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...