Saturday, 23 March 2013

Shedding Some Light on a Super Brand

Adidas is a sporting company renowned around the globe, perhaps some of you may know they also produce table tennis equipment. They took to the new niche recently (past few years) and have been working to develop high quality products for competitive table tennis players. While many of you may have been aware of Adidas Table Tennis, not so many of you would have had the chance to try many of their products. I was lucky enough to have 4 rubber types and 2 blades to try out from Adidas Table Tennis NZ, you can also try their equipment out if you are in the Auckland area by contacting Phillip Xiao. Here are my thoughts below on the equipment. Also make sure you visit the link to Adidas TT NZ to get in the draw to win a sheet of Adidas TT's new secret rubbers, competition ends 2/4/13 so get in quick!

Also check out the Adidas store HERE to see the full range! If you are local (New Zealand) the contact details for Adidas NZ are:

Phone: 09 262 5001
Email: sales@teamsports.co.nz
Or you can get in touch with Adidas' sponsored player Phillip Xiao for more information.

The Adidas Avenger Series Blades


General: I was able to try out the Avenger Off and Avenger Carbon blades with combinations of Tenzone, Tenzone SF, P5 and P7 rubbers. In general the quality of the rubber and blades surprised me, Adidas have certainly done their research and each rubber has a string of benefits for different kinds of players. The professional nature of Adidas is really evident and I think having a brand that boasts such massive marketing prowess can only be fantastic for the future of our sport at all levels.

Adidas Tenzone: Adidas Tenzone is a medium hard sponged variety of rubber and the one which I enjoyed the most out of the 4 rubbers. It really packs a punch and is very strong for attacking strokes. The amount of spin and speed that can be generated is great, I found it was a little bit more comfortable combined with the Avenger Off blade as opposed to the Avenger Carbon where it was essentially like a wild animal (very fast). The tenzone is extremely effective for counterlooping and hitting fast spinny attacking strokes but also generates enough spin to work with heavy backspin balls. The rubber allows you to make strokes quite effortlessly and has a relatively low arc (low throw angle), it really is tailored for quite an offensive level of play. Where it excels in speed and spin, it does not lose out in touch play and is still efficient for service, short touch play and pushing. Some experimenting is necessary to get the right ball contact and bat angle to maximise spin and to keep the ball low, especially in the short push situations. All in all a superb rubber, very much like the Tenergy 05 I currently use on my forehand, but just quietly definitely considering making a change.

Speed: 9.5
Spin: 8.5
Control: 7.5
Overall Rating: 9

Adidas Tenzone in it's professional packaging


Adidas Tenzone SF: This is one spongy little number. Having played with soft rubbers the likes of Tibhar Nimbus Sound and Donic Coppa X2 Platin Soft I can say this is up there with those rubbers. You really feel the softness coming into play, it has a nice springiness to it, especially for blocking and looping. It has a high throw angle, you can really produce a high arc on the ball especially in topspin-topspin loop rallies. It also has much more capacity for variation in the looping game and is significantly easier to use than the regular tenzone against heavier backspin balls as you can really kick the ball up. To get some extra speed out of the rubber I thought it was definitely nicer on the Avenger Carbon, though I felt on the Avenger Off blade it really captured the softness of the rubber. Again, like the regular Tenzone it seemed the rubber did most of the work. Although I didn't feel it was as fast as regular Tenzone in the fast looping (strong 3rd ball attacks and winners) the extra spin and bounce definitely makes it comparable in open rallies. Generates great spin on service and can achieve some very nice touch play.

Speed: 8.5
Spin: 9
Control: 8.5
Overall Rating: 8.5

Adidas Tenzone SF


Adidas P5: P5 was control haven for me. Absolutely fantastic control, particularly in blocking. It's definitely the slowest of the 4 rubbers, but don't let that put you off. It has a really good range of control and spin in the looping game. It can achieve a nice high arc and great table depth. I think where the Tenzone and the P7 were more targetted at fast power oriented games, the P5 is definitely for the more patient player and while it still packs a punch it doesn't quite generate the same amount of power for the big shots as the other 2. I thought the P5 was a really well rounded rubber, probably a little more effective for attacking on the Avenger Carbon blade and for those who really like to maintain the control in their game it works out nicely on the Avenger Off blade. Great spin all round for service and pushing, just a great well balanced rubber.

Speed: 7
Spin: 8.5
Control: 9
Overall Rating: 8

Adidas P5 Rubber


Adidas P7: I thought the P7 really came to the middle ground for me. I loved the Tenzone's fast pace and offensive orientation, but I also loved the control of the P5. Was thinking if only the P5 had a bit more pace it would make a nice backhand rubber for me. Then I finally got to the P7, miracles do happen. This is like the rubber that takes the power of Tenzone but gives it that ever needed extra bit of control. Althought it doesn't match the Tenzone exactly for speed, it is definitely up there. Much like the Tenzone SF the P7 achieves a great range of attacking strokes and is just as effective for loop to loop rallying as for looping against heavy backspin balls. It gives a nice arc on the ball and has a great power level even further back from the table. Despite having said the Tenzone was my favourite of the 4 the P7 definitely came close. I loved it on the Avenger Off and Avenger Carbon blades equally as the speed comes through nicely. The Avenger Off was probably my favourite combo as it brings more control into the blocking game where the P7 can be a little fast, touch play and slower blocks with the P7 were more difficult to achieve as it is a really springy rubber, but it has a nice ability add topspin and give the ball some juice on the blocks. In terms of pushing it takes some minor adjustments but it is a well balanced rubber with some extra kick and is good for producing spin on service and in the pushing game. Definitely also a rubber I may look at changing to, really enjoyed it!

Speed: 8.5
Spin: 8.5
Control: 8
Overall Rating: 8.5

Adidas P7 Rubber

4 comments:

  1. The Adidas P5 sounds good for my backhand, Yasaka Anti-power doesn't let me smash as I'd like to , whats your thoughts?

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    1. Well I think you'd definitely lose out on some of the benefits of Anti-power. Any switch from Anti to mainstream rubber is going to be different, I would suggest seeing if you can demo it prior, it'd be worth trying out though as it does have a good balance of control and aggression.

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  2. Hey Matt, what did the Avenger Off blade feel like? Are there any blades you could compare it to?

    How about the Tenzone? How would it compare to Tenergy 05 in your opinion?

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    1. I would struggle to compare it to another blade, with the combinations I was using it felt nice, it definitely brings out the strengths in each rubber. I think it has a nice balance of speed and control, I haven't used a non-carbon blade since 2005 so it's hard to compare for me.

      I loved the tenzone, I'd say it's at least on par with Tenergy 05 but costs less. It had quite a bit of juice, I use Tenergy 05 on my forehand now and I'm seriously considering the switch to Tenzone :)

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