Should the ping pong blade be the traditional round shape?
Since the 1880s, table tennis blades have been basically the same shape. But Stiga has released a hexagonal blade in 2021, called Stiga Cybershape. Its launch has subverted everyone’s inherent cognition of rackets, and it has also attracted many fans to try it.
From the moment Sweden’s Moregardh used this blade to play in the World Table Tennis Championships final, its popularity has reached an unprecedented peak. Fans from all over the world want to try this new brand and unique blade.
Starplayer of Stiga Cybershape
I suppose all the fans know Stiga Cyberspace due to one player, Moregardh. Moregardh, born in Sweden on February 16, 2002, is a Swedish table tennis player.
On November 29, 2021, in the men’s singles semi-final of the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships held in Houston, he defeated German veteran Boll 4-3 to reach the final. This teenager became famous in one battle and the biggest dark horse in this tournament.
On November 30, although he lost 0-4 to Fan Zhendong and only won the men’s singles runner-up in the men’s singles final,, his play style and new racket made everyone surprised a lot.
Overview of Stiga Cybershape
What is the biggest feature of this new blade? According to official promotion by Stiga Company, it has a wider sweet spot than the traditional blades.
The picture below clearly shows that Stiga Cybershape will be more dominant both offensively and defensively. So does it perform really as well as we expect? Let’s take a look at the playtest.
During the playtest, we used DHS Hurricane 3 as forehand and Butterfly Rozena as backhand. The speed is quite amazing under small force without losing stability.
Especially when doing fast hits or flicks, the ball goes extremely fast. Honestly speaking, it doesn’t feel like an inner-carbon blade as it’s much faster than ordinary inner carbon blades.
To some degree, the feeling of the blade is quite similar to Butterfly Viscaria. The ball leaves the paddle quickly but the arc is relatively higher.
The ball holding performance is not as good as that of the general inner carbon blade. It can be obviously felt that the blade is still relatively hard. When hitting the ball with the sweet spot, the ball can be wrapped well and players can generate some super spinny strokes.
However, the center of gravity of the blade is not stable, which may be caused by its special shape. The most obvious impact of this is that the fore and back cannot be switched smoothly. Generally speaking, Stiga Cyberspace is not good at wrapping the ball nor generating huge amounts of topspin.
If you want to play traditional topspin pools in the middle court, this blade is not suitable. It performs better when doing fast flash hits or smashes.
Top power 3.6/5.0
Many foreign fans do not understand what top power is. The so-called top power of the blade does not refer to the elasticity, nor the degree of force applied by the paddle to the ball, but refers to the transmission of the power. The greater the top power, the more powerful the ball can be hit as the force increases.
On the other hand, the blade with low top power means that when the force reaches a certain level, the speed and power of the ball can no longer be improved.
When playing in the middle or back court, it can be observed that Stiga Cybershape lacks sufficient top power, which is inferior to the well-known w968 or Harimoto Super ZLC.
In addition, the shape of this blade is quite special, and the position of the center of gravity is also slightly different from the traditional blade, which requires us to adapt.
But on the other hand, this blade is more suitable for attacking in the short or middle court. It´s not a good choice for those who like looping with long and low arcs in the back court. The overall effect will be better if the blade matches with non-tacky rubbers.
As we mentioned, the center of gravity of the Stiga Cybershape is really different from that of the traditional blade, which leads to a slightly inferior feeling of control.
Because we need to adapt to it try to block the ball back with the sweet spot. and the directivity of the blade control is not very good, which may also be a point that we need to adapt to. However, the control performance of some short strikes like drop-shots or short pushes is still relatively good.
The defensive performance of the blade has brought me a huge surprise. The hexagonal-shaped paddle has an inexplicable sense of security when blocking.
The overall defensive feeling is better than other inner carbon blades. As Stiga Cybershape has a larger surface, it is easier to absorb the energy of incoming spinny balls. The ball can be blocked back easily with proper angle and force.
Who is it for?
If you like quick flash hits, you can definitely choose this blade. It also performs amazingly when doing counterattacks. Overall speaking, this blade is an ideal weapon for people who play in the short or middle court and take advantage of the fast-bounce attack.
Backhand: Butterfly D64, Gewo Nexxus EL Pro 48, Joola Rhyzen CMD
Forehand: Butterfly T05, Andro Rasanter R48
Backhand: Butterfly T64, Andro Rasanter R45, Gewo proton neo 475, Tibhar Evolution EL-P
Due to the new racket shape and the continuous good results of its owner, this Stiga Cybershape has been the hottest topic in the latest several months. Loads of websites have various opinions on its performance.
According to our playtest, this racket is not suitable for people who rely on loops with strong spins or long arcs. On the contrary, it is more suitable for players who play with flash hits and fast strokes. The ball-holding performance, top power, and the control are just so so.
But if you hit the ball with the sweet spot, the experience will be much better as the speed is great and the defense is quite stable and solid. But note that the price of this blade currently is over 200 dollars if you check on amazon or the official store of stiga. So if you really want to give it a try, then you may need a quite sufficient budget.