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Re: Hardbat Classic rackets (was Reisman Rubber)

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  • wallyswoods
    Thanks, Jay, for the test and report of the new Killerspin bats. A guy who won a local bar tournament in Cleveland had one of the $15 bats that was given to
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 1, 2009
      Thanks, Jay, for the test and report of the new Killerspin bats. A guy who won a local bar tournament in Cleveland had one of the $15 bats that was given to him after the local tournament. He blocked very steadily with it which was his game. I swapped my Valor Lucky 5 (a hock shaped blade and very like a 5 ply Hock), and he immediately said, "Wow! This paddle plays itself!" His blocking was much better. I found the Killerspin bat a bit better than some of the cheap bats such as Sportcraft. I thought the rubber looked fairly good. I agree that the bat was awfully fast, and I am not used to such a light bat. My Valor lucky 5 with Reisman rubber is much heavier which is no problem for blocking, though it probably takes a fraction longer to make a big swing attacking drive. I have noticed the cheap modern hardbats have a center ply that looks strange. Nothing like the plywood on vintage hardbats such as Harvard and other commercial manufacturers. I have put good rubber on several vintage Harvard 3 ply bats, and they play very well. I wonder why the current manufacturers can't use the same plywood as the vintage bats? Too expensive, I suppose. Anyway, good luck and the Bud Lite tournament, and I'll see you at the Nationals.


      --- In hardbat@yahoogroups.com, "Jay Turberville" <jay@...> wrote:
      >
      > Further impressions of the HBC-501B ($45) Killerspin Hardbat.
      >
      > My initial impressions seem to be holding up after about six more hours of play. This racket is a mediocre blade (at best) that is shod with a fairly decent though not "ideal" hardbat rubber.
      >
      > I played a couple hours hardbat against hardbat Friday night and four hours against hardbat and one 1700-ish sponge player on Saturday. The other hardbat player, John Harrington, and I agree that the blade has a sweet spot where you can hit consistently that is about 3" in diameter. We both agree that the racket is more hitting and attacking oriented and not very defensive oriented - with one exception. It isn't too bad at off-the-bounce blocking.
      >
      > The racket does not lend itself to chopping. John is a MUCH better chopper than I am and he was having a tough time chopping initially. However, as the day went on, he did seem to be able to start chopping and defending much better with it.
      >
      > I initially found that I had to attack with caution since the racket is faster than what I'm used to. But as the day went on, I also managed to adjust and found that I was at times able to land my forehand and backhand attacks with the same authority that I land them with my other racket. I further found that I could expand the sweet spot of the racket a bit by holding it firmly when hitting. This seemed especially useful on backhand attacks.
      >
      > As far as weight and feel, the racket seems a bit heavier than my preferred blade and that was confirmed by weighing it. A list of weights follows. Subjectively what comes to mind when I play with this racket is that it is a "brick." The blade seems rigid and solid, but not in a good way - in a "cheap" way. For grins, a few weeks ago I stripped the rubber from one of my $5 Stiga rackets and put Dr Evil on it. The Dr Evil improved it, but you could still feel that cheap blade underneath. The HBC-501B racket seems close to what I'd expect if I put Butterfly Orthodox on that cheap Stiga blade with the decent rubber trying to make up for the deficiencies of a poor blade.
      >
      > The Weigh In
      >
      > Waldner All Play with Dr Evil. This is a conventional modern all-wood blade with a flared handle and the racket I've played most with. 113g.
      >
      > Waldner All Play with Butterfly Orthodox. 131g.
      >
      > Valor 3 ply Blade with Dr Evil 133g.
      > Estimated weight of Valor 3 Ply with Butterfly Orthodox 155g.
      >
      > Killerspin HBC-501B Flared Handle 126g.
      > Killerspin HBC-1 Flared Handle 118g.
      >
      > Tim Wright Super Custom Deluxe Five ply Balsa Core Hock-like shape with blue Leyland rubber 137g.
      >
      > In short, there is little reason to purchase the HBC-501B unless you intend to play in the Hardbat Classic tournament. They clearly missed the mark if they were trying to create a good modern hardbat. At best, they created a barely passable modern hardbat. It certainly is not a "classic" hardbat.
      >
      > However, I'm convinced that the racket can still be used to play high level table tennis. I was still able to beat the 1700-ish inverted player twice after having less than four hours of match play against hardbat to adjust to it. Though I believe I would have beat him more soundly with my regular hardbat, I was still able to make all the shots I normally make - though with a bit less consistency and confidence. I have every reason to expect consistency and confidence will improve with time.
      >
      > Of course, keep in mind that I've never been able to quite come to grips with the larger Hock and Hock-like blades. I prefer a very light blade. So the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction that others might find with this racket will surely vary. John, OTOH, regularly uses a 3-ply Hock for hardbat, and our won/loss record for the day against each other was about what it usually was. So John, coming with from a different background, with a different skill set, and being used to using a different kind of blade seemed to adjust about as well as I did - possibly better since he finished the day beating me. So I expect that most players will be able to adapt reasonably well - even if they don't enjoy the process or like the racket.
      >
      > Jay Turberville
      > www.jayandwanda.com
      >
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