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Harimoto InnerForce ALC Review

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    Posted: 04/18/2019 at 7:28pm
Bit of a long one (as I'm copying from TTD), so I'll split into 2 posts......

A few thoughts from me initially…….

The handle is a nice shape/size - Similar to the Garaydia series rather than the Timo Boll series (the TB blades are a little squarer, where as this is a bit rounder).

It could be nothing, but the Garaydia series feels a little bigger in the hand, but there really isn’t much in it and Butterfly say they are the same size.

The “wings” of the Harimoto are quite prominent - So anyone with a high grip will likely want to sand them a little.

I love the overall design, but the feeling of the blade (the actual material/wood), doesn’t feel as “premium” as the Garaydia ZLC I bought a few years ago.

That had a really smooth finish (maybe even too smooth), but just felt very very premium.

The Harimoto ALC has a similar texture to the Timo Boll ALC - A little rougher (still not rough, but rougher than the Garaydia), and it’ll likely be easier to hold on to when sweaty!

The overall weight with rubbers attached is 190 grams, which is 4 grams heavier than my Tibhar VS Unlimited (expected due to the slightly larger head).

If anyone has any questions, let me know as I’m about to play the Silver medallist from the Commonwealth Games in 1974 (see if you can guess which one!)




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2019 at 7:29pm
OK, so I’ve had a bit of a hit with it now.

Disclaimer - I pretty much went straight into the cup final (weird points system/handicap type cup), in an unfamiliar venue with terrible tables (everyone considered the tables poor).

I’ll be having a couple of proper practice sessions at the usual venue next week, so that’ll give me a better idea of where the Harimoto sits.

But….. Initial feedback. I’ll be comparing this in part to the VS Unlimited, which is what I’ve been using exclusively since September, with T05 Hard on the FH and T05 on the back hand.

Speed:

Definitely a Jekyll and Hyde bat here. One of the reasons I went for an Innerforce bat was because I don’t have problem generating power and speed myself, and wanted to really hone the short game and control aspect of the attacking game.

On blocks near the table, the Harimoto is beautiful - Very easy, very controllable and you can comfortably put a bit more of a punch if you need to.

If you are passive blocking, you may end up just putting the ball up for your opponent to kill - It’s really not that fast, and has a nice woody feel. 

If aggressive blocking, you’ll love it.

Looping was quite typical of your Butterfly ALC type blades to be honest - You lost the woody feel and it felt like a typical ALC blade - Perhaps a little less sharp, which the ALC can sometimes give you - But very good on both wings.

Serve and return were very good for me, as the slower blade allowed my serves to be shorter and spinnier.

Returns were comfortable, although if you aren’t a fan of the heavier blades, you might not enjoy this.

Feel of the bat:

Subjective, of course, but having played with the VS Unlimited for the past 8 months, the handle felt a little smaller than I’d like - I’m not sure there is much difference between them, but even the Garydia (which is supposed to have the same handle), felt a little chunkier.

I don’t have massive hands (despite my height/size), although I imagine my hands are still bigger than average.

If you have large hands, you may want an over grip - I don’t like them, so I’m going to carry on with it bare for the time being.

The bat also felt quite head heavy, with the over sized head and the heavy Tenergy rubbers (plus the feeling of a slightly thinner handle).

So, initial impressions are a little muted at this point - In part because it wasn’t a fair comparison (given the match circumstances), but also because there are a few things that I’ll have to learn to love about the blade - Although from memory, I felt exactly the same about the VS Unlimited when it arrived (the handle actually felt too big at the time).

This definitely isn’t a bat for passive play - You need to be aggressive and stay aggressive to make the most of it (something I’ll need to improve on).

Lastly - The person I played tonight was Colin Wilson, who runs a dedicated Table Tennis centre in Corby (Corby Smash).

We ended up 2-2 on the night (you only play 4 sets as it’s a handicap cup), and I started 1-0 up. Pretty pleased with some of the points, and the blade shone at times.

Will report back after a practice on Saturday (although that’s not a proper practice either), and then again next week!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/20/2019 at 10:16am
Managed to get a cheeky Easter Saturday coaching session in (for my son), and got a few minutes of practice with my poor old Dad who I dragged out.

Apologies for the terrible playing/lighting conditions of the little village hall we were in - Good luck spotting the ball against the white background!

Some more feedback on the Harimoto Innerforce ALC. Again, I’ll be comparing on the whole with my VS Unlimited, which plays a little similar to a fast ALC type blade (think TB ALC).

It’s not really missing anything from the top end speed - Both backhand and forehand are quick when you put a full swing in.

I do find you can get a lot more spin on the slower shots, and the lack of pace from the blade allows you to put more power in on the short shots, without worrying about it sailing long.

It’ll still take some getting used to on the passive shots, as my blocks would sometimes hit the top of the net, so I need to account for that, but it should mean I can be more positive (which was the whole point).

I also put the ball into the net on some loops (especially the backhand), as I’m so used to the ball absolutely flying off the bat.

You can see the extra spin I can generate from the backhand flicks in the video - The ball absolutely explodes of the other persons bat.

Overall, I’m much more positive about it than I was on Thursday.

It feels like it’s going to give me far more options in the short game, without losing anything in the long/fast game.

As always, any questions, let me know.



Edited by NDH - 04/20/2019 at 10:16am
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