Why Are Table Tennis Blades So Expensive?
In the table tennis world, the blade is the center of your equipment. A Chinese philosophy says your style of playing table tennis is influenced 80% by the blade and 20% by the rubber. The table tennis blade plays a vital role in your game, and you may wonder why it is expensive.
A table tennis blade is expensive because it is professionally designed, and the materials used to make it are costly. These blades are expertly crafted to perform specific functions such as increasing ball speed, and expensive materials like aged wood and carbon fiber are used to make the blade.
Table tennis is a thrilling game of controlling the ball. It may be expensive to buy a blade, but so worth it for smooth gameplay. If you want to learn more about table tennis blades, we have information on what goes into the cost of specific blade types, along with other factors that contribute to the price.
Why Table Tennis Blades Are So Expensive
Since the table tennis blade is a little pricy, it helps to know what elements contribute to that price tag. The price mainly depends on the blade materials, manufacturing processes, and quality assurance. There are a few blade types that have individual cost implications.
Balsa Table Tennis Blade Cost
Balsa is a soft wood used to make the blade. Balsa is lightweight and is generally less expensive than other types of wood, but the machinery used and quality control tests that go into perfecting a blade add weight to the pricing.
Most wood used to create table tennis blades have to be dried out, which can sometimes take a long three years to do so! Because Balsa wood is soft, other materials are also used in this blade type to make it durable and more powerful. Since there are multiple materials used, it is more expensive.
Balsa wood is a favorite for those who enjoy a lightweight blade.
Hinoki Table Tennis Blade Cost
Hinoki is also a soft wood from the Japanese Cypress tree, and the older the Hinoki wood used, the faster the blade speed creation would be. When Hinoki is used to make a table tennis blade, the wood is also dried out and aged. Hinoki blades also need multiple layers, and sometimes other materials too, due to the softness of the wood, all contributing to the price.
Did you know that the Japanese Hōryūji Temple is made of Hinoki and is the oldest wooden building in the world? The building is around 1300 years old, meaning that your blade will stand the test of time, making the cost worthwhile!
Allwood Table Tennis Blade Cost
A table tennis blade made of only wood is also called an Allwood blade. Allwood can consist of all the same wood or different types combined. Generally, an Allwood blade consists of five plies or seven plies. That is quite a few layers needed, so the more layers, the higher the price!
Due to the multiple layers of wood, quality control tests are done extensively to ensure that there are no errors. The wood is also treated with substances to protect it and make it durable. With the many processes facilitated by human labor and expensive machinery, Allwood table tennis blades are priced to cover these costs.
Although Allwood blades are expensive, they are great for all-level players and versatile for different playing styles.
Carbon Fiber Table Tennis Blade Cost
The general rule for table tennis blades is that it needs to be made of 85% wood minimum, but other materials used in the blade composition are most commonly carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a new-age material that makes the blade harder to create a strengthened hit on the table tennis ball.
Carbon fiber is a human-made product using tiny carbon atoms. The process needed to make carbon fiber is complex, and delicate instruments are required. It is also challenging to get the material to meet quality standards. Therefore, carbon fiber is an expensive material to use, making a carbon fiber blade a bit heavier on the wallet.
Carbon fiber blades may be costly, but they are durable and great for advanced gameplay!
ALC Or ZLC Table Tennis Blade Cost
ALC blades are made with Arylate-Carbon, and ZLC blades are made with ZL-Carbon. ALC and ZLC are materials specially formulated to create a fast, spin-generating blade suited to specific styles of playing table tennis. Since ALC and ZLC blades are specifically designed, they are a more expensive choice than other blade types.
ALC and ZLC are for players that enjoy creating ball spin and playing a swift game.
Qualities That Contribute To Blade Cost
An expensive blade can make your table tennis dreams come true! It has been said that a good blade should feel like an expansion of your hand, which may be expensive, but for a good reason.
The Feel Of A Table Tennis Blade
When you hit a table tennis ball, the blade will vibrate, and you’ll feel it in your hand. Table tennis is a game of feeling, so the vibrations your blade gives off perform a significant role in controlling your gameplay.
When the vibrations from your blade transfer to your hand, it gives you information on the movement of the ball, and from there, you can adjust your actions to generate spin or loop, hit harder, or softer. Cheap-made blades don’t allow for good vibrations, which is why a well-designed expensive blade is best for feeling and creates a better game of table tennis.
Table Tennis Blade Brand
As with all sports, there are brand names known within the community. Brands like Butterfly, Stiga, and Joola have experience in delivering quality blades for a great table tennis experience. Brands like these have people dedicated to designing new blades, and the brand ensures that the one you buy is top of the range.
Although brand name blades have value, that does not mean unknown brand name blades aren’t quality; it just means that you’ll have to research to assess that what you’re buying meets the same standards. However, you are not advised to buy a cheaper ready-assembled blade as you won’t know or have control over the qualities you might need for your playing style and level.
Now you know that table tennis blades are expensive due to the premium materials and expert crafting needed to make them. They may be made of the finest aged wood or include costly carbon fiber quality checked and assembled by humans and machines that all influence the blade’s price.
Thanks to luxurious blades, you’ll be able to maneuver the ball by feeling crisp vibrations. Knowing the information behind your chosen brand will lead you to a blade specially engineered to complement your level and playing style!