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  1. Manto76 is offline
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    #1

    Review: Vodak Rebel Carbon OFF

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    Review: VODAK Rebel Carbon OFF

    Available at: www.vodak-dreva.cz The website is in Czech but if you open it using Google Chrome it will automatically translate the site for you.

    Buying experience: I contacted Vodak via their website to ask for advice and was pleased by the quick and helpful response. I asked advice about several of their blades including about potential custom construction. All my queries were answered quickly and thoroughly.

    Reviewer profile: I am in my mid-40s and have recently returned to table tennis after more than 25-years away from the sport. I was a national junior champion in my teenage years, and represented the senior mens’ provincial team from the age of 15. Of course, I am nowhere close to the level I once was (I cannot move as fast as a fit teenager anymore!) – nevertheless I have reasonable skills and hope my review will help others thinking of equipment selection.

    Blade composition: Koto – Limba – Carbon – Kiri – Carbon – Limba – Koto

    Blade construction: The workmanship is of the highest quality. Perfect edges, smoothly sanded and sealed faces, uniform thickness of each ply. Excellence is obvious when you see it – and this is it.

    Handle: I selected the ‘Anatomical’ style handle and asked for it to be lengthened from 100mm to 105mm. The handle is very nicely formed, smoothly sanded, and probably the most comfortable I have ever used. Ideally for me it would be a bit wider as I have large hands, but for most people it will fit comfortably.

    Tested with: Joola Rhyzm-P (max.) FH & Joola Maxx-P (max.) BH

    First impressions: Honestly, my first thought was, “Wow – this is fast! I think I need to choose a slower blade.” After an hour or so of testing a good range of shots with my training partner, a second thought came to me: “But I’m landing almost every shot exactly where I want it – how is this happening with such a powerful blade?”

    Speed: Fast! By comparison, it is a little faster than a Xiom Stradivarius and a little slower than a Tibhar Drinkhall Powerspin Carbon.

    Feel: Again, by comparison, it has a more ‘definite’ (sharper) feel than the Stradivarius, but is a bit softer and more ‘woody’ than the Drinkhall Powerspin Carbon.

    Arc / trajectory: Low and long. I needed to adjust my technique to account for this, but when I did I found it very consistent and predictable.

    Loops: Powerloops are fantastic with this blade! Direct, precise, fast, dipping near the end of the table and kicking low off the table with venom. I can still execute slower/opening loops against low or backspin balls and place them accurately and with good spin – but this blade is made for power not delicacy!

    Smashing: Because the blade is fairly stiff and reasonably thick (6.5mm) for a 5+2 composite, smashes are super-precise. The speed of a smash is largely about the player’s technique and timing and (to a lesser extent) their physical strength. Suffice to say that if you cannot outright win a point smashing with this blade then the reason is to be found in one of those other factors and not in the blade itself.

    Block: It’s a thick blade so blocking is very stable and accurate. If you have good technique and timing, then you can easily turn active/punch blocks into winning shots with this blade.

    Push: Takes some time to get used to – this is not a slow blade – but with soft hands and good footwork pushing is no problem.

    Chop: There are easier blades to chop with than this one. It’s the one shot I’ve struggled to execute consistently well with this blade, but I think that says more about my current skill level and the amount of time I put into practicing chops than it does about the blade. The blade is very predictable so, with sufficient practice, I’m sure chopping would be mastered. But chopping isn’t fun to practice, and I don’t play competitively any more so I only practice what’s fun for me!

    Serve: The placement, speed and height over the net of serves are all reasonably easy to control with this blade. Being a thick and fast blade, though, does mean it’s harder to generate high levels of spin on soft-impact shots like serves, as opposed to hard-impact shots like loops. It would take a very skilled player (ie. beyond my level) to generate outright point-winning serves with this blade, but I think outright point-winning serves are very hard to achieve (against quality opponents) with the new ball anyway.

    Control: Very high for a blade of this speed. Control means different things to different people and I’m always a little hesitant to assign a control rating as it has more to do with the skill and experience of the player than it does with any inherent characteristic of the blade. Lewis Hamilton, for example, can control a F1 car perfectly. Almost everyone else in the world cannot.

    Overall: Super blade of the highest quality construction. Definitely an all-out attack blade. This is not the blade for allround players, or even for cautious attackers. Attack, attack, attack! If we said an Audi A4 was a ‘basic’ offensive blade (eg. Xiom Offensive S), and the Audi R8 was a ‘hyper’ offensive blade (eg. Butterfly Jun Mizutani Super ZLC), I would match the Vodak Rebel Carbon OFF to the Audi RS 6 Avant. Great fun, and an exciting drive – if you have the skills.

    Note: I am currently testing another Vodak blade and will post a review in about a month or so.

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    Last edited by Manto76; 01-06-2021 at 12:37 PM.

  2. yogi_bear is offline
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    #2
    Looks good. Looks like same quality with Red+Black brand.

  3. latej is offline
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Manto76
    Note: I am currently testing another Vodak blade and will post a review in about a month or so.
    I pray it is the "King&Spin" blade

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    #4
    What is the weight? Good thing the handle can be elongsted. A lot of people want longer handles due to having big hands.

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    What is the weight? Good thing the handle can be elongated. A lot of people want longer handles due to having big hands.

    87.5g. And that's with a head size of 157 x 150 mm.

    Something I forgot to mention in my review is that there isn't a pile of stock ready to send, everything is made to order. That means that you can request little changes according to your preferences. For example, they make four 'standard' head sizes:

    157 x 150 mm
    157 x 152 mm
    157 x 156 mm
    162 x 156 mm

    You can order other head sizes, but then you'll pay extra, whereas you can have any of the four sizes above at no extra charge.

    And, yes, the slightly longer handle really does make a difference. I can play fine with a standard production blade handle, but this is just so much more comfortable!

  6. Music&Ping is offline
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    #6
    87€ for non UK people, 50€ less than a Viscaria.

    This kind of Viscaria-inner is a nice alternative, though it would be ideal if they could match the same Limba and Koto thickness, cos' 6.5mm overall is a bit thick to me, that's probably why it's that fast: having a much thicker outer Koto veneer counter-influences the inner ALC properties I guess...
    Last edited by Music&Ping; 01-12-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  7. Kuba Hajto is offline
    says Equipment matters a lot to scrubs who can't make minor adjustments to their stroke.
     
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    Kuba Hajto is offline
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Manto76
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    Review: VODAK Rebel Carbon OFF

    Available at: www.vodak-dreva.cz The website is in Czech but if you open it using Google Chrome it will automatically translate the site for you.
    The link is broken it leads to "http://about<strong></strong>:blank"

  8. Music&Ping is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuba Hajto
    The link is broken it leads to "http://about<strong></strong>:blank"
    Same happened to me, just paste the link in Google search and you'll find the website referenced at the 1st position. Mine works.
    https://www.vodak-dreva.cz/
    Last edited by Music&Ping; 01-12-2021 at 03:19 PM.

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    #9
    Vodak Rebel Review

    https://imgur.com/TqC7FTj
    https://imgur.com/wmZPsz3

    The pandemic has brought lots equipment. It’s like every 2 months I have something to get busy with. Fortunately, I can still play about 3 times a week and still do some coaching but to a limited basis. I am a sucker for independent blade makers. I believe they deserve to be given a chance to show off their products since they can also produce high quality blades if given a chance. There are several European blade makers that I have tried and they are all impressive for small and independent blade makers. Let’s put it this way, when you usually buy a blade from major brands it’s like buying a motorcycle from Honda, Yamaha or Kawasaki but when you buy a blade from an independent blade maker, it is like buying from custom bike shop which is much more tailored specifically to your needs and wants.
    The Vodak Rebel is my particular favorite, between this and the Hinoki Carbon Off+. The construction at first glance would give you a classic European blade look that is reminiscent of the 80’s. The blade is semi-smooth. The handle is something new for me because it is like an anatomic handle but with a wide handle base that could already pass as a wide flare handle. The anatomic part of the blade can give you enough bulk to properly fit the palm of your hand. The anatomic shape handle seems to be bulkier than the ones I have tried from Stiga or Butterfly. The winged part on both sides is also nicely shaped wherein its is much smaller and it is also already pre-sanded. I tested the bla with Hurricane 3 37 degrees, Hurricane 8 37 degrees, Xiom Omega V Asia and Joola Rhyzm-P.
    I did not find it too fast. It is definitely faster than the Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon but not faster than the regular Ma Lin Carbon. I find the Stradivarius faster than the Vodak Rebel. The older version of the Stradivarius is definitely faster than the newer version and therefore faster than the Vodak Rebel. Speed is not a problem with the Vodak Rebel. The needed speed is there when you want your shots to be faster but it is never at the expense of control. Whether you do large or small swings, the Vodak Rebel can give you a proportionate amount of speed. This still depends o nthe rubber that is placed on the blade but overall, the Vodak Rebel is not slow.
    The Vodak Rebel like any other independent European brand has a distinct feel. Maybe it is just me but the blades I have tried before have this feel that is only felt from them. They feel crisp when hitting but when looping, they felt flexy. They never felt too hard or soft. I have felt this distinct feel also with Red+Black, Palatinus and that Italian brand which I forgot the name. The ball feedback with the Vodak Rebel felt really good minus the bad vibrations. It has this metallic feel every time I hit the ball but this metallic feel is more obvious with the Vodak Hinoki Carbon blade.
    I like the way it performs for me. The arc was medium high with the rubbers I have tested. The boosted Hurricane 3-37 and Hurricane 8-37 degree rubbers also did not have the low arc with the Vodak Rebel. When blocking, you have this good amount of ball feel and control. It is best for attacking with emphasis on spinny looping. Despite the carbon composite layers, the Vodak Rebel is best used by loopers because it has the flex to have a very stable loop and the rebound is not too much. For smashing it was above average. Blocking is really good also. For the short shots above the table, it was not bouncy even with a Euro rubber so it was really not hard to control and no adjustments were made. Price-wise, I think the Vodak Rebel is one of the best bang for the buck blade.

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