Sunday, September 28, 2008

more on water glue

So I know that in the last post I listed a few rubbers that would fall under the "Hurricane of the new era" category, but I tried out another one today that I would definitely add to the list: Butterfly's Tenergy. Compared to other new rubbers, the Tenergy's sponge is VERY hard and could be comparable with Hurricane; it has the same relative hardness, is quite spinny, and can deliver a pretty explosive shot. For anyone who uses Hurricane and is looking into rubbers to try out, I'd definitely suggest trying this one out before you get used to a softer sponge; the only reason I'm not flying off the walls crazy about the rubber is because I'm used to my Nimbus (Tibhar) now and I like it a lot, so I'm sort of over my "I-have-to-use-Hurricane" phase. In any case, there will never be another rubber exactly like Hurricane, so I'm over looking for a replacement.

For anyone using water glue for the first time, this is how you go about gluing: take your new sheet of rubber out of the packaging, and leave it out in open air for around 3 days. The reason you're supposed to leave it out is so the "speed effect" built in the sponge can sort of sink in and "breathe"; I'm not exactly sure how racket inspections/testing will work, but I've been told that unless your sponge gets the 72 hours of open air it needs, it could fail the test. Anyway, after 3 days, put a glob of glue roughly the size of a quarter, maybe a little smaller, in the middle of the sponge, and spread it out as evenly as possible; any bumps will be immediately noticable when you put the rubber on the blade. Water glue looks basically just like Elmer's glue (the white pastey stuff we used in like first grade for arts and crafts), and is just as harmless- the gluing process can get VERY messy, so make sure you have a tissue handy, but in case it gets on your hands or something, it's not toxic.. no biggie. To glue the blade, use a very small glob of glue and spread it evenly. When wet, the glue looks white, but will look transparent when dry, so you'll definitely be able to tell when it's dry. It should take only about 5-10 minutes for everything to dry. One layer of glue for both wood and rubber is definitely enough, and it wouldn't make a bit of difference if you use more glue anyway, so the whole gluing process should take no more than 10-15 minutes, if even that much. Plus, gluing can be a one-time experience for each rubber; you do it once and never again (unless you need to because it's coming off or something like that).

Overall, I'm pretty chill with the new glues/rubbers. My only issue is that my forehand rubber (Tibhar's Nimbus) has sort of a short lifespan; while I only need to glue it once, it usually doesn't last me more than 2 or 3 months. But, it's nice not to have to worry about gluing before practice anymore, and I'm down for not inhaling poisonous toxins any day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

dealing with water glue (yes, you have to now)

Ok, so it's been September for a while, and for those who don't know, this means that the table tennis world officially has to start using ONLY water-based glue. Water glue really is going to change the game, as shown by Li Xiaoxia, winner of the Volkswagen Women's World Cup earlier this month; Li has real power, and she has never needed to rely on her rubber and glue to get by, unlike most people, and therefore blew away the competition. That's right, people will no longer be able to blame a bad match on a bad gluing job, because gluing is essentially no longer important and plays little to no role in actual play.

I said it before and I'll say it again: FOR PEOPLE WHO NORMALLY USE HURRICANE, GIVE IT UP. I know it's hard and I know Hurricane is an amazing rubber, but I can guarantee you 110% you will not be able to use it anymore. Using Hurricane is especially out of the question now that Optimizers are officially illegal. The way the rubbers of the new age work is that the stuff that made speed glue speedy is now built into the sponges. This the reason why you only need to glue a sheet once and never again; regluing is not necessary because the "stuff" isn't in your glue anymore (it's been about two months since the last time I glued). It's weird to imagine gluing only about once every two or three months, but it's been great, because I don't need to sit and glue my Hurricane for 10-20 minutes anymore, and there is no unpredictability in my rubbers' performance. Definitely, for sure, absolutely, positively, undeniably, you're going to need to take some time to look into company's new lines of rubber, try them out, and get used to them (Tibhar, Donic, Butterfly, and Xiom have come out with pretty good ones, but, obviously, not everyone will like the same ones).

In addition to investing in new rubbers, you probably will need to try out new blades too; depending on how long you've been using your current one(s), it may be considered illegal because speed glue from before has been absorbed into the wood. Also, blades of a certain hardness may just not match up with whatever new rubber you get, so that's going to require some mixing and matching as well.

Shots with the new rubbers aren't as spinny or as powerful as with speed glue, but this definitely is not to say that making powerful or spinny shots is impossible. All I'm saying is that you absolutely cannot depend on your glue or your rubber to make your shots for you anymore. It will take some work and some getting used to, but it is definitely doable. Good luck to everyone in making the switch! It's kind of a pain, I know, but we don't have a choice, do we...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Zhang Yining withdraws from Panasonic China Open



Looks like she decided to pursue a career in modeling instead.

I'm just kidding.

But, seriously, looks like the China Open women's title is up for grabs.

Click here to read more on ittf.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

US Nationals Tournament Hotel

They finally changed the tournament hotel to the Las Vegas Hilton for the US Nationals! It's about time for a change...the Stratosphere was just too far from both the Strip AND the Convention Center, and the Riviera was plain out dingy. At least the Hilton is close to the Convention Center and a decent hotel :).

Use reference code USA Table Tennis for the discount price of $70/night. Make your reservation before November 13, 2008 to get this rate!!

Click here for full details.

Olympic gold easier than World Championships gold?


According to table tennis legend Jan-Ove Waldner it sure is! Look at what ITTF quoted him as saying:

"Prior to the competition Jan-Ove Waldner was asked whether it was easier to win the Men's Singles title at the Olympic Games or the World Championships.

He answered with a wry smile. 'The Olympics, there you only have to beat three Chinese,' he said. 'In the World Championships you have to beat six!'"

WORD!

Click here to read more on ITTF.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Volkswagen Women's World Cup


Why hello there, everyone! Sorry for this lack of posting...life just catches up with us sometimes. Hold on just a sec as a stretch my typity-type-type fingers for some posting...

Oh yeah, as I warm up my typity-type fingers, Steph just started school at Barnard this last week! How exciting!

Okay, so the Volkswagen Women's World Cup. Went down yesterday. Lemme guess who won...China? Was I right? Oh, yep, China did win! Yay for me.

But, hey! Look! A new name came up -- up-and-comer Li XiaoXia won the title in Kula Lumpur. Second seed Li (born in 1988) basically crushed the competition, defeating Hong Kong's Tie Yana in four straight games in the final. Now that the Olympics are over, time to look for some fresh blood to replace old-timer Wang Nan...

Click here to read the whole story at ittf.com.

Monday, September 8, 2008

videos from beijing olympics

Sorry these took so long!

Singles- early rounds
William Henzell (AUS) vs Jens Lundqvist (SWE)
video

Jian Fang Lay (AUS) vs Sandra Paovic (HRV)

video

Peng Zhang [aka Wilson Zhang] (CAN) vs Seiya Kishikawa (JPN)

video video

Singles- Women's QF and Men's Round of 16

Wang Chen (USA) vs Li Jiawei (SIN)
video
video
video

Zhang Yining (CHN) vs Feng Tianwei (SIN)

video video video video

Wang Nan (CHN) vs Tie Yana (HKG)

video

Wu Xue (DOM) vs Guo Yue (CHN)

video

Wang Hao (CHN) vs Yo Kan (JPN)

video

Jorgen Persson (SWE) vs Vladimir Samsonov (BLR) video video video

Ma Lin (CHN) vs Kalinikos Kreanga (GRE)
video

Werner Schlager (AUT) vs Wang Liqin (CHN)

video video video

Timo Boll (GER) vs Oh Sang Eun (KOR)

video


Women's SF

Zhang Yining (CHN) vs Li Jiawei (SIN)

video video video video

Wang Nan (CHN) vs Guo Yue (CHN)
video

Check out older posts for more videos! (I didn't want to post the same videos twice). A link to a photobucket album will be available soon =]