Hey guys! Long time no see. Been awhile since we had a talk; too long really. Theres been lots happening too much really.
The good news: After a long reign Adam Sharahba is no longer president of the ITTF. After enduring year after year of his constant unnecessary changes to the game , resulting in constant equipment changes Kim Jung Adam has given up the post.
But don't run out in the streets just yet to celebrate y’all….
The bad news: The ITTF has now created a new post; the post of Chairman of the ITTF (Gosh! I didn't even realize we needed one of those) and has installed (drum roll) a certain Kim Jung Adam Shari'ah as its first chairman for life with a new role of keeping the changes coming without having to worry about pesky elections every few years unlike colleagues Sepp Blatter, Vladimir Putin et al.
And I tried and I tried to stay away from going into print, bitching about new ball changes and I spent the last several months adapting to the worse batch after batch of sub par table tennis balls that wobbled and egged and bounced and no-bounced and decided to just do what everybody else was doing; just shut up and not complain and let the docile majority play on while the game got corrupted by commerce and devious manipulation of a few .
I almost jumped in when i saw the spate of shoulder and back injuries that resulted from the change to the polyball. When I saw Zhang Jike, Xu Xin, Timo Boll I knew the ball was going to cause a few injuries.
I myself have been fighting a rotator cuff injury caused by the ball change. Imagine my surprise when I found out that a few of Jamaica's national level players reported similar injuries since the new ball came in.
Well done Adam, by the time you’re done, the ball will weigh a pound and be the size of a tennis ball! and the racket will weigh a kilo, probably be metallic and will be covered with Tenergy 195 rubber specially made for the 50mm ball!
Well you could try out any of the new rubbers ‘specially made for the new ball’, boy oh boy the manufacturers (and their partner in crime Adams ITTF) must be licking their lips for the profits from the sale of new ITTF approved stuff.
They've been raking in the bucks from the sale of rubbers made to compensate for the ITTF glue ban for the last few years but hey, I guess the manufacturers and the ITTF though they could always use the extra revenue from forcing in the new more expensive ball and now, new more expensive rubbers for the new expensive ball.
So in comes Donics Acuda Blue P1. I heard the P stands for polyball, i dunno that they had to say that, the plot is clear, we don't have any choice but P1 I guess will align with the older S1, P2 with S2 and so on.
I got my new black sheet in max yesterday and glued it up with water glue and allowed it to dry under a click press for an entire day.
Again, I had heard the sponge was the same blue sponge used in Bluefire but to my eyes , the grain is finer and it appears less porous working from memory.
I didn't detect any booster smell like in some of Bluefires ,nor did I detect any residue whatsoever.
Donic says the sponge is a degree or two harder than the S1 and I concur.
Its just a wee bit heavier than the S1 but its not Bluefire or T05 heavy.
the topcoat is soft, thin and the pimples are thin and flexible.
the overall feel is not hard , the sponge and rubber combine to give a medium feel.
Now bear in mind I have an injury (did I say thanks Adam?), I could only play at about 70% power so I will reserve judgement on the top end performance of the rubber if and when my shoulder mends.
I always loved Acuda S1 and I thought the blue sponge in BFJP was cool, so I wasn't surprised that they sort of combined them. Its a marketing winner, but is it a winner-winner?
For me, trying out a new rubber is like a courtship, is it a slow burning romance, love at first sight? hmm.
Speedwise and feel wise, its like a better, more well behaved Acuda S1: stripped of its catapult top end trampoline engine, replaced with a bigger, better more efficient engine that gets to top end without so much noise.
The S1 catapult has been replaced in the P1 with a linear flatter response perfectly capable of getting to top speed without relying on rubber and sponge elasticity instead more coming from sponge density and overall mass and therefore giving a more predictable and controllable response over the range of speeds. I put it at speed equal or slightly faster overall than Acuda S1.
Drives dont have the pronounced acuda (some say Tenergy) high throw arc they have more of a straighter flatter Skyline arc.
Spinwise. P1 is visibly spinnier than S1 (which itself is a spin monster), my practice opponents, quite used to my serves, were regularly dumping backspin serves in the net and even blocking off my now-puny loops from the unexpected extra spin.
The feeling of the rubber is great; the topsheet is very sensitive and i felt in control of incoming serves and my blocking felt precise and crisp, very similar to my experience with T80.
So yes! love! love at first sight!
I never though I’d be swept off my feet from just one night with a complete stranger but here’s my true confession. I’m eloping with P1 Blue and I’m not going back, for now.
We’ll see if this is just a one night stand or true love as the days , weeks and months go by.
Out of the worse situations sometimes even a little good can come.
Ittf, retains Adam, continues to screw with the game, forcing me to play the field, even though I’m in a committed stable relationship with my S1, I screw around, but hey, thats how I got to meet my current flame Acuda P1Blue.
You live, you learn.