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Level to migrate Wood to ALC? Rule of Thumb?

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Dream1700 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09/12/2018 at 2:50pm
if somebody starts with a wood blade then what playing level could justify later migration to ALC?

Edited by Dream1700 - 09/12/2018 at 2:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 3:10pm
Originally posted by Dream1700 Dream1700 wrote:

if somebody starts with a wood blade then what playing level could justify later migration to ALC?


I think it is more a question of salary level than playing level.


Sorry, could not resist. Interesting questions. If not a general level, maybe people could give some reasons and things to look at in your game that would help determine if you would benefit from a switch.

Mark

Edited by mjamja - 09/12/2018 at 3:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 3:33pm
For purely technical reasons, 2000USATT level and progressing. Only then can one really discern the difference and see any advantage.
Otherwise >1100USATT. Use the equipment that you want to, not what suits your playing style etc. Experiment, enjoy the journey.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpenmaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 3:56pm
There is no level. It's about preference . You could play a 5 ply wood blade all the way to a top 10 world ranking if you have the skill set.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketman222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 4:02pm
One thing that ALC blades help with is consistency, due to a large sweetspot, so developing players < 1500 can get a help in blocking etc, but the newer stiffer all-wood blades like TSP Swat, Mizuno fortius and BBC hinoki ghost also have giant sweet spots so I guess its more of a taste thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TT newbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 4:10pm
Originally posted by rocketman222 rocketman222 wrote:

One thing that ALC blades help with is consistency, due to a large sweetspot, so developing players < 1500 can get a help in blocking etc, but the newer stiffer all-wood blades like TSP Swat, Mizuno fortius and BBC hinoki ghost also have giant sweet spots so I guess its more of a taste thing.
Just said everything I would say.
I used to play with 7-plies all my life, being a penholder SP. But I needed to have a larger sweetspot (because of blocking) and migrated to carbon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hozuki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 5:02pm
The rule of thumb is: once you have mastered your FH and BH technique, have great consistency but not enough speed when counterlooping with max thickness rubbers, and you have tried some fast 7-ply All-wood blades and found them either too slow or too thick. So 2000 USATT rating could be a fair estimate.

The increased sweetspot only actually helps you when your technique is advanced enough that you can consistently hit the blade in its sweetspot, and thus do not need the feedback of where you actually hit the ball anymore.

But IMO, there is no need to ever change to a carbon blade for amateur loopers. Maybe for SP hitters, but for anybody else a fast 7ply + T05 is easily fast enough.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 5:08pm
It is more of a taste thing than anything else.  There are plenty of world class players who use all wood blades.   I have tried a lot of different ones and in the end went back to an all wood blade since I prefer the feel.  To each his own.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 8:19pm
40+ balls lowered the level where this change might make sense. Those balls are heavier. Count me in the camp that says its a question of taste though.

See if a clubmate has one and try it, If you like it get one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 10:15pm
I think the level of control is still the key factor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote notfound123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 10:32pm
Originally posted by jpenmaster jpenmaster wrote:

There is no level. It's about preference . You could play a 5 ply wood blade all the way to a top 10 world ranking if you have the skill set.


This.

I read somewhere that many Korean players still play with a 5-ply korbel. Of course many switched to 7ply when the ball increased in size but you don’t have to go to the alc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 7:28am
Originally posted by yogi_bear yogi_bear wrote:

I think the level of control is still the key factor.


I don't think the ALC blades I use lack "control". But I don't go changing equipment every other week so my brain knows what to expect. Motor learning and motor memory are real things.

One other thing. Control of what exactly? The term is so vague as to be almost useless.

To the OP I say again, just try one. The main effect the arylate has is to dampen out very high frequency vibrations. The carbon reduces some of the flex. Even a 1600 player will feel those effects. Some people like it and some don't. If you like it, stick with it. Constant equipment changes are not good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote garwor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 9:06am
It's more about blade speed, not composition. When you have efficient enough technique that you can hit every ball before or at the top of bounce, you can go with faster setup. If you slow and often hit ball after top of bounce go with slower.
I had many carbon blades but play with cheap 5 ply yinhe blade:)

But there is one more moment: the more money you invest the less is chance that you will quit the sport due to lack of success. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DreiZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 2:13pm
I currently have two blades: one is a 5-ply Koto outer wood (Hadraw VK) and the other is Koto ALC (TB ALC).

I like both but I have a sense of better control with 5-ply during matches against higher ranked players (1900+ USATT). 

ALC is great attacking weapon, especially if you like the vibration free numb feel as Baal pointed out. 

I know players that said ZLC was not enough speed and they wanted something even faster, which sounded crazy too me but again its their preference.

ALC can also be very controllable paired with the right rubbers. Also, there are ALC blades such as Freitas ALC that feel slower compared to TB ALC/Viscaria/ZJK ALC.... many variables out there.

Try one before buying and see if you like the feel of it, in the end its all about preference since there isn't really a rule of thumb. There are many pros that still play with 5-ply wood and their game is still plenty fast which tells me they use whatever they use because of preference and feel.


Edited by DreiZ - 09/13/2018 at 2:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 5:30pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

Originally posted by yogi_bear yogi_bear wrote:

I think the level of control is still the key factor.


I don't think the ALC blades I use lack "control". But I don't go changing equipment every other week so my brain knows what to expect. Motor learning and motor memory are real things.

One other thing. Control of what exactly? The term is so vague as to be almost useless.

To the OP I say again, just try one. The main effect the arylate has is to dampen out very high frequency vibrations. The carbon reduces some of the flex. Even a 1600 player will feel those effects. Some people like it and some don't. If you like it, stick with it. Constant equipment changes are not good.


Control of the ball even when doing full swing strokes. There i made it very specific.if you cannot consistently place the ball on the table when attacming with full swing strokes you do not need a faster blade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 6:26pm
Actually I would argue that blades there too fast for the player's level affect short game the most. Service return, pushes, etc. That is probably where you see would be most likely to see it. I still think a developing player can use an ALC blade if they like the feel. Maybe not with Tenergy or MX-P. But with Vega or something like that.

That means if you try one make sure you do more than hit loops and counters when trying to decide if it might be good for you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 6:41pm
Many not-so-distant champions used wood blades and probably more recent than we think. What real reason would you have to switch? I always say if you can't answer that question, you shouldn't switch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 9:23pm
Originally posted by cole_ely cole_ely wrote:

What real reason would you have to switch? 


Because you tried one and you liked it.  It's really the only reason that makes sense to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote garwor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/14/2018 at 5:41am
This is not good enough reason. I tried somebody's alc blade with particular rubber and liked it. Then I bought new same blade and same rubber and couldn't send ball to the other side of net, it was too slow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/14/2018 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by garwor garwor wrote:

This is not good enough reason. I tried somebody's alc blade with particular rubber and liked it. Then I bought new same blade and same rubber and couldn't send ball to the other side of net, it was too slow.


The usual alternative to what I suggest?  Make an equipment choice because of stuff you read on the internet.  It might work.  It might not.  It's pretty much a coin flip.  Who do you believe?  See for example, the advice given on this thread.  It is all over the place.

Regarding the notion that the same blade/rubber combination bought new is radically different from a clubmate's that one tries?  Blades are made of wood so not identical.  But with the pretty well known brands I have used over the last decades, mostly Btfly, some Donic, various ESN rubbers, I have never experienced something that dramatic.  Not once.  That goes back decades.  This includes when I have bought new versions of blades I already use.  .   

So getting back to if someone is wondering if they might do well with an ALC blade, the single best way to know is to try one.  And if it is a friend's you don't need to spend money.  Do an experiment.  Don't take it on faith.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kindof99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/14/2018 at 5:43pm
I think more likely it is due to the rubbers. New rubbers take time to break in, and sometimes it can be totally different when it is new.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote garwor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2018 at 2:08am
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

Originally posted by garwor garwor wrote:

This is not good enough reason. I tried somebody's alc blade with particular rubber and liked it. Then I bought new same blade and same rubber and couldn't send ball to the other side of net, it was too slow.


The usual alternative to what I suggest?  Make an equipment choice because of stuff you read on the internet.  It might work.  It might not.  It's pretty much a coin flip.  Who do you believe?  See for example, the advice given on this thread.  It is all over the place.

Regarding the notion that the same blade/rubber combination bought new is radically different from a clubmate's that one tries?  Blades are made of wood so not identical.  But with the pretty well known brands I have used over the last decades, mostly Btfly, some Donic, various ESN rubbers, I have never experienced something that dramatic.  Not once.  That goes back decades.  This includes when I have bought new versions of blades I already use.  .   

So getting back to if someone is wondering if they might do well with an ALC blade, the single best way to know is to try one.  And if it is a friend's you don't need to spend money.  Do an experiment.  Don't take it on faith.
Your advice is good of course, best way. I just added from my own experience that it doesn't work always.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dream1700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2018 at 12:12pm
Blade composition database is very informative https://stervinou.net/ttbdb/. You can search for the exact type of wood or synthetic material by ply.

Edit: link BBcode does not work for me.


Edited by Dream1700 - 09/17/2018 at 12:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taczkid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2018 at 10:22am
Just simply play with whatever you desire. If you like ALC, don't wait just go for it. At any level you can play with any setup its all just a matter of getting used to. I started playing USATT level 1400 my first tournament with Schlager Carbon and I think donic coppa silver. 12 years since my first USATT tournament and I still play the same Blade (Schlager Carbon) with T05 now. In my opinion once you find a blade/rubber setup that suits your style and you feel like you enjoy playing with it then stick to it. The longer you stay with same setup the better player you will be, as after a year+ of using the same setup you will realize that its not the equipment to blame its always yourself, either lack of training or other factors. If you like ALC I would not wait at all and just get the ALC you want, I would recommend you Viscaria or TB ALC (in my opinion the best 2 ALC blades out there) Also they sell and are used the most among pros and non-pros for the same reason - they are best ALCs. Just FYI they work great with Tenergy Rubbers (I always like T05 the best from all the Tenergy rubber series)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2018 at 10:35pm
Originally posted by garwor garwor wrote:

This is not good enough reason. I tried somebody's alc blade with particular rubber and liked it. Then I bought new same blade and same rubber and couldn't send ball to the other side of net, it was too slow.

you bought same blade and rubber, but you did not prepare the rubber and assemble it correctly :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2018 at 11:15pm
Nobody mentioned inner or outer carbon. Feel is quitw different. And it seems innerforce style construction is gaining some more popularity, with successful models like acoustic being offered in carbon inner ply.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfolsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2018 at 11:55pm
1700, give or take. A slower and more controllable setup is ideal for developing proper strokes. Once your strokes are ingrained you can step up the speed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ClimbK2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2018 at 11:55pm
I just tried an Accoustic Carbon Inner.  It has great control, and would be at the top of my list for a first carbon blade.  At a cheaper price point, and a good blade, is the Donic Senso Carbon.  Both of these blades use softer, more flexible Limba wood.  They each have a good wood feel.  You could play with those at a 1500 rating IMO (just avoid Max fast rubber)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mykonos96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/01/2018 at 12:21am
Originally posted by DreiZ DreiZ wrote:

I currently have two blades: one is a 5-ply Koto outer wood (Hadraw VK) and the other is Koto ALC (TB ALC).

I like both but I have a sense of better control with 5-ply during matches against higher ranked players (1900+ USATT). 

ALC is great attacking weapon, especially if you like the vibration free numb feel as Baal pointed out. 

I know players that said ZLC was not enough speed and they wanted something even faster, which sounded crazy too me but again its their preference.

ALC can also be very controllable paired with the right rubbers. Also, there are ALC blades such as Freitas ALC that feel slower compared to TB ALC/Viscaria/ZJK ALC.... many variables out there.

Try one before buying and see if you like the feel of it, in the end its all about preference since there isn't really a rule of thumb. There are many pros that still play with 5-ply wood and their game is still plenty fast which tells me they use whatever they use because of preference and feel.



Playing with 5 ply blade doesnt mean it will be slow. Franziska was playing with mazunov blade rated as off+ and is a 5ply blade
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