Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bill's super custom All-rounder

This is a very custom blade for Bill from Illinois. It's made up of Cypress-Cypress-Balsa-Cypress-Cypress, with a half wenge/purpleheart and half cork handle. It's 6.7mm thick and 79 grams. Bill was exceptionally helpful and descriptive with what he wanted and I hope this fits the bill (or at least comes close).



7 comments:

silverhair said...

The blade has arrived. The workmanship is impeccable, a characteristic of all Ian Worz blades I've seen. Ian sealed the blade and handle leaving me only the task of slapping on a couple of sheets of rubber. That finished, the blade has a nice light-in-hand feel with good balance.

Its hard to tell how it will play. It does have a nice fairly high-pitch when rapped with my knuckle. That translates to a fairly fast blade, something I was after.

I will get to play with it Tuesday evening and will provide my report back after that.

Bill

silverhair said...

The latest version of of the Worz Beat Stick custom has one of the very best handles I've ever used. It is a conic multi-ply shape with a generous outer layer of rough cork. The inner ply is a nicely contrasting combination of dark chocolate colored wenge with a thin veneer of purpleheart next to the cork. Its beautiful and highly functional. The handle extends well up into the blade, probably farther than is necessary, but not a problem in actual use. The rough cork made for a soft comfortable handle without the slickness of a hard wood or smooth cork. It was easy to hold securely without squeezing tightly. Mr. Worz sealed the handle prior to delivery.

My hands are larger than normal (as is the rest of me), so I found the handle a little small. It would be better with thicker plies of hardwood.

The 5-ply blade has a 3/16" balsa core surrounded by two plies of cypress on each side. Mr Worz sealed the outer ply with polyurethane prior to delivery.

The overall workmanship is outstanding. This is typical of the Worz blades I've seen. I did a little sanding on the handle to change the feel. This was not due to a production problem, it was for personal preference.

I tried several different types of rubber on this blade. These were able to clear bring out the characteristics of the blade.

The blade is very light weight. Though some prefer the "battle axe" approach to selecting blades, my preference is light and quick. this blade, even with the heavier Palio rubber, was light. It had a light-in-hand feel, good balance and great quickness. This contributes to quick blocks, fast spinny loops and good controlled counter-drives.

In general, the speed of the blade is ALL to slow ALL+. This places it in the same category as a large number of really excellent and proven designs, some really tough competition for this blade. To summarize, I think this blade can hold its own against those other offerings.

Details:

Rubbers used were Palio HK1997 39 - 41 deg 2.2mm, Donic Desto F3 Big Slam 2.0 and MAX, and partial test with Mark V 2.0.

I have not used a blade that has better touch and feel for the ball. With either the Palio or Big Slam, there was a lot of feedback through the blade.

There was consistency across the blade. Hit balls coming from near the edge of the blade had a feel similar to balls hit from the center of the blade. Very nice and reflective of good gluing technique and high-grade veneers.

Close-in play was very controlled and quick. Flips, pushes, off-the-bounce hits were all easily controlled and placed with good spin and decent pace. Blocks and punch blocks were easy to place with good control over speed and spin.

Close-in slow loops were easy to do from either pushes / chops or from topspin shots. Particularly with the HK1997, the slow loops were very spinny. Placement control was good.

Taking a step or two farther back from the table resulted in the need for a little more effort. Control remained, the bit of extra time allowed a longer faster stroke, more spin, but there was a top speed that was reached. This is similar to other blades of this speed rating.

Getting a little deeper into the court confirmed the speed and power limits of the blade. Control was excellent, spin was very good. It took faster strokes to get good speed on the shots.

I don't play deep court so any observations would be invalidated by that lack of expertise and experience.

Serves were very controlled. The speed of the blade contributed to very good dwell time and spin. Fast, deep serves were not as deceptive since it took more effort and blade swing to get the ball deep. The blade is best for slow very spinny deceptive serves.

(continued)

silverhair said...

(continued)

Conclusion:

This is another outstanding blade from Ian Worz. It plays very well and has touch much better, feel and control than most blades in its speed range. For the price Mr. Worz charges for his blades, this particular one is a great bargain.

I have to come back to the handle. This cork-over-wood design is very comfortable and gives much better feedback than competing designs.

This blade is excellent for players that like close-in quick flip, attack, loop and block. The blade speed lends itself to good dwell time that helps this kind of game and to strong service and receive.

For my taste and game, I prefer a blade that is a little faster. That said, I could easily live with this blade and will keep it as a back-up.

silverhair said...

Update:

The combination of Mark V 2.0 FH and Big Slam 2.0 BH works very well. This combination helps pick up the speed and makes play more fun.

Its obvious this blade just likes a faster rubber.

kristian said...

hi i am interrestet in buying 1 of these please contact me.... krit83@gmail.com

Osito said...

Thanks to Silverhair for the great review!

Osito said...
This comment has been removed by the author.