STIGA Pro Carbon Review
If you’re an intermediate/advanced player seeking to purchase a new ping pong paddle to help you beat your opponents, then the STIGA Pro Carbon could be a great buy for you. I’d have been happy to use such a bat back when I was an intermediate player. Too many folks use poor quality paddles which significantly stunt their development.
The Pro Carbon is one of the best-selling table tennis rackets on Amazon of all time, having racked up over 1000 five-star reviews. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to similar paddles! So let’s take an in-depth look at why players love it so much in our STIGA Pro Carbon table tennis paddle review.
- Manufacturer ratings – Speed: 99, Spin: 100, Control: 80
- Blade – 7 Ply blade with 5 layers of wood and 2 layers of carbon
- Rubbers – STIGA S5 rubber 2.0mm sponge on both sides
- Handle Type – Concave
- Weight – 159 grams
- ITTF Approved? – Yes, you can use it in official tournaments
- Price – $$
- Manufacturer rating – 9.8/10
Let’s start by looking at the blade of the STIGA Pro Carbon table tennis racket. It uses a powerful 7-ply blade that is very lightweight for a blade of 7 layers. This is because it is made up of five layers of wood featuring balsa and two layers of carbon.
The handle of the STIGA Pro Carbon blade is concave and uses Shock Dispersion Tube technology. This means that it has a hollow tube running through the handle which spreads out vibrations when striking the ball. As such, it is important you have good technique, as you will not receive much feedback. This is why this bat is not suitable for beginners.
The STIGA Pro Carbon ping pong paddle also uses Stiga’s WRB technology. This combines optimal weight balance, rate of recovery, and ball sensitivity. Stiga moved the center of mass to the head of the blade making it easier to rotate the ball for topspin strokes.
The rubbers on the STIGA Pro Carbon performance level table tennis racket are STIGA S5, they use Nano Composite Technology. This involves creating stronger and tighter bonds in the rubber to elevate spin and speed. The S5 rubbers also use Stiga’s ACS technology. The insertion of microscopic air capsules into the rubber results in enhanced elasticity. Ideal for the offensive style.
This is further supported by the sponge thickness which is 2mm — an ideal thickness for those who attack. And as you would expect, the rubbers are ITTF approved so you’ll be able to use the paddle in official league play and tournaments.
- Fast with decent spin
The main aspect that we enjoyed about playing with the STIGA Pro Carbon is its speed. It really packs a punch and has a large sweet spot thanks to its two layers of carbon. We were also really impressed by how light they have managed to make it. At 159 grams, the Stiga Pro Carbon’s weight is very light for a bat that features a 7-ply blade. Instead it weighs the same as many 5-ply blades. This makes it far easier to reset after each stroke and means you can play aggressively close to the table.
We were also able to generate good amounts of spin using the STIGA S5 rubbers but nothing exceptional. However, this is what we would expect, as intermediate players (the target audience) should not be using rubbers with high spin potential. They can be difficult to use if you lack the skill. Especially when returning heavy spin shots, as spinny rubbers simultaneously produce heavy spin, but are also highly spin sensitive, whereas the Pro Carbon is not.
Another pro that you shouldn’t overlook is the cost. The Pro Carbon is fairly cheap for what you are getting. So you’ll almost certainly be saving some money if you choose the Pro Carbon over another bat. You also don’t have to hand-select the individual parts and assemble them yourself as this is a completely pre-assembled paddle. This means you don’t have to undertake a lot of painstaking research to make sure you’ve selected a high-quality blade and rubbers that work well together. And also, you don’t have to assemble the damn thing, as it can be quite tricky to do a good job!
- Price has increased over time
- Cannot re-glue new rubbers to the blade
The first negative, albeit a little picky, is that the price of the paddle has actually risen quite a lot since its all-time low. We still think it’s fairly cheap for what you are getting, but it’s a bit disappointing to see. Of course, products rise and fall due to demand and a variety of other factors. However, the Stiga Pro Carbon has more than doubled since its all-time low back in 2017.
Another drawback to the bat is that it is rather top-heavy. Taking all of that weight out of the handle came at a cost, and it’s one that some players will not like. Top-heavy bats can feel a little uncomfortable to use if you are not familiar with them. They sometimes feel a little prone to falling out of your hands, so the Stiga Pro Carbon’s performance may be below what some players seek in this area. However, Stiga did opt to use a concave grip which does help prevent the bat from falling out of your hands.
The final drawback I wanted to cover is that I do not believe you can re-use the blade with new rubbers. Many Stiga Carbon Pro reviews online claim that you can, but I could not find any evidence that this is true. Most manufacturers use non-table tennis glue for their cheaper pre-assembled paddle lines. This means that once the rubbers are worn out they are very hard to take off. So you can’t really re-use the blade unless you’re very careful and comfortable with sanding off all of the leftover sponge. As such, the Pro carbon has a life limited to the length of the rubbers.
If you know anything about table tennis you’ll know that STIGA is one of the most prolific brands making ping pong-related products today. Based in Sweden, they have a huge following of customers who love their tables, paddles, and a whole host of other products they make. The Pro Carbon is no exception and is one of the most popular paddles of all time for intermediate players.
One alternative you could consider is the upgraded version: the Stiga Pro Carbon Plus. However, it is a lot more expensive than the original, so we’ll instead look at some more cost-effective alternatives. Two options that really stand out to me as great alternatives to the Stiga Pro Carbon are the Infinity Edge and Infinity Overdrive. Both are cheaper, newer pre-assembled paddles that I tested out rather recently, and I loved the way they played.
JOOLA Infinity Edge
Currently sitting at half the cost, it’s hard not to recommend the Infinity Edge over the Pro Carbon. Like the Pro Carbon, it uses a 7-ply blade that uses two layers of carbon, and offensive rubbers that are slightly thicker at 2.2mm as opposed to 2mm.
I found it a great paddle for my attacking game, my loops were pretty fast and had good amounts of spin. I also preferred the heavier setup of 186g. This meant it was less top-heavy which feels more natural.
JOOLA Infinity Overdrive
The Infinity Overdrive only costs a little more than the Infinity Edge but with that cost increase, you get a noticeable jump in power. It has a similar 7-ply construction with 5 layers of wood and 2 of carbon kevlar. The rubbers are also 2.2mm thick.
Undoubtedly, this paddle is for offensive players. My loops had great pop and they didn’t require much effort — the carbon really did a lot of the work for me. As such, I think the bat is a super buy for advanced players looking for an inexpensive pre-assembled paddle.
Is the Stiga Carbon Pro Good?
The Stiga Pro Carbon is an ideal bat choice for an intermediate player who sports an offensive style. Its lightweight and carbon layers give you plenty of pace to overwhelm opponents with fast shots, while simultaneously being able to reset quickly after each stroke.
What Rubber Does the Stiga Pro Carbon Use?
The Stiga Pro Carbon uses Stiga’s S5 rubbers with a 2mm thick sponge on both sides. They feature Nano Composite and ACS technology. This elevates their spin, speed, and elasticity. Perfect for offensive shots.
How Much is the Stiga Pro Carbon?
The Stiga Pro Carbon is an inexpensive pre-assembled paddle for under $100. You can check the current price. But it seems the price fluctuates every year, so there may be an opportunity to grab a bargain if you are patient enough to wait for a good sale.
Is the Stiga Pro Carbon ITTF Approved?
Yes, the Stiga Pro Carbon is ITTF Approved. This means it is eligible to use in official events such as tournaments and league play.
So there you have our Stiga Pro Carbon paddle review. It is one of our favorite rackets that we’ve played with aimed at the developing player. Those of intermediate ability should really be able to up their game by taking advantage of the bat’s fast pace and moderate spin. We loved the high-quality build, large sweet spot, and eye-catching design — it feels like a super bat for the price.
We understand the cost increase is a bit of a let-down, but try to recognize that the Pro Carbon still represents good value. Alternatively, consider purchasing either the Infinity Edge or Infinity Overdrive. Both are excellent bats at an unbelievable price.
Eugene (Gene) Sandoval has been one of those guys who spent too many hours around ping pong tables in high school. However, soon enough, Gene understood that there is more to ping pong than having fun. That is how he started a journey that made Eugene one of the experienced semi-professional ping pong players in the United States. As the founder of the PingPongRuler, Eugene spends most of his time surrounded by ping pong tables and research. He always has this knack for coming up with new ping pong strategies and telling the good and bad equipment apart.