I have used hinoki top layer blades for many years now, and this was one of the main things which initially attracted me to JOOLA as my main equipment choice. JOOLA have an exceptional range of table tennis blades with a hinoki wood top layer, and it has been an amazing fit for my game for a number of reasons.
Hinoki is a relatively soft wood, but still adds density and heaviness to a blade. This makes it perfect for reactive offense like countering close to the table, and also for deftness and controlled feeling.
My game is built around hand speed and touch, I change the ball direction a lot and play lots of inside-out fade shots and slow loops to open up rallies. Feeling is paramount in my game and hinoki outer layer blades have presented the perfect recipe to bring out the best in my playing style.
I have become very fond of softer carbon blades with added stiffness on the inside layer, usually opting for Koto wood near the core to add the extra bite to the blade.
The blade which has given me the most reliable feel in recent years has been the JOOLA Rosskopf Emotion blade. For me this racket is the perfect balance between carbon offense and all-wood feeling. It embodies characteristics from both and merges them together incredibly.
The best characteristic is that it allows me to navigate the table with a less than perfect technical game and still make adjustments without an immense amount of risk. I feel like the ball sinks in more and allows the rubber properties to shine through more also. Hinoki helps add great safety and arc to mid-distance topspin exchanges and speed close to the table.
I spent some time using the JOOLA Santoru KL-c Inner blade which has a similar composition with KL-c carbon and added stiffness. This blade was great for adding more offense to my game, but in recent months I came back to the Rossi Emotion for its amazing reliability.
I would say to anyone looking to maximize their touch and feeling while maintaining a reasonably strong attacking game, to look no further than hinoki top layer table tennis blades. JOOLA have a great array of them, from the Rosskopf Emotion and the all-wood Xylo 5, all the way to the premium JOOLA Nobilis PBO-c blade.
I have tried many blades over the years, but always find myself coming back to hinoki top blades!