As early as when Tomokazu Harimoto signed the brand contract with Butterfly, the Butterfly company has begun to actively cooperate with Harimoto in developing a personal table tennis blade for him.
After a period of 3 years in development, with more than 30 models of blades has been trial and tested, and finally, they managed to complete the final shape and design of the blade.
In April 2019, The blade was making it premier for Butterfly to introduce it to the world. The name of the blade is known as Butterfly Tomokazu Harimoto Innerforce ALC.
The blade is created based on the blueprint of the Harimoto Innerforce Layer ALC and the original ply of the wood structure is retained, which is 5 wood, 2 carbon, combined with built-in fiber.
Size of Blade
However, the size of the Harimoto ALC blade has increased slightly. Compared with the former one, the size of the former blade is measured at 157mm × 150mm. While the size of the new ALC blade is adjusted to 158mm × 152mm.
The Butterfly Harimoto ALC is featured with a longer blade. Such a feature makes the blade have better control of the ball.
The wider blade surface also increases the proportion of the overall transverse fiber laying around the blade, which increases the hardness of the blade to a certain extent.
Such design is conducive to offer a stable output of attack power, capable of a full-face offensive attack on both sides of the table, at the same time reducing the vibration of the blade when touching the ball.
Butterfly Harimoto ALC racket is also fully integrated with his personal requirements in the design, which included strong personal elements of Tomokazu Harimoto.
The handle or the grip of the blade is designed with the blue color which is the color that Harimoto likes. The LOGO is designed with the bow sign which is also derived from the surname of “Harimoto” which is similar to the word of the bow.
There are three sharp arrows in the bow pattern, which demonstrate Harimoto’s desire and pursuit of victory. The grip that you can find on the market is mostly the shakehand FL type. Only a small number of ST grip that you can find on the market.
Ideal Rubber For The Blade
Forehand: Butterfly DIGNICS 05 (this is a new rubber that was released by Butterfly. It featured with new concept Spring Sponge X which is a breakthrough revolution design for ping pong rubber)
Backhand: Butterfly TENERGY 05 FX (soft, lightweight, spin, stable)
Although the rubber surface continues to adopt the particle shape of the development number “NO.05” with great spin performance, the strengthened and upgraded DIGNICS 05 rubber surface is more wear-resistant and durable. This is what Butterfly claimed – “breakthrough evolution”!
Compared with the previous generation, the sponge performance not only has better elasticity, but also has a good control to hold the ball when the ball is released, making the spin more powerful, precise dropping point, and better control.
The rubber is performed especially well when doing closed table arc balls and backhand loops. This can meet the requirements of high-level offensive players.
There are some players who claimed they cannot adapt to this blade after using it to play the game. With this, I will simply sort out some of the player characteristics that are suitable or not suitable to use this racket.
- Speed: 8.2
- Control: 8.5
- Consistency: 8.6
- Type: Offensive
- Material: 7-ply (5 wood + 2 carbon)
- Weight: 88g
- Thickness: 6.0mm
You can get a lot of contact time when you playing loop. From my experience with other ALC blades, I always feel they are a little bit stiffer and gave me less contact time. But this one is different.
When doing backhand topspin, you can feel the racket is really soft. You can easily do a quick shot without much effort. While for the forehand spin, you can easily grab the ball and make a lot of powerful topspins as well.
For some people, they may need to make a slight technical adjustment in order for them to accelerate the speed upward a little bit more.
Also, it can do a very good job of doing the backhand block. I do not need to do much adjustment to do the block and return the ball to the opposite side.
- It can give you sufficient force for you to do the topspin. You no need to exert so much of your strength to do it.
- You can have more consistent shots where you can return to the racket to the ready position very fast.
- Larger sweet spot which can let you have lesser errors when playing the game.
- If you play arc ball at mid-table, the ball may tend to go off easily since it’s not so linear.
- The price is quite expensive.
What kind of ping pong player is suitable for using the Butterfly Harimoto ALC racket?
- Players who are having great skills for their backhand especially in playing loop and drive. Since this blade is specially designed according to Harimoto playing style and he is really good at playing with his backhand.
- Players who playing style and action structure are small and the power is compact.
- Players who are used to Butterfly rubber. Since this racket is designed to match with Butterfly rubber.
What kind of player is not suitable for using the Butterfly Harimoto Tomokazu ALC racket?
- Players who like to play far table arc ball since this blade may not cater to the power that you want to exert with it. If you are good at playing with your forehand, then you should consider getting the DHS Hurricane 5 blade; while for those who like to play backhand arcs, it is better to use the Butterfly Viscaria blade.
- Players who get used to DHS Hurricane III rubber. Since the DHS Hurricane III rubber is having great traction and is a hard rubber, you may not able to exert the speed that you need with this blade.
- Players who love to do powerful smash. You may feel this blade is quite average when you try to do a powerful smash with it.