Ask The Experts: Junya Chen No. 312
Butterfly Table Tennis Question and AnswerQuestion:
Hi there! I’m a semi-seasoned table tennis player who’s been playing TT for a little over a decade now. Despite this lengthy time I’ve invested into the sport, my technique’s improvement has slowed drastically over the years.
I’m a penholder who only plays with one side of the racket (i.e. No RPB), though I’ve also tried and found out to not be too big of a fan of the J-pen. I’ve played with C-pens growing up and was never coached. I simply tried mimicking whoever I was playing with, at least in the first few years. Now, I play with a rather unconventional technique where I’m most often close to the table, push and block with my backhand 90% of the time (and chop with my forehand on rare occasions), and do my best to hit/place balls in ways to force my opponents to make errors. I’ve also got a rather unreliable signature move where (it’s hard to describe but) I essentially raise my racket-holding hand when the ball comes to the right hand side (I’m right-handed) and flick the racket upwards in an instant starting with the head of the blade pointing almost straight at the table, hence achieving an effect similar to a smash that is often speedy and takes my opponents by surprise.
I’ve purchased quite a bit of products from Butterfly in the past, but now I’m looking into some professional advice in terms of which kind of blade and rubber would fit my style. I hardly ever loop, I play close to the table, and I’d like to score points by either attacking my opponents in sudden “ambushes” (albeit I don’t really attack often) or forcing them to make errors (or simply, as it most often happens, blocking/deflecting their attacks right back at them). I’ve looked into the Tenergy series and found the not-so-popular 25 rubber to have some of the attributes I’m looking for, though I’m honestly unsure and am open to playing with any rubber and any blade, so long as the latter isn’t a shakehand or a J-pen.
I’d say I’ve been a relatively casual player, but it also wouldn’t hurt to bump my skills up a notch or two, especially since my club now contains quite a handful of very serious and powerful players.
Thank you for your time!
This Ask the Experts question was answered by Junya Chen. Coach Chen is the head coach at the Canadian Elite Table Tennis Training Centre in Mississauga. Coach Chen’s response is as follows:
Thank you for your question and your continuous support in Butterfly products.
Looking at the description of your style of play, you prefer playing close to table and exchanging quick rallies. I would definitely suggest you to switch to quicker and bouncier set up of blade and rubbers.
First for blades, you could look into transitioning to carbon blades such as Hadraw VR CS and Primorac Carbon CS to increase the power and speed of your play.
For rubbers, I would suggest Roundell Hard to make your shots more sudden and also more stable. Tenergy 25 that you have mentioned will be ideal as well since it is designed for close to table attacks.
You would feel quite a difference in speed with the equipment mentioned above so don’t worry if you require more time to adjust.
Canadian Elite Table Tennis Training Centre head coach
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