Sanwei Froster EX-C Blade
Weight: 90 grams
Handle type: Narrow flared
Speed: off to off+
Plies: 7 (Koto Outer – ALC 2nd – Kiri inner)
The Froster EX-C was already released worldwide weeks ago and I have this for almost a month. It took me a long time to post this review since a lot of people borrowed the blade because when they tested the Forster, they really like the blade. The Froster EX-C has been selling like hotcakes in China. I was told the factory had their stocks sold out within weeks of releasing the blade. The blade quality is topnotch. Chinese-made blades have improved on their quality in recent years that they can pass as having a quality close to Japan-made or Swedish made blades. The handle that I got was the thin flared version. This was designed to be used by smaller hands or for children. This is quite thin and more or like in the size of a Butterfly Iolite blade before. The larger flared handle is closer to that of the Paramid but I do not think it is as big as the Fextra flared (older version). The head size is 159mm x 150 mm. The Sanwei website lists the blade as having 259mm x 150mm because they included the handle in the length of the blade. The handle is 100mm long. The thickness if I remember it right is about 5.9mm so it is as thick as most of its contemporaries for the Koto-ALC blades in the market. This is one of the few blades who have used the cold-press technology of which only Xiom and Joola have both used in their ALX blades and Vyzaryz Freeze blades respectively.
The Froster EX-C though with similar construction with most Koto-ALC blades in the market, has its own unique feel that it can offer. The market is saturated with Koto-ALC blades to be honest and if companies keep having the same specs for their blade construction, you will end have up having almost the same blades. From time to time there are blades that come out as having somewhat a different feel but the minor differences of these blades can be a good if you are looking for something different.
On a bare blade bounce test, the ball bounce was medium high. It has a slightly lower ball bounce versus the Sanwei Hynover and slightly higher bounce than the Sanwei Paramid blades. If I compare the Paramid and Froster ball bounce on their respective surfaces, the Paramid has a somewhat dull sound compared to the Froster. If I compare it with other blades from other brands, I would say it is almost as fast as a Viscaria but the feel is definitely less crisp. There is an obvious softness with the Froster and the feel is quite different from Viscaria. I would place the speed of the Froster above inner-ALC type blades but it falls short if compared to the speed of Viscaria or other faster carbon blades. The speed difference does not really affect much the power of your strokes since this can be easily compensated with fast rubbers. I tested the Froster with the Sanwei Target National Gear Hyper and several ESN rubbers. It paired well with the Sanwei Target National as the arc was somewhat better because the arc was a bit higher. Usually, the Sanwei Target National rubber has a very low arc on most blades I have tried but with the Forster, I was surprised that it was a bit easier to use for me. I cannot say that this is just a purely looping blade because it is not that slow. However, the speed is also not too fast so the Froster is definitely not a power hitter’s blade unless you use very hard and bouncy German rubber with it. I can say it offers a perfectly balance of speed and control. It can be a beast if you pair it with European rubbers because the power you need on your shots are there but it the control is very evident which will help you loop better, land your shots better and be at ease because it is more forgiving on your shots. I have had 55-degree Euro rubbers with it and it is very fast at middle or far distance. I also used a 55- degree tacky European rubber and for me it is the best combination I have used with the blade. Tacky Chinese rubbers are great for the Froster but when I used Euro Hybrids for this blade, it was surreal because I have the spin that I am looking for with Chinese rubbers but at the same time, the rubber and blade combo was effortless on stronger shots and at far distance from the table. The arc was medium to medium high and the best thing is that you can feel the ball feedback on your every shot due to the good combination of hard and soft feel of the blade construction. This was used and tested by several players in my club and it took a few weeks going around because some people who have used it are asking me to give it to them due to the blade being so good to use. It finally landed on a lady friend’s hand who was a former high-level collegiate varsity. The reply was simple – the blade is excellent in its performance and blade looks like a low-profile blade but moment you start using I, you can feel the blade’s strength and control in your shots. The players’ feedbacks also specifically state that the blade’s flex enables them to spin the ball really well but the flex never resulted to a huge loss of speed sop it is perfectly balanced for them.
I am not surprised why this blade is a best seller when it came out a few weeks after it was just introduced by Sanwei. As far as I know, the blade is out of stock due to heavy demands from distributors. So far, Achoomai’s shop (Pingponghouse) still carry some of these blades. I am just advising people who use the flared handle that when buying this blade, make sure to specify that the flared handle type you are using is either the thin or regular flared handle depending on your hand size. The sample I got is the thin or narrow-flared handle and it is usually suited for children or people with smaller hands. Overall, this blade is bang for the buck because of its mid-range price but offers performance on par with ALC blades almost twice the price of the Froster EX-C. Even with competing Chinese branded ALC blades, the Froster EX-C still comes on top.