Timo Boll ALC (ALC stands for AryLate Carbon) is the official blade of Timo and was made especially for him. It is similar to the legendary Timo Boll Spirit in construction with some some small differences that enhanced its performance.
In your first test drive with this blade you will be impressed by its compact feeling. The sweet spot is huge, increasing the margin for error in all of you shots, especially in flat strokes.
Materials & Geometry
Layer Construction : koto - ALC - limba - kiri - limba - ALC - koto. The thickness is 5.7mm and the head size is 157 X 150 mm. The handles available are ST, AN and FL. ST and FL handles are the most popular. I have played with the ST handle and its very thick with sharp edges. It is comfortable for tall players with large hands that seek for firm grips. I have played with the FL also and its quite comfortable, though its rather thick for a FL handle.
Overall Feeling & Feedback 8/10
The feeling of this blade in delicate shots is poor, but when it comes to "flat" strokes (like Boll's FH loop with a 90 degree open paddle) the feedback you get is prominent. The hard koto outer ply provides very good vibration to your palm but only in certain types of strokes which I will explain in the recommendations section.
Ma Long also used this blade for at least a year. If you observe ML's technique you will see that he also uses an open paddle when he drives through the ball.
The speed factor is tremendous. The ball travels really fast leaving no time for your opponent to react. Flicking is easy and you can create your own pace at will (the optimal way of flicking with this blade is to execute a "mini smash").
Blocking off the bounce is absolutely lethal & with precise placement. Looping speed is good but needs "special" technique if you want to take full advantage of the blade.
When looping the ball you need to have your paddle a bit more open. It isnt as spinny as the michael maze one because of its stifness. You can create high arc loops (it has a high throw angle) from all distances. Lifting underspin with minimum effort, is a special feature of Boll ALC. It is a thriving attribute that you can't come across often in a blade. Counter looping is a bit difficult, you need to have perfect technique to counterloop effectively.
Control & Accuracy 7/10
Control shots are not easy with this blade especially in short play. The ball bounces high so unless the underspin is really heavy, you must flick it or loop it if you want to put pressure on your opponent. Otherwise you must practice hard to execute short off the bounce pushes, when dealing with heavy underspin.
Long pushes are also very difficult to master (the high throw angle in shots like the long push, becomes a disadvantage). The good thing is that you can play accuracy loops with placement, but there is no room for delicate and slow/spinny shots.
This blade is made for loopers/counterloopers who like to open up the game early, with speedy high arc loops. Mid-distance attackers with small movements will love it. Flicking with fast pace is also a big highlight, if you have attacking mentality in receiving. Blocking is also very good, using the opponent's speed against him. Overall it is great for FH attackers with good BH block and counter attacks in rallies. In short play it is a great "fast flicker" getting immediately your opponent off guard.
Ending, if you a are a player who prefers spin & placement instead of putting pressure through speed, this blade is not suitable for you.