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Review: Froster PBO – the best tt blade for pros?

Table of Contents

Brief of the table tennis blade: SANWEI Froster PBO

SANWEI was kind enough to send me their latest flagship table tennis blade from their Expert Carbon (EX-C) series, the Sanwei Froster PBO, for review recently and I’ve spent some time putting it through its paces. The blade comes in a light blue Sanwei-branded hard case big enough to store one bat with the included foam padding or up to three bats without it.

My review blade also came with two Sanwei ABS Pro 3 star table tennis balls in the case. In my opinion, it would add more to the overall value of the blade if Sanwei gave two of their ABS HD 40+ 3 star balls instead however that’s probably me being a tiny bit harsh since their ABS Pro balls are already excellent.

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As part of my review, I also asked Sanwei a few questions. ( Answers have been edited for readability and flow)

1. What player feedback influenced the design and construction of the blade?

During the development period, we conducted beta tests with a small range of around 20 players. We made samples and got them tested dozens of times. Changes were made in almost every aspect such as the glue formula, the pressing parameters, the plywood thickness parameters, the compressing ratio, etc.

2. What is the benefit of the ice crafting technology / cold-pressed glue process?

There’s no absolute advantage between cold-pressing and heat-pressing. It’s just that, this combination, along with the innovative glue used, could release the blade’s performance potential. This technology was actually first applied to our Froster blade.

3. How much time was spent on research and development for this blade?

It’s taken over a year since the very beginning of the process. Of course, lockdowns also slowed down our progress.

4. What were some of the things learned when experimenting with PBO fiber for the Froster PBO blade?

This was a big production innovation for us. We now have a better understanding of the PBO fiber and the whole process

The structure of TABLE TENNIS balde Froster PBO

Weight of review blade: 90g (Note: I bought another blade too and that weighed 95g)

Speed rating: OFF 

Composition: Koto + PBO Carbon Fiber + Ayous + Kiri Core

Sanwei table tennis blade plan view

Setups used with the Sanwei Froster PBO:

Primary setup

Black: DHS Hurricane 8-80 2.1mm 38 degrees hardness
Red: DHS Hurricane 8-80 2.1mm 37 degrees hardness

Secondary setup

Black: Victas Ventus Extra max thickness
Red: DHS Hurricane 8-80 2.1mm 37 degrees hardness

Observations of the table tennis blade: SANWEI Froster PBO

The build and print quality of the blade is lovely. I personally like the font used and how Sanwei designed the printing on the blade as it lends a premium feel to it. My blade had a gold printing throughout and according to Sanwei, that should be the limited version of the blade and the regular version would have black printing however they’re reviewing that plan at the moment.

Golden word on SANWEI Froster PBO
Sanwei-loose-threads of table tennis blade EX-C FrosterPBO

My blade also had a couple of minor imperfections where there were loose carbon threads on the edges😅 (which I’ve reported to Sanwei already).

I was initially concerned, however, after receiving another Froster PBO I personally paid for from TopSpin TT in the UK, I found that blade to have perfect build quality with no loose carbon threads anywhere and with a really smooth finish.😊

When gluing on rubbers for the first time, the wood also quickly soaked up the Revolution No. 3 medium viscosity glue so I had to be a bit quick to spread it before I ended up with a patchy glue job! The blade feels very nice in hand although it’s worth noting that some of my friends commented on the sharp wings which may need further sanding down to get a comfortable grip. Some who used it also commented on how light the overall setup felt (197g in total) but one said it felt heavy for him. Weight preferences can vary between players though.

How does it play?

During play, I felt the blade had a very soft feel and was very easy to adjust to. Topspin rallies felt really crisp and the blade’s generous sweet spot helped me knock balls back even when I was out of position or didn’t have an optimal stroke.

As a close-to-the-table player who regularly plays off the bounce, I was initially concerned the blade would be too fast for me but it had a great amount of control so I was able to adjust quickly. The ‘softness’ of the blade also helped with touch play near the net and it had good vibrations (just like the Beach Boys song) with every stroke. It’s softer and slower than the Viscaria but faster than the Yinhe M201 and the DHS Fang Bo B2X. Sanwei told me this blade is rated OFF and I feel it’s an accurate rating. I tend to use OFF- blades and the Sanwei Froster PBO was still easy for me to use.

In my playtesting to compare between blades – the DHS Fang Bo B2X felt springier on passive shots and the Froster PBO felt, well, less. If I did a lazy or half-hearted stroke, returns from the Froster PBO would drop straight into the net. (Note: While I used the same rubber on both blades to conduct a more accurate review, the DHS Hurricane 8-80 rubbers on the Fang Bo B2X weren’t really tacky anymore while I used freshly cut rubbers for the Froster PBO so the level of tackiness may be a factor). When I tried a Victas Ventus Extra, I no longer experienced passive returns dropping straight to the net.

Blocking felt really sweet and consistent. I felt confident in being able to place the ball where I wanted it – which was very useful to me since I like to play to the angles and move my opponent around during match play with punch blocks. My more-skilled-than-me friend also loved how consistent the blocking was and how fast the blade was compared to his Yinhe M201.

I really loved the soft feel of the blade and I felt it helped me when trying to keep the ball near the net. Service was also good and I was able to have quality serves that troubled those receiving it.

What did others think?

When I lent it to a higher-level player to try, he liked the power and control it offered, especially when he needed to play further away from the table. In play testing, he preferred the feel and control of the Hurricane 8-80 over the Ventus Extra so rubber choice may be a consideration for this blade (He usually uses Neo Hurricane 3 on both sides). He also commented on the relatively sharp wings of the Froster PBO and preferred the comfort of his existing blade where the wings were already sanded down.

The sharp wings od table tennis blade froster pbo

My friend and testing partner loved the blade’s consistency and power so much that he quickly asked for a penhold version (as seen in the video review). Even coming from Yinhe M201 (one of the slower inner-carbon blades on the market), the added speed was still easily handled when we were testing out the Froster PBO.

Another player I lent it to fell in love straight away and adjusted very quickly considering he uses a Stiga Allround Classic with Hurricane 3 on both sides. The Froster PBO gave him a great speed upgrade without losing control or touch even though he jumped from an ALL-rated blade to an OFF-rated one!

Who is it for?

Professional players would benefit most from this blade and be able to maximise its potential (Then again, the same could be said of many offensive carbon blades!). Having said that, intermediate players can also enjoy its benefits due to the high level of control offered.

Wrap up of the table tennis blade EX -C Froster PBO

TT blade-Froster-PBO-first-look (3)

To wrap up this review, The Sanwei Froster PBO is a great product with excellent craftsmanship and build quality. I was initially concerned about loose carbon fibres on my review blade but the next one I ordered arrived in perfect condition. Do factor in that you might need to sand the wings down a bit prior to using it so that it’ll be more comfortable to grip.

Other than that, if you’re looking for a new offensive blade with great balance, consistency, and feel, this is a great option for you.

My video review👇 pls watch, like, share, and subscribe!

Products involved in this review:

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