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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2020, 15:30 
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Iron Pips
Iron Pips
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 22:07
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Location: Göteborg, Sweden
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Blade: TSP Balsa 8.5
FH: Galaxy Jupiter II max
BH: Barna SuperGlanti 1.6
I have had my first tries with my two new balsa blades, Spinlord Ultra Balsa V (75 gram) and TSP Balsa 8.5 (66 gram). Both are nice blades and both have a thin wooden layer over a thin carbon layer, over a thick balsa core (5.5 mm in Spinlord and 8.5 mm in TSP). TSP has a super thin outer ply and carbon layer, while the outer layer on Spinlord is a little thicker but I think harder (koto) so it has more of the feeling of a "normal" blade.

I am new to balsa but I have been using a Sword Final Strike (74 gram) lately, it has a 10 mm balsa core and a thin layer of some dark hard wood as outer ply (walnut probably) without carbon. This blade is not in production any more. I have also tried a Donic Cayman briefly.

I use balsa blade now because I am slightly injured in lower back/waist, so the lower weight and lower throw helps a lot. I use frictionless anti on BH and usually this does not work well with balsa, but Barna Original SuperGlanti works very well, at least in 1.6 mm thickness.

I have been testing them with H3-50 and Yinhe Jupiter II, with SuperGlanti 1,6 mm on BH.

In general the Spinlord behaves and feels more like a "normal" blade in most parts and you need to put more force behind the stroke for that balsa feel to kick in. But the other two blades are more to the extreme, the Spinlord is more of a normal balsa blade.


Looping: All three blades are ok in this area, some spin and arc but not as with a Stiga Clipper. But the speed when you put some preassure behind the ball is great. At the same time you can brushloop and generate a descent amount of spin to confuse your opponent. It is actually very easy to confuse opponent with these blades, especially TSP and Sword, since the amount of spin vary a lot.
Looping against back spin is rather easy but you need to be careful or the ball will go long since it has less arc. But you can also use the backspin and more or less smack the ball like a hard flip.

Countering: This is soooo fun! TSP and especially Sword are very good here. You just find the right angle and the top of the arc, and smack the ball back. It shoots like a rocket :).
With chineese tacky rubbers you can also loop back with ordinary technique, just closing the bat and looping back. But this can be is a little more tricky than with other blades since you don't get the arc.

Blocking inverted: This is also very fun but you need to block with some force. Passive blocking against high spin loops can be rather tricky since the ball tend to go long. Having a light grip or touch don't seem to help much. But if you add some speed the ball goes flat, almost like you have a SP :). This is most pronounced with Sword but also woith TSP. With Spinlord you need to work more like with a normal wooden blade.

Blocking anti: also good with a low arc as long as you time the block right. The margin for errors is not as big as with a slower blade. But when you nail the block it is very low :). This is for all three blades. But spin reversal is clerarly worse on the Spinlord blade, probably due to the harder and thicker outer ply (Koto). Sword os faster than TSP and has a little lower throw, but there may be a little better spin reversal with TSP.

Aggressive pushing anti: This is where TSP really shines. For some reason (the carbon perhaps) this strioke is more easy and effective with this blade, and the ball seeks the table on the other side (the back spin is converted to top spin in a better way than with the other blades). Sword is also good but the handle is bigger, the blade is heavier and thicker and faster, so it is mroe difficult to do the stroke and the ball does not dive as much on the other side of the table aswith TSP.

Serving: Here is Spinlord clearly better with its wooden feel and thinner blade. More spin is produced and the blade is more easy to handle. The Sword feels is a little better than TSP. I think the outer ply and the lack of carbon makes the low impact ball contact a little softer, so more spin can be imparted at serves.

Pushing: This is also an area for the Spinlord. But a slow and soft tacky rubber helps a lot here. But pushing with TSP and Sword requires a soft hand with fine adjustments, since only a little harder grip or swift movement makes the ball go long. The control in the short game with low impact can be rather ok with those blades if you have a slow, soft, tacky top sheet (H3-50). If you try to push with more speed it is easy to push too long.

All in all, I will keep the TSP for my main blade since it has almost everything I want now, with some more control than the Sword. The Sword is more fun to use, but when I get nervous in matches I will miss too much with that blade. And the handel is not as god, the blade is thicker and it is also 9 grams heavier (makes a little difference). So it will be my back up for a while, or I may use it against some opponents. The Spinlord Balsa is a very nice blade but not for me, since it does not work with these anti's.

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My blog: Def-attack's attempts to find balance between defence/attack | Serving techniques and strategy section


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 16:58 
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Iron Pips
Iron Pips
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 22:07
Posts: 4131
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Has thanked: 646 times
Been thanked: 459 times
Blade: TSP Balsa 8.5
FH: Galaxy Jupiter II max
BH: Barna SuperGlanti 1.6
After one more session, mostly with TSP but also anfew minutes with Sword, I can say that there is a rather big difference between them. Sword is overall faster and has a lower throw, bit still a rather soft feeling at low impact. Too bad this blade was not.made with a slightly thinner balsa core. Blocking and countering with.that blade is fantastic.

But the TSP is very good and had nice control and the spin reversal when blocking with SuperGlanti is just great.

I still need to find the right FH rubber for it and I need to practice those basic strokes. Tonight I will try an old H3 on it, and work on my loop against back spin.

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My blog: Def-attack's attempts to find balance between defence/attack | Serving techniques and strategy section


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