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    #1

    Joola Santoru Series Review

    Santoru 3K-C Blade
    Weight: 90 grams
    Thickness: 6.1 mm
    Plies: 5 (hinoki outer plies, 3k carbon 2nd and 4th layers, kiri core)
    Stiffness: Medium Stiff
    Speed: off+

    https://imgur.com/br7dsV1

    https://imgur.com/P9UF0eq

    https://imgur.com/0ML9Naz

    https://imgur.com/1y8y3Hi


    The Santoru 3K-C Carbon is the fastest blade in the Santoru series. The Santoru series blades are made in China but the quality of the blades is topnotch with a semi-smooth finishing. Like the Xylo series, the handles are very comfortable to the hand. Despite having semi-smooth handles, I never experienced slipping during loops. When I first saw the 3K-C label in the blade I thought of the carbon fiber weaving used in the construction of this blade. In my opinion and I might be wrong, Joola labelled it as 3K-C for 3K Carbon fiber weave. Without getting too technical, 3K Carbon weave is a type of carbon fiber weave which has 3 thousand carbon filaments per weave.
    This gives the 3K-C blade the necessary stiffness for speed and power. The stiffness is unlike known traditional pure carbon blades in the market wherein similar construction will yield a totally stiff blade giving you less control and harder to produce topspin upon contact unless you are a higher-level player. The 3K-C has a combination of both soft and hard feeling upon ball impact and the presence of ball feel is still there despite having the stiffness of a fast carbon blade.

    I can compare it to some of the known blades in the market that have somewhat the same construction. I can think of the Primorac Carbon but the Santoru 3K-C is not as blazingly fast. You see, the Primorac’s TAMCA fibers feels harder than the 3K-C’s. I am not sure if the TAMCA fibers are 5k or 6k weave. I tried searching for 5k fibers but only found 6k fiber weaves unless the TAMCA fiber design is exclusively produced only for that brand. Nevertheless, the 3K-C blade is already a very fast blade. When I tested it using both the Rhyzer 48 and 50 rubbers, I felt the ball leaves a little early than I need it to be and this is due to my stroke being used to tacky rubber that are slower. I also adjusted my arm swing from a full swing to a medium swing and also my ball contact. I had to switch to a ball contact wherein I would need to hit through the sponge more instead of thinly brushing the ball against the topsheet. This is mainly due to stroke preference based on the rubber and blade used. I prefer mostly blades that are like the Joola Xylo 7 that is a 7 ply all wood. It is not hard to adjust to the blade’s speed especially for players who are used to having very fast blade but there are adjustments that need to be made. Although the Rhyzer 50 has a hard sponge at 50 degrees, it made me brush the ball easily than using the Rhyzer 48 using the 3K-C blade. I believe Joola made the 3K-C as a fast blade but did not forget the importance of control. For all they care, they can just make a rocket type blade that will give a player all the speed in the world but lacks control. Also, with the present rubbers such as the Dynaryz and Rhyzer series, you would not want a blade as fast as the TAMCAs. The 3K-C due to its stiffness, produces a medium-low to low arc when looping. Even at late point of contact when looping, the arc it produces is not high. When I used an old sheet of Golden Tango PS on the 3K-C, the arc was a bit higher at medium low height. I also felt more comfortable looping the 3K-C since it was tacky and a bit slower than the Rhyzer rubbers. I would recommend players to hit through the sponge when using this blade as you can maximize the power of the blade, more on power and speed and a bit less on the spin side though with skill, this can be easily compensated and almost equalized.

    For delicate shots such as drop shots and very short pushes, it would take a bit of adjustment and skill if you are using bouncy rubbers. When receiving short serves, the typical characteristic like any other fast blade is that the 3K-C has a bit more bouncy response therefore one has to adjust the angle and also the tightness of grip to compensate for the bounce. This is aside from the fact that you have to take the ball early. For short serves, I did not make any adjustments because even with fast rubbers such as the Rhyzers, shorts serves were easy to execute.

    I would recommend this to advanced level players only since this is one fast blade to use. Players who play at middle distance will love the 3K-C and even enjoy counter looping with this blade away from the table. This is viable near the table if you would use a slower rubber or have the necessary skills but I am placing this blade as a mid-distance blade to far distance blade due to its tenacity and power. The price is also 120USD so this is at mid-range price and affordable for a lot of serious players.



    Santoru KL-C Blade
    Weight: 88 grams
    Thickness: 6 mm
    Plies: 7 (Limba outer plies, Kevlar-Carbon 2nd and 6th layers, Ayous 3rd & 5th layers, kiri core)
    Stiffness: Medium Stiff
    Speed: off to off+

    https://imgur.com/A8f50AU

    https://imgur.com/4D5Kbrj

    https://imgur.com/AlmINsC

    https://imgur.com/3WHHZS8


    This is the only Limba outer plies blade in the Santoru series and also has the most flex. It has no direct equivalent with other blades from other brands but it has similarities in some aspects. I have sealed the limba outer plies a few times because of the 3 blades, the Santoru KL-C is the one I have played with the most number of hours and I have removed and glued rubbers with it about 6 times. I used the Rhyzer 48 and 50 rubbers with this blade and also used 3 more Euro rubbers and Chinese rubbers. I had to seal the outer plies due to changing rubbers many times just to protect the blade especially since it has Limba outer plies.

    The KL-C is a controlled offensive carbon blade. Although Joola rates it with the same flex as the other Santoru blades, I felt it is softer and has much more flex. The speed of the KL-C is more like an off carbon blade instead of a true off+ blade. I felt the speed gap between the KL-C and the 3K-C blade. Both blades have 2nd layer composite layers but due to the 3K-C having a pure carbon layer, the 3K-C is marginally faster. Even with the Rhyzer 48 and 50 rubbers, the KL-C did not feel too fast for me. I would compare the speed to that of the Nittaku Acoustic Carbon at most. The medium speed level is actually a good thing if you rely more on your arm swing and if you always do full swings on your attacking shots. This is good especially if you use tacky Euro rubbers like Golden Tango PS or Chinese rubbers. These types of rubbers are best used when you do full swings near the table. It would be hard if you would use faster blades while having full swings near the table unless your level is very high. The KL-C feels very forgiving on offensive shots. When you are out of position for example and have to do a somewhat awkward offensive return like a wide sidespin counter near the table, the KL-C can still deliver good and accurate shots up to some degree. Due to its speed, I would rate it as a near the table blade but still effective up until middle distance especially counter loops. The KL-C is a versatile blade which can do both offensive and defensive shots effectively. The large sweetspot of the KL-C like the other Santoru blades ensures a uniformed hitting power with the blade. The sweetspots of the 3 blades are approximately up until 1 inch from the edge of the blade head.


    Since the KL-C has a good amount of flex, it is expected to be excellent when doing all kinds of loops. I tested the blade on 3 kind of loop contact timing from the late contact (where the ball is already going down), peak of the bounce and early or on the rise timing. When you are looping the ball at late timing, the flex of the KL-C ensures you to brush the ball easily without fear of the ball bouncing too early. In short, the flex helps in “holding” or grabbing the ball on contact. The KL-C’s mixed stiffness also ensures you to have power on your strokes when looping the ball at peak or early contact. Even when you are trying to smash the ball, it does not feel to flexy or too soft.

    Of the 3 Santoru blades, the KL-C is the most versatile and also has the most control. This being a Limba blade, made me keep it for use. It also has the best spinning capability if you wanted a blade that is more concerned on feel and control. I would recommend this blade to intermediate level players and above. This is a value for money carbon blade.



    Santoru KL-C Inner Blade
    Weight: 91 grams
    Thickness: 6 mm
    Plies: 7 (hinoki outer plies, Koto 2nd & 6th layers, Kevlar-Carbon 3rd and 4th layers, ayous core)
    Stiffness: Medium Stiff
    Speed: off+

    https://imgur.com/UQOk0so

    https://imgur.com/C0txt5L

    https://imgur.com/vVCdcwm

    https://imgur.com/22AzxwO


    A player’s equipment criteria of choosing the right racket for his game is a crucial part of his game. When the ball evolved from a mere 38mm ball to the now present 40+mm polyball, the kind of materials and equipment design also changed. Some blade designs remained the same but the rubbers changed through the years. Some blade designs evolved and the prevalence of inner composite blades right now in the market is much more compared to a decade ago. Joola has designed the Santoru KL-C Inner Blade to produce an offensive blade that gives a feel closer to an all wood while maintaining a good amount of control. I do not see many inner composite blades which have a hinoki-koto outer layers but I mostly see limba-limba or limba-ayous combinations. If basing on the wood hardness for the

    The Santoru KL-C Inner gives a mixed feeling of softness and stiffness. In my opinion, it is hard to achieve a balance between speed, control and feel. Increase the speed and the feeling decreases due to the carbon material used. Increase the feel and control and you will sacrifice the speed and power of the blade. At the end of the day, you cannot have all the good qualities you are looking for a blade. You just need to choose which quality you will need to prioritize. The KL-C Inner blade offers an acceptable balance of these qualities. It is not as fast as classic carbon blades but still can be considered an off+ blade in its own right. The Kevlar and Carbon weave ensures you have enough stiffness but at the same time will give you more than enough speed for your power shots. I would say it is as fast as some 2nd layer composite blades and somewhat a notch slower than some known inner composite blades that have limba or koto outer plies. I would say it is almost as fast as an Innerforce ALC blade but much faster than a Nittaku Inner Carbon blade. The speed and power suits mostly near the table and at middle distance. I find it slower than the 3K-C blade since the 3K-C blade has much more power away from the table.

    The KL-C Inner has much better looping capabilities though. You will feel that you will have a much better chance to properly brush the ball on either fast or slow loops. I have always emphasized to my students the importance of feel and contact on a ball especially when doing offensive shots because not only it gives you tons of spin but a good amount of control as well. The KL-C Inner gives a more forgiving arc when looping at medium high arc. I used also the Rhyzer 48 and 50 on this blade which gave me a bit more confidence than using the 3K-C (this is because I prefer slower blades and not because 3K-C is a bad blade). With both rubbers, I can loop the ball much better due to a better brush contact. I guess the softness comes from the 2 outer layers wherein the hinoki top plies are followed by a much harder koto inner plies. It’s like Joola has placed an alternate soft and hard layer placement and this combination produces a good balanced feel on ball impact. The balanced hardness it gives can be good enough to be used for a short pip rubber in the backhand so I guess it is hard enough for most people. The KL-C Inner has a large sweetspot for better hitting and contact of the ball on every shot.

    The control is much better on short strokes and serves. I did not need any adjustments on the drop shots or short pushes. Even with fast rubbers such as the Rhyzers 48 and 50 the said strokes do not feel so bouncy. Another good thing about the KL-C Inner is that it blocks really well. It can do almost every stroke with ease except maybe defensive chopping. I am saying you can be a blocker type of player or you can be pips out player or an offensive type all out looper, this blade is good enough for almost everybody and requires lesser amount of skills to use.







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    IB66

    Last edited by yogi_bear; 05-11-2021 at 12:08 PM.

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    #2
    Hi Yogi,

    The KL-C outer composition is similar to the old TPE Perform except for the Limba outer plies and the type of carbon used?
    If comparing the 3 Santorum blades to a TPE Perform, which one has the most similar characteristics?

    Cheers.

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by IB66
    Hi Yogi,

    The KL-C outer composition is similar to the old TPE Perform except for the Limba outer plies and the type of carbon used?
    If comparing the 3 Santorum blades to a TPE Perform, which one has the most similar characteristics?

    Cheers.

    I have not tried the TPE series sorry.

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    #4
    Looking only for construction/specs, looks like KL-C Outer ir similar to Fever; KL-C Inner to TPE Fight; and 3K-C to the old Aruna OFF+ Carbon (3+2).

    TPE Perform was more like Rossi Emotion with burned hinoki outer layer.

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AMonteiro
    Looking only for construction/specs, looks like KL-C Outer ir similar to Fever; KL-C Inner to TPE Fight; and 3K-C to the old Aruna OFF+ Carbon (3+2).

    TPE Perform was more like Rossi Emotion with burned hinoki outer layer.
    possible.
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