Lessons I Learned in Shanghai about Boosting and Equipment in General

Hey Guys, this is my first post on this forum which I've been browsing for quite some time. First, I want to thank the TTD community because I've learned a lot from it.

Today, it's my turn to share my learnings with you!

I just got back from a week in Shanghai, where I spent time training and learning a lot from players, famous coaches, and shops about how they approach equipment, especially boosting, which is a hot topic on Western ping pong forums worldwide.

Here's the summary:
  1. Key Learnings about Equipment: Directly translated from the Chinese players and coaches regarding H3, boosters, and equipment in general.
  2. Tutorial on how to boost your H3 as I learned in China, at the store, and at the club.
  3. My personal observations and feedback.

1) Key Learnings about Equipment:

  1. There is no equivalent to H3. When I asked about the Xuperman rubbers available at the club, the response was: "It's good, but nothing beats H3N + Kailin."
  2. An H3 must be boosted. While it's playable without boosting (as I have always done), you're missing out on 50% of the rubber's potential.
  3. Kailin is the most used booster, at least in the Shanghai province.
  4. The difference between OS (orange sponge) and BS (blue sponge): OS activates earlier and reaches its limit quicker, which is why BS is more popular for forehand use.
  5. The H3 Neo is not really "factory boosted"; it's rather a layer of glue added before packaging (also read this on Baidu).
  6. The "pro" versions of H3 (Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Wang Chuqin, etc.) are a whole different world from the provincial versions, even the national ones. The hardness indices are apparently different, and the "pro" rubbers seem to be softer and grippier (translated from their words).
  7. Coming from a commercial H3 Neo 2.15 39, I was recommended to use the BS in 40 and 2.1 and then boost it with Kailin.

2) Boosting Tutorial:

I encountered two main methods for boosting DHS H3 (with Kailin), though the techniques are quite similar.

I distinguish between two parts: how to boost a new rubber and how to reboost a used rubber.

  1. What I learned during my visit at the store (Togce Sports Equipment):
For a new rubber:

  • Leave the original glue layer of the H3 NEO.
  • Apply a thin layer of Kailin.
  • Rest for 8 hours on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.
  • Apply a second thin layer of Kailin.
  • Rest for 8 hours on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.
  • Apply two layers of glue on the rubber (they used DHS 15).
  • Apply one layer of glue on the blade.
  • Remove the protective film on the rubber side at the end.
For a used rubber:

  • Gently remove the old glue layer.
  • Apply a new layer of glue.
  • Apply a single very thin layer of Kailin.
  • Wait 8 hours, placing it flat or on the booster bottle to regain the "dome" shape.
  • Apply two layers of glue.
  1. Technique from a good club player (who also coaches) for a new H3N:
  • Remove the protective films from both sides of the rubber.
  • Apply a thin layer of Kailin and place it on the booster bottle to form a dome quickly.
  • Wait 8 hours.
  • Apply two layers of glue on the rubber.
He uses the same technique for reboosting.

According to them, a boost lasts between 6 and 8 weeks for a training frequency of 4 to 6 hours per week.

I want to emphasize that what I'm sharing in this post is not an absolute truth. There are different schools of thought, especially regarding booster brand preferences, across various Chinese provinces. This is purely based on my personal experience and what I was told in Shanghai.

I also highly recommend the Tongce store in Shanghai if you happen to be there and the ping pong club located just across from it. The staff is lovely, very knowledgeable, and makes a lot of effort to understand, discuss, and exchange ideas with you, even if your Chinese is as poor as mine!

3) My Observations and Feedback:

  • The combo of Clipper CR (or other 7-ply blades), H3 on the forehand, and Desto F1 on the backhand is very popular in China.
  • A boosted H3N is slightly faster but, more importantly, grips the ball better, provides much more feedback and sensation, and is very comfortable.
  • The Chinese do not overthink their equipment at all.
  • Keep it simple ! Chose a blade you like by the look and by the feel, not to fast, glue it an H3N and an ESN/BTY BH rubber and stick with it !
  • Enjoy playing!
Thank you very much for reading. I hope you'll get value from my post and I’m available to answer any questions!
 

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A great post with some excellent insights.
Now I can refer to this thread if some fool starts yapping again when I state that H3 isn't playable unboosted :D

I wonder why Kailin is so popular? Why no seamoon?
 
A great post with some excellent insights.
Now I can refer to this thread if some fool starts yapping again when I state that H3 isn't playable unboosted :D

I wonder why Kailin is so popular? Why no seamoon?
Hey Zeen, H3 is actually playable without boosting (37 to 39 hardness ofc) but it's like driving a Porsche 911 running on three cylinders. It will run, but you'll miss out on half the performance and enjoyment it has to offer.

As for the popularity of Kailin in the Shanghai province, I don't know the exact reason. But when I mentioned Haifu, they frowned and told me Kailin was the best. I think this can be explained by the very small amount of booster needed, its durability, and the relatively quick drying time, which is around 8 hours.
 
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Keep it simple
Sounds good right after
  • Leave the original glue layer of the H3 NEO.
  • Apply a thin layer of Kailin.
  • Rest for 8 hours on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.
  • Apply a second thin layer of Kailin.
  • Rest for 8 hours on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.
  • Apply two layers of glue on the rubber (they used DHS 15).
  • Apply one layer of glue on the blade.
  • Remove the protective film on the rubber side at the end.
🤣
 
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I wonder why they are using such a soft and not really durable and grippy (at least in higher humidity environments) BH rubber.
Desto F1 is just 42.5° ESN which I bottom out way to early to play a bit further from the table. Easier to use over the table and close to the table (flicks, loops/drives with a short stroke).

Keep it simple ! Chose a blade you like by the look and by the feel, not to fast, glue it an H3N and an ESN/BTY BH rubber and stick with it !

That's about what Werner Schlager said in his Glayzer (09C) review: Keep the rubbers and change the blade as you progress. As long as the blade has the right characteristics for one's style of game. For me that's what TTGearLab describes as deep hold and also the reason why I don't like 7-ply blades like Stiga Clipper, Tibhar Force Pro BE or TSP Swat.
 
Is Rozena popular in China? What made you choose it over other spring sponge or esn offerings?
I can't speak for all of China, but at the club where I played and in terms of sales at the store I visited, the Rozena was quite popular. The Chinese appreciate Butterfly products a lot for carbon blades and backhand rubbers (the prices are much lower than in Europe, about 25% to 45% less).

As for my choice, I really like the Rozena in terms of feel—not too hard, not too "mushy". It has enough speed for me, makes flicking and lifting chopped balls easy, blocks too, has a nice sound, is quite durable, and isn't too expensive (for a BTY product 🤣). Rakza 7 is also a rubber I really like for my BH, a classic, slightly harder though.

Just my personal opinion and feeling, of course 🙏
 
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Is 40 deg #22 provincial in 2.1 the most widely used configuration? Do people care much about 2.1 vs 2.15 or provincial vs national grade?
 
Is 40 deg #22 provincial in 2.1 the most widely used configuration? Do people care much about 2.1 vs 2.15 or provincial vs national grade?
I have no idea if it is the most widely used config.
They advised me 2.1 because 2 layers (even thin) of booster + 3 layers of glue make the rubber heavier and thicker. Prov vs nat is a matter of budget and rubber quality consistency.
 
I’m with TensorBackhand on this one, there is a slight degradation long term but the boosting never goes away. This is logical because there are no voc’s involved to dissipate. The degradation is mechanical. If you don’t use the rubber there is very little degradation. The booster resolves the the sponge until it’s saturated so I would assume that the bubbles get bigger and that is what gives a higher speed and catapult.
Seammon does a great job with this on H3…


Cheers
L-zr
 
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I’m with TensorBackhand on this one, there is a slight degradation long term but the boosting never goes away. This is logical because there are no voc’s involved to dissipate. The degradation is mechanical. If you don’t use the rubber there is very little degradation. The booster resolves the the sponge until it’s saturated so I would assume that the bubbles get bigger and that is what gives a higher speed and catapult.
Seammon does a great job with this on H3…


Cheers
L-zr
Agree. When I boost, I can tell that the sponge is permanently expanded. Since I rotate between various blades, the boosting effect does not seem to wear off that fast.

Or maybe I just keep on playing so over time I get used to the booster's effect wearing off.

Regardless, I don't reboost unless I am in the process of moving a rubber from one blade to the next. Boosting helps re-expand the sponge so I can put it on a new blade easier.

Great original post by the way! really enjoyed the insight.

I will be honest. I don't have any follow up questions because the original post is very detailed and extensive. I figure if I have any more questions beyond what the OP answered, the answer of those questions probably lies in "everyone plays a bit different" and whatever information the OP grabbed from his time in Shanghai is very much one way of approaching the whole topic about equipment and boosting (meaning there are many answers and they are all correct!).

I like to boost both chinese and ESN rubbers when I transfer them from one blade to another. I also agree with Chinese rubber on the FH and an ESN/BTY rubber on the BH. I have been using that type of set up for 10+ years already.
 
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