YuanJian GanJiang Sword (Lin Gaoyuang blade)

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Oct 2018
TL;DR What can I say, yet another Viscaria clone? Enjoy.

But after some long trolling and strolling time on the forum let me just open up a topic and clack away on my keyboard a bit.

So at some point Lin Gaoyuan's contract with Butterfly ended and he used the Butterfly Lin Gaoyuan ALC blade to play. It was pretty much a Viscaria with another handle on paper and when the cooperation ended I bought an AN handle version in 85g from Butterfly.de. I think it was a pretty blade with a pretty handle, and since I am a lefty just like LGY for me it has a calling. (Not to mention that LGY is probably one of the most talented players of our time, with an ugly mother-in-law on his back) Never tried that blade, it's just kinda like a collectors item for me. I did test it's frequency and it's around 1360hz which is very very low for a Viscaria.
Usually a Viscaria is around 1420hz, sure there are variations but roughtly I measure around that area. 1360hz is W968 territory...

Anyway in 2023 summertime I first saw LGY playing with a new blade. Very unknown, no branding just him using it. It turns out his family has either created a brand or what I find more likely is that they hired someone to make this blade. There are 2 blades in their lineup GanJiang Sword which is what he uses and MoYe Sword. Quite great naming since they have Chinese mythical relation and I love a good story. Also I have this personal thing that a table tennis blade should be a weapon, sharp and reliable and not pretty and fancy. Which is why I always enjoyed cheaper Viscaria clones.
Well the problem is now that this blade is very pretty, not cheap, and it's super sharp.
For me subjectively the desing of the blade is gorgeous, the handle, the print on it everything about it is lovely. I don't know if LGY himself has a great artistic taste or someone in his family, but his BTY blade looked pretty and his own brand looks even better.

It's not cheap, for people buying from Prott it's 210USD at this moment which is above Viscaria or Boll ALC pricing. That surely will scare off most but I think it's worth it because of its performance.
On taobao one can buy it for around 140USD which is about the same price as a Viscaria on taobao, but you still need to import and tax etc etc.

When I ordered it I asked for very heavy. I got it at 91g which is a bit on the heavier side.
When I measured the frequency on a simple bounce test it came out at 1508hz. That is a very high value for a Viscaria clone and it's almost as high as a ZLC blade with similar construction.

The handle is made from compressed sawdust as much as I can determine which I love since it has a bit of a texture so it acts like a fine sandpaper and grips my palm and it can soak up a lot of sweat. My hand is not particularly sweaty but it soaks up everything I throw at it better than many blade handles.

The head design is fully copy paste of Viscaria and the handle dimensions are similar to LGY ALC FL. The box that it comes in is also a copy paste of BTY style, for sure not that high quality box but who cares and the print/design on it is much better that BTY ever managed to make.

As far as I know it is distributed in Guangzhou and possibly made there too by someone(s).

The actual play of the blade at first was very stiff and hard which I expected of the high frequency of the blade and because of the weight of it.
It doesn't have a single piece kiri core like some Xiom or Joola made blades, it is spliced together from 2 piece of kiri. I don't particularly mind this, Butterfly does the same. However the core kiri wood looks very dense, probably the reason for the 91g.
So the blade was stiff and hard at first and didn't feel all that great except for the handle, but after a few hours of use it changed a little. It became softer and more elastic and the sound it made became very healthy. Initially it was a bit metallic.

It pairs equally well with H3N and bouncy Japanase and German rubbers. I think because of it's speed it's quite suitable with blue sponge H3N or I found it's even better with orange sponge H3N. But as you can see on the pics I will try Loki Arthut China with it as I love that rubber. I wonder if it will perform like H3N orange.
If not I will for sure get a H3N provincial OS at 40 degrees for my forehand.
On BH side I tried H3N BS and OS when I was deciding what rubber to use, so I had both on the same blade. Surprisingly the H3N OS was better on FH and BS I just used on BH out of necessity and it worked well. So a H3N 37 OS would be good on BH side for sure, but I like my Mantra Pro M and a T05 or G-1 or Rozena, Glayzer would be a great option as well. But I wouldn't go too soft, for sure not go softer than Rozena or G-1.

Other than the very dense kiri core compared to other similar blades like LGY ALC, Viscaria, Xiom Ice Cream, Joola Zhou Qihao SALC the biggest difference to me was that the top koto ply on the GanJiang Sword was about half the thickness of the other blades. On this blade it is realy paper thin. Because of this it feels a lot sharper than the others but at the same time it's very elastic too because of the dense kiri core.

So basically it's like a sharper and more faster Viscaria with possibly a higher bounce once you swing hard. I guess that is my conclusion.

It's worth the price since Viscaria is so mass produced that it's hard to find a good one. I'm pretty sure the GanJiang Sword is just a small operation hand made blade so at least someone who cares looks at what it's made of. It's also possible that Double Fish makes it and selects the good wood for it, and that's just the same as what DHS makes with it's HL5 and W968 blades.


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