A recent acquisition.....

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Boneman
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Joined: 01/18/2011

So I came across this on Ebay:

Yeah... all original packaging.  What intrigued me was that it was not your typical "set of four"
so profligate throughout the Ebay realm....  Thought to myself... this might actually be an
"of the era" hardbat.  Completely and utterly un-used, I went for it.

$4.00 + $6.20 S&H. and a week later it was mine.

My guess it... it's circa 1950... at least I hope so... making it pre Satoh / Sponge era.

The rubber, orange on both sides, whilst not dry rotted was utterly hard as a rock so...
I figured I would replace it... as I had kind of planned to begin with.  So I ordered up
two sheets of Valor Premier from our man Alberto of Valor Table tennis.

A few days later that arrives.  So, I go to remove the olde rubber off the blade... and
oh my....  it's actually LINEN BACKED.  A most excellent indication that this racquet
in it's day was a quality item.  Or at least for someone beyond the "basement player".

The blade itself is 3-plies all equal in thickness.  The handle, solid pieces of BLACK WALNUT.  Another indication
of a "better than average" item.  So I clean up the blade... shoot the flat surfaces with
a fresh coat of lacquer... just to ensure the "sealing" is good.  Wait a day and affix
the new rubber.

Last Monday I fired it up for the first time and was completely taken aback by it...  as
it is completely different than any other hardbat I own... and I have a bunch....  The range
it has.... it covers all the bases absolutely wonderfully.... I can chop off the floor  with ease
yet still fire off wonderfully fast attack shots.

I suppose being 50 or so years olde... the wood is pretty well "seasoned".

I'm very well pleased with it.  So... in the spirit of what it is....  A "sacred" yet fully operational
piece of history.... it has been christened the olde "Billy Baroul"...

I'm sure those of us here that are Caddyshack fans will get a kick out of that.

Later!

Larry "Boneman" Bone
Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA
80421

 

Francis
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Joined: 01/13/2012
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Nice bat, Boneman. wink I have some vintage american hardbats in their original boxes, but not from Parker. And yours is in very good condition.

Larry Hodges
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Joined: 11/19/2010
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Hi Lanten,

I responded to this where you reposted it in a new thread, here.

lanten
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Joined: 05/27/2011
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Here's how I "found" Hardbat -- and I'm very glad that I did!

A friend who has a table could barely return a ball when I brought over a couple of sticky, smooth, sponge rackets.

We then each tried a couple of TOTALLY worn out, very old smooth paddles he had around.  You may as well have double coated them with talcum powder, as this was the level of friction the rubber had (or more accurately, didn't have...).

Well, an interesting thing happened.  I couldn't control the "powdered" smooth rubber to save my life (at first).  But the cool thing was that it was actually, all of a sudden, COMPETITIVE!  I hadn't gotten much above a 1500 rating in the several tournaments I played (smooth), but he was barely an 800, I would guess.

I was having a BLAST, because the games were actually somewhat close -- and I had to actually concentrate to adjust to the "powdered rubber."

So, it was then I researched "Modern Hardbat," got a couple of good quality Stigas with Butterfly Orthodox (I think that was the rubber model) and FELL IN LOVE with hardbat.  (by the way, I looked at the Valor TT site -- no Butterfly -- what's the reason for that)?

It has totally re-energized me and renewed my enthusiasm for the sport.  It is a BLAST!

I have had some legitimately good coaching/lessons from well-know TT coaches, but I have not played many tournaments -- and only with smooth.  I was ultimately disillusioned by how much of an inordinate amount of influence the rubbers (especially the REDICULOUS lack of restrictions on the rubbers) had on the nature of the game.  And like I have read others comment:  the degree of deception and trickery and absurd spin in the smooth game DE-EMPHASIZES the pure skill of hitting a ball and returning a ball predictalbly struck.

No, I'm not trashing the smooth game.  I'm amazed with the level or world-class smooth play.  How the heck they can pretty consistently decipher the varieties of spins is amazing.  So, I am impresssed with the skills and talent of world-class players.

But for me, it's hardbat forever more!  (And maybe some smooth thrown in there just for "old-time sake").

My only disappointment now is that in Florida, where there used to be hardbat divisions in tournaments up until a few years ago,  they have changed over to sandpaper divisions.  No hardbat division.  Hardbat is allowed of course though in sponge divisions.

A question,  for those of you who have tried it:  Is it realistic (and fun) to play hardbat vs. sponge in tournaments?   I don't think I want to go to sandpaper, just to play in that separated division -- it just doesn't seem right (plus again, NO restrictions or controls on the type of surface). 

Should I not feel that way about Sandpaper play and get some of those paddles also?

 

Thanks for any input, suggestions for competition or equipment (my previous research led me to Butterfly Orthodox -- I play an agressive style (could loop and lift off both sides), but can defend comfortably too.

 

Boneman
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Joined: 01/18/2011
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Great suggestion Larry... the bat is most definitely "Circa 1950's" pursuant to similar bats I found on the ITTF museum website... whilst they didn't have any that had that BOX... absolutely they had the plastic baggie with exactly the same logo.  It would appear they were offered in three and five ply versions.

So... hey... it's in all liklihood.... older than I am.

I like it... swinging HISTORY...

Later!

Larry "Boneman" Bone
Dingmans Ferry, PA
80421

Boneman
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Joined: 01/18/2011
Re: A recent acquisition.....

@toxicspin:  The list of approved rubber is available at http://www.hardbat.com

Dr. Evil, Gambler Peacekeeper, Butterfly OX... there's a few on the list.  I like the Valor Premier as it's about as identical as one can get to the ATP Reisman rubber.  The Toxic 3 blade would be a great choice... I have two of them shod in purple sandpaper for LIHA play.  They've very defensive... I've pondered maybe acquiring a Toxic 5 to see how that compares....

@Larry... I've not yet started in-depth research, but would agree... the folks you mentioned might have some insight.  I just "circa'd" it pursuant to the packaging graphics.  Very art-deco....

Never thought to see if Parker Bros. has an historical website... that might be worth a look too.

Later!

Larry "Boneman" Bone
Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA

80421

Larry Hodges
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Joined: 11/19/2010
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Nice find, Larry B.! I wonder if there's any way to date it? Perhaps someone from the ITTF Museum or from Table Tennis Collector could date them?

 

 

toxicspin
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Joined: 03/03/2011
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Thats awesome blade.  I'm thinking of putting one together along with a few other guys here in wichita falls, texas.  I have an old Toxic 3 blade from zeropong but I cannot decide on the rubber.  Do you know if their is an approved rubber list for hardbat?  I've heard that Dr Evil is okay but also seen someone mention long to medium pips as well. 

Boneman
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Joined: 01/18/2011
Re: A recent acquisition.....

Oh yeah... sorry... omitted a "minor detail".... It was manufactured by... The Parker Bros. company of Salem Massachusetts.... you know... the folks that actually owned the trademark:  "PING PONG".

;-)