I have recently been trying out the Bribar Pro Offensive Light table tennis bat. This is a fast (and light!) bat aimed at players who are progressing from intermediate to advanced levels of play.
I have been testing the bat in my coaching sessions – trying out loops, blocks, chops, smashes and serves.
In this review, I share my experience of playing with the Bribar Pro Offensive Light table tennis bat, compare it with other bats and suggest who the bat is most suitable for.
Rubbers and blade
The rubbers for both forehand and backhand are TSP Ventus Spin. TSP are a Japanese company who are famous for their pimples out rubbers. But they also have a few very good inverted rubbers, including Ventus Spin.
Ventus Spin is fast (9/10), very spinny (10/10), with decent control (8/10). The rubbers have a medium-high throw, which makes them very good for mid-distance topspin shots.
The blade is TSP Black Balsa 7.0 Offensive Light. It’s made from balsa wood and fibre glass, which gives it quite a large sweet spot. But its main selling point is that it is very light – only 60g. This is the lightest blade I have played with and it really does seem effortless to pick up and swing (even for a weedy guy like me!).
I have playing with the Bribar Pro Offensive Light for the past month, clocking up 15-20 hours of play. This is how I got on…
At first, I was surprised by the speed of the bat. It is fast! Combined with a medium-high throw, I struggled initially to keep the ball low and on the table. But when I adjusted my bat angle and swing trajectory, I started to generate very fast and spinny shots, which dipped beautifully towards the end of the table.
Because of the lightness of the blade, it really does feel like an extension of your hand. It’s very easy to swing with fluid motions.
I found it very easy to loop backspin balls. The rubbers grip the ball very well and fire out big rotation to make the ball jump when it hits the table.
I also found it very easy to topspin at mid-distance. The medium-high throw of the rubbers gives you that little lift from mid-distance to clear the net and get the ball deep on the other side.
Drives and smashes
The Bribar Pro Offensive Light is very good with driving and smashing. When you put that extra bit of power into your shots with a flatter contact, you can really feel the ball sink into the rubber and hit the balsa blade.
The large sweet spot on the blade makes it easier to control flat hits. So even if you don’t get the perfect contact, the ball still seems to land on the table.
And as the blade is so light (have I mentioned that already?!), it really does feel effortless to hit balls flat and hard and power the ball past your opponent.
Blocks and pushes
Blocking is also very easy with the Bribar Pro Offensive Light. In particular, I found active blocking very effective. These are blocks verging on counter-attacks – controlling the incoming spin and punching the ball back fast. Passive blocking is ok, but I found you do need a slightly more positive blocking style to get the most from the rubbers and blade.
Pushing is ok. I found I had to focus on brushing the ball properly when pushing, to really generate good levels of backspin. But when I did push properly, then I could keep pushes tight and difficult to attack. More passive pushes didn’t work very well.
So it’s a good bat for ‘active’ defensive strokes.
Serve and receive
I was able to serve very well when doing sidespin or topspin serves. These were excellent. Lots of spin and speed. And because of the lightness of the blade, I felt I could really whip my wrist when serving.
I found it a bit harder to keep my backspin serves low over the net. I didn’t practice these serves that much with the blade, so maybe this is a slightly unfair comment. I’m sure with a bit more time, I would be able to get these serves, low and spinny, loaded with backspin.
Return of serves is good, as long as you play a proper stroke. Any tentative prods and the ball will fly. But if you do a proper push, topspin or flick then it is fairly easy to control the incoming spin.
In particular, I found flicks (both backhand and forehand) easy to execute with this bat. Again, I found the lightness of the blade an advantage when flicking. It help me generate fast racket speed over the table where you don’t have much space or time to react.
How does it compare to other bats?
Compared to the other two bats in the Bribar range – the Winning Loop and the Allround Professional – the Bribar Pro Offensive Light is definitely faster with great spin generation, but also requires greater skills to control.
It’s also a step up from other popular ready-made bats, such as Palio Legend, Stiga Allround Classic and Killerspin Jet800. These three bats are good, but the Bribar Pro Offensive Light has a more premium feel and outperforms all three in the spin quality of the rubbers and the lightness of the blade.
I currently use a JOOLA Fever blade with JOOLA Rhyzer 48 on my forehand and JOOLA Rhyzer 43 on my backhand. By comparison, the Bribar Pro Offensive Light is probably a tiny bit faster, a bit easier to topspin at mid-distance, but slightly less levels of control, especially in the defensive game.
Who is the bat for?
The Bribar Pro Offensive Light is ideal for players who like to attack and prefer to use a lighter weight table tennis bat.
It really is very light!
The TSP blade and rubbers are high quality and rival more popular brands such as JOOLA, Stiga, Donic and Butterfly.
The bat is suitable for experienced local league players and intermediate players who are improving fast and want to use more advanced equipment.
It may even be suitable for some attacking recreational or office players, who want something a bit more special to hit fast and spinny shots past their friends and colleagues.
Where to buy
The Bribar Pro Offensive Light is available to buy in the UK from the Bribar website for £92.99 – a big saving compared to buying the blade and rubbers separately.