Whether the Carbon 45 is suitable for you or not; it has been defined as a “god blade” for a long time. There are two banners for the national women’s team, Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha, and there are provincial and municipal professional teams and many amateur players as fans. “Best-selling” is the surface, “balanced and comprehensive” is the kernel: easy to get started, can add spin, good speed, can pull can punch, can tear can play, can attack can defend. If there is anything less than perfect, it is: the bottom power is enough, but not how powerful, especially compared to those hot names “Xu Xin blue label”, “W968”, and so on.
So, such a piece has been very balanced and stable without loopholes “God blade”, if the bottom strength is strong again, is it really perfect? I guess that’s what amateur golfers expect from the Carbon 45 Zhu Yuling (also known as Zhu Yuling Red Standard, hereinafter referred to as Red Standard).
But what about STIGA’s idea of Zhu Yuling Red Label, will it be like this? In this review, let’s find out.
- similarities and differences
Zhu Yuling’s red label was launched separately, unlike Xu Xin’s blue label and carbon dynasty, Fan’s orange label and carbon epoch “package”. This can be seen in the red label as a limited edition of the Carbon 45, while the previous Carbon 45 is the regular commercially available version. The red nameplate of the match silhouette, the special wooden box, the limited edition ping pong ball, the nameplate keychain, and the Zhu Yuling collection book are all included in the gift box.
In 2017 Zhu Yuling got her first World Cup singles championship with the Carbon 45, and this commemorative Red Label, which is itself born from the Carbon 45, has a lot of “similarities”. The structure is identical: Limba face + TeXtreme stretch carbon fiber + Ayus transition layer + Ayus large core.
If you look closely, you will find that the color of the face material and the core is slightly more yellow than the average carbon 45; what is more obvious is that the wood grain of the red standard face material is really much darker, while the wood grain of the carbon 45 is lighter. This is in line with the official description of STIGA, the main difference between Red Standard and Carbon 45 is the selection of wood: selected wood close to the roots of the trees, long years, harder wood. It’s just harder and tougher.
Feel it on your hand, you will find the surface material is smooth, with anti-drawing treatment. Afterward, I brushed the inorganic glue after tearing the veneer, I feel that it has been stuck very tight. But tear off, the surface material without damage. This point is gratifying.
- Hand feedback
Red Label: 5.8mm, 91.4g. There is no doubt that this weight, even if it is carbon 45, will feel slightly stiff. But compared to the carbon 45 of similar weight, the Red Label is also really stiffer. Another very obvious point is that the Red Label is much more flexible and comes off the board much faster. The TeXtreme stretch carbon fiber is also a heavy woven carbon, which is stiff and fast, and with the more solid wood, it makes sense that it is more elastic and faster.
On the backhand, it feels firmer and more supportive. The Carbon 45 has a stronger pure wood feel, while the Red Label has a much stronger fiber feel.
The feedback of the bottom power is a bit stronger than the Carbon 45, but it is still a bit far from Xu Xin’s Blue Label.
- A practical battle
After two rounds of experiment, I tried T80 backhand and T05 forehand, and T80 backhand and Hurricane 8 forehand.
The elasticity is exaggerated on both sides of the jacket, and because the T05 sponge itself is tougher, it needs short and concentrated power. So the forehand is easy to out of bounds, and easy to drop the ball (when the power is not concentrated). There is no doubt that the Red Label requires more power than the Carbon 45, and the more brittle, stiffer and faster release requires the user to have more concentrated power.
I feel much better when I put the sticky Hurricane 8 on my forehand. Because of the STIGA blade’s usual overall deformation and the precedent of many national players, the design must be considered to match with the domestic hard sticky set. The sticky rubber surface extends the touch time, while the more linear sponge suppresses the strong elasticity of the Red Label itself.
- In-Table Control
Slightly higher than carbon 45, especially for non-spinning balls, must be controlled with more force. The performance of the small and medium power split long plus spin is not as easy as 45. 45 plus spin. However, if paired with two sides of the Hurricane, the control will be greatly optimized.
- defensive borrowing power
When defending purely by borrowing power, the power of the incoming ball is transmitted to the racket, but I can still feel the hollow inside. So I can unload the force. The extra force when borrowing, it feels more powerful than 45 and can use more force. The bounce is also crisper than before, very close to the speed and pressure of the popular external carbon boards. The performance of the power is greatly improved. The directionality and pressure have been improved.
- Backhand attack
The bounce is sharper than the original carbon 45, as it is more flexible and the racket is more solid and supportive. Be careful, it is easy to go out of bounds and the arc is long. The wringing of a board and the next fast rip are as fast as the 45, while the sense of crispness, power is better.
- forehand attack
Small and medium power pulling the ball, with wild Biao 8, is also very easy. Deliberately hang a plate of high hanging, the rotation is quite good. The 45’s spin is more readily available than the Red Label.
There is also a relationship with each person’s power situation. The solid wood of the Red Label is more rigid and faster off the board, which requires more concentration of the player’s power. STIGA’s boards actually have this phenomenon, the market version is soft, good driving; limited professional version, more demanding of your professional technical ability. For example, Xu Xin’s blue standard does not have the full force of the case, although also on the stage, but the threat is actually not higher than the carbon dynasty, hair crisp carbon dynasty is also easier to manage.
In the near table without full force, the threat of the red standard pulling the ball is not stronger than the carbon 45, but back to the middle and far table, the action to do a complete, then really feel the bottom strength is stronger. The Red Label itself is significantly more flexible and the ball is easier to return.
Let’s go back to STIGA’s official definition of this Zhu Yuling Red Label, one of the points is to fit Zhu Yuling’s personal ultimate needs. What is that? Faster off-the-board speed and stronger blocking ability. The red standard, which is more crisp and bouncy than the carbon 45, really reflects the upgrade in terms of first speed and defensive stability and support. The bottom power is slightly improved, but obviously, this is not the main demand of STIGA. At the same time, the improved quality of the Red Label ball also places higher demands on the user.
If you have to choose between the Carbon 45 and the Zhu Yu Ling Red Label? There is no doubt that the professional players will prefer the red standard, because the fast return of the near middle table is itself the trend of the times, and the more elastic and crisp red standard fits this demand. At the same time, the professional player’s power is concentrated and can manage the red standard well. For those who want to add more straight-line striking components to the carbon 45, the natural red standard is also suitable.
However, the more poppy, longer arc, and faster off-board red standard also require the player’s power to be more concentrated, otherwise, the error rate will be higher (out of bounds or dropped balls). For the average amateur, the Carbon 45 is a more friendly, controllable, and stable player.
From the point of view of the rubber, especially in the forehand position, the hardness should not be too high, and the rubber surface must “bite the ball”. The sticky set is the first choice, but for the astringent set, you should consider a rubber that has more friction than a sponge to hold the ball. For amateur players, it is generally recommended to choose a lighter weight. If you are an amateur, it is recommended that you choose a lighter weight, because heavier weight means a higher density of wood and more concentration of force, which most amateurs can’t hold well.