‘Freitas ALC’ which was launched in spring 2016 is one of the recent blades from Butterfly. As its name expresses, it is the blade being used by Marcos Freitas who is the member of Portugal National Team. Marcos Freitas had used Butterfly M.Maze OFF for long time, and finally he got his own signature blade.’ALC’ means ‘Arylate Carbon’ which is also used for Timo Boll ALC and Zhang Jike ALC. However, differently from Timo Boll ALC or Zhang Jike ALC whose top layer is Koto, the top layer wood of Freitas ALC is Limba which is softer than Koto.
‘ALC’ means ‘Arylate Carbon’ which is also used for Timo Boll ALC and Zhang Jike ALC. However, differently from Timo Boll ALC or Zhang Jike ALC whose top layer is Koto, the top layer wood of Freitas ALC is Limba which is softer than Koto.
ALC is placed directly under top layer. So Freitas ALC is clasified as ‘Outer Fiber’ blade. The thickness of blade is 5.9mm. This ‘outer fiber’ construction with Limba top layer and ALC is very similar to that of Butterfly M.Maze OFF.
In fact, Freitas ALC is based on M.Maze OFF. Marcos Freitas had used M.Maze for long time before he made contract with Butterfly. It is known that Freitas ALC is just M.Maze with different graphic design and different name, because the specification of those two blades on Butterfly catalog is identical. However, there is difference.
The thickness of M.Maze OFF is written as 5.9mm on Butterfly catalog. However, its actual thickness is only 5.5mm. It makes M.Maze OFF softer than expected. On the contrary, the thickness of Freitas ALC is 5.9mm both in actual measurement and on catalog. The difference between the thickness of M.Maze OFF and that of Freitas ALC is due to the difference of thickness of top layer. We can observe that the top layer of M.Maze OFF is apparently thinner than that of Freitas ALC. The difference of thickness will make the difference of performance. Freitas ALC will be apparently faster than M.Maze OFF. (Freitas ALC has not been measrued yet.)
The size of head is 157mm (length) x 150mm (width). The shape is standard shape of Butterfly. And, size is called as ‘Regular’ on Butterfly catalog.
Three handle types – FL, ST and AN are available. AN is excluded from picture.
FL handle of Freitas ALC looks similar to that of M.Maze OFF or Timo Boll ALC. However, in fact it is a little bit wider although not as wide as FL of Zhang Jike ALC. This small difference makes the grip feel of Freitas ALC FL a bit more comfortable than that of M.Maze OFF FL or Timo Boll ALC FL. The grip feel of Freitas ALC FL is sufficiently firm. (The width of FL handle is 26~34mm. And, the height of FL handle is 23.4mm at thumb and 24.4mm at end.)
Also, ST of Freitas ALC is completely different from that of M.Maze or Timo Boll ALC. Differently from squared, narrow and thin ST handle of M.Maze OFF or Timo Boll ALC, ST of Freitas ALC is rounded, wider and thicker. In my opinion, the players with big hand will be satisfied with Freitas ALC ST. (The width of ST handle is 28.5mm. And, the height of ST handle is 23mm.)
Small plastic lens with hologram is placed on the handle of back side. This is new policy of Butterfly which has been applied from 2014. But, unfortunately it doesn’t look nice.
On the contrary, on the front side of handle, an Aluminum plate of very nice design is placed instead of cheap plastic lens. This Aluminum plate fits almost perfectly the shape of handle. We can see same kind of Aluminum plate from many high grade blades of Butterfly. Unfortunately, currently Butterfly is applying this very nice Aluminum plate only on front side of handle. And, instead small rounded plastic lens with hologram is applied on back side of handle.
I will soon measure Freitas ALC and report its mechanical characteristics expressed in the form of performance indices. Also I’m considering to the comparison of new blades whose constructions are similar to that of M.Maze but thicker.
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