OOAK Table Tennis Forum

Review: BBC 2 Speed LP Blade/Combo Blade
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Author:  kevgeomcc [ 16 Mar 2018, 20:37 ]
Post subject:  Review: BBC 2 Speed LP Blade/Combo Blade

I received the blade from MasDiablo--thanks John!--and tested it last night. It is the original version with a layer of carbon under the hardened Aspen wood on the BH. You can see pics--again, thanks John!--below.

Blade 2 (Just UD Carbon under top ply on BH)

This is a preliminary review, after playing with it for two hours of drills with a few sets at the end. In the past two years I’ve mainly used the Dr. Neubauer Matador with DTecs or Gangster but have recently returned to using the Nexy Labyrinthos with DTecs, sacrificing some control for faster, spinnier blocks and a more powerful FH. I play 1st Division league tt here in Ireland—though I would be in the lower range of this level, particularly since the new ball came in—which I would imagine is around 2000+ range in US rankings. The player I tested with is a 2 wing power looper/hitter who I would imagine to be 2300+--he played at a v high level in Poland--when he is competing. We used Xushofa and Nittaku Premium plastic/ABS balls.

I paired the blade with a sheet of Tenergy 05 2.1 on the FH and OX Grass DTecs on the BH.

Build Quality: First off, the quality of the blade is amazing. I've only ever owned one handmade blade--an OSP Pushblocker OX, which I loved but found too slow on the FH, more anon--and this BBC Blade is equal to it in all ways in terms of craftmanship and aesthetics. Like the OSP, this blade is beautiful to look at. More importantly, it feels great in the hand. The blade for testing came with a wide FL handle and, despite having only used ST handles for the past 10 years, I loved it. The balance of the blade is perfect and despite conventional wisdom, I found the FL handle on this blade easy to twiddle with.

Performance BH: The BH side is, quite simply, amazing. The carbon layer just under the hardened Aspen makes the whole blade face one large sweet spot. The throw angle with the DTecs was low and laser straight and the braking effect was one of the best I've come across, particularly on harder loops. This was a really unique feature, I felt. With Balsa blades, the harder the loop, the faster the ball comes off the block. This can be good or bad depending on your style etc. Here, the blade soaked up the pressure of hard, spinny loops, sending back low, linear but shortish blocks (when played with a soft hand) with more than adequate backspin. Though I’m used to the DTecs, I could imagine this to be the perfect blade for a player who wants a more dangerous, disruptive LP rubber such as the DTecs but is wary of sacrificing control. This blade enhanced the DTecs qualities while taming its excess speed.

Chopping off the table was fine, though I wouldn’t say the blade is designed specifically for this and I only do it myself when I get in trouble. This is a pushblocker’s blade and as such it is great. It was easy to move the ball around the table and attacking backspin was a dream. The carbon/hardened Aspen gives better than average backspin but also seems soft somehow—probably bc I’ve been using the balsa/carbon Labyrinthos lately—allowing really easy fast pushes and attacking shots. The overall control was fabulous and this is perhaps what makes this the first proper Pushblocking/Combo blade for use with the new plastic balls.

Performance FH: The FH side is where I fell out of love with this blade, but this is down to what I’m used to, rather than anything about the blade itself. I found the FH quite ‘dwelly’ and somewhat slower than I am used to. I tend to win most of my points with my FH and have become accustomed to the crisp, low throw of the Labyrinthos (and the somewhat lower throw of the Matador). The throw angle here, in stark contrast to the BH side, is quite high when paired with the Tenergy 05. (Note: T05 is a high throw rubber so a lower throw rubber might solve this.) This is by no means a bad thing, though. In fact, it is unique in that most Combo blades hardly differ at all in terms of performance between the FH/BH where is there is a real contrast here. This is really impressive, particularly since the only blades that are known to have such a contrast between sides are the very expensive, thick Adler/Neubauer balsa combos.

The FH side of this blade is great for looping, particularly from mid-distance. Maybe paired with a harder or thinner rubber it would be perfect. I play close/mid distance normally and at the table I found myself blocking a lot of balls off the table and that my loops had too high a throw angle to be dangerous to a high level opponent. It does have great control however, and I really liked how much spin it imparted when serving.

In conclusion, I felt the FH to be a slightly ‘dwellier’ ‘loopier’ and more controlled version of the Matador, while the BH was a new, unique alternative to the standard, high-end balsa blocking blades.

Edit: It just occurred to me that this blade might be just the thing for Frictionless Antispin rubbers. It blocks short, and is very consistent, not too angle dependent etc. And it has no balsa, which for reasons that escape me, is anathema to antispin use. Just a thought!

Overall, this is a great new blade from BBC, purpose built for Pushblocking with the new ABS plastic balls.

As I said, this is a preliminary review. I will definitely give it another go in the weeks ahead and amend this accordingly.

Author:  haggisv [ 17 Mar 2018, 19:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Review: BBC 2 Speed LP Blade/Combo Blade

Thanks for the review! That's a real nice looking blade too! :up:

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