Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC Review – Worth The High Price?
Presenting the first dedicated review for a Super ZLC blade on Ping Pong Ruler, and indeed the first Super ZLC blade to ever be released: the Zhang Jike Super ZLC.
Even today, only four Super ZLC blades exist. The other three are the Mizutani Jun Super ZLC, Lin Yun-Ju Super ZLC, and the Harimoto Innerforce Super ZLC.
The Zhang Jike Super ZLC may be one of the most expensive blades you can buy, but it provides exceptional quality and plays a very fast game that maintains high levels of control. Due to its speedy nature and carbon composition, its best suited for advanced players.
· Class – OFF
· Style – Attack
· Plies – 5W + 2SZLC
· Thickness – 5.6mm
· Weight – 90g
· ITTF Approved? – Yes
· Price – $$$$
· Our rating – 9.4
Butterfly Zhang Jike Super ZLC Construction
The Zhang Jike Super ZLC is a 7-ply blade with 5 layers of wood and two layers of Super ZLC. ZLC is a mix of ZL fiber and carbon. The ZL fiber provides elasticity and strength where the carbon layer contributes additional pace.
The difference between regular ZLC and Super ZLC is in the processing of the blades. Super ZLC blades have a stronger ZL fiber and carbon link, making them almost twice as dense as regular ZLC blades — thereby increasing their bounce and sweet spot.
You can pick up the Zhang Jike Super ZLC in all four handle types: flared, straight, anatomic, and penhold.
What Table Tennis Pros Use the Zhang Jike Super ZLC?
According to Table Tennis Reference and Table Tennis Guide, quite a few professionals are using or have used the Zhang Jike Super ZLC.
The top player is Diaz Adriana. She competes on behalf of Puerto Rico and is ranked 11th in the world. For her rubbers, she uses Tenergy 64 on her forehand and Tenergy 64 FX on her backhand.
The next highest player actively using the blade is Crystal Wang of the United States. She’s ranked 311th globally and uses Tenergy 05 on her forehand with Tenergy 64 on her backhand.
Interestingly, the player the blade is named after, Zhang Jike, does not use the Zhang Jike Super ZLC blade. He instead uses the Viscaria. On the other hand, Lin Yun-Ju did use the Zhang Jike Super ZLC for a time. However, he switched when Butterfly produced a signature blade for him.
Zhang Jike Super ZLC – Pros
- Large sweet spot
- Good dwell time
- High levels of control
- Stunning appearance
There’s no mistaking that this Zhang Jike blade is elite. A testament to Butterfly’s exquisite craftsmanship, the blade is a sight to behold. Sporting a black and gold handle, it’s pretty easy to pick it out of a blade line-up. Visually, it’s an excellent choice if you want to stand out on the table.
Moving onto the part of the Zhang Jike Blade review that really matters: the performance. The Zhang Jike Super ZLC compares very well with the top blades and has a distinct advantage over many of its competitors with its large sweet spot. This is due to the super ZLC composition, which has extended its sweet spot beyond the regular ZLC. This makes the blade more forgiving and consistent — most noticeable at a close distance when you do not have the time to execute shots with precision.
This is perhaps the main reason to buy, so many players favor the blade at a close to mid-distance from the table. If you struggle to hit the ball centrally in high-pace exchanges, the Super ZLC could be a great option for you. However, it’s important to recognize that it doesn’t have the best feeling due to its carbon composition. Therefore if you are not at an advanced level, the forgiving nature of the Zhang Jike Super ZLC could cover up your bad habits. So I would only recommend purchasing it if you are at an advanced level.
Not only is the sweet spot very large, but the blade is also very fast while maintaining high levels of control. Something all attackers seek in their equipment. There’s also a decent level of dwell time which gives you the ability to rotate the ball well. As such, loops are pacey and loaded with spin.
The throw angle is quite low, which might unsettle some players. This direct play style is well-suited to close-to-the-table attackers, much like Zhang Jike. Of course, you can also play at a far distance if this is your preference. It easily handles its own due to its high speed. You just might not be able to achieve the heavy arcing loops which so many players tend to use when at a far distance.
Zhang Jike Super ZLC – Cons
- Poor feeling
- Very expensive
In terms of performance, there really is not that much to critique. The Zhang Jike Super ZLC is a quality blade. Perhaps its most obvious handicap is its lack of feeling. It is certainly on the lower end of feeling among Butterfly blades. Butterfly has assigned it a vibration property of 11.1. This is a measure of feeling — the higher the figure, the less you feel.
By comparison, some of the most popular blades, such as the Timo Boll ALC and Viscaria, have a vibration rating of 10.3. This may not be a huge difference, but it’s quite noticeable. You need to have impeccable form with the Zhang Jike Super ZLC; otherwise, you may begin developing sub-optimal strokes where the large sweet spot overcompensates for your poor form.
That being said, the clearest negative to the blade is its enormous price tag. Being a newer technology, the Super ZLC line of blades are all very pricey. In fact, due to its high price, we understand fakes are roaming around to capitalize on the demand by selling at a cheaper cost. This is why we recommend you purchase from a verified seller such as Megaspin.
In our opinion, the Zhang Jike Super ZLC is a great blade, but it is undoubtedly overpriced. The step-up in cost from the regular ZLC blades is significant, and it does not provide a proportional rise in quality because the regular ZLC blades are just so great.
But if overall performance is your aim and you are happy to invest in the blade, by all means, go for it — one thing you can be certain of is its top-tier quality.
Butterfly is a premium table tennis manufacturer that produces equipment primarily from factories in Europe and Japan. They are constantly pushing the boundaries of table tennis technology and their range of Super carbon blades is a testament to this. They conduct research and development in the Butterfly Technical Centre.
Butterfly sponsors many top players worldwide and is widely recognized as one of the most trusted manufacturers by players worldwide. Their motto is “Quality and service come first.”
Alternatives to the Zhang Jike Supr ZLC
1. Butterfly Zhang Jike ZLC
It felt right to provide the non-Super ZLC version as an alternative. The Zhang Jike ZLC plays in a very similar way. It’s a little hard and stiff with more feeling and less pace. It’s also much cheaper, so you should consider both blades before deciding which one to go for.
2. Butterfly Mizutani Jun Super ZLC
The Mizutani Jun Super ZLC is another of the 4 Super ZLC blades currently available. In my opinion, it is the best looking. As much as I love the appearance of the Zhang Jike Super ZLC, this blade really catches my eye!
The Mizutani Jun Super ZLC is marginally quicker than the Zhang Jike Super ZLC and produces a higher arc on loops. This suits players who do not play as direct and tend to loop as the ball is falling rather than the top of the bounce. It’s also easier to execute loop openers. However, it shares the same price making it too expensive for many players.
The Zhang Jike Super ZLC is a beautifully crafted blade that uses Super ZLC technology. This leads to an enlarged sweet spot which is highly advantageous for attackers.
However, we recommend only advanced players consider this Zhang Jike blade because of its pace and because it has low feeling. This can cause players to overly rely on the exceptional sweet spot and neglect good form.
We feel the Zhang Jike Super ZLC is best suited for direct attackers who like to play close to mid-distance from the table. But whether it is worth the price tag is up for debate. The quality is definitely there, but the value for money might not be. It’s a blade you should consider if it fits your play style and budget.
In this instance, you are better off checking out our top table tennis blades article.
Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.