Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade Review

Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade Review - Should I buy this table tennis blade or not?

Timo Boll is a German pro table tennis athlete who currently performs for Borussia Düsseldorf. He is second in the German Table Tennis National League and tenth in the ITTF world rankings as of July 2021.

Boll ranks among the best German table tennis players of all time, ranking world No. 1 in 2003, 2011, and March 2018. Because of Timo’s long association with the game and a significant fan following, there is a wide range of Timo Boll products that Butterfly produces.

All these product designs are specifically created under the guidance of Timo himself, with his ideas and suggestion taken as input in every product. Butterfly developed a supreme material ZL Carbon blade, which keeps carbon’s speed and ZL fiber’s lightness and flexibility.

This high-capacity blade with ZL carbon enables lightness, high rebound force, and flexibility. By blending the new ZL Fiber with industry-leading Carbon Fiber, the technicians could produce this lightweight powerhouse of a blade.

The Timo Boll ZLC offers the traditional feel and power of carbon, but the ZL Fiber’s flexibility holds the ball longer on the blade than standard carbon blades.

This increased “dwell time” allows the ZLC Blade to produce both maximum speed and spin. This is an ideal blade for the power attacker who likes to loop and smash to win points.

Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade Table Tennis Blade - Professional ZL Carbon Fiber Blade - Available in...
  • The Timo Boll ZLC offers traditional carbon feel and power while holding the ball on the racket longer
  • The best quality of the ZL fiber is it's ability to increase "dwell time", which produces the maximum amount of spin and speed
  • Because the ZL carbon absorbs contact over the face of the blade, which it is great for counter-attacking

Check Price on MegaSpin

Specifications –

1. Features:

Properties TIMO BOLL ZLC
Made in Japan
Manufacturer Butterfly
Handle Dimension 102×24mm
Head Dimension 157x150mm
Vibration 10.8
Reaction 11.7
Consistency 9.0
Class OFF+
Control 9.2
Hardness 6.5
Spin 8.0
Thickness 5.5mm
Weight 84g
Style ATTACK
Speed 9.5
Stiffness 5.5
Plies 5W+2ZLC

2. Composition And Handle:

Is Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade worth buying? Review on Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade

The head’s dimension is 157 x 150mm, and it weighs 84g. This carbon paddle has a surface size of 5.5mm, and its design stands out from other paddle models. It comes with a total of five wooden plies and two zylon carbon plies.

The woven fiber mixed with the carbon gives comfort while holding the bat for a longer time. One of its selling points is its extended dwell time, a feature found in all the ZL fibers.

The best rubber for the Timo Boll ZLC is the Butterfly Dignics series. When paired with the Dignics 80 rubbers like Timo Boll, I could play mid-distance shots easily.

The Dignics 09C rubber worked for the ZLC racket and gave me an additional spin during play. The paddle has a good grip with its comfortable handle. The blade comes in three handle styles – AN, FL, and ST.

Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade Table Tennis Blade - Professional ZL Carbon Fiber Blade - Available in...
  • The Timo Boll ZLC offers traditional carbon feel and power while holding the ball on the racket longer
  • The best quality of the ZL fiber is it's ability to increase "dwell time", which produces the maximum amount of spin and speed
  • Because the ZL carbon absorbs contact over the face of the blade, which it is great for counter-attacking

Check Price on MegaSpin

2. Stiffness And Hardness

When looking for paddles, one of the things I check is stiffness. The Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC has a stiffness rate of 5.5. This is moderate and helps with the paddle’s speed.

Timo Boll ZLC has a rugged feel, making it easy to produce faster with lesser effort. The hardness rating is 6.5, which is decent as it offers ample time for experienced players to gain control of the momentum for a return.

3. Speed And Control

Another reason why many table tennis players love this blade is its speed. The racket can make a powerful impact during a table tennis game. It has a high-speed rating of 95, faster compared to the Timo Boll ALC.

The pace will be more beneficial for pro athletes to play high-speed offense shots during the game. The zylon carbon is the cause for the speed as it gives the paddle an elastic feel designed to make more spins and implement much better control.

This makes the Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC more suitable for high-flying dynamic table tennis games. Another component where the Boll ZLC does exceptionally well is the control. The control of the paddle is directly proportional to its speed.

The blade has a high control rating of 75, which is fantastic. The wooden layers of the paddle are soft, which makes it touch-responsive. Nevertheless, controlling the high speed can be tricky, and only experienced players can know how to use this bat.

4. Shots And Playing Style

My honest review on Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade - Should you buy this ping pong blade?

Boll ZLC is excellent for playing the loop. An experienced player can get perfect control of your backhand play. It can produce powerful smashes and other game strokes. However, the Timo Boll ZLC is formed for forehand practice and can perform a spin quickly.

The paddle allows players to maximize their momentum and the frequency of spins. Using this blade puts players at an advantage since it could be used to surprise your competitor with spins and smashes.

It also operates fine for playing a serve during the match. The paddle has a bouncy feel and enables me to hit the ball at any angle with lesser power. Apart from playing attacking shots with this paddle, it is also classic for players playing defense.

You can perform any stroke-like push, drive, or even smashes. The Timo Boll ZLC is for pro athletes and will serve various playing styles. It is for professionals who like to make a lot of spin shots and looping. Players can use it for other table tennis techniques like blocking, smashes, and flat hits.

Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade Table Tennis Blade - Professional ZL Carbon Fiber Blade - Available in...
  • The Timo Boll ZLC offers traditional carbon feel and power while holding the ball on the racket longer
  • The best quality of the ZL fiber is it's ability to increase "dwell time", which produces the maximum amount of spin and speed
  • Because the ZL carbon absorbs contact over the face of the blade, which it is great for counter-attacking

Check Price on MegaSpin

Pros And Cons of Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC

PROS CONS
1. Suitable for advanced players 1. Not suitable for beginners
2. Provide great loops and smashes 2. The margin of error is minimal
3. Have a good balance 3. Need time to get familiar with
4. Good speed 4. A bit pricy for the features it offers
5. Good control

My Review on Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC

Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade review - Is it worth buying?

I used this blade with rubbers like Hurricane 8, Tenergy 05, and Acuda S1 Turbo on my forehand and Hurricane 2 and Tibhar MX-P on my backhand. This blade is an OFF blade as it supplies good speed even when performing small strokes.

What makes this blade great is that the high speed does not remove its high dwell time, allowing the player to open up well off a backspin ball and loop safely over the net with lots of spins.

I would not recommend this blade with hard Chinese rubbers such as the Hurricane series. On the other hand, using somewhat softer tensor rubbers like the Acuda S1 Turbo and the Tibhar MX-P is endorsed by me as that is something the paddle was devised for.

This kind of combination will provide you with the maximum satisfaction out of the blade as it enables you to spin the ball entirely and attack the rival with a good position for an offensive paddle. The downside of this blade is that it has an awful feeling.

Yes, this paddle does not feel proper for most people with a moderately average level of feeling for the ping pong ball. This is why blending a hard rubber-like Hurricane 8, and a hard stiff blade like the TB ZLC is not advised.

I could hardly feel what I was doing, and the ball quickly flew off the end during rallies. Another drawback to this paddle is that it is very reactive to incoming spin on serves, which makes service return quite tricky, especially short touches, as the speed of the racket and its stiffness make it hard to stop the ball from flying long.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, and if you do have a good hand and you have an excellent feeling (like Chris Doran, for example – feel free to check out his game on youtube), you will easily be able to use this blade without any difficulties.

However, even players like Timo Boll prefer the ALC version because it gives players a more powerful feeling and less reactivity to incoming spin. I would recommend this blade for professional players or good intermediate players with a lot of texture.

PS: I would rate this blade a 3/4 as the paddle’s performance largely depends on the player using it.

Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC Blade Table Tennis Blade - Professional ZL Carbon Fiber Blade - Available in...
  • The Timo Boll ZLC offers traditional carbon feel and power while holding the ball on the racket longer
  • The best quality of the ZL fiber is it's ability to increase "dwell time", which produces the maximum amount of spin and speed
  • Because the ZL carbon absorbs contact over the face of the blade, which it is great for counter-attacking

Check Price on MegaSpin

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Dimensions of this paddle?

Thickness: 5.5mm
Head Size: 157x150mm
Anatomic Handle Size: 100x24mm
Flared Handle Size: 100x24mm
Straight Handle Size: 100x22mm
Weight:  85g

What is the difference between an, fl & st grip or handle styles??

Flared: (FL)- The most popular style. A flared(FL) handle gets wide at the base, and the center is concave.

Straight: (ST) The straight(ST) handle has no divergence in it. It is uniform from neck to base. The handle has no variation.

Anatomic: (AN) – An anatomic handle is tapered at the neck and is broader in the middle. The area between the base and center is slightly concave.

Which butterfly rubber works best with this paddle?

Tenergy 05 – short trajectory, quick play

Tenergy 80X – mid-range control attacks

Dignics 64 – long-distance power play

Brice High Speed – long-range high speed

Which is better for this rubber? Forehand or Backhand? I am an aggressive player, by the way.

This blade is an OFF blade as it supplies good speed even when performing small strokes. I would not recommend this blade with hard Chinese rubbers such as the Hurricane series.

On the other hand, using slightly softer tensor rubbers like the Acuda S1 Turbo and the Tibhar MX-P is recommended as that is what the blade was designed for.

This type of combination will supply you with the most satisfaction out of the paddle as it allows you to spin the ball well and attack the opponent with good placement for an offensive blade.

Conclusion

This Butterfly Timo Boll ZLC blade is one of the best quality gadgets for professional table tennis players. If you are looking for a fast-speed paddle that provides you a reasonable amount of control, the Timo Boll ZLC is for you.

However, this blade is not meant for athletes who’re beginners. The racket demands a certain level of experience. I personally enjoy making spins and smashes with the ZLC racket.

One of the reasons most athletes prefer the racket is that it fits almost all the playing styles. It is excellent for competitive matches and will help the player win.

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