Biggest bonehead move of my EJ career: I mixed up the Rubber Cement and the Contact Cement on my workstation, and didn't realize it until 80% of the blade was covered in it. The bottles are aesthetically very similar. DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had to let the blade dry and harden, before taking a fine and very fine grit sand paper to it. It's kind of back to normal, but I can definitely tell a difference with it on the pips side. It's hitting noticeably harder, and I've had to change my stroke to accommodate, which isn't good. The next thing I'll attempt to do is flip the sides of the bat, putting the inverted on the side that received the contact cement, since I feel that side could use the speed anyway. I'm still so pissed off at myself for doing that...can't believe it.
My coach has encouraged me to enter the U1400 AND the U1200 group in the Washington Open, so we'll see how I do (Same advice from LDMovies ). Coach thinks I've really improved from week to week, and that I'm even more consistent with my chops since the tournament. I feel differently of course because I feel as if my chops are not garnering enough backspin especially if I end up closer to the net rather than the back of the table. What I have done is started to more consistently send my shots with a much flatter trajectory than before, which has led to some difficulty. But I still contend that the opponents at my level have a harder time with the high lobs to the back of the table. Must be the level.
I have decided to try the Reflectoid 2.0mm rubber on my forehand as an experiment. I have really noticed that I rely on my forehand loop to finish certain shots, but only when I'm close to the table from about 2-3 feet in. I rarely if ever loop from mid distance. Sounds as if slow loops are doable from close to the table, and pretty effective from what I've read. Of course, this is all technique dependent. My chops with my current rubber are completely inconsistent, albeit deadly if it lands.... I'm trying to figure out if I'm better served as a chopper who opportunistically puts away a ball, or a more all around player who converts defense in to offense when he wants or needs to. With the Reflectoid, I'm hoping the rubber is offensive enough for close to the table forehand smashes and/or slow loops. I've heard mixed reviews on that, but for 14 bucks, I'm willing to test it out, especially after speaking to Tom at Zeropong directly. For the record, it IS a spinny/tacky rubber, just doesn't have any speed because it uses a dampening sponge, which for chopping makes sense. So, will I find it too much of a sacrifice on the offensive side? I'll see.