I’m sure most of you have tried some light bats, but is it possible to have a blade with 2 inverted rubbers with a weight of only 115g? Would it have any power? How well would it work?

Through my work with the OOAK Shop, I get to assemble a lot of bats, as well as chat to a lot of people about equipment. A customer from USA asked for a very light blade with high control. The player likes to block and hit the ball, and although he likes to spin the ball on pushes and serves, he doesn’t really loop the ball. After some discussion we decided on the Re-Impact T4 blade, which is very light and suits the style really well. After searching through our stock, I managed to find one of 48g, which is extremely light!

The customer wanted smooth (inverted) rubbers on both sides, and told me they wanted the overall bat weight to be below 130g! This is VERY light, especially with inverted on both sides. I had my doubts we could achieve this, but with the right choice of rubbers I knew we could get close.

Note: A typical blade weighs around 80-90g, and with rubbers (that vary in weight), typical bats weights are between 170-190g.

After some discussion, we decided on Mark V 1.0mm for backhand and Xiom Yanus DF 1.5mm for forehand. The Mark V is not really that light, but with a 1.0mm sponge the weight drops right down. The Yanus DF has a soft 35deg sponge, and is one of the lightest Tensors on the market. This rubber would give the bat a little extra pace and hitting power.

I was quite excited to put this bat together, and could not wait to feel and weigh it once the rubber were glued on. Well once the rubbers were glued on and I weighed the bat, we didn’t just break the 130g mark, we destroyed it with a weight of only 115g!!!

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I do like to put some edge tape on the blade, to give the balsa a little more protection, and to give the bat a professional finish as well. I used a wide Re-Impact edge tape, with a Dr Neubauer foam edge tape for added protection, which added about 4g of weight, making it still an extremely light bat, which looks pretty cool I reckon 🙂

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How does it play?

Well I did not get to try this particular blade of course, as it was for a customer, but I have tried the T4 blade with thin rubbers before, and it’s surprising how much pace you get get with such a light bat. The thick balsa layers combined with the unique Re-Impact technology gives the blade lots of kick when you want to hit the ball, while on low impact the blade combined with the thin rubbers feel slow with tons of control.

You can get really good spin on serves, pushes & chops with thin rubbers on this blade, and you can really ‘feel’ the ball. You can loop, but you need to brush the ball finely, and if you do you get tons of spin. Of course this bat wasn’t designed for looping, but you can do it.

 

Who is this type of bat suitable for?

Some people really like light weight bats. This may be just personal preference, or because they may have a weakness or injury in the arm, wrist or shoulder, or they just like light weight as you can get so much more speed with wristy-type shots.  Personally I would put myself in the latter category, particularly because I used long pimples, where wrist movement can be very important.

This blade combined with the thin rubbers suits players that love tons of control, over spin as as well pace. The bat really allows you to take the pace off the ball when you want to, allows you to manipulate or add spin, and would offer enough pace to put the ball away when the opportunity comes up.

Will the customer be happy? Well I hope so and can’t wait to hear from him! It’s times like this I realise how lucky I am to work for the shop and get to see cool equipment like this!