Downgrade blade back to all-wood?

says toooooo much choice!!
says toooooo much choice!!
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One way of looking at speed, is how far the ball travels for a similarly struck stroke.
Nittaku Acoustic, comes in 3 types- All wood, inner & outer carbon layers, and when each is used (with the same rubbers) you would be able to get a good idea of how the different basic compositions of the blades relate to the distance the ball travels for a stroke played with the same amount of power / force.
For me this translated to an increase in distance the ball travelled of around 300 to 450mm for the inner carbon compared to the all wood. I've been meaning to get the outer carbon version as well to see if the 300 - 450mm increase in distance is repeated for the outer version!! BUT I don't particularly enjoy the way the acoustic feels with the rubbers I have used on it!! Mind you it's a very good blade with a good reputation.

After reading your experience playing with the Primorac, Maybe you should stick with the Fire Fall FC!!
Usually developing players get a (slower) blade with slower rubbers, then 'upgrade' rubbers as they progress to faster and then faster again rubbers, then upgrade the blade to a faster one.
Many people feel that the change of blade is a bigger change than that of rubbers, and this is probably what you experienced!!
Perhaps get some hybrid rubbers and a spare Fire Fall FC and give the hybrids a go. There are some out there with softer sponges. After testing you can decide whether you want to stay with your current rubber or change.
A back up bat the same as your 'match' bat is always a good idea.
Victas blurb says the Fire Fall FC is 'the best feeling blade' in the range. so......
 
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Luckily, I was table two test a Butterfly Primorac blade this week for two times and around six hours in the training hall.
I could use it with my playing rubbers, Yasaka Rakza 7 2.0 on forehand and Rakza 7 soft 1.8 (42,5 deg.) on backhand.

The basic idea was to get more control in the game, lesser unforced errors.
However, I have to say that the opposite happened in the six hours that I was able to play with it.
It made passive (and active) play even more difficult for me, especially passive or direct blocking doesn't work for me at all.
Normal backspin pushing and receiving different spin varieties on serves were very bad, indirect and totally uncontrolled.

Overall, I have no feeling for the ball at all, although it is always said that you get more feeling with a solid 5ply blade like this. For me it is rather very disturbing that the wood vibrates so much in comparison and is, in my opinion, much more lively. No linearity.
It may be that the pace is slower, but it actually feels much more uncontrolled to me. Rarely have I had so many balls go high or far behind the table, even though I put little to no pressure on the balls myself.

After the first three hour sessions I thought it would be only a bad day, or uncommon situation. But in the second session it became even worse. I really had a feeling of control when receiving services or in any passive play situation.

Since some of you had already pointed out that the idea might even be the completely wrong approach, and that the opposite might even be the case, I'm surprised to have found this out.
Are there any experiences here similar to mine?

I would really love to hear your thoughts on that.
Thanks again to @UpSideDownCarl and @NextLevel for giving me signs to this direction.
I think a lot of the members that have commented already provided fantastic feedback. But I have a similar experience so I figured I might share my thoughts.

I started to train more seriously about 7 months ago and jumped from about 1200 TTR to about 1500 TTR (best win being vs 1650 rated player). During this whole time I used a Timo Boll Zlf, which is quite fast but not the fastest ever.

On different forums I read many times how beneficial it is to go back to a slow 5 ply limba blade. But when I did, I hated it, way too much catapult, the ball always popped up in short game, I overshot my loops, and the vibrations confused me.

By no means are the controlled 5ply blades bad , but at that point I already got used to my blade to a degree that swapping to anything else would have slowed down progress. I solved this by putting less bouncy and harder rubbers on both sides.

Last year during the summer I played with Rasanter R42 and the likes, now I use H3 Neo and Omega 7 Asia and my short game, placement and technique improved in coordination with drills and more drills.

So if you are already at 1600 TTR, I would say you can stick with your blade no problem. Hope that helps
 
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I think a lot of the members that have commented already provided fantastic feedback. But I have a similar experience so I figured I might share my thoughts.

I started to train more seriously about 7 months ago and jumped from about 1200 TTR to about 1500 TTR (best win being vs 1650 rated player). During this whole time I used a Timo Boll Zlf, which is quite fast but not the fastest ever.

On different forums I read many times how beneficial it is to go back to a slow 5 ply limba blade. But when I did, I hated it, way too much catapult, the ball always popped up in short game, I overshot my loops, and the vibrations confused me.

By no means are the controlled 5ply blades bad , but at that point I already got used to my blade to a degree that swapping to anything else would have slowed down progress. I solved this by putting less bouncy and harder rubbers on both sides.

Last year during the summer I played with Rasanter R42 and the likes, now I use H3 Neo and Omega 7 Asia and my short game, placement and technique improved in coordination with drills and more drills.

So if you are already at 1600 TTR, I would say you can stick with your blade no problem. Hope that helps

I had exactly the same problem in short game when playing with R53.

BUT, now I have H3 41 on my FH, short game is a breeze, it’s so low and spinny.

Because the 41 blue sponge is so powerful (more powerful than R53) I can power loop from mid distance.

My 5-ply is only 5.5mm
 
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says Spin and more spin.
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....since landing the ball into the short forehand breaks everyone's patterns: the ball drops before the opponent....

Something to note with the ability to get the ball to land closer to the net is that it also means you can safely go for bigger angles on your shots. The closer your shots land towards the end line, the less you can angle them to the side. The closer they land to the net, the bigger the angle you can go for safely.
 
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@UpSideDownCarl
you are absolutely right.
do you see it in a similar way as @NextLevel argues?

Yep. NextLevel said everything I thought needed to be said. But since you want clarification:

When a slower blade makes sense is when a person does not have the skill, technique and control of contact (contact angle, depth, how to grab the ball, how to spin the ball) to do all the shots well and consistently. Of those shots, perhaps the most important are looping, counterlooping (looping vs a heavy loop), looping vs backspin, and pushing.

If your technique is solid enough on those techniques, with the 40+ Poly Ball, then there is no reason, these days, to use a blade that would have been better for a 38mm celluloid ball or decently good with the 40mm celluloid ball. :)

Some of why the consistency may have been harder for you with the slower 5 ply all wood blades is the added flex in the blade which is good for some things and not so good for other things. And the flex may also be why you did not like the vibrations from the feel of the blade. It is kind of hard to separate the vibrations from the flex (less flex most often also means less vibration).

In any case, with a 40+ Poly ball, things are different than they were before the Poly Ball Era. And a lot of what you need to do in aggressive offensive shots in a match is spin the hell out of the ball while also driving into the ball....so deep contact while still being spin contact. This is because of the size and weight of the 40+ Poly balls.....but also because the material the balls are made of is so much harder for the rubbers to grip and grab onto.

The new rubber formulas do grab the Poly ball pretty well. But not the same way rubbers were able to grab the old celluloid balls. So with the Poly ball, you generally need deeper tangential contact so the ball doesn't drop off the rubber. When you have the technique to do that, it does not go so well with thin flexy blades. So, when you have the technique to do that, there is no reason to use a thin, slower, flexy blade.

Why does it help someone who can't loop improve their technique to use a blade that will not be so good once you learn that technique?
1) With blades like the Viscaria (ALC, ZLC, any of the really useful composite blades that work so well for the Poly Ball), if your contact sux and make a shot that is a bad shot, it will still feel good and you will still end up with a reasonably good shot. Nowhere near as good as if your contact and technique were good. But a lower level player won't realize why the shot is not a good one.
2) With one of those flexy blades, if the contact isn't really good, it won't feel good. In fact, it will kind of feel lousy. When the contact and technique on the shot is good, then it will feel like "oh man, that felt effing great, I want to do that and feel that again." It won't happen over night. But that is how the person's contact and technique, over time, will improve. His subconscious mind and his motor responses will work together to figure out how to get that to happen with every contact. Then the player's contact will be way better. It can happen with a Viscaria anyway. But it may take longer and there will be less encouragement for that to happen.

So, the slower, all wood blades are better because when your contact is flawed, it feels awful and your shots are clearly not good so you change things faster. Where, with a Viscaria, you could be hitting sub-optimal shots and not realizing it, thinking the shots are good, but they don't have enough spin or pace to give a decent player any problems; but with a flexy 5 ply wood blade, if the shot isn't good, there is no way of avoiding knowing that you mishit the ball.

For someone at your level, it might be an interesting experiment to see what happens if you played with one of those flexy blades for 2-3 months and then went back to the composite blade you are using now. But it would only be as an experiment. Would your technique improve or not? If your loops are already fairly solid and you get a lot of spin, it might not make much difference. But, you might end up with even more power. It is hard to say. But the 5 ply blade is not a long term thing for someone at your level regardless of the results of a test like that. :)
 
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Yep. NextLevel said everything I thought needed to be said. But since you want clarification:

When a slower blade makes sense is when a person does not have the skill, technique and control of contact (contact angle, depth, how to grab the ball, how to spin the ball) to do all the shots well and consistently. Of those shots, perhaps the most important are looping, counterlooping (looping vs a heavy loop), looping vs backspin, and pushing.

If your technique is solid enough on those techniques, with the 40+ Poly Ball, then there is no reason, these days, to use a blade that would have been better for a 38mm celluloid ball or decently good with the 40mm celluloid ball. :)

Some of why the consistency may have been harder for you with the slower 5 ply all wood blades is the added flex in the blade which is good for some things and not so good for other things. And the flex may also be why you did not like the vibrations from the feel of the blade. It is kind of hard to separate the vibrations from the flex (less flex most often also means less vibration).

In any case, with a 40+ Poly ball, things are different than they were before the Poly Ball Era. And a lot of what you need to do in aggressive offensive shots in a match is spin the hell out of the ball while also driving into the ball....so deep contact while still being spin contact. This is because of the size and weight of the 40+ Poly balls.....but also because the material the balls are made of is so much harder for the rubbers to grip and grab onto.

The new rubber formulas do grab the Poly ball pretty well. But not the same way rubbers were able to grab the old celluloid balls. So with the Poly ball, you generally need deeper tangential contact so the ball doesn't drop off the rubber. When you have the technique to do that, it does not go so well with thin flexy blades. So, when you have the technique to do that, there is no reason to use a thin, slower, flexy blade.

Why does it help someone who can't loop improve their technique to use a blade that will not be so good once you learn that technique?
1) With blades like the Viscaria (ALC, ZLC, any of the really useful composite blades that work so well for the Poly Ball), if your contact sux and make a shot that is a bad shot, it will still feel good and you will still end up with a reasonably good shot. Nowhere near as good as if your contact and technique were good. But a lower level player won't realize why the shot is not a good one.
2) With one of those flexy blades, if the contact isn't really good, it won't feel good. In fact, it will kind of feel lousy. When the contact and technique on the shot is good, then it will feel like "oh man, that felt effing great, I want to do that and feel that again." It won't happen over night. But that is how the person's contact and technique, over time, will improve. His subconscious mind and his motor responses will work together to figure out how to get that to happen with every contact. Then the player's contact will be way better. It can happen with a Viscaria anyway. But it may take longer and there will be less encouragement for that to happen.

So, the slower, all wood blades are better because when your contact is flawed, it feels awful and your shots are clearly not good so you change things faster. Where, with a Viscaria, you could be hitting sub-optimal shots and not realizing it, thinking the shots are good, but they don't have enough spin or pace to give a decent player any problems; but with a flexy 5 ply wood blade, if the shot isn't good, there is no way of avoiding knowing that you mishit the ball.

For someone at your level, it might be an interesting experiment to see what happens if you played with one of those flexy blades for 2-3 months and then went back to the composite blade you are using now. But it would only be as an experiment. Would your technique improve or not? If your loops are already fairly solid and you get a lot of spin, it might not make much difference. But, you might end up with even more power. It is hard to say. But the 5 ply blade is not a long term thing for someone at your level regardless of the results of a test like that. :)
@UpSideDownCarl
thank you very much for your wonderful post and charing your ideas.
I really learned and understood a lot and had some time to think about my situation.

in the last weeks I had my last season matches and after that I had time to try out some different blades and rubbers.
as mentioned earlier, again there was no 5ply blade that felt good when playing my basic strokes. When it came to matchplay it got even worse.

but then one day, two weeks ago, I had the chance to try out different rubbers on my Victas Fire Fall FC blade. Xiom Vega Pro on the forehand side, Xiom Vega Intro (47.5) on the backhand side.
and this really was mind blowing.
until this day I thought it would be better for me to play softer rubbers on my weaker backhand side.
but all my strokes, especially service receive, pushing, blocking and driving immediately were a lot better with the Xiom Vega Intro.
The rubber is a lot harder, has a much lower throw, and the basic speed is similar to the soft ones I used before.
But it behaves much more linear and has nearly no catapult or speed glue effect.
so I directly git the feeling to have full control over all my strokes, passively and actively.
With the Vega Pro on forehand i had an similar experience.

now, the big summer break, without season games, is going to start.
i want to use those months to practice and improve - my goal is German 1700TTR (1630 at the moment), i think US around 2100.

what do you think?
is this the way to go?
will these rubbers, with less or no catapult / speed glue effect help me to reduce my problems I mentioned?

would love to hear your thoughts.

a nice day to all of you
 
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I think you are talking about equipment, not about learning technique. Slower rubber gives you better control, but you need to learn or adjust again for fast rubbers. I feel it’s better to learn technique with your current setup
 
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@UpSideDownCarl
thank you very much for your wonderful post and charing your ideas.
I really learned and understood a lot and had some time to think about my situation.

in the last weeks I had my last season matches and after that I had time to try out some different blades and rubbers.
as mentioned earlier, again there was no 5ply blade that felt good when playing my basic strokes. When it came to matchplay it got even worse.

but then one day, two weeks ago, I had the chance to try out different rubbers on my Victas Fire Fall FC blade. Xiom Vega Pro on the forehand side, Xiom Vega Intro (47.5) on the backhand side.
and this really was mind blowing.
until this day I thought it would be better for me to play softer rubbers on my weaker backhand side.
but all my strokes, especially service receive, pushing, blocking and driving immediately were a lot better with the Xiom Vega Intro.
The rubber is a lot harder, has a much lower throw, and the basic speed is similar to the soft ones I used before.
But it behaves much more linear and has nearly no catapult or speed glue effect.
so I directly git the feeling to have full control over all my strokes, passively and actively.
With the Vega Pro on forehand i had an similar experience.

now, the big summer break, without season games, is going to start.
i want to use those months to practice and improve - my goal is German 1700TTR (1630 at the moment), i think US around 2100.

what do you think?
is this the way to go?
will these rubbers, with less or no catapult / speed glue effect help me to reduce my problems I mentioned?

would love to hear your thoughts.

a nice day to all of you
Someone mentioned it on the other thread already - you might be a candidate for tacky/hybrid rubbers. There is nothing wrong with using equipment that you feel enables you to play more shots even if it is not what most people would recommend for you because they are thinking traditionally. I mean, I am playing with Hurricane 3 Provincial on both sides of a Cybershape Carbon. It would be too slow for most pros, but I like it because the Cybershape is a powerful blade and the Hurricane is very slow when you don't do much, but much more powerful when you play with effort (the ball doesn't have significant arc unless I give it significant arc and it still feels extremely safe when I loop drive and I can open over the table).

So if you feel Vega Intro is improving your backhand play, go for it. Some people use pips on the backhand and you can't say that oh, they are making their backhand worse. Playing with what gives you confidence and what you enjoy playing with is more important than playing with someone thinks makes the most sense for your game, especially when you can demonstrate you easily play better with what you play with.
 
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Hi together,
one small update after one more week of testing the rubbers on my current blade Victas Fall FC.
It confirmed that I feel a lot better with harder rubbers on both sides. Especially with ones that have linear behavior instead of ones with big catapult effect.
So on my forehand I will go with Xiom Vega Pro in 2.0. The FH is my stronger side and my game is based on strong top spins especially opening balls on backspin.

For the backhand I have tried out some rubbers and the ones I feel most comfortable with are Xiom Vega Intro 1.8 or Xiom Musa in 2.0.
I learned that Vega Intro (47.5) is a entry level tensor rubber with only small catapult oder tensor effect.
Xiom Musa (46 degrees?) should have a classic sponge without tensor effect but with a more modern rubber than old classic rubbers like Mark V, Sriver and so on? Is this correct?

To be honest, I cannot decide which one to choose for my backhand. Both of them feel very controlled, the Intro is bit harder and faster, the Musa feels slower and a bit easier to spin with.
 
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In some point of my tt journey I have decided that maybe I need to slow my game down, making it more stable etc. I played with innerforce type zlc/alc, outer alc too (FZD and LGY). This experiment ends up that I didn’t like my allwood rackets much.

Well, only wooden blade that I liked was BTY Revoldia. And I enjoy to using it time to time. Acoustic, and Primorac japan I didn’t like at all. So it’s all matter of preference and technique. I don’t think it’s hard to control innerforce type blade for anyone who constantly training, exp if the person is well trained and has proper stroke
 
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NL are you using unboosted provincial H3 bc that blade is crazy fast?

A week ago I changed to a 5-wood for NL's reason #1. I have medium pips bh, and with acoustic carbon my blocks were not effective. It was a great setup for short pips to smack the ball, but not made for defense. I pretty randomly bought a korbel and put D05 on the fh in place of rozena. The idea is to slow the pips, and trade some fh power for more spin (incl reversal) on both sides.

We had a club tournament Saturday, and SHOCKING result, my playing level is the same, loss in semis. It changed my style a bit, and the individual matchups are a bit different. I felt it was promising for one week of play with th korbel d05 after six years with acoustic carbon. The slower setup allows for some sick angles, which I enjoy a lot. It also reduces the temptation (bc it can't do it) to try to power right through people.

NL and Carl made the key points . But I feel like in older posts on this topic they hit it more directly.

Carl used to say whenever you make a major equipment change you gain something and sacrifice something else. There is no one setup that is best at everything. Searching for that is the pathless path of the EJ.

NL used to say no matter what setup you choose, you will always play like you after a short time. Your feeling, timing, anticipation, footwork, mental strength, perception, movement and general coordination add up to how you play. The stick you use to hit the ball gets way more attention than what it really contributes to the process.
 
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So I’ve done very similar to some on here in that this week for both training sessions I’ve used my (very old) Primorac Japan with T05 and T19 on. And it was so nice to play with. Didn’t feel that slow but the control was brilliant. Dispite the tenergys being pretty old spin was great. And lifting backspin a breeze, and the short game was pretty good (not as horrendous as I thought it would be). But is it the blade I’m liking or going back to softer rubbers? I do think I like softer rubbers.

There is as @UpSideDownCarl said something so satisfying hitting a really spinny shot with that combo that makes you want to play more. And the instant horrible feeling of when it isn’t a good contact. Maybe is more that ‘feeling’ I like?
 
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I have been using Loki V5 for a week now. It's a 5 ply blade and the rating for the blade from Loki is All. Honestly, everything is better now ever since I went back to all wood 5 ply blade. The amount of control and easiness of spin is just marvelous. Previously I used Sanwei Parla which is also a "downgrade" from Viscaria. It's all worth it.

In case anyone wondering, I have been using various blades for my whole TT life.
- Loki V5 (Current setup)
- Parla
- Viscaria
- Zetro Quad
- Yinhe Y13
- Sanwei Paramid
- Sword Golden Feather
- Xiom Vega Pro
- PG7

I just say tho, moving back to all wood and slower blade has done wonder for me. I think most amateurs would be more than enough to use all wood 5 ply blade. Generally it's more forgiving than most carbon blades and still have enough power to finish the point. If the likes of pros are using 7 ply carbon blades, what makes you think you need something like that? 5 ply blade is enough for us mortals.
 
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I wish we'd stop talking about the change to all wood blades as a "downgrade."

When someone changes from an 'inner' carbon to an 'outer' carbon, or vice versa, we just talk about the "change" they've made—not the "downgrade."

If we really believe what we all say, i.e. that finding the equipment that works best for you is the goal, then discovering that an all wood blade is best for you shouldn't be spoken of as a "downgrade." At worst, it's just a change and, at best, it's a successful change.
 
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I wish we'd stop talking about the change to all wood blades as a "downgrade."

When someone changes from an 'inner' carbon to an 'outer' carbon, or vice verse, we just talk about the "change" they've made—not the "downgrade."

If we really believe what we all say, i.e. that finding the equipment that works best for you is the goal, then discovering that an all wood blade is best for you shouldn't be spoken of as a "downgrade." At worst, it's just a change and, at best, it's a successful change.
Downgrade as in in terms of composition. In the last decade or so everyone is moving on to carbon and rarely you see players using all wood blades. Performance wise, most carbon blades are better compared to all wood. I see no reason not to call it a "downgrade" regardless whether it works better for me.
 
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After a while I switched to moderate carbon blades, first the Innerforce ALC.S and now the Victas Fire Fall FC for the last four months.
I used very light carbon blades (under 82g) because I didn't want to have much more speed, see explanation later.
I made the switch because I had the feeling that I wanted to have a little more power, especially on my very good forehand side.
interesting, I've very reluctantly switched from 5-ply wood to carbon (because of the supposedly bigger sweet spot) and bought myself an ALC.S, haven't had a chance to test it yet. I chose it for its moderate speed (and, supposedly, woody feel) for the same reason you did: I don't like flat trajectory fast balls, the more arc, the better. What did you not like about this particular blade?
 
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Performance wise, most carbon blades are better compared to all wood.

Respectfully, I disagree with you on this.

Performance should be understood in relation to one's objectives.

For example, if my objective is to have a car that is a useful family car (i.e. can easily and safely transport three kids, bicycles, dogs, grocery shopping, IKEA furniture packs, etc.) then, for example, a Ford station-wagon/estate 'performs' that role much better than a Ferrari Formula 1 race car does.

Coming back to table tennis, if one's objective is to have the most fun possible blasting the feathers off the ball in training drills, then I agree that many carbon blades 'perform' better than most all wood blades.

However, if one's objective is to win games in competitive matches then, at the level of most amateur players, that is usually achieved not by over-powering one's opponent, but instead by making fewer unforced errors and by more consistently playing shots of reasonable attacking quality. With that objective in mind, some all wood blades 'perform' better than carbon blades.

I agree that at the pro level, and even at the elite-amateur level (which is very, very few of us), most players will perform better with carbon blades. But that is because, at that level, they do make fewer unforced errors, and they do need the extra power. So, once again, performance is understood in relation to the specific objectives of the situation.

As evidence of this I would point to a few Butterfly sponsored pros who use all wood blades, presumably because they (and/or their coaches?) believe that all wood blades enable them to perform better (relative to their style of play) than carbon blades do:

Kristian Karlsson (https://www.butterfly-global.com/en/sponsoring/detail/karlsson-kristian.html)
Panagiotis Gionis (https://www.butterfly-global.com/en/sponsoring/detail/gionis-panagiotis.html)
Ruwen Filus (https://www.butterfly-global.com/en/sponsoring/detail/filus-ruwen.html)

Furthermore, nobody could seriously claim that Karlsson and Filus aren't able to generate enough power with their all wood blades! ;)
 
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Hi together,
one small update after one more week of testing the rubbers on my current blade Victas Fall FC.
It confirmed that I feel a lot better with harder rubbers on both sides. Especially with ones that have linear behavior instead of ones with big catapult effect.
So on my forehand I will go with Xiom Vega Pro in 2.0. The FH is my stronger side and my game is based on strong top spins especially opening balls on backspin.

For the backhand I have tried out some rubbers and the ones I feel most comfortable with are Xiom Vega Intro 1.8 or Xiom Musa in 2.0.
I learned that Vega Intro (47.5) is a entry level tensor rubber with only small catapult oder tensor effect.
Xiom Musa (46 degrees?) should have a classic sponge without tensor effect but with a more modern rubber than old classic rubbers like Mark V, Sriver and so on? Is this correct?

To be honest, I cannot decide which one to choose for my backhand. Both of them feel very controlled, the Intro is bit harder and faster, the Musa feels slower and a bit easier to spin with.
Hi,
I’m getting in a bit late. I clearly understand your experience. My way, avoiding bouncy rubbers ended with H3 Prov. as my FH rubber. After slowing down my blade (DHS 301X > TSP Balsa (1. Ed) > Tibhar Illusion Killer (7 ply all wood)) my new favorite is Tibhar Hybrid MK. Best feeling on my BH I ever had. Generally talking. It’s like you can read on the web very often. It just works with every stroke. Not spin sensitive but giving a lot of spin.
I would recommend a try. Maybe with the Illusion Killer too. As you are German, at “Kleinanzeigen” some blades appeared at 30€.
 
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interesting, I've very reluctantly switched from 5-ply wood to carbon (because of the supposedly bigger sweet spot) and bought myself an ALC.S, haven't had a chance to test it yet. I chose it for its moderate speed (and, supposedly, woody feel) for the same reason you did: I don't like flat trajectory fast balls, the more arc, the better. What did you not like about this particular blade?
I own one, my biggest dislikes is heavy weight and tiny handle. The feel is so so but acceptable…

I like my Donic Appelgren WC 89 better.

Cheers
L-zr
 
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Respectfully, I disagree with you on this.

Performance should be understood in relation to one's objectives.

For example, if my objective is to have a car that is a useful family car (i.e. can easily and safely transport three kids, bicycles, dogs, grocery shopping, IKEA furniture packs, etc.) then, for example, a Ford station-wagon/estate 'performs' that role much better than a Ferrari Formula 1 race car does.

Coming back to table tennis, if one's objective is to have the most fun possible blasting the feathers off the ball in training drills, then I agree that many carbon blades 'perform' better than most all wood blades.

However, if one's objective is to win games in competitive matches then, at the level of most amateur players, that is usually achieved not by over-powering one's opponent, but instead by making fewer unforced errors and by more consistently playing shots of reasonable attacking quality. With that objective in mind, some all wood blades 'perform' better than carbon blades.

I agree that at the pro level, and even at the elite-amateur level (which is very, very few of us), most players will perform better with carbon blades. But that is because, at that level, they do make fewer unforced errors, and they do need the extra power. So, once again, performance is understood in relation to the specific objectives of the situation.

As evidence of this I would point to a few Butterfly sponsored pros who use all wood blades, presumably because they (and/or their coaches?) believe that all wood blades enable them to perform better (relative to their style of play) than carbon blades do:

Kristian Karlsson (https://www.butterfly-global.com/en/sponsoring/detail/karlsson-kristian.html)
Panagiotis Gionis (https://www.butterfly-global.com/en/sponsoring/detail/gionis-panagiotis.html)
Ruwen Filus (https://www.butterfly-global.com/en/sponsoring/detail/filus-ruwen.html)

Furthermore, nobody could seriously claim that Karlsson and Filus aren't able to generate enough power with their all wood blades! ;)
Regardless of how we want to spin it, a Camry is miles behind a Lambo when it comes to performance. Yes, you don't really need a Lambo for your objectives but it's more powerful. That's the way I see it.

It's not really debatable when it comes to performance just how superior carbon blades is. I think there is a table about the equipment pros used ten years ago and today. Most top ten have changed their blades from all wood to carbon. Ma Long used to play with Acoustic and his career high is with carbon blade. Gauzy has also moved on to carbon blade. Even TTD Tom is now using carbon blade.
 
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