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 Post subject: Re-Impact Smart review
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 15:42 
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Although it is not my favourite in the Perfect series, the Re-Impact Smart is a very special combination blade with a great potential for many all-round styles. This review is intended to be an introduction to the features, possibilities and use of this blade.

The Smart combines an active backhand which has a defensive character with a conventional forehand which is very much all-round in every respect.
The backhand, being active, is quite insensitive to incoming spin and works best with compact strokes. It is therefore ideal for blocking with great precision, with any kind of rubber. On low and medium impact it is easy to take the speed off the incoming ball and placing short is not a problem. On high impact the backhand has a bit of a kick, so when you hit flat you will be able to produce enough speed for a surprise counter-attack. This makes it very hard for opponents to put pressure on your backhand side, and it allows you to make free use of your forehand.
The forehand, being conventional, works best with longer strokes. It has a soft feel (but not as soft as the backhand) and a very high spin-production potential at low, medium and even relatively high speed – only when impact with the ball is very high, the balsa core will kick in and catapult the ball away with less spin and more speed than usual. This makes the forehand just about perfect for spin variation. As its catapult is low for a balsa blade, balls can be placed with great precision as well. Its speed, basically around ALL+, combined with its spin potential allows loop-attack from mid-distance as well as close to the table; it also allows effective chopping at any distance.
All-out attackers should use a different blade and so should classic defenders, for with its features, the Smart works best for forehand-oriented tacticians who use spin and speed variations, mostly at moderate speeds, to win their points.

Shortly before I tested the Smart, I played extensively with the T4, which is quite a bit faster and active at both sides. The typical influence of its balsa core, which dampens speed at low impact and increases it at high impact, works harmonically in this blade and as soon as you have got used to its speed curve, it is completely predictable. Coming from the T4, the Smart feels very different, and wilful at times. But if you let the blade have its way, it will work admirably.
There are several set-ups that suit the Smart, but in my opinion a player should always bear in mind that the backhand is mainly for defence and control, and the forehand for active, tactical play.
An inverted rubber on the backhand should be relatively thin (1.5 mm or less) to retain the special character of the blade on this side. Blocking and looping (at low to moderate speed, with great spin) close to the table is excellent, but I found chopping away from the table much less easy, as the compact stroke this side requires doesn’t suit producing backspin with inverted very well.
If you really want to chop and produce your own spin with the backhand, pips-out rubbers do better, in my opinion. But the backhand is, for defence, actually best when used to reverse incoming spin, with rubbers that have low friction (like Tibhar Grass Dtecs in OX, or nearly frictionless antispin rubbers like Neubauer ABS).
The backhand also works great with anti-spin or pips-out rubbers if used for blocking (stop-blocks are a cinch!) and occasional counter-hitting. If sponge is used, its throw is moderately high on low impact, gets a bit lower at increasing impact, and tends to make your returns very safe - for you. In fact, using antispin rubber (Tibhar Ellen Defensive, black, 1.5 mm), I found it very hard NOT to return the ball on the table and be at least slightly awkward for the opponent at that. But with several OX LPs I found the throw surprisingly low, which is a definite plus when you chop-block.
The forehand of the Smart is absolutely best with inverted rubbers. I tried short pips in several thickness and didn’t ever get the speed I needed for sustained attack. I guess pips would do if you only wanted to block very well. However, the spin-potential of the forehand just begs to be used! With inverted, I didn’t notice any problems considering thickness. As for the sponge, I liked soft to medium soft sponges best on it. In my opinion it doesn’t work so well with tensors and the like; if speed is what you want, a different blade would be better. But for spin, the Smart is really very good.

Tactical play is what the Smart seems to be designed for; actually, its name says it all. Here are some examples of tactics that work very well with this blade.
If you have a well-reversing LP in OX or a slick anti-spin rubber on the backhand and inverted on the forehand, a good tactic is to serve heavy backspin not too deep and attack the return (push) with an aggressive push. The Smart allows good speed, great reversal, and perfect placement with this shot. If your aggressive push is attacked (topspin) the Smart’s backhand will also allow an effective stop-block or chop-block with, again, good reversal. If the opponent’s attack is fast and deep, you can step away from the table and chop his return, using a short (chop-block-like) stroke. But stepping around the backhand and using the forehand to re-loop is very effective as well.
A bit more daring and provocative is to serve long with little spin, placing the ball so that it will be returned to your backhand. The defensive potential of the Smart is so huge, both with blocking and chopping, that this is an effective way to start a rally in which sooner or later the opponent is forced to push or drop the ball – this return can be attacked with aggressive pushing, but also very well with a good forehand loop.
With grippy anti-spin rubber on your backhand similar tactics apply, but instead of aggressive pushing your best counter-attack is now a quick flick or roll. It is very easy to attack backspin using anti with the Smart’s backhand, and the balsa kick will see to it that you get enough speed. With thin-sponged SP or MP it is more or less the same.
Tactics using inverted on both sides include old-school all-round play: a mix of loops, pushes, and chops close to the table and at medium distance, using every possible angle. It requires excellent foot-work, but the Smart will reward that with great spin and accuracy. However, it also quite effective to use thin-sponged inverted on the backhand to block, and thick-sponged inverted on the forehand to attack with spin and speed close to the table, in a kind of blocker/looper style.

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 16:28 
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An excellent review Kees! :clap: :clap: :clap:

The Smart is now my personal favourite Re-Impact blade! I agree very much with your experiences of this blade, and it suits my 'style' perfectly! :up:

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 17:35 
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I plan to buy this Re-Impact Smart. I have a friend who studying in Melbourne now, he will get it the Smart for me. He is going back to Jakarta on June.

I am used to use Tachi with old tibhar grass dtecs and H3N 2.2mm 39 deg sponge. And had a good result with it. But when old grass dtecs was not available anymore, the new grass dtecs is just not having enough reversal for my style. I am now using BTY Def Alpha with Dawei 388 D-1 ox and H3N BS 2.2 mm 39 deg sponge. And the results is better than using grass dtecs + tachi. Using tchi + H3N my FH loop was just terrible.

Kees and Haggisv, please give your prediction on this Re-Impact Smart using dawei 388 d-1 ox and H3N BS 2.2 mm 39 deg or 40 deg sponge. I understand it is good for thin sponge, but I am used to used H3N.

And tell me about the claim that this blade FH side can produce 240% of the specs of the inverted rubber.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 18:59 
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tobhik wrote:
I plan to buy this Re-Impact Smart. I have a friend who studying in Melbourne now, he will get it the Smart for me. He is going back to Jakarta on June.

I am used to use Tachi with old tibhar grass dtecs and H3N 2.2mm 39 deg sponge. And had a good result with it. But when old grass dtecs was not available anymore, the new grass dtecs is just not having enough reversal for my style. I am now using BTY Def Alpha with Dawei 388 D-1 ox and H3N BS 2.2 mm 39 deg sponge. And the results is better than using grass dtecs + tachi. Using tchi + H3N my FH loop was just terrible.

Kees and Haggisv, please give your prediction on this Re-Impact Smart using dawei 388 d-1 ox and H3N BS 2.2 mm 39 deg or 40 deg sponge. I understand it is good for thin sponge, but I am used to used H3N.

And tell me about the claim that this blade FH side can produce 240% of the specs of the inverted rubber.

Cheers.


The Dawei should work well on it. I think it will be especially effective for attack, not just for defence. As for the inverted, a 39 degree sponge should be OK, probably even in 2.2 mm. Perhaps it is best to try an old rubber first, before cutting a new one to fit the Smart. I would still recommend 1.8 mm as being more suitable for tactical play.
The percentage is an ideosyncrasy in the descriptions by Re-Impact; but the blade does produce a high amount of spin.

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2014, 03:11 
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Although my Barath works amazingly, I'm thinking about Smart in moments where I want more spin during my serves and more spin from my forehand. The fact that one can use thicker rubber on the forehand side made me think that I can have an improvement there, but I do have some issues and doubts if I have really a good reasons for switching from Barath to Smart blade.
First, kees mention that "... it doesn’t work so well with tensors and the like....".
I was already thinking about rubbers like Victas > 401, new > 402 Double Effect, Rasant Grip ( or Power Grip)... namely something vicious.
Secondly, from the user guide "...you need a ( conventional ) side sustaining longer stroke because you prefer to take the ball away from the table, well after the top of the bounce."
Hmmm... I play close to the table, almost never further than 60 cm, and take the ball just before, or at the top of the bounce.
Then, from the user guide "...you need a ( conventional) side sustaining a longer stroke because you move your arm relatively slow."
I perform my strokes, on both sides, REALLY fast.
So I have doubts weather to go with the Smart, or just have another Barath with some different rubbers from the current ones ( PLASMA 380 in 1.6), and have more dangerous forehand.
I wonder what Achim thinks.


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2014, 03:39 
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@RadeB: If your stroke is compact enough, there is no need to change to a conventional forehand. Getting not enough spin on serves with the Barath's forehand is probably a matter of technique - you get the best spin with the blade held horizontal so the ball can "sink in" on contact. If you want to hold the blade at a different angle, e.g. for sidespin, your grazing action (wrist) needs to be very fast (theoretically, tacky rubbers would help, here; but as most many tacky rubbers have relatively hard sponges, it often doesn't work out that way). You have to take care to prevent the ball from getting speed instead of spin (that is why the horizontal position works best).

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2014, 03:58 
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Thank's kees, much appreciated your advice. :up:


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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2014, 07:02 
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How different is the Smart from the Tachi? Is the Smart an updated version of the Tachi?

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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2014, 08:00 
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Smart is a little stiffer (and thicker) and faster than the Tachi+.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2014, 16:06 
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using same LP ox, for passive blocking, using same techniques, against a strong loop, which one is slower, and which one is higher reversal ? between Tachi and Smart ?

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2014, 22:08 
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Tachi slower, Smart more reversal.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2014, 16:38 
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tobhik wrote:
using same LP ox, for passive blocking, using same techniques, against a strong loop, which one is slower, and which one is higher reversal ? between Tachi and Smart ?


haggisv wrote:
Tachi slower, Smart more reversal.


How does Medusa's reversal compared to Smart?

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2014, 17:53 
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I have not compared them side by side, but I expect they would not be much in it... probably the Smart a little better.
The best Re-Impact blades for reversal are clearly the Dark Knight, followed closely by the Barath.

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2014, 23:49 
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I had a hit with "Haggisv's" Re-Impact Smart blade today & I was so impressed that I have ordered one from him. 8) 8) I own several Re-Impact blades & I am currently using the Barath which I'll continue to use :up: but will also use the Smart as I like changing to keep up the deception :party: :party:

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Setup 2: Blade: TSP Trinity Carbon | Joola Golden Tango black 1.8mm FH & Jengking OX red BH
Setup 3: Blade: TSP Trinity Carbon | Victas V > 01 Limber black 1.8mm FH & Death Metal TT OX red BH
Setup 4: Blade: TSP Trinity Carbon |Spinlord Tanuka black 1.8mm FH & Spinlord Dornenglanz OX red BH

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PostPosted: 02 Mar 2015, 15:43 
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Although I've already posted my thoughts on this blade before, here is my complete Re-Impact Smart blade review. ;)

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