The sport of table tennis entered a new age when poly balls were released into the market. To meet the changing demands, Nexy designed a new wave of blades called the “4th Generation.” KANAPH was released in between the 3rd and 4th Generations and featured several points that distinguished it from previous models. One of the key features was a wider sweet spot that was attained by a larger head size. However, one of the latest 4th Generation blades, AKRASIA, has a more compact head design. So, what are some of the other features that are unique to the most recent generation of Nexy blades?
Nexy still believes that a larger sweet spot is key for poly ball play, and a larger head certainly increases the sweet spot. But a bigger blade is also heavier, which exponentially increases in weight when large rubbers are affixed on both sides. Therefore, it’s important to find a optimal balance between head size and weight.
When I began designing AKRASIA, I started with a larger head size, but with the aim of making it the fastest blade in the world. Not surprisingly, I had a few challenges I needed to overcome! Firstly, the blade needed to be solid and not too thin, but keeping the weight down seemed impossible, and I worried that this was becoming an unreachable project. Secondly, If the blade was super fast, it might also be super bouncy, which would not allow the ball to stay on the racket long enough to generate good spin. These were difficult problems I needed to solve. I knew how to make a fast blade, and I knew how to make a spinny blade. My challenge was making a blade that was both fast and spinny!
Also, if the blade was very fast, players would have trouble controlling the direction of the ball, especially when blocking the opponent’s attacking shots. So, my homework assignment for AKRASIA was three-fold — I needed to design a really fast blade that was not too heavy, not too bouncy, and equipped with good control.
The second and third problems (speed vs. spin and control) were easily solved. I designed AKRASIA with a big “dual speed” system. It can be extravagantly fast when used for attacking, yet feel slow and easily controllable when used for blocking and serving. However, solving the first problem (weight) was not so easy to figure out.
One of the unique qualities of Nexy is that all products go through an extensive design and development process, and AKRASIA was no exception! When I tried to find the optimum balance between weight and sweet spot the answer came from the thickness. When a blade is thick with a smaller head size, the sweet spot is maintained and vibration is low. I tested many different sizes and finally decided to make AKRASIA even smaller than the 3rd Generation blades. It’s not a huge difference and is still larger than most compact head designs, though I think experienced players will take notice. Still, the blade is strong with a large sweet spot, and it gives a trustworthy feeling without much vibration. This is also accomplished by the insertion of a special high quality composite material.
AKRASIA is a very, very fast blade. Nexy has never indicated speed data ratings, but I believe Nexy has met the challenge and succeeded in creating the fastest legal blade in the world. This has been attainable through Nexy’s “dual speed” system, which is perfectly suited for AKRASIA. This functional feature provides a great advantage in fulfilling the extreme harmony between weight, speed, and spin — in all positions and with all intentions.
Please note, this system is not an ideal feature for all players and for all blades. AKRASIA is designed for players who desire extreme attacking power with quick conversion to safe blocking. Such a player will go crazy over this mighty beast.
It is also well-suited to help beginners learn the correct angle for fast looping by aiming at the “point” feature, which allows players to feel the ball’s impact as a sharp point. The spot where the ball’s impact is felt on the blade is deeper than the average attacking blade. And, this will help players realize the proper swing movement when making a strong attacking shot. As a result, AKRASIA could become a beginner’s personal trainer.
Before closing this blade description, I want to leave one final note about the name “AKRASIA.” People often dream of happiness, but joy is not always easy to obtain. That’s why players sweat while training. This blade seems ideal, because it all began as special request from several players. And, as a designer, I honestly can say that this blade is a real “AKRASIA.” Isn’t this freakishly fast blade too attractive to ignore?