Monday, September 21, 2009

TSP Curl P-H review

Finally got to try this rubbers, and after 2 sessions I thought I'd give a little review.

1. Blade/Style/Level

I tested this on a TSP Balsa Plus 4.5. The sheet was OX red. Although I've always been more of a chopper, I've concentrated a lot on my close to the table blocking game and have tried quite a few LPs for this style, so I've got a few things to compare it to.

2. Physical properties

The sheet is top quality. The pips are very stiff and closely spaced together, and feel very grippy. The whole sheet feels quite stiff, and the basesheet feels quite thick, and comes with an adhesive backing.

3. Speed:

a) The speed of the rubber at low impact, such as return of serves, short pushes is very low... it is one of the slowest, if not THE slowest I've tried.
b) The speed when blocking against fast loops is a little hard to define, due to a quite unique property;
Holding the bat perpendicular to the path of the ball makes it come off at medium speed, a lilttle lower than the average LP. However this pip is quite sensitive to spin (although considerable less at higher impact), forcing you to close the bat a little... and when you do this the ball comes off much slower and the pace gets taken right off, creating a very slow no-spin ball. I think most LPs do this to some extent, but the closely spaces and very stiff pips really makes this stand out! I think this property could easily be exploited, making it quite deceptive.

4. Spin and reversal.

Reversal on this rubber is quite low, although it improves at higher impact. However you can generate quite significant spin with this rubber, among the best I've seen. This property alone seems to draw a lot of errors from my practice partner, partially since he did not expect it...

5. Sensitivity to spin:
The rubber is quite sensitive to incoming spin, but lower at higher impact. Even against backspin you need to be careful as it can grip causing you to land the ball into the net. Hewever when you do adjust, you can return quite a lot of backspin, which is remarkable for a LP.

6. Control:
The slow speed of this rubber gave it very good control, the only think you need to adjust for is some sensitivity to spin. The ability to generate some spin actually gives you more choices of returning the ball, as you can flip or attack the ball as well as block it short.

Chopping against loops gave decent control, but the stiff pips gave it bit bit of a hard feel, whereas I think most people would prefer something softer. However it was quite easy to either chop back heavy or return a float, so perhaps with a bit more practice this could be used quite effectively. Chops came back slow and low, a lot of time my partner could not loop for a second time as it was too short.

7. Other properties
I think one of it's greatest properties was that it was very easy to attack no-spin or slight topspin balls.. a bit of wrist allows you to really grip the ball and actually generate some topspin... in this respect it felt like OX short pips or hardbat.

8. Reference:
I've not come across a pip anything like this... all the really grippy LPs seems to be very soft.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Great table tennis Slow - Mo clip!

Awesome clip of slow motion table tennis video! If you want to learn to chop, this is well worth watching!