Equipment for a push-blocker with antispin on FH

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 9 months ago

Fabio Colombo

Fabio Colombo Asked 9 months ago

I'm Fabio, Italian TT player and historian; I've just published "Racchette spezzate" (Broken rackets, the story of the greatest TT champions who died before reaching sixty years old). A Spoon River of TT!. I'm at present confused about my equipment and would like to hear your opinion. I'm a 65 y.o in good form (silver medallist in doubles at the national veterans championships) a typical push - blocker player. I set my game on varying speed and spin with two very different rubbers, good placement and finish the rally with FH smash with both rubbers as soon as I get a chance. I'm currently playing with Animus Victoria 2 blade (Hinoki - rosewood - hinoki - ayous - hinoki), Yasaka Anti Power on FH (yes, forehand!) and Palio CJ 8000 biotech 42°-44° on BH. Of course I'm working on technique, focusing mostly on block, push, FH smash with both rubbers, BH topspin. My feeling with my blade is good; anyway I'd like to exploit my equipment to the fullest. So I have some questions:

1) Staying on a 5 ply all wood blade is it better to have an hard core and softer outer plies or a soft core and hard outer plies? Besides Victoria 2 I own Animus Victoria 1 (rosewood - hinoki - hinoki - kiri - hinoki), a Stiga offensive CR and a Stiga allround CR (I don't like balsa blades)

2)Even if in my opinion I have to slow down the game is it advisable to use a 7 ply all wood blade instead of a 5 ply blade nowadays? I own a Yinhe PD 437 (7 layers of limba) and a Yinhe PD 537 (walnut - limba - limba - limba - limba - limba - walnut)

3) As regards rubbers, antispin on FH has some advantages: opponents are not used to and sometimes the different speed between the two sides give them some trouble. Anyway I also think that anti is too passive and maybe medium pips could give the same advantages but be more effective. Do you advice to keep my current set up or shift to medium pips?

4) Last question is about the normal rubber for BH. Better chinese (cheaper) or european? Better tacky or non-tacky? Better medium-hard or medium-soft? I own Joola Ryzhen Ice, Butterfly Tackiness D, Palio CJ 8000 Biotech 42°-44°, Palio AK47 blue and Palio AK47 yellow.

I trust your advice. Thanks a lot if you can answer my questions. Kind regards. Your sport friend. Fabio Colombo

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 months ago

Hi Fabio,

I'm very impressed with the incredible amount of work you've done with Racchette Spezzate.

I think for optimal control, you'd want something that is soft in the core and with harder plies on the outer layers. Generally for push-blockers, softer blades can help achieve more spin, and those that are stiffer can achieve more power.  

As for the rubbers, antispin can be a good choice if you are looking to vary and surprise your opponents. However I think it is worth trying Medium Pips because you will be able to do a lot more with it and hopefully still get enough variation to trouble your opponents.  WIth Medium pips you will be able to generate a little spin yourself which will add another layer to your game.

I am not an expert on the technicalities of different places and rubbers and in fact think that we often spend too much time worrying about these small differences.

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Philip Samuel

Philip Samuel Posted 9 months ago

Spot on Alois!  Tom Lodziak tested all of the Joola rubbers, and he could not tell the difference.  Even though the manufacturer's write up indicated differences in speed, spin, and control.  In other articles about equipment Tom's conclusion was like yours - saying to concentrate on technique and forget about all these differences.  I've got an All Round Paul Pinkewich Tibhar old model blade, and it plays just as well as a Xiom Strativarius.  Paul in fact said to me that Victor Barna once said if your hand is good all bats are good!

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