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  1. Longloops is offline
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    #1

    Do i need a new blade

    I am an offensive player who plays at mid distance mostly, sometimes close. I play with a TSP balsa 6.5 blade at the moment with Tibhar Aurus rubbers on both sides, sound or soft forehand, regular on the bh. I have always played with a balsa blade and since my return to table tennis I have been rapidly improving my game. However I have never seen any top players using a balsa blade. So my question is, do i need to change my blade to reach my full potential?

  2. Der_Echte is offline
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    #2
    That depends on what your potential would be given how much you can realistically train and compete. It not any of our place to say THIS is the blade for you or THIS one is. There are many possible suitable blades and rubbers for a flexible offensive attacking style, way too many to list.

    Try a mate's bat or two or twelve if you can and with time, you will know what you like within your suitable range.

    Edit: I have never personal liked Balsa blade feel, so know if I went off of how I feel, I would say sell that sucka off ASAP for what you can get to cut Ur losses and get something else that feels better. I know looking at even 1/10 of the possible blades out there would make Ur head spin so much you might find Urself jumping off a large bridge in confusion. It's OK, you have plenty of players around you where you play and I am sure if you ask them for one minute to hit with their bat to see how it feels, they will do so and proudly tell you what is good about it for them. If any mates tell you to kick rocks, then you can politely suggest they jump of a bridge.
    Last edited by Der_Echte; 01-05-2015 at 01:37 AM.
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    #3
    Well the myth that you need the same equipment as the pros to perform as the pros is just not true. The most important think is to put your energy on the training if you want to improve further. With that said I still think you of course should try out some different equipment if you only have been playing with one blade. There are many blades out there that maybe work better, but don't just choose a blade just because a pro is using it

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    #4
    Thanks for the advice guys, I will be putting in as many hours as possible this year, 2 training sessions a week and hopefully 2 matches per week. Ill test a few blades out aswell and see if I can find anything that I like. Rather than wanting to use a particular type of blade because a pro or top player uses it, I would say I was more worried that I wouldn't be able to improve and progress as quickly as I could because of an issue or limitation that playing with this type of blade could have. I mean there has to be a reason no top players use them, is there a known reason why no top players use balsa blades?

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    #5
    Maybe I phrased the question badly, can using a balsa blade limit a persons play?

  6. Der_Echte is offline
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    #6
    Balsa blades are preferred by some players who value a very LIGHT weight and usually use SP or OX LP pips.

    It is more difficult to make topspin loops with a balsa blade compared to other blades, but flat hitting is flat and fast. That is why some pips players like it. They do not tospin, they bump it with OX LP and use FH to smash. Not all, but many of these players who like balsa blades are old and do not move much so they value a very light blade that hits fast and flat.

    it is not impossible to learn how to loop with a balsa blade, but personally I really dislike balsa blades. There are some blades on the market that have balsa as a core with other outer veeners that are not so bad feeling like a blade made entirely out of balsa, but they are not in my preferences either. Every player is different.

    The reason why you don't see pros using a balsa blade are the same reasons I discussed above. Most pros are tospinning monsters and a balsa blade doesn't cut it compared to other offensive blades, not even close.

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    #7
    I'm in the same position and use exactly the same blade!

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Powerlooppaulo
    I'm in the same position and use exactly the same blade!
    One of my good friends purchased the Andro Blax Off balsa blade and I can tell you now it is the fastest thing I have ever used... Extremely hard to control even on slow loops and blocks. I suppose it depends whether or not you like the feel of Balsa? I prefer all wood/composites, I recently downgraded from my Butterfly Viscaria to a Stiga Infinity VPS V, I sacrificed quite a substantial amount of speed for control. If i were you I would try out other setups at your club and see what blade type suits you and what you play best with and that for me is now all wood.

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    #9
    Does anyone know of any pro or elite level players who use a balsa blade?

  10. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #10
    Der_Echte has presented the basic facts. Balsa blades are great for hitting and smashing because of the characteristics of the wood. They are not great for looping so most top pros do not use a straight up balsa blade. I don't know of any.

    One thing to note though, the Viscaria is listed as a blade with a Balsa core:

    "Butterfly Viscaria: Koto-ALC-Balsa-ALC-Koto" (that comes from Ooak Forum).

    And This is from the Butterfly site:

    • Combines Arylate fiber features of lightness, flexibility, and shock absorption with the Carbon fiber features of high elasticity and minimal dissipation of energy.
    • Koto outer plies & Balsa core.
    • Viscaria's compact head size makes it ideal for quick re-looping right off the bounce.

    So any pro who is using the Viscaria is potentially using a blade that has Balsa in it. But, in spite of the information presented above which comes from 2 different sources, I have heard many people claim that the inner ply of a Viscaria is Kiri. I had a Viscaria and know it had a Balsa core. But I have felt others that did not feel like a balsa core. So it may be that they made them with Kiri at some point. But with the ALC and the thin core, Viscaria is different than one of those Balsa blades that has a 5, 6 or 7mm thick balsa core.

    My sense is, if you like hitting and smashing and you don't loop much, Balsa is fine. If you are looping most of the time, you will do better with something else. And reaching higher levels, at a certain point, in my opinion, is about developing your loop on both sides so that you can loop everything. At the highest levels of play, that is what they do, so you don't have players using one of those blades with a thick balsa core at the highest levels because they are really fast but not useful for looping.

    The style of play that went with those kinds of blades has been outdated for the most part. Der_Echte also mentions the exceptions to that. Certain pips players. But I don't think the pips players who are really high level are using balsa either.


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  11. Cornel is offline
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    #11
    i don't think you should change your blade because "all the others do so". but balsa blades are very often stiff and hard ones, so if you are a looper, like me, you should try some softer blades, and see if you like them more.

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    #12
    Thanks for the advice guys, I think I am going to try out a few fast but soft and flexible blades out. I am going to order the Tibhar stratus power and somthing else to try. Any ideas fellas?

  13. Der_Echte is offline
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    #13
    You got hundreds of choices and the Power Wood is suitable for the style you describe. Just don't jump off a bridge sweating whether this one is "better" than this one. MANY possible suitable blades for your style.

    I emphasize it is players who want a LIGHT bat who go for the mostly balsa blades, they are mostly older players with some physical issue and they feel they need the lightest equipment and they are usually not fit to play the conventional run everywhere and loop kind of game. You see these types in USA, but also other countries too. Not saying it is a washed up game, some of thee players are top ten percent of their top division locally.

    All balsa blade works for some players and I say let it work for them, you wont see me operating an all-balsa blade. I had said in my post some blades with a little balsa and other wood combos can have a different feel and be suitable, it is all a personal choice out of MANY possible suitable blades.
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Longloops
    Thanks for the advice guys, I think I am going to try out a few fast but soft and flexible blades out. I am going to order the Tibhar stratus power and somthing else to try. Any ideas fellas?
    Also, have a look at the Stiga Infinity VPS V I purchased one after coming from my Viscaria, it was quite slow but the control is immense, it also has a very nice sturdy feel in your hand that Stiga all wood blades are known for. Also have a look at The DHS PG series, I myself have a PG3 which is amazing for the price, ONLY $35AUD. It took me so long and thousands of dollars to find a few blades I like. Just try stuff out if you can.

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    #15
    Definitely try the DHS PG7, IMHO one of the best price/performance blade.
    Is sanity the price to pay for power!?

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    #16
    I see no reason to change unless you are really offended by the feel of the blade.

  17. Der_Echte is offline
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    #17
    Like Der_Echte... Balsa has absolute rubbish feel to me, but some like it, it just isn't me though.
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    #18
    @Longloops How long have u owned your 6.5? From what i heard from retailers they've changed the recipes for it over time. I only had some hits with the oldest "classical version" myself and it felt nothing like a typical balsa blade. Softish(and certainly can generate spin not just feel), VERY fast. My only complain about it though was that my friend put a Hurricane 3 on one side which was already heavy enough to upset the balance of bat and your swings (not something stamina can compensate when most of your bat's weight is in mid-air not in your palms), plus the control over the table wasn't as good as some latest popular blades like those aforementioned ones on this page(due to its bounciness even under soft impacts). I heard the newer version(s) is slower and harder though but I've never seen one myself these days.

    Still overall I believe it's a capable (and loopable) balsa blade (and so as your rubber), but if you can afford new blades+want to test out for better options, then why not :P

    Sorry for bad English.
    Last edited by Cornerer; 01-14-2015 at 07:58 PM.

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    #19
    exactly what he said ^

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    So any pro who is using the Viscaria is potentially using a blade that has Balsa in it. But, in spite of the information presented above which comes from 2 different sources, I have heard many people claim that the inner ply of a Viscaria is Kiri. I had a Viscaria and know it had a Balsa core. But I have felt others that did not feel like a balsa core. So it may be that they made them with Kiri at some point. But with the ALC and the thin core, Viscaria is different than one of those Balsa blades that has a 5, 6 or 7mm thick balsa core.
    Viscaria is still made with balsa core. The change is that the balsa type has changed. Butterfly, many years ago, was using the most hard and heavy balsa for various baldes : viscaria of course but also Primorac Carbon or Sardius for example. This ultra hard and heavy balsa has basically nothing in common with the usual balsa we know. Primorac carbon blades were usually more than 100gr, some Viscaria too and it was almost impossible to find a viscaria under 90gr. This Balsa was more powerfull than Kiri.

    Todays viscaria STILL have the balsa core (yes yes), it is still an heavy and hard balsa but absolutely not has much as one used before. Now you will find viscarias about 80-82gr with ease and its also quite easy to find a new primorac carbon under 90gr. The blades are slower & lighter. This balsa has characteritics very close to Kiri and many people are thinking this is Kiri but IT IS NOT.

    Here is what butterfly is saying : http://www.butterfly.tt/info/product...s/wood-species

    about balsa : "Balsa wood is very light weight and available in different variations. There are several options: very hard and heavy, or soft and light. It is commonly used as core veneer."
    abo As you can read it from Butterfly, Balsa can be hard and heavy as well as light and soft.

    A pro stage, the balsa exists ALOT, but its hard and heavy balsa.
    Last edited by Killerspintt; 01-20-2015 at 02:08 PM.

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