Width, Thickness & Handle:
The Combination Effect paddle came to the market sometime in August, 2007. This blade is not the best selling blade in Dr.Neubauer blade series, but I have found this blade is highly suitable for combinational players – defense on the backhand and offense on the forehand. This blade is handmade – not made in a factory production line - and has exceptional craft and quality. Whenever I have received this blade, I have got this feeling that a carpenter made a blade especially for me. Achim Rendler has designed many of Dr.Neubauer’s blades, and the Combination Effect is also designed by him. Achim Rendler has few patents on table tennis paddles (or bats / frames) construction.
The Combination Effect paddle is very light – the weight is only 69 g. The blade has a soft and lively feeling. The blades that are available in stores are extra wide - 162 (width) x 168mm (height). Unlike other blades in Dr.Neubauer’s blade series, this blade can be custom made. The blade can be made in 162 mm x 162 mm and 157 mm x 152mm sizes. The blade is thick too. The thickness is 12 mm. The blade can be custom built in 9.3 mm size also.
Unlike its wider width and thickness, the handle length and size is same as a regular blade. The version that is sold in stores comes in straight, flared and anatomic handle. The blade can be custom made in ship propeller type handle type. This blades suit the shakehand table tennis players, not pen holders. The blade can be configured to a pen hold style.
Among many blades that I have tried, I have found Dr.Neubauer Combination Effect has excellent control. The wider width of the blade helps to have wider sweat spots. The thickness of the blade dampens all the vibrations – I would say there is zero vibration with this blade. Even 120 mph fast travelling ball can be blocked without any vibration of the blade – the blade can absorb the heavy ball impact and return the ball slow. However, I have found 9.3 mm thick version has some vibration.
The backhand side of this blade is less thick than the forehand side – the ball rebounds slower than the forehand side. This difference of rebound coefficient on both sides can create a lot of problems to the opponents.
You can use any kind of rubber on the back hand side. However the best suited rubber is a defensive rubber like anti-top spin, long pips, short pips or medium pips. The defensive players should not use sponge size greater than 1.0 mm. The best sponge size is between 0 and 0.6 mm.
The OX version of a long pips can give the best spin reversal irrespective of friction or frictionless long pips.
The forehand side of this blade is thicker with more plies than the back hand - this makes the forehand faster. I have tried many different rubbers with the forehand. The rubbers with sponge size of 2.0 and higher are counter-productive with this blade. DHS Hurricane 3 and Hurricane 2 in 2.2 mm made this blade so heavy and I’ve lost the feel of the blade too. The best sponge size for this blade is 1.7 mm or lower.
The amazing characteristic of the forehand is that the ball will rebound with low throw angle which keeps your opponent from hitting - the ball goes very low and ceases to die on the other side. The blade is best suited for hitters especially who loves to play with short pips. My favorite shot with this blade is flip (or flick) – keep the forearm low and hit the ball at the net level especially the balls that fall short close to the net.
I won’t say this blade is suited for top spin loop game – it is best suited for hitters. I tested many different rubbers to find the best rubber for a top spin game with this blade. The Combination Effect with rubbers having soft sponge (hardness less than 40 degree) and sponge size of 1.7 mm lower is best suited for top spin game. The soft sponge gives the blade to respond well than a thicker sponge, and that can create many variations of top spin.
I was not satisfied by its balsa handle because it is soft and brittle. I have an excellent feeling of the ball with the balsa handle, so I hate to use over grip. Within few hours of play, I was able to see finger impressions on the blade – slowly these impressions carved few portions of the handle. I have started dressing the handle with gauze tape – I have also found gauze tape is the best over grip for a table tennis handle.
I think Dr.Neubauer has to do something to improve the quality of the blade handle. Changing the handle to a cork based handle is good, but that will defeat the purpose of a pure balsa blade. An outer layer of special varnish may protect the balsa wood from pressure and impressions.
The blade needs to be protected with side tape. However there is no side tape available in the market that can fit the thickness of the blade and the rubbers. You need two side tapes – one on one – to fit the side.Sponsor Ad: TableTennisStore.US - 1000 XIOM, TSP, JOOLA, CHAMPION table tennis products!