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    Reviews posted by Dan
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        Posted 1 Week Ago
        5.00 Review on the Tibhar Evolultion FX-S
        • Lots of control
        • Superb Feeling

        Tibhar Evolution FX-S
        Weight: 68 grams uncut, 49 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 42°
        Hardness: Soft/Medium
        Speed: Medium
        Spin: Medium/High
        Blade used: Tibhar Stratus Carbon blade



        Written Review

        Thank you to TableTennis11 for supplying us with these rubbers to review, be sure to check out their website. The success of the popular MX-P, used by pro players such as Paul Drinkhall and Vladimir Samsonov, led these new rubbers to be highly anticipated in the latter part of 2016.

        Initial inspection

        Like previous Evolution rubbers the EL-S and FX-S are both ESN based, you can see our review of earlier models in the series here. The FX-S has a sponge hardness of 42 degrees. The sponge hardness of the FX-S is similar to its predecessor FX-P.

        The weight of the FX-S when uncut is 68grams and when cut is 49 grams.

        The two (EL-S and FX-S) rubbers were each used on the Tibhar Stratus Samsonov blade and were used throughout the review.

        Forehand Topspin

        During the topspin exchange we noticed that nice rebound effect you get with the other Evolution series rubbers. The ELS in particular sprung of the bat quickly and had a medium to high trajectory. What we like about the Evolution series is their boosted effect you feel when you strike the ball, this has not changed with the new ELS and FXS.

        Spin

        One of the biggest advantages with the FX-S is its ease of use against backspin. The sponge and topsheet grab the ball well producing a lot of spin. The FX-S is a very stable rubber and I felt very confident going for power in my shots whilst maintaining accuracy. Also when I dropped off the table I could feel the ball dig into the sponge making me feel in control of the ball, producing a quality shot consistently.


        Speed

        We both found whilst using the FXS on the forehand it was slightly too soft and could be a little tricky to control aggressive incoming shots. The rubber worked well when playing at around 70% of max speed and going for spin during rallies rather than speed.

        However the FXS came into its own and worked fantastically on the backhand side, it gave a lot of margin for error. The softer sponge of the FXS combines well with a compact backhand stroke. Again the FXS is not as fast as the ELS but but due to its softer sponge it was easier to produce spin. It felt really effortless when directing backhand shots down the line.

        Short game and serves

        During the short game the ELS is able to produce high amounts of spin on short aggressive pushes and flick shots. The ELS grips the ball well when playing the modern backhand flick made famous by the likes of Zhang Jike and Fan Zhendong. This is a similar case with the FXS where it really shines in the short game producing loads of spin with good consistency.

        We liked serving with the FX-S, the topsheet gripped the ball nicely and produced consistent high end spin.

        Away from the table

        We found both the ELS and FXS similar when playing top to top rallies away from the table, the only difference being that the ELS is slightly faster.

        Conclusion:

        For players who play with more of an allround offensive game the FXP would suit especially on the backhand side. It has great control and nice feeling. I find you have a lot of accuracy in your shots as the rubber is forgiving. It is not as fast as the ELS but possesses more control.

        Pictures

        Weight of the Tibhar Evolution FX-S



        Sponge hardness of the Tibhar Evolution FX-S


        0 people liked this review
        Posted 1 Week Ago
        5.00 Review on the Evolution ELS
        • Nice feel
        • Good balance
        • Spin & speed

        Tibhar Evolution EL-S
        Weight: 74 grams uncut, 52 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 45°
        Hardness: Medium/Hard
        Speed: Medium
        Spin: Medium/High
        Blade used: Tibhar Stratus Carbon blade

        Hey guys, heres our review on the Tibhar Evolution EL-S. Thank you to TableTennis11 for supplying us with these rubbers to review, be sure to check out their website. The success of the popular MX-P, used by pro players such as Paul Drinkhall and Vladimir Samsonov, led these new rubbers to be highly anticipated in the latter part of 2016.



        Written Review

        Initial inspection

        Like previous Evolution rubbers the EL-S is ESN based, you can see our review of earlier models in the series here.

        The El-S has a sponge hardness of 45 degrees and FX-S comes in at 42 degrees. The sponge hardness of the EL-S is similar to popular MX-P and the FX-S is more closely related to its predecessor FX-P. The EL-S has a medium to hard sponge hardness whereas the FX-S has a Medium to soft sponge hardness. The main difference between the EL-S and its predecessor EL-P is that the EL-S has larger pores in its sponge this is designed to increase speed.

        The weight of the EL-S when uncut is 74 grams and when cut is 52 grams. The weight of the FX-S when uncut is 68grams and when cut is 49 grams.
        The two rubbers were each used on the Tibhar Stratus Samsonov blade and were used throughout the review.


        Topspins

        During the topspin exchange we noticed that nice rebound effect you get with the other Evolution series rubbers. The ELS in particular sprung of the bat quickly and had a medium to high trajectory. What we like about the Evolution series is their boosted effect you feel when you strike the ball, this has not changed with the new ELS and FXS.

        The ELS has a tremendous balance between speed and spin whereas the it’s predecessor the MXP is a touch faster but has less spin. The Sponge hardness of the ELS is between the MXP and the ELP. This hardness felt optimum for my style of play as it gave my shots a lot of accuracy and enough power when I needed it. If you find the Evolution MX-P too fast, the ELS could be a great alternative within the series.

        Spin

        One of the biggest advantages with the ELS is its ease of use against backspin. The sponge and topsheet grab the ball well producing a lot of spin. The ELS is a very stable rubber and I felt very confident going for power in my shots whilst maintaining accuracy. Also when I dropped off the table I could feel the ball dig into the sponge making me feel in control of the ball, producing a quality shot consistently.

        We both found whilst using the FXS on the forehand it was slightly too soft and could be a little tricky to control aggressive incoming shots. The rubber worked well when playing at around 70% of max speed and going for spin during rallies rather than speed. With the ELS there was a more natural zip and spring effect meaning it is easier to play harder through the ball, which works well on the forehand side.

        Service and short game

        During the short game the ELS is able to produce high amounts of spin on short aggressive pushes and flick shots. The ELS grips the ball well when playing the modern backhand flick made famous by the likes of Zhang Jike and Fan Zhendong.

        When serving with the ELS we liked the quality, the rubber gripped the ball nicely and produced consistent high end spin.

        Away from the table

        We found both the ELS and FXS similar when playing top to top rallies away from the table, the only difference being that the ELS is slightly faster.
        Here are some points taken from match play.

        Conclusion:

        The ELS has an optimum balance of sponge hardness and sits right between the popular EL-P and MX-P so the rubber gets the best of both worlds. The high amounts of spin produced with the ELS gives nice arc and dip with topspin strokes which adds to accuracy. A lot of the online table tennis community found the MX-P too fast and felt it catered more for the pro’s, with the ELS coming in a notch slower providing slightly more control and safety which might combat this problem for certain players. In some sense the ELS is a slightly softer and slower version of the Tenergy 05.

        In comparison to the previous rubbers in the Evolution series, Tibhar have really come up with a new and improved version with the ELS which is more stable during game play.

        For players who have an strong attacking style of play the ELS would suit well. For players who play with more of an allround offensive game the FXP would suit especially on the backhand side.


        Pictures

        Tibhar Evolution EL-S Rubber Weight



        Tibhar Evolution EL-S Sponge Hardness


        0 people liked this review
        Posted 01-18-2017
        5.00 Very well balanced Carbon Blade
        • Excellent feel
        • High control
        • Sweetspot

        • Touch Slow
        STIGA Carbonado 45 blade
        Weight: 93g
        Thickness: 6mm
        Type: Carbon OFF
        Composition: 7 ply
        Rubbers used with blade: Genesis M

        What’s going on guys, it’s Dan and Tom here from TableTennisDaily. Today we are in the TableTennisDaily studio with a brand new review looking at the STIGA Carbonado 45 and 90 blade.



        Written Review:

        About the blade

        These two new blades are an addition to their predecessors the Carbonado 145 and 190. The main structural difference between the 45 and 90 to the originals is that the 45 and 90 have a thinner carbon fiber layer. The carbon used being STIGA’s signature textreme carbon.

        The Carbonado 45 and 90 use 64 grams per m2² (per square meter) of textreme carbon whereas the 145 and 190 use 100 grams per m2² (Per Square Meter) of carbon. This 36% less carbon in the 45 and 90 is designed to give more of a woodier feel than the previous models.

        The compositions of wood within the 45 and 90 are the exact same. The only real difference between the two are how the carbon fibers are applied. The 45’s carbon layer is placed at a 45 diagonal orientation and the 90’s carbon layer is placed at a perpendicular orientation. These different angles affect the trajectory of the flight of the ball.

        The carbon layers within these blades seem a lot thinner than other blades. For example here is a close up of the Butterfly Viscaria blade in comparison to the Carbonado 90.

        The blades are crafted using STIGA’s traditional look with sharp features and very solid feel. Myself and Tom used both blades in the review using the new STIGA Genesis Rubbers on both sides of the blade.

        Speed

        Initially we noticed that the ball did not shoot off rapidly like we usually expect from carbon blades. The 45 and 90 both posses more of the popular STIGA wood feeling rather than a carbon one. It was apparent from early on that the blades were not amazingly fast due to the lower carbon ratio, but the high quality textreme technology produces a great sweet spot and clean contact.

        When doing an exercise I felt I had to make good use of my body and legs to produce power on the ball. We felt the two blades both fell between medium to hard in terms of density with the feedback being both woody and carbon, a rare quality that we haven’t really encountered before except for the earlier models 145 and 190. This flexibility gave us a lot of feeling and control for our strokes.

        Comparison between 45 and 90

        The Carbonado 45 and 90 are both very similar in terms of speed, with the 45 producing a touch higher arc in strokes than the 90. When playing topspin attacks with the 90 the ball has a more direct trajectory than the 45 which has a higher throw angle.

        Dwell

        What we really like about the both of the Carbonado’s in general is the dwell and control. Although the blades have a thin layer of carbon the wood soaks the ball into the core of the blade producing lots of spin. This was evident against backspin. This extra dwell helped with my accuracy on 5th and 7th ball shots. One attribute I noticed throughout was I didn't make to many easy mistakes that you can sometimes find with faster carbon blades.

        Open ups

        My favourite shot at the moment is the backhand flick, perhaps I was inspired to much by Fan Zhendong in the review of the Carbonado 145 blade. If you haven't seen that review, be sure to check it out on youtube. So yeah, before I get carried away by being mesmerized by Fan Zhendong again, the Carboando’s are great when it comes to putting spinning the ball. Using the backhand flick I was able to put Tom under all sorts of pressure through applying lots of rotation on the ball or through good ball placement. The feeling both blades gave me, gave me accuracy needed to take advantage of the point especially on the follow up with the backhand topspin.

        Blocking

        Another area where this blade shone was in the blocking department. When blocking you can feel the large sweetspot giving great consistent contact when trying to control the ball onto the table. This is also due to both blades not being too fast.

        Conclusion:

        The Carbonado 45 and 90 are very solid carbon blades with a lot of control. These blades have not been designed for high end speed with the focus being more on consistency and feeling that the woody feel provides.

        For players who like to play with a lot of speed the 145 and 190 would be more suited to them as they are quite a bit faster by maybe 10-20%. The 45 and 90 are faster than a Rosewood blade for example however not as fast as a Zhang Jike ALC. These blades are for offensive players who prefer to have control over speed. They suit most offensive all round players who like to play more tactically and not purely base their game on fast attacks.

        Between the two blades I preferred the 90 over the 45 as I liked it’s direct nature. The two blades are both very similar speed wise but the 90 does create more of a direct trajectory which I like especially on my backhand for aggressive punch shots. The 45 felt more suited from mid distance to away from table whereas the 90 worked well from top of the bounce at close range.

        As mentioned previously the dwell is high on these blades which works well for producing spin on the ball from serves, to open up type shots.
        These two blades are excellent for blocking and mixing up the play where they felt suited for an all round based game with enough speed to play outright winners when necessary. Due to the hardness I think medium rubbers will be optimum on this blade. Such as the Genesis S, Tenergy 05 FX or a tensor type rubber.

        The Carbonado 45 and 90 are unique blades in the sense that they are made with carbon yet both are a notch slightly slower when compared to their predecessors and other popular carbon blades like the Viscaria for example. This reduced speed creates more control. The thinner carbon layer lets the ball soak further into the blade making more use of the blades inner wood veneers. This means they both have both a woody and carbon feeling that we really liked.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 12-14-2016
        5.00 A Carbon Classic!
        • Feeling
        • Crisp
        • Superb Dwell

        Butterfly Viscaria Blade
        Weight: 90g
        Thickness: 5.8mm
        Type: Carbon OFF
        Composition: 7 ply (Koto, ALC, Limba, Kiri, Limba, ALC, Koto)
        Rubbers used with blade: Tenergy 05

        What’s going on guys, a month ago I attended the England vs Greece European Qualifying match and caught up with world top 50 player Liam Pitchford. Before the match I got some time with Liam to review the Butterfly Viscaria blade which Liam uses as his blade of choice. The Viscaria has been a very popular blade for a long time, and was made even more famous after London 2012 Olympic Champion Zhang Jike started using it.



        Written Review:

        The blade sits well in the hand and comes in the standard Butterfly packaging.
        The Viscaria is one of first blades that made use of Aralyte Carbon or ALC for short, and has a composition of Koto, ALC, Limba, Kiri, Limba, ALC, Koto.



        As such the composition and thickness is exactly the same as the timo boll ALC, with the only difference between the two being the handle and wings of the blade as seen in the photo below:



        The wings and the handle on the viscaria are thicker than the Boll ALC. This influences the vibration and sound of the blade which adds a touch more feedback and slightly softer feel than the Boll ALC does.

        If we compare the Viscaria construction to the new Tiago Apolonia ZLC, the viscaria uses koto, a harder wood, as the outer layer. This produces a harder impact and makes the blade more stiff than the Apolonia which uses a Limba layer as the outer wood, which is softer creating a softer impact and gives the blade more flex.

        The Viscaria blade weighs 90 grams and has a thickness of 5.8mm.



        Myself and Liam both use the Viscaria in the review using Butterfly Tenergy 05 Rubbers on both sides of the blade.

        Topspin

        My first impressions with the Viscaria blade was that it felt extremely well balanced and that the feeling was exceptional. The Viscaria is a topspin machine and I could feel the crisp large sweet spot right away. As with all the reviews I do with pro’s, it took a little time getting used to the sheer spin and speed that Liam could develop, however with the Viscaria It was less of a learning curve due to the great control and touch this blade gives you.

        Liam combines the forehand and backhand topspin with supreme quality. The viscaria’s medium hardness gave me good control whilst also being very responsive and direct when blocking back the shots.

        Plastic Ball

        Liam talks about why he moved to the Viscaria. The reason behind his move to the Viscaria blade was due to the new plastic ball having less spin and speed. He felt the Viscaria gave more spin and zip to his play.

        Backhand flicks

        When asking Liam what he liked about the Viscaria he noted that it was excellent in the backhand flick department, you can see in the review Liam was able to impart a lot of spin and speed onto the ball whilst maintaining a high level of safety.

        Spin - Forehand and backhand open ups

        Once liam got in with spin I had absolutely no chance winning the point. The blades dwell really grabs the ball well, producing vast amounts of spin. The advantage with the viscaria is its balance between spinning the ball and playing strong on the 5th and 7th ball attacks.

        Counters

        I gave my best to put as much spin on the ball as possible however the sheer speed of Liam’s counter topspin is insane, once he made the right contact and timing it was almost impossible for me to return. The ball zips off the Viscaria at a tremendous rate but gives just enough dwell time to make counter topspins consistent.

        Touch play

        When touching the ball short the viscaria gives you a lot of feedback but not so much that it is overly responsive and uncontrollable and has a nice balance between the two.

        Service and return

        Service and return is perhaps the most challenging element of the game and the blade performed well in this area. You don't particularly get a lot of dwell time when serving but the blades feeling makes up for this. Here are some examples of serves where we were able to produce a lot of rotation on the ball forcing service return errors from each other.

        Top to top

        The Arylate carbon in the Viscaria means you can get high end speed but with enough Flex to produce a medium high throw angle increasing the margin for error. Speed wise it is feels just a touch slower than a Timo Boll ALC but slightly faster than the, recently reviewed, Tiago Apolonia ZLC.


        Conclusion

        We would like to thank Liam Pitchford for his time in helping us review this blade, a fantastic player and a pleasure to play against. The Butterfly Viscaria blade is one of the most popular blades of all time for a reason and after reviewing it, it became clear. The use of Arylate Carbon fibers has been a huge success for Butterfly since it was first used with the Viscarias release in 1993. It is extremely well balanced and provides great feeling and responsiveness. The Viscaria boasts a large sweetspot so almost wherever the ball makes contact with the blade you get a consistent response with good speed.

        The dwell time gives you a greater margin for error which helps on producing spin than a more direct blade like the Butterfly T5000 model for example. Due to its high responsiveness and speed, we would recommend the Viscaria to experienced players that want a great, fast offensive, carbon blade.

        The blades strengths lie particularly when playing fast aggressive shots and from mid distance to the table where you get to make use of its speed and trajectory.

        Players that might not suit this blade are players that prefer a soft touch and less responsiveness. Or for those who prefer an all round or moderately offensive blade which the Viscaria definitely isn't.

        After almost 24 years of its initial release the Viscaria is still a popular choice amongst pro players, which is miraculous considering the tech now involved in modern sports equipment. Especially in table tennis where there are now dozens of different materials and compositions used in the blade market.
        The Viscaria really is, an all time classic.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 11-09-2016
        5.00 Superb feeling for a carbon blade
        • Lots of feeling
        • Control
        • Dwell

        • Sometimes Speed
        Joola Aruna OFF Blade
        Weight: 84g
        Thickness: 5.8mm
        Type: Carbon OFF
        Composition: 7 ply (Hinoki, Koto, Carbon, Kiri Core, Carbon, Koko, Hinoki)
        Rubbers used with blade: Joola Rhyzm

        Hi everyone, during our recent visit to the 2016 World Cup in Saarbrucken we met up with world number 25 from Nigeria Quadri Aruna to review the Joola Aruna Off blade. Together with Aruna, Joola designed this personal blade for powerspin players in mind. Watch the full review in the video below:

        Video Review:



        Written Review:

        This premium carbon blade feels very well balanced, has a comfortable handle and smooth edges. The blade design uses the colours of the Nigerian national flag, which adds a nice personal touch. The composition of the 7 ply Aruna OFF blade has hinoki as the outer layer. Hinoki is a prized Japanese wood which is both soft and bouncy at the same time. Hinoki is used as the outer layer to absorb incoming speed and spin and to give the blade soft feeling and touch. The second ply used is koto, which is a harder wood to add more zip to the blade. The Koto is followed by a carbon layer and finally the kiri core.
        The Aruna blade series comes in 2 types. The Aruna off and Aruna Off+. Quadri chooses the slightly slower Off version as his blade of choice. The Aruna OFF+ is the faster version of the two and is composed of 5 plys.

        The Aruna blade weighs 84 grams and has a thickness of 5.8 mm.



        Speed

        Aruna is renowned for his powerful forehand topspin and I noticed early on I was able to control the ball with ease. This hasn't always been the case when I've reviewed blades with other pro players, where it has taken more getting used to their speed, with more responsive, harder blades. The blade has a soft and solid feel on impact which gave me the control to keep the ball on the table.

        When playing a topspin stroke I produced a medium throw with good safety and control in my shots. The blade has good dwell and soft feel when topspinning, the Aruna OFF is softer than a Carbonado or a Timo Boll ALC for example.

        Control

        When blocking for Aruna, I had superb control and feeling even with Quadri rocketing his verocious topspins at me. The Aruna OFF is not as fast as a Butterfly ALC or a Joola Wing Carbon for example however packs bundles of control. When playing a harder stroke the speed was more than enough to play out right winners due to the harder inner koto layer. (Aruna also demonstrates he can hit the ball at extreme speeds, using slow mo cam with this one.)

        Spin
        The blade has lots of dwell, the top hinoki veneer soaks the ball into the blade producing lots of rotation on the ball. Minimal effort was needed to topspin heavy backspin balls, a quality I really liked about this blade.

        Serving

        Quadri Aruna talks about serving in the video.

        Backhand flick and spin

        The spin capabilities this blade has work just as well in the short game as they do when serving. With the blade being more control based rather than purely speed based, it grabs the ball well over the table producing high levels of spin especially with the modern backhand flick.

        Touch play

        When touching short, the blades soft outer ply allows for good dwell in the serve and receive game.

        Counter topspin

        When Aruna made a forehand counter topspin it was pretty much game over for me. Aruna mentioned how he liked this blade for counter attacking shots due to its control and stability against spin.

        Top to top

        When away from the table I had to put a bit more effort into my shots to get good speed over the table. A bit more kick in spin and speed would have helped me a bit more when away, however the control and safety in the stroke was excellent.

        Conclusion

        Our overall impressions after playing with The Joola Aruna OFF is that it is a well designed, high quality 7 ply carbon blade. With its main attributes being good control and spin due to its soft Hinoki outer layer. The blade is fast however it is no rocket and possesses a very good balance between control and speed which helps especially with service/return and opening attacks. The blades high levels of feeling gives good stability in your strokes in point play and for close range punch type shots.

        The soft hinoki top ply also helps when playing spin shots against backspin. As mentioned throughout the review, I felt very comfortable with this blade especially when blocking. As the increased dwell time and reduced responsiveness, gave me that control I needed to keep the ball on the table even when playing against the world class player Quadri is.

        Due to Aruna’s superior technique and the ridiculous power he possesses the Aruna OFF is easily fast enough for him. However for mere mortals like me who are used to a harder blade the Aruna OFF+ may be a better choice if you still wanted something within the Joola Aruna range.

        This blade is suited for players who want that bit more control and spin than a faster, harder carbon blades provide.This blade will also work for power players who can get that extra speed through technique. We feel that Joola and Quadri Aruna have definitely Combined well and created what seems to be an advancement to the popular Joola Rosskopf blade.
        5 people liked this review
        Posted 09-23-2016
        5.00 Review on the Tibhar Evolution MX-P
        • Crisp
        • Great sound
        • Fast

        • Very fast
        Tibhar Evolution MX-P
        Weight: 73 grams uncut, 49 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 45.7°
        Hardness: Medium
        Speed: High
        Spin: Medium
        Blade used: Tibhar Stratus Carbon blade



        Written Review

        After many requests from users on the TableTennisDaily website, we have teamed up with TableTennis11.com to review Tibhar’s most popular rubber series.

        Initial inspection

        The Evolution rubber is ESN based and has a firm glossy topsheet. What's interesting about the Evolution series is that the rubbers all have a strong smell which is evident right out the packaging. Other rubbers do not seem to possess this same strong glue smell.

        The rubbers vary in sponge hardness with the FX-P being the softest in the range coming in at 41.1 degrees. The El-P has a sponge hardness of 42.4 degrees. The Evolution MX-P has a sponge hardness of 45.7 degrees. and finally the MX-S which is the hardest rubber in the series with a sponge hardness of 46.3 degrees.

        The rubbers have slight variations in weight. Uncut The FX-P weighs 68 grams and cut 47 grams, the EL-P uncut weighs 72 grams and cut weighs 50 grams, the MX-P uncut weighs 73 grams and cut 49 grams and the MX-S uncut weighs 75 grams and cut weighs 51 grams.

        I used the Tibhar Samsonov Stratus Carbon blade throughout the review whilst Tom used this and his regular bat, switching between the two setups to get a better understanding of how the evolution rubber series performs.

        Topspins

        We started out with the MX-P which is widely regarded as the most popular rubber in the series and has been highly praised by the table tennis tennis community, and you can tell why almost immediately. The rubber feels alive and you get a loud clicking sound on contact. Another quality that becomes apparent as soon as you start using the MX-P is the sheer amount of speed it produces. The strong catapult effect propels the plastic ball with minimal effort.

        Although the speed is impressive with the MX-P we did sometimes find that the ball would fly out long due to just how fast it was, so you need good control and feeling to use this rubber to full effect. This rubber is also very responsive to incoming speed and spin and we both made a fair amount of mistakes initially before we got used to it.

        Spin

        When opening up against backspin using my backhand, for example, I felt I had a lot of grip and a fair amount of dwell for such a fast offensive rubber. Again sometimes due to the high speed of the MXP, my 3rd and 5th ball attacks went just off the end of the table so I had to close my bat angle to adjust and maintain consistency.

        We both really liked the MX-P on the forehand side when trying to lift backspin and were both able to produce great amounts spin when playing aggressively. As this is a rubber for advanced players those with sufficient technique will be able to use this speed and spin to full effect.

        Flicks

        In the serve and receive game the MX-P worked exceptionally when playing a backhand flick. The evolution rubber gripped the ball well and, combined with its speed excelled in this area. I found that I could follow up with an effective backhand punch shot which, in general, is very effective with the entire evolution range.

        Counters

        Due to the crisp, clean feel and contact, countering with this rubber was fantastic. With little effort we were both able to produce consistent and effective counter topspins.

        We also found that from mid distance and away from the table the MXP’s speed allowed us to impart strong shots.

        Conclusion

        Tibhar’s flagship evolution rubbers are superb, and have a range of different characteristics to suit different players needs. We found all the rubbers have a good spring, responsive feel, but all differ in terms of sponge hardness, speed and spin.

        I personally preferred the MXP on my forehand and the MXS on my backhand. I felt I was able to control and handle the speed. This speed allowed me to pressure Tom in match play. For strong attacking players the MXP would be of a good choice as the hard sponge propels the ball forward with its extreme catapult effect with great spin. Players who take a bit more time in their shots and want control and dwell over speed would prefer the FXP or the ELP.

        Alternatively players who struggle for speed and want that extra bit of kick in their forehand the MXP would be of a good choice of rubber. Players who want something a touch slower than the MXP but with more grip, slightly more spin and a harder sponge, the MXS would suit. The MXS is also slightly faster than the two softer evolution rubbers

        The spin produced is not quite as much as a Tenergy 05 or a Chinese Hurricane rubber but easily effective enough to lift heavy backspin balls to put your opponent under pressure. Serving with all 4 variants of the evolution series did not give us any problems as the surface of the rubber grabbed the ball well producing good spin and gave us good precision and placement .
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 09-23-2016
        5.00 Review on the Tibhar Evolution MX-S
        • Great spin
        • Crisp

        Tibhar Evolution MX-S
        Weight: 75 grams uncut, 51 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 45.7°
        Hardness: Medium/Hard
        Speed: Medium/High
        Spin: Medium/High
        Blade used: Tibhar Stratus Carbon blade



        The MXS is the hardest rubber of the 4 in the Evolution Series. You can see initially the ball flew of the table as we found it a little difficult after using the ELP and FXP which have much softer sponges.

        I was a little skeptical about using the MXS rubber on the backhand side beforehand thinking the sponge would be to hard, however I was pleasantly surprised. The direct nature of the rubber gave me the accuracy I needed to play strong attacking strokes mixing up the direction of play with ease.

        When playing against backspin the MXS gripped the ball very well and produced slightly more spin than the other rubbers in the series. The topsheet of the MXS seems to be tackier than all other evolution rubbers which helps create more spin. To produce significant spin with this rubber however requires a fast arm and body speed with efficient technique.

        For more in depth information about the Evolution MS-S click here.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 09-06-2016
        5.00 Genesis! STIGA's best rubber so far!
        • Grippy
        • Good feeling
        • High control

        STIGA Genesis S Rubber
        Weight: 66 grams uncut, 42.5 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 45°
        Hardness: Medium
        Speed: Medium
        Spin: High
        Blade used: STIGA Carbonado 90 and STIGA Infinity blade (Dan), STIGA Hybrid NCT Wood blade (Tom)



        Written Review

        Read the full written review of the Genesis here.

        We found the soft version was slightly better when taking the ball late, helping pick up low balls with lots of rotation. The flight path of the ball that this rubber creates stays low, allowing for control even when going for maximum power. This helps in situations under pressure when you need to active block.

        The soft version produces a loud clicky sound which me and tom both liked. It gives you confidence in your strokes and you can feel the ball sink into the sponge.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 09-06-2016
        5.00 STIGA's best rubber so far!
        • High Spin
        • High Control
        • Good speed

        STIGA Genesis M Rubber
        Weight: 66 grams uncut, 42.5 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 47°
        Hardness: Medium/Hard
        Speed: Medium
        Spin: High
        Blade used: STIGA Carbonado 90 and STIGA Infinity blade (Dan), STIGA Hybrid NCT Wood blade (Tom)



        Written Review

        Initial

        The Genesis rubbers were released in July 2016 and are completely different to predecessor STIGA rubbers in terms of composition. Right out the packaging I could feel the high quality. The top sheet being very glossy and aesthetically quite similar to Chinese rubbers such as the Hurricane 3 but not as tacky. The rubber comes in a protective film which you need to peel off and the sponge is orange and porous.

        The pores of the rubbers themselves are quite large and it's hard to tell the difference between the soft and medium versions with the only real difference between them being the sponge hardness. The Genesis Genesis Medium has a sponge hardness of 47 degrees.





        Topspins

        The first thing that impressed us with these rubbers was sheer amount of control they give you. The ball snaps of the bat quickly yet you feel very safe and confident in your strokes. Again there are similar characteristics to a Chinese style rubber in how that the Genesis rubbers feels, with a hard sponge and a grippy surface.

        Speed

        The Genesis is a responsive rubber however not as responsive as traditional tensor type rubbers. You don’t get the same spring effect you feel in traditional tensor rubbers. This means you have to utilise more body and rotation when playing shots. What we like about the Genesis is the sponge effect feels quicker than most Chinese type rubbers giving the Genesis a Euro, Chinese feel. The Genesis rubbers have a consistent contact and provide more control than most tensors, as the rubbers tacky nature gives you more time on the ball.

        Brush the ball

        Due to the Chinese style topsheet it is important to brush the ball during your stroke. You don’t get away with hitting the ball flat. This means you need to adjust your bat face by opening it more to allow for the medium throw angle. The advantage of this really helps with topspinning low balls or when you are out of position.

        The medium version definitely produces less of sound however Tom preferred the medium version to the soft as he wants a bit more pace on the ball. He finds the medium to produce high spin and control and enough speed to finish the point.

        Spin

        In today’s modern game it’s important to generate a lot of spin especially with the plastic ball. These rubbers do just that with the tacky surface gripping the ball extremely well producing lots of spin. This was very noticeable against backspin and in the short game.

        I could produce a lot of spin on my open ups and liked the pace I could produce on the fifth ball. I did find it a little tricky to get as much power as I would have liked when the incoming 5th ball was slow. To generate the power needed to win the point required a good use of legs, body and timing at top of the bounce.

        Serve and touch

        Initially I served into the net on quite a few occasions. The tacky rubber keeps the ball on the rubber for a long time. After some slight adjustments with my technique I produced a spinny consistent serve. During short play, this is the area of the game is where the rubber excelled. Keeping the ball tight around the net was easy due to the grip.

        Counter topspins

        A particular area the Genesis works super well in is during a counter topspin. The grippy topsheet brings the ball down quickly and low over the net allowing for a strong attack

        Backhand flicks

        Another advantage of the genesis was picking up low side and backspin balls on the return of serve using a backhand flick. The rubber grips the ball superbly even against the lowest of backspin serves. I really liked the follow up backhand punch and topspin I could do after the flick. I could be play very aggressively whilst maintaining accuracy at the same time. I found the soft gave me a lot more control on the backhand, its softer nature gave me more time to play strong shots with the backhand.

        Away from the table

        When away from the table you can really make the ball kick off your opponent's side due to the vast amount of spin.

        Conclusion

        To conclude, STIGA have definitely upped their game with these latest Genesis rubber series and are an improvement on their previous high end rubbers such as the Airoc and Calibra series. The Genesis soft and medium both pack a lot of punch in terms of spin and they really grab the ball well due to and the grippy topsheet. These rubbers don’t feel completely like a Chinese rubber in the sense that they are not as hard and are not extremely tacky, they also have more dwell and a crisper feeling. The balance between speed and control is excellent which gives you plenty of safety in your strokes.

        In comparison to other rubbers the Genesis is spinnier than an Evolution rubber for example however it is slower. For those who find some rubbers too responsive to incoming spin and hard to control Genesis could be a good alternative. They are especially effective in the serve and receive game. If you're an all out power player you might find the Genesis series slightly too slow however for those players who value spin and control more these may be the rubbers for you. This is not to say the Genesis are slow rubbers they just require more use of legs and rotation to get the same speed as a Tenergy for instance.

        We would recommend the medium for players who take the ball early and play aggressive opening attacks, the rubber works well from close to mid range to the table. I personally like the soft version especially with its loud sound and clicky feel which gives a bit more control and works especially well on the backhand side for blocking and counter hit shots. These rubbers are fantastic for active blocking and controlling the table. For players wanting more speed the medium would be a better choice over the soft. STIGA have developed a high quality top end rubber that produces supreme spin and control without compromising on speed. We feel that the Genesis rubbers are a refreshing update from STIGA and are the best STIGA rubbers currently on the market for advanced attacking players.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 07-25-2016
        5.00 Review on the Xiom Vega Asia DF
        • Good safety
        • Speed
        • Good spin

        Xiom Vega Asia DF Rubber
        Weight: 58 grams uncut, 42 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 42.5°
        Hardness: Soft/Medium
        Speed: Medium/High
        Spin: Medium
        Blade used: Xiom Vega Tour blade (Dan), Xiom Stradivarius blade (Tom)



        Written Review

        Initial

        The Xiom Vega Asia DF rubber was released in June 2016 alongside the Europe DF Rubber. The rubber uses Xiom’s signature black sponge and has a glossy topsheet. We've noticed this type of grippy surface in a lot of new rubbers post celluloid ball era.

        The Xiom Vega Asia DF is the newest rubber in the VEGA series, with the DF standing for Dynamic Friction Technology designed for the plastic ball. This technology was also used on the Omayga 5 rubbers. The Vega Asia DF is slightly softer than their predecessor Vega Asia rubbers. The sponge hardness on the Vega Aaia DF is 42.5 degrees.

        Topspins

        At the beginning you can feel right away that the Asia DF is a fairly soft rubber and is softer than the original Vega ASia. Although a soft/medium rubber, the impact is very stable and has an impressive loud sound on impact.

        Tom found during topspin strokes (as seen the in the video) that the Asia was more direct with its trajectory than the Europe DF. This gave Tom a bit more speed and strong attacks.

        Me and Tom both came to the agreement that the Asia worked better for both of us on the backhand side, we felt that this was because of the rubbers more direct nature. The ball did not fly out as much on the backhand side with both rubbers but especially with the Asia.

        Open ups and Spin

        A big plus point of the DF rubbers are that they are both very spinny. The grippiness of both of these rubbers mean that they both produce considerably more spin than the the original Xiom Vega rubbers. The new tech that XIOM have used with these certainly act well with the plastic ball. The Asia was a bit harder to lift against backspin then the Europe, however we felt a more aggressive shot was produced when we timed the ball well with the Asia.

        Speed

        In the rally we could generate a fair amount of speed in my shots and enough to put the opponent under pressure. These rubbers are not designed for sheer power however, and would fall in the in the all round offensive category. The Asia DF felt slightly faster than the Europe DF.

        Backhand Flicks

        The softness of these rubbers allow for superb control especially in the short game. For example, backhand flicks were easy and I had a high room for error especially on 4th ball attacks.

        Away from table

        This control can be seen when myself and Tom took a few steps away from the table. The rubber gave great safety in our shots with a high arc and not requiring huge amounts of effort. It did feel the Europe had slightly more feel and control than the Asia DF.

        Conclusion

        Xiom have definitely designed rubbers that have a good ratio between spin, speed and control but are slightly more towards the controlled side. Both the new Xiom Vega Df rubbers are packed with control and posses a topsheet that grips the ball producing lots of spin. As mentioned previously the major advantage with this rubber is its ability to stay in the rally with ease.

        The rubbers are not too responsive to spin and are very easy to play with due to sponges softness and stable topsheet resulting in high safety in your strokes. If you are looking for more spin and slightly more arc in your strokes we would recommend the Vega Europe DF. The ball really soaks into the sponge producing lots of spin and acceleration. The Vega Asia DF is slightly harder and a touch faster than the Europe DF, suited for players who want a slightly more direct trajectory.

        The Vega DF rubbers are also both excellent when blocking and receiving spinny balls. We would recommend Vega Europe and Asia DF rubbers for developing players looking to improve their stroke efficiency and shot quality. Or for players who want a spinny well controlled rubber without the extreme speed of high end fast rubbers such as the Tenergy 05 or Tibhar Evolution mxp. Xiom have created a well balanced offensive rubber and is a good addition to their rubber selection.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 07-25-2016
        5.00 Review on the Xiom Vega Europe DF
        • Lots of spin
        • Good control
        • Stable

        Xiom Vega Europe DF Rubber
        Weight: 58 grams uncut, 42 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 37.5°
        Hardness: Soft
        Speed: Medium
        Spin: Medium/High
        Blade used: Xiom Vega Tour blade (Dan), Xiom Stradivarius blade (Tom)



        Written Review

        Initial

        The Xiom Vega Europe DF rubber was released in June 2016 alongside the Asia DF Rubber. The rubber uses Xiom’s signature black sponge and has a glossy topsheet. We've noticed this type of grippy surface in a lot of new rubbers post celluloid ball era.

        The Xiom Vega Europe DF is the newest rubber in the VEGA series, with the DF standing for Dynamic Friction Technology designed for the plastic ball. This technology was also used on the Omayga 5 rubbers. The Vega Euro DF are slightly softer than their predecessor Vega Asia and Vega Europe rubbers.
        The sponge hardness on the Vega Europe DF feels very soft and is similar to the Rasant Beat rubber which is 37.5 degrees.

        Topspin

        You can feel right away that the Vega Europe DF is a very soft rubber and is softer than the original Vega Europe. Although a soft rubber, the impact is very stable and has an impressive loud sound on contact.

        Tom found the trajectory a little higher with Europe than the Asia, which gave him more safety in his shots. Both rubbers produced consistent topspins on both the forehand and backhand side.

        With this rubber we found you need to brush the ball with a lot of precision on strong shots to get the ball to dip onto the table. If this was not met the ball could fly out quite easily.

        Speed

        In the rally I could generate a fair amount of speed in my shots and enough to put the opponent under pressure. These rubbers are not designed for sheer power however, and would fall in the in the all round offensive category.

        Open ups and Spin

        A big plus point of the DF rubbers are that they are both very spinny. The grippiness of both of these rubbers mean that they both produce considerably more spin than the the original Xiom Vega rubbers. The new tech that XIOM have used with these certainly act well with the plastic ball. When playing against backspin the Europe felt more easier to lift backspin than the Asia. The slightly softer sponge had greater dwell which helped generate high spin on the ball.

        Flicks

        The softness of these rubbers allow for superb control especially in the short game. For example, backhand flicks were easy and I had a high room for error especially on 4th ball attacks.

        Away from table
        This control can be seen in the video when myself and Tom took a few steps away from the table. The rubber gave great safety in our shots with a high arc and not requiring huge amounts of effort.

        Conclusion

        Xiom have definitely designed rubbers that have a good ratio between spin, speed and control but are slightly more towards the controlled side. Both the new Xiom Vega Df rubbers are packed with control and posses a topsheet that grips the ball producing lots of spin. As mentioned previously the major advantage with this rubber is its ability to stay in the rally with ease.

        The rubbers are not too responsive to spin and are very easy to play with due to sponges softness and stable topsheet resulting in high safety in your strokes.

        If you are looking for more spin and slightly more arc in your strokes we would recommend the Vega Europe DF. The ball really soaks into the sponge producing lots of spin and acceleration. The Vega Asia DF is slightly harder and a touch faster than the Europe DF, suited for players who want a slightly more direct trajectory.

        The Vega DF rubbers are also both excellent when blocking and receiving spinny balls.We would recommend Vega Europe and Asia DF rubbers for developing players looking to improve their stroke efficiency and shot quality. Or for players who want a spinny well controlled rubber without the extreme speed of high end fast rubbers such as the tenergy 05 or tibhar evolution mxp. Xiom have created a well balanced offensive rubber and is a good addition to their rubber selection.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 06-14-2016
        5.00 Outstanding Carbon Blade by Butterfly
        • Superb Dwell
        • Lots of spin
        • High consistency

        Butterfly Tiago Apolonia Blade
        Weight: 90g
        Thickness: 5.7mm
        Type: Carbon OFF
        Composition: 7 ply (Limba, Limba, ZLC, Core, ZLC, Limba, Limba)
        Rubbers used with blade: Tenergy 05

        Hi everyone, in the Video Review below I am joined alongside world number 18 Tiago Apolonia, one of Portugal’s and Europe’s finest players. Together with Tiago, Butterfly launched his new personal blade, the Tiago Apolonia ZLC which has been designed for players looking for a soft touch and lots of spin.

        Video Review:



        Written Review:

        The blade itself has a high quality premium feel which you always expect from Butterfly, it comes in a really nice box and is adorned with the colours of Portugal. This Portuguese theme is continued on the blades surface where it has elements of the national flag printed on to it. The blade’s handle and surface feel super smooth and comfortable to hold.

        The composition of the Tiago Apolonia ZLC is slightly different to traditional Carbon Blades. For example the Zhang Jike ZLC has 1 outer wood layer and then a layer of carbon whereas the Apolonia ZLC has two outer wood layers followed by the Carbon layer. The Carbon layer on the Apolonia blade is placed nearer to the core of the blade as opposed to the Zhang Jike ZLC Carbon layer, which is nearer to the surface. The outer wood layers used in the Apolonia ZLC are made of Limba which is a naturally softer wood which results in high absorption. The Zhang Jike’s outer layer is Koto wood which is harder than limba resulting in a harder contact on impact. The Apolonia blade has a similar build to the Innerforce series where the ZLC fibres are closer to the core of the blade, again promoting a softer touch.



        Both blades we used weighed 90 grams and has a thickness of 5.7mm.



        Topspin:

        As soon as we started playing I could feel the crisp sensation you get with high quality carbon blades. Having reviewed the Zhang Jike and Mizutani super ZLC I could definitely notice more feel and longer ball contact time with the Apolonia. I could topspin with a lot of control and precision and was able to produce ample speed when needed.

        The amount of spin Tiago produced on his backhand was phenomenal. At the beginning I really struggled to keep the ball low to the net. But once I closed the angle more I adapted and really enjoyed the solid feeling and pinpoint accuracy you get with this new blade. Tiago noted that what he liked the most about the blade was how he could topspin early with a lot of speed and spin whilst maintaining the control and feeling.

        During 3 point forehands I felt I could go for maximum power in my shots without the fear of missing due to the blades great balance and large sweetspot.

        Spin:

        The Tiago Apolonia ZLC’s great feeling and long dwell time really helps produce a lot of spin on the ball, especially when playing against backspin.
        The combination of Tenergy 05 and the Apolonia blade works really well and we were both able to produce a lot of rotation on the ball.

        Control:

        Even with the extreme power Tiago produces, I was pleasantly surprised how I still was able to control the ball well with this blade. I had a lot of accuracy even on shots where I had to react really quickly and just get my bat behind the ball.

        Counter Topspin:

        Another outstanding attribute to this blade I noticed was during counter topspins. Due to the ball soaking into the core of the blade countering topspin was almost effortless and this was against a player a thousand levels above me.

        Flicks & Chop Block:

        Tiago really liked and mentioned that his backhand worked really well with this blade, especially when playing a modern backhand flick against my serve or a push ball. The spin and placement Tiago generated forced me into making many errors. The chop block which is used by players occasionally demonstrates the feeling this blade possesses with the ball fizzing with spin.

        Away from the table:

        Although this blade has a woodier feel than faster carbon blades using Koto, the Tiago blade using limba did not lack power from mid-distance to the table and the blade is great for topspin and power shots.


        Conclusion

        The Butterfly Tiago Apolonia ZLC overall is another fantastic addition to butterfly's carbon blade series. The combination of Tiago’s input and Butterfly’s craftsmanship means that this blade will be of a great choice for players who want great control with good speed with a slightly softer feel than their Kotowood carbon blades such as the Boll and Zhang Jike series. The crisp connection you get with this blade is fantastic and provides a soft feeling which aids control.The outer limba plys provide a longer ball contact time and feeling than harder blades using koto which helps in counters, serving and blocking. As well as producing great spin the Apolonia ZLC is also really good at handling incoming spin, a big feature of this blade that I liked a lot. Tiago said before the plastic ball era he used the Butterfly Liu Shiwen ZLF blade, however he felt he needed something a touch faster which maintained the same control and spin. The speed of the Apolonia ZLC is not as fast as a Zhang Jike or Mizutani ZLC and is similar to the innerforce series.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 05-04-2016
        5.00 Good quality ball
        • Lot more durable
        • Fast

        • Costly
        My local club uses these balls. I like them a lot. I think when they first came out they broke a lot easier and were less durable than the new batch of balls. They are fast and do not require to much effort. I am surprised they are not used in more major tournaments.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-31-2016
        5.00 High quality rubber for developing players, not for the advanced player
        • Superb Control
        • Good safety
        • Away from table

        • To soft for me
        andro Rasant Beat Rubber
        Weight: 60 grams uncut, 44 grams uncut
        Sponge Hardness: 37.5°
        Harness: Soft
        Speed: Medium
        Spin: Medium
        Blade used: andro Ligna FR OFF

        What’s going on guys, here’s my video review below on the andro Rasant Beat rubber.


        Watch more reviews from TableTennisDaily here.

        Written Review:

        The rubber comes with andros signature green sponge, and glossy, grippy top sheet. The Beat rubber is the softest rubber in the rasant series so far which has a sponge hardness of 37.5 degrees. For example in comparison to the Rasant Grip which has a 45 degree sponge softness. andro developed the wider pimple structure in the top sheet which caters for easy play due to the higher sweet spot. The rubber weighs 60 grams when uncut and cut weighs 44 grams.



        Topspin attacks

        Immediately the rasant beat felt extremely soft on impact, infact this rubber was one of softest rubbers we have tried so far. I was impressed with how stable the rubber was, even with its softness, and it possessed a nice catapult effect with a consistently loud clicking sound on contact.

        At the beginning I had quite a low arc, this was even more evident when playing at close range, I found it quite difficult to play strong, direct shots. One of the adjustments I had to make when using this rubber was to go slightly more upward with my technique on both forehand and backhand topspins.

        Speed

        We both felt this rubber came into its own when we stepped off the table a little bit. We could both get a reasonable amount of speed out of the rubber and it really excelled in the control department where we had great stability. This rubber has less speed than a Tenergy 05 for example, however it is still surprisingly fast for a soft rubber.

        Spin

        Generating spin against backspin was very easy. As expected with the rasant beats soft nature you can really feel the ball sink into the sponge and the topsheet propelling the ball over the net with a fair amount of spin. I was able to play the fifth ball with good pace to keep the pressure on Tom. This rubber will really help developing players who are working on improving their game against backspin due to its consistency and softness.

        Short game

        Varying the direction of flicks with the rasant beat was very comfortable, again the rubbers softness helped with this. The rubber provides a lot of feedback when playing short balls especially when you time it really well.

        During backhand flicks it was quite difficult to apply as much spin as we would have liked but the accuracy was still great.

        Counter topspins

        With counter topspins I had to be very precise and look to place the ball rather than going for power to get good consistency.

        Conclusion

        The rasant beat is packed with control and is certainly a lot of fun to play with. It has great control from mid distance to the table and is one of the softest rubbers we have reviewed so far. The beat is a very easy rubber to play with and gives you a large margin for error which results in very high safety in your strokes. We would not recommend this rubber for advanced players looking for high end spin and speed, shots that require a short movement when under pressure can also be difficult to execute with the beat to. We would however, suggest this rubber to developing players looking to improve their game due to the rubbers fantastic consistency and reliability. This rubber is able to absorb incoming spin well, so it makes it easy to receive serves and control heavily spun balls. Overall the Rasant beat has a lot of control and enough spin and speed for intermediate players who like a soft rubber that gives great feedback on all strokes making this a very good allround offensive rubber.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 03-10-2016
        5.00 The TTD review with myself and Paul Drinkhall
        • Crisp
        • Powerful

        Drinkhall Carbon Powerspin Blade
        Weight: 86g
        Thickness: 6.2mm
        Type: Carbon OFF
        Composition: Koto, Carbon, Ayous, Kiri
        Rubbers tested with blade: Evolution MX-P

        Hi everyone, in the review video below I am with Paul Drinkhall the 2016 World Team Bronze Medallist, and we are looking at his personal blade with Tibhar, the Drinkhall Powerspin Carbon.

        Video review:



        Written Review:

        This blade is comprised of 7 plys and made up of 5 layers of wood and 2 layers of arylate carbon with a simple and clean design. Paul worked with Tibhar to develop him a blade that gives him outstanding control with high end speed and good shock absorption on impact.

        The blades handle and surface feel very smooth, and is very comfortable to hold. The blade weighs 86 grams which is reasonably light and has a thickness of 6.2mm.

        Myself and Paul use the Tibhar Evolution MX-P rubbers on both sides of the blades.

        Topspin:

        At the beginning I noticed the power I could generate with this blade the ball literally rocketed off the bat. I could topspin with a lot of speed whilst maintaining the control due to the direct arc. The blades crisp sound and carbon feel is very evident. Similar to the Drinkhall all round blade review i had difficulty controlling Paul’s extreme topspin shots due to the intense speed and spin. It is so impressive how Paul gets so much quality on the ball with such small, compact strokes. Paul had tried many samples in the build up to making this blade and he said this final version had the best balance between speed and spin for the advanced player.

        Speed & spin:

        During 3 point forehands I liked how I felt confident going for power on low balls. Even when Paul dropped back from the table I felt I was able to keep the pressure on him without using too much effort.

        Combining the blades with the Evolution MX-P rubbers gave us both a large amount of spin. The Powerspin Carbon has sufficient dwell when playing against backspin to produce a lot of spin on the ball. I also liked the arc I could produce when I slowed the game down and went for maximum rotation on the ball.

        Short Game:

        We both had good feeling when touching short over the table, again one of Paul’s strength is his short game with flicks and close range attacks and found no problem hitting directly through the ball with pace.

        Counter Spin:

        Counter topspin worked well due to the direct nature of the blade playing close range shots.

        Away from table:

        Playing against Paul’s forehand topspin from away from the table was not easy however when I timed the ball well and connected accurately I could produce a great topspin.

        Conclusion:

        The Drinkhall Power Spin blade has definitely been designed for fast attacking close range play. The blade is very suitable for players who like to play aggressive on flicks and 3 ball attacks, something which Paul is renowned for. Paul really is a world class player and, when playing with him, it amazed me how much precision and timing he had in all of his shots. Although this blade is great at aggressive shots, he noted how he felt he could hold attacks well when passive blocking. This well balanced blade we would recommend it for players who are proficient in technique and have a fast stable attacking game. This blade is definitely a top of the range blade from Tibhar, stacking up well with other premium carbon blades.

        Photos from the review:

        Blade Composition


        Blade Weight


        Blade thickness


        Me and Paul
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-11-2016
        5.00 Butterfly Bryce Highspeed - Video Review
        • Super Fast
        • Quality surface

        • Reasonable spin
        What’s going on guys, here’s my review on one of the most anticipated rubbers of 2015, the Butterfly Bryce Highspeed. Bryce Highspeed was released on the 21st December 2015.

        Video Review: Bryce Highspeed Rubber



        Written Review:

        Firstly Bryce Highspeed comes in the all new packaging along with the new Butterfly logo. Butterfly have really transformed their look and feel of their latest products since the release of Tenergy 05 back in 2008.



        The Bryce Highspeed rubber comes with a new technology called Micro Layer designed for the new plastic ball. This micro layer technology enables the surface to be very thin, the thinnest so far in any rubber according to Butterfly.

        This allows the rubber to have longer pimples underneath for easier compression during impact. This gives a higher tension build up, as a result to give great speed. According to the Butterfly stats Bryce Highspeed is the fastest rubber in their range, faster than the popular Tenergy 05.

        When pressing on the rubber, the Bryce Highspeed (bottom rubber seen below) feels slightly softer than Tenergy 05 (top rubber seen below), to be precise Bryce Highspeed is 35 degrees and Tenergy 05 is 36 degrees.



        The weight of Bryce Highspeed when uncut is 38 grams. Which is reasonably light in comparison to Tenergy 05 when uncut is 46 grams.



        Myself and Tom put the Bryce Highspeed to the test using the Butterfly Garaydia ZLC blade.

        Speed

        As the name suggests, the new Bryce rubber certainly does pack a lot of speed. The sheer amount of speed this rubber produces means that the ball really catapults of the surface of the rubber. This means that the Bryce highspeed has very little dwell time and the ball shoots off the bat quickly and with a low arc.

        I found I sometimes could not generate as much pace as I would have liked as I had to brush the ball a little more to get the high trajectory required to get the ball over the net. This was especially evident on low balls if not met at the top of the bounce.

        Suited better for my backhand

        The Bryce Highspeed felt more suited to my backhand, and the low trajectory really helped when playing with a closed racquet angle to maintain the speed which in turn gave me lots of spin and control. With my natural technique I use for my backhand drive, when pressing forward, I was able to produce a lot of spin and speed with consistency. I was able to take advantage early on in the point with this aggressive shot.

        Spin

        Although the Bryce Highspeed is primarily designed, first and foremost, as an extremely fast rubber, I was still able to get a lot of spin on the ball with my backhand flick and backhand topspin. However I was unable to get the same amount of spin on my forehand side as there is less wrist involvement with this stroke. When comparing this rubber to other products in the Butterfly range I felt I had more spin in comparison to a traditional Bryce or a Bryce speed, however you can generate more spin with a Tenergy 05 but when it comes to pure speed this rubber is the fastest Butterfly have produced.

        Short Game

        During the short game I really struggled to adapt at the beginning due to the rebound effect as it gave little feedback. Again the rubbers high levels of speed made it hard to control until I got more used to it. I really noticed the rubbers pace again during forehand flicks. Once I adjusted I could produce some great results, in shots such as the counter topspin for instance where I found I had superb accuracy.

        Away from the table

        I needed to have quite an upward motion when playing away from the table, as the low arc would send the ball into the net if I didn't make this adaptation to my stroke. I found top spinning from mid distance and close to the table fantastic.

        Conclusion

        The new Butterfly Bryce Highspeed has definitely been created to produce vast amounts of speed on the ball. When a precise brush shot is used a decent amount of spin can also be generated. The sponge is medium to hard and springs off the bat faster than Tenergy 05 due to the thin topsheet allowing for a higher pimple placement in the sponge. For me this rubber is an excellent choice for the backhand side as I could get a good balance between spin and speed on the finer shots such as the backhand flick and topspin.

        You can put your opponent under a lot of pressure with this rubber due to the speed however at times can be a little hard to control. This rubber is suited for intermediate to advanced players who like to generate a lot of speed on the ball and would be good for players who like to punch and play fast shots from close to the table. We feel that this rubber would also be well suited for a passive blocking game due to the amount of pace you can generate with little effort.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 01-07-2016
        5.00 Very fast, high quality carbon blade!
        • Very Fast
        • Hard Touch
        • Good wood

        Here is my review on the Garaydia T5000 which has been released in 2015 designed for the plastic ball. The T5000 is from the Garaydia series which is Butterfly’s latest line of carbon blades.

        The blade is built with 5 plies and has a excellent finish. On the underside of the blade is a holographic lense to stop counterfeit products. Watch the video review below, the rubbers used on the blade are the Butterfly Tenergy 05.



        Overview

        The thickness of the T5000 is the greatest out of all three Garaydia blades (ALC + ZLC) with a thickness of 7.2mm as seen below. If we compare this to a traditional carbon blade such as the Jun Mizutani Super ZLC which has a thickness of 6mm. The core of the Garaydia has been developed thicker to produce greater speed.



        The T5000 blade uses Japanese hinoki wood as the outer layer on the blade which gives the blade a soft feel maintaining the control of the fast blade. Tamaca Carbon is the composite used.

        The blade weighs 88 grams.



        Speed

        Out of all 3 blades, the Garaydia T5000 definitely felt the fastest. This is due to its thicker core and harder touch which works well for the power players playing close to the table. The blade has a lot of feel even though it’s a super fast blade and would be suited for players who like to play flat, fast shots.

        Arc

        This blade had the lowest arc when hitting direct shots which helped on close range play such as the flick. It doesn't have the same dwell as both the ALC and ZLC. This means that the ball really rockets of the bat and has a high rebound effect which some players may struggle to cope with, for instance players that have a more all round spinny game. Again this is designed for the more aggressive power players who want sheer power.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 01-07-2016
        5.00 My favorite blade from the Garaydia series
        • Fast
        • Controllable
        • Great feeling

        Hi all, this is my review on the Garaydia ZLC which has been released in 2015 designed for the plastic ball. The ZLC is from the Garaydia series, Butterfly’s latest line of carbon blades.

        The blade is of 5 plies and has a excellent finish. On the underside of the blade is a holographic lense to stop counterfeit products. Watch the video review below, the rubbers used on the blade are the Butterfly Tenergy 05.



        Overview

        The thickness of the ZLC is the first attribute myself and Tom noticed in comparison to other Butterfly blades. Notice how much thicker the core is in the image below. The ZLC has a thickness of 7.1mm, whereas the Jun Mizutani Super ZLC has a thickness of 6mm. The core of the Garaydia is thicker to produce greater speed.



        The ZLC blade uses Japanese hinoki wood as the outer layer on the blade which gives the blade a soft feel maintaining the control of the fast blade. Zylon Carbon is the composite used.

        The blade weighs 88 grams.



        Speed

        The Garaydia ZLC, felt fantastic and really worked well for my style of play and had similar dwell to the ALC. This dwell gave me high arc in my strokes, a feature that I really enjoyed with this blade as it allowed me to produce lots of spin and safety with my topspins.

        I really noticed this safety also when playing against backspin using my backhand flick and when opening up. The ball soaked into the hinoki/Zylon Carbon and created a lot of rotation on the ball. This blade felt similar to the Butterfly Amultart and the Zhang Jike Super ZLC which we reviewed last year. When going explosive shots the the Garaydia ZLC blade felt very quick, however not as fast as the T5000 which gave me great stability in my play. I would not recommend this blade for people who are early level players/improving players, this is blade for intermediate to advanced level players who have a high level of skill.

        Spin and Dwell

        Although this blade is fast as it uses ZL Carbon, I found I could produce a lot of spin when playing against backspin. You get a crisp feeling and this blade gives you the ability to produce a quality shot with minimal action.

        Conclusion

        The soft feeling you get with the ZLC, due to the outer hinoki wood and the Zylon carbon fibres, give great spin and dwell in your shots. The hinoki wood helps absorb incoming spin which particularly helps in the serve and receive area to get good bite and zip on the ball.

        The ZLC blade has a very good speed to control ratio and is extremely well balanced. This is definitely my blade of choice within the Garaydia range as it suits my style of play well, playing mid distance to the table generating spin and safety in my shots. I like how I can get a lot of power and speed whilst the control is maintained.
        3 people liked this review
        Posted 01-07-2016
        5.00 High quality fast carbon blade
        • Good Dwell
        • Fast – Control
        • Nice Finish

        What’s going on guys, this is my review on the Garaydia ALC which has been released in 2015 and designed for the plastic ball. The ALC is a top of the line blade by Butterfly from the new Garaydia series.

        The blade is 5 ply and has a really nice smooth finish and also has a holographic lense on the underside of the handle to stop counterfeit products. Watch the video review below, the rubbers used on the blade are the Butterfly Tenergy 05.



        Overview

        One characteristic we first noticed about this blades is how thick it is in comparison to other traditional carbon blades such as the Jun Mizutani Super ZLC notice how much thicker the wood/core is on the Garaydia in the image below. To be precise the Garaydia ALC blade has a thickness of 6.9mm, whereas the Mizutani Super ZLC has a thickness of 6mm. This core thickness helps promote speed in the blade which has been tailored for the 40+ ball.



        The ALC blade uses Japanese hinoki wood which is designed to keep the soft touch maintaining the control of the fast blade. The Carbon used is Arylate Carbon.

        The blade weighs 86 grams.



        Speed

        The Garaydia ALC comes packed with control and its speed is very noticeable. The crisp feeling is very evident with this blade as expected with the arylate Carbon and I would not recommend this blade for beginners. The ALC has a low trajectory and felt slightly faster than a Timo Boll ALC.

        When playing 3 point forehands playing at maximum pace and speed preciseness in my technique was required due to the low arc of the blade. Once I had adjusted I could really produce a lot of speed in my strokes something which I really liked.

        Spin

        When playing against backspin with the ALC the large sweetspot and great dwell helped to counteract the spin and gave us high amounts of accuracy. This helps produce lots of rotation on the ball. If you have tried a Timo Boll or a Zhang Jike ALC the dwell felt quite similar.

        Flicks and aggressive shots

        This blade really excelled when flicking and playing counter topspins and shots close to the table, due to the low throw generated this helped in this department.

        Conclusion

        The new Garaydia ALC blade has definitely been developed for the new plastic balls due to its sheer speed and thicker core. One noticeable feature you get with this blades is it’s the crisp feeling and the ability to produce a quality shot with minimal action.

        The ALC has a soft feeling when brushing the ball and playing against spin. If you were to choose a blade from the Garaydia series, this one would feel the most controllable as it has a touch more dwell time than the ZLC and a lot more dwell than the T5000. I would not recommend this blade for someone until they are competent in their shot quality and consistency due to the responsiveness of the blade. An advanced top spin attacker would really benefit and like this blade for playing top spin shots from mid distance and close to the table. When going for speed the ball has a low, direct trajectory, and when playing with spin you get good arc on the ball from the blades dwell.
        3 people liked this review
        Posted 10-09-2015
        5.00 A great ball! Plays and feels different to traditional plastic balls
        • Plays nice
        • Feels clean
        • Fast and hard

        Butterfly G40+ Plastic Ball Review

        The butterfly g40+ uses a unique type of plastic never used before in three star table tennis balls. This ball is completely celluloid-free. The ball weighs the same as other plastic balls, 2.8 grams however the way it performs is surprisingly different. Which you can see in the review below with myself and Tom Maynard. We performed a variety of tests to see the characteristics of this ball shaped up the first being a simple bounce test. When comparing the bounce between the two balls, the Butterfly G40+ bounced higher, and for a longer time than the original plastic ball. You can watch the review below:



        Speed

        As soon as we started playing we could immediately notice that the g40+ travels quicker than other plastic balls we have used in the past. It felt like you didn't need to hit the ball that hard to get a good amount of speed. The ball came through very quick and direct, here are some examples showing this.
        There was no surprise that playing away from the table felt very comfortable and required less effort than we were used to due to the enhanced speed and clean contact.

        Light

        The ball gives the impression and feeling that it is lighter than other plastic balls as we found it flew off the end of the table because we were not used to fact that the g40+ did not dip as much. This was very noticeable during counter topspins. I really had to adjust my angle to bring the ball down onto the table. Once adjusted I had no real difficulties in keeping control but it did take a bit of getting used to. I sometimes find with plastic balls they feel heavy on the contact, the G40+ felt the complete opposite.

        Spin

        When playing against backspin, the ball had similar feel to other plastic balls we have used in terms of how much spin we could produce and couldn't tell much of a difference.

        Conclusion

        The Butterfly G40+ definitely feels different to other plastic balls we have tried. The new ball is very responsive and propels off the rubber very quickly. It seemed to come through more directly and dipped less in comparison to traditional plastic balls and as seen through the bounce test the ball actually bounces higher as well.

        Unique to this g40+ is the construction, whereby the seam is the same thickness as the two halves on the inside and outside of the ball designed to create a very round, high bouncing stable ball. This was definitely evident whilst playing as you get great consistency in terms of bounce and speed. The durability of the ball seems high as during the time of reviewing them no balls broke.

        The ball will be available to buy towards the end of October.

        Photos

        2 people liked this review
        Posted 10-09-2015
        5.00 Well balanced fast offensive blade
        • Fast
        • Lots of control
        • Nice handle

        Hi all, here is my review with Paul Drinkhall looking at his Offensive blade in his line of new products with Tibhar.

        The blade is 5 ply and has a nice feel with a cool looking, modern blue design. The offensive blade weighs 88 grams. We both used the Tibhar Evolution MX-P rubbers on both sides of our blades.



        Speed:

        When reviewing the all round blade we then tried the Offensive Classic. From changing to the Offensive Classic Paul started to get more speed from his shots and there was definitely more of a direct nature to this blade than the all round. He still maintained mixing speed and spin was with ease however now with more zip and again a more direct trajectory.

        Spin

        As seen in the review Paul still produced a huge amount of spin something I really struggled to adapt to due to the shear velocity he could produce. This was very evident when playing against backspin, this spin helped set up Paul very well for the fifth ball attack.

        Flicks

        Drinkhall has one of the fastest flicks in the game with electrifying speed. Paul noted how easy it was to flick with the offensive blade.
        Another attribute to Paul's armoury is his counter topspin, which again is even more effective with the offensive blade. The Drinkhall offensive classic I would recommend for the player who has a well developed game and wants a bit more of a kick to their shots then an all round blade like the all round classic gives you.

        Conclusion from the review

        The allround blade is very good for maximum control, and ideal for a player who wants to develop solid strokes due to the added dwell time. However, if you are looking for something with a bit more power the offensive blade would be of a better choice as it had a more direct, harder feel and is slightly faster than the all round due to it’s harder ply's.

        All in all both wood blades have excellent control and are ideal for beginners and intermediate players looking to develop their game. For wood blade lovers, the offensive.

        Photos



        0 people liked this review
        Posted 10-07-2015
        5.00 High quality all round blade
        • Loads of control
        • Nice feel

        On first inspection the Tibhar Drinkhall all round blade comes with a really nice, fresh design with a red handle. The blade is 5 ply and aimed at developing and intermediate level players.

        The all round blade is built with a combination of ayous and limba wood to provide soft feeling and control.

        The blade weighs 84 grams.

        I was joined alongside Paul Drinkhall using the Tibhar Evolution MX-P rubbers on both sides of the blade.



        Forehands

        We both found a huge benefit to the all round blade was the tremendous amount of dwell time and control it allows for. Paul executed topspin shots effortlessly.

        Blocking and control

        Due to Paul’s ferocious power, I had difficulty blocking at times but I definitely found the all round helped me with controlling his speed due to the blades good flex and soft feel.

        Speed

        This blade isn't as fast as offensive and carbon blades we have reviewed before this doesn't mean however that I wouldn't recommend it to players trying to develop their strokes or players who aren't as interested in high end speed, as it would be very good for them. The combination of limba wood plys used in the all round classic provides great control and gives you more time to impart high amounts of spin on the ball.

        Spin

        The all round provided lots of control, against backspin this was very evident when playing topspin strokes. This helped produce a lot of spin due to the blades feeling and control.

        Conclusion

        The allround blade is very good for maximum control, and ideal for a player who wants to develop solid strokes due to the added dwell time. However, if you are looking for something with a bit more power the offensive blade would be of a better choice as it had a more direct, harder feel and is slightly faster than the all round due to it’s harder ply's.

        All in all the wood blade has excellent control and is ideal for beginners and intermediate players looking to develop their game.





        0 people liked this review
        Posted 09-21-2015
        5.00 Outstanding control for a carbon blade!
        • Control
        • Speed
        • Good feeling

        andro Ligna F.R OFF Blade Review

        Hi all, heres my review on andro’s new blade in the Ligna series, the Ligna Off FR. The FR stands for Fiber Reinforced.

        Specifications

        Blade: andro Ligna FR
        Weight: 90 grams
        Plies: 7
        Materials: Kiri, Carbon, Spruce, Core, Spruce, Carbon, Kiri
        Hardness: Medium/hard Stiff
        Test Rubbers: andro Grip (Forehand), andro Powergrip (Backhand)
        Speed: OFF



        The blade comprises of 7 plys, kiri being the outer ply, carbon being the second and Spruce being the third. An unusual characteristic about this blade is the fact that it uses Spruce wood. The particular Spruce used in this blade has been sourced from a bispoke Italian violin manufacturer to ensure that the wood is of the highest quality. The Spruce adds to the blades control and feeling especially when used in the inner plys like it is in this blade. The handle is extremely comfortable and sits very well when you hold it. you can really sense the craftsmanship that has gone into this blade throughout the whole design, including a really nice finish to both the handle and the outer kiri layer. The blade weighs 90 grams.

        Forehand topspin

        When using my forehand topspin the feeling and dwell time I got from the Ligna blade was very impressive. I could really feel the ball sink into the surface of the blade giving me great accuracy and perception in my shots.

        Combination shots

        The large dwell time helped, particularly, when playing close to the table and from mid distance giving me maximum control, producing a medium throw. I could get a fair amount of power in my shots when I wanted to, but found I had to put in quite a lot of effort to get maximum speed.

        Spin

        When playing shots that require heavy spin this blade really shone as the generous sweetspot meant I could produce high levels of spin. This also helped with creating shorter arcs on shots so the ball wasn't flying off the end of the table when playing topspins.

        Flicks4

        I felt I could generate a lot of power on flicks but found myself using more guided shots when playing short balls to create point winning opportunities.
        Away from the table

        Away from the table

        When away from the table the ball really sinks into the blade meaning you get lots of control and dwell which produces a naturally high throw. This does however mean the ball stays on the bat a split second longer so the ball doesn't reach the other side of the table as quickly as other harder carbon blades.

        Conclusion

        The Ligna FR blade certainly comes packed with outstanding feeling and control. The control being similar to that of an OFF- blade but with the speed of a regular offensive blade. It isn't as quick as some off+ blades but it more than makes up for it in the control department. This attribute in the ligna off fr is substantial. it's large sweetspot, due to it's finely tuned composition, results in shots that are highly consistent in terms of both pace and ball placement.
        The blade works well for intermediate to advanced players who want lots of control in their game. the carbon layers mean when you need to get good power behind attacking shots you can, and the blade produces enough speed to hit outright winners.

        Pictures from the review

        andro Ligna FR Off composition



        Weight


        3 people liked this review
        Posted 09-17-2015
        4.00 I use these balls in my coaching sessions
        • Good durability
        • Affordable

        I currently use the Donic Coach 40+ plastic balls in my coaching sessions. I am very happy with these balls. They are round and very consistent. The price is not to bad either, the plastic balls are definitely getting better.


        0 people liked this review
        Posted 09-09-2015
        5.00 STIGA Airoc Astro Medium Rubber Review
        • Speed
        • Control
        • Grippy

        Hi all,

        Hi all, here is my latest review on STIGA’s new product, the Airoc Astro M rubber. The Astro is an advancement to the Japanese style Airoc rubber which was released earlier this summer. The rubber comes with its blue porous sponge, and glossy, shiny top sheet.



        The pimple structure is similar to the original Airoc, however the air bubbles in the Astro are smaller and in turn means there are more pimples, which has been developed to create a more catapult effect from away from the table.



        The Airoc Astro weighs 69 grams and cut weighs 49 grams. The top sheet of the rubber feels and looks grippy.



        Forehands

        Before I started using the rubber I thought it would be very similar to the airoc, however I was surprised to find that you could tell immediately of some fundamental differences. The speed was definitely faster with the Airoc Astro. The crisp impact produced a nice catapult effect on the new plastic ball, which is essentially what this rubber is designed to deal with. Here are some examples demonstrating the explosive power of the rubber.


        Away from the table

        From mid distance to away from the table, you can produce a lot of speed and control on the ball due to the long trajectory produced. This gave a lot of accuracy in my shots.

        I found that on some occasions, playing close distance, the ball would go directly off the end of the table when going for power, as this rubber doesn't naturally produce as much dip on the ball as other tackier surfaced rubbers . I therefore had to adjust my technique with more of a brushing motion when playing power shots to compensate for the rubbers throw angle. However from mid distance this longer flight path meant that I had great safety and consistency in my attacking shots.

        Spin

        When playing against backspin I felt it was easy to impart a lot of spin on the ball really helping for instance, with third ball attacks when the ball was pushed long. The amount of spin produced with the Astro felt similar with the original Airoc. I felt comfortable receiving backspin serves with my backhand flick, the ball really soaked into the sponge creating lots of rotation on the ball which set me up strongly for fifth ball attacks.

        Counter Topspin

        Precise timing was required for the counter topspin, if this was not met the ball would fly off the end of the table. Once adjustments had been made by closing the racquet angle, I could counter topspin effectively.

        Match play

        After testing the rubbers with various shots and techniques, it was time to take on Tom in a few sets to see how the rubber held up in matchplay.

        Conclusion

        The Astro certainly excels it’s predecessor Airoc in terms of it’s speed. There were a lot of players commenting that the old rubber was not fast enough. I certainly felt that Stiga have combated this by increasing the speed in its new addition to the airoc series.

        I was really impressed with the control to speed ratio of the rubber as it doesn't compromise on either aspect. The rubber really shines when engaging in aggressive attacking play from mid distance. Whilst at the same time I was able to produce a good amount of spin in the short game when needed on shots such as flicks, open ups and slow topspin.

        Overall the rubber works well for players who want stability and control in their game and want that extra bit of kick and speed in their shots when needed.
        4 people liked this review
        Posted 08-11-2015
        5.00 TTD review of the Butterfly Easy Ball 40+
        • Sounds like Cell
        • Fast
        • Seemed

        Here is my video preview on the Butterfly Easy Ball with Tom.

        Butterfly have released this new ball made in Germany to combat current issues with many plastic balls. The material used in this plastic ball is unique and actually feels like celluloid. The sound is a lot crisper than I was expecting. When we compared the Easy Ball in comparison to a traditional plastic ball in the bounce test, the Easy ball bounced longer. Impressively when comparing this new ball to a celluloid ball, the Easy Ball still managed to do the same with a higher and longer bounce. As this is a training/youth ball, I am looking forward to the 3* competition ball, this will be interesting.



        Conclusion: The easy ball has been developed for youth training, casual play and for robots. This ball will be the first of a new line of products from Butterfly, from a training balls to 3 star balls. This new material certainly has a new feel and sound.

        The manufacturing process of this ball is different whereby the ball is made by creating two halves. You can see this on the ball in its raw material colour (see footage).

        Butterfly's future 3 star balls will be coloured white like traditional balls. The seam of this new ball has the same thickness as the two halves on the inside and out which creates a very round, high bounce stable ball.


        2 people liked this review
        Posted 07-31-2015
        5.00 Review on the Emerald VPS Blade
        • Lots of control
        • Fast
        • Great wood feel

        Hi all,

        Here's my video review on the STIGA Emerald VPS blade.

        The emerald blade was released in 2014 as an advancement of the STIGA Infinity blade. The blade arrives in premium quality packaging with the clean unique look which STIGA are renowned for. The surface of the blade is varnished which helps protect and prolong it's life. The Emerald weighs 98g and consists of 5 plys of wood. The Emerald VPS is 6.2mm thick. Similar to the recent Carboando Blade Series, this Emerald blade has two metal insignias on front and bottom of the handle which furthers the premium feel of the blade. The Airoc Medium rubber were used on both sides of the blade. In the review we compare the Emerald to the popular STIGA Infinity VPS.



        Forehand Topspin

        Nice solid control that traditional wood blades are well known for. The emerald felt quite hard and had a solid contact. You can generate a good amount of power when playing attacking shots without compromising on control.

        Away from table Footage

        Away from the table the blade has excellent stability and great feeling. This feeling and control allowed me to put a lot of power into my shots because you know you can trust this blade to produce the same consistent ball everytime.
        .
        Backhand Topspin

        The Emerald is very effective for backhands, where it produces a hard, fast impact. I liked the lower direct trajectory that can be produced when playing backhands.

        Blocking

        The large sweet spot and medium to hard stiffness allowed for excellent feel when blocking and safety in my strokes. The quick, crisp reaction of the blade suits offensive play very well.

        Comparison between Emerald and Infinity blade

        We found a few similarities in the review between the Emerald and the Infinity blade, one of which was the feeling. Both possess a strong wood feeling. In terms of weight between the two, the Infinity felt slightly lighter in the hand. A noticeable difference between the two blades was the speed. The Emerald was stiffer than the infinity which gave the blade more of a rebound effect, which in turn made the blade faster.

        The difference in speed between the two is caused by a different outer veneer. The Emerald has a new hard green Ebenholz outer veneer, whereas the infinity has a lighter, outer veneer.

        The Infinity however has a greater dwell and, therefore gives you slightly more forgiveness than the emerald and is slightly more suited at close range shots.

        Spin

        With the Emerald, there was a good amount of dwell time which helped create a lot of spin when playing against backspin from either a serve or a push ball.

        Conclusion:

        The STIGA Emerald blade certainly has more gears than its predecessor Infinity in terms of speed. Like the STIGA Infinity which we reviewed in 2014, we found the Emerald blade had bundles of control.

        We were especially impressed with the speed to control ratio away from the table. In comparison, the Infinity seemed more suited from close range to the table. The Emerald due to its greater speed, really helped from mid distance and away from the table.

        Overall the Emerald works very well for attackers looking for that extra bit of zip in their shots from a wood blade. It is suited for those players looking for high end speed with good control and is really easy to use for any experienced player.

        In 2014, myself and Tom reviewed the STIGA Infinity blade, you can watch the review here.


        2 people liked this review
        Posted 05-05-2015
        4.00 High controlled carbon blade
        • High control
        • Aramid Carbon

        • Could be quicker
        The Nexy Arirang is a 7 ply blade. The blade reviewed was 83grams and has 2 layers of aramid carbon. The aramid carbon gives the blade a soft touch, slower than a TBS. I would of liked for the blade to have a bit more speed, sometimes I did not feel it had the spark needed for my shots. However one department this blade excels in is it's control. If you are after a carbon that doesn't have to much speed, this is a very good choice.

        0 people liked this review
        Posted 05-05-2015
        5.00 High quality carbon blade
        • Very well made
        • Good sweetspot
        • Fast

        • Low arc
        The Nexy Kanaph is a 5 ply (2 carbon layers) blade that has stunning looks. Below is a video review I did with Tom testing out both the Nexy Kanaph and the Arirang blade. Here are some quick details about the kanaph blade:

        - Direct, low Trajectory
        - Excellent for close range shots such as flicks, counter topspins and punch shots
        - Fast (Off + blade)
        - Dual impact (crisp sound)
        - Solid sweetspot

        This blade I feel is quick and suited for advanced players who have developed a solid technique.

        Enjoy the review below which looks at both the Nexy and the Arirang blade.

        1 people liked this review
        Posted 03-14-2015
        4.00 Excellent Rubber by Adidas
        • Good feel
        • Very fast
        • Speed Glue Effec

        • Hard to control
        Myself and @Tom had the opportunity to review the Adidas Tenzone Ultra Rubber.

        I used the Avenger blade and Tom used the Hypertouch blade in the review which looked at the AdidasTenzone Ultra rubbers on both sides of our blades. The review looks at various techniques and a range of shots used in today's modern game of table tennis.

        0 people liked this review
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