STIGA has produced some of the most advanced recreational pre-made rackets in table tennis, which have competed with the best in their class for decades. The brand has made paddles for all kinds of players at several different price ranges. For this piece, we will provide the complete STIGA Evolution paddle review.
The ITTF approved STIGA Evolution is a pretty well-balanced ping pong paddle and performs in all major attributes. The paddle suits intermediate players who are looking to improve all aspects of their play. The Evolution is one of STIGA’s most all-round pre-made paddles, making it a great option for intermediate players looking to add a bit more to all parts of their game. The Evolution is also very reasonably priced, making it a viable option if you’re on a budget.
|Speed: 96, Spin: 94, Control: 90
|6 ply real wood
|STIGA’s Premium rubber
Who is it for?
Who is it not for?
We recommend the Evolution to intermediate players who have a decent understanding on the basics of technique. This paddle is focused on control - but has decent speed and spin as well, making it a good all round performer. This paddle will definitely benefit your overall performance.
We don't recommend this paddle to advanced recreational players - the chances are, you won't get the desired results in speed and spin in the paddle. We recommend looking at the STIGA Pro Carbon or Raptor rather.
Once again, for this review, we’ll focus on the key components of any ping pong paddle, namely: the blade, the rubber, the handle as well as what the paddle specializes in.
If interested, we’ve written a complete ping pong paddle buying guide here – which may help you in determining which paddle suits you best.
The Evolution is constructed with a 6 ply real wood blade, which is noticeably lightweight compared to others in its class.
The 6 ply blade gives the Evolution a strong and durable base while being lighter than other all-round paddles. Having a lightweight blade benefits players in many ways, such as quicker recovery and more control. Heavier paddles can add more speed but less control to shots.
The one noticeable difference between the Evolution and say, for instance, the STIGA Raptor, is that there aren’t any carbon layers in the blade. Carbon layers play a role in adding speed and reducing vibration – which may be nice for offensive players, but this may harm defensive players’ ability to control their shots. This is another reason why the Evolution is geared more towards control rather than out and out pace.
Overall, this is a solid blade that is built for an all-round paddle. The paddle weighs in at 170 grams – which is pretty light, and a big reason for this is because of the lightweight blade. This durable and solid blade is a large reason for the Evolution’s high ratings and success.
The rubber used for the Evolution is STIGA’s Premium rubber. This rubber is relatively stock standard, however, the rubber is ITTF approved and still uses impressive technology to bring out solid results.
ACS technology is used in the rubber, which combines microscopic air particles with an ultra-light soft rubber. This essentially adds elasticity to the sponge, giving strikes a bit more spring at impact – this adds a bit of speed to the paddle.
This rubber produces decent amounts of spin, but as you develop as a player – you may not get the desired results with your strokes in this rubber. Luckily, this rubber is replaceable, so once it wears out or you’re looking to use a higher quality rubber – it can be changed.
The sponge thickness for the Evolution is 2mm, which is ideal for more offensive play – and forehand drives. However, unlike the S5 rubber which is used for the Pro Carbon and the Raptor, this rubber is more control-focused and has considerably less speed. This helps make the Evolution a more all-round paddle.
Overall, STIGA’s Premium rubber is a reliable and consistent rubber that will definitely boost your game if you decide to upgrade. The rubber is based on all-round play rather than focusing on just one attribute, making it ideal for competitive recreational play.
The handle on the Evolution is a concave flared handle, ideal for the Shakehand grip user. A common perk that STIGA use in their handles is hollowing out the center of the handle, with a shock dispersion tube (SDT).
The shock dispersion tube plays a role in absorbing vibrations and spreading out shock waves which are caused when contact is made. This benefits control and leads to more precise placement.
The hollow handle also gives the handle an extremely lightweight feel, distributing weight to the face of the paddle. This is a unique feeling, but once players are used to this, it’s very effective.
Overall, this is a commonly used handle in STIGA’s pre-made bats. The handle provides comfort with a lightweight feel, as well as benefiting attributes such as control.
We’ve put together a table highlighting both the pros and the cons of the STIGA Evolution:
We’ve also put together some ratings out of 100, for the 3 key characteristics – speed, spin, and control.
The ITTF approved STIGA Evolution is one of STIGA’s most affordable and successful all-round table tennis rackets. The paddle performs in all aspects and is one of our favorite options for an intermediate player looking to develop all aspects of their game.
If you’re a more advanced player or even a beginner, we’ve reviewed plenty of paddles here that you may enjoy.