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Spintech's Carbo Phenom Carbon Blade Review
Spintech's Carbo Phenom Carbon Blade
Right out of the package, I noticed some unique characteristics of the Spintech Carbo Phenom. The Carbo Phenom measured out to be 152mm*149mm. This 5 ply (3 wood +2 carbon layers) has a center ply thicker than the other four combined. In addition, I noticed that this blade is incredibly light, Spintech weights it at 78 grams, but mine is roughly 76.5 grams, whatever that's close enough. The foam core is the primary reason why this blade is so light. Players seem to notice that this light blade evenly distributes the weight between the head and handle. Thanks to the thick plies, the Carbo Phenom is equipped with a handle larger than normal.
The first thing we noticed was the speed of this blade. Without a doubt, this blade is OFF+ material. In an age where blades are labeled as OFF+ for no reason, the Carbo Phenom is most worthy of the OFF+ label.
Right away, every player noticed that the blade had no vibration. This absence of vibration can be contributed to both the foam handle and the two layers of carbon. The Carbo Phenom has a very crisp feeling, a soft yet fast feeling like the kind you would expect from a Japanese penhold blade. At high speeds, the ball left the racket like a cannon, but at low speeds, this blade has the control that most players demand. However, players will need to make their push more dead in order to keep the ball low. The Carbo Phenom blends both speed and control in an unprecedented way. The feel of the blade varies depending on where the ball is struck. If the ball is struck in the direct center, you get a soft feel. As you move out from the center, the feel becomes harder until you reach the edge. Even if the ball is miss-hit, the Carbo Phenom is still very forgiving. Another unique aspect of this blade is a combination of light weight and high speed. I am not sure how Spintech pulled it off, but it works. This blade stands out from the crowd in so many ways, and that is one of the main reasons that all the players had a fun time with the Carbo Phenom.
In my opinion, the Carbo Phenom is specialized for three types of players. First, the pips-out hitter or flat-hitter. The fast rebound of the Carbo Phenom makes it perfect for those who rely more on flat hitting and smashing. The foam core absorbs all of the vibration, so hitters won't fell a "drumstick" effect that is present in most all other blades. The second type of player who would benefit most from the Carbo Pheonom is the mid-distance looper. Since the blade has such great speeds, those who play further from the table will not need to swing as hard to get the same effect. Since the Carbo Phenom is a true OFF+ blade, it only makes sense to take a step back to compensate for the immense speed. The foam core gives the Carbo Phenom two advantages when looping. (1) The foam core shifts the weight in a way where it improves and simplifies looping. (2) The foam core creates a softer feel and increases blade flexibility to allow for more control on loops, when compared to other carbon blades. The third type of player who would most benefit from the Carbo Phenom is an all-out attacker. Someone who does not want to play soft balls and lives by the words, "It's clobberin' time!!!" Anyone who looks to loop and/or smash at every opportunity will find that Carbo Phenom perfect for these offensive attacks.
The unique playing characteristics of the Carbo Phenom sets it apart from every blade on the market. The combination of foam core handles and carbon has finally come together in blend of soft feel and raw speed. Finally, shake hand players can get the same crisp feeling as those of Japanese penholders.
Spintech has pulled through once again with top quality table tennis products built for serious competitors.