1.  Introduction – Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon

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Fig.01 Tibhar Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon

Tibhar ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is the signature blade for Paul Drinkhall. And, at the same time with ‘VS Unlimited’, it is one of recent top models of Tibhar blade range.

Concerning ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’, Tibar is explaining as follows:

Paul’s signature blade and no problem here with blade build! Paul’s requirements are specific – a blade providing balance and power both at the table and at mid distance for his aggressive spin game played on forehand and backhand wings. The blade needed to be exceptionally stable to ensure tremendous control and touch when playing a short game, despite the requirement for high speed characteristics. 

After months of trials TIBHAR have finalized Paul’s new weapon the POWER SPIN CARBON. The blend of high quality arylate carbon with 5 wood plys creates a fantastic sweet spot and elastic feel that helps enable him to maintain the upper hand in fast counter spin rallies.

The Power Spin Carbon blade provides a seamless interface between you and your equipment, ideal for the offensive player who demands speed and spin with control, to ensure exact and precise placement at all times.

 

Regarding plywood construction, Tibhar tends to apply very unique construction on blades. But, ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is an exception. The plywood of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is based on common construction that is seen from many existing blades in the market.

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Fig.02 Construction of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’

The plywood of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is based on 5-ply wood construction. And, ‘Arylate Carbon’ is placed directly under top layer. The wood of top layer is Koto. Overall thickness is about 5.7mm.

Inserting fiber directly under the top layer of 5-ply wood construction is a very orthodox way of making the construction of fiber blade. This is called as ‘outer fiber construction’. When compared with ‘inner fiber construction’ whose fiber is placed under second or third layer, ‘outer fiber construction’ can utilize the performance of fiber more efficiently. But, the shortcoming of ‘outer fiber construction’ is artificial feeling that is noticeably different from the feeling of pure wood blade.

‘Outer fiber’ blades whose thickness is 5.5~6.0mm has become the standard weapon of top players after the introduction of poly ball. Currently many top players are using ‘outer fiber’ blades.

‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ can be compared with some other ‘outer fiber’ blades. I selected three models for comparison.

  1. Butterfly Timo Boll ALC
  2. Tibhar VS Unlimited : Thicker. Different top layer.
  3. Butterfly Mizutani Jun ZLC : Different fiber. Different top layer.

Among three blades, ‘Timo Boll ALC’ has very similar construction as ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’. However, there are many cases that similar construction doesn’t mean similar characteristics. We have already seen that case from former posting – “Tibhar VS Unlimited vs. Butterfly Freitas ALC – Comparison“. The difference between the philosophy of one maker and that of another maker results in the difference of characteristics of blades with similar construction. ‘Performance Indices’ will provide us good guideline for understanding the difference between one blade and another blade.

Concerning the detail of four performance indices, please refer to following articles in ‘Background’ section :

 

 


2. Comparison by Performance Indices

First, ‘Elasticity Indices’ of seven blades will be examined. Fig.03 shows the comparison graph of ‘Elasticity Indices’.

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Fig.03 Comparison by Elasticity Indices

Ep (Primary Elasticity Index) is directly concerned with the rebound speed of blade. Primary Elasticity Indices of four ‘outer fiber’ blades are close to 2.0. Ep of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is 1.93. Ep of ‘Timo Boll ALC’ whose construction is similar to that of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is 2.14. From this result, we can expect that ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is a little bit slower but provides better control than ‘Timo Boll ALC’.

On the contrary, Ec (Central Elasticity Index) of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is much higher than that of ‘Timo Boll ALC’.

Ec is concerned with additional ‘kick’ when player hits ball very hard. So we can expect that ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ will provide more kick than ‘Timo Boll Spirit’ when we hit ball very hard, although the primary elasticity of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is lower than that of ‘Timo Boll ALC’.

Tibhar ‘VS Unlimited’ shows higher elasticity with the same tendency as ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’. The Ep of Butterfly ‘Mizutani Jun ZLC’ is a bit higher than that of ‘Timo Boll ALC’. But, its Ec is same as that”Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’.

We can noice that ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ shows noticeably different behavior from ‘Timo Boll Spirit’. Examining Ec/Ep is also a easier way to understand the tendency of elasticity of blades. Fig.04 shows the relationship between Ec/Ep and Ep.

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Fig.04 Ec/Ep vs. Ep

Ec/Ep expresses the ‘tendency’ of the elasticity of blade. By examining Ec/Ep and Ep at the same time, we can easily understand the behavior of blades.

The alignment of four blades on the graph looks close to a vertical line. Two Tibhar blades are categorized as ‘Mild Kick’. And, two Butterfly blades are categorized as ‘Deep Hold’. The blade that kicks ball most strongly when we hit ball very hard is ‘VS Unlimited’ among four blades. And, the blade that holds ball most deeply when we hit ball very hard is ‘Timo Boll ALC’.

Ec/Ep of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is close to 1.00. Its reaction on the change of impact force is almost linear. Thanks to the almost linear reaction, we can easily expect the result of impact input. And, it makes all-round play very easy. On the contrary, ‘Timo Boll ALC’ which holds ball very deep when we impact ball very hard is better for very aggressive topspin at close-to-table area. ‘VS Unlimited’ whose Ec/Ep is the highest among the blades under comparison is suitable for power-oriented play.

In fact, all four blades under this comparison are suitable various strategies of modern offensive play. However, comparison by Elasticity Indices will help player when ‘fine tune’ of blade is required for the selection of the best weapon that fits for his/her personal characteristics.

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Fig.05

Then successively, let’s compare Vibration Indices. Fig.06 shows the comparison graph of Vibration Indices.

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Fig.06 Comparison by Vibration Indices

Vibration Indices are concerned with feeling. Vp indicates primary feeling which is transferred to player’s palm. And, Vl is the feeling at the wing of a blade. It is felt by player’s inderx finger or middle finger.

The Vp of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is 1.37. It is the second highest value among the Primary Vibration Indices of four blades under comparison. ‘Timo Boll ALC’ whose Vp is 1.26 is softer than ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’. However, we can see different result of Vl. The Vl of ‘Timo Boll ALC’ is 1.41, and is higher than that of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon (= 1.33). As a result, the feeling of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is much different from that of ‘Timo Boll ALC’.

The feeling of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is close to uniform. But, the feeling of ‘Timo Boll ALC’ is relatively softer at palm and relatively harder at fingertip of index finger.

The hardest among four blades is ‘VS Unlimited’ whose Vp is 1.47. But, its Vl is same as that of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’. It means that the feeling of ‘VS Unlimited’ at the fingertip of index finger is similar to that of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’.

The feeling of ‘Mizutani Jun ZLC’ is also uniform, and is close to that of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’.

 

Examining Vl/Vp is easier way for the comparison of the tendency of feeling. Fig.07 shows the relationship between Vl/Vp and Vp for easier comparison.

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Fig.07 Vl/Vp vs. Vp

Again, four blades under comparison are aligned close to a linear line on the graph.

Vl/Vp of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is close to 1.0. It means that the feeling of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is almost uniform. However, ‘Timo Boll ALC’ is in the category that the feeling at fingertip of index finger is relatively sharper or the feeling at palm is relatively softer. It can be clearly noticed by player who is using ‘Timo Boll ALC’. In many cases, players feel that ‘Timo Boll ALC’ provides very sharp feeling at the fingertip of index finger while its basic feeling at palm is quite soft. Those players will feel that ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is not similar to ‘Timo Boll ALC’. The players who mostly feel the feeling at fingertip will tell that ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is milder than ‘Timo Boll Spirit’. But, the players who mostly feel the feeling at palm will tell that ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is harder than ‘Timo Boll Spirit’.

Although there is little difference, ‘Mizutani Jun ZLC’ is very close to ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ on the graph. Players will be able to notice the similarity between those two blades in feeling, although ‘Mizutani Jun ZLC is a bit sharper at finger, and ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is a bit harder at palm. From the graph, we can notice that ‘VS Unlimited’ is the blade with the most comfortable feeling at the fingertip of index finger.

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Fig.08

 


3. Summary

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Fig.09

Tibhar ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is the signature blade for Paul Drinkhall. Its construction looks similar to that of Butterfly ‘Timo Boll ALC’. However, the mechanical characteristic of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is different from that of ‘Timo Boll ALC’.

Unlike ‘Timo Boll ALC’, “Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ doesn’t hold ball deeply when we hit ball very hard. The response of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ on the strength of impact is almost linear. Because the rebound output of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is proportional to the impact input of player, player can easily predict result.

Regarding feeling, the feeling of ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is almost uniform, while the feeling of ‘Timo Boll ALC’ is relatively sharper at fingertip of index finger and relatively softer at palm.

Although all four blades compared in this posting are suitable for various playing styles of modern offensive play, it is expected that Tibhar ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ is more suitable for modern all-round style, while ‘Timo Boll ALC’ is more suitable for very aggressive style, and ‘VS Unlimited’ is more suitable for power-oriented style. (‘Mizutani Jun ZLC’ is very close to ‘Drinkhall Power Spin Carbon’ both in performance and feeling.)

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Fig.10

 

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