It all began with a innocent thought. “This paddle is too slow.” Since I really like the rubber, the only choice is to get a faster blade. This is a pretty big commitment. But, I definitely need to change blades, and I’ll just go a little faster. I’ll need a backup blade so now I’m looking at two blades and four sheets of rubber. Absolutely everyone of my opponents is in favor of my change. This should have been a clue that I have made a grave error. The now slightly faster bat, is in fact easier to use. It also seems to be easier for my opponents to play against. This is not exactly what I had envisioned. Weeks pass, and the tweaking begins. I have no doubt that the long pips I’ve been using are holding me back. Perhaps I should be twiddling more often.
As a combination rubber player I could be using the pips on my backhand or forehand. Life would be so much easier if I was an offensive player. I’d just get two sheets of Tenergy 05 and call it a day. I do end up getting a few cheap wins by using the weirdest rubber I can find, but I’m rarely attacking, and I know I have not yet found the holy grail of rackets. The quest for that perfect racket is usually futile. It certainly seems that way if you fall into the pattern of constantly trying out new combinations of rubber and blades. Eventually you may stumble upon a combination that works most of the time. Sometimes the discovery of the perfect paddle happens on the exact day you run out of money.
I’ve played the equipment junkie game of Whac-a-Mole more than most. I spent most of the month of August whacking away, trying to play table tennis just a little better. There have been some lessons learned that might benefit me, and make playing more fun. My initial thought that my paddle was too slow was not completely accurate. I didn’t need a faster blade. I did need a different approach to playing. I have made some equipment changes. I’m back to a slower blade, but I’m attacking more. At least for the day, I’m happy with the paddle I’m using. I once read that the two mistakes you can make with table tennis equipment are never changing, and changing too often. I know which mistake I’m prone to. Guilty as charged!