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AIR Pro ALC Blade Review

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    Posted: 07/26/2022 at 5:40am

AIR ALC

a

Weight: 95 grams

Speed: Off+

Plies: 7 (koto-alc-ayous-ayous core)

Speed: Off+

Hardness: Stiff
Rubbers used in Testing: Beijing Tuttle V, DHS H3 and Kokutaku Pro 007

 

It is time again for me to present another alternate blade that is cheaper than major brands. I always hunt for cheaper alternatives if I am not busy with the major brands. It is always my mission to look for non-mainstream brands but also offer good performance and very affordable price. I am fortunate to test Air Pro ALC blade exclusively distributed by PingPongHouse (PPH) in Thailand. This is a well-known store in Asia owned by former Achoomai.

This blade was intended to be heavy as it was made to be a less expensive version of the Viscaria Super ALC. To be honest when I weighed the blade in my digital weighing scale, I was apprehensive as I am not really a fan of very heavy blades unless the balance is good between the head and the handle. I mostly like 92-gram blades and below as I use Chinese rubbers on both sides so it is important to have setup that is not too heavy. The blade has a very simple design. This is a minimalist design wherein the logo is a metallic logo at the base of the handle and no logo made of plastic or metal on the handle ensuring a very comfortable grip. The handle is not rough and has good comfort when gripping. The blade is stiff and when I tried flicking my index finger on it it felt harder than the regular Viscaria. Also, I was surprised the blade did not feel on the head heavy side probably because the handle weight counter-balances the weight of the blade head.

The speed is indeed very fast. I consider it off+ all the way. When I first bounce the ball on it, it had a medium-high bounce and I thought it was slower than the regular Viscaria but when I used the Hurricane 3 that was used from the Viscaria to the Air Pro ALC, I noticed right away the significant amount of speed difference. Maybe because this was designed as more affordable Super Viscaria that it packs more of a punch. I think I underestimated this blade’s speed because I thought it is another Off blade and not an off+ blade just like most blades that are coming out in the market today. The weight played a factor in the speed due to also heavier swing but the overall stiffness of the blade is the major contributing factor for the speed. I have tried other ALC blades from China this year like the Sanwei Froster and the Froster felt a bit softer than this and a few notches slower than the Pro ALC. The Froster has an innate softness that you can feel with every shot. The Pro ALC is outright stiff where the “dwell” is somewhat less but I do not think the stiffness of the Pro ALC is in the level of TAMCA 5000 blades so the blade is still good on looping. I would say the Pro ALC is much better when doing spin drives wherein you hit through the sponge more but at the same time with lesser amount of brushing. The Pro ALC has an edge far from the table when doing counters while the Froster is better on looping medium distance from the table. I would say Pro ALC needs more of a higher level of skill to fully utilize than the Froster. The Froster is like a chill animal that is easier to tame while the Pro ALC is like a raging bull that needs more skill in handling. To be fair, both have their own strengths and weaknesses, and they are good on a specific type of play or player preference that I mentioned. Despite the stiffness, I do not think the blade is too hard to control. I can still feel the gears that it has from the intricate and soft shots up to the strong shots like smashing and counter loops. SO even if you are doing slow shots that need more on feel and touch, the Pro ALC can still deliver these shots with no problem albeit with some adjustments.

Overall, this is a very good bang-for-the-buck blade. If I remember it right, when this comes out on full production this will be at 65 to 70 USD per piece which for its performance is already very cheap. It is nice to see alternative blades occasionally like this since a lot of people cannot afford high-end blades like Butterfly. I think the table tennis market in general has matured on its perception of Chinese-made blades over the years wherein the blades from China with lesser-known brands are not being shunned by hardcore Euro or Japan brand fanatics. This one is really worth trying and it will not disappoint.

 

 

Independent online TT Product reviewer of XIOM, STIGA, JOOLA, SANWEI, GEWO, AIR, ITC, APEX, YASAKA and ABROS

ITTF Level 1 Coaching Course Conductor, ITTF Level 1 Coach
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achoomai View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote achoomai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2022 at 6:07am
Many thanks. Appreciate for your detail review.
My feedback : http://www.mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=58844&PN=1#726094
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