From what I've seen, most blades balance at pretty much the same spot.
Could be possible that you instinctively have chosen the same kind of blades (that were on your taste) - so that's why you felt they had the same balance?
I mean, maybe you've rejected some other blades for being too heavy, or too fast, etc, without paying attention to their balance?
It is interesting that on some Chinese online shops (e.g. this one: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/ ... 107.iibmGD
), the distribution of weight is mentioned in order to show the style of play for which there are designed
The alternatives are:
- Center Focus (All-round Methods);
- Heavy Tip Light Handle (Offensive) and
- Light Tip Heavy Handle (Defensive)
Though this is a very simplistic (and not always correct) categorization, it is a good indication that the balance is one of the main design criteria for the producers (for the Chinese ones in this case, but probably for all)
In fact, there are very cheap chinese blades almost as good as the much more expensive european and japanese blades.
The difference in favour of the latest could come, indeed, from the better quality of wood/ more valuable exotic essences, but this difference seems to be not bigger than 10% (at an objective judgment, without the placebo factor
So I wonder what is the rest of 90% that makes a good blade?
Most of the balance will be determined by the weight of your rubbers.
Of course it will, I just leaved aside the rubbers for simplifying the discussion.
But if you wish (and maybe it would be better so) we could consider the balance of the entire racket (paddle).
However, for being able to make a standardization (ie a balance scale for the TT paddles similar to that for the lawn tennis rackets) the weight of the rubbers should be taken, for the start, as a constant (that could be calculated as the average weight of the most common rubbers, let's say 90 grams).
If all the blade producers would adopt this convention, it would be very simple for the buyer to chose the right blade (from the balance point of view).
For example, let's say that someone needs/likes a +3 (3 pt. head-heavy) paddle.
If his preferred rubbers are in the weight category of 90 grams, he would buy directly a blade marked as +3.
But if the rubbers are heavier (e.g 95 g) or lighter (e.g. 85 g), he should make a correction and buy a +2 blade (in the first case) or a +4 blade (in the second case) in order to keep the desired balance of the paddle (of course, the numbers I used are arbitrary, but the exact calculations for these corrections can be made by manufacturers and made available for their customers).
Older blades? Who knows, its quite possible they have broken down enough that they have extra flex which some people love.
Broken down wood?!
I don't know what this could mean, but my '80s Meteor is definitely not "flexy", but stiff and hard.
Its weight is 165 grams, with the original shorter rubbers (as those for the penhold style) that I estimate to have about 60-65 grams - so that the blade could weight about 100-105 g. The point of balance (measured as explained by JimT here:http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=36575&title=blade-weight-balance) is at 11 cm from the top, at a total length of 26 cm.
Since the standardization (about which I speak) doesn't exist, I can't say if this balance means HH, Centered or HL, but I really enjoy it.
What I am trying now is to reproduce this balance in a new paddle (I'll order a custom blade from a very good local manufacturer) - that's why this subject is very important for me.
Of course, I'll take into account the extra-weight of some available-today (and complete) rubbers - probably 90 g, so that I'll ask the manufacturer to redistribute the weight of the blade (that I'll keep at 100-105 g) towards the handle.
Well, I don't know exactly what will come out from this attempt, but I hope to be something between Meteor and... Mazunov