Speeding up of tabletennis called for developing faster and more dynamic rackets. There were different substances eg.: graphit, metal implemented into the wood, that made them stiffer and enlarged sweet-spot. Due to this ‘evolution’ Clipper Wood, Graphit Wood and Metal wood came out for carrying out the offensive minded playing strategies. Meanwhile Stiga tried to raise up the predecessors under the name ‘Classic’ – to average purpose. This term presented the end of ‘old Stiga feeling’. The company has moved out from Tranas respectively manufacturing has moved in to Eskilstuna. At the original place in Tranas started to make Yasaka blades.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/evolution_series.pdf” style=”download”]Stiga Evolution Catalogue (pdf 2.2MB)[/ilink]
In this era Stiga changed its production. Tabletennis requested demands that had Stiga make a distinction between racket’s speed and started to pay attention to type of using rackets. Simultanously rubbers’ significance also incrased. Besides Yasaka/Stiga Cobra came up Tornado, Black Power, Phantom rubbers with different sponge thicknesses. (1 – 1.5 – 2mm)
Stiga company tried to widen the scale of woods for the customers so they produced almost every kind of handle for every type of wood. The super carbon could be a big novelty at that time. (3 ply wood + 2 ply carbon, uniquely core grain runs across). This solution provided faster blade than offensive wood wich has padouk (red to brown over purple) 2nd ply so dispite the 4.8-5.0mm thickness offensive wood is preferably fast and full of dynamics. Besides the allround wood they made the defensive wood.
Elit series with Yasaka Mark V, Super Carbon with Contra (narrow Alser) handle, Mäster series with Cobra*** rubbers. Hobby series with Cobra** rubber, Beginner series with unmarked or Cobra* rubber (beginner rackets’ wood were diffenrent). Besides of the well known Alser, Johansson and Bengtsson handle Stiga branched out with Stiga 2000 i.e. anatomic (later switched to the thinner Ulf Tickan Carlsson), Contra i.e. narrow flared and chinese and japanese penholder handle.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/stiga_12sidor.pdf” style=”download”]Stiga Catalogue 1979 bulbed era (pdf 3.3 MB)[/ilink]
Well… table tennis developed to so high level that became modern enough to make demands on not only wide scales of wood but also variety of rubbers. Since Stiga had no factory for producing rubbers it was Yasaka who made it for Stiga. Besides the early Cobra soft and backside products in 1971 Mark V rubbers appeared for specifically professional/competition play that’s performance preceding ‘older’ Stiga rubbers. Although rackets were considered as one unit rubbers could be bought individually. The catalogue you can download shows step by step how to install a rubber properly onto a wood.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/stigarubbers.pdf” style=”download”]Stiga Rubbers Catalogue 1976 (pdf 4MB)[/ilink]
This catalogue is perfect proof for developing of tabletennis in the early 70’s. First I was so much surprised when reading it since I met some pages on Stiga tabletennis matter. Today it is obvious to be able to see Stiga brand name on gardening machines or it is maybe known that Stiga made quality fishing equipment but it is not clear for everybody that they were involved in manufacturing good electric shavers, guns and hunting or touring products.
All Stiga products were typical thought-out and well designed so it is no wonder that their repertoire could satisfy wide scale of demands of tabletennis players. But what is more important for us is to have proof of appearance. You can see their collection is designed and made for the competition level of the game to the hobby players.
They were proud of cooperating with Yasaka since they mantioned as early as 1955 that all of Swedish World Campions won with Yasaka rubbers. It is also a fact that Stiga sells rackets with Yasaka Mark V rubbers. Mark V presented only 2mm thickness and only “Backside” version as a matter of curiosity means inverted rubber. They used “Soft” for pimpled rubbers. Yasaka Cobra***, Yasaka** és Stiga* rubbers were available in both Backside and Soft version and in different thicknesses. Genuinely Mark V stickers used on the handle of tha famous Alser/Johansson/Bengtsson rackets on both sides as an advertisment. Suggested for competitive play – they said. Mark V rackets were the short-time made woods wihout nails and serial numbers in the handle but not yet bulbed. (Some years later Stiga branched out bulbed rackets with serial)
As a matter of interest it worths to take a look at the price: While you could get a Mark V racket for 75 KR you could buy 2 pcs of a “ran out” Mellis, Flisan or Neidert. Nowdays it is a bit different.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/stiga71.pdf” style=”download”]Download – Stiga 1971 catalogue (pdf, 7MB)[/ilink]
Year 50’s to 70’s was undoubtedly the best era for Stiga. The Swedish company (established in 1944) apparently was the leader tabletennis manufacturer besides some weak competitors. The 80’s decade brought new situation and Butterfly sliced off bigger piece of the tabletennis cake due to effective marketing and quality products.
Manufacturers aimed wide spreading of tabletennis products so Butterfly find famous faces as well as Stiga for naming their rackets like Klampar, Jonyer, Gergely, Secretin, Grubba, Douglas (Interesting that there was player whos name was on both Butterfly and Stiga rackets eg.: Stipancic) This was the era before the metal-butterfly logo in the field of woods. Regarding the quality Butterfly was effective competitor for Stiga. We inherited sort of fine Butterfly rackets (as well as Joola or Schoeler + Micke) from that time. However the values of these woods are not the same as Stigas’.
At that time Butterfly provided wide scale of rubbers which were spread worldwide. You can remember their slogan that has been used for a long time: “On the latest poll Z percent of the players use Butterfly product”. And they used it indeed. Because of the quality they represented and still represent. (Due to the catalogues data in New Delhi 1987 40 percent of players used Butterfly). In fact there was not really serious competitor. In these years Butterfly branched out Sriver L & S besides their successful Tackiness C & D which has not disappeared.
[ilink url=”http://oldstiga.com/c/butterfly89.pdf” style=”download”]Download – 1989 Butterfly catalogue (pdf, 1.12 MB)[/ilink]