Weak Forehand & Weak Flick Technique - Rubber change - harder, softer what?

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Hi Guys - I need some help.

Due to injury, I struggle to use proper forehand technique and can't rotate properly. I still counter hit very fast and attack fast on my backhand, but when I have to generate power on my forehand from scratch, it's a real struggle. Often instead I will do a slow spinny shot!

I want to develop my forehand flick, but the low dwell time is making it hard for me.

So given that I like fast counterhitting, blocking and doing slow spinny shots when the ball comes slow, I am wondering what rubber to choose for my forehand that also allows me to more easily do spinny flicks.

I use an inner carbon blade or a 7 ply blade to keep enough power for my backhand and my previous forehand rubbers are Rasanter R50 and FastArc G-1.

Should I be going to a softer rubber? Will I lose my counter looping/blocking ability or serve spin?

I have considered Rasanter R 42, Rakza 7 Soft or Fastarc C1, but I don't know if they will help with the flick and lack of forehand looping power or not.

Feeling confused
 
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I personally think FH flick is much better using less sensitive (ie lower dwell) rubbers, because you don't want the spin to bite too much into the rubber and cause you to make more mistakes. Also the faster it releases the ball the more sudden the FH flick would appear to the opponent.

Imo the perfect FH flick rubber is short pips but we can't have that lol
 
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If you have some kind of injury and need some help from the setup it's probably best to play bouncy fast rubbers like D05, the setup can generate a lot of speed from you so that you don't need to stress your body so much.

But beware trying to short push with D05 - it is very difficult and your short push technique has to be very good.

The key with D05 use is to avoid short pushing and prioritise aggressive strokes like flicking or sideswipes.
 
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says Serve, top, edge. Repeat.
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Dignics 05 plays by itself, it's fast but very cotrollable and linear in acceration and non that sensitive to spin. A good alternative that I also like is the Nittaku Hammond Z2, it's like the D05 but to me it felt a bit faster. Both should have good durability, they are Japanese after all. Soft bouncy rubbers will shoot off quicker but also not have the grip and safety of the above. Especially rubbers like the Vega Europe slip a lot because the top sheet has stupid high tension. So they are pretty bad with the plastic ball that tends to slip quite a bit, rakza 7 soft is different and could be a good choice if you want something soft. Another option for more dwell is the Rakza Z and Dignics 09c, Hurricane 3 if you want more spin and control on the table.

Gererally what Creek says isn't really accurate, new genneration grippy rubbers with low tension allow the ball to stay on the rubber and generate more spin, tensors will spring off the ball before it has a chance to rotate. So having that in mind, soft and boucy rubbers are both bad for flicks because they need to bite in order to return the flick, and none of them have the nessessary dwell to do that.

I can support it by bringing as an example all European players of the last 40 years, they all used small snappy strokes to make use of the short contact time of the rubber, look at Samsonov, Boll, Primorac, Waldner, etc... While the Chinese did the opposite, long strokes to use the dwell of the tacky rubbers. Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan zhendong, Zhang Jike... you get the point.
 
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Just once again… he is injured and g1 and r50 are to hard to play for him…
The answer for this request can not be a dignics with 50+ hardness guys. It will not be easier for him but at least same hard or even harder.
I do not say dignics is a bad rubber, I play it on my own! But it is very demanding and you need to work a lot compared to softer rubbers. With an injury, it will be much better for him to go with 45-47 degree rubbers
 
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Feeling confused

Hey Danttgeek, you have like 3 variables here:

1. the sponge hardness
2. the top-sheet thickness
3. whether the top-sheet is grippy or tacky or something in between

You want to do the FH flick. There you won't be able to generate really much power, so you don't want very hard rubber, I'd say max. ESN 47, but could be lower, say 42 - 45. The ESN 47, if you hit harder with FH, it goes through, and you feel like wasting energy, but that won't happen during flicks. Similarly, if the top-sheet is not let's say rel. thin, you won't so easily grab/drag the ball during flicks. So e.g. Fastarc G1/C1, they don't really have thin top-sheet, so I'd advise against them. In your profile I see you use H3. The commercial H3 often have slightly thinner top-sheet than the provincial, and here, even on provincials, there is some tackiness (point 3), which helps a bit to do the flick. Whether or not you prefer tacky or not, I don't know. So suma sumarum, I'd recommedn a rubber with thinner top-sheer in sponge hardness cca ESN 45... But which one exactly ;-) someone else please ;-)
 
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i think that you just need to improve your technique, no need to change equipment
but if you are feeling like you are bottoming out too fast, use something harder
Can't improve my forehand because I cannot rotate my waste - it's a physical limitation. That's why I was wondering about using a different rubber.
 
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I personally think FH flick is much better using less sensitive (ie lower dwell) rubbers, because you don't want the spin to bite too much into the rubber and cause you to make more mistakes. Also the faster it releases the ball the more sudden the FH flick would appear to the opponent.

Imo the perfect FH flick rubber is short pips but we can't have that lol
I get what you are saying, but I guess it depends on the flick type. For the flat hard flicks, that makes sense for sure. But for brushing flicks, dwell times seem important. I like to play both, it depends on the ball, something low and spinny is hard to flick flat, needs more brush in my experience.
 
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If you have some kind of injury and need some help from the setup it's probably best to play bouncy fast rubbers like D05, the setup can generate a lot of speed from you so that you don't need to stress your body so much.

But beware trying to short push with D05 - it is very difficult and your short push technique has to be very good.

The key with D05 use is to avoid short pushing and prioritise aggressive strokes like flicking or sideswipes.

That makes sense. Everything is a compromise isn't it. You make such a good point here - I think one needs to really consider the alternative shots also. I really like to push short, but to be honest, not that many people really serve proper short, mostly long and half long at club level in my experience.
 
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D05 is probably one of the worst advices ever. It is neither bouncy nor easy to play and takes a lot of effort.
If g1 is not easy enough for you, rakza7, c1, r48/r45 might do the trick. They are more bouncy, softer and therefore easier to access
THanks for the tips. I was thinking about rakza 7 and r45 - what about rakza 7 soft - too soft?

How does rakza 7 compare to rasanter r47, definitely softer?
 
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Dignics 05 plays by itself, it's fast but very cotrollable and linear in acceration and non that sensitive to spin. A good alternative that I also like is the Nittaku Hammond Z2, it's like the D05 but to me it felt a bit faster. Both should have good durability, they are Japanese after all. Soft bouncy rubbers will shoot off quicker but also not have the grip and safety of the above. Especially rubbers like the Vega Europe slip a lot because the top sheet has stupid high tension. So they are pretty bad with the plastic ball that tends to slip quite a bit, rakza 7 soft is different and could be a good choice if you want something soft. Another option for more dwell is the Rakza Z and Dignics 09c, Hurricane 3 if you want more spin and control on the table.

Gererally what Creek says isn't really accurate, new genneration grippy rubbers with low tension allow the ball to stay on the rubber and generate more spin, tensors will spring off the ball before it has a chance to rotate. So having that in mind, soft and boucy rubbers are both bad for flicks because they need to bite in order to return the flick, and none of them have the nessessary dwell to do that.

I can support it by bringing as an example all European players of the last 40 years, they all used small snappy strokes to make use of the short contact time of the rubber, look at Samsonov, Boll, Primorac, Waldner, etc... While the Chinese did the opposite, long strokes to use the dwell of the tacky rubbers. Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan zhendong, Zhang Jike... you get the point.
Oh boy, it gets confusing.

Just to clarify, when I speak of flicking, I mean brushing not flat flicking. (should have said that because it's obviously different to hard flat flick)

But don't you need to hit hard to get power out of hard rubbers?

I am struggling to understand the physics around the spin production for the different types of rubber, as well as the dwell time issue.

Am I not right to assume that hard rubbers have less dwell time and need harder strokes to generate spin?

Also, what is the ideal rubber for SLOW heavy spin shots? I used to do this great with hurricane, but can't hit fast on the forehand anymore.

Thanks for clarifying - it's all very confusing.
 
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Hey Danttgeek, you have like 3 variables here:

1. the sponge hardness
2. the top-sheet thickness
3. whether the top-sheet is grippy or tacky or something in between

You want to do the FH flick. There you won't be able to generate really much power, so you don't want very hard rubber, I'd say max. ESN 47, but could be lower, say 42 - 45. The ESN 47, if you hit harder with FH, it goes through, and you feel like wasting energy, but that won't happen during flicks. Similarly, if the top-sheet is not let's say rel. thin, you won't so easily grab/drag the ball during flicks. So e.g. Fastarc G1/C1, they don't really have thin top-sheet, so I'd advise against them. In your profile I see you use H3. The commercial H3 often have slightly thinner top-sheet than the provincial, and here, even on provincials, there is some tackiness (point 3), which helps a bit to do the flick. Whether or not you prefer tacky or not, I don't know. So suma sumarum, I'd recommedn a rubber with thinner top-sheer in sponge hardness cca ESN 45... But which one exactly ;-) someone else please ;-)

Thank you so much for that Latej

I just updated my profile - I no longer use Hurricane because of the injury and after trying Rasanter 50, feel I need to downgrade further.

So what you say about the topsheet thickness is VERY interesting, that makes a lot of sense. But rubbers don't normally advise that!?

So if I want a rubber that is less physically demanding for loop power generation, but still allows blocking/countering and improved flicking what should I look for? Going too soft like Rakza 7 soft may be counterproductive, right!?

Can you suggest any rubbers with thinner top sheet? What about Tibhar K3?

Do you think switching from Inner Carbon Acoustic to Acoustic would be a different solution?
 
Can't improve my forehand because I cannot rotate my waste - it's a physical limitation. That's why I was wondering about using a different rubber.
ah, I see. sorry!
Then i would probably use a faster, softer, rubber to help you get the power you need to finish the point
 
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I get what you are saying, but I guess it depends on the flick type. For the flat hard flicks, that makes sense for sure. But for brushing flicks, dwell times seem important. I like to play both, it depends on the ball, something low and spinny is hard to flick flat, needs more brush in my experience.
Interesting that you prefer the softer brushing flicks. I also do that as a variation (i try to do it short and low) but it's not what I prefer to do in general - i just prefer my flat flicks and sideswipes. However, I think D05 is also very good for brushing flicks, it can produce a surprising amount of spin for a nontacky rubber which is not so reactive to spin. If you play BH chiquita this advantage (being not that spin reactive while being able to produce massive spin) is even more prominent.

Imo spin production has something to do with the tangential elasticity of the rubber rather than the tackiness (the more trampoline like this tangential behaviour the more it can spin). The tackiness helps to slow the ball down and ensure better contact (especially for short game this is so good), but imo for inverted rubbers, it is not the primary factor for spin production.
 
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Interesting that you prefer the softer brushing flicks. I also do that as a variation (i try to do it short and low) but it's not what I prefer to do in general - i just prefer my flat flicks and sideswipes. However, I think D05 is also very good for brushing flicks, it can produce a surprising amount of spin for a nontacky rubber which is not so reactive to spin. If you play BH chiquita this advantage (being not that spin reactive while being able to produce massive spin) is even more prominent.

Imo spin production has something to do with the tangential elasticity of the rubber rather than the tackiness (the more trampoline like this tangential behaviour the more it can spin). The tackiness helps to slow the ball down and ensure better contact (especially for short game this is so good), but imo for inverted rubbers, it is not the primary factor for spin production.

Less speed can also give you more time and mess up people's timing, so I find that helpful - the 'best fast' shot often works against me as it comes back faster then I can reposition.

So this 'tangential' elasticity sounds a bit like what latej was saying above, talking about the way the topsheet reacts!? Because the sponge softness and thickness will determine the conditions under which catapult is arrived at, right!? but for spin, it's either gripiness which is either from 'stickyness' or a slight sinking causing the tangential force.

In other words, it has to do more with the topsheet!? Am I on the right track?

So how do I find the right rubber then? Yes maybe slightly softer to allow me to get the power more easily, but in terms of getting dwell and spin, it's then really about how the topsheet interacts!? How can I choose a rubber for this?
 
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