I recently stumbled on to a very interesting blade. I don’t really know if it’s a great blade. It hasn’t changed my life, or upped my rating 500 points. It is fun to use, slow, cheap, and ridiculously flexible. When I say flexible, I mean you can feel it bend on nearly every shot. Five ply all wood blades can be pretty flexible. This is a 3 ply oversized wood blade. My feeling is that if you want to really learn about something, you might have to go to extremes. The Gambler Zebra Classic Specialty is extreme.
Sure, It’s a nice looking blade. The price is right at $27.50. It has a really nice lacquer finish, and it’s light enough that even using heavy rubber won’t be a problem. But, is there any upside to a blade that bends this much?
Normally, flexible blades are good for looping. With a extremely flexible blade, you can get a little extra kick of topspin. Even if the blade is not fast, it can generate plenty of spin. A three ply blade needs rubber that has some speed. Thicker sponge works well. The real plus of a super flexy blade is that you will be able to feel the ball. Control is exceptional. Some players hate the feeling of vibrations in their rackets. These players have probably already quit reading by now. But, if you really, really, have a feel for table tennis, you’ll probably want a racket that really flexes.