Victas Koki Niwa Wood and Koki Niwa Carbon are two blades related to Koki Niwa produced by Victas Company. It’s quite rare to see a company design two types of blades for one player among those table tennis players in the world. It can also be noticed how much Victas Company attaches importance to Koki Niwa.
It is said that these two products will one day replace Butterfly Viscaria, is this true? And what’s the difference between these two paddles? This blog will lead you to figure it out.
About Koki Niwa
Koki Niwa, born on October 10, 1994, in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, is a Japanese table tennis player.
At the 2009 World Table Tennis Championships, Niwa, who was only 14 years old, became the youngest male player in Japanese history. In the game, in addition to his age, his excellent table tennis skills also won him plenty of applause.
He was recognized as a prodigy. He has got the 2012 Asian Table Tennis Championship men’s team runner-up. On August 6, 2021, he won the third runner-up in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics table tennis men’s team competition.
Japanese players have always been known for being humble and reserved, but this post-90s Niwa is an exception. When a reporter told him that he was called a “ping pong prodigy”, he unexpectedly said: “It feels good to call me a prodigy. Ah! I like this title very much.”
A few days before the start of the game, the Japanese media almost targeted Niwa as the interviewee, and there were more than 30 Japanese journalists waiting for him in the mixed area.
He is the most popular Japanese table tennis player in China other than Ai Fukuhara, and Chinese fans affectionately call him “Teacher Niwa”. No matter how exciting his teammates playing on the court, Niwa will be as calm as ever, unlike Harimoto shouted loudly on the field after each win.
In a society under various pressures in Japan, Niwa has a good mentality and is indeed enjoying the game. it feels like Mima Ito is overwhelmed by the pressure of the Japanese table tennis community.
Niwa is a loyal fan of Nogizaka46. In order to look at their concert, he quit recording a variety show. When asked by the host, “Which is more important for you, to get a medal or watch a concert?” He replied calmly: “It is just because of watching the concert that I train so hard.” Such Niwa really made people laugh to tears.
Victas Koki Niwa Wood & Koki Niwa Carbon
Data and structure
Both the carbon and pure wood blades have a weight of 85 grams. The Koki Niwa Carbon has a thickness of 5.64 mm, while the Koki Niwa Wood has a thickness of 6.66 mm. There is no significant difference in weight, as both blades are relatively lightweight. The pure wood blade is somewhat thicker and is believed to offer better control.
The carbon blade features a non-traditional 7-layer composition, with 4 layers of fibers in 2 different types (aromatic and wool fibers). In contrast, the wood blade consists of 2 layers of lymphatic wood and 5 layers of Ayous wood. Let’s examine the performance of these two blades during actual playtests.
Koki Niwa Carbon is obviously much faster. The speed is very rapid and has a clear feel when hitting the ball. When looping the ball under small force, the speed is even faster than the new Butterfly Viscaria.
On the other hand, Koki Niwa Wood is inferior to the carbon one in terms of absolute speed but it performs much better than Sitga CLCR, which has a similar pure wood structure as well.
Well, honestly speaking, it’s really hard to say which one is better as they stand for two different styles and it’s just like you are trying two different kinds of food.
Koki Niwa Carbon is more offensive and Koki Niwa is more stable and controllable. So my suggestion is that if you prefer flash hits with great speed then you could choose the carbon one. But if you are fond of stable strokes and play less aggressively, the pure wood one is a better choice.
There is not much difference in terms of spin. However, the deformability of Koki Niwa Carbon is slightly inferior to that of Koki Niwa Wood. In other words, the wood one is capable of “biting” the ball much better. Koki Niwa Wood performs much better in high loop drives, and it generates a huge amount of spins easily.
The loops are quite stable and constant. On the contrary, Koki Niwa Carbon is more suitable for loops with lower arcs and more forward. If you have excellent basic skills, the carbon one will be more suitable for violent play, especially in the middle and back court.
But the disadvantage is that the powerful strokes sometimes are not easy to control, and you have to adjust the angle with proper wrist motion. Otherwise, the ball will fall into the net easily.
In some short games, Koki Niwa wood has more solid control over the ball, and the control itself is more directional. The ball can be placed precisely when doing drop-shots or pushes with pure wood. The overall feedback of Niwa Wood is really much better than that of Niwa Carbon so it’s no wonder that Koki Niwa often uses it for side cutting in the games.
Koki Niwa Wood seems to be able to absorb the power of the ball much better so naturally, the defense is much more stable. The powerful incoming ball can be blocked back easily as long as with the proper angle. On the other hand, the carbon one is not as thick as the wood one, so it requires more control when defending to avoid blocking the ball outside the table.
Who is it for
Koki Niwa Carbon blade has excellent hitting and friction on the ball and it serves as a great offensive blade without any doubt. It is suitable for high-level plays with excellent basic skills and great control ability. And players can do explosive and devastating strokes in the games.
On the other hand, the overall feel of wrapping the ball is much better when it comes to Koki Niwa Wood. Players with weak basic skills or beginners can use it to practice and make progress gradually.
Match Suggestion for Victas Koki Niwa Wood & Carbon
1)For Koki Niwa Carbon
With stable rubbers in the forehand and backhand and combined with the blade’s offensiveness, players can switch rapidly between forehand and backhand in the short or middle court and play the games with a much more offensive style.
Forehand: Victas V 15 Extra, Tibhar Evolution MX-P, Xiom Sigma II Euro
Backhand: Andro Plaxon 400
2)For Koki Niwa Wood
The combination of fast-speed rubbers and stable pure wood blade ensures the players do loop drives in the short court or actively block back the ball.
Forehand: Victas V>15 Limber, Butterfly T05, XIOM Omega V Pro, Donic F1 Plus
Backhand: Butterfly T64, Butterfly Rozena, Donic F1
Koki Niwa Carbon is a blade with a clear feel and excellent speed; the overall strength is also very good. From an offensive point of view, this blade can bring you a huge amount of impact and energy whether you play under a small or large force.
The only disadvantage Is the defensive control is not particularly good. On the other hand, the overall wrapping of the ball of Koki Niwa Wood is much better, and its advantages are precise control in pushes or drop-shots.
In general, personally speaking, I prefer Victas Koki Niwa Carbon because it is a blade that can give a wonderful experience during attacks. If you ask me to compare it with Butterfly Viscaria, it is definitely much better.