncy tensor Fastarc rubber, I always had to constantly hold back or else the balls would go flying off the table or into the net. With the cheap Chinese rubber I could make full swings and felt like I had full control (and more confidence). So if you're like me, you might spend the next 3 months training with the tensor rubber and still dislike the lack of control.

I also ordered a YSE after that and plan on putting the Mercury 2 on the FH and Vega Intro on the BH. I bought a sheet of Vega Pro (was on Black Friday sale for $21) and only intend on using it once I'm very comfortable with the Vega Intro. If you want a cheap experiment, try out a harder Chinese rubber and see how you like it (Mercury 2 cost me $6 a sheet). Or even cheaper, be that guy and ask people with slower bladers and rubbers to try hitting with it.

 
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I'm in the same boat as you in terms of training time (been getting coaching 3x a week for a few months, just starting to play matches in a local league). I've been playing with a Nittaku Acoustic and some Fastarc rubber (C-1 FH and S-1 BH). I've used this setup up until a couple weeks ago

Then I tried my friend's All+ blade. I instantly felt a boost in control compared to the speedier Acoustic and springy and bouncy Fastarc rubber. I was more consistent with this blade one minute into using it compared to my setup I trained with for months. After that I borrowed my nephew's Donic Appelgren with cheap chinese rubber (Yinhe Mercury 2) and played some league games and I played way better with it.

I've seen people say that beginners will get used to the catapult effect, but it still feels uncontrollable and unpredictable to me compared to the slower and hard Chinese rubber. With the bouncy tensor Fastarc rubber, I always had to constantly hold back or else the balls would go flying off the table or into the net. With the cheap Chinese rubber I could make full swings and felt like I had full control (and more confidence). So if you're like me, you might spend the next 3 months training with the tensor rubber and still dislike the lack of control.

I also ordered a YSE after that and plan on putting the Mercury 2 on the FH and Vega Intro on the BH. I bought a sheet of Vega Pro (was on Black Friday sale for $21) and only intend on using it once I'm very comfortable with the Vega Intro. If you want a cheap experiment, try out a harder Chinese rubber and see how you like it (Mercury 2 cost me $6 a sheet). Or even cheaper, be that guy and ask people with slower bladers and rubbers to try hitting with it.

I can relate to everything you're saying here, 100%.

Do you play with the same sponge thickness across the different rubber types? I'm reluctant to drop under 2.0 but still want the harder feeling.

 
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I can relate to everything you're saying here, 100%.

Do you play with the same sponge thickness across the different rubber types? I'm reluctant to drop under 2.0 but still want the harder feeling.

I haven't yet. The Fastarc rubbers are 2.0. The Mercury 2 I played with were MAX (2.2 I think). My YSE and rubbers are coming in a few days, so I'll probably get a chance to play with it in about a week. I'll let you know how it plays compared to my Acoustic with Fastarc (which should be slightly faster but similar amount of bounciness as your setup).

Regarding hardness, I've learned not to trust any manufacturer ratings for the rubber. Fastarc markets their rubber as 45 degrees ESN (Shore O) but a Japanese channel that tested the rubber with a durometer found the C-1 to be 42 degrees and S-1 to be around 38 degrees.

They tested the Vega Pro and Vega Europe and the hardness was 31 and 28.5 Shore A (which is around 43 and 39 degrees Shore O/ESN). So the hardness of your rubbers is almost the same as my Fastarc, if you believe these tests. I can't post links since I'm a new member here but search for "ANATOMIC EDGE" in Youtube and then search their channel for Vega rubber tests. It's all in Japanese but you don't have to understand Japanese.

If you like harder feeling like me, then the Vega Euro is not ideal since it's very soft. I played with a Mercury 2 medium which is 36-38 degrees Shore A (49-51 degrees ESN) on both sides and it didn't feel too hard at all. If you want to find the right hardness for you, try out the Mercury 2 in both medium and soft. Soft is 33-35 Shore A (45-48 ESN).

Disclaimer: I'm a beginner and maybe you shouldn't listen to me at all. There are people with probably 100x the experience and knowledge than me commeting right now. I'm responding now because it looks like you're in almost exactly the situation I'm in so I possibly could be some help. Another thing to take into account is that I've trained muay thai (kickboxing) for did powerlifting for over a decade. So I might generate more power from that experience than your average player (and therefore I don't need to rely on equipment for it). I find martial arts and table tennis to have a lot of overlap in principles when it comes to footwork, balance, and force generation, but that's a completely different topic.

Edit: One more thing. If you're interested in the Mercury 2, search for the review by "Racket Insight." It's comprehensive with videos. Can't really go wrong giving it a try for $6 a sheet.

 
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I did notice however that the Pro (in particular) and Europe rubbers still present much more of this spring or ‘catapult’ effect and obvious bounce than I was expecting. Almost similar to the T05 rubbers on the TB I am moving away from. I probably didn’t perceive the feeling or control I expected. When I use other players setups with a multitude of rubbers they all seem to instantly have greater ‘feeling’ upon contact with the ball whereas it feels comparatively numb on both the ALC and YSE (although to a lesser extent).
...

Wait a bit until you get used to the blade and rubbers. Also both rubbers and blades need some time until they are broken in. Blades will get softer, more flexible over time (at least my all-wood blades did that). Rubbers become softer, springier during the first couple of hours. For me harder rubbers (sponge hardness >= Vega Pro) will feel better/less brick-like after that.
"Numb feeling": I usually get this when playing rubbers that are between to soft for me (<= 42° ESN like Rakza 7 Soft or Vega Europe) and just right (>= 47° ESN like the Vega Pro, H3 37 or H8-80 37).

 
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