HELP!

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Hi all,

I played table tennis on and off in my early teens but never committed to it. I'm 18 and I started playing again early last year and have fallen in love. I currently play with a petr Korbel allwood off; I don't have any particular issues with the blade but as its the first blade I've played properly with I'm not confident I would be able to identify any issues with it. My concern with the blade is that its very old. It wasn't bought brand new and was instead traded with a friend of a friend of a friend and the blade is at least a decade old; I've read online that blades can deteriate over time and wonder if it would be sensible to replace/upgrade. I'm not sure if I should buy the Korbel again or upgrade to something else. I play with Tibhar Aurus on my FH and Joola Energy on BH, I cant remember the thickness on the rubbers as my dad purchased them for me ( I should also mention my dad and uncle are high rankled players for my area, my uncle has recommendations for what i should purchase but i was interested as to what people on here thought); they're both the same thickness and the thickness will be on the higher end as my dad reckons when talking to coaches over the years lots of them reckon a controlled blade is enough to learn technique and thicker rubbers are fine to learn with especially if you're trying to reach the higher end of the game. In regards to my game I'd say I'm an advanced beginner. I belong to two clubs, both with very high ranking players, where I train twice a week and play league games a minimum of once a week sometimes two. My backhand seems to be my more natural and consistent stroke and this is where I have the most success when tryin to loop. My forehand is not as good; In training its okay and relatively consistent but when I get into a game i seem to lose that ability. I stop playing how I perform in training and become a lot more passive. I like playing an offensive, fast paced and open game. I play around a medium distance from the table. My inability to loop consistently leaves me lacking in confidence when it comes to returning backspin and I end up getting into a pushing battle; which is an area of the game I don't enjoy and am not best suited to playing. I'd say its almost exclusively a technique issue as multiple coaches have said I hit the ball too in front of my body and instead need to try and hit more in line with my shoulder. Coming back to the main point of the post, does anyone have recommendations for what I should do with regards for equipment? Is it possible that the Korbel isn't the correct blade for me and perhaps I would get more confidence with a different blade? or maybe the Korbel is a perfectly fine blade for my level (as I have read a lot saying that its a fine blade for beginners) and I should just buy a new Korbel to replace my old one. As mentioned previously I know my forehand problem stems from my technique but is there any blades that would make learning the forehand technique more manageable?

Appreciate any help!
 
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As far as the condition of your blade…I would pinch the bare blade with two fingers along the horizontal axis of the sweet spot, hit the handle with your knuckle, and you should hear it ring. If it’s a clear pitch it usually means it’s resonating okay and there’s no issues. If it’s more like a thud there could be issues with delaminating, if it sounds sorta buzzy there could be a loose acrylic piece of the tag on the bottom or edge damage, something like that. Hope that helps, its a great blade.

Ps when I show people this sometimes they don’t get it first try so keep trying on known good blades until you can consistently get a good ring before you ditch the old.
 
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It’s a great blade. I own 3 Korbels. I started my TT journey with an allround blade, but pretty soon changed to a Korbel. I played with that blade for 2 years, 3 times a week with coaching before switching to a faster blade. If you hesitate and don’t feel confident in looping backspin, I don’t think you should change to any other blade.
If you don’t feel anything wrong with your blade, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing wrong with it. Don’t worry too much about what’s written in different forums. Some say that nothing plays and feels like old blades and other says that blades deteriorates. Some say that blades get better over time because of that “deterioration” make it softer. Perhaps new blades are stiffer and some people prefer that and others don’t. I believe the difference between a 10 year old Korbel and a new one is minimal.
 
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If you like the feeling of the Korbel than simply get a new one but keep the blade weight in a normal range (85g to 90g). There are Korbels with 100g and very light ones around 80g.
If you don't like the feeling of the Korbel or especially don't like the balance (Korbels get quite head heavy with today's rubbers), handle or wings than find either a shop where you can try out different blades and handles or ask some players in your club if you try their blades.
Maybe a different handle shape helps with looping. When I started playing TT again I tried different handle shapes: anatomic which I used before didn't work at all, straight handles only worked for backhand so I ended up using flared handles.

Btw: if your Korbel is that old someone might pay quite some money for it e.g. if it has the old black Butterfly tag (I'm not an Butterfly expert but know that some of these older blades are looked for).
 
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