I’ve just received a long email from a player. He shared with me his true story about his improvement. He won the Provincial cup with a racket less than $40. So today, I want to share with you his story: “Cheap but effective table tennis racket under 40 dollars”. And we also learned that choosing the right equipment will help you improve like a rocket.
The wrong setup ruin my dream
I currently am being dormant in guitar (was being active for 12 years) and resuming playing table tennis after pausing for 12 years (3 years experience starting around 15 years ago when I was 9 years old).
I would like to thank you really much for your passion on educating, showing us the Chinese (or the better) way of table tennis playing and your will and effort into growing one’s progress in table tennis.
I was skeptical at first regarding your equipment suggestion since I had a bad experience of friendship Ritc (Check price). It was a slow rubber and we never reglue every session. So on first 3 hours was great, and it turned into very dull on the next day shall no reglue applied.
My dad bought me kong linghui special 3+2 alc (Check price), Anatomic handle, black tag circa 2003, paired it with a pair of Bryce 2.1mm sheets, and switched to pair Bryce fx 2.1mm sheets after fx version was released. Tried Flextra though for once and some tsp rubbers. Some Donic and Tibhar rubbers as well perhaps.
Speed Glue, No Fun at all?
And the worst thing is dad reglue with inferior speed glue, and reglue once in two weeks. At that time dad and I didn’t notice the short duration of speed glue’s effect.
So at first 3 hours, I was happy whatever the rubber is, and the next days were like torture when my dad yelled “spin and brush that ball”. The only tsp had the best among worse spin after glue effect is gone, at that time.
I was lucky to win city and provincial baby cup in my country, but table tennis was like nightmare and crap, no fun at all. I was a blocker, able to block, and to loop only at the beginning but really in doubt because didn’t understand the benefit of spin and didn’t able to spin well.
Carbon blade is hell
What can I expect by having a pair of Bryce on a carbon blade for a 12 years old boy with no knowledge and no ability nor feeling of brushing spin?
It was really a nightmare when dad yelled at me to spin while I only get the mediocre feeling for 3 out of 20 balls by that carbon Bryce setup. I was so frustrated, cried a lot. And it was happening for 3 years. Every day of table tennis practice is just like being in jail or hell. Jail if nothing bad happens, hell if my dad yelled at me.
Then come 12 years of classical guitar career and I became 15 international awards winning guitarist and composer under my dad’s teaching which I felt far better instead of my previous table tennis career in my childhood. I started to have spare time and started again to play table tennis.
Worst setup ever
Oh another trouble, dad bought me Galaxy T6s (check price) which was totally devastating for my touch, paired it with Donic Baracuda on fh and bh, then switched to focus 3 snipe (check price) on fh and ritc 2000 on bh. Worst setup ever, I really hate to employ ritc 2000 and using it as dead blocking rubber.
Worst setup ever (Baracuda, Galaxy T6s)
Hell no more I play with this, I was severely frustrated.
Cheap but effective rackets
Then I saw your video regarding equipment.
Not buying Stiga blade because it was expensive, so I looked and was having window shopping on Revspin and bought N9s because it is 5 ply all wood that has a great review and the plies construction is supposed to be soft in the inner 3 layers. Koto Basswood Ayous Basswood Koto, only koto which is hard and similar to Viscaria (check price) outer plies.
Although Revspin community said it was 6.9 on stiffness, the real thing N9s is even slightly more flexible than most of N series blades which share stiffness scores around 5.0.
So I was thinking this is the best buy for $10.
I bought Hurricane 2 (Check price) (2.15mm 39 degrees) black non-Neo and unboosted since I thought, whatever it is, it will go right or burst, so nothing to lose with such hard rubber. $18 here for orange sponge H2.
Table tennis rackets only 40 dollars
Backhand is PF4 40+ because it is cheap, slightly softer than hurricane since here shop only sells H2 or H3 (Original version with orange sponge) (Check price/ Read Reviews), with neo variants but they offer the rubbers with only one hardness type (39 DHS degree) and one type of sponge thickness (2.15 mm).
Note: Provincial and National version are different.
I bought PF4 and use it unboosted which shares hardness similar to commercial Tenergy 05 (compared with Tenergy 05 Hard). I convinced myself because Ma Long and Xu Xin finally use hurricane on their BH. So I thought maybe if I use Chinese style DHS which is softer than those 2 are using will be okay.
And also many great Chinese players of past use Sriver or Bryce on their BH. So PF4 is also rumored as in one class and one era of Sriver, Mark V, and Mendo. Backhand is PF4 40+ 2.15mm around 36 degrees red unboosted, $8.
The total is around $40.
Just before this, I bought two sheets of 9000D for $5 each (buy brand new rubber), since I saw it is tacky, glued it to N9s. But soon after I discovered they are too soft. Then I changed to H2 on FH and PF4 on BH.
Total weight on N9s + H2 + PF4 is around 190 grams, which is much heavier than the previous setup I ever used before.
The champion’s congratulation
Things getting better day by day.
Although on first two months many times had ball landed on the net due to lack of power caused by poor technique, i.e. missing power from the ground concept, or ball drift too far due to no brush and/or no acceleration on impact.
But after I fixed some of my technique by watching some of your videos regarding technique and strategy and also tactics, I got better.
Now after putting effort on setup based on your suggestion for 5 months, today I beat the provincial number one player of 80’s era which is still considered as terror in my province.
I am really surprised yet everybody is and even that 80’s champion congratulated me.
He is blocker which is considered as a wall. Many loopers failed on breaking his barrier and turned into lobbying during the game. Today I loop killed him from both wings, beat him 3-2 with 11-6 on the final game.
Thank you very much coach, I enjoy the progress that I achieved with the help of my dad (he is still giving advice) and your suggestions.