What is Harimoto Tomokazu equipment?

What is Harimoto Tomokazu equipment?

Harimoto Tomokazu is one of the most promising table tennis player in the World. At 15 years old, he is already in the top 10 ITTF World Ranking System.

Harimoto Tomokazu biography

Tomokazu was born as Zhang Zhihe (張 智和) in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. His parents (Yu and Lin) are both Chinese professionals from Sichuan province. They are both former professional table tennis players from Sichuan province. Lin, at the peak of her career, represented China at the 43rd World Table Tennis Championships in Tianjin.

 

Harimoto training with his mother at 5 years old
Harimoto training with his mother at 5 years old

Harimoto began playing table tennis at the age of two. He, along with his father and sister, became a naturalized citizen of Japan in 2014. Then he legally changed his surname to Harimoto.

Harimoto Tomokazu's equipment - Personal blade and rubber
Harimoto Tomokazu’s equipment – Personal blade and rubber

Now Harimoto Tomokazu has the nationality as a Japanese. His name is 张智和 (Zhang Zihe). His Japanese name is 张本智和 (Harimoto Tomokazu).

In 2016, Harimoto knocked out the world when he became the youngest junior world champion, winning the title at just 13 years old. This event has been a springboard for many great players around the world.

Harimoto is the next Grand Slam in table tennis? Yes or No?
Harimoto is the next Grand Slam in table tennis? Yes or No?

In 2017, Harimoto reached the top 8 of the WTTC in addition to becoming the champion of the Czech Open. And in January 2018, he beat his compatriot Jun Mizutani, becoming the champion of the Japanese men’s singles.

Tomokazu achievements so far:

  • 2018 Japanese Men’s Singles Champion
  • 2017 Czech Open – Men’s Singles Champion
  • 2017 World Championships – Men’s Singles Top 8
  • 2016 ITTF Japan Open – Under 21 Men’s Singles Champion (Youngest Winner of an ITTF World Tour Under 21 event at just 12 years of age!)
  • 2016 ITTF Slovenia Open – Youngest Player in Quarterfinals at an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles event at just 12 years of age!
  • 2015 All Japan Championships (Hoops) – Men’s Championship
  • 2015 All Japan Championships (Cadet) – 13-year-old following the Men’s Singles Championship
  • 2014 All Japan Championships (Hoops) – Men’s Championship
  • 2014 All Japan Championships (Cadet) – 13-year-old following the Men’s Singles Championship
  • 2012 All Japan Championships (Turnip) – Men’s Championship
  • 2010 All-Japan Championship (Bambi) – Men’s championship
13 years old, and already the National Champion
13 years old, and already the National Champion

Tomokazu’s playing style

His father was his coach from the beginning and often his father still trains Harimoto at big competitions. Yu’s calm attitude offsets Harimoto’s intensity, keeping Harimoto focused during the competition.

Due to his smaller size and inadequate brute power, Harimoto plays close to the table.  He is known for his rapid backhands and forehand counters, unlike the long distance loops and passive blocks of Jun Mizutani. Mizutani represents the obstacle that Harimoto must overcome to become the best player in Japan.

The strength of Harimoto Tomokazu

  • Quick backhand counter attack
  • Powerful forehand topspin close to the table

 

Harimoto's blade with a custom handle (Butterfly ZJK Super)
Harimoto’s blade with a custom handle (Butterfly ZJK Super ZLC)

Now, Harimoto has consistently won Jun Mizutani.

Why is Harimoto Tomokazu so strong?

Tomokazu is the phenomenon in the table tennis history. Since there are no young kids, at only 12 years old, who has beaten many top table tennis player in the world.

Tomokazu has beaten may top Chinese players
Tomokazu has beaten may top Chinese players

There are 2 main reasons for the success of Harimoto Tomokzu:

  • His father and himself have devoted their lives to this sport. They trained several hours a day (up to 8 hours).
  • His father is a very good coach. He has trained Harimoto Tomokazu to be the first one to capitalize on the “New Trend in Table Tennis”.

So what is exactly the “New Trend in table tennis”?

I’ve explained in this video, what is this trend. And Harimoto Tomokazu is one of the first players who train for this trending.

Ma Long himself admitted that when he was 12, he was not as good as Harimoto. Just two months ago, on the occasion of the Swedish Open, Xu Xin narrowly escaped the young player, winning 9-11 in the seventh. If Harimoto is at Xu Xin’s level at only 13 years old, China could be in danger.

Performance of Harimoto Tomokazu - Record against top-10 players
Performance of Harimoto Tomokazu – Record against top-10 players

However, similar to his match against Mizutani, Harimoto was able to exploit Xu Xin’s style of play. Against other Chinese stars such as Ma Long and Fan Zhendong, Harimoto is still far behind. And we must not forget that the pool of young players in China is large and deep, while the only hope of Japan is Harimoto.

Tomokazu Harimoto equipment

That is his father and also his coach, Mr. Yu, who has selected the table tennis equipment (blade and rubber) for Harimoto Tomokazu.

His father said:

Selection of equipment, rackets cannot be ignored, just like rubbers. The concept is the same for rackets and rubbers, I want him to have an easy-to-use racquet because he’s just a child, I think a stable racket is essential.

Yu’s first racket for Tomokazu was FUKUHARA AI PRO ZLF (Available on eBay)

Butterfly Fukuhara Ai Pro ZLF
Butterfly Fukuhara Ai Pro ZLF

Harimoto Tomokazu explained about his table tennis set-up:

“With a racket with a hard feeling, the ball bounces before any spin is transmitted and goes down. Now, the racket with the feeling of holding the ball is easy to use. (flexible but fast blade)

After that, he used a custom-made racket of INNERFORCE LAYER ALC. For Tomokazu, who forces the opponent to move on the court with a block and counterattack near the table game, he does not require the ball to travel a long distance with a hard racket.

Tomokazu trusts the current racket, which is easy to spin the ball.

Harimoto Tomokazu current racket

Harimoto Tomokazu is using a custom ALC blade
Harimoto Tomokazu is using a custom ALC blade

It’s a custom ALC blade with Zhang Jike Super ZLC handle. He also uses Tenergy 05 and Tenergy 05FX rubbers.

He is using Tenergy 05 rubber on both sides
He is using Tenergy 05 rubber on both sides

The advantage of this setup:

  • Improved Ease Of Imparting Spin On The Ball
  • Style: Attack
  • Reaction: 10.1
  • Vibration: 8.4
  • Great for players playing close to mid distance to the table.
  • Ideal for strong first ball attacks.
  • Easier to create spin on the ball.
  • Easy to ‘hold’ the ball on the racket (good dwell-time)
Haritmoto backhand rubber in the Czech Open 2018
Harimoto backhand rubber in the Czech Open 2018
Harimoto Tomokazu Equipment 2018
Harimoto Tomokazu Equipment 2018

Some spec of the Harimoto Tomokazu’s racket

  • Class: OFF
  • Plies: 5W+2ALC
  • Weight: ~87g – 90g
  • Blade Thickness: 5.5mm (rather thin which gives good feeling)
  • Blade Size: 157x150mm (medium head, fast blade, close to the table attack)
  • AN Handle Size: 100x24mm
  • FL Handle Size: 100x24mm
  • ST Handle Size: 100x23mm
  • Made in Japan

Where to buy the same set-up of Harimoto Tomokazu?

I recommend you to buy the blade, and rubber from the Official Butterfly Shop.

You will get the highest quality possible, and therefore reduce the chance of buying fake products. (There are many fake Butterfly products on the market).

Buy Innerforce ALC blade

You can buy the Innerforce ALC blade here:

Buy Tenergy 05

Order Tenergy 05 fx

Readmore:

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13 thoughts on “What is Harimoto Tomokazu equipment?

  1. Hi Coach…
    A nice to see you again.
    This topic is very important and significantly useful for development of table tennis, especially, for enthusiastic athlete who has flexible character to adopt to a new trend in technical and non-technical.
    Anyway, let me have permission to copy this article to compile in a handbook . Unfortunately, I can’t copy it due to this page already lock?

    Regards,
    Uli Hasuri

  2. Why do you have 05fx listed as his backhand? In the article it clearly says he uses 05 on both sides and the photos show 05 black and red.

    • He changed back and forth between Ten05 and Ten05fx. In 2017 he was using Ten05fx, but in 2018, he uses Ten05.

  3. Hi! I am a bit confused as there is an innerforce ALC and also an innerforce layer ALC. these two are different. So which one is Harimoto really using?

  4. hi Chad. It’s confirmed on Butterfly, Harimoto is using the normal ALC version. Not the ALC.s.
    Bests
    ERT

  5. Pingback: Mekane backside (glatke) gume | Kineske gume
    • You are right. It is the pretuned factory rubber. As you can see cleary the pimples due to the booster expansion.

  6. Hi coach! The handle is based on ZHANG JIKE ALC blade (without emblem) and the ALC layer is inner. I saw the racket myself 2 months ago.

  7. Is there by chance that Harimoto twiddles his racket like chinese players during smashes and hard drives? Thanks and Cheers!

    • Hi Jonathan, I didn’t see that Harimoto twiddles his racket. He is using the Tenergy on forehand, so he didn’t need to rotate the racket like Chinese players.

  8. Hi Coach is abit confused. So he is using blade that similar to Innerforce layer ALC or ALC like Viscaria?

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