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Darker is a unique table tennis brand, which was founded in 1955 by Hidetaro Okada in Tokyo, Japan. Darker almost exclusively focuses on the production of premium quality blades that are based on 300-400-year-old Kiso Hinoki (Japanese Cypress) and handmade by craftsmen with decades of experience. This wood type offers an embracing feeling, which gives the player an extended contact and increased control and spin potential. Darker’s selection of blades includes the single-ply Darker Speed series – several of which have been used by world champions - or the multi-ply Darker Hinoki 2a series. In recent years, Darker has expanded its selection to include blades like the Liberta series, which utilize other wood types and composite ... materials in order to adapt to the 40+ ball. True to their origins, Darker specializes in offering many of these blades in Japanese penhold versions. Did you know, that Kiso Hinoki is a highly rot-resistant wood that is used for high-quality timber and ornamental applications, such as the Ise Grand Shrine? Show more Show less