Stiga ‘Arctic Wood’ is a last one among seven blades launched by Stiga in 2016. During 2016, Stiga launched two kinds of all-wood blades – Celero Wood and Arctic Wood. ‘Celero Wood’ is a modern version of classic all-round blades. So it shares many features with classic ‘Allround Classic’ or ‘Allround Evolution’ (except for the wood of second layer). On the contrary, ‘Arctic Wood’ looks very special thanks to the use of specially treated wood for top layer. I don’t know the price of Arctic Wood yet. But, from its material and appearance I predict that it will be a high-priced blade, unlike Celero Wood which is a reasonably priced blade.
Like most of Stiga blades, Chinese penholder version is also available for Arctic Wood. Among six kinds (Legend, Master, Classic, Winner, Pro and Pen) of Stiga handles, what is on my hand is ‘Master’ version and ‘Pen’ version.
‘Master’ means normal FL (flared) handle, while ‘Legend’ means wide FL handle. Also Stiga calls ST handle as ‘Classic’, AN handle as ‘Winner’ and CO handle as ‘Pro’. Not using normal words such as ‘Flared’ or ‘Concave’ has been tradition of Stiga for long time.
The size of head of shakehand version is 157mm x 150mm. It is common size for many shakehand blades from other company. Also it is a bit smaller than traditional Stiga head whose size is 158mm x 152mm, and a larger than the head of Hardwood series or NCT Wood series whose size is 156mm x 148mm.
‘Pen’ means Chinese penholder handle. Because Stiga is not providing Japanese penholder handle, Chinese penholder is called by Stiga just as ‘Pen’. ‘Pen’ handle of Arctic Wood is similar to those of other Stiga blades. As a Chinese penholder, it is somewhat wider than usual Chinese penholder from other table tennis companies.
The size of head of penholder version is 160mm x 151mm.
The thickness of blade is about 6.0mm. Except for the top layer, the construction of blade is similar to those of many offensive 5-ply blades from Stiga, such as Rosewood NCT V, Ebenholz NCT V and Intensity VPS V. Second layer is Tanne, and center layer is Ayous.
Top layer is special Arctic wood, and it defines the characteristic of this blade. I couldn’t have checked the exact name of the wood for top layer yet. But, anyway it is different from any other wood that I have ever seen. Of course it also makes very refined appearance.
From the construction of blade, we can’t expect that Arctic Wood will be a fast blade. I expect that its speed level will be similar to that of Infinity VPS V. But, what I’m interested in is its feeling thanks to special top layer. Differently speaking, the difference from the feeling of many Stiga offensive blades those share the thickness and second/third layers with Arctic Wood. As soon as possible I will compare Arctic Wood with Rosewood NCT V, Infinity VPS V and so on.
Instead of plastic lens, Aluminum plate is placed at front side of handle. Stiga is applying this kind of Aluminum plate for new blades such as Carbonado series and Celero wood. On Aluminum plate, brand name (= Stiga) and product name are carved in relief. It looks very nice. But, unfortunately it disturbs fifth finger. At least for me it is serious problem. For that reason I can’t help using the Aluminum plate side as backhand side whenever I test new blades from Stiga. (It is right decision of Stiga that they place this Aluminum plate only on single side of handle and don’t place anything on opposite side.)
At the end of handle, there is also an Aluminum plate. It replaces paper sticker that had been placed at the end of handle of Stiga blades for long time. It also looks very nice. (And, this ‘end plate’ doesn’t disturb fifth finger.)
Even though its graphic design doesn’t include vivid colors, Arctic Wood looks very attractive. From the launching of hardwood series, this ‘Classic’ look has been consistent theme of the design of Stiga all-wood blade. It is now the strong identity of Stiga blades. Just touching and watching Arctic Wood is a pleasure.
As soon as possible I will measure Arctic wood, and report its mechanical characteristics.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to TTGear Lab with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Thanks for sharing this info and the AW looks very nice indeed.
Do you have the dimensions of the handle? Especially interested in the thickness. Currently using the Infinity and I like the thick handle on this blade.
I have only ‘Master’ version of ‘Arctic Wood’. The dimensions of handle are :
Length : 102mm
Width : 26.1~35.4mm
Height : 21.8~25.3mm
My ‘Infinity VPS V’ is in ‘Legend’ handle. So I can’t directly compare the handles of two models. But, as far as I know there isn’t much difference between the ‘Master’ handles of two models.
Thanks for the response. I really like the high control of the Infinity, but might give Arctic a try 🙂
(using Legend as well by the way)
The measurement of Arctic Wood and Celero Wood has been finished. I will soon write article on those blades. 🙂
Any update on the review?
I’m sorry about the delay. But, currently I’m writing another article. Maybe I will proceed the review of Celero Wood and Arctic Wood after finishing that article.
Thanks for another great review. Looking forward to your detailed measurements. If you can, I would appreciate a comparison to the Stiga Infinity VPS. I was considering the Arctic until you pointed out the aluminum name plate. I’ve confirmed with others in a forum that it can be quite annoying for some, so I’ll probably have to pass on all Stiga blades with the aluminum name plate. I believe that the Infinity doesn’t have this issue. Thanks again!
Thank you for comment!
I will soon test Arctic Wood. At that time I will put my backhand rubber on the side with Aluminum plate. 😉
It seems that Infinity VPS V is still all right. But, there may be renewal (= the replacement of plastic lens with Aluminum plate) at any time. Therefore I can’t say that it will be all right also in the future.
Thanks much. I am amazed that Stiga would introduce such a troublesome, unnecessary, ornament into their high end blades. I doubt it will increase sales and certainly affects buying decisions, as others have commented that it is annoying. Looking forward to future reviews and I do post appropriate links to your reviews on various forums since I do find them valuable in better understanding the characteristics of equipment. Thanks!
The reason I got back to Stiga was to find one blade that could replace the legendary Clipper CR or the faster Clipper Wood. I believe Arctic Wood (AW) is an ideal update for these Clippers. Regarding the metal insignia, I found that I have no problem holding my racket with it. The important thing about Stiga Blades was to sand them down right to make it feel more natural to your own hand while holding/or ‘bearing’ with it 😀
I too am looking forward to your article on Arctic Wood and perhaps your personal views on how it compares to Infinity (and maybe Rosewood V for a different angle.)
Keep up the good work! I and many of my friends really appreciate what you do 🙂
Thank you! I expect that I will be able to write more articles next year. This year has been the first year of my new blog, and therefore I hasn’t been fully accustomed to the system of this blog.
Regarding Stiga ornament, I expect that Stiga will improve it in near future. (Just my expectation.) Making that ornament smoother will not be a difficult work.
I’m looking forward to more of your excellent reviews. I see them now being frequently referenced in posts on forums by others other than myself. Congratulations!
If you want to replace your Clipper CR with Arctic Wood, I’m not sure that you will be satisfied with new blade. That is because Arctic Wood is not a fast blade. Although I haven’t written the article on performance indices of Arctic Wood, in fact I already have the measured data of it. Arctic Wood is much slower than Clipper CR. I can recommend Arctic Wood only in case you don’t care rebound speed.
If speed is important for you, I recommend Emerald VPS V. It is as fast as Timo Boll ALC or Clipper CR.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you. I will soon report the measured data of Arctic Wood. (And, at the same time the data of Celero Wood.)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Dear TTGear Lab,
Since you’re covering Stiga & Tibhar blades, and if time permits you, would be nice of you if you could also write an article on Stiga Emerald VPS V for comparison.
Thanks, I’m really looking forward to that data, and how Arctic Wood compares to Infinity VPS V.