The ‘Blade’ is the bat without the rubber. 85% of the blade must be natural wood and can be of any size, shape or weight providing the surface is flat and rigid. Thin layers of ‘Carbon’ fibre are one substance that has been successfully used in blades, adding to the speed, but also to the cost.
In general, blades can be categorised as follows:
• Defensive Blade
• All round Blade
• Offensive Blade
• Carbon Blade
• Soft Wood & Hard Wood
Faster blades tend to lose the ‘feeling’ required for touch shots such as short push. Most top players tend to choose Allround or Offensive blades, with faster rubbers to give them speed and feel. Beginners should use an ‘All round’ blade (which will usually be made of 5 plys) so they achieve good control.
Some of the leading blade manufacturers are listed below: