Dawei Genote Quattro O
Weight: 88g ±4
GenO is a very thin blade, but made slightly and stiffer by the addition of two plies of red-stained, hardened Ayous. This gives it a higher pitched tone than the other limba Dawei blades. From the side, this blade looks something like a Dicon.
Dawei Quattro Limba
Weight: 86g ±4
A classic Swedish formula, Limba over Ayous, favored by many great loopers from around the world. It's actually a nine ply blade, using several smaller layers of ayous for the core, but it's not stiff. It plays like a typical 5ply limba.
Weight: 88g ±4
This has been one of my most popular blades over the years. Try to find a Limba outer ply at this price anywhere else.
A little thick, so fast for beginners, but a lower tone that seems to give it a controlled feel.
For intermediates and above it's a great blade for the price.
We are transitioning the Matrix from Dawei to Air branding, you may get either lense for a while. The only difference is the lens.
"Premade Buster" Blades
Speed: Touch01 (ALL+), R2 (OFF)
Weight: ~77 to 88 depending on model and handle
Air Touch01 is appropriate for most players (including myself), especially those who are getting their first non-premades. It still feels snappy, and is versatile. The R2 is thicker, stiffer, faster but still pretty soft. R4 is like R2 but with koto outer ply and reddish trim, available in flared only.
Combo with 2008XP rubbers and case for $34 on the specials page!
*OUT OF STOCK TOUCH01 Straight (flared and pen in stock), R2 flared *
Galaxy LQ-1 Modern Defensive
Weight: 79g ±5
The LQ-1 is a fairly fast blade for being defensive, but it has a defensive, oversized shape. What I noticed was that the length of the blade meant that it was extremely flexible and spinny if you loop or chop near the tip. The quality of crafstmanship and materials used in the LQ blades are second to no other all wood blades I've ever seen. LQ-1 seems to be the same wood formulation as W6, but oversized. The larger head gives it a lower, more defensive tone.
Galaxy LQ-2 Defensive
This blade is shaped like the LQ-1, but seems to be a touch slower with a lower pitch and more flex, making it seem a bit more like I would expect a defensive blade to feel. The handle is a thick cork. Flex to the max...well, not to the max, I've felt more, but it's flexy. Sales have increased with the popularity of hardbat.
Galaxy pd437 and 537
Not for the feint of heart, this is a heavy, thick limba blade that some have compared to clipper. It's a very bouncy, loopy blade and the 537 is even faster.
Weight: 89g ±3
The 5ply W6 is constructed similarly to a popular Japanese blade used by many pros, especially in penhold.. Reasonably thin construction gives it some spin, but the outer ply is hard, giving it a crisp feel on hits and blocks. This is the blade I've used personally for years now, and I have a lot of blades to choose from. I think it's important to seal and tape the edges well, as this blade chips at the edge. I do this on all w6 combos.
*OUT OF STOCK PENHOLD*
This is a mid soft but flexy and springy looping blade that has maintained long-term popularity. Seems to be the highest quality of Ayous I've run across in this price range. Loops well compared to other ayous blades with a little snappier feel. Perhaps a shade less short game control.
LKT Toxic 3 and Toxic 5
Weight: 74g ±3
Weight: 84g ±2
This is Friendship's answer to the classic defensive "Hock" blades. They have that low tone that screams control. However, even the Toxic 3 isn't as slow as some of the 3-ply Hocks I've tried.
The 5-ply still has that low tone, although not quite as pronounced. However when you take a bigger cut that tone disappears and it feels more like a normal off- blade.
Both rackets have the distinctive Hock shape, with an exaggerated oversized head.
This racket will most likely be covered on at least one side with some sort of pips-out rubber. Often long pips. The typical choppers forehand will be a sticky topsheet on a thin (<1.5), dead sponge. If the player wants to be able to loop with the forehand they will sometimes go to a sponge around 1.8 thickness.
LKT Instinct and Instinct+
Speed: Between ALL+ and OFF-
Weight: 85g ±2
Soft Ayous blade with lots of control. The Instinct 5-ply is ALL+ and a very popular blade. The Instinct+ is a 7-ply version so it's stiffer and faster, but still pretty soft and very good control for a 7-ply.