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Is The All Wood Blade Still a Contender in the Modern Era?

08 September 2015  | Posted in: Table Tennis Equipment

The game is constantly changing and equipment companies are always trying to reach new peaks with equipment, more grip, more elasticity, more speed and spin. Rubber has been the big focus with the new ball, but what about blades? Is it necessary to upgrade blades? Will all wood blades become outdated by carbon and glass fibres and newer developments?

Stiga Clipper CR

The All Wood Blade is Here to Stay

Despite all the changes, table tennis remains to this day a control game. With such a small ball and much bigger forces imparted on it, control and touch are still incredibly important. When a player looks for a fast blade, they still show particular interest in the control ratio. This is something that all wood blades are well known for and as a result, even with much newer and upgraded blades available, a large proportion of players still opt for the all wood classic blades.

The Reliability Factor

Stiga Clipper CROne thing you can't pass up with an all wood blade is that it can achieve great control even with enhanced speed. One such blade which has been infamous for this characteristic is the Stiga Clipper CR. This blade is very popular among Chinese players and was once a favourite among the Chinese National Team and many high ranking provincial players. The Clipper is one of the most well balanced offensive blades on the market.

It is able to achieve a great level of speed for a wood blade but also masterful control and touch. The best thing about this amazing blade? The price. This blade is an absolute bargain for it's ability and reputation.

Sport Meets Artwork

Nittaku AcousticPerhaps one of the most intricately constructed blades in existence is the Nittaku Acoustic. The Acoustic has an outstanding reputation for achieving incredible touch and being a superbly balanced offensive blade. It's partner in crime the Nittaku Violin is no different. These two blades are among the leaders in effectiveness and popularity in the market for all wood blades. These blades Nittaku VIOLINare real instruments of table tennis, produced with the same lamination and production techniques as crafted string instruments. The idea? The wood's natural elasticity is preserved to offer incredible feeling. The Acoustic offers a softer feel and reasonable speed, while the Violin, slightly stiffer offers a bit more bite on the ball.


The Competition

New carbon and glass fibre alternatives are the dominant force in the market and achieve greater speeds than ever before. There are also new methods to maximise feeling, touch and control with the increased power which are improving the balance of new generation blades.

The new blades are definitely taking technology to new heights, but the speed factor still outweighs control for some players. New technology like the Stiga Carbonado series and their skewed carbon layers are taking the game to the next level.

Options, Not Necessities

At the end of the day there are a lot of options out there, but playing with an all wood blade is never going to be a disadvantage. The new generation rubbers still pair well with older classic blades to create great setups and the touch factor is still in play. The all wood blade adds a level of reliability to your game, no matter how fast your rubbers get, having a wood composite blade behind them always offers the stability required to stay relatively consistent. While they are being surpassed in speed, it doesn't mean they are slow. All wood blades can still achieve great speed. The likes of the Stiga Rosewood NCT VII is still a quick blade without the need for the added carbon boost.

So while other blades might seem like the next big thing, having a wooden blade is no disadvantage and just like some people still prefer a sheet of classic Mark V to an Evolution MX-P, there are plenty of players out there who still love their all wood blades and have built their games around them. Long live the all wood blade!