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Popularity of Inner Carbon Blades

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Rollko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11/02/2023 at 10:07pm
Hi All,

I recently noticed that many top players are using Inner Carbon blades as opposed to the faster Outer Carbon blades, (e.g. Ma Long, Ovtcharov, Franziska, Harimoto.) 

This may appear a bit counterintuitive - given that the new polyball is slower, you would expect players switching to faster outer carbon blades or even the likes of primorac carbon.

My theory is that what's going on here is focus on spin rather than speed - the bigger ball is slower, yes, but it's also harder to spin. The more woody soft compositions would allow more dwell and hence enable better spin capabilities. 

Do you think this is the main reason? Or is there anything else to it? Do you have a preference over inner or outer carbon blades and if so why? 


Edited by Rollko - 11/02/2023 at 10:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/02/2023 at 10:18pm
Since there are lots of pros using outer carbon blades and it is hard to distinguish playing style along these lines, it is quite likely these things are largely personal preference and don't yield to scientific generalizations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slowhand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/02/2023 at 11:23pm
Originally posted by Rollko Rollko wrote:

My theory is that what's going on here is focus on spin rather than speed - the bigger ball is slower, yes, but it's also harder to spin. The more woody soft compositions would allow more dwell and hence enable better spin capabilities. 

Do you think this is the main reason? Or is there anything else to it? Do you have a preference over inner or outer carbon blades and if so why? 

Yes, I think getting more spin is the reason. If you listen to Ovtcharov, Apolonia or Franziska reviewing their blades with TTD Dan, that's one of the main things they talk about. I think it's Ovtcharov who says he needs an inner carbon blade to attack low balls with full force and still get them to dip onto the table. (To be fair, Timo says the same thing about his outer carbon blade in the context to explaining why he doesn't use one of the super ZLC blades). 

I used a Viscaria for years until switching to a Franziska inner carbon to get more spin. It works for me. The one thing I have more trouble doing with the Franziska is driving rather than looping third balls. As that's an important part of my game, I eventually switched to an outer carbon Freitas (like a slightly thicker Viscaria with limba instead of koto outer ply) which seems like a good compromise for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/03/2023 at 4:06am
The original justification I remember for innerforce blades was short game play tied to lower speed at softer impacts and similar fast speed at higher impacts.  Not sure how spin figures into that per se, but it is interesting that for some people it clearly seems to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/03/2023 at 12:23pm
I think every single answer is right. Composite sent closer to the core means - all other plies remaining equal - less bounce so longer dwell and more brushing action with the same stroke.

If it is true that top level players can produce more ball speed than they need with innerforce type constructions, they have no reason to have composite right under the top ply. 

Correction: if they want to, that's a good reason enough :) best is what's they feel best as long as their choice does not impair any compartment of their game.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alexuganski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/04/2023 at 2:23am
For a hobby player like me, I prefer carbon inner for better touch and feel. Any inner carbon blade I've tried (from any company) has a bit more dwell time and forgiveness for me than similar outer carbon blades. They're a happy medium between all wood and carbon outer blades.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/05/2023 at 10:12pm
I enjoy my Apolonia with various ESN and BTY rubbers very much but my years with MJ+ Palio Blit'z were fantastic too, those smashes were si slick with such easy looping, I was always coming back to it. From the MJ, pushing down the ZLC gives the Apolonia's warmer and woodier feel and it definitely absorbs a bit more of the impact hence more control.
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