Market Review of Blades, 2021


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*This article has been published in the 2022 issue 1 of “Ping Pong World” magazine.

What does the future of bats look like?

In 2020, we saw a leap forward in superfibers: Super ZLC, 12K Energy Carbon, Zexion, Dyneema, and more. In the new 2021, they still continue to support the shaping of the bat, and once again “confirm” and define the existence of the fiber era. However, in this one, there is a new vision.

When people debate whether external or internal is the future of the bat, they find that the two are not completely different and are slowly converging. Outboards become more ball-handling, and inboards get tougher. It turned out that the unification is the kingly way.

Of course, every time we think about the future, we always have to go back to the past. to capture those common patterns. So, let’s get back to basics and start with the “non-fiber” board.

Back to Basics

The presence of fiberboard is really too strong right now. However, there are always some old guys, who use plain wooden boards that look ordinary and are not expensive, to teach the young us a lesson. Tell us: Technology is Eternal God.

Pure wooden boards are always better extended by manpower. It feels more natural in the hand (no additives) and everything seems to be in control.

Nominated: VICTAS SWAT Series

VICTAS never thought of giving up TSP’s SWAT series (4 pure wood, 1 carbon). But I didn’t expect that at the end of the year, the most dazzling thing was not the star Pitchford and Niwa Takaki coming out to show their faces, but Ni Xialian at the WTT Slovenia station, beating the top seed Wang Yidi at the age of 58 and winning the runner-up. As the top three bats in Japan in terms of sales, SWAT not only gave VICTAS confidence in “carrying out SWAT to the end” in terms of sales, but also added fuel to its “record”.

Nominated: Butterfly Maze Pure Wood

From Maze Performance to Maze Advance, years have passed, but it can’t take away everyone’s thoughts on the king of butterfly, even in the fiber era, even if this is just an ordinary five-ply wood. However, the more acceptable price and its own balanced feel and performance have really made it a small fire. Lightweight, but thicker (6.7mm), it also meets the demands of offense and defense transition in the era of “swing speed”.

Nominated: Stiga CL 40th Anniversary

A board “ClipperWood”, which was launched in 1981, has not only helped countless world champions, but even today, it can be regarded as a magic board, compatible with various play styles, and the rubber is versatile. It’s really a miracle. Once upon a time, the extremes of balance (spin, speed, power and control) seemed like nothing more than that. Stiga launched the 40th Anniversary Collection Commemorative CL, which is also a matter of course.

Limited, is the essence

“Limited edition” has always been a popular word in the fashion circle, and now it is also in the equipment fever world. Of course, Qi Zong people often have a “Skill Zong” heart. Collection is certainly no problem, but the best, but also easy to play.

On a whim, I’ll use it for actual combat.

Nominations: Stiga Xuxin Gold Label, Carbon 45 Gold Label

With the limited edition in the field of pure wood (CL 40th anniversary), it is natural to not let go of the Carbonado carbon series that has been outstanding in recent years. Therefore, based on this, a commemorative edition of the Year of the Ox was launched.

However, there are still two gold labels that are truly unique: Xu Xin Gold Label and Carbon 45 Gold Label. Selected high-quality wood for improved feel and speed, while strictly controlling the weight, complemented by a gold plate. Although Xu Xin still used the blue label conservatively in the Olympic Games, but the trip to Hong Kong used the gold label, which was also talked about by enthusiasts. Sun Yingsha even held a gold-label carbon 45 and reached the women’s singles final of the Tokyo Olympics.

Nominated: Daker 2020 Tokyo Limited Edition

The screen printing with red as the main body symbolizes the Olympic flame and the “fire of revival” of development and progress. The golden cherry blossom bottom mark also pays tribute to the Olympic flame and torch. At the same time, it is equipped with CNF nanofibers, which is not only dazzling, but also feels highly elastic without shaking hands, and also has a good sense of arc and speed. Really achieve both collection and actual combat.

External is not hard

From a bland, although light and agile, but with average power, it turned into a board that was once more popular than Vis, sold out of stock, and finally reached the podium of the World Table Tennis Championships. The story of Lin Gaoyuan’s ALC’s “rehabilitation” seems to be telling us that the external carbon board that holds the ball more is the future of the board.

Nomination: Galaxy Pro-01X

“Whoever wins Zhu Yi wins the world”, even if he is not a national player, he can have a wide range of influence. This happened not only to Zhu Yi, but also to the “Pro-01” he endorsed. Pro-01 and its special model Pro-01X not only received a lot of attention, but also achieved remarkable sales. On the whole, the brittleness of the external aromatic carbon ball board is still maintained, but the wood treatment is softer, which makes it seem more ball-holding and highlights the control of the ball. Rotary domestic Vis is a more accurate evaluation of it

Nomination: Butterfly Lin Yunru SZLC

Compared with Super Zhang Jike, it is softer, more transparent, and more stable on stage. At the same time, it is generally lighter in weight. Super Lin Yunru has made “more brisk speed, more stable arc, and, for amateur players, controllability. Higher backhand.” Although the quality of the ball is not as heavy as Zhang Jike’s, but the current trend is to hold the ball more and have a more curved sense.

Nominated: Nittaku NDN

The combination of external aromatic carbon + Ayous large core should feel very hard in the impression. However, Nittaku NDN has switched to the more flexible KLC instead of the blue aromatic carbon ALC. It makes the hand feel softer under small and medium strength. The control of the ball in the table is also quite stable.

Not soft built

When people think that “more ball-holding external” seems to be the future of the bat, the built-in carbon board, which is already very ball-holding, is moving towards the goal of “unification” (more balanced). They got tougher.

Nominated: Stiga Inspired Carbon

Stiga’s engineers have always liked the Ayus core with more deformation and stronger jet, because it symbolizes the stronger sense of power in the original wood. But on the inspiration carbon, we see a different core: paulownia. The Stiga blade, which is especially known for its powerful sense of magnification in the forehand, suddenly became smaller, and the backhand became more balanced and linear without shaking hands.

Nominated: Stiga Carbon Rosewood

Stiga seems to have found a new formula for success: a combination of hardwood surfaces + built-in carbon. Carbon rosewood, still the academic flavor of Old School, is still a re-forging of the arc machine, however, the difference is that on the basis of built-in carbon, with the blessing of hardwood surface material, the backhand leverage becomes More sturdy, refreshing, and quickly got up.

Nomination:DHS Hurricane 301T

Hurricane 301T, which is a mixture of three-color fibers (yellow aryl, blue arylate and carbon), still has a built-in arylate carbon in structure, but it feels firmer in hand. The rigidity and support of the bat have been improved. At medium power, it is easier to hit high quality. At the same time of increasing the speed, it is also more comfortable to use the force.

Nomination: Butterfly Francesca ZLC/Ocharov ALC

It is still the classic structure of the Innerforce ZLC, but the Francesca ZLC has become more rigid and the arc is still full. The larger board surface (158*152mm) and higher thickness (6.2mm) of Ochalov ALC will upgrade the structure of the built-in ALC again, as if to become a “heavy artillery”. The backhand is not as transparent as the original Innerforce Layer ALC, but the rigidity is improved, the speed of afterburning is faster and the defense is more stable. The forehand has a sense of slack and slack, and it is more handy in topspin stalemate.

The future, don’t rush to define

Whether it’s a more ball-holding outboard or a tougher inboard, it’s only part of the picture of the future of the bat. Because, Stiga tells us: the future can be “transformed”.

Nominated: Stiga Cybershape 6

A guy who looks strange, but diverges our thinking like a new civilization. By changing the shape of the bat, Cybershape 6 widens the sweet spot of hitting, and the hitting area goes deeper into the table. On the basis of inspired carbon, the rigidity and elasticity are improved. Optimized local deformation, the speed of direct rebound, and the ability to have a more oppressive arc force and sudden acceleration. gave us a new surprise.

Perhaps, we don’t have to rush to define the future. But anyway, the future is worth looking forward to.


Author: 邵璧林

This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified)) 繁體中文 (Chinese (Traditional))

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