1.  Overview – Stiga ‘Nostalgic’ series

Stiga Nostalgic series 01
Fig.01 Stiga ‘Nostalgic’ series

Lately the fiber blade range of Stiga has been greatly reinforced by the introduction of ‘Carbonado’ series. The next step after the completion of fiber blade range is new family of special pure wood blades whose name is ‘Nostalgic’ series that has just been announced (in early 2018).

Stiga Nostalgic series 02
Fig.02 ‘Wenge’ top layer of ‘Nostalgic’ series

 

The most important feature of ‘Nostalgic’ series is the wood for its top layer. The name of the wood for the top layer of ‘Nostalgic’ series is ‘Wenge’. ‘Wenge’ is hard wood like ‘Rosewood’, ‘Ebony’ and ‘Walnut’ those have been applied for the top layers of ‘Rosewood’ series, ‘Ebenholz’ series and ‘Intensity’ series. (‘Walnut’ is also the top layer of ‘Emerald VPS V’.) Therefore we may think that ‘Nostalgic’ series is a new version of ‘Hardwood’ series. Concerning Stiga ‘Hardwood’ series please refer to existing article : Stiga Hardwood series – Comparison.

Stiga Nostalgic series 03
Fig.03 Three models of ‘Nostalgic’ series

 

‘Nostalgic’ series includes three models – ‘Nostalgic Allround’, ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ and ‘Nostalgic VII’. All three models are pure wood blades. ‘Nostalgic Allround’ and ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ are 5-ply wood blades, and ‘Nostalgic VII’ is a 7-ply wood blade.

Stiga Nostalgic series 04
Fig.04 Stiga ‘Nostalgic Allround’ (Handle is ‘Master’ = Standard FL)

‘Nostalgic Allround’ is the slowest version of ‘Nostalgic’ series. Stiga is explaining that ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is based on legendary ‘Allround Classic’.

Stiga Nostalgic series 05
Fig.05 Plywood construction of ‘Nostalgic Allround’

 

Fig.05 shows the plywood construction of ‘Nostalgic Allround’. It is similar to the plywood construction of ‘Allround Classic’ except for the wood of top layer. Instead of ‘Limba’ of ‘Allround Classic’, ‘Wenge’ is used for the top layer of ‘Nostalgic Allround’. The middle layer and the center layer of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is identical to those of ‘Allround Classic’, i.e. ‘Ayous’. Overall construction of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ looks similar to that of ‘Allround Classic’ except for top layer at a glance. But, the thickness of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is 5.7~5.8mm while that of ‘Allround Classic’ is just 5.3~5.5mm. Thickened construction with more elastic top layer will greatly increase the speed of blade. It is expected that ‘Nostalgic Allround’ will be much faster than ‘Allround Classic’.

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Fig.06 Stiga ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ (Handle is ‘Classic’ = ST)

 

‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is a faster 5-ply wood version of ‘Nostalgic’ series. Stiga is explaining that ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is based on legendary ‘Offensive Classic’.

Stiga Nostalgic series 07
Fig.07 Plywood construction of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’

 

Fig.07 shows the plywood construction of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’. It is similar to the plywood construction of ‘Offensive Classic’ except for the wood of top layer. Instead of ‘Dyed Limba’ of ‘Offensive Classic’, ‘Wenge’ is used for the top layer of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’. The middle layer of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is ‘Tanne’. It is identical to the middle layer of ‘Offensive Classic’. The center layer of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is ‘Ayous’. And, it is also identical to the center layer of ‘Offensive Classic’. Overall construction of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ looks similar to that of ‘Offensive Classic’ except for top layer at a glance. However, the thickness of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is about 6.0mm while that of ‘Offensive Classic’ is just 5.3~5.5mm. Thickened construction with more elastic top layer will greatly increase the speed of blade. It is expected that ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ will be much faster than ‘Offensive Classic’.

Stiga Nostalgic series 08
Fig.08 Stiga ‘Nostalgic VII’ (Handle is ‘Master’ = Standard FL)

 

‘Nostalgic VII’ is 7-ply wood version of ‘Nostalgic’ series. Stiga is explaining that ‘Nostalgic VII’ is based on legendary ‘Clipper’.

Stiga Nostalgic series 09
Fig.09 Plywood construction of ‘Nostalgic VII’

 

Fig.09 shows the plywood construction of ‘Nostalgic VII’. Three thick ‘Ayous’ layers at the center of plywood reminds us the construction of ‘Clipper’. But, that is the only one similarity between ‘Nostalgic VII’ and ‘Clipper’. The middle layer, i.e. the second layer of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is ‘Tanne’ while the middle layer of ‘Clipper’ is ‘Ayous’. Of course ‘Limba’ at the top layer of ‘Clipper’ is replaced with ‘Wenge’ for ‘Nostalgic VII’. Not only the top layer but also the second layer of ‘Nostalgic VII’ are different from those of ‘Clipper’. The overall thickness of the plywood of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is 6.3~6.4mm while that of ‘Clipper’ is about 7.0mm. Except for three thick ‘Ayous’ layers at the center of blade, everything of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is different from that of ‘Clipper’. We can predict that it will be very difficult to find the similarity between the characteristics of ‘Nostalgic VII’ and that of ‘Clipper’.

Stiga Nostalgic series 10
Fig.10 The printing on forehand side

 

The printing on the forehand side of ‘Nostalgic’ series is very simple. Just the logo of ‘Nostalgic’ series and the type of handle (‘Master’ in the picture) are printed at the place close to handle. And, the name of blade (‘Nostalgic Allround’ in the picture) is printed at the wing around handle. In Fig.10, ‘Nostalgic’ is printed at left wing, and ‘Allround’ is printed at right wing.

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Fig.11 Aluminum nameplate at the forehand side of handle

 

Instead of plastic lens, Aluminum nameplate is placed at the forehand side of handle. The color is gold for ‘Nostalgic VII’, and bronze for ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ and ‘Nostalgic Allround’. One good news is that the nameplate is very small, and its placement is also very good. Although the surface of nameplate is still uneven due to embossment, nameplate doesn’t disturb player’s finger any more. It will make us happy if Stiga will apply this small nameplate also for other models such as ‘Carbonado’ series.

Stiga Nostalgic series 12
Fig.12 Aluminum plate at the end of handle

 

Another Aluminum plate is placed at the end of handle of ‘Nostalgic’ series. From ‘Carbonado’ series this new Aluminum nameplate has replaced old paper sticker at the end of the handle of Stiga blades. It makes new Stiga blades look luxurious.

Stiga Nostalgic series 13
Fig.13 ‘Nostalgic VII’ and ‘Nostalgic Allround’

 

Then let’s check the ‘Performance Indices’ of new ‘Nostalgic’ series, and compare three new models with some existing blades. Concerning the detail of four performance indices, please refer to following articles in ‘Background’ section :

For the comparison six 5-ply wood blades and three 7-ply wood blades have been selected. Among six 5-ply wood blades, five are Stiga blades. The other one is Butterfly ‘Korbel’. The list of blades to be compared is as follows :

5-ply wood blades are

  • Stiga ‘Allround Classic’ : the base of ‘Nostalgic Allround’
  • Stiga ‘Offensive Classic’ : the base of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’
  • Stiga ‘Intensity NCT’ : hardwood top layer – Walnut
  • Stiga ‘Rosewood NCT V’ : hardwood top layer – Rosewood
  • Butterfly ‘Korbel’ : the representative of offensive 5-ply wood blade
  • Stiga ‘Emerald VPS V’ – very fast 5-ply wood blade

7-ply wood blades are

  • Stiga ‘Clipper CR’ : CR version of ‘Clipper’
  • Stiga ‘Rosewood NCT VII’
  • Stiga ‘Ebenholz NCT VII’

 


2. Lab Test (Comparison by Performance Indices)

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Fig.14 Comparison by Elasticity Indices

Fig.14 shows the comparison graph of Elasticity Indices of three new blades of ‘Nostalgic’ series and nine existing blades.

Ep (Primary Elasticity Index) is directly concerned with the rebound speed of blade. Ec (Central Elasticity Index) is concerned with additional ‘kick’ when player hits ball very hard.

First, let’s examine the Elasticity Indices of two 5-ply wood blades of ‘Nostalgic’ series.

The Ep of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is 1.59. It means that the primary elasticity of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is 59% higher than that of ‘Allround Classic’ whose Ep is 1.00. Although ‘Allround’ is included in the name of ‘Nostalgic Allround’, it is much faster than ‘Allround Classic’. And, it is even faster than all 5-ply wood blades except for ‘Emerald VPS V’ in this comparison. It is noticeably faster than ‘Intensity NCT’, and a bit faster than ‘Rosewood NCT V’ and ‘Korbel’. The Ec of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is 1.26, and it is close to the Ec’s of ‘Intensity NCT’, ‘Rosewood NCT V’ and ‘Korbel’.

The Ep of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is 1.94. This is very high value as the primary elasticity of a 5-ply wood blade. It is about two times higher than the Ep of ‘Offensive Classic’. It is just a bit lower than the Ep of very fast ‘Emerald VPS V’ (= 2.03). About 2.00 is the Ep of many fiber blades such as ‘Timo Ball ALC’. (Ep of ‘Timo Boll ALC’ is 2.14.) We can consider that ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is one of the fastest 5-ply wood blades, at least we think about Ep. Compared with very high value of Ep, the Ec of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ (= 1.43) is somewhat low. It is of course higher than the Ec’s of most 5-ply wood blades in this comparison. But, the difference of Ec is not as dramatic as the difference of Ep. Therefore players may feel that the center of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is very soft. Differently speaking, player will feel that ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ holds ball very deep when player hits ball very strongly.

(Note : ‘Ebenholz NCT V’ is excluded in this comparison. Its Ep = 1.43, and its Ec = 1.41. You may be able to compare it with ‘Nostalgic’ series by yourself.)

Then let’s examine the Elasticity Indices of 7-ply blades.

The Ep of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is 2.20. It is lower than Ep of ‘Clipper CR’ (= 2.42) whose very thick construction makes the speed of blade very high. And, it is similar to the Ep of ‘Ebenholz NCT VII’ (= 2.19). ‘Rosewood NCT VII’ (Ep = 1.91) is the slowest 7-ply wood blade in this comparison. Compared with very high Ep, the Ec of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is dramatically low. The Ec of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is just 1.54 while the Ec’s of the other 7-ply wood blades in this comparison are 1.70 ~ 2.21. Players may feel that the center of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is very soft. Differently speaking, player will feel that ‘Nostalgic VII’ holds ball very deep when player hits ball very strongly.

 

Examining Ec/Ep is also a easier way to understand the tendency of elasticity of blades. Fig.15 shows the relationship between Ec/Ep and Ep.

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Fig.15 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.

On the graph, all blade except for ‘Allround Classic’ which is a reference blade whose indices are fixed to 1.0 are in ‘Hold’ range (Ec/Ep <1.00). Further, most of blades are in ‘Deep Hold’ range (Ec/Ep < 0.90). Although those are not shown in this article, ‘Carbonado’ series are also in ‘Deep Hold’ range. ‘Arctic Wood’ and ‘Celero Wood’ are also in ‘Deep Hold’ range. It will be all right that we regard ‘Deep Hold’ as an important feature of Stiga blades. It is even apparent in new ‘Nostalgic’ series. All three models of ‘Nostalgic’ series are in ‘Deep Hold’ range, and those are even placed at the bottom of comparison graph. The blades in ‘Deep Hold’ range are suitable for aggressive topspin at close-to-table area, but in general not suitable for smash.

‘Nostalgic Allround’ is very close to ‘Korbel’ on the graph. Some players will be able to directly replace ‘ Korbel’ with ‘Nostalgic Allround’ if they can be accustomed to the difference of the feeling of top layer. And, the hold of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is noticeably deeper than that of ‘Rosewood NCT V’ or ‘Intensity NCT’. If player think that the hold of Rosewood NCT V’ or ‘Intensity NCT’ is not sufficient for his/her playing style, ‘Nostalgic Allround’ may be very good solution.

‘Nostalgic Offensive’ whose Ep is 1.94 is much faster than most of 5-ply wood blades whose Ep are under 1.6. On the graph, ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is very close to ‘Emerald VPS V’ which is also a very fast 5-ply wood blade. The Ep of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is similar to that of ‘Rosewood NCT VII’ which is 7-ply wood blade. However, ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is placed much lower place than ‘Rosewood NCT VII’ on the graph. The character of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ can be summarized as ‘High Speed and Deep Hold’.

‘Nostalgic VII’ shows even more extreme tendency of deep hold. Its Ec/Ep is about 0.70. It is surprisingly low value for a 7-ply wood blade. The other three 7-ply blades in this comparison are placed much higher on the graph. We can consider that ‘Nostalgic VII’ is much more suitable for aggressive topspin at close-to-table area than the other 7-py wood blades. But, ‘Nostalgic VII’ is not suitable for smash although it is a very fast blade because it holds ball too deep when player hits ball very strongly.

 

Then successively, let’s examine Vibration Indices. Fig. 16 shows the comparison graph of Vibration Indices.

Stiga Nostalgic series 16 G03
Fig.16 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 index finger or middle finger.

The Vp of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is 1.06. It is a bit higher than the Vp of ‘Allround Classic’. It means that ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is a very soft blade. Although it is faster than ‘Intensity NCT’ and ‘Rosewood NCT V’ when we examined Elasticity Indices, it is softer than those two blades. ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is also quite soft. Its Ep is 1.09. It is a bit lower than those of ‘Intensity NCT’ and ‘Rosewood NCT V’. Vl’s of ‘Nostalgic Allround’ and ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ are 1.20 and 1.27 respectively. Those values are in the range of Vl of ordinary offensive 5-ply wood blades in this comparison (about 1.20 < Ec < about 1.30).

(The Vp and Vl of ‘Ebenholz NCT V’ are 1.20 and 1.39 respectively. You will be able to compare the values of ‘Ebenholz NCT V’ by yourself if it is needed.)

The Vp of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is just 1.12. It is just a bit higher than the Vp of ‘Nostalgic Offensive’, and is noticeably lower then the Vp’s of 7-ply wood blades in this comparison. It means that ‘Nostalgic VII’ is exceptionally soft as a very fast 7-ply wood blade. The Vl of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is 1.32. It is similar to the Vl’s of ‘Rosewood NCT VII’ and ‘Ebenholz NCt VII’.

 

Examining Vl/Vp is easier way for the comparison of the tendency of feeling. Fig.17 shows the relationship between Vl/Vp and Vp for easier comparison.

Stiga Nostalgic series 17 G04
Fig.17 Vl/Vp vs. Vp

On the graph of Vl/Vp, most of blades in this comparison are in the range that Vl/Vp > 1.0 that is ‘relatively sharper at index finger than at palm’ range. And, eight among ten blades in that range are even at higher range that Vl/Vp > 1.1. At that range, the feeling at index finger is noticeably sharper than that at palm. Also with very low Ec/Ep, very high Vl/Vp can be considered as the important feature of Stiga blades. The exceptions are ‘Allround Classic’ which is a reference blade whose index is fixed to 1.0 and three existing 7-ply wood blades.

All three models of ‘Nostalgic’ series are in the range that Vl/Vp > 1.1. That is the typical characteristics of Stiga blades.

On the graph, ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is close to ‘Butterfly Korbel’, as we see also in the graph of Ec/Ep vs. Ep. It is expected that ‘Nostalgic Allround’ can be good replacement of ‘Butterfly Korbel’ in case player prefer hardwood top layer to normal ‘Limba’ top layer of ‘Korbel’.

‘Nostalgic Offensive’ are very close to ‘Intensity NCT’ and ‘Rosewood NCT V’ on the graph. It may be the optimum position of the feeling of offensive 5-ply wood blade for Stiga. Interestingly ‘Nostalgic VII’ is placed close to that position. The position of ‘Nostalgic VII’ is far from those of the other fast 7-ply wood blade in this comparison. Especially it is placed at completely opposite position to ‘Clipper CR’ although ‘Nostalgic VII’ is being explained that it is based on ‘Clipper’. ‘Clipper CR’ is very hard and relatively harder at palm than at index finger. But, ‘Nostalgic VII’ is very soft and relatively sharper at index finger than at palm.

 

High Ep (= fast), low Ec/Ep (= very deep hold), low Vp (= very soft) and high Vl/Vp (= sharp at index finger) are common characteristics of ‘Nostalgic’ series. It means that all three models are for aggressive topspin at close-to-table area. Three models share these common characteristics, and are distinguished just by speed level :

  • ‘Nostalgic Allround’ : Moderately fast blade for aggressive topspin
  • ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ : Fast blade for aggressive topspin
  • ‘Nostalgic VII’ : Very fast blade for aggressive topspin

 

Stiga Nostalgic series 18
Fig.18 Stiga ‘Nostalgic’ series

 


3. Summary

Stiga ‘Nostalgic’ series is a brand-new blade family which consists of three pure wood blades whose top layer is Wenge. ‘Nostalgic Allround’ and ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ are 5-ply wood blades, and ‘Nostalgic VII’ is a 7-ply wood blade. The characteristics of ‘Nostalgic’ series can be summarized as follows :

  • High speed, very deep hold, very soft overall feeling and relatively sharp feeling at index finger are common features of ‘Nostalgic’ series. Three models are distinguished only by speed level.
  • Overall characteristics of ‘Nostalgic’ series are suitable for aggressive topspin at close-to-table area. Players will be able to enjoy great adaptability when they try aggressive topspin. However, those are not suitable for smash.
  • ‘Nostalgic Allround’ is much faster than its base – ‘Allround Classic’. On the graphs of Performance Indices, it is very close to Butterfly ‘Korbel’ although its top layer is apparently different from that of ‘Korbel’.
  • ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ gives similar feeling as that of some existing representative 5-ply wood offensive blades in Stiga range (i.e. ‘Rosewood NCT V’ and ‘Intensity NCT’). But, ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ is much faster than the blades with similar feeling. It is just a bit slower than ‘Emerald VPS V’ which is an extremely fast 5-ply wood blade. ‘Nostalgic Offensive’ will be able to compete with many fiber blades in the market.
  • ‘Nostalgic VII’ is a very fast 7-ply wood blade. But, it is much softer and holds ball noticeably deeper than most of existing fast 7-ply wood blades. Its feeling can be compared with many typical 5-ply wood offensive blades.

 

 

‘Nostalgic’ series is a solution of Stiga for poly ball. It is expected that the  high speed and the soft feeling of ‘Nostalgic’ series will sufficiently compensate for the low of power due to poly ball. It will be welcomed by the players who want to increase the speed of ball but don’t like the feeling of fiber blades.

 

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Stiga Nostalgic series 20

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