New Re-Impact Technology for 2018

Ever since the introduction of the 40 mm celluloid ball in 2004, table tennis has suffered greatly. It is caused by having officials who do not play table tennis themselves but nonetheless decide about important matters, harming us. Now this new ball is introduced, for better TV rights. It requires adaptation in movement and technique, but German and ITTF officials still have not understood that the basic position of the player, standing sideways (left foot forward for right-handed players) has now become incorrect. Coaches are being educated as if the 38mm ball was still in use. This problem affects players visibly.

Players have to be told that their balancing-hand (left hand for right-handed players) has to be held high, like in the days of the 38mm ball, between hip and shoulder, away from the body. Only this will allow having a fundamental tension in the back while standing in the basic (forward facing) position, which is needed to increase safety in the forehand, as the playing arm has to be low in tension.

Besides, playing with the 40mm ball while having a basic position standing sideways will result in contacting the ball at a point which makes it impossible to exert sufficiently a forward force. This means that players instead of playing topspin with accuracy and power, will only be able to drive (as they lack the power to add spin).

As a result, many players who used to play successfully with forehand and backhand, have lost accuracy and power on both sides and have tried to compensate for this loss by using long pimpled rubbers or antispin rubbers to minimize the effect of incoming spin, which, due to the loss of accuracy and power, has become harder for them to control.

As these compensating rubbers are most often used on the backhand side, players tend to shift their basic position to favour the backhand, and this harms accuracy and power in the forehand even more.

My blade concept, however, being asymmetrical, allows contacting the ball effectively while standing face forward. Hitting straight forward is effective, as the blade will automatically close when it is moved forward; you do not have to turn the blade yourself, opening or closing it. But to make this work, the balancing-hand has to be held high like in the 38mm days, instead of held low and close to body.

This is the way to regain accuracy and power in the forehand, as it automatically builds the necessary basic tension in the muscles of the back. World scoop with Re-Impact!

The Rapier 44 with its classic design is not only a blade for pimpled rubbers on the backhand, but an all-round effective blade – with pimpled rubbers or reversed rubbers alike, it is capable of taking the speed out of a rally when it is used rather closed and passively (without being completely passive, just holding out the bat), for this will “smother” the balsa core, as air will no longer circulate in it. But as soon as the blade is held slightly more open, the core is automatically reactivated and will take in air again. This allows, on both sides, for a totally simple and secure execution of blocks, as well as chops in classic defence that will make the opponent desperate on account of their accuracy.

The Rapier 44 has been designed for the 40+ ball and, due to its soft balsa core, is to be used with rather hard-sponged rubbers if a player likes low-spin smashing. But if you prefer spin-variation and spinny smashing, you may use rubbers as soft as you like. When pimpled rubbers are used on one side, however, the sponge of the rubber on the other side has to be harder in order to achieve an excellent spin-reversal.

I would advise you, therefore, to please order only the Rapier 44 while waiting for the new Turbo and Preference blades, that are world scoops as well and of course perfectly designed for the 40+ ball.

The Turbo is an exceptional combination blade, having an active forehand and classic backhand. The forehand is very crisp, speed wise, but the backhand extremely slow. You may play this blade also the other way round, as it will mirror the Tachi that way (but adapted to the new ball). This means that every player will be able to choose his forehand technique, by twiddling. Playing it left-handed or right-handed will determine on which side the pimpled rubber must be. Both sides, however, allow for an enormous spin-reversal.

The new Preference is the OFF blade for all offensive techniques. It excels in looping to loops or killing incoming topspin, which it makes childishly simple. It is also very accurate. In contrast to the Rapier44, it can be played close to the table and away from it, with both sides, as it will loop descending balls as well as ascending balls, producing the highest possible spin. The Preference also regulates the speed on both sides when used passively, but it will not get below speed value 6. This way you will still be able to block safely, and play effective stop-blocks that the opponent will be unable to reach.

Article by Achim Rendler