As a ping pong enthusiast or a seasoned table tennis player, the paddle in your hand is a vital extension of your game. The racket you choose can significantly influence your play style, technique, and overall game satisfaction. The STIGA Torch Ping Pong Paddle is a popular choice, blending innovation and reliability in table tennis equipment. In this review, I’ll present a detailed analysis of the STIGA Torch, making it easier for you to decide whether this racket could light up your next match.
|All Wood (5-ply)
STIGA Torch Review
The design motive of the STIGA Torch is to make it a user-friendly table tennis racket for beginners and less experienced players. At the same time, it is ensured to have a good amount of speed and spin to make the most of a player’s attacking potential.
It is a 5-ply wood blade. The incorporation of Balsa wood makes the blade very lightweight, weighing only 136 grams. Balsa wood is soft, springy, and has a high dwell time which is beneficial for loopers for topspin attacks.
To protect the inner soft balsa wood, there is a hard outer wooden layer which is further hardened by the Crystal technology. This results in higher stiffness which induces more speed in your shots.
It is not a carbon or 7-ply wooden blade. The motive for designing the 5-ply blade is to give an enhanced amount of control.
The Torch racket uses a 2.0 mm thick STIGA STREAM rubber. It is an ITTF-approved rubber, so it is legal to use this paddle in any approved tournament. The thickness of rubbers used in premade rackets is in the range of 1.5 mm to 2.1 mm. As a thumb rule, the thicker the rubber, more the speed it can generate. A 2.0 mm rubber is on the higher side for speed and also due to more penetration into the sponge, the ball deflects with a good amount of spin.
The STIGA Torch features a popular flared (FL) type handle, enhanced with WRB technology, a hollow handle innovation.
W = Weight balance
R = Rate of recovery
B = Ball sensitivity
The FL handle is designed with a hollow portion that redistributes weight toward the racket’s head, resulting in a lightweight feel. However, this feature also increases handle vibrations. Personally, I don’t like this specific technology to make the racket more head-heavy. While it does enhance the sensory feedback by amplifying vibrations, it fails to deliver a satisfying and solid feel.
With its head-heavy balance, the racket drives the sweet spot towards the racket head, amplifying the power behind your shots.
The manufacturer’s rating of the STIGA Torch shows that it is equally good in all three performance attributes, i.e. speed, spin, and control. But they are a step down from a quality all-round racket for intermediate players like the STIGA Evolution having Speed: 96, Spin: 94, and Control: 90.
The speed is intentionally reduced to give you more command in your shots for placing the ball on the table on more occasions. The lightweight also helps for quick arm and wrist movements.
- Great control, making it easier for beginners and amateurs looking to finesse their shots.
- Above-average spin, affording players the ability to experiment with various shots.
- It is very lightweight which is helpful for casual players to handle it.
- The racket feels comfortable on hand.
- The price is reasonable for the quality you get.
- STIGA’s brand value establishes it as a trusted choice.
- The approval of the rubber from the governing body ensures its quality.
- Some players may find the speed lacking, especially if they prefer a more aggressive playstyle.
Alternatives of STIGA Torch Ping Pong Paddle
The following two popular paddles are very close alternatives for the same type of users.
The STIGA Titan shows similar performance attributes as the Torch and the same price. But in terms of weight (159 grams), it is heavier than the Torch (136 grams).
As one of Butterfly’s best-selling paddles, the 401 offers good speed and spin while maintaining control. It costs almost the same as the Torch but is a bit more spinny.
The STIGA Torch is a compelling option for a range of table tennis enthusiasts. With a focus on control and the ability to generate spin, it’s a paddle that enables precision and artistry on the table. While it may not be the fastest paddle available, its balanced performance and competitive price point make it an attractive choice for both beginners and recreational players, especially those who prefer lightweight rackets.