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new BBC blades

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Printed Date: 12/17/2017 at 2:27pm


Topic: new BBC blades
Posted By: arg0
Subject: new BBC blades
Date Posted: 05/18/2012 at 7:00pm
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/onyx - Onyx Sinister , with carbon outers
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/ultra-blue-streak - ULTRA Blue Streak
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/ramin-cross - Ramin Cross , an updated Fiddler
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/AllAround - All Around , improved and still $35

Edit: added a second third fourth new blade.


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Nexy Arche & Nittaku Violin LG.
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Replies:
Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: 05/19/2012 at 12:01am
I have tried several of Charlie's prototype blades with carbon outer plies and I think this is one of them.  It takes a little getting used to due to really hard outer carbon plies.  However, once you get used to it, it offers some very interesting possibilities.  It makes the overall bat not especially sensitive to incoming spin, so service return is a little easier and you do not have change things around too much when blocking.  However, on longer strokes, it allows the rubber to make quite a bit of spin of its own.

The blade Charlie ultimately made for me has some of the similar characteristics although the construction is a little different.  Now that I am used to it, it is an absolute joy to play with.

ILya


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Stiga Allround Bengtsson circa 1970s
FH: Yinhe Big Diper, 40deg, Red
BH: Tibhar MX-S, max, black


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/19/2012 at 2:10pm
Ultra Blue Streak looks very interesting. I am not sure if I need an OFF+/OFF blade... I guess I'd rather have an OFF/OFF- one but this is something worth trying out.

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Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: Carryboy
Date Posted: 05/19/2012 at 2:13pm
Jimt is this blade on BBc website???

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Spin Master Carbo Power (Stefan Elsner Custom)
Donic Acuda S1 Max
Donic Acuda P1 Blue Max


Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/20/2012 at 10:50am
There are actually four new BBC blades that were just added to their website:

http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/ultra-blue-streak - ULTRA Blue Streak
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/onyx - ONYX Synister
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/ramin-cross - Ramin Cross
http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/AllAround - All Around

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http://www.bladesbycharlie.com" rel="nofollow - BBC Ghost, TSP Spinpips RED, Talon OX


Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/20/2012 at 5:43pm
Indeed, it looks like Charlie is adding new blades every day.
Today he replaced Fiddler with Ramin Cross.
BTW, the All Around was already there, he just changed the text.


-------------
Nexy Arche & Nittaku Violin LG.
Join the forum_posts.asp?TID=47778" rel="nofollow - Nexy Clan !
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Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/20/2012 at 11:27pm
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

BTW, the All Around was already there, he just changed the text.
The wood plys are completely different. The new AA is a much higher performance blade than the old African Cherry-based blade. If you can't see the Specs grid using IE8 or IE9, try Chrome or Firefox. I'm adjusting the website so it will work in the IE's as well.

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http://www.bladesbycharlie.com" rel="nofollow - BBC Ghost, TSP Spinpips RED, Talon OX


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 1:08pm
Onyx looks really sinister... Wink

Is that the first blade ever with carbon layer as an outer? does the glue hold the rubbers well on such a surface?


-------------
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 1:19pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Onyx looks really sinister... Wink

Is that the first blade ever with carbon layer as an outer? does the glue hold the rubbers well on such a surface?

Carbon fiber has enough texture to it that I saw no problems with rubbers peeling off.

ILya


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Stiga Allround Bengtsson circa 1970s
FH: Yinhe Big Diper, 40deg, Red
BH: Tibhar MX-S, max, black


Posted By: Liquid Sky
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 4:49pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Is that the first blade ever with carbon layer as an outer?


Probably because carbon fibre is only legal within the blade to reinforce the glue layer!


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http://nebula-blades.jimdo.com/ - Nebula Custom Blades - Antique Wood
XIOM - Vega Pro (2,0 mm)


Posted By: koshkin
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 5:00pm
Originally posted by Liquid Sky Liquid Sky wrote:

Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Is that the first blade ever with carbon layer as an outer?


Probably because carbon fibre is only legal within the blade to reinforce the glue layer!

That is what I always thought, but apparently there is no rule that says that the carbon layers can not be on the outside od the blade.

ILya


-------------
Stiga Allround Bengtsson circa 1970s
FH: Yinhe Big Diper, 40deg, Red
BH: Tibhar MX-S, max, black


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 5:00pm
Originally posted by Liquid Sky Liquid Sky wrote:

Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Is that the first blade ever with carbon layer as an outer?


Probably because carbon fibre is only legal within the blade to reinforce the glue layer!


There are no ITTF rules that say that non-wood layers must be inside the blade.

Generally the synthetic fiber layers are not outers because they are very thin and therefore quite vulnerable to the small dents and scratches.


-------------
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: Liquid Sky
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 5:08pm
Originally posted by http://www.ittf.com/ittf_handbook/hb.asp?s_number=2 http://www.ittf.com/ittf_handbook/hb.asp?s_number=2 wrote:

2.04.02  At least 85% of the blade by thickness shall be of natural wood; an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller.


For me the ittf rule no 2.04.02 clearly says, what i just wrote in my previous post.
 




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http://nebula-blades.jimdo.com/ - Nebula Custom Blades - Antique Wood
XIOM - Vega Pro (2,0 mm)


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 5:28pm
Somewhere I got the impression that this ITTF rule was why Bttfly had to stop selling their Kreanga Tamca carbon, which was basically the same as the Ishlion except it had some sort of strange silver paint on the blade surface.  I am not sure, though, where I heard that.  Maybe it is an urban legend?  (The thing was unplayable).


Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 5:38pm
Rule 2.04.02 says adhesive can be reinforced, it does not say anything about outer layers, so the rule alone is not sufficient. However, according to Technical Leaflet T4
Originally posted by Technical Leaflet T4, page 4, section A, 1.1 Technical Leaflet T4, page 4, section A, 1.1 wrote:

A very thin layer of lacquer is permitted on the blade, only for the purpose of anchoring wood fibers, thereby facilitating replacement of the covering. Anything more than this will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted. This layer may be no more than 0.1 mm thick, and should not hide the wood from sight or touch. It is considered to be part of the blade, rather than part of the thickness of the covering.

So the ITTF understands rule 2.04.02 as indirectly requiring the outer layers to be wood, although this is not explicitly written.


-------------
Nexy Arche & Nittaku Violin LG.
Join the forum_posts.asp?TID=47778" rel="nofollow - Nexy Clan !
Also member of Violin & 1-Ply clans.


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/21/2012 at 7:15pm
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

Rule 2.04.02 says adhesive can be reinforced, it does not say anything about outer layers, so the rule alone is not sufficient. However, according to Technical Leaflet T4
Originally posted by Technical Leaflet T4, page 4, section A, 1.1 Technical Leaflet T4, page 4, section A, 1.1 wrote:

A very thin layer of lacquer is permitted on the blade, only for the purpose of anchoring wood fibers, thereby facilitating replacement of the covering. Anything more than this will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted. This layer may be no more than 0.1 mm thick, and should not hide the wood from sight or touch. It is considered to be part of the blade, rather than part of the thickness of the covering.

So the ITTF understands rule 2.04.02 as indirectly requiring the outer layers to be wood, although this is not explicitly written.


I haven't read that before. That seems to imply that outer carbon layer is prohibited. However it can be taken as being applicable ONLY to the lacquer finish.

Also this is not the law but its interpretation. I am not sure if T4 has to be considered absolute when an umpire is supposed to rule on whether Onyx is a legal blade or not.

I think Charlie should consult umpire Pavol Kovac from Stump-the-Ump on USATT site.

http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml - http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml


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Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: iamwardicus
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 7:00am
What happened to the Carboflex Alpha? :-p


Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 3:01pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:


I haven't read that before. That seems to imply that outer carbon layer is prohibited. However it can be taken as being applicable ONLY to the lacquer finish.

Also this is not the law but its interpretation. I am not sure if T4 has to be considered absolute when an umpire is supposed to rule on whether Onyx is a legal blade or not.

I think Charlie should consult umpire Pavol Kovac from Stump-the-Ump on USATT site.

http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml - http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml

Good advice, I'd also like some light to be shed on the issue.



-------------
Nexy Arche & Nittaku Violin LG.
Join the forum_posts.asp?TID=47778" rel="nofollow - Nexy Clan !
Also member of Violin & 1-Ply clans.


Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 3:02pm
Originally posted by iamwardicus iamwardicus wrote:

What happened to the Carboflex Alpha? :-p

Yes, removed temporarily as the photos I had no longer matched the CFA's new outer skins which are no longer Birch. CW needs to get it (and one or two other new blades) re-shot at the photographer's studio.. hopefully soon.

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http://www.bladesbycharlie.com" rel="nofollow - BBC Ghost, TSP Spinpips RED, Talon OX


Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 3:11pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

I think Charlie should consult umpire Pavol Kovac from Stump-the-Ump on USATT site. http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml - http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml
Pavol Kovac doesn't appear to have made an entry on that page in over six years. CW recently told me that the ONYX was shown on different occasions to five USATT umpires in the Los Angeles area and each said it was legal.

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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 3:30pm
Doesn't mean they know the rules, sadly.


Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 3:35pm
Baal, this is the whole point of discussion: as far as I could read, the rules alone do not explicitly prohibit non-wood outers.

-------------
Nexy Arche & Nittaku Violin LG.
Join the forum_posts.asp?TID=47778" rel="nofollow - Nexy Clan !
Also member of Violin & 1-Ply clans.


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 3:45pm
Originally posted by nathanso nathanso wrote:

Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

I think Charlie should consult umpire Pavol Kovac from Stump-the-Ump on USATT site. http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml - http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml
Pavol Kovac doesn't appear to have made an entry on that page in over six years. CW recently told me that the ONYX was shown on different occasions to five USATT umpires in the Los Angeles area and each said it was legal.


True - but when I posted a question there, he contacted me immediately the very next day - so his email works and he is watching the website.


-------------
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 6:38pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

True - but when I posted a question there, he contacted me immediately the very next day - so his email works and he is watching the website.
OK, I just emailed him. If he replies I'll post it here (with his permission.)

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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 11:20pm
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

Baal, this is the whole point of discussion: as far as I could read, the rules alone do not explicitly prohibit non-wood outers.


My point is that it seems not to be a controversial issue at all and not really worth discussing at length -- not if you actually read the relevant documents, not just rules, but more recent technical leaflets.  The ITTF Technical Leafet 4   was issued by ITTF for the following purpose, as stated in its introduction:  "This leaflet sets out the current Laws and Regulations, defines some of the terms used and lists some additional criteria for ITTF authorisation of racket coverings and thereafter entering the List of Authorised Racket Coverings (LARC)."

In other words, it's purpose is to clarify some points that may have not been entirely clear in the original wording laid out in The Laws of Table Tennis and the Regulations for International Competitions.  It is an amendment to these rules.  Technical Leaflet states "A very thin layer of lacquer is permitted on the blade, only for the purpose of anchoring wood fibers, thereby facilitating replacement of the racket covering. Anything more than this will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted. This layer may be no more than 0.1 mm thick, and should not hide the wood from sight or touch.'  [emphasis added].

I don't know how thick the carbon layer is on the outside of Charlie's blade, but one thing that is obvious from the picture of the blade is that this external carbon layer hides the wood from sight.  And the wood has to be visible and its grain should be palpable.  Also, carbon is not lacquer.  Also, it seems clear that the purpose of this layer is not simply to protect the wood, but it gives it an unusual playing style, which was noted by people reviewing the blade.

Therefore, based on current ITTF official documents, these blades are illegal.  The fact that some referees in California may not have known about this technical leaflet does not make the blades legal.  There is no ambiguity in this.   

You can find this leaflet here:  http://www.ittf.com/stories/pictures/T4_Racket%20Coverings_BoD2011.pdf 


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/22/2012 at 11:36pm
If you search Kreanga Carbon blade here at MyTT you will find several threads about the Kreanga Carbon blade being banned for violating this same rule.  Butterfly in Korea actually gave refunds to people who had purchased that blade.  I'm not sure what Butterfly USA ever did about that.


Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 1:47am
Baal,
hope you didn't take the comment personally. I just intended to point at what is imo a shortcoming of the ITTF rules, taken in isolation, in that they indeed to not require the outer layers to be made of wood. Maybe you had noticed that I pointed to the same passage of technical leaflet T4 in my post above. However, as many players are likely not aware of the T4, doubt arises.

Are these ITTF leaflets "legally" binding? If so, I am very surprised that umpires may not be aware of them. But then again I don't know the USATT. Maybe they have their own rules and are not bound by the ITTF. Or maybe they're just bound by the ITTF rules and not by the content of other material such as technical leaflets. Anyone can shed some light?


-------------
Nexy Arche & Nittaku Violin LG.
Join the forum_posts.asp?TID=47778" rel="nofollow - Nexy Clan !
Also member of Violin & 1-Ply clans.


Posted By: emihet
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 2:53am
and i was trying to get ready of some blades... and now i am waiting for a few more blades from Charlie

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Stiga Clipper Wood,Butterfly Power Drive, Viscaria,
CUSTOM: BBC, PALATINUS, ROSS, BORKO


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 11:07am
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

Baal,
hope you didn't take the comment personally. I just intended to point at what is imo a shortcoming of the ITTF rules, taken in isolation, in that they indeed to not require the outer layers to be made of wood. Maybe you had noticed that I pointed to the same passage of technical leaflet T4 in my post above. However, as many players are likely not aware of the T4, doubt arises.

Are these ITTF leaflets "legally" binding? If so, I am very surprised that umpires may not be aware of them. But then again I don't know the USATT. Maybe they have their own rules and are not bound by the ITTF. Or maybe they're just bound by the ITTF rules and not by the content of other material such as technical leaflets. Anyone can shed some light?


arg0

No, I certainly didn't take it personally, not at all.  The rules in the leaflet are binding from the ITTF point of view.  I completely agree that their writing is often opaque.  I also suspect that their leadership is corrupt, but that is another discussion.  I am not entirely surprised that some umpires would not know this, it would rarely arise.  I had to go look it up, and I did remember that Butterfly had to ditch their Kreanga Carbon blade for the same reason.


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 11:39am
Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

Baal,
hope you didn't take the comment personally. I just intended to point at what is imo a shortcoming of the ITTF rules, taken in isolation, in that they indeed to not require the outer layers to be made of wood. Maybe you had noticed that I pointed to the same passage of technical leaflet T4 in my post above. However, as many players are likely not aware of the T4, doubt arises.

Are these ITTF leaflets "legally" binding? If so, I am very surprised that umpires may not be aware of them. But then again I don't know the USATT. Maybe they have their own rules and are not bound by the ITTF. Or maybe they're just bound by the ITTF rules and not by the content of other material such as technical leaflets. Anyone can shed some light?


Is there an actual ITTF rule (or anything which was voted on by ITTF General Assembly) which states that the technical leaflets are "the law"?

I understand the need for technical interpretation of some of the less obvious rules - therefore the need for TLs, but how exactly they are binding if they are not voted on?

A bunch of bureaucrats and technical people write them (based on some technical ideas I hope) but then what? do these texts become laws by default? how?

That would be a good question for Pavol Kovac as well.


-------------
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 12:56pm
I have no idea if it was actually voted on by general assembly or if it even has to be, but it had enough force of authority for Butterfly to discontinue a blade that some people liked (I thought it was truly awful) -- and for Butterfly Korea to refund customer's money.    


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 1:04pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

I have no idea if it was actually voted on by general assembly or if it even has to be, but it had enough force of authority for Butterfly to discontinue a blade that some people liked (I thought it was truly awful) -- and for Butterfly Korea to refund customer's money.    


Well, commercial entities often make decisions based not on fully formalized documents but on general guidelines - so as to not to lose customers.


-------------
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 1:38pm
In any case, the Laws of Table Tennis (which were approved) state that "an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller," [emphasis added].  The technical leaflet is simply making that point clear.  Within is not the same thing as on the surface.  Just to make sure, I checked the laws of table tennis in French to see if maybe ITTF was more clear in that language.  And voila:  "une couche de matière adhésive à l’intérieur de la palette peut être renforcée par une matière fibreuse telle que fibre de carbone".

This says that a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket can be reinforced by a fibrous material such as carbon fiber.  Again, interior is not the surface. 

There just doesn't seem to be any sustainable argument  that the Onyx blades are legal in the eyes of ITTF.   


Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 1:56pm
With more research I have discovered that the Technical Leaflets were voted on and approved by the ITTF Executive Committee at a meeting held on May 12, 2011.

See agenda point 11.  http://www.ittf.com/museum/archivesnewproto/BoD/2011%20BoD%20minutes%20final.pdf


Posted By: AndySmith
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 2:27pm
As I see it, there are two main bits of regulation that people are working with here.  The first is the one that deals with "a very thin layer of lacquer" being constituted as "plastic" if too thick.  JimT sorts out this one below:
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Originally posted by arg0 arg0 wrote:

Rule 2.04.02 says adhesive can be reinforced, it does not say anything about outer layers, so the rule alone is not sufficient. However, according to Technical Leaflet T4
Originally posted by Technical Leaflet T4, page 4, section A, 1.1 Technical Leaflet T4, page 4, section A, 1.1 wrote:

A very thin layer of lacquer is permitted on the blade, only for the purpose of anchoring wood fibers, thereby facilitating replacement of the covering. Anything more than this will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted. This layer may be no more than 0.1 mm thick, and should not hide the wood from sight or touch. It is considered to be part of the blade, rather than part of the thickness of the covering.

So the ITTF understands rule 2.04.02 as indirectly requiring the outer layers to be wood, although this is not explicitly written.


I haven't read that before. That seems to imply that outer carbon layer is prohibited. However it can be taken as being applicable ONLY to the lacquer finish.

Also this is not the law but its interpretation. I am not sure if T4 has to be considered absolute when an umpire is supposed to rule on whether Onyx is a legal blade or not.

I think Charlie should consult umpire Pavol Kovac from Stump-the-Ump on USATT site.

http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml - http://www.usatt.org/rules/stumpump/index.shtml
I think this one is intended to stop a player using 25 coats of varnish on an existing blade, to change the playing characteristics, or to hide the wood construction.  Perhaps the spirit of this rule was aimed at the blade owner using lacquer as deception, and not a manufacturer producing some new blade construction.  Butterfly fell foul of this one with the Keranga (perhaps because the regs directly state "plastic", or because they are a big company and want to be seen to be 100% pure).
 
I would say that the Onyx is OK here, because the regs specifically say that lacquer should be used to 0.1mm thickness, and it shouldn't hide the wood.  It deals with a specific problem (lacquer), and doesn't say anything about using carbon, which is a legal material in blade construction generally (so you couldn't legally just use anything, like leather or something crazy like that).
 
The second issue is the one dealing with the reinforcement of an adhesive layer within the blade:
 
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

In any case, the Laws of Table Tennis (which were approved) state that "an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller," [emphasis added]. The technical leaflet is simply making that point clear. Within is not the same thing as on the surface. Just to make sure, I checked the laws of table tennis in French to see if maybe ITTF was more clear in that language. And voila: "une couche de matière adhésive à l’intérieur de la palette peut être renforcée par une matière fibreuse telle que fibre de carbone".

This says that a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket can be reinforced by a fibrous material such as carbon fiber. Again, interior is not the surface.

There just doesn't seem to be any sustainable argument that the Onyx blades are legal in the eyes of ITTF.
 
I take an "adhesive layer" to be the glue between plies.  The wording of this one is poor, and the Onyx walks straight through the holes.  If you have a construction like the Onyx, which might be (from outside going in):
 
Carbon
Glue
Wood
Glue
Core
 
You can argue here that the carbon is in fact reinforcing a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket.  It's reinforcing the glue directly underneath it, which can only be considered to be the interior.  Remember, the regulation says that "an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced", which we have satisfied.  It doesn't say "an adhesive layer without the blade may NOT be reinforced", which would outlaw the Onyx.  The fact that the outer layer of glue is reinforced is just a happy accident, and because we ARE in fact reinforcing an inner layer of glue, then we are OK.
 
So, the outer carbon layer isn't a lacquer, so the first bit doesn't apply, and is reinforcing an adhesive layer in the interior of the racket (the glue underneath it), so the second bit doesn't apply.
 
Of course, this is a specific interpretation of the regulations.  But if the intention was to stop a top ply of carbon, then they aren't worded correctly at all, and until they deal with that then I can't see how the Onyx could be called illegal.


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This was a great signature until I realised it was overrated.


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 3:31pm
1.1. Blade
A very thin layer of lacquer is permitted on the blade, only for the purpose of anchoring wood fibers, thereby facilitating replacement of the racket covering. Anything more than this will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted. This layer may be no more than 0.1 mm thick, and should not hide the wood from sight or touch. It is considered to be part of the blade, rather than part of the thickness of the racket covering.

This section seems to be devoted ONLY to the question of how thick can the layer of lacquer (finish) be. Formally speaking, it is not applicable to carbon/fiber outer layer.

However, the phrasing of will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted is a bit strange, since it refers to to an idea that an outer layer of plastic is obviously illegal, which is not really true since it is not prohibited anywhere else (like in the Rules).

Although, perhaps some other technical leaflet deals with it?


-------------
Single Ply Hinoki Club, Founding Member
Say "no!" to expensive table tennis equipment. Please...


Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 7:58pm
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

[...]The second issue is the one dealing with the reinforcement of an adhesive layer within the blade:
 
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

In any case, the Laws of Table Tennis (which were approved) state that "an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller," [emphasis added]. The technical leaflet is simply making that point clear. Within is not the same thing as on the surface. Just to make sure, I checked the laws of table tennis in French to see if maybe ITTF was more clear in that language. And voila: "une couche de matière adhésive à l’intérieur de la palette peut être renforcée par une matière fibreuse telle que fibre de carbone".

This says that a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket can be reinforced by a fibrous material such as carbon fiber. Again, interior is not the surface.

There just doesn't seem to be any sustainable argument that the Onyx blades are legal in the eyes of ITTF.
 
I take an "adhesive layer" to be the glue between plies.  The wording of this one is poor, and the Onyx walks straight through the holes.  If you have a construction like the Onyx, which might be (from outside going in):
 
Carbon
Glue
Wood
Glue
Core
 
You can argue here that the carbon is in fact reinforcing a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket.  It's reinforcing the glue directly underneath it, which can only be considered to be the interior.  Remember, the regulation says that "an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced", which we have satisfied.  It doesn't say "an adhesive layer without the blade may NOT be reinforced", which would outlaw the Onyx.  The fact that the outer layer of glue is reinforced is just a happy accident, and because we ARE in fact reinforcing an inner layer of glue, then we are OK.
[...]

Just for the sake of discussion, in your argument the question arises whether a blade with an outer layer of glue would be legal. I suppose yes, and that it would be considered a lacquer.
In any case, according to the rule you cited, it is allowed to reinforce an adhesive layer within the blade. However, the glue layer under the carbon layer is only within the blade after you have reinforced it. Ergo, as I see it, you're not allowed to reinforce it unless it's already within the blade before reinforcement.


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Posted By: Liquid Sky
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 10:29pm
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

 
I take an "adhesive layer" to be the glue between plies.  The wording of this one is poor, and the Onyx walks straight through the holes.  If you have a construction like the Onyx, which might be (from outside going in):
 
Carbon
Glue
Wood
Glue
Core
 
You can argue here that the carbon is in fact reinforcing a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket...

This is a creative argumentation, but it is oviously wrong.

Yous seem not to know how carbonfibre layers work. The carbon fibre themselves are fabric like and soft. Therefore they are not reinforcing anything in that state.

Carbon layers as we know them from table tennis blades only work as a strong material if they are in a matrix (that means they are surrounded by) with the glue (Epoxy). That is why carbon is actually called carbon fibre reinforced plastics.

Therefore the layering is:
glue ( epoxy)
carbon fibre
glue (epoxy)
wood...

This clearly means that the glue/carbon layer is not within the blade.

If carbon fibre reinforced plastics would be legal on the top of blades, off course the table tennis companies would allready make blades like charlie's, since it looks very nice!


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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 11:13pm
The technical leaflet adopted by ITTF says that the carbon fibers have to be on the interior of the blade and also that you have to be able to see and feel the wood on the outside.  Charlie's Onyx, and the earlier Butterfly Kreanga Carbon violate both of those.  Also, carbon fiber is not lacquer.


Posted By: Rich215
Date Posted: 05/23/2012 at 11:56pm
Originally posted by Liquid Sky Liquid Sky wrote:

 
The carbon fibre themselves are fabric like and soft. Therefore they are not reinforcing anything in that state.

Carbon layers as we know them from table tennis blades only work as a strong material if they are in a matrix (that means they are surrounded by) with the glue (Epoxy). That is why carbon is actually called carbon fibre reinforced plastics.

 


WOW someone on here actually knows what carbon fibre is.  Thumbs Up    


Yes and you are so correct.....if you were allowed to use a material other than wood as the outer ply on a blade.....dont you think many manufactures would be using something other than wood in the past several years?    Funny how it took so much discussion about this BBC carbon outer being legal or illegal.


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Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 2:11am
Well, the argument that the companies know better is not 100% convincing. If you were a company, how much money would you be willing to invest in developing a blade which some umpires may declare illegal because the rule are not clear?
I would wait until another company comes out with it and it's legality is recognised by the ITTF.
Butterfly made the Kreanga Carbon and then withdrew it. They made/make blades with Bamboo outers (which technically is a grass, not wood), but they never became popular. Probably because players themselves are not willing to spend money on a product which may or may not break the rules...


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Posted By: AndySmith
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 3:39am
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

The technical leaflet adopted by ITTF says that the carbon fibers have to be on the interior of the blade and also that you have to be able to see and feel the wood on the outside.  Charlie's Onyx, and the earlier Butterfly Kreanga Carbon violate both of those.  Also, carbon fiber is not lacquer.
 
Does the technical leaflet say anything about the use of carbon as an outer play?  I can only see:

A very thin layer of lacquer is permitted on the blade, only for the purpose of anchoring wood fibers, thereby facilitating replacement of the racket covering. Anything more than this will be deemed to constitute a layer of plastic, and will not be permitted. This layer may be no more than 0.1 mm thick, and should not hide the wood from sight or touch.

So there is a very clear rule here about the use of lacquer on the blade.  If you use lacquer, it must be very thin.  If the lacquer is too thick, it will not be permitted.  If the lacquer is used, it should not hide the wood from sight or touch.  Lacquer, lacquer, lacquer.
 
Carbon fibre, as you say, is not lacquer, so none of this applies to carbon.
 
This is one of those times that I wish the intent and spirit of the rule was part of the leaflet.  I read this section as a specific rule to stop people using a build-up of lacquer to change the playing characteristics.  IF the ITTF had meant to stop the use of carbon as an outer ply, why isn't there a section dealing with it specifically?  All they had to say was "no carbon top ply, please", or even better, "the top ply MUST be wood".  Instead, you get this lacquer-orientated stuff, so I interpet it as lacquer-orientated.  If you interpet it as "they talk about lacquer, but really they meant ANYTHING", then I think you're making a leap.
 
From an english language perspective, they say "this layer" "should not hide the wood".  The use of "this layer" is a specific term, related to the earlier use of "a very think layer of lacquer".  It would have been so easy to be incredibly definitive about this by simply saying "an outer layer should not hide the wood", or better still, "any outer layer should not hide the wood".  But instead they say "this layer".
 
If the intent was to make sure only wood can be used as a top ply, then this is worded all wrong.  If the intent is to deal with a specific issue (the build-up of lacquer), then it works, and you are expanding its meaning to cover carbon outer plies, which may not be within the spirit of this regulation.  Without knowing the intent, I feel we are guessing, and that in itself is a sign of a badly-worded rule.  The fact that several match officials have already said it's OK to use is even more of a sign.


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Posted By: AndySmith
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 4:09am
Originally posted by Liquid Sky Liquid Sky wrote:

Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

 
I take an "adhesive layer" to be the glue between plies.  The wording of this one is poor, and the Onyx walks straight through the holes.  If you have a construction like the Onyx, which might be (from outside going in):
 
Carbon
Glue
Wood
Glue
Core
 
You can argue here that the carbon is in fact reinforcing a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket...

This is a creative argumentation, but it is oviously wrong.

Yous seem not to know how carbonfibre layers work. The carbon fibre themselves are fabric like and soft. Therefore they are not reinforcing anything in that state.

Carbon layers as we know them from table tennis blades only work as a strong material if they are in a matrix (that means they are surrounded by) with the glue (Epoxy). That is why carbon is actually called carbon fibre reinforced plastics.

Therefore the layering is:
glue ( epoxy)
carbon fibre
glue (epoxy)
wood...

This clearly means that the glue/carbon layer is not within the blade.

If carbon fibre reinforced plastics would be legal on the top of blades, off course the table tennis companies would allready make blades like charlie's, since it looks very nice!
My interpretation of the rules doesn't need to take into account how carbon fibres work in blades (although your information was informative, many thanks).  Here is your layering (with added numbers for reference):
 
1 - glue ( epoxy)
2 - carbon fibre
3 - glue (epoxy)
4 - wood...
 
Is the carbon (layer 2) reinforcing a layer of adhesive material in the interior of the racket (layer 3)?  I say yes.  So this configuration satisfies the regulation, does it not?
 
When you say:
 
This clearly means that the glue/carbon layer is not within the blade.
 
Are you saying that layer 3 isn't in the interior of the racket?  Are you saying that layers 1,2 and 3 are floating around in space, held in some magnetic field, not quite touching layer 4?  The regs stuffer from not being specific enough here.  The Onyx (for example) isn't considered a wood blade with some carbon stuck on top - it's considered a blade.  One distinct item.  This will always mean that, as soon as you stick a layer of carbon on the top (in manufacturing), it is immediately part of the blade as a whole, and will therefore immediately be reinforcing the adhesive layer below it.  The rules are written in a stupid way which allows this technicality, IMO.
 
As for the argument that "everyone would be making them", well that's just guesswork on your part.  Who knows why manufacturers aren't doing this as the norm?  Here are some other guesses.  Perhaps the blades play like dogs?  Perhaps it's difficult to produce a carbon top ply which doesn't crack easily?  Perhaps they haven't had the creative urge to do it?  Perhaps they shy away from anything too radical or new, because it would only appeal to a small percentage of the public?  Perhaps they look at the rules, and decide it's not worth the risk because they are vague?
 
And by the way, the Onyx isn't the first blade to do this fibre outer layer thing:
 
http://www.tabletennisdb.com/blade/tibhar-black-carbon.html - http://www.tabletennisdb.com/blade/tibhar-black-carbon.html
 
http://www.palio.co/en/palio/pblade/outerfiber.html - http://www.palio.co/en/palio/pblade/outerfiber.html
 
You want to get in touch with Palio and Tibhar to let them know?  :-)
 
Anyway, it would be really easy for the ITTF to put a "top ply wood only" rule in.  One which is unambiguous, and doesn't cloud the issue with lacquers or adhesive layers.  But there isn't one at the moment, and unless we get an official answer back from the ITTF, it's just one interpretation of the rules verses another one.


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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 11:56am
Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

 
 
Does the technical leaflet say anything about the use of carbon as an outer ply? 


The technical bulletin that is now an official rule (after May 2011) states that you have to be able to see and feel wood on the outside of the racket!  How much more clearly do they have to state it? 


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 12:06pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

 
 
Does the technical leaflet say anything about the use of carbon as an outer ply? 


The technical bulletin that is now an official rule (after May 2011) states that you have to be able to see and feel wood on the outside of the racket!  How much more clearly do they have to state it? 


Sorry but it doesn't do that. Clearly it mentions it only for the purpose of discussing how thick can the layer of lacquer/finish be. It's a conditional cause which implies (indirectly) that the rule is formally applicable only in that particular case.

If the people responsible for the rules wanted to tell us that the outer layer must be wood - then believe me, they would have told us exactly that.


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Posted By: AndySmith
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 12:22pm
Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

Originally posted by AndySmith AndySmith wrote:

 
 
Does the technical leaflet say anything about the use of carbon as an outer ply? 


The technical bulletin that is now an official rule (after May 2011) states that you have to be able to see and feel wood on the outside of the racket!  How much more clearly do they have to state it? 


Sorry but it doesn't do that. Clearly it mentions it only for the purpose of discussing how thick can the layer of lacquer/finish be. It's a conditional cause which implies (indirectly) that the rule is formally applicable only in that particular case.

If the people responsible for the rules wanted to tell us that the outer layer must be wood - then believe me, they would have told us exactly that.
 
What he said.
 
I'm hoping that most of this banter is taking place because everyone wants clarity on the rules.  I certainly do.  For myself, I like the idea of independent blade makers experimenting with new and interesting ideas.  I understand some rules are there to prevent deception (superglue on long pips), or madness (using a pork chop instead of a rubber), but I can't see why having an outer ply of carbon would be a bad thing, or something to rule against, or something "unfair" at all.
 
Regardless, the legality of something like Onyx isn't as obvious as it should be, and I hope that someone with an ITTF hat on can clarify things.


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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 1:29pm
OK, let's review. 

1.  Laws of Table Tennis says that carbon or other non-wood materials have to be within the blade (in the interior as it was written in French).  This means that the non-wood layers cannot be on the surface.  The surface is not the interior.  There cannot be any ambiguity about what this means. 

2. Apparently it was brought to ITTF's attention that people like to put a layer of varnish or lacquer protective coating so pieces of wood don't come off when rubbers are changed.  Because lacquer or varnish layers could have been interpreted as an external layer of non-wood, and ITTF did not want to outlaw blade sealing, to clarify things, the technical bulletin 4 says that if you use a lacquer layer "only for the purpose of anchoring the wood fibers" it can't be so thick that the wood becomes invisible or non-touchable.  This does not somehow mean that a carbon layer on the surface designed to produce an unusual playing characteristic can suddenly become legal.

3.  As a result, Butterfly stopped selling a blade named after a popular player very shortly after it came out, and the Korean branch of that company provided refunds to people who had bought it and then couldn't use it in competition.

Now, the arguments against this view have taken various forms.  One was that ITTF must never have voted on the technical bulletin, so it couldn't be a real rule.  Turns out they did (I provided a link above).  The latest argument is that if the technical bulletin had meant to outlaw external carbon layers it would have said so. However it didn't need to say so because the rules of table tennis already outlawed it. 

And then there was the argument that "within" somehow (I'm not sure how) could mean on the surface, except that in French it reads interior, which really cannot mean surface.

I understand people want do defend small custom blade makers.  Fact is, when I was a junior in the 1970s, I played with a blade that Charlie made for me!  Long long ago, back in the midwest.  At least one top player I know used to love the old Asti blade that Charlie designed.  But this particular blade (Onyx) can't be used legally in sanctioned events.


Posted By: AndySmith
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 1:45pm
Baal,

Can you quote the law you refer to in point 1 of your post above?

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Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 1:52pm
Originally posted by nathanso nathanso wrote:

Originally posted by JimT JimT wrote:

True - but when I posted a question there, he contacted me immediately the very next day - so his email works and he is watching the website.
OK, I just emailed him. If he replies I'll post it here (with his permission.)
Pavol "Stump the Ump" Kovac answered my inquiry almost immediately. In fact, we exchanged five emails on the topic yesterday alone. Unfortunately, Kovac's replies did not directly address my question of the blade's legality no matter how I struggled to rephrase it.

I asked him if I could reproduce our email thread here but he has yet to respond to that (perhaps I've finally stumped the ump?!)

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Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 3:49pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:


3.  As a result, Butterfly stopped selling a blade named after a popular player very shortly after it came out, and the Korean branch of that company provided refunds to people who had bought it and then couldn't use it in competition.


Butterfly stopped selling Kreanga Carbon exactly because the surface was covered by a opaque layer of finish/lacquer and that is exactly what the rule in TL-4 says; it has nothing to do with legality of a carbon fiber (plastic) outer layer

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:


1.  Laws of Table Tennis says that carbon or other non-wood materials have to be within the blade (in the interior as it was written in French).  This means that the non-wood layers cannot be on the surface.  The surface is not the interior.  There cannot be any ambiguity about what this means. 


It could be that the rules are not translated into French properly. Here is 2.4.2

2.04.02  At least 85% of the blade by thickness shall be of natural wood; an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller.

From formal logical point of view it is absolutely clear that it describes a restriction on adhesive layer which must be within the blade, not a restriction on a fiber layer. It also states that the same adhesive layer cannot be thicker than 7.5% or 0.35 mm etc. - again it applies to adhesive layer, not to a fiber layer.

Example: if you see an airline rule stating that "a minor below age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old" it is clear that it is a requirement for minors, not for adults. It doesn't follow from that rule that an adult is someone who must be at least 21 year old; he could be 18 or 20, and that rule will NOT be applicable to that person, he will not be treated as a minor.


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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 7:35pm
We are going around in circles now so this will be my last post on the subject.  I will never convince you that the blades are illegal, because you keep coming up with objections that strike me as far-fetched.  It seems to me absolutely obvious what the intent and meaning of these rules are, so we have to agree to disagree.  I leave this thread reminding you again that Technical Bulletin 4 states that the wood grain must be seen and felt from the outside of the blade.  You will probably respond that this only refers to the case when somebody is using a sealer.   


Posted By: fatt
Date Posted: 05/24/2012 at 7:38pm
I think we should ask Adham; he'd be happy to ask his staff to give us a clear answer.

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Posted By: nathanso
Date Posted: 05/25/2012 at 12:33am
Enough time has now passed that I don't think Pavol "Stump the Ump" Kovac intends to respond to my request to reproduce our emails here on MyTT, which I will not do without his permission. So you will have to make do with my paraphrasing of his replies. My portions are reproduced verbatim, and each entry represents a separate short email:

=================
nathanso to ump: > What's your ruling on the legality of this blade? http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/onyx

ump to nathanso: The covering is illegal because it has no ITTF logo.

nathanson to ump: The image is of a blade only; it has no covering attached. Read the blade's description to understand why it's black, or click this link for a close-up image: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B4x4PLaAx0k1aUpvTVRhd2Y1cVE

ump to nathanso: As pictured, without an approved covering, it's illegal.

nathanso to ump: Please allow me to rephrase my question: Would this blade be legal with proper ITTF-approved red and black racket coverings applied to its two sides?

ump to nathanso: The close-up images shows the blade to have pimples which is illegal. Cites 2.4.1 and 2.4.5 of the Laws of TT.

nathanso to ump: I can assure you that the surface of the blade is glass-smooth; smoother and flatter than any wood-faced blade. Woven carbon fiber sometimes creates the illusion of a 3D appearance.

ump to nathanso: Then what's your worry? Why do you think it's illegal?

nathanso to ump: Some players, after reading Technical Leaflet T4, Page 2, Chapter A, section 1.1, have questioned whether a blade's topmost surface can be other than wood or a thin coating of lacquer.

ump to nathanso: Don't worry abou that. Cites Laws of TT 2.4.2. Goes on to comment that, with regards to the 7.5% limit on non-wood material, that nobody is going to dissect my blade to measure. States that many players apply their own sealers to prevent splintering when rubbers are removed, and that that's OK. States that it's the blade manufacturer's responsibility to make blades that comply with the rules, and that those that don't and are found out risk damaged reputations.
=================

How do you interprete that?




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Posted By: arg0
Date Posted: 05/25/2012 at 1:29am
That either he wants Charlie to get a damaged reputation or that we hit a grey zone of the tt law.

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Posted By: Brainstorm69
Date Posted: 05/25/2012 at 8:00am
My take is that he is stumped...LOL


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 05/25/2012 at 1:00pm
I can understand why Mr. Kovac misunderstood you at first - the blade might look like it already has a black(ish) rubber put on it which doesn't have ITTF logos etc etc. 

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Posted By: the_theologian
Date Posted: 05/25/2012 at 1:09pm
very kind of you JimT....
I'll take this ump's comments with a grain of salt at best

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Posted By: the_theologian
Date Posted: 05/25/2012 at 1:10pm
by the way I love the look of the Onyx and I'm intrigued what the outcome of this legality journey will be

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Posted By: the_theologian
Date Posted: 06/05/2012 at 4:18am
so I wonder if the Ramin Cross is available with a thin enough middle ply so as to make it an ALL+...

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Posted By: mhnh007
Date Posted: 06/05/2012 at 8:27am
Originally posted by the_theologian the_theologian wrote:

so I wonder if the Ramin Cross is available with a thin enough middle ply so as to make it an ALL+...

I am pretty sure he could, but knowing Charlie, he's probably tested the blade with different combination of ply thickness, and this is the best outcome for his model, so I wouldn't want to mess around with it.

I am very interested in the ONYX, I am not too concerned about it being illegal.  It does not give me any clear advantage, so I don't think it would get me disqualified in any local tournament. "BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR OPPONENT" !!! LOL.


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 06/05/2012 at 10:33am
Posted short reviews for BBC Cypress One-Ply and BBC Ultima Speed

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Posted By: Baal
Date Posted: 06/07/2012 at 7:50pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

I think we should ask Adham; he'd be happy to ask his staff to give us a clear answer.


First he has to figure out how to get a kickback.


Posted By: iamwardicus
Date Posted: 06/17/2012 at 10:56am
I know the Carboflex Alpha isn't listed on the website until the new photo gets on there, however I'm wondering what the new composition of the blade is.   Is there any way to share that tidbit of information :-p?


Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 06/17/2012 at 3:21pm
Originally posted by iamwardicus iamwardicus wrote:

I know the Carboflex Alpha isn't listed on the website until the new photo gets on there, however I'm wondering what the new composition of the blade is.   Is there any way to share that tidbit of information :-p?


Perhaps nathanso knows...


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Posted By: JimT
Date Posted: 06/17/2012 at 3:26pm
And it is still accessible directly through

http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/CarboFlex-Alpha - http://www.bladesbycharlie.com/CarboFlex-Alpha


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Posted By: iamwardicus
Date Posted: 06/17/2012 at 7:44pm
*nods* I know about the link (I've had it bookmarked for months), but in the beginning of this thread it states that it no longer has birch outer plies.  I wasn't sure what was replacing them.



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