Thursday, July 31, 2008

Avalox AVX Pronte mini review

Finally got around to trying this rubber;

AVX Pronte 2.2mm Soft on a Dr N Firewall+ balsa blade

Topsheet is quite tacky and is one of the thinnest I’ve seen. It feels fairly soft too, but it’s a little hard to judge since it’s thinner. Sponge is marked as Soft, but did not really feel that soft, measured at about 39/40 deg. The Sterco seems to also have such a thin topsheet, but is totally non-tacky, and the sponge is softer.

The throw on loops for the Pronte is quite high as expected, but I had little trouble adjusting to it since the throw of my 999 Nat is high too. Speed was higher than I expected, similar to a lightly glued 999 Nat. that’s been well primed or worn in.

The thin and tacky topsheet seems to give it two definite gears which I really like. On slow brush loops it comes off very spinny, and you can feel the topsheet stretching a little, and then catapulting it back… result is a very spinny but slow loop. But when you hit through the ball a little more, the sponge kicks in and it gives quite a boost in speed with still very good spin, the balsa blade would have some effect there too. The sponge feels faster than most Chinese sponges, I suspect it’s Japanese.

I played a few games with it, and it many ways it seems similar to my 999 Nat, probably 80% of the speed of a boosted or glued up (2 layers) 999 Nat.

For serves it was tacky, which is all I would need to load them up with spin. Chopping was reasonably controllable as well.

I did not get around to trying to block or counter-loop against a strong looper, but I expect that with such a high throw, this will be harder close in, but not bad away from the table.

Did I like it, yes I did! If I ever decide to stop boosting my rubbers, it would be my #1 choice, as the sponge hardness is just about right for me (medium soft) and it has plenty of speed on loops to put the ball away. The slow spinny loops feature that is key to my game, seems to be hard to find in rubbers, an this one seems to do it very well…

We’ll try it boosted up next, will be interseting to see how it performs… hope the throw does not get too much higher…

The Inventor of the Sponge Racket Deceased

Waldemar Fritsch passed away on 15th May 2008 at the age of eighty-five at his home town Bregenz. The Austrian shocked the table tennis world on the occasion of the World Championships in Vienna 1951.Fritsch remained unbeaten in the team event by using his revolutionary three millimetres thick black sponge.

Milestone in the History of Table Tennis
In Zdenko Uzorinac’s book Table Tennis Legends, Waldemar Fritsch described the genesis of the sponge as follows. “Sometime in early 1951 one of my fellow players in our table tennis club, who had been taken prisoner by the Americans, gave me a racket with very worn-out rubber. At the time you couldn’t buy new rubber linings. By chance, completely by chance, I remembered seeing a sponge-like material in the basement, so I cut it, patterned it to match the racket, glued it on the wood and tried to play with it. I hit the ball as strongly as I could and was amazed – the ball flew away noiselessly as if catapulted!”

A Multi-Talent at Sports
Waldemar Fritsch had an academic degree of political science and was a successful business man. He kept on playing for his club in the Austrian table tennis top division until the age of sixty.Dr. Fritsch was not only an excellent offensive table tennis player but a highly gifted athlete competing also in swimming athletics, gymnastics, handball, skiing and football.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Proposed ITTF ruling on tuners/boosters

We get so many questions and angry opinions on booster/tuners, that I think it's worth writing a letter to the ITTF and outlining some of our concerns... It may have to come through formal channels to get anywhere, but if we don't say anything or question yet another one of the ITTF proposed changes of rules, they'll pat themselves on the back for doing another great job Evil or Very Mad

I've started a thread with my proposed letter in a forum here:
Proposed letter to ITTF regarding the banning of boosters / tuners

I'm sick of the ITTF changing the rules on us, especially with no formal announcement, no reasons and no advanced notice, and I'm really interested to hear how this decision will actually benefit table tennis!

I would encourage everyone to read it and offer suggestions on how we can best construct the letter... An excellent suggestion by SquidTT from DTTW, was to also run a petition, so I'll look into that as well, when the letter has been formulated.