Stiga Carbonado 290

Product information

4.50 star(s) 2 ratings

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  • Fast
  • Control
  • Feel
  • Stiff
STIGA Carbonado 290 blade
Weight: 95g
Type: Carbon OFF+
Composition: 7 ply
Rubbers used with blade: Mantra M and S

Hey what's going on guys, it's Dan here from TableTennisDaily. Today I am joined alongside Tom in the TableTennisDaily studio and we are looking at STIGA’s latest addition to the Carbonado Series, the 245 and 290.

Written Review

About the blade

These two new carbonado’s really live up to their name and are packed with Carbon, 200 grams per square meter of carbon to be precise. Although this doesn’t seem that significant you get an idea of just how much carbon this is when you compare the new blades to the older carbonado variations. The Carbonado 45 and 90 use 64 grams per m2² (per square meter) of carbon and the 145 and 190 use 100 grams per m2² (Per Square Meter) of carbon.

This means that the new 245 and the 290 have double the amount of carbon when compared to previous carbonado series. By doubling the amount of carbon used Stiga are obviously trying to up the speed and kick you get from these two new blades. This may be due to the response from players that the previous 190 and 145 were quite controlled carbon blades.

The difference between the 245 and 290 is how the carbon layers are applied, with the 245 constructed at a 45 degree angle and the 290 layered at a 90 degree angle. This is done to affect the trajectory of the ball, with the 245 meant to create a higher ball arc and the 290 meant to create a more direct trajectory.
The Carbonado 245 and 290 both weigh 95 grams, this is a increase from the original carbonado 190 and 145 which weigh 92 grams.

Once again like previous Carbonado’s, STIGA’s traditional look remains, with classical sharp features and a very solid and stable feel. STIGA Mantra medium rubbers were used on both sides throughout the review.

Speed + Control

The effects of the high ratio of carbon are most noticeable when playing topspin strokes. The 290 is very fast OFF+ offensive carbon blade, The ball shoots off very fast and has a hard feeling on contact.

I had a very direct low throw with the 290, what i did like was how stable my shots were. The Carbonado 290 is a rapid blade and packs a lot of punch!

During comparison with my forehand topspin the 290 felt faster than the 245. What I like about these carbon blades is the control they posses. The blades wood like carbon feel is very unique and adds a lot of stability in the blades.


Because the Carbonado 290 is a very hard blade, I was doubting whether I would be able to generate a lot of spin in the short game. Although i got minimal dwell and reduced spin capabilities, I was able to produce enough spin to flick back spin balls when timed correctly and due to the increased speed I was able to force Tom into making errors on numerous occasions.

The combination of the Mantra medium used worked well with both blades. We would recommend soft or medium rubbers with the 290 and 245 as harder rubbers such as the Mantra H and Tenergy 25 would be quite difficult to use with these blades.


The new Carbonado 245 and 290 blades are certainly a couple of notches faster than their predecessor 145 and 190 blades and have definitely been designed with speed in mind. We both concluded the speed of the 245 and 290 has increased by between 10-15% when compared to the 145 and 190. Although the blades are very fast they both maintain a very solid controlled feel, helping keep shots stable and accurate during stroke play.

The blades are very stiff and hard yet possess a lot of control. I think this trait is the blades best ability, to hold a strong control, woody feel yet produce a crisp and responsive contact.

The 245 and 290 are suited to players who really like a fast blade and value speed over spin.

The differences between the 245 and 290 simply comes down to the flight path which applies with the earlier models. The 245 produces a higher throw, whereas the 290 is more direct in nature so you get less height over the net but the ball gets to your opponent's end of the table faster.

Personally i prefer the 290 over the 245 because of its direct nature but of course this comes down to personal preference. I felt very comfortable when holding off toms shots during active blocking. The Carbonado 290 is without doubt the fastest STIGA blade we have ever tried.

These blades are definitely not for beginners and more for players with good technique who just want a bit more speed out of their blade.

Due to the blades hardness, soft to medium rubbers such as the Genesis S, Tenergy FX rubbers or a soft to medium ESN based rubber would suit these blades. Something like a Bryce high speed would not work with either blade unless you just block and punch everything. A slight downside for me personally is the weight of these blades as my personal blade is quite a bit lighter but i was able to get used to them. Of course this again is just a case of personal preference and if you are used to or like a heavier blade you will have no issues with either the 245 or 290. The earlier models are noticeably lighter however have less speed.

With these two new additions, the Carbonado series has covered all angles for all styles of attacking all round to offensive play.
Wt: 93 grams (master flared)
Hardness: Very Stiff
Composition: Limba+ textreme carbon + ayous
Speed: OFF+

The Stiga Carbonado 290 was designed for players who wanted a faster Stiga blade because Stiga has not had any off+ blades for a few years now except with the Intensity Carbon. The previous Carbonado 190 was only considered as OFF and not a true OFF+ blade. The Carbonado 90 was even slower like an OFF- blade even with a thin textreme carbon layer on it. At first inspection, the Carbonado 290 has the new metal logos on it – both at the side of the handle and the one that replaces the sticker that has been on the blade since the 70’s. The quality finish is very good. Stiga has been increasing the quality of their blades especially the newer ones. The 290 has a smooth finish on the limba top surface has some sort of a very thin varnish but I strongly recommend people to seal the blade before gluing any rubber in it.

On a bounce test against the blade having no rubber, the sound was a high pitched sound indicating it to be a stiff and fast blade. I tested the blade with a DHS Hurricane 3, Stiga Mantra H, S and M versions. The level of speed the Carbonado 290 has is in par with a Jun Mizutani ZLC blade. It is a true OFF+ blade and it is way faster than its predecessor the Carbonado 190. You can say it feels like a very stiff Innerforce blade and it is on steroids but it still has great feel hitting the ball.

Looping wise, the Carbonado 290 is above average but it is more suited for loop drives. The throw is very low and it is low that at first time using it I was afraid that my shots would hit the net because the throw was that low. Fortunately, even if the height of the ball while passing over the net was just about an inch or two it was pretty consistent especially with the Mantra H and M versions. The loop drives are long and sharp. It is safe to say despite the Carbonado 290’s very fast speed, it offers a fair amount of good control. At least in my part, I really like the low throw with the Mantra H.

Overall, this is a few steps above the usual Stiga blade. The 190 and 145 blades were not fast enough for some people before and this is Stiga’s answer to those clamor. The Carbonado 290 is currently the fastest modern blade Stiga has although the old Titanium blade that was produced more than 10 years ago was also fast but I could not remember which is faster between the two blades. The blade is good in almost all aspects of the game except for chopping with long pimples. Due to its speed, it is the only thing it will not be good at. Short strokes like flick or drop shots are good and easy to control despite the speed. Blocking is also one of its strengths. The Carbonado 290 is awesome to block with. With the Mantra H glued on it, blocking even very strong loop drives are a bit easy and it is so far the most stable and linear blade I have used. It can easily do what you want it to do except chopping. Only drawback for this balde is that it is on the heavier side where you might need to get the master flared version to have a lighter blade,