Seeking Equipment Advice for Rapid Improvement in Table Tennis

This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Oct 2023
42
53
215
Read 1 reviews
Your set up is really fast for someone who's been playing for only 6 months but the absolute right person who can tell you is your coach so ask her/him.

Just a word to the wise, you will level up a bit since you're hitting harder and faster but then you plateau forever cause major areas of your game haven't developed properly yet.

That being said, a fast set up doesn't necessarily hurt your game but you have to work twice as hard in almost all areas of your game to develop your game.

You have to work twice as hard on your placement, on your touch, on your receive, on your serves (keeping them short), on your short game and on generating your own spin against backspin balls which will be quite hard since there's not much dwell time with a fast set up.
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Jan 2023
352
122
491
Hello everyone,

I'm a 25-year-old table tennis enthusiast who transitioned from a competitive volleyball background (age 4-19) to functional training, crossfit, and gym work. In May, I took up table tennis seriously for the first time, joining a club where I now train for about 4 hours a week in group sessions and have an additional hour of coaching focused on proper technique.

I started with a second-hand JOOLA Allround blade fitted with Donic Quattro (FH) and Tenergy 05FX (BH) rubbers. My aim is to improve rapidly while learning clean technique, as I aspire to compete at higher levels in the coming years. My coach is quite impressed with my learning curve; I've become consistent with forehand loops and topspins and am working on my backhand. Additionally, I've started playing in the lower regional league to gain match experience.

In October, feeling that my racket was too slow, I switched to a more advanced setup: an ALC Fan Zhendong blade with DHS Hurricane 3 (41 degrees) on my forehand and Dignics 09C (39 degrees) on my backhand. This change seemed to improve my game, as I started winning more. However, my short game suffered, and some experienced club members suggested that my new racket might be too fast and could hinder my learning.

I'm considering whether I should switch back to an all-wood all-round blade while keeping the same rubbers. What do you think? Would this be beneficial for my development, or should I stick with my current setup and adapt to it? I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations or experiences you could share, especially from those who have transitioned to faster equipment and how it impacted your learning curve.

Thanks for your insights!
You don't have experience to be using h3 at such a hardness, 39 degrees should be good enough. Stick with Provincial, don't go for national, you won't be able to tell the difference at such a level, you can only see the price diff. For bh, 09c is too hard for ur level. Switch to rozena or baracuda on ur bh.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Oct 2019
831
412
1,937
Read 3 reviews
H3 41deg is a quite hard rubber, and it's hard to develop technique as a beginner with this one. If you like it, go with a softer version like 39deg. It's more forgiving and easier to use. But if it works good, just keep it.

I haven't tried the Dignics 09C, but perhaps you could use a more linear rubber like Yinhe Big Dipper 38deg for BH. I use this myself, and always come back to this one. Really good control and spin, and a good attacking rubber as well when you have the BH technique.

I think it's just unnecessary for you to have this Fan Zhendong ALC blade, as a beginner, because the cost is that high. But if you like it and it gives you best control in both short game, services and your attacking game, it might be right for you. But there are tons of good ALC blades below $100 that you could have used for trying this type of blade.

The only thing that will make you improve rapidly is practice, practice and practice and that you do your absolutely best on every ball. And when your technique is really good, of course you'll have to change your setup to get it to fit your way to play.

If you have a racket that works good for you, but you feel that something is missing in control/spin/speed area. Don't do a big change. Just do minor changes so you don't have to rebuild your technique again.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Nov 2021
108
86
330
So you are an adult beginner with 6 months of practice. First things first you have to learn the basic stokes and more difficult strokes like backhand opening against backspin with consistency etc. I doubt a carbon blade or speed will help you with this. If you want to develop faster use a 5-ply wood blade and ask your coach for rubber advise. Table tennis is so much more than just cool forehand loops.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mocker88
I just wanna ask as well.

I was using a clipper wood, but my partner suddenly wanted to use it. I do have a T11s to use but wanted to go with allwood.

i have an access to choose from dhs pg7 or eternity vps v. And possibly intensity vps v (if I'm able to swap some itmes).

Which blade should is best to go for if i was using clipper wood
ALC is way too fast for you.

Transfer the same rubbers to a fast 5-ply blade. 5-ply blade will improve your short touch tremendously. One of these will work:
  1. Stiga Intensity
  2. Yasaka YEO
  3. Stiga Nostalgic
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Feb 2020
283
195
531
I'd agree with going from 41 degree H3 to something like 39 H3 NEO Provincial orange sponge. Since the rubbers are hard and tackyish it should already be more suitable for the short game than softer bouncier rubbers. You just have to develop the technique and feel for handling the short games as you are still used to the feel of your all wood on the low end. If you change your blade again it will bring a whole other kettle of trade-offs.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Mar 2020
75
27
191
1) try the wooden blade Fextra 7 or Fextra v5 pro . these are fast wooden blades. Good to mid distance and still have good feeling( touch ) for the short game.

2) I recently trained with a CHinese Coach. I notice he has few strokes and short game
strokes which was not taught by my previous western coach. So if you haven't had a
chinese coach. Perhaps get a Chinese coach and perhaps learn a few hours in short game.
 
4 hours/ week are way too little for RAPID improvement.
For rapid improvement you have to play about 2-3 hours per session, 3-4 times per week and you have to play mostly drills and not matches.


First of all, the blade that you are using is too fast for your level.

Second, Chinese rubbers and semi-tacky ones like Dignics 09c are not for beginners: they require perfect weight transfer and waist rotation in order to be "activated", otherwise your spins will be very weak.
Dignics 09c especially is a FH rubber not a BH rubber, unless you have Kreanga's backhand.

In short: If you want to improve, buy a good ALL+ to OFF- all wood blade like Korbel, Tibhar PowerWood etc and pair it with a couple of medium speed rubbers.

Improvement comes from DRILLS, DRILLS, DRILLS. Not equipment.
I don’t agree to your part, related to “avoid Chinese rubbers”. As I know, Chinese kids start with hard rubbers. And as you correctly mentioned, they need a proper body work (weight transfer). Why should a beginner hide this? I believe, starting with good body work will give better results on the long run.

I completely agree to “DRILLS, DRILLS”
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Jul 2019
415
291
1,323
Hello everyone,

I'm a 25-year-old table tennis enthusiast who transitioned from a competitive volleyball background (age 4-19) to functional training, crossfit, and gym work. In May, I took up table tennis seriously for the first time, joining a club where I now train for about 4 hours a week in group sessions and have an additional hour of coaching focused on proper technique.

I started with a second-hand JOOLA Allround blade fitted with Donic Quattro (FH) and Tenergy 05FX (BH) rubbers. My aim is to improve rapidly while learning clean technique, as I aspire to compete at higher levels in the coming years. My coach is quite impressed with my learning curve; I've become consistent with forehand loops and topspins and am working on my backhand. Additionally, I've started playing in the lower regional league to gain match experience.

In October, feeling that my racket was too slow, I switched to a more advanced setup: an ALC Fan Zhendong blade with DHS Hurricane 3 (41 degrees) on my forehand and Dignics 09C (39 degrees) on my backhand. This change seemed to improve my game, as I started winning more. However, my short game suffered, and some experienced club members suggested that my new racket might be too fast and could hinder my learning.

I'm considering whether I should switch back to an all-wood all-round blade while keeping the same rubbers. What do you think? Would this be beneficial for my development, or should I stick with my current setup and adapt to it? I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations or experiences you could share, especially from those who have transitioned to faster equipment and how it impacted your learning curve.

Thanks for your insights!
Hi Gbtt
I would suggest that you need to radically change your concept of what is necessary to succeed:
At the moment you are showing the profile of an equipment junkie rather than the profile of somebody training to be competitive at tournament level. Some years ago when I was training with tournaments in mind as a young adult the schedule was something like attending a strong club 4 to 5 times a week with taking part in league matches weekly and probably entering tournaments on a monthly basis. So probably this amounted to 20 hours a week.
Also you mention training your topspin strokes:
Though developing topspin is important and enjoyable the most beneficial thing for improving match play is working on pushing and the related footwork.
Practicing pushing is not just about learning the strokes. That part is relatively simple. The important thing is work on both short and long push and including the opening topspin as part of the pushing practice.
EG get partner to push short to your fh then fast and deep to the middle or BH
patttern1:
Alternate short and deep pushes concentrating especially on footwork
pattern2:
as above but in random order so that you are having to deal with surprise balls
pattern3 :
as above but look to reply with backhand loop to balls to yr BH and fh loop to deep balls at middle or fh.
Important: doing the feeder role is just important as the mover role as this is what develops your ability to make creative and aggressive shots.
You will find that wit the above kind of practice, you won't recognise yourself.
Understanding the priority to give to each skill is important.
The service is the first opportunity to win the point
Receive is the second opportunity
A little consideration tells us that what is called the Table Game. The strokes played close to and above the table e.g. serves receives, pushes blocks are more urgent than big topspin because even if you learn a perfect topspin or smash you won't get to use it much if you haven't perfected your touch in pushing and related footwork for pushing, which is why I mention those patterns.
As far as the speed of yr equipment is concerned 20 hours a week will solve this one.
With that in mind perhaps you can make it more affordable to just a general 5 day pw membership
of your club and be satisfied with with paying for no more than 1 hour pw coaching. This depends on being able to self organise your own training
I was training in London, a city with many clubs and hundreds of players eager to practice properly. If you are in uk, you need to take advantage of what's available
good luck
I hope this helps
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Nov 2023
7
4
14
Hi Gbtt
I would suggest that you need to radically change your concept of what is necessary to succeed:
At the moment you are showing the profile of an equipment junkie rather than the profile of somebody training to be competitive at tournament level. Some years ago when I was training with tournaments in mind as a young adult the schedule was something like attending a strong club 4 to 5 times a week with taking part in league matches weekly and probably entering tournaments on a monthly basis. So probably this amounted to 20 hours a week.
Also you mention training your topspin strokes:
Though developing topspin is important and enjoyable the most beneficial thing for improving match play is working on pushing and the related footwork.
Practicing pushing is not just about learning the strokes. That part is relatively simple. The important thing is work on both short and long push and including the opening topspin as part of the pushing practice.
EG get partner to push short to your fh then fast and deep to the middle or BH
patttern1:
Alternate short and deep pushes concentrating especially on footwork
pattern2:
as above but in random order so that you are having to deal with surprise balls
pattern3 :
as above but look to reply with backhand loop to balls to yr BH and fh loop to deep balls at middle or fh.
Important: doing the feeder role is just important as the mover role as this is what develops your ability to make creative and aggressive shots.
You will find that wit the above kind of practice, you won't recognise yourself.
Understanding the priority to give to each skill is important.
The service is the first opportunity to win the point
Receive is the second opportunity
A little consideration tells us that what is called the Table Game. The strokes played close to and above the table e.g. serves receives, pushes blocks are more urgent than big topspin because even if you learn a perfect topspin or smash you won't get to use it much if you haven't perfected your touch in pushing and related footwork for pushing, which is why I mention those patterns.
As far as the speed of yr equipment is concerned 20 hours a week will solve this one.
With that in mind perhaps you can make it more affordable to just a general 5 day pw membership
of your club and be satisfied with with paying for no more than 1 hour pw coaching. This depends on being able to self organise your own training
I was training in London, a city with many clubs and hundreds of players eager to practice properly. If you are in uk, you need to take advantage of what's available
good luck
I hope this helps
It is more maximising the playing I can do rather than being an equipment junkie. Where I live I can't train all days, there is the group course two times a week and the 1 to 1 coatching which is already around 120 euros per month. The only one to train more is to book tables with people of a similar level for 1h. So given that training that unfortunately I can't scale I'm concerned about learning everything in the faster/better way possible, that is why I'm concerned about the equipment
 
  • Like
Reactions: pingpongpaddy
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Jul 2019
415
291
1,323
It is more maximising the playing I can do rather than being an equipment junkie. Where I live I can't train all days, there is the group course two times a week and the 1 to 1 coatching which is already around 120 euros per month. The only one to train more is to book tables with people of a similar level for 1h. So given that training that unfortunately I can't scale I'm concerned about learning everything in the faster/better way possible, that is why I'm concerned about the equipment
pity you can't manage more hours. If concentrate on combining footwork, serving pushing and linking that to your topspin strokes you'll see most benefit in league matches. also test club mates rackets to learn about rubber rather than spending a fortune
good luck
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Sep 2013
7,075
6,048
14,855
Read 3 reviews
It is more maximising the playing I can do rather than being an equipment junkie. Where I live I can't train all days, there is the group course two times a week and the 1 to 1 coatching which is already around 120 euros per month. The only one to train more is to book tables with people of a similar level for 1h. So given that training that unfortunately I can't scale I'm concerned about learning everything in the faster/better way possible, that is why I'm concerned about the equipment
I would then go slower on the equipment and you need to make sure you are the one hitting the ball and spinning the ball, and not the equipment. Obviously you are struggling to control the ball correctly.

5 months of 20 hours a month is really nothing to be honest.
semi pros can do that in 3 weeks

There is just way too many technique to learn and master, yet alone repetition to the 1000s if not 10s of thousands.
100 hours isn't much. Even 1000 hours isn't much.

So it is really how far you want to grow to.
Sadly, table tennis requires early childhood learning and a good 5 years of 30 hours a week then (1500 hours a year), and just maybe, one could see if there is a chance of the kid becoming good or not.

I think the question also needs to be asked on why you changed to such a rapid difference in blade and rubbers.
Did the coach suggest it or okayed it?
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Nov 2022
901
1,151
3,292
I would then go slower on the equipment and you need to make sure you are the one hitting the ball and spinning the ball, and not the equipment. Obviously you are struggling to control the ball correctly.

5 months of 20 hours a month is really nothing to be honest.
semi pros can do that in 3 weeks

There is just way too many technique to learn and master, yet alone repetition to the 1000s if not 10s of thousands.
100 hours isn't much. Even 1000 hours isn't much.

So it is really how far you want to grow to.
Sadly, table tennis requires early childhood learning and a good 5 years of 30 hours a week then (1500 hours a year), and just maybe, one could see if there is a chance of the kid becoming good or not.

I think the question also needs to be asked on why you changed to such a rapid difference in blade and rubbers.
Did the coach suggest it or okayed it?
This is a pretty sobering realization after taking some coaching and making TT my chosen sport/hobby over the past year. I like to think I play and practice a lot. I've logged my classes/hours and I'm at about 70 coached sessions, and have gone to the club on my own about 70 times outside of that. Despite this, I'm only at about 200 hours of actual play time (there's a lot of downtime picking up balls, waiting for a partner, etc.) and am almost always among the lowest level players anywhere I go.

The rate at which my technique during practice shows up in actual gameplay is so absurdly slow and my footwork and strokes are still a shadow of what I'm capable of. I've just resigned myself to the fact that progress in this sport will be measured on the time scale of years instead of weeks or months.

This could be depressing and make me want to quit, but I actually find it more exciting that in a decade or two I'll still be improving my game despite my body slowing down.
 

Brs

This user has no status.

Brs

This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Oct 2015
1,081
1,346
2,547
imo the new setup is fine. changing all the time is the road to hell. learn with this one blade and rubber combo. practice blocking with it, and particularly drills where you must block to spots for your training partner, like falkenberg, three point fh, etc. Get to where your partner can play one ball ten or twenty times because your blocks are just
so nice. This will build your feeling with the new equipment a lot quicker than you looping hard with it over and over will.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pingpongpaddy
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
May 2020
589
211
933
If you're looking to improve stop caring for equipment and start practicing. My advice though is get rid of carbon and get a 5/7 ply all wood blade with some normal developing rubbers on it, like rozena or bluefire at most. I like Clipper Wood and Infinity VPS for all wood blades. Better option would be simple chinese rubbers like Yinhe big dipper and 729 super fx. Hurricane 3 neo if you're willing to work hard with Hurricane 3-50 or Hurricane 3 neo 37 for backhand.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gbtt
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Apr 2023
88
60
190
Some good advice here. All I can say is:

1. Choose the blade and rubbers that you can use without the handbrake. It will help you to quickly develop proper technique and movement. The bat which allows you to consistently place the ball where you want and to control the bounce and the amount of speed and spin you generate in a real match is the blade for you. If it has great feel/feedback , then even better.
2. All-wood or carbon is not really the main consideration. There are some fast all-wood blades and some not so fast, controlled carbon blades. It's all about how you like the feel, the dwell, the trow, the handle, the balance and how comfortable you are with the bat. Don't rush, try as many as you can in your club to get a general idea. Your coach should help you to choose the right one.
2. Don't judge your bat by how much fun it is to knock the ball with your partner or a coach and how many super-duper shots you hit during training. Anyone can do it. Judge your bat by whether it is your friend or your enemy in a real match when something is at stake and you got a bit nervous. Forget about the speed, at your level the one who can keep the ball on the table wins (well, it's true for any level, but I hope you know what I mean). The bat which is fun to knock the ball with is your date, the bat that helps you to win matches is your partner/family, so choose accordingly ))) There's lots of amateurs with lifelong dating aka EJing, nothing wrong with this, but...
2. Trying to adapt to a blade that is too fast will most probably lead to abrupt abbreviated movements, poor technique and bad, bad habits that are difficult to rectify. Unless you are Superhuman, there's no cheat code: to learn fundamentals you need the tools which allow you to do it. The blade dictates your style, remember, and if it's too fast for you, it'll dictate a pretty shitty style.
3. Five hours a week is not enough for a rapid progression. Well, for some mere mortals it is not enough for any progression, just enough training to maintain the level. There are things that no amount of explanation, teaching or watching videos will help you learn unless you spend long hours at the table. These things, among others, are timing, anticipation and rotation reading, it all comes with long hours of practice.
4. I remember knocking the ball with a pro player who is levels above me and how it struck me when he said "I haven't trained for two days and lost all the feel, can't feel the ball". Mind you, he has his share of medals in his drawer, this is his job and the guy normally has two training sessions per day.
So , if you really decided to get serious, don't be discouraged if your progress is a bit slower than you expected. I don't want to discourage you, but you've chosen a wonderful but very complex, technically intricate sport with natural limitations: if you started being older than certain age (and we talk about kids age there), just be real and aware that normally your ceiling is not exceedingly high.
So be patient and have fun.
Wanted to write a short one and ended with a long, boring, dull didactic essay about the obvious. :sneaky: So take it with a grain of salt and l hope it helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: job59 and Gbtt
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Dec 2021
99
46
406
4 hours/ week are way too little for RAPID improvement.
For rapid improvement you have to play about 2-3 hours per session, 3-4 times per week and you have to play mostly drills and not matches.


First of all, the blade that you are using is too fast for your level.

Second, Chinese rubbers and semi-tacky ones like Dignics 09c are not for beginners: they require perfect weight transfer and waist rotation in order to be "activated", otherwise your spins will be very weak.
Dignics 09c especially is a FH rubber not a BH rubber, unless you have Kreanga's backhand.

In short: If you want to improve, buy a good ALL+ to OFF- all wood blade like Korbel, Tibhar PowerWood etc and pair it with a couple of medium speed rubbers.

Improvement comes from DRILLS, DRILLS, DRILLS. Not equipment.

4 hours/ week are way too little for RAPID improvement.
For rapid improvement you have to play about 2-3 hours per session, 3-4 times per week and you have to play mostly drills and not matches.


First of all, the blade that you are using is too fast for your level.

Second, Chinese rubbers and semi-tacky ones like Dignics 09c are not for beginners: they require perfect weight transfer and waist rotation in order to be "activated", otherwise your spins will be very weak.
Dignics 09c especially is a FH rubber not a BH rubber, unless you have Kreanga's backhand.

In short: If you want to improve, buy a good ALL+ to OFF- all wood blade like Korbel, Tibhar PowerWood etc and pair it with a couple of medium speed rubbers.

Improvement comes from DRILLS, DRILLS, DRILLS. Not equipment.
The problem with Tibhar STPW is the weight and dimensions, Xiom Offensive S is a good alternative ?
Can you give us exemple of "medium speed rubber" please ?
 
Top