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  1. NDH is offline
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    Butterfly Harimoto Innerforce ALC Blade - April 2019

    I've touched on this in a few other threads, but felt like it deserved it's own dedicated thread.

    Harimoto (love him or hate him), is likely to be a dominant force of table tennis over the next 20 years or so.

    Butterfly being Butterfly, are likely to tag along for the ride, and make the most out of his name - Which is understandable!

    The first ever Harimoto signature blade is due to be released on April 1st 2019, costing €140, which as I've said previously, seems very "cheap" for Butterfly.

    All the signs point to it being a slight modification on the standard Innerforce ALC - The difference potentially being the thickness of the blade.

    Butterfly have even gone out of their way to give it a different spot on their blade matrix (see below).

    So, a few questions that are likely to pop up over the next year which I thought we could answer now, and refer people back to this thread.

    Feel free to add any more questions along the way.

    1. What is the advantage of Innerforce over "outer layer" ALC?

    2. The Harimoto Innerforce has a 158mm X 152mm "oversized" head size (vs the conventional 157mm X 150mm), what are the advantages and disadvantages?

    3. Why are upcoming players not using ZLC, or why do the top players not switch to ZLC if it's supposedly better?

    If you think of anything else, feel free to ask!

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    Last edited by NDH; 02-11-2019 at 10:03 AM.

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    #2
    Is the Harimoto blade based on the IF ALC.S or IF ALC?

    (Haven't fully grasped the difference between the two myself)

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mart1nandersson
    Is the Harimoto blade based on the IF ALC.S or IF ALC?

    (Haven't fully grasped the difference between the two myself)
    I believe it's the IF ALC

    The ALC.S has a smaller head size (157 X 150) and a thinner core (5.5mm vs 6.0mm of the Harimoto)

    I believe the IF ALC is around 5.9mm.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH
    I believe it's the IF ALC

    The ALC.S has a smaller head size (157 X 150) and a thinner core (5.5mm vs 6.0mm of the Harimoto)

    I believe the IF ALC is around 5.9mm.
    Yes, regular IF ALC is ~6mm and the IF ALC.S is 5.5mm. Constructionwise the IF ALC is Limba-Limba-ALC-Ayous and the IF ALC.S is Limba-Spruce-ALC-Ayous (I believe the "S" stands for spin and not for spruce).

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    #5
    I strongly believe ALC S has anigre as a top ply , not limba , and from Butterfly 2019 Katalog picture Harimoto's blade has a koto or similar type of wood .

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbob MacInbred
    Yes, regular IF ALC is ~6mm and the IF ALC.S is 5.5mm. Constructionwise the IF ALC is Limba-Limba-ALC-Ayous and the IF ALC.S is Limba-Spruce-ALC-Ayous (I believe the "S" stands for spin and not for spruce).
    I guess that the spruce (in combination with the ALC) would explain the quite violent catapult on blocks and flat hits? I've only briefly tried it with rubbers that I'm familiar with and I find it way more tricky to control than the Viscaria.

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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    1. What is the advantage of Innerforce over "outer layer" ALC?

    2. The Harimoto Innerforce has a 158mm X 152mm "oversized" head size (vs the conventional 157mm X 150mm), what are the advantages and disadvantages?

    3. Why are upcoming players not using ZLC, or why do the top players not switch to ZLC if it's supposedly better?

    If you think of anything else, feel free to ask!

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    1) Inner-carbon style blades offer a somewhat more woody feel, power that is a little bit harder to access, and like all synthetic additions, they allow more power/flexibility with much lower weight than wood, so you can have thinner, more flexible blades in which case you also get more spin with that power.

    2) Oversized heads allow the blade to flex more, which can help increase the spin in certain situations (it's not always the best for every shot), at the cost of more vibration and weight

    3) Lots of players use ZLC, it's SZLC that they're not really using, I think because it's just a bit too uncontrollable. ALC seems to be widely preferred though, I think because it has a more stable consistent contact than ZL. ZL is very effective but has something unpredictable about it. Little angle changes cause very big changes to the contact, or that's how it feels to me, while with ALC, you get more or less the same shot every time.

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ejcool
    I strongly believe ALC S has anigre as a top ply , not limba , and from Butterfly 2019 Katalog picture Harimoto's blade has a koto or similar type of wood .
    Hmm, granted, some pictures of the ALC.S' top layer look a bit strange (i.e. look a bit darker than your regular Limba), but if I look at these pictures from an ALC.S, I'm pretty sure that's Limba
    https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-...3266-230-20833

    Furthermore I would say that Butterfly is rather conservative in regard to the type of top layer they use - it's either Koto, Limba or Hinoki. Did Butterfly ever use anigre (before), I don't know?!?

    You might be right about the Harimoto blade though. It actually does look more like Koto than Limba (just based on the pictures Butterfly has provided so far!).

  9. NDH is offline
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lightzy
    3) Lots of players use ZLC, it's SZLC that they're not really using, I think because it's just a bit too uncontrollable. ALC seems to be widely preferred though, I think because it has a more stable consistent contact than ZL. ZL is very effective but has something unpredictable about it. Little angle changes cause very big changes to the contact, or that's how it feels to me, while with ALC, you get more or less the same shot every time.
    You say "lots of players use ZLC", but if it's supposed to be better/newer/more expensive/bigger sweetspot than ALC, why isn't every new kid on the block using it, and why haven't the older generation switched (appreciate this will be down to preference).

    ALC still dominates in the pros.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH
    You say "lots of players use ZLC", but if it's supposed to be better/newer/more expensive/bigger sweetspot than ALC, why isn't every new kid on the block using it, and why haven't the older generation switched (appreciate this will be down to preference).

    ALC still dominates in the pros.
    Um, yes, you're repeating what I said. I said ALC is more popular and also I said why I think that is, based on my experience with the blades.
    The quality of shots is more consistent, whereas with ZLF/ZLC there are more extreme variations, which feels less stable.
    Last edited by Lightzy; 02-11-2019 at 02:07 PM.

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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Lightzy
    Um, yes, you're repeating what I said. I said ALC is more popular and also I said why I think that is, based on my experience with the blades.
    Yeah, I wasn't trying to be pedantic lol - But you made it seem like ZLC was also widely used (despite being less popular than ALC), and it was SZLC which was the black sheep of the family.

    But I can't think of many pros even using ZLC these days?

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH
    Yeah, I wasn't trying to be pedantic lol - But you made it seem like ZLC was also widely used (despite being less popular than ALC), and it was SZLC which was the black sheep of the family.

    But I can't think of many pros even using ZLC these days?
    Mizutani? Pitchford? ....Yangyang....?

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    Yeah, the obvious ones are there (not always, but the "named blades" are usually a good sign, which includes Apolonia and anyone using the Mizutani blade.

    Although I'm not sure I'd class that as "lots".

    Slightly off topic though, and I appreciate your input!

    Definitely agree with the rest of your points about the Harimoto blade.

    Subjective opinion here, but I love the design, something I think Butterfly do excel at.

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    #14
    I have both ALC S and Innerfiber ALC , and also DHS H 301 . The texture of top ply in ALC S is more dense and the surface feels hard , it is jumpy on straight bounce , perhaps spruce has something to do with it also .Anigre is definetely been used by Butterfly before ,Grubba all+ has it , you can also look at Innerfiber ZLF and Diode V.
    Top layer of Harimoto looks very similar with H 301 , also head dimensions and thickness seem close .

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    #15
    Let's wait for sales and then we will definitely know what there is a layer.
    Butterfly saying that they changed only the size of the blade Innerforce layer alc. Or I'm wrong?

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    #16
    The thickness of the handle is important to me. I quite like the Innerforce ALC but the handle is a bit too thin for my liking and I find it hard to get a relaxed grip. I hope that Harimoto blade will be slightly thicker than the IF ALC but I guess that it wouldn't fly in the Asian markets.

  17. NDH is offline
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mart1nandersson
    The thickness of the handle is important to me. I quite like the Innerforce ALC but the handle is a bit too thin for my liking and I find it hard to get a relaxed grip. I hope that Harimoto blade will be slightly thicker than the IF ALC but I guess that it wouldn't fly in the Asian markets.
    According to the Butterfly catalogue, the handle is the standard length width and height (the same as the TB ALC), but also the same as the existing Innerforce.

    Although the handle looks a little more rounded, similar to the Garaydia series (which I love).

    The UK suppliers aren’t getting it until May though! Grrrrr.

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH
    According to the Butterfly catalogue, the handle is the standard length width and height (the same as the TB ALC), but also the same as the existing Innerforce.

    Although the handle looks a little more rounded, similar to the Garaydia series (which I love).

    The UK suppliers aren’t getting it until May though! Grrrrr.
    Thanks for the info about the handle.

    You could always order it from their global web shop if you’re keen on getting it early. I believe that they ship European orders from Germany so the delivery should be fast (providing that brexit doesn’t mess that up).

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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by mart1nandersson
    Thanks for the info about the handle.

    You could always order it from their global web shop if you’re keen on getting it early. I believe that they ship European orders from Germany so the delivery should be fast (providing that brexit doesn’t mess that up).
    Yeah, I think I will.

    I've already got a spare sheet of T05 and T05H so that's helpful!

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbob MacInbred
    Hmm, granted, some pictures of the ALC.S' top layer look a bit strange (i.e. look a bit darker than your regular Limba), but if I look at these pictures from an ALC.S, I'm pretty sure that's Limba
    https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-...3266-230-20833

    Furthermore I would say that Butterfly is rather conservative in regard to the type of top layer they use - it's either Koto, Limba or Hinoki. Did Butterfly ever use anigre (before), I don't know?!?

    You might be right about the Harimoto blade though. It actually does look more like Koto than Limba (just based on the pictures Butterfly has provided so far!).
    Grubba uses anegre.

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