The Nittaku Ludeack blade series can be said to be the main product for Nittaku.
Although Nittaku has released other blades like the Tornado King Power, Tornado King, Super Carbon, Bloodwood, and other table tennis blades, the best seller is still Nittaku’s Ludeack, Ludeack Power, Ludeack Fleet, and other “Ludeack” series of blades.
Today lets us discuss one of the top blades, the Nittaku Barwell. The following is a specific review from my own playing experience.
- Speed: 9.3
- Control: 6.0
- Consistency: 9.4
- Type: Offensive
- Material: 7-ply wood + 2-ply glass fiber
- Weight: 88g
- Thickness: 6.1mm
The feeling is quite soft when holding the blade. Although the blade is featured with a walnut outer veneer, it is not as hard as Yasaka Extra Offensive. The configuration of the DHS Hurricane 3 rubber, coupled with the glass fiber, leads to a solid feel and a pleasant touch.
When I try to do some loops, the initial feeling is very good. I need to fasten my arm movement to return the arc ball. But the return speed is very fast.
The aromatic carbon blade has a sleek surface, it is compatible with the characteristics of aryl fiber and carbon fiber. It can help to play soft, fast, or slow.
In contrast, glass fiber is more like a decent blade. It can offer players consistent agility and a clearer feel.
Although it won’t give you an astonishing hit, the hitting is simply crisp and neat. By creating a fast speed shot, it can give enough threat to the opponent.
It can offer players a lot of spins, whether you are looping from your backhand or forehand. The blade can generate a lot of spin for you and this can create a certain level of pressure on your opponent.
The trajectory angle can be very large, but as soon as you yield the force, you can immediately lower the arc.
Compared to the Nittaku Ludeack blade, the strength and feel of the Nittaku Barwell are not solid, but the walnut surface makes the ball move faster and crisper. When smashing, it generates a sound like broken glass.
There is a slight vibration while holding the blade on the hand. This is something I don’t like about the blade. It just not like the Butterfly carbon blades that offer me a very still feel.
The blade is also not as good as the Butterfly high-end aromatic carbon blade when I try to hit the ball in a straight line or the diagonal direction. But because it can provide me with very good traction, the blade looks to be more stable.
Playing close to the Table
Nittaku Barwell is more like a weapon for professional table tennis players. It is good for playing far from the table but not close to the table.
For mid-distance, you should play more offensively with the blade to get more control of the game.
If you like to play with slightly side spin strokes, it is recommended for you to use the DHS Hurricane 5 blade as the Nittaku Barwell tend to hit higher when you are doing side spin.
In addition to the good feel of the blade, it is good for its backhand performance as well. In contrast to the Ludeack blade, you can play even better backhand strokes with Nittaku Barwell.
It is rather effortless for you to loop with your backhand and the loop can be very consistent. Maybe because I used FL which makes me feel easy to perform such a stroke.
ST has always been more flexible when performing backhand strokes, but I feel this Barwell is just good enough for me to play the backhand strokes.
The bounce is good because it offers me a solid bounce. When yielding power, the characteristics of the Ludeack Fleet is inherited from this blade.
In case the opponent makes sidespin, I can use the blade to yield the opponent’s power to return the ball in low bounce. The blade is good in yielding the opponent’s power and is not easy to go out of bounds when hitting the ball back to the opponent’s side.
Mid and Far Table
Although the blade is not as good as the Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC or Yasaka Extra Offensive when playing close to the table, it can still cause enough threat to the opponent.
When I tried to play at a mid and far table, I was able to show my strength. The glass fiber enlarges the feel and the soft sponge of the whole blade. I have enough time for the ball traction on the blade, and it is easy for me to generate an arc shot. Even when I try to do a spin from my backhand, it is not too hard as well.
Playing in a Match
When doing a non-spin serve, it is not as good as the pure wood or the carbon blade. It does not spin at all and the speed is not fast enough. However, it can create a great threat when doing a topspin serve.
It is easy to change from forehand to backhand and vice versa. Except for a bit of vibration caused by a slow reduction of fiberglass.
In my personal view, the blade is close to perfect. Other than the inherent characteristics of the glass fiber caused by a little issue, the ST handle can cause issues on the forehand for smooth play. There is also a little bit of a problem on the bounce but this can be easily solved by a quick forearm reaction.
For the Nittaku Barwell blade, it works very well with the DHS Hurricane 3 rubber. I can say it is even more compatible than the Ludeack Fleet blade.
The support of the Barwell blade itself is not comparable to the high-end aromatic carbon plate. Therefore, when I try to attach YINHE Moon Pips-in rubber and play some games, I feel that it is not as good as the Fastarc S-1. I think the Nittaku Fastarc S-1 should be more suitable for the Barwell blade.