(By Truong Tu)
I received the Lin Gaoyuan ALC blade recently and have now logged about 30 hours playing with it. The blade arrived in a solid package with a nice, luxury look. I chose the straight handle version of the blade (I have usually used flared handles on my blades). The handle fit perfectly in my hand with a nice grip. The blade has 7 plies, included 5 plies of wood and 2 plies of Arylate Carbon. The weight is very well balanced, leaving me with a feeling of complete control over the blade.
I put Dignics 09C on my forehand and Dignics 05 on my backhand. As I expected, the blade has great feeling when hitting the ball. I can feel the touch of the ball hitting the wood all the way to my hand – just enough vibration and sensation. When rallying, this blade has almost the same feeling as my previous blade (a Butterfly Viscaria). However, when I loop with the Lin Gaoyuan, there are clear differences. It is like you have been driving your car for a long time; you get used to all the functions, feeling, and handling; and then you upgrade the Exhaust System. All the feeling and control are still there, the car’s just faster.
The blade has high resilience, and a perfect balance of speed and control. My loop is faster and stronger, especially with the mid-distance attack. The backhand counter-spin close to the table is also stronger. Counter looping forehand is amazing – the ball almost seems to pick-up speed after touching opponent’s side. Blocking has the same control as before; however, the punch block seems to be easier for me to perform. Service and short receive also perform well; the spin is still present even though the Lin Gaoyuan seems faster than the Viscaria – thanks to the long dwell time. As I mentioned above, I only feel the speed difference when there is a hard impact on the blade through looping or smashing.
Overall, I really like this blade. I would recommend the blade for an intermediate level and up. In my opinion, the style that is the best fit for this blade is the close to mid-distance attacker.
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