The Dark Side is getting more and more tempting...

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So I have two camps with opposing views:

1. Team Proponent: Go ahead. This is gonna help you win. The Sith part is a path that leads to abilities many deemed unnatural.

2. Team Dissident: Use slower inverted rubber and blade. Continue on the path of the Jedi. Bitter result now, sweet result in the future.

What do I want? What do I want?
Team dissident is the only way - otherwise get that forum handle changed as Quadri will not be endorsing you...
 
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I am an ESN kind of dude; all the above sound like Greek to me...
I don't know if esn produces any pips out rubbers that have easy Receive qualities. The ones listed are tried and true and don't break the bank.
The pips out rubbers esn makes are relatively spin sensitive and fast I think, but I'm no expert on those.
 
says Spin and more spin.
says Spin and more spin.
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The posts from NDH, NextLevel and JJ Ng are excellent information. Feel free to read them many times.

It is worth noting that you are not really playing TT all that long. There are some simple keys to reading spin. It is not as complicated as we make it, while receiving serves. Our brains, especially us older guys, make this more complicated than it needs to be.

If you are really watching the ball, topspin has a rounder ball trajectory because of the arc from the topspin pulling the ball down. Topspin also kicks after the bounce. If you are watching the ball well, you can see this. The trouble is, when we think we see the contact, we tend not to watch the ball trajectory as closely and then are brains get confused.

Backspin has a flatter trajectory and the ball does the opposite of kick on the bounce, it slows up a bit.

Regular sidespin curves to one side or the other. You can tell which sidespin it is based on the direction to which it curves.

A ball, whether serve or not, can have straight topspin, top/side (either direction) straight bacspin, back/side either direction.

Also, if a ball is coming at you and kicks to one side or the other, the way a topspin ball kicks in the direction of the path of the ball, except, it kicks to one side or the other instead of straight forward, there is an element of corkscrew spin (like the spiral of a football when it is thrown). This is more complicated, and it is quite hard to create corkscrew spin on serves without really being decently high level. Der_Echte has an awesome corkscrew serve....I have seen him drive people crazy with it. :) But, we won't worry about it for now. Next time. :)

So, something you can do to work on the skill of reading spin is to watch as much as you can when you are not playing. Watch the serves and try to read the spin.

@NextLevel is the Table Tennis Edge App still available? I know I still have it on my phone. But I have not looked at it in quite a while. Does Table Tennis Edge still have a website with the videos of real people serving for practice watching and reading spin on serves?

Gozo, the TTEdge App has a part that is serve receive. You try to determine if the serve was top, side, back, dead or some combination. It seems counterintuitive that an app showing computer generated serves could help you read serves. But it did. And the site where you could watch real players serving and try and read the spin helped even more.

But just, whenever you are sitting and watching other people playing, you can try and read the serves and see if you can figure out what they are. While doing that, seeing how other players try to return those serves will help as well.

You do have to work on it. You have to work on watching. It sounds funny. But it isn't easy. We are used to taking a summary look and thinking we know what is going on and then let our brains create the rest of the image. And that is when we realize we are not seeing things as they are.

Not only does it take a long time. But there will be a while where you realize you know what spin is on the ball, and out of habit you are doing something you normally do but should not do for that particular spin. Like you will start, thinking, "it is backspin," and move towards pushing as though it was backspin, and then you will realize, "no, it is actually side top," but you then, don't adjust to the spin you have realized it actually is.

It takes work. It takes practice. And you can't learn if you don't really try to watch and see what you think the spin is WHILE YOU ARE NOT PLAYING AND JUST WATCHING. You have to do a lot of practice reading the spin.

At a certain point, you then also start being able to return certain spins in a variety of ways. There are always many ways to return any given spin. When you start watching the ball well and seeing the spin on the ball, you will start coming up with multiple ways to return the spin. It will happen if you practice the watching of the ball and the trying to read the spin.
 
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I was in a similar situation. But without the consideration to switch to pips.

I always believed if i can return all serves consistantly on my backhand side just like i do on my forehand side, then my rating will explode.

Well i kinda achieved my goal... and my rating went up... about 100-150 points. Now i face opponents where consistant attacks and counterattacks are crucial. And that level is miles away from professional. I'm currently at the upper intermediate range with the potential to break into the early advance level with some proper training partners, which are currently a deficit.

Nowadays i also don't have any problems playing against pips or anti on both sides.

Thus: is it worth to shortcut one or two levels and sacrifice the playstyle i like? at some level (like slightly above average i am currently at) the pips aren't an advantage anymore but more of a neutral thing... and the higher the level the more these things turn into liabilities. And that levels are not that high people believe they are.
 
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I am not so sure about that, the Indian girls are doing very well indeed 😁
True, there's no real "upper limit" to pips... at least not in the amateur space. Arguably in the pro space I think there is no such upper limit either.
 
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says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
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Haha sounds like you have a similar problem as me, with the difference that I don’t suffer at serve receiving. But because my forehand increased in quality and speed way faster than my backhand I could not control the returning ball. So I slowed down my backhand.

You should realise that changing rubber also means changing tactics and techniques. That would also take time. I tried short pips but it didn’t help me at all. I then put a Mark V gps (very slow and soft rubber but inverted) and now I’m working on redeveloping my confidence in my backhand and it’s working!
How is Mark V GPS working out for you?

I have a couple of ol'skool non-tensor German made rubber ( Sriver type ), that is, Joola Zack in my drawer, will glue this old rubber in lieu of the damaged Rozena.

Tomorrow when I go to my center; will see if this will give me what I want, i.e., better control.
 
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How is Mark V GPS working out for you?

I have a couple of ol'skool non-tensor German made rubber ( Sriver type ), that is, Joola Zack in my drawer, will glue this old rubber in lieu of the damaged Rozena.

Tomorrow when I go to my center; will see if this will give me what I want, i.e., better control.
My notes after 2 weeks

Pro's
It helps me with placement and specifically short placements and playing down the line are much easier on fast balls.
My backhand drive is more stable (is what I needed to rebuild my lost confidence)
the ball jumps up less when I make poor contact on pushes.

Cons
any aggressive shot from this rubber is easy to return if not well placed.
back-hand flip / chiquita is less desicive
 
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I have experience of playing both backside, anti, LP and SP. I used to play a lot when I was a junior and the ball was 38mm. At that time there was even more spin involved in the game. With the 38mm ball I found anti and LP work quite well. You would have even more spin reversal.

With the plastic ball and 40mm ball size I find the benefits of anti and LP much smaller and the limitations bigger. However you could try one of the more toned down SP rubbers out. To me SP plays, with the plastic ball, more similar to how anti played back in the 38mm days. With SP you will be able both to reap the benefits of spin insensitivity and still having the possibility to hit more normal shots (although with much less spin).
 
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@Gozo Aruna you glued Rozena on both sides. Spin shouldn't be the main issue IMO. The rubber is less sensitive to incoming spin. It's easy to push a short serve or attacking the long one with this rubber. Why would you consider the anti-spin? 🤣
Most probably it's because there's a lot of illegal hidden no toss serves where he plays....
 
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says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
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Most probably it's because there's a lot of illegal hidden no toss
Most probably it's because there's a lot of illegal hidden no toss serves where he plays....
80% of players there are active in the 38mm era where no toss and hidden serves are allowed. They carry these habits up to this day.
 
says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
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Haha sounds like you have a similar problem as me, with the difference that I don’t suffer at serve receiving. But because my forehand increased in quality and speed way faster than my backhand I could not control the returning ball. So I slowed down my backhand.

You should realise that changing rubber also means changing tactics and techniques. That would also take time. I tried short pips but it didn’t help me at all. I then put a Mark V gps (very slow and soft rubber but inverted) and now I’m working on redeveloping my confidence in my backhand and it’s working!
  • With an ol'skool non-tensor European grippy and non-tacky rubber on my BH ( old semi worn out Joola Zack ), I went trotting along down to my regular club for my usual TT fix yesterday.
  • Surprise oh surprise! I managed to win a set each from three different old timers that we started the game from zero-zero, that is, no handicap points given.
  • I still lose to these old-timers in a match as a whole, but to win sets off them is a significant advancement for me.
  • I even won a set off an old uncle ( in his 70's ) who uses C-Pen with SP / LP twiddling style ( we started at nil all ) so it is a significant victory for me, although I still lost the match. I am happy with this result too. ===========================================
  • So what has changed?
  • With a non-tensor on my BH, there is a more linear play for me, hence better control. The ball does not shoot out like a bullet that fly here and there.
  • I can be more Laizes-faire aka nonchalantly and gently return the ball with my BH and wait for the next opportunity for my nuke-like FH.
  • With a regular tensor rubber one needs to precisely brush to ball to get the Magnus Effect to get the typical arc for modern offensive TT playstyle, even for the BH side. Like me, who does not have the best of BH, the tensor effect can have an unwanted side-effects of tensor.
  • I am now wondering if this ol'skool non-tensor rubber the holy-grail that I am looking for?=================================================
  • On the FH side, I love the massive-massive trampoline effect of tensor. I love it & I have no issue with it. It compliments my FH very much.
  • Give me tensor or give me death!!!
 
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says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
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Gozo BH be like phew phew phew:
10674319_01_p08_9mm_german_luger_640.jpg


Gozo FH:
OIP.jpg

blast_1439277792_1439277805.jpg
 
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