The Radix blade series are the newest addition in the line of blade products from Adidas. Like the Hypertouch blade which came out last April 1, The Radix blades utilizes the RX-carbon fibers which are composed of carbon interwoven with a high tech material to give blades both the necessary power and at the same time both a soft feeling and great control among the 3 blades. Adidas decided to use hinoki top plies on all 3 blades.
Adidas Radix Express
Plies: 5 wood + 2 rx carbon
Weight: 90 grams
Adidas Radix Ultimate
Plies: 3 wood + 2 rx-carbon
Weight: 92 grams
Adidas Radix Impress
Plies: 5 wood + 2 rx carbon
Weight: 87 grams
All of the 3 blades have hinoki top plies. As what I have observed, the quality of Adidas blades has been increasingly good since its first production of the v-series blades. Starting with the Hypertouch, Adidas have decreased the size of crystal in the lens and also made the blade finish smoother. Adidas has maintained simple but elegantly designs among its newer blades. Both the Express and Ultimate blades have the rx-carbon on its 2nd layers and the Impress having the carbon at its 3rd layer. Both the Ultimate and Express look like they have a kiri inner core while the Impress looks like it has an ayous middle core. All the 3 blades are balanced in terms of weight distribution when glued with rubbers and don’t feel head heavy at all. The Impress in particular feels light despite its 87 gram weight.
Speed and control
I used the Tenzone and Tenzone ultra for testing the 3 blades. The Radix Ultimate is the fastest among the 3 blades. When I was doing fh to fh and bh to bh drills, the impact of the ball on the blade is very lively. The Express was in between in terms of speed and the Impress is the least speedy but nonetheless fast. In comparison with other blades I have tried. The Ultimate is ion the speed level of a Primorac Carbon. One of my students who have been using a T-11 says he likes this better even if it’s heavier than his previous blades. He claims the Ultimate is as fast as the Black Devil and T-11 but feels better when he hits the ball. The Impress feels like a harder ALC. The hinoki outer plies on the Impress made greater impact on the ball but at the same time it doesn’t feel as hard as other regular carbon blades. Of the 3 blades, the Impress has the most amount of control. Whatever the rx material in the rx-carbon is made of, it adds some degree of softness on ball impact. The Express is the most balanced blade among the 3 in terms of control and speed.
On regular loops and delayed slow loops, the Impress performs best because of its soft feeling and flex. Its thin construction of 5.6-5.7mm thickness has some sort of impact on its flex and I enjoyed looping with it. The Ultimate excels more on spin drives or whenever you can loop the ball on the rise. It produces very solid shots of spin drives that when I was hitting the ball on the rise against underspin it was very solid on impact and the ball has a sharp trajectory. The Express was surprising because it felt like a photino but with a notch harder feeling. The photino is my favorite bty composite blade and when I have tried the Express, it felt it has a better feeling and has a more solid hitting capacity.
Smashing and counters
Granting you have the control, the Ultimate seems best for smashing and counters mid distance to long distance. The Ultimate is not too stiff or too fast like the Sardius or Schlager carbon blades but the speed margin is not too big. The Impress performed above average in smashing and countering. I was asked on what is the difference between the Hypertouch and Impress blades and I found out while testing that the Hypertouch has a softer feel than the impress because of its softer koto outer plies. I think Adidas designed the Impress for players who play a mixture of smashes and loop while the Hypertouch was designed for players who spin more. Again, the Express is between Impress and Ultimate in the level of smashing and countering. The Express is very balanced in terms of performance when smashing. It may not be as fast as the Ultimate but you would enjoy smashing and doing counters with it.
Drop shots, flicks and blocking
The Impress outdid the 3 other blades in drop shots. Its soft feeling and great control provided for an easy way to do drop shots deep into the table. The Ultimate felt average and you have to make adjustments to control it while the Express performed above average. On flicks, both the Express and Ultimate did very well while the Impress performed above average. On punch blocks and active blocks, the Ultimate and Express are excellent while the Impress shines on passive blocking due to its soft feeling and high control.
These 3 blades where made for the following types of players as what the Adidas Design team was hoping they would fit for:
1. Ultimate – mix of loops and hard smashes but with more preference to high impact strokes like spin drives and smashes. This is for players who want fast blades but do not wish to have less control and at the same time maintain a degree of soft feeling on the blade. This is a good alternative for traditional carbon blades that are stiff and fast but lacks the feeling.
2. Impress – for players who wanted a blade that provides a soft feeling but has the necessary hard impact when hitting the ball. This is for players who loop a lot and spin more than they smash. Both the Impress and Express were designed by Adidas for top players. For average and above average players, the Impress will suit an all around style of play.
3. Express – for players who want balance of speed, control and ability to spin with ease. I particularly enjoyed this blade because it felt closer to a photino in terms of characteristics. All of the 3 blades have excellent feel but im sold to the Express. Its woody feeling never made me adjust to the feel of a composite blade.
The Radix Series all felt good in terms of “touchy feel”. The Hypertouch and the Radix blades all were designed to have good feel on impact providing very good control and not too much on blazing speed. When combined with a Tenzone, if you want a hard rubber, or Tenzone Ultra and P7 if you want a rubber with a softer feel, the 3 blades will not disappoint you depending on your style of play.
|Independent online TT Product reviewer|