Golden Web Award



By Don Iguana

The folks at Martin Kilpatrick have been excited for some time about the US introduction of the Timo Boll Spirit blade. The context of this intro is significant in that the Iolite and Biside have not really enamored Butterfly offensive customers...especially in comparison to the late, great Keyshot.

The Timo Spirit is not an exact Keyshot descendant. It is 7 ply that combines Arylate/Carbon composite with a Koto top ply....as opposed to an Arylate-Limba combination as seen in the Keyshot and the Biside. In fact, now that it is in hand, the Timo looks to our experienced testers to really be a Kong Linghui model on steroids. Clues include the handle shape, the koto wood, the overall controlled feel and placement in the "BTY grand chart of speed vs. control" directly above its Kong-named brethren. Same ALL+ feel, only faster.

After one session, shod with Sriver EL 1.9 and Sriver FX 2.1, it is obvious that the Timo Spirit sits in its own place. A good one. The Biside, by most accounts, is just too soft to be predictable under pressure. In contrast the Timo is crisp and sharp. It does not feature the low speed throw of limba surfaced blades. Nor does it suffer from the vagaries of excessive fiber deadening.

In fact, the Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit seems to perform exactly as advertised. A serious, fast weapon for big ball power loopers. The good news is a "Goldilocks" balance of predictable offense like the Kong Linghui and the big sweet spot of the old Keyshot. Koto and Carbon are a good mix.

Most impressive were the metered, predictable gears from blocking, to hitting, to power looping...and the low fast trajectory it gave to balls that are intended to have both spin and speed. The Timo Spirit was like a well trained Rotweiller, trotting along at your side within rallies until you say "Sic 'em, Fido" at which time it nails the ball straight, low and fast. Compared to our medium five ply control blade, the Timo probably launched 40 mm hard top spins 6 inches lower off the push and about 10 inches lower off the block from mid distance.

Several posters, including Waqidi, have noticed the difference in trajectory that can occur with the 40 mm ball and this fast, low flight path makes the Timo Spirit a really powerful weapon. Hitting winners felt as easy as throwing darts.

In summary, the predominant impression was one of total control over speed and spin. No "value added" low speed throw like a sweet all-wood limba. No "thump" of deadening at high impacts like some fiber blades. No "board like" crack like a stiff seven ply. Not head heavy nor wispy light.

The Timo Boll Spirit is not about innovation. What it does do is combine woods and composites into a predicable platform for power loopers and counter drivers to take advantage of their talent. IMO, it will be the Keyshot of the coming year(s) and will immediately start showing up in the bags of players who like to finish bang-bang points from four or five feet back....with their fists raised.


PS : Only one handle style, a not-quite round enough flare...but then again Rotweillers only come in brown don't they?

Courtesy of About.com - TT


Last Update : 06 November, 2002

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