Koto and Limba are both fantastic wood types for composition of table tennis blades. Over the years they have become the leading top layer woods for blades. This is due to their high quality and exceptional properties. Without a doubt these two wood types are the two most popular for top layers among the leading table tennis brands. This can be clearly seen in JOOLA’s Premium Line of blades.
So what is it about these two wood types which make them so great for a large proportion of table tennis players? Is there really a big difference between them both, and also other wood types?
Seems like a simple question, but actually in a sport like table tennis it’s a little more complex than finding a basic ‘ping pong paddle’. The forces on the ball are so great, and the ball is so light. Something like the wood properties in table tennis blades can make a significant difference. It impacts all aspects of your game from the feeling, the control, the speed and the overall performance.
Let’s Start with Limba Wood.
Limba wood is typically a softer wood type. It provides great balance alongside faster carbon composite layers. Limba generally offers more stability to powerful blades. This makes it perfect for blades which are focused on ball acceleration through spin production. It’s also perfect for blades which have more control to balance out their power ratio.
While they offer more balance, it is important to note that Limba top layer blades are not necessarily slow. These blades can have great speed thresholds like the Vyzaryz Trinity blade, but this softer wood helps make the blade more forgiving. This sacrifices some of the power properties of the blade to offer more touch.
Koto is considered the powerful wood in the world of table tennis blades
Koto is usually applied in thinner layers. It is a much stiffer wood, taking away flex and adding hardness to a blade. Koto on the top layer of a blade packs a punch, it adds sharpness and a clean feedback to the blade.
These blades have very pure feedback. With the added hardness on the top layer the Koto wood blades are also considered to have greater precision and direct power.
The Zhou Qihao Hyper ARY-c 90 is the latest JOOLA blade with Koto wood on the top layer. It helps provide the sharpness and power that a player like Zhou Qihao in the Chinese National Team would look for in his game!
In some cases these wood layers are relatively thin. They may make up just one top ply layer of a blade, but they can have a huge impact on performance. The differences between Limba and Koto top layer blades are important to know about for competitive players. Perhaps Limba is for you, perhaps Koto. Maybe your preference lies elsewhere as mine has at many times and you prefer the feeling of Hinoki Top layer blades.
Understanding more about these wood types will help you to find the right custom table tennis equipment for you.