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 Post subject: Darker Interview
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2017, 19:23 
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You can find the complete Darker interview with pictures here. Below are just the Q & A.


Questions:

1. The quality of your Kiso Hinoki blades are widely regarded as amongst the best in the world. Do you have special access to the very best quality Kiso Hinoki, or is it your blade makers that make your blades of such high quality? How do you source your raw materials, and how do you ensure it's of the highest quality?


Our company has our own special access to high quality Kiso Hinoki and also we have well experienced blade makers. Both bring the result of making high quality Hinoki racket.


2. Many of the large manufacturers use mass production equipment to make their blades, which usually means less attention to details. How much of Darker's blade manufacturing is still done by hand?


We maintain our tradition to make each blade by hand.

3. Players are usually willing to pay more for blades made in Japan, because they expect higher quality. Your latest Liberta Synergy series of blades are made in China, and clearly very high quality. How do you ensure that the quality of these blade remains high, like what we've come to expect from Darker? Will future new blades likely be made in China as well?


Even though the latest Liberta Synergy is made in China, the industry’s first fibers is from Japanese well known company “Toyobo” and design is done in Japan. Only construction is carried out in China. Of course through the progresses we have frequent contact with the factory to keep the high quality.
We will use both Japanese and Chinese factory for different purposes to take advantage of making best quality items. However Hinoki items will be made only in Japan.


4. Do you design and test your own blades? If so, who does the testing?


Yes we do design and test our blades. We also ask other people outside our company for test and advise as well.


5. Some of your blades have been discontinued in the last few years, including several famous shake-hand blades like the Speed 90. Is this due to the shortage of raw materials, or are there other reasons?


It is due to material shortage. Recently it is becoming very serious problem. Very difficult to get hold of satisfactory materials to make blades.


6. Most of your blade range includes Kiso hinoki plies. Will Kiso Hinoki continue to be the key ingredient in the future?


Yes indeed.


7. The Sakura series (Alba & Serio) seem to be a breakthrough in technology, offering more linear performance previously found only in 1-ply Kiso Hinoki blades. How successful has this series been for Darker?


It is made for players for who like the feel of touch of 1-ply blades when hitting the ball. The Sakura series have very close feeling to 1-ply blades. Also the blades are comparatively light and does not break easily, we recommend it to young generations who haven’t used 1-ply blades yet.


8. You have a few new rubbers on the ITTF LARC, namely the Turbo 70, Leone, Crea and Anessis. Can you reveal any details about the what these rubbers are, and when you expect them to be available? Are these rubbers optimised for the new 40+ balls?


Turbo 70 and Leone is limitedly on sale only in China. Crea is pimples out rubber. Sales release date for Anessis has not been decided yet. All rubbers above are suitable for the new plastic balls.

9. From my own experience, your Provine and Spalbird rubbers are quite a good match to your Hinoki blades. Do you have any recommendation of what type of rubbers work well with which of your blades? Was the Liberta Synergy designed specifically for the modern tensioned rubbers like Tenergy?


Yes, Provine and Spalbird are well matched to our Hinoki blades.
As you said the Liberta Synergy is designed for the modern tensioned rubbers like Tenergy.


10. What are the future plans of Darker? Do you plan to go from 'Boutique' to more mainstream? Are you planning to widen/broaden their market or they are satisfied with current production? Are you trying to attract more professional players to use your equipment?
We are working on new product development for Liberta series. Please look forward to seeing new products, designed for top players use, next year.
We will keep providing high quality Hinoki blades, our specialty, and also developing new products to enlarge our marketing.

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 Post subject: Re: Darker Interview
PostPosted: 24 Oct 2017, 01:35 
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Goes to 11
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Maybe I should give that 7p-2a another shot... haven't touched it in a long while.

Iskandar


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