The Stiga Carbonado 290 was designed for players who wanted a faster Stiga blade. The previous Carbonado 190 was only considered as OFF and not a true OFF+ blade. The Carbonado 90 was even slower like an OFF- blade with a thin textreme carbon layer on it.
Stiga Carbonado 290 Review
At first look, the Stiga Carbonado 290 has the newer metal logos on it – both at the side of the handle and the one that replaces the sticker that has been on the blade since the 70’s. The quality of finish is superb. Stiga have been increasing the quality of their blades. The 290 has a smooth finish on the limba top surface but it doesn’t seem to have a lacquer coating on it.
On a bounce test against the blade having no rubber, the sound was a high pitched sound indicating it to be a stiff and fast blade. I tested the blade with a DHS Hurricane 3, Stiga Mantra H, S and M versions. The level of speed the Carbonado 290 is in par with a Jun Mizutani ZLC blade. It is a true OFF+ blade and it is way faster than its predecessor the Carbonado 190. You can say it feels like a very stiff Innerforce blade and it is on steroids but it still has great feel hitting the ball.
Looping wise, the Carbonado 290 is above average but it is more suited for loop drives. The throw is very low and it is low that at the first time using it I was afraid that my shots would hit the net because the throw was that low. Fortunately, even if the height of the ball while passing over the net was just about an inch or two it was pretty consistent, especially with the Mantra H and M versions. The loop drives are long and sharp. It is safe to say despite the Carbonado 290’s very fast speed, it offers a fair amount of good control. At least in my part, I really like the low throw with the Mantra H.
Overall, this is a few steps above the usual Stiga blade. The 190 and 145 blades were not fast enough for some people before and this is Stiga’s answer to those clamors. The Stiga Carbonado 290 is currently the fastest modern blade Stiga has although the old Titanium blade that was produced more than 10 years ago was also fast but I could not remember which is faster between the two blades.
The blade is good in almost all aspects of the game except for chopping with long pimples. Due to its speed, it is the only thing it will not be good at. Short strokes like flick or drop shots are good and easy to control despite the speed.
The Carbonado 290 is awesome to block with. With the Mantra H glued on it, blocking even very strong loop drives are a bit easy and it is so far the most stable and linear blade I have used. It can easily do what you want it to do except chopping. The only drawback for this blade is that it is on the heavier side where you might need to get the master flared version to have a lighter blade,
Buy The Blade
You can buy the Stiga Carbonado 290 on TableTennis11.com. They have great prices and offer free shipping worldwide on orders over €70.
Have you used Stiga Carbonado 290 yourself? What did you think of it? Please share your experiences and leave a review below in the comments.