Emerald VPS V

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5 out of 5 rating for Emerald VPS V

Stiga Emerald VPS

Weight: 92 grams
Handle: legend flared
Thickness: approx. 6.1-6.2mm
Plies: 5 (ebony-spruce-ayous-spruce-ebony)
Speed: OFF
Hardness: Stiff
Test Rubbers: Stiga Airoc M max, DHS Neo Provincial H3, Globe 999 National

Stiga to gave me this piece of art for review, I got this on my mailbox. The Emerald or "Green Ebenholz" is a complete overhaul of the preview Ebenholz 5 blade. Yes, they have the same wood composition but I will showing some of their differences. I have obtained also an Ebenholz 5 which Stiga provided for because I am very sure a lot of people will be curious on what are the similarities and differences of both blades.



Stiga has spent a great deal of effort in making the packaging of the Emerald VPS into a more elegant and classy look. The Emerald, out of the box, is unlike anything I have seen from Stiga. It boasts of a different logo design which departed from the usual plastic lens with blade name. It has been replaced by metal logo including the stick at the bottom of the handle.








This was first adapted by the Infinity VPS blade in which the surface of the blade, instead of a thick NCT coating, they made the varnish thinner and spread all over the blade extending up to the neck and handle borders. It is smooth but you can feel the wood fibers more compared to the NCT coating of the Eb5 blade. I theorize that Stiga has made the VPS blades this way because players wanted more feel on the blade at the same time offering some protection while removing and regluing rubbers on the blade. The handle of the Ebenholz 5 is rougher compared to that of the Emerald. I have been bugging Stiga to maybe try considering having a smoother handle and maybe they are starting to listen. Now if only they can sand the neck part of the handle then that would be perfect!





The first pic from this part is the picture of the Emerald VPS while directly on top is the picture of both Emerald (top) and Ebenholz 5 (bottom) on top of each other. At first look, differences may be negligible but on closer inspection you can find that the second layer of spruce on the Emerald VPS is darker in color. Either they dyed it or they used a burnt spruce to have a harder 2nd layer??? Also, you can see that the ebony wood top ply of both blades differ in thickness. The top ply for the Eb5 is thin while on the Emerald VPS, they increase the thickness of the top ply by parts of a millimeter. When I measured the approximate thickness, the Emerald has 6.1-6.2mm (approx.) while the Ebenholz 5 has approximately 5.8-5.9mm of thickness. Suprisingly, the Ebenholz 5 with having also a legend flared handle weighs only 84 grams! I have seen 83-84 gram Rosewood 5 blades in master flared but never Ebenholz 5 at this weight! The one I owned 3 yrs ago was 92 grams. I don't know if almost all of the newer batches of blades are as light as the one I have but if they do then praise Stiga! They may have increased the quality of their blades.



On a serious note, I glued the test rubbers and the Airoc M didn't feel that heavy despite having 68 grams uncut weight. I glued the globe 999 national which i have been using for a few months now and also the DHS Neo H3 Provincial replacing the Globe 999 national afterwards. I also glued the same test rubbers on the 84 gram Ebenholz 5 in order for me to have a better comparison of the 2 blades. The Emerald VPS with both rubbers glued was 200 grams in weight blaming partly on the thick amount of glue on the used Chinese rubbers and also the weight of those heavy rubbers. I was surprised that the 200 gram Emerald set up didn't feel that heavy. I have to say the blade is balanced unlike the Ebenholz 5 which tends to be head heavy with the same kind of rubbers glued on it. As of now, we all know that the Eb5 handle is hollow. For the Emerald, I am not sure it. I've been tapping the handle on its different points in order to hear different sounds when tapping different parts but I am not sure yet.

The Emerald was very easy to use. It was bouncy on the first forehand to forehand drills. It doesn't have much vibration compared to the Ebenholz 5. Speedwise, I will rate the Emerald as OFF and not OFF+. I can say that it is fast but highly controllable. On some shots the Emerald felt faster than the Ebenholz 5 but on other times they seemed to be equal. The Emerald VPS is faster than the Rosewood 5 and Rosewood XO but slower than their 7 ply versions. Overall, the Emerald seems to be faster by a few notches. The difference between their speeds is very small. On power shots and loops, I could feel the Emerald has this hard woody feeling upon impact of the ball whereas the Ebenholz 5 has a stiffer, more crisp feel. The Ebenholz 5 feels harder than the Emerald VPS, even the Rosewood 5 is stiffer all because of the thick NCT coating of the mentioned blades.

Looping-wise, the emerald was a better looping blade using the chinese rubbers because it was less stiff than the Ebenholz 5. The Eb5 was stronger for smashes and counter smashing, Emerald shines on counter loops, looping both near and middle distance from the table. If you want a more spin based game then go for Emerald, if you want a more smashing game with lesser spin then go for the Ebenholz 5.



Many would be hesitant to buy this blade because it is expensive. It is much worth it because the performance is better than all the previous Stiga blades that I have owned, tried and reviewed even compared to my intensity nct which was my personal favourite. I
 
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5 out of 5 rating for Emerald VPS V

Hi all,

Here's my video review on the STIGA Emerald VPS blade.

The emerald blade was released in 2014 as an advancement of the STIGA Infinity blade. The blade arrives in premium quality packaging with the clean unique look which STIGA are renowned for. The surface of the blade is varnished which helps protect and prolong it's life. The Emerald weighs 98g and consists of 5 plys of wood. The Emerald VPS is 6.2mm thick. Similar to the recent Carboando Blade Series, this Emerald blade has two metal insignias on front and bottom of the handle which furthers the premium feel of the blade. The Airoc Medium rubber were used on both sides of the blade. In the review we compare the Emerald to the popular STIGA Infinity VPS.


Forehand Topspin

Nice solid control that traditional wood blades are well known for. The emerald felt quite hard and had a solid contact. You can generate a good amount of power when playing attacking shots without compromising on control.

Away from table Footage

Away from the table the blade has excellent stability and great feeling. This feeling and control allowed me to put a lot of power into my shots because you know you can trust this blade to produce the same consistent ball everytime.
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Backhand Topspin

The Emerald is very effective for backhands, where it produces a hard, fast impact. I liked the lower direct trajectory that can be produced when playing backhands.

Blocking

The large sweet spot and medium to hard stiffness allowed for excellent feel when blocking and safety in my strokes. The quick, crisp reaction of the blade suits offensive play very well.

Comparison between Emerald and Infinity blade

We found a few similarities in the review between the Emerald and the Infinity blade, one of which was the feeling. Both possess a strong wood feeling. In terms of weight between the two, the Infinity felt slightly lighter in the hand. A noticeable difference between the two blades was the speed. The Emerald was stiffer than the infinity which gave the blade more of a rebound effect, which in turn made the blade faster.

The difference in speed between the two is caused by a different outer veneer. The Emerald has a new hard green Ebenholz outer veneer, whereas the infinity has a lighter, outer veneer.

The Infinity however has a greater dwell and, therefore gives you slightly more forgiveness than the emerald and is slightly more suited at close range shots.

Spin

With the Emerald, there was a good amount of dwell time which helped create a lot of spin when playing against backspin from either a serve or a push ball.

Conclusion:

The STIGA Emerald blade certainly has more gears than its predecessor Infinity in terms of speed. Like the STIGA Infinity which we reviewed in 2014, we found the Emerald blade had bundles of control.

We were especially impressed with the speed to control ratio away from the table. In comparison, the Infinity seemed more suited from close range to the table. The Emerald due to its greater speed, really helped from mid distance and away from the table.

Overall the Emerald works very well for attackers looking for that extra bit of zip in their shots from a wood blade. It is suited for those players looking for high end speed with good control and is really easy to use for any experienced player.

In 2014, myself and Tom reviewed the STIGA Infinity blade, you can watch the review here.
 
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