This is the only Limba outer ply blade in the Santoru series and also has the most flex. It has no direct equivalent with other blades from other brands, but it has similarities in some aspects. I have sealed the Limba outer plies a few times. Of the 3 blades, the Santoru KL-C Outer is the one I have played with the most number of hours and I have removed and glued rubbers with it about 6 times. I used the JOOLA Rhyzer 48 and Pro 50 rubbers with this blade and also used 3 more Euro rubbers and Chinese rubbers. I sealed the outer plies to protect the Limba veneers through the many rubber changes.
The KL-C Outer is a controlled offensive Carbon blade. Although JOOLA rates it with the same flex as the other Santoru blades, I felt it is softer and has much more flex. The speed of the KL-C Outer is more like an off Carbon blade instead of a true off+ blade. I felt the speed gap between the KL-C Outer and the 3K-C blade. Both blades have 2nd composite layers, but due to the 3K-C having a pure Carbon layer, the 3K-C is marginally faster.
Even with the Rhyzer 48 and Pro 50 rubbers, the KL-C Outer did not feel too fast for me. I would compare the speed to that of the Nittaku Acoustic Carbon at most. The medium speed level is actually a good thing if you rely more on your arm swing and if you always do full swings on your attacking shots. This is especially good if you use tacky Euro rubbers like JOOLA Golden Tango PS or Chinese rubbers. These types of rubbers are best used when you do full swings near the table. Unless your level is very high, it would be hard if you use faster blades while having full swings near the table.
The KL-C Outer feels very forgiving on offensive shots. When you are out of position for example and have to do a somewhat awkward offensive return like a wide sidespin counter near the table, the KL-C Outer can still deliver good and accurate shots up to some degree. Due to its speed, I would rate it as a near-the-table blade, but still effective up until middle distance and especially counter loops. The KL-C Outer is a versatile blade which can do both offensive and defensive shots effectively. The large sweetspot of the KL-C Outer, like the other Santoru blades, ensures a uniformed hitting power with the blade. The sweetspots of the 3 blades are approximately up until 1 inch from the edge of the blade head.
Since the KL-C Outer has a good amount of flex, I expected it to be excellent when doing all kinds of loops. I tested the blade on 3 kinds of loop contact timing: late contact (where the ball is already going down), peak of the bounce, and early on-the-rise.
When you are looping the ball at late timing, the flex of the KL-C ensures you to brush the ball easily without fear of the ball bouncing too early. In short, the flex helps in “holding” or grabbing the ball on contact. The KL-C Outers’s mixed stiffness also ensures you have power on your strokes when looping the ball at peak or early contact. Even when you are trying to smash the ball, it does not feel to flexy or too soft.
Of the 3 Santoru blades, the KL-C Outer is the most versatile and also has the most control. This being a Limba blade, made me keep it for use. It also has the best spinning capability if you wanted a blade that is more concerned on feel and control. I would recommend this blade to intermediate level players and above. This Carbon blade is a great value for your money.
Disclaimer: This blade was sent to Yogi_Bear by JOOLA. This review is not paid and all views are his own.
Known in the industry by his username, Yogi_Bear is a table tennis influencer, equipment expert, and frequent contributor on the table tennis forum Table Tennis Daily. He is an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Level 1 Coach and ITTF Level 1 Coaching Course Conductor.
You can find this review, originally published on Table Tennis Daily, here.