A few days ago, I did a review of the Sanwei Echo. In fact, Sanwei Sports has recently launched two classic all-wood blades, the other one being the Sanwei Parla. Both of these are part of the Trio series. One of the blades has 5 plies and the other has 7 plies. Actually, I really like both of these blades, because as a chopping player, I always have a certain preference for all-wood blades.
According to the statement of Sanwei Sports, the combination of a delicate limba surface with five perfectly thick layers of Ayous wood ensures a balanced performance for both forehand and backhand strokes, providing stability and directivity.
So when I received this blade, I thought that the 7-ply all-wood should have excellent control, while also demonstrating good speed and spin. I supposed that it should be a blade suitable for both offense and defense. Hence, for this review, I chose to fit it with long pips to test it out.
The appearance of Sanwei Parla
On opening the packaging, the Sanwei Parla blade presents a burgundy base color. The overall design is exquisite, giving a sense of nobility. I personally really like the red logo on the handle, with ‘Parla’ imprinted on it. In my opinion, among all the blades produced by Sanwei that I’ve used, Parla and Echo have the most thoughtful designs.
After removing the plastic wrap, the blade weighs approximately 84 grams, which is a moderate weight, ensuring that the player’s arm won’t get too tired during transitions between offense and defense. The blade thickness reaches 6mm, which should provide enough support for the player. Compared to the Echo, we conducted an elasticity test.
When a ping pong ball is dropped from the same height, the ball bounces slightly higher off the Parla, indicating that this blade is somewhat more elastic.
I have attached another classic rubber, the Sanwei Ultra Spin T88, to the Sanwei Parla blade. We will have a separate review for this rubber in another article. Following the normal sequence, let’s start with the forehand drive. As soon as I started using this blade, my first impression was that the feedback was clearer and more pronounced compared to the Sanwei Echo. At the same time, I felt that the blade had a bit more bounce, and the initial speed of the ball was fast, but it didn’t lack control.
After warming up, I started to try some forehand topspins. The touch of this blade is incredibly clear, and the acceleration process is completely linear. It can be said that it brings out the characteristics of a pure wood blade to the extreme. If I wanted to increase the speed slightly, I just needed to add a bit more power. I could feel even the slightest adjustments and changes very directly. This is the first time I have used a pure wood blade that feels so comfortable.
Switching to the backhand, I found that this rubber is even more user-friendly for backhand strokes. The first and second speeds of the ball are both fast, and after performing a backhand loop, the ball bounces back quickly, making it difficult for opponents to adapt. For many players who are not very skilled in their backhand, they can actually use a pure wood blade to work on their fundamentals before switching to a carbon fiber blade. Otherwise, it’s hard to maintain good control with a carbon fiber blade, and it’s easy to hit the ball out unintentionally.
Overall, the Sanwei Parla blade is just as fast as any pure wood blade, and its 7-ply structure provides sufficient support for players even when playing mid-to-long distance shots. When combined with a suitable rubber, the speed can even rival the majority of carbon fiber blades.
During the testing phase of topspin shots on both forehand and backhand, my impression of this blade is that it works well in combination with the rubber to generate spin. Some blades, especially carbon fiber ones, tend to be relatively hard and produce a more forceful and fast shot, but they lack finesse, even when using a tacky rubber, resulting in subpar spins.
The Sanwei Parla blade can be paired with slightly softer and tackier rubbers, such as the Sanwei Ultra Spin T88 that I used, or with slightly more aggressive rubbers like D05. In practice, this blade can bring out the characteristics of the rubber to the fullest.
Taking the Sanwei Ultra Spin T88 as an example, the rubber itself has an excellent ball grip, and when combined with the superb control of the pure wood blade, it allows for highly spinny topspin shots. In push shots, it demonstrates even stronger spin generation capability, making it easy to produce heavy underspin shots.
As a chopper and long pips user, the most important aspect of a blade for me is its control performance. If the blade is too slow, it’s suitable for defense but not for offense. If it’s too fast, it’s not ideal for long pips play. However, after several repeated evaluations and usage, I believe this blade achieves the best balance between speed and control.
Especially when using the forehand to lift heavy backspin, it effortlessly lifts the ball while maintaining control over the placement and speed, providing enough time to recover and prepare for the next shot.
Previous pure wood blades were either too fast or too slow, and overall, they didn’t provide a satisfactory control feeling. Only this pure wood blade meets my expectations. Additionally, it performs very well in short game situations during serve and receive, rarely popping the ball up too high.
In particular, when I tested it with the long pips rubber Dawei Saviga, whether it was blocking close to the table or chopping from a distance, I had near-perfect control over the overall ball placement. Therefore, I also recommend this blade to long pips users. In my opinion, the 7-ply pure wood structure is more suitable for controllable or defensive players compared to a 5-ply structure.
In terms of defense, there’s no doubt that the clear feedback of this blade makes it easy to control the ball’s placement and direction during blocking. Moreover, one can control the power and engage in both active and passive blocks. If I had to point out any shortcomings of this blade, it would be that it may experience slightly more deformation during defensive shots. If the opponent’s attacks are strong and impactful, the ball hitting the racket can feel jarring in the hand.
Overall, the Sanwei Parla is a fantastic ping-pong paddle that achieves an exceptional balance of speed, spin, and control. This blade is suitable for players of various skill levels and stages of development.
For beginners, they can use this blade to practice their fundamental skills. However, if the 7-ply structure feels slightly bouncy, they can opt for the 5-ply structure of the Sanwei Echo. For advanced players, the Parla blade is suitable for both offensive and defensive play.
As I mentioned earlier, players can choose a rubber that suits their playing style and combine it with the Sanwei Parla blade to maximize its attributes, whether they seek speed or spin. It is also a great option for long pips players, eliminating the need to purchase blades with different two sides.
In summary, the Sanwei Parla is a versatile table tennis blade that excels in both attack and defense, catering to different playing styles. I strongly suggest that you should give it a try.