Looking for J.O. Waldner rubber or replacement

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 5 years ago

Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Asked 5 years ago

Dear Alois and Jeff

For years I had been playing with a rubber, J.O. Waldner, which in the U.K. is sold by Donic.

About 5 or more years ago Donic stopped producing it. I asked what was the nearest replacement and was given a new rubber which I purchased in good faith only to discover that it was completely different from the original J.O. Waldner. I have contacted other retailers and purchased various rubbers but none is the same.

By studying about hardness and softness of sponges I concluded that Mark V could be a good replacement. This has in fact worked on my backhand but not as well on the forehand. I have been able to last until now thanks to a supplier in the Philippines that was still stocking the original J.O. Waldner. Unfortunately their stock has finished.

A friend of mine suggested a small retailer that only stocks Donic products. I explained to this retailer the way I play, my age and he suggested a carbon blade and two new rubbers. When I received the bat I found that it was heavier than the previous one and much faster.

I have used it for two months and I have reached a point where I need your help. There is no denying that I am getting more used to it but I still find it difficult to control and keep the ball low and short. Last night at my Club I nearly lost to a player who I regularly and easily used to beat. I think he has improved but I found myself lifting the ball too much.

Considering my age (just over 70) what do you think I should do? Persevere? Or what else?

Thank you once again for your help and for all that you do for us.

Kind regards

 

Filippo


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Filippo,

Nice to hear from you as usual.

This time though, I don't think I can be much help.  I really am not across the different rubbers and blades.

I hope one of our readers can help, or may even have a little stash of Waldner rubbers hidden away somewhere...


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Thoughts on this question

Shaun Synot

Shaun Synot Posted 5 years ago

Persson used Coppa or J.O Waldner depending on which one he could get at the time so they are similar. Have you seen this http://www.iruiru.com/goods_page.php?ct=A&mk=L&gd=AL081


Shaun Synot

Shaun Synot Posted 5 years ago

Here's a description from the Japanese: Sweden's former world champion, JO Waldner. Performance he was most asked to rubber which has been in the hands a number of glory. It was control. And, the balance of speed and spin is not collapse. 
"JO Waldner Legend" is to protect the faithful to its intention, was matched to modern table tennis at a slightly softer sponge. Control is spun, genealogy of the legend is universal.

There's also a copy of his Banda blade available http://www.iruiru.com/goods_page.php?ct=X&mk=L&gd=BL142


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 5 years ago

Hi Filippo,

Welcome to the infinite maze of current rubbers, blades and their combinations... Here you can lose a lot of time, money, and possibly your mind! cool

I tried to find information about the Donic J.O. Waldner rubber, which I never used myself, but it's difficult since it has been discontinued quite a while ago already, and apparently wasn't that popular to start with. Your first option could be the "Legend" Shaun referred to (is it the same rubber with just an updated name? I don't know).

Your second option would be to try to reproduce the characteristics of your reference setup: Rubber top sheet hardness / grip, sponge hardness and thickness, blade types / number or wood / composite layers, weight... By the way, why change your blade if it's still in good condition? Keeping it would reduce the number of variables.

Your third option would be to start from scratch: From your playing style and priorities (control, speed, spin, block, smash, chop), read reviews of blades and rubbers and try to find the holy grail. That's if you enjoy testing, have time and have money to spend.

Which other rubbers did you test that didn't fit the bill and what was wrong with them? Did you test them on your regular bat or on different ones? What's your reference blade ? What's wrong with the Mark V on your forehand? (again, with which blade are you using  it?) What is that new blade + rubbers that you bought and find too fast? Lost of questions... maybe it would be easier to convince Donic to restart producing the J.O. Waldner rubber!


Shaun Synot

Shaun Synot Posted 5 years ago

it's still listed for sale at http://www.pingpongonline.com/


Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Posted 5 years ago

Thank you to Shaun and Jean for their great help. Jean has asked some valid questions and here are my answers: My reference blade is Stiga WRB Allround classic. The reason why I changed blade is because the retailer that sold me the latest bat only sells Donic products. I trusted him that the carbon blade he suggested would suit my style. On my reference blade I had previously tried about 5 rubbers. The ones I remember (and still have) are: Stiga Neos and Andro Plasma 430. I agree with Shaun that Coppa (I cannot remember the type) is the one that came closer, but not quite the same as my JO Waldnetr. Mark V on the forehand also comes closer but somehow there are things I cannot do with it that I used to do with my JO Waldner. As Shaun suggests I will try pingpongonline. If it is the Philippine supplier I think that they may have not updated their website because I ordered some sheets from them and they returned the money as they did not have any in stock. I will give it another ago. What do you advise about the present bat. Should I carry on and if so for how long? Or give it up and test another rubber on my reference blade? If so which one? Finally the bat I am using has as a blade Ovtcharov-senso-soft carbon and as rubbers Desto F1 2.0 on f/hand and the same but 1.8 on the b/hand.

Kind regards to both

 

Filippo


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 5 years ago

You're welcome Filippo.

For the blade, I'd say forget about the Ovtcharov Soft Carbon. It is faster indeed than your Stiga WRB Allround Classic and it is heavier. So if you're happy with your current blade, I'd rather buy a second one of these to test various rubbers while keeping your best-so-far combination as a reference (Allround Classic WRB with double Mark V if I'm correct).

The Desto F1 may compare to the J.O. Waldner rubber in terms of hardness, but it's also faster (rated OFF+). As you already have two though, you could take one off the Ovtcahrov ans stick it onto an Allrounc Classic WRB. Not many chances of success but who knows, maybe the slower blade will make it manageable, and it wouldn't cost you anything.

Stiga Neos is an OFF+ too, Andro Plasma is OFF... Actually the J.O. Waldner was rated OFF as well, but that was a long time ago and in the speed-glue era. Mark V was rated OFF+, while today it would probably be considered ALL+ or OFF- tops. So if you're looking for something similar to your Waldner, I'd consider old generation rubbers (no tensor), on the harder side in terms of the sponge. You may consider the Tibhar Speedy Spin (harder and less grippy top-sheet than the Mark V). It's also cheap and durable. Or the Butterfly Sriver (the regular one, plain "Sriver", not "Sriver FX", "Sriver G3" or anything). In the Donic family, there would be the Vario (again, plain "Vario", not "Vario Soft" or "Vario Bigslam").

Hope this helps.


Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Posted 5 years ago

I am so grateful to Jean who has such an extensive knowledge of blades, sponges and rubbers. If I had been able to avail myself of your knowledge I would have saved myself a small fortune! Your advice makes sense in all respects and what a fool I have been in buying this new bat. The so called expert who sold it to me should have considered my age and what I had been using and sold me something similar at least in terms of blade. I am certain that he did it in good faith but it cost me yet more money.

I have revisited the pinpongonline (a supplier from the Philippines) web site and ordered 3 JO Waldner 2.0 black rubbers. They have so far confirmed the order but I fear that when they look at their stock they will find that they do not have them (as it happened last time I ordered them). I will keep my fingers crossed. I have in this respect a question: If this rubber has been discontinued years ago how come that they still have some in stock? However if they do I reckon that my three rubbers should last me until the end of my career. I will probably buy a couple more to make sure.

If they cannot supply JO Waldner I will then try Vario and Tibhar Speedy Spin.

Once more my kindest regards.

Filippo


Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Posted 5 years ago

As I expected pingpongonline has just confirmed that they do not have JO Waldner. Why do they still show this rubber as available? Another reliable supplier! Jean, which supplier do you use? Are you based in England? I am Italian but I have lived in England for over 40 years.

Kind regards

 

Filippo


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 5 years ago

 

Hi Filippo,

 

You’re welcome, but don’t let me be misunderstood, I’m not an equipment guru! I’m just a guy who restarted table tennis about 4 years ago and got a bit more serious about it. Therefore I tried to replace my allround setup by something just a little bit faster, and that’s when it happened: I selected a new blade and rubbers based on the speed/spin/control ratings of a table tennis equipment store… and what was “mathematically” supposed to be very similar but just a bit faster turned out to behave completely differently from what I had before. By this experience I learned that the ratings should be regarded as rough indications only. Table tennis equipment must actually be tested because it’s mainly a question of feeling. So I spent a ridiculous amount of time reading reviews, forums, tried out whatever I could from other players, bought some stuff myself (I must have about 6 complete rackets currently… and I prefer not to calculate how much I spend on this! :o) ) So I gathered some knowledge, most of it not first hand though, and it’s certainly not enough to be able to tell upfront what equipment will suit which player exactly, if that is even possible. I’m making deductions here, from the information you gave about your tests, your age and the little I could find about the J.O. Waldner rubber.

 

Regarding PingPongOnLine, I’m not too optimistic either. I tried to order there once, and it turned out that they didn’t actually have the goods in stock, so they paid me back. A couple of weeks later I checked their website again, and they still had that bargain sale item online that I tried to order. I don’t understand why they think it’s a good idea to advertise for stuff they can’t actually deliver, as it costs them time and customers are dissatisfied. But anyway, at least they respond when you send them a mail, which cannot be said from all on-line stores! I live in France and for European stuff, I mostly buy from the German store Contra (note: I don’t have any interest in this store!) As for the question “How could PingPongOnLine still sell J.O. Waldner rubbers so long after it was discontinued by Donic?”, I have no idea, other than they got a bargain price on the final batches of this product which no one was supposed to be interested in anymore once the new fancy “tensor” rubbers came out, and they made a big stock of it?


Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Posted 5 years ago

Hi Jean

Ours could be defined as parallel table tennis lives. I have done exactly what you have, have about the same number of bats and I am still looking for the perfect replacement for JO Waldner. At least on that I have some leads from you which I will pursue. They make sense at least and there is obviously no blame attached if it does not work. You are 100% right when you say that the only way to test a rubber is by playing with it. They are all quite different. I am certain that you are also right about how Pingpongonline stocked JO Waldner.

On another topic, what are your thoughts on plastic balls. I have about 200 celluloid balls which I use for my robot (I have a table in the garage). I would like to use plastic balls but it is yet more money to spend! The only thing that makes me optimistic about carrying on using celluloid balls is the fact that suppliers of plastic balls keep reassuring us users that their balls are more and more similar to the old celluloid ones!

Kind regards

Filippo


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 5 years ago

 

Hi Filippo,

 

Regarding plastic balls, I’ll refer you to these existing topics:

 

https://www.pingskills.com/table-tennis-forum/new-ball-just-say-no-a-petition-is-now-online/

 

https://www.pingskills.com/table-tennis-forum/introduction-of-the-plastic-ball/

 

https://www.pingskills.com/table-tennis-forum/celluloid-and-plastic-balls/

 

I’m not a big fan, as you’ll easily notice if you read the first one.

 

From the latest I read on this topic, what I took away is that today 3 stars plastics balls are said to be improving (roundness, rebound consistency, durability) and range from “reasonably close to the old celluloid ball” to “bad”. Training plastic balls are judged to be somewhere between “bad” and “worse than bad”. Both are still more expensive and less durable than the old celluloid balls. At a club level, only the wealthiest once will have the luxury to buy big quantities of the best available 3 stars plastics balls and use only these.

 

The question is “do you need to play with the plastic ball in the competitions you’re entering?” In France, they’re not mandatory at all levels yet (almost, but not entirely yet). As long as you don’t have to use the plastic ball in competition, I’d advocate to stick to the celluloid ball as long as you can, hoping that when you won’t have a choice anymore, plastic balls, including training ones, will have become better and more affordable.

 

If you have to use plastic balls in competition, the decision is harder. Is it worse to train with oddly bouncing training plastic balls, or with good celluloid balls? If I had to make the choice for a club today, I’d probably buy 3 stars plastic balls for everything you can do using just one ball, and buckets of celluloid training balls for multiball and robot training only. It would be a little less convenient than today where we have tons of training celluloid balls for all purposes, and 3 stars only for official matches, but it would limit the budget impact and people would still be used to the plastic balls they will use in matches.


Shaun Synot

Shaun Synot Posted 5 years ago

I would give the new DONIC J.O. Waldner Legend rubber a try but it might be expensive for you because it's only available in Japan. I've always heard that Vario is much softer than Coppa but I've never tried it. The quality of the plastic balls are evolving so it's better to wait and see. I think it's better to use the plastic balls now rather than play catch up later.


Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Posted 5 years ago

Thank you once again to Jean and Shaun for their valuable comments. In England plastic balls are compulsory in all competitions and local leagues. I play in a local League and play in National veteran competitions (mainly over 60 and now over 70). As Jean suggests I will keep using my 3 stars celluloid balls for my robot and plastic balls when I go to my Club hoping that my playing brain is not affected by the difference.

Kind regards

Filippo 



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