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Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 03:18 PM
Hi Everyone,
This is a short review of the INNERFORCE LAYER ZLF.

I promised my good friend Carl I would add my review here as these Innerforce Layer blades are still quite new, and not well known yet.

As a little background I've been a fan of all wood blades ever since I started playing, having "grown-up" on an old BTY Jonyer Hinoki-FL that weighed 74 grams. No doubt it was a special blade with soft touch that yielded the best looping I've ever felt on a racquet. However that blade has one major flaw: once I start sweating (my hand tends to sweat profusely) the handle which is made of soft redwood, absorbs the sweat and that sweat then seeps into the blade wood, affecting playability quite dramatically. The blade quickly plays mushy and loses all its beautiful crispness and feel that makes it so special when dry. Despite this, I've been stubbornly resistant to switching blades and have been accused of being overly picky over the last 8-10 years having tried nearly every popular blade and finding fault.

This is meant to be an initial review of the Layer ZLF after my first session using well-broken in rubber that I am fully familiar with - Tenergy 05 and 05FX for BH both in max.

Speed: Medium (not nearly as fast as Boll ALC or Viscaria, but slightly faster than the wood versions of Primorac and Korbel). The Butterfly chart is pretty accurate here. I would rate it an OFF-

Dwell: Fair (not as good as my hinoki wood, the regular Boll ZLF and the ZLCs, but to me it has more dwell than the standard very popular Boll ALC or Viscaria). I also think vibration/ feel is quite good relative to special materials blades, and hand feedback too (again not on the level of an all wood). I personally suffered on short game due to this as I've gotten so used to the delicate touch of the Jonyer. The ball arc is medium, not high.

Kick/ Gears: 2 gears that kick-in firstly around 2nd gear (think of a car with 5-gears), and then around 5th gear on finishing attacks, loop-drive, smash, etc. The 2nd gear kick is a weird one for me and causes pop-up/out problems on serve and serve-receive.

Weight: 86 grams, which to me makes it head heavy to the point that it impacts shot-making, and will require getting used to, especially as I'm coming from a thick handle blade that was much lighter to begin with.

Handle: thin (24mm) - in fact too thin IMHO - causing blade to be more floppy/ unbalanced than it should be at least with heavy-ish Tenergy on both sides. As Carl says: "BTY are making all lollipop handles these days". Nice quality and design though and sweat does not seep through handle to blade. I think if I were to have a choice of handle, the straight might be preferable in this case due to a thicker overall handle profile.

Usage:
This is a blade that requires solid power from the looper or the ball will get blocked back quite easily. Not for sub-1700 USTTA rated players IMO, as the gear that kicks in from zylon fiber does so earlier than expected (i.e. during return of serve or on a push). Flick is somehow not as easy due to this zylon gear kicking in too early (or the top layer being too bouncy?) and with less ball arc/ lower throw than wood - it made BH chiquita flicks in particular more difficult than I expected. Flipping is something I have practiced a lot, and I feel this is one of the key "playability" characteristics of a blade. FH flip on the other hand was snappier than I expected and had penetration (that 5th gear). I will be focusing on being more aggressive with FH flip because of this lower throw and good snap-thru.

I would view this as a blade that is probably good for someone (with fuller strokes) who is trying out aralyte or zylon for the first time, and adapting from an all-wood blade. The blade will not give the user any advantage in terms of more power/ spin and hence penetration, but it does keep the ball in control - which in and of itself is huge. Again short stroke players will not like this blade as it really needs long loops to be worth using. The ideal user of this blade has natural higher arching loops and uses footwork, spin placement and consistency to win. The thin 5.3mm blade flexes enough to make things very interesting for users who can find ways to take advantage of that.

I still prefer my BTY Jonyer Hinoki over this from many perspectives (dwell, weight, physical form of handle, and balance perhaps mostly), but I have been long overdue for a move to the newer materials better suited for today's power game. The goal here is getting to understand the new feel without suffering through a 180-degree change. I am hoping I can use this blade for that purpose and then perhaps experiment. That said, I can also envision gaining an understanding of this blade over time, and adapting to it for the longer term; it's a control blade that is satisfactory-to-good in almost every category which potentially makes it a keeper. More to come after I've spent the requisite few weeks/ month using it.

Happy to answer any questions. And thanks again to NextLevel for getting this into my hands at an unreasonably good price!

UpSideDownCarl
12-08-2017, 05:02 PM
Uh-Oh, Der_Echte, Smash_Fan has come to TTDaily to tell us about his covert mission with NextLevel where he acquired an Innerforce Layer ZLF right under the nose of the local chapter of the Philly goon squad.

I think we are going to need to hear the full story of the adventure and how Smash_Fan found himself in the general vicinity of Philly, and at the notorious Princeton Pong.

I think we may need to hear from NextLevel on this sordid tale of what these two did to the goon squad as well.

NextLevel, have you captured any of the action on film. Video proof that Smash_Fan actually left NY State may be required as part of the telling of this long tale. :)

Smash_Fan, I can't wait to get together with you to facilitate your putting the Innerforce Layer ZLF through its paces.

NextLevel
12-08-2017, 05:14 PM
Why would I capture on camera someone who hasn't played in a while (DerEchte hustle), and who after spotting me 2 games, decided to embarrass me to come back to 2-2, but then seeing my fear, decided to let me win so I wouldn't lose all my confidence?

OldschoolPenholder
12-08-2017, 05:28 PM
*fist bumps Smash_Fan*

Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 05:38 PM
*fist bumps Smash_Fan*

Yo what’s up OSP!!

OldschoolPenholder
12-08-2017, 05:40 PM
Yo what’s up OSP!!

Took a few months off from TT, and recently back in. Hope your TT > T LOL

Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 05:42 PM
Not at all how it happened. NL being super modest about his game. Here’s what I recall: NL can attack out wide with tons of spin... both wings (I’m talking like Der_Echte level) and with NL’s 6 foot wingspan those balls are flying. NL was ready to play. But I just wasn’t there with him and it was painfully obvious. So much so that NL being the gentleman he is, eased up to a level where we could at least get a few points going. Then he gifted me a couple games as a good host should do hehe

Der_Echte
12-08-2017, 05:48 PM
OH no !!! Carl's call for Goon Squad action can be likened to the MAYOR flashing the Bat SIGN upon the clouds at night !!

Ironically, one of the times I met Smash Fan in NYC, (at Flushing Korean TTC) he really liked my Qabod, but the 200 dollar price tag was a bit up there. They are 140 bucks right now until year end. (Nexy USA, not Nexy Korea)

Smash Fan plays a close to the table game, kinda like a traditional close to table HITTER. Good Serves, good finish. He also likes to bang it with hiz BH, saves him the trouble of using footwork. Has good eye and good judgment/bravery. Can be tough for the 1800-2000 crowd to cope with. Seems to play when he wants to (Look at NL's comments for verification) and looks the part of uninterested at times, but that is a Goon Squad mind trick to lull you into the trap -don't do it !! SF can block to stay alive if needed, but hiz bread is buttered on the side of counter hitting and initiating those hits, hence his moniker.

Smash Fan leads 4000 people in his borough, so he often comes to the club late, but in time for at least SOME action. Any action is enough for SF, a couple of good hits, like 11 points in a row is enough to satisfy to him. Leading 4000 people is no easy task, but it gets him to see every tactic of the Goon Squad on a daily basis, it keeps him ready.

You need someone roughed up or knocked off, Smash Fan doesn't need the Goon Squad (who are bumbling fools anyway - never do a job right) so Smash Fan handles the discipline actions PERSONALLY - he is right capable. He believes in the American saying of "If you want a job done right, you gotta do it yourself."

The Goon Squad is so silly and bumbling, that it no longer amuses him, Smash Fan wouldn't need an NSA Spyphone to trick them into the wrong grid coordinates appearing to come from the Big Boss, he would dress up meaner than the Big Boss and outright take charge of the Goon Squad and order them around.

Somehow, Der_Echte was never bad-azz enough to pull that trick off, but it is no trick with Smash Fan.

Why he wanted such a blade close to the table is a mystery to me... a slower wood blade is the sweet zone for him... or a crisper fast blade with some flex and spin... those are his two sweet spots.

Is there some secret message in his blade selection? Lookout, he might put out the raging LA fires all by himself and never even leave NYC proper.

Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 05:48 PM
Took a few months off from TT, and recently back in. Hope your TT > T LOL

Ok we have to get together then.. two old-timers making a hurrah!!! (but with new equipment, and well rested hehe)

Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 05:54 PM
OH no !!! Carl's call for Goon Squad action can be likened to the MAYOR flashing the Bat SIGN upon the clouds at night !!

Is there some secret message in his blade selection? Lookout, he might put out the raging LA fires all by himself and never even leave NYC proper.

Lol I'm torn between the Philly Goon Squad and the Brooklyn Breezers right now... tough call!!!
But I think only way to settle it is with a duel ..... :<<))

Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 05:55 PM
That NEXY Qabod is an awesome piece. I can attest. I would have bought it but for my BTY loyalties and propensity for cheaper secondhand equipment

UpSideDownCarl
12-08-2017, 05:58 PM
hahahaha. It seems the goon squad made an appearance since my last post.

Smash_Fan, the Butterfly Anatomic handles may be more what you like if you don't like the straight ones. But, you may just get used to that popsicle stick handle. :)

Der_Echte
12-08-2017, 05:59 PM
Not at all how it happened. NL being super modest about his game. Here’s what I recall: NL can attack out wide with tons of spin... both wings (I’m talking like Der_Echte level) and with NL’s 6 foot wingspan those balls are flying. NL was ready to play. But I just wasn’t there with him and it was painfully obvious. So much so that NL being the gentleman he is, eased up to a level where we could at least get a few points going. Then he gifted me a couple games as a good host should do hehe

Yes, NL is modest, yes he is a bad-azz player. Yes he can spin it when he decides to do so, which he does often. What hasn't been written or filmed about hiz game? Yes, frequently the opponent will watch a ball hit the table and then go to barrier to pick it up.... then the sonic boom sounds off.

But what get me puzzled is the Der_Echte level. Who came first? Chicken or egg? Why did the chicken cross the road?

Anyone checking the TT rankings can easily see for themselves that Next Level is easily two levels in ranking above Der_Echte ... I'm talking about the official ranking. However, Der_Echte chose to make trouble with a lower ranked crowd, NL had a bigger appetite.

But dude, isn't NL a lot more widely filmed and documented than Der_Echte? Wasn't his next level of spin first to fire on the internetz forumz?

Hey, at least Der_Echte will provide ONE or two possible answers of WHY THE CHICKEN CROSSED THE ROAD... 1 is a mission and the other run for hiz life...

14843

14844

OldschoolPenholder
12-08-2017, 06:01 PM
Ok we have to get together then.. two old-timers making a hurrah!!! (but with new equipment, and well rested hehe)

Mos def!

OldschoolPenholder
12-08-2017, 06:04 PM
14843

bwhahahahahaha!!

Smash_fan
12-08-2017, 06:05 PM
Der_Echte... what have you been up to? I'm liking the writing style... I can see a Philly vs NY screen play here... better than the Susa Sarandon "ping pong summer" movie that had zero to do with pong, and zero authenticity

Der_Echte
12-08-2017, 06:46 PM
Yes, possible movie titles could be... So many you could come up with in a few minutes time...

Smashing Philly

Fear Philly

Escape from Philly

NYC Ping Pong Bagels

Philly Juiced NYC

Kamakazee Ballz

Why the NYC Chicken Crossed the Road

Ping Pong Duels

Rambo Rallies in NYC

Kill Philly

Love of the East Coast Mafia

Clouds of Ping Pong Terror

NYC Smashing Sessions

Dark Side of Ping Pong Warfare

UpSideDownCarl
12-08-2017, 06:53 PM
Death Match:
The Philly Mob Battles the Brooklyn Goon Squad for Ultimate Control of the Secret Hideout!

Der_Echte
12-08-2017, 06:56 PM
Then as a DVD bonus... a blooper scene where both Mobs jump off Brooklyn Bridge together at once in slow motion in extreme joy looking at each other like it is a bliss and dance and smile as they fall towards the water...

Der_Echte
12-08-2017, 06:57 PM
What a riot TTD forum is... :D

UpSideDownCarl
12-08-2017, 08:19 PM
Then as a DVD bonus... a blooper scene where both Mobs jump off Brooklyn Bridge together at once in slow motion in extreme joy looking at each other like it is a bliss and dance and smile as they fall towards the water...

It was a little tricky to get the release for the footage. But they let me post these stills from the shoot.

14845

14846

14847

Der_Echte
12-08-2017, 08:48 PM
Haha, the LULZ of random bridge jumping pics... now a TTD tradition.

pingpongholic10
12-10-2017, 05:43 AM
Hi Everyone,
This is a short review of the INNERFORCE LAYER ZLF.


SF is pretty spot on with his review. There's nothing that can overtake the feel of wood blades. I'm a 5ply kinda guy. I've tried the ZLCs, ZLFs, ALCs, & whatever technology is known to TT. When the game is on the line, PPH would pick a good ole wood blade any day of the week.
Welcome back to the TT world, SF! Tennis season is over! =P

Smash_fan
12-10-2017, 03:06 PM
SF is pretty spot on with his review. There's nothing that can overtake the feel of wood blades. I'm a 5ply kinda guy. I've tried the ZLCs, ZLFs, ALCs, & whatever technology is known to TT. When the game is on the line, PPH would pick a good ole wood blade any day of the week.
Welcome back to the TT world, SF! Tennis season is over! =P

That's right I'mmm baaack!!! Yo PingpongHolic10!!!! Whasssup
When are we hitting?

Der_Echte
12-11-2017, 07:27 PM
Someone flash the bat sign in the clouds tonight or at least an image of a tt bat.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

UpSideDownCarl
12-11-2017, 10:20 PM
I think I heard that SmashFan is calling for a Goon Squad Riot with people flying from all points on the world map to join in the trouble-making hijinks.


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

mjeh92
12-11-2017, 10:33 PM
Hello everyone.

I know that my question y not about the topic, but...

I would like to know what is the real weight oh the butterfly Viscaria Last generation?

I have a Timo Boll Spirit and I Want to tried the viscaria, they are similar? what are the differences?

Thank You for your time.

6Finger
12-11-2017, 10:52 PM
When picking mine viscaria few months ago weight range was 86-89 grams. 99% of the difference with TBS is handle and blade face shape.

mjeh92
12-11-2017, 11:41 PM
When picking mine viscaria few months ago weight range was 86-89 grams. 99% of the difference with TBS is handle and blade face shape.

Thank You.

UpSideDownCarl
12-12-2017, 04:48 AM
I would like to know what is the real weight oh the butterfly Viscaria Last generation?


When picking mine viscaria few months ago weight range was 86-89 grams.

It is pretty hard for a whole production run of blades to be that close to the same weight. Since wood is living, the range should be bigger.

I have seen Viscaria 78 grams and I have seen 98 grams. Most of them are not as heavy as 98 or as light as 78. And the weight range of any particular production run would be a little less dramatic than that 20 gram differential. But blades of the same size and wood can vary in weight fairly significantly.

If you wanted a blade of a specific weight, the real thing to do is to ask the seller. For most of the blades I have bought new, I have simply called the seller and asked if they had the kind of blade I was looking for in the specific weight I wanted.

mjeh92
12-12-2017, 01:08 PM
It is pretty hard for a whole production run of blades to be that close to the same weight. Since wood is living, the range should be bigger.

I have seen Viscaria 78 grams and I have seen 98 grams. Most of them are not as heavy as 98 or as light as 78. And the weight range of any particular production run would be a little less dramatic than that 20 gram differential. But blades of the same size and wood can vary in weight fairly significantly.

If you wanted a blade of a specific weight, the real thing to do is to ask the seller. For most of the blades I have bought new, I have simply called the seller and asked if they had the kind of blade I was looking for in the specific weight I wanted.

Thank You a lot for the info.

OhWell
12-13-2017, 12:08 AM
Smash_fan, would you consider applying a finish to your Hinoki blade's handle to keep the humidity out? I don't mean a standard blade sealer, as their feel can be an acquired taste on handles. I mean something that preserves the look and feel but keeps the water out. (E.g. those hydrophobic nano coat finishes seem like they might do the trick. I haven't yet tried it on a TT handle, but I will in the near future.)

nivekkan
10-07-2019, 01:01 AM
Not for sub-1700 USTTA rated players IMO, as the gear that kicks in from zylon fiber does so earlier than expected (i.e. during return of serve or on a push).

Does it mean that you have to play in leagues to have a chance to handle this blade? Can you give a more detailed
description as to what 1700 means in terms of a player's level, please? I'm not familiar with the ranking.
It has 2 outer limbas and not even a carbon layers, yet is for people who play in competition. So does it mean that people who use a carbon blade but don't play in competition are over-equipped?
19883

UpSideDownCarl
10-07-2019, 01:27 AM
Does it mean that you have to play in leagues to have a chance to handle this blade? Can you give a more detailed
description as to what 1700 means in terms of a player's level, please? I'm not familiar with the ranking.
It has 2 outer limbas and not even a carbon layers, yet is for people who play in competition. So does it mean that people who use a carbon blade but don't play in competition are over-equipped?
19883

This thread is old. I doubt Smash_Fan has been on TTDaily or MyTT in a few years.

But he was talking about playing level rather than whether you have played in leagues or tournaments. I am pretty sure of that. He is basically saying the blade is for someone whose technique and skill levels are decently high.

nivekkan
10-07-2019, 01:29 AM
Thanks. :D

Simas
10-07-2019, 10:02 AM
This thread is old. I doubt Smash_Fan has been on TTDaily or MyTT in a few years.

But he was talking about playing level rather than whether you have played in leagues or tournaments. I am pretty sure of that. He is basically saying the blade is for someone whose technique and skill levels are decently high.

yes, that's an old post, but missed that player ratings table somehow.
I am somewhere around 2000, but never considered myself as an expert player though :D for sure

Der_Echte
10-08-2019, 01:46 AM
Well, it is OK in my book to put jumper cables on this thread, hope Smashfan reads the email notification, and he is back in TT... worth the effort involved for that.