After I’ve decided to move in the direction of being a defensive player, this is the first defensive blade I’ve tried. I’m a fan of Joo Se Hyuk, the Korean chopper who is so aggressive in his forehand with top spin loop shots and cut strokes in his backhand. Butterfly developed this blade for him - Joo was using Butterfly diode blade before.
I was using a Butterfly Schlager carbon blade before which is an Offensive blade. When I compare to a Schlage Carbon blade, the Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk blade is semi-large. If you have some rubbers already, which you want to try on this blade, may not fit unless the rubbers are cut for a semi-large blade. The weight of the blade is 90 g. I have measured a second Joo Se Hyuk blade that I have bought in 2008 which weighs 104 g. I’m little surprised at the weight differences of the same model. It has a hard feel which some choppers like very much. The blade is little heavy, and very less soft spots. The blade will generate some vibrations if you try to block smash or heavy top spin. You may have to counter drive such shots to avoid the vibration.
The Joo Se Hyuk blade comes in flare and straight handle. Joo uses the flare handle model. I have used the straight handle because that was the only model available in the United States. Joo Se Hyuk does not twidle his paddle in between the shots, so the preferred handle type for a chopper is flare unless you are a classic defensive player.
This blade is faster. A defensive blade is not a slow blade, and this blade is a good example for that. A defensive blade is made of characteristics which is good for defensive play like chopping. The semi-large size is a characteristic of a defensive blade manufactured by Butterfly.
I would not probably recommend this blade for players who are playing very close to the table like classic defenders. Joo Se Hyuk was involved in the development of this blade, so the handle, shoulder and the face of the blade were designed to help his game. I felt this blade has wider shoulder which prevents the thumb to rest on the face of the blade – the thumb can rest on the handle only. Many defensive players use thumb to control their chops, and this blade may disappoint you a little if you come in that category. This may not a problem for a looper because looping with thumb pressed on the face of the blade may cause the ball to fly high.
A very good combination for this blade is long pips on the back hand and an inverted rubber on the fore hand. I’ve tried Feint Long III 1.3 mm on the back hand and Tackifire Drive 1.9 mm on the forehand. Among the other long pips rubbers I’ve tried, Feint Long II 1.1 mm works well with this blade. This blade can cut heavy top spin shots that come to your back hand and your returns can unbalance your opponent. You have to set up your forehand attacks with such defensive shots. If your opponent does not generate much spin for you to chop, you can chop the bottom of the ball and add side spin at the end of the stroke – this kind of shots are played by short pip choppers. I don’t recommend using long pips with sponges less than 1.0 mm on this blade – you may lose the control and the speed if you are a mid range chopper.
This blade can’t absorb the force of a smash if you are trying to block it - cutting the smashes can get the ball to other side of the table. When you play with this blade, don’t throw top or no spin balls that your opponents can smash - take control of the game from the beginning onwards.
The forehand chops need to be done when the ball falls to the ground. I was not successful chopping the ball at the table level with this blade. If your opponent loops the ball to your forehand, you may have to run far from the table, wait for the ball to drop and cut the ball from the floor. The other best thing you can do with this blade is top spin counter drives.
This blade can go well below the ball. If your long pips rubber has sponge like 1.1 mm, you can push the ball agressively. The push is very effective as soon as the ball rises.
The bottom line is, Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk DEF is a good blade for specialized choppers who can move around fast – chop from the back hand and attack from forehand. This is not a good blade for someone who wants to stand close to the table and play the defensive blocking game. The price of the blade is high - $85 in the US.
Are there any blades close to Joo Se Hyuk and possibly slower? Yes. The XIOM Aigis Blade is slower compared to Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk blade. Both are stable cut blades with a lot of possibilities for offense.
Try this blade if you can play an expensive game like Joo Se Hyuk plays - the crowd will love your game and it’s worth paying a high price for this blade.
Update 9/1/2009: I have bought another Joo Se Hyuk blade in 2009 September. The blade weighed 100 gm. The blade is very stable and there is no vibrations. The reason behind the weight of the blade going from 85gm to 100 gm is to make it more stable.
Update 12/26/2009: I have bought the slowest blade among the few Joo Se Hyuk blades the Butterfly Booth had at the US Nationals. The price of Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk has gone high from $84 to $95.Sponsor Ad: TableTennisStore.US - 1000 XIOM, TSP, JOOLA, CHAMPION table tennis products!