Hinoki blade recommendations for jpen player

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Hi all, I've gotten to a USATT rating of about 1000 with my pretty crappy pre-made Butterfly Nakama racket, and I am hoping to invest in a nice jpen blade to use for a long time. The gold standard for jpen blades seems to be Darker Kiso Hinoki though I was wondering if anyone else who plays with a hinoki blade could share their experience. So far I am looking at the Darker Speed series, though I am also considering the Butterfly Cypress Max series.

Some questions I have are
- Is there much difference between the Darker Speed 70 and the Darker Speed 90?
- What is the difference between 9mm and 10mm blades? Is it significant?
- What is the difference between the Butterfly and Darker blades?
- Recommendations for rubbers to use with a hinoki blade?

I play jpen, but my playing style is pretty sidespin-oriented and I think it is slower than the typical jpenholder (don't get me wrong I still have a pretty wicked forehand smash but I only really use that to finish the point). I typically use Hurricane 3 rubber on my shakehand blade, but I'm not sure how well this will work on a jpen blade. Maybe dignics 09c? Or even tenergy?

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
says Spin and more spin.
says Spin and more spin.
Well-Known Member
Super Moderator
Dec 2010
Read 11 reviews
Trust Gozo. His level is about the same as yours and he plays shakehand with those one ply Hinoki blades. He knows exactly what you would want. :)

Question: do you want a One Ply Hinoki blade or a multiply Hinoki blade like the Darker 7p-2a.7t?

A 7 ply Hinoki blade like the 7p-2a.7t will be stronger, more durable, harder to break. But a one ply will feel way better, amazing....however, you may need to be careful with it since sometimes, one ply blades just split along the grain of the wood.

It might never happen to you. But it is worth being prepared that it can happen.

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