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 Post subject: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2014, 21:34 
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The T4 is one of the simpler blades in the Re-Impact range and also one of the cheaper models, but used close to the table it is very effective nonetheless and it comes with a number of properties that, in my opinion, make it especially attractive.
Its design is simpler than the basic design of the Perfect range, as there is no cork in this blade, just a thick balsa core with, symmetrically placed, two outer plies on either side of it. This means the influence of the balsa is very direct (the T4 is an active blade); on low impact the blade takes away speed of the ball effectively, at high impact it adds speed as effectively. Still, the curve of the catapult (which, typically for balsa, increases with increased impact) is rather mild for the T4, so the speed-range of the blade isn’t as huge as with some other Re-Impact models; ALL- to ALL+, in my estimate. Speed-wise, the T4 supports all all-round styles, from mixed defence-and-attack, through controlled blocking or looping, to aggressive power-play.
As its touch is rather soft and delightfully delicate, and its weight is around 60 grams, the T4 doesn’t have the punch which is needed for attack from mid-distance; neither does it have the ultimate in control which truly defensive styles require, as the little kick of the balsa may spoil chopping incoming fast balls. The blade is really best used close to the table. Its throw is rather low, so you have to open the blade a bit more than you may be used to. Although it will support any sponge-thickness, in my opinion it doesn’t combine well with OX rubbers. In fact, I found it played best with rather thick rubbers, 1.8 mm to max, as sponge in these thicknesses cushions the kick of the balsa and so offers better control. Max thick sponge should be rather soft, or else the balsa will be smothered, but in 1.8 mm even very hard sponges work fine. I played the T4 with SP on both sides, inverted on both sides, SP combined with inverted, and antispin combined with inverted. All combinations were excellent. I also tried LP and didn’t like it on this blade: used close to the table it is a bit too springy for LP. My favourite combination is anti-spin on the backhand and inverted on the forehand, as using the anti (for blocking and mid-distance chopping) will slow down the game enough for me to be able to use the inverted on the forehand for vicious medium fast loops.
The latter is probably the forte of this blade, but it requires a specific type of stroke. As the balsa kicks in as soon (but not really very abrupt) as you apply a moderate amount of power, the ball will have speed enough without the need to put your back into the stroke, which allows you to just use a short and very quick flick or swish of the underarm and wrist to make the spin. The result, due to the dwelling time of the balsa, and its kick, combined, is very heavy topspin on a ball that moves quite fast, but not at top-speed; it will dip quickly, touching down before it is halfway the other side of the table and it will then rush away staying low. If the opponent tries to block this ball, chances are it will go up and over; if he chooses to re-loop it, it is difficult to pick up; so this medium fast loop-attack is quite effective. As there is no need to apply great force, your arm movement for this stroke can and probably should be very compact. This means you can keep the blade a bit closed at about the height of your hips for its ready-position, and kind of shoot from there, with backhand or forehand, either for a block or for a loop. This makes your play hard to predict for the opponent, as he is not getting a signal warning him that you’re about to loop with high spin.
This compact style will work with any blade, but it goes especially well with Re-Impact active blades. It is often said that the European loop is typically long, but in fact there have been and still are many European players, belonging to the world’s best, who use a short stroke for their loops. I have attached a recent video of Wilfried Lieck, many times champion of Germany and, although a veteran now, still a strong player, as an example of this type of compact play (he doesn’t use a Re-Impact blade, as far as I know).



Looping with high impact is difficult with the T4, as the catapult of the balsa will be much stronger and diminish the dwelling time; hitting is the better option here, and quite effective, for at high impact the path of the ball will be almost completely straight, so placement can be very accurate. It doesn’t need a lot of power either. My personal feeling is that, using more power than you would use to swat a fly will not get you much more speed with the T4 – once the balsa’s catapult has been evoked, it will eagerly do the job by itself, regardless of how much more you will encourage it to. This, again, allows compact strokes, almost without an up-swing, as if you were using short pips, even for very fast hits. So blocking, looping, driving and hitting are all performed with a compact movement of the arm that for the opponent looks one and the same whatever you do; that in itself is quite disruptive. It did take me a while to get used to this compactness, but when I had settled down to it, having become convinced that it worked, it made me play much more relaxed; that certainly upped the quality of my whole game. It also took away a lot of strain off my back and shoulder. But I did have a sore triceps for at least a weak, as all of the attack-strokes now mainly involve that muscle!
Blocking is really very effective with the T4, even when using fast max thick inverted. You can take away the speed or add some, and place very accurately, while the ball will stay low at all times.
When you are at mid-distance (I go there to chop) you can still loop the ball with the same compact stroke, but you have to keep the blade even less closed, and (very importantly) resist the inclination to put more power into this shot to compensate for the greater distance. If you loop like this, the ball will have heavy topspin and enough speed to be difficult; adding some sidespin can't hurt, but trying to add more spee will go at the cost of the topspin and render the ball pretty much harmless - although it may surprise an opponent who expects heavy spin to go with great speed.
SP works quite harmonious with the T4, as the blade seems to be designed for the very stroke this type of rubber demands. The blade is also very insensitive to incoming spin with SP.
But for me, anti is the preferred rubber for the backhand on this blade. Even a 2.0 mm thick rather grippy anti (I used the Juic NeoAnti) is completely insensitive to incoming spin, will (moderately) reverse incoming backspin when used for aggressive pushing, will chop heavy backspin or produce a floater when and how you want it, and it will hit anything quite well, producing mostly a dead ball.

Summing up, the T4 is a very versatile, delicate and effective all-round blade for use close to the table, highly recommend to players who prefer compact strokes.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 03:10 
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Are there variations of T4, or you are referring to T4 Future?


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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 05:44 
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radeB wrote:
Are there variations of T4, or you are referring to T4 Future?
There is only one T4 model.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2014, 13:36 
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FH: Victas VS > 401
BH: Dr N Troublemaker OX
Very comprehensive review Kees! :clap: :clap: :clap: That must have taken a few hours :o :o :o

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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 21:10 
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Kees wrote:
radeB wrote:
Are there variations of T4, or you are referring to T4 Future?
There is only one T4 model.

Although it looks easy, that compact, virtually no-backswing forehand top spin is anything but that. It does need changing ones technique, and that can be difficult.
I play with the Barath blade :clap: with my forehand loop being rather conventional, very fast, hitting the ball at the top of the bounce with maximum wrist action at that moment, with short follow through,almost never crossing the central line, keeping the shoulders square to the table at the end of the stroke.
So, it is rather compact stroke. When I want max spin I'm keeping in mind your advice to keep the ball just in the sponge, with no bottoming out, and that works fine.
My point is, you can play forehand topspin in the usual way with the active side of the blade with very very good spin, without changing your technique much. Maybe with the compact stroke like the one in the video you can get more, but its not the only way.
After reading your posts, and haggisv's, especially the Re- Impact Blade Selection and User Guide, I'm considering the SMART blade as my next blade with conventional FH and active BH because on paper,maybe it will suit my game more.


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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 22:02 
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@a RadeB: It wasn't a simple transition for me, either. I agree it is difficult to change. The stroke itself, though, isn't, in my opinion. Its compactness makes it easy, for one thing, to time it, contacting the ball at the moment you should or want to. It also makes grazing easier. And you tend to feel better what you are doing because you are using less power and more touch; that increases the control over the stroke as such.
It is true that you can perform a conventional, that is long topspin stroke with active blades, but it only works well when you contact the ball when it is still coming up. The compact stroke will work with descending balls as well.
Funny that you should mention a possible change to the Smart: it is the blade I planned to review next! :o Yes, its forehand certainly sustains longer strokes and it produces huge amounts of spin.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 22:34 
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Kees wrote:
@a RadeB: It wasn't a simple transition for me, either. I agree it is difficult to change. The stroke itself, though, isn't, in my opinion. Its compactness makes it easy, for one thing, to time it, contacting the ball at the moment you should or want to. It also makes grazing easier. And you tend to feel better what you are doing because you are using less power and more touch; that increases the control over the stroke as such.
It is true that you can perform a conventional, that is long topspin stroke with active blades, but it only works well when you contact the ball when it is still coming up. The compact stroke will work with descending balls as well.
Funny that you should mention a possible change to the Smart: it is the blade I planned to review next! :o Yes, its forehand certainly sustains longer strokes and it produces huge amounts of spin.

Looking forward for your SMART review, although switching from my bellowed Barath to another blade is braking my heart. Its like cheating someone you love.
It sounds crazy that you connect to a blade like that! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2014, 10:35 
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Lieber Kees
vielen Dank für deinen guten Testbericht. Das T 4 ist ein spin- bis variooffensives Wettkampfholz.
Je weicher es jedoch vom Kern auf gebaut ist, umso allrounder und druckloser wird es dabei, weil die Massewirkung oder die Holzhärte fehlt, um durchschlagskraeftiger zu werden; besonders dann, wenn der Kern zu leicht wird. Da aber
viele gerne das Holz gerade wegen des geringen Gewichts lieben, kann es ihnen garl nicht leicht genug sein.
Gruss, Achim

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 Post subject: Re: Re-Impact T4 review
PostPosted: 04 Apr 2014, 19:21 
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achim wrote:
Lieber Kees
vielen Dank für deinen guten Testbericht. Das T 4 ist ein spin- bis variooffensives Wettkampfholz.
Je weicher es jedoch vom Kern auf gebaut ist, umso allrounder und druckloser wird es dabei, weil die Massewirkung oder die Holzhärte fehlt, um durchschlagskraeftiger zu werden; besonders dann, wenn der Kern zu leicht wird. Da aber
viele gerne das Holz gerade wegen des geringen Gewichts lieben, kann es ihnen garl nicht leicht genug sein.
Gruss, Achim


translation: Dear Kees, thank you for your positive review. The T4 is a blade for varied (loop-)attack. The softer it is built up from the core out, the more allround it is and the less offensive, as it lacks the mass or the hardness needed for more power; especially when the core becomes too light-weight. But as many players love the blade exactly for its low weight, it can't be light-weight enough for them. Greetings, Achim

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