Butterfly Liu Shiwen

Product information

4.80 star(s) 5 ratings

User stats

  • Close/mid table
  • Good control
  • Develop strokes
  • Smallish handle
  • Far distance
  • Light weight
General characteristics:

I got my Butterfly Liu Shiwen FL from Megaspin back in 2012. It came in at 87 grams which for me is a little lighter than I would like as I prefer something around 90-92 grams but I understand that weight range is not really available for this blade. I played penhold first with rpb (and I still do play both styles) and this blade was my second shakehand blade after I started practicing shakehand style. Initially I didn't play much with this blade but in 2015 I have been promoted to A reserves grade in my local TT league (I estimate this to be roughly 2000 USATT) and I have been using this blade exclusively in the past one year. By the way this is a 5 ply wood + 2 plies of ZL fibre which is placed on either side of the core layer (identical structural composition to the Butterfly Innerforce ZLF blade and the newer Butterfly Ai Pro Innerforce ZLF blade)

It is good for close/mid table strokes such as drives/loops, excellent for short and long pushes and has excellent speed/control ratio. There is excellent dwell comparable to classics such as YEO blade and there is good vibration as feedback so you know when you have mastered a stroke. In other words this is excellent for the intermediate players who are developing and consolidating their strokes.

FH: drives/loops/counter-hits/counter-loops close to the table is impressive with this blade. The control and spin possible is excellent and whilst it's far from being the most powerful blade, with the right rubbers you can generate enough power for loop drives/loop kills. I use boosted commercial DHS Skyline III rubber and I love the fact that I can feel the power I am generating and how it's transferred onto the ball. As noted in the cons above, this blade does drop in power substantially when you are at far distance so if you are at a level where you are playing a lot of topspin rallies from far distance or if this is simply your preferred distance to play then this blade may not work for you.

BH: blocks/punches/drives/loops are once again very good close to the table. I am particularly impressed with the stability of the blocks even against strong topspin from the opponent. It does feel to me that big BH topspins are quite difficult with this blade but then again I rely more on my FH and for me on the BH I hardly ever find myself at far distance. Short and long pushes against serves are very precise and you can feel exactly where the ball is going.

Some notable pros who are/who have played with this blade: Liu Shiwen herself! Before you buy this blade I recommend you see how the "owner" of this blade plays herself. Of course few players can match her technique but still it gives a good idea of the advantages of this blade with a close to the table style.

I have also noticed that male pro players such as Korea's Lee Sangsu and Portugal's Tiago Apolonia have used this blade