Player Level and StyleChinese style penhold hitter with short pips forehand and inverted backhand for RPB. U.S. rating 1650-1700, intermediate level. Strength: forehand smash. Weakness: control.
SummaryThe Joola Guo 3C is a hard, fast, solid feeling, fairly light blade good for hitters and power players.
I purchased it in August 2005 from Paddle Palace (PP) for $54.95. I picked up a second one in February 2006 so I would have two blades that performed similarly as nothing else I've tried works as well for me. The blades seemed consistent enough in weight and feel to be interchangeable. Now discontinued on clearance from PP, Joola USA and Megaspin for $38.95, a good deal to my way of thinking.
Who Will Like ItHitters, those who like hard blades, little vibration and have small hands.
Who Will Hate ItControl spinners, those who like soft blades with "feel" and have big hands.
Marketing ClaimThe blade is advertised as using a "new form" of carbon in 3 layers. This may not just be hype.
SpecificationsThe penholder version has a long narrow head like the Yasaka blades 164x150 mm, 6.5 mm thick.
The blade is light for its hardness, about 80 grams. The handle is quite slim, something I like with my small hands. It is a semi conical shape in the penhold version, not very wide compared to most.
Makeup is 4 plies of Ayous, two thin outers and two thicker inners, 3 plies thin carbon. Joola mentions something called "tungwood." I haven't seen where that is unless it's between layers of Ayous.
Stiffness is rated by Joola as below the MC1, Kool, Carbon Swede, Carbon Pro and Rosskopf Carbon.
Speed is rated below the MC1 and Kool, above the Carbon Swede, Rosskopf Carbon, Carbon Pro.
Initial ImpressionsWell made blade of Chinese manufacture. The two I have seem similar in all respects, blades are durable being of hard wood. Sanded down edges and handle for my hands. The face of the blade is sealed, back is not but no problem with either the rubber sticking or the wood fibers peeling.
Set up with Joola Tango Ultra 1.8 (tensor short pips) on FH of both, Nittaku Nodias 2.0 on BH for one, and Joola Mambo C on other (both unglued in black). Total weight with rubber 155 grams.
Playing ImpressionsVery solid, almost vibrationless feel. Feels good when hitting through the ball. Better with softer sponge when hitting, prefer medium sponge when spinning, as rubbers on backhand. Reasonable size sweetspot, though not as large as some.
Not as springy or high throw as other blades like the Primorac Carbon or Spintech 9th Wonder, but has a clearly higher throw than the similarly hard Yasaka Max Wood or hard balsa core or soft hinoki blades.
Doesn't seem to have the "catapult" effect of some carbon blades which I find hurts blocking control. Pushing and serves are very precise as there is no additional flex that hurts touch at slow impacts. Feel is linear more like all wood blades, either due to the hard wood or the very thin carbon layers.
Does have a little more "give" than other hard blades at high impacts. This makes looping easier than with hard all wood blades. Still not as flexible or as soft as the Donic Powerplay, Yasaka Extra or 729 Bomb which are better for looping. Not as fast as the thickest balsa core blades, or very fast carbon blades like the Aelous or the similar Schlager carbon.
OverallThe Joola Guo 3C is a good blade for a hitter or a power player. Someone who wants to maximize spin and control might pick something slower and/or softer. Someone who wants a solid, vibrationless feel but with a little more spin and touch and less weight than hard all wood blades, but thinner than most balsa core blades should like this blade.
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