If you are looking for a great table tennis paddle to take your game to the next level, then you should really consider the STIGA Pro Carbon. It is one of the best pre-made paddles you can get right now.
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This is a great paddle for intermediate players that feel like they cannot get any more performance out of their current racket. It has excellent speed and can generate a decent amount of spin. Because of its huge power, it’s not so easy to control; but this should pose no problem to a player with a little bit of experience.
You probably already know this, but STIGA is one of the top table tennis equipment manufacturers out there. They have a lot of experience (they have been doing this since 1944) and they are constantly developing new technologies to further improve their products.
STIGA lists the following features on their website:
- Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket
- Handle: Concave Pro
- Rubber: S5
- Sponge: 2.0 mm
- Performance Ratings- Speed: 99 Spin: 100 Control: 80
- Blade: 7-ply Extra Light
The blade of the racket is built from 5 plies of balsa wood and 2 of carbon, for a total of 7 plies. This combination, gives the Pro Carbon a lot of power, while still maintaining a good degree of control. This is perfect for attacking players who like hitting the ball further from the table.
STIGA designed the S5 rubber specifically for these type of players, using their ACS technology. This gives the rubber extra elasticity while keeping it very light. The fact that it has a thick, 2.0mm sponge, gives it a catapult effect, which contributes to the paddle’s speed and power.
Every paddle has a sweet spot on its rubber surface, meaning, that if you hit the ball within that area, it will have greater speed and spin. Because of the two carbon layers, which are baked into the blade, and the various treatments done by STIGA, the sweet spot on the Pro Carbon is larger than on other paddles.
The handle has a metal rod inside it that makes it heavier. This has two purposes. First, it gives you a better grip and makes the blade feel more balanced. Second, it gives you more mass to strike the ball with, which makes it go faster. The downside is, that it will take a while before you get used to its weight.
Of course, it is ITTF approved, so you can even compete in official tournaments with no problems whatsoever.
The biggest strength of the STIGA Pro Carbon is its crazy speed. This makes it perfect for the heavily offensive player who wants a very powerful racket, while not sacrificing precision.
The tackiness is great for some spinny serves and forehand loops, but only moderate for the more complex strokes like backhand chop or backhand loops. You will see though, that it is enough to put even the more experienced opponents in difficulty. To maintain the rubber’s stickiness you should clean it with some distilled water or a special cleaning solution after every playing session.
One benefit which is less talked about is that the rubber can be replaced when it wears out, adding long-term value to the racket.
Players looking for a control oriented paddle will not find it here. You can’t have a super powerful racket that is also very easy to control. That being said, with some practice, you should be able to improve your precision in not time.
On a few paddles, the handle is a bit rough and may become a bit uncomfortable. However, this can be easily fixed with some sanding.
Also, some owners reported that the plastic packaging is pressing on the very tip of rubber, creating a small indentation. Being on the tip, it does not affect how the paddle performs, but for the players that care how their bat looks, it’s definitely not great.
This racket has extreme speed and good spin, but it does require some skill to really get the best performance out of it. It is suited for players with a more offensive style that find themselves hitting the ball from a longer distance.
If you are upgrading from a cheaper, lower quality paddle, then you will really be happy with this one. It is a magnificent pre-made racket to have before moving on to the next level —custom made rackets. It may take some time to get used to it, but once you do, it will surely win you more games.
The price point is about average and seems fair considering the performance that you get out of this bat.