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Timo Boll ZLF - fantastic blade for intermediate level
Pros
  • Control, good arc, high dwell, adequate speed
Cons
  • High price
The Timo Boll ZLF is my fourth blade and has exceeded my expectations. I currently have a TBALC, Primorac Carbon and Innerforce Layer ZLC in my collection as well. I use Fastarc G1 for both sides of the TBZLF, TBALC and IFZLC, which helps when comparing the blades.

The ZLF is the slowest of all the blades. However, because it has the most control, I am more confident in taking bigger swings / exerting more power in my strokes. Unless you are a professional or elite club level player, the ZLF's speed is more than adequate, including for loop drives and smash shots.

In terms of touch it is softer than the TBALC (both TBs have koto outer, but the ZLF has no carbon), but slightly harder than the IFZLC, likely due to the latter's limba outer + 2 wood outer plies. Both the ZLF and IFZLC are great for short service receives. Blocking with the ZLF is comfortable and reliable, but you will need to rely more on placement than pace to win the point.

Dwell time wise, the ZLF is just a tad less than the IFZLC. However, the ZLF's looping arc (especially when exerting strength) is higher than the ZLC and hence, affords more safety and forgiveness. My coaches have observed a marked increase in my consistency when I use the ZLF to open up from backspin with a backhand loop, compared to the other blades. They have also pointed out that my forehand loops are spinnier when using the ZLF. That said, players who rely on lightning fast loop drives to score outright winners during third ball attacks should look elsewhere :)

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the TBZLF and will highly recommend it to intermediate level players, or even up to the advanced level.

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Timo Boll ZLF FG1 FG1 180g
Timo Boll ALC FG1 FG1 181g
Primorac Carbon D09c T05 184g
Innerforce ZLC FG1 FG1 189g
Speed
6
Control
10
Hardness
5
Durability
8
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