Francium87 on 4/3/2013
i bought this blade because it was rated for excellent control while retaining the speed of an offensive paddle.
they told the truth.
the chinese AL is everything butterfly says it is.
paradoxically fast And controlable.
dadsky on 8/3/2011
Before reading the review, please take note:
1. Prior to using Chinese AL, I had used a thick and soft OFF+ carbon-balsa blade;
2. I am using the very same rubber â Xiom Vega Pro -- that I used on the previous blade, so I guess the assessment/comparison would be accurate;
Chinese AL is a quality blade.
Rated by Butterfly as 9 in speed or âOFFâ, it is definitely a fast blade that can block (with contempt) strong attacks from your opponent . However, it is a little slower than my previous OFF++ blade but I donât mind too much. I gave up just a little speed to gain a LOT of control.
Butterflyâs claims that Chinese AL is for âmodern heavy topspin style of playâ is right on. Opponents tell me that though my loops are just as fast, a little higher, but the spin is tremendous.
It is indeed âa perfect choice for topspin players looking to add some speed,â as BUTTERFLY says in the product description.
In fact, I am beginning to consider now that though this blade is slower than my previous OFF++ blade, my attacks have actually become faster. Now how did that happen? Because now, I can swing hard for a topspin and still see the ball hit the opponentâs side of the table. With the OFF++ blade, if I swing hard, the ball would fly away like a homerun â unless I hit slower and control my attack.
In the end, the fast speed of my OFF++ blade had become counterproductive. I had to slow down my attacks to ensure that the ball would come in. In contrast to this, the Chinese AL may be slower but it allows me to attack all out and still see the ball coming in. In the end, the slower blade makes my attack more dangerous and lethal.
I also noticed that now, I have a much much greater variety of serves in my arsenal. This is something that I could not do with my previous OFF+ blade. When I want to increase the spin of my serves, I can just increase wrist action and the ball would still hit my opponentâs half of the table. With the OFF++ blade, increasing wrist action on my serves meant the ball goes long and my opponent wins a point.
Craftsmanship is also excellent . . . typically BUTTERFLY.
What are the cons? The only con I see is that Chinese AL is heavy. Or to be more accurate, it is head-heavy. As a penholder, I have only one pips-in rubber on the forehand side and a 0.5 mm sponge long-pips on the other side so that should be relatively light. But it feels like there are two thick rubbers attached to the blade and since I grip the blade with just 3 fingers, it feels like those fingers are going off when I swing.
But Iâve gotten used to it.
Also, BUTTEFLY claims it is Medium feel. But I think it is stiff.
Another con is that it is expensive at $140 including shipping. But hey, why should you scrimp on a sport you love so much? A blade will be your constant companion for years. I recon that if I use it for 7 years, then it just cost me $20 per year. Not bad.