Butterfly Tenergy 80-FX
Review of Butterfly Tenergy 80-FXTenergy 80 FX is a rubber a little lacking in speed and spin when compared to other modern rubbers but has very good control. When I first tried it on my backhand I did not like it at all as passive hits came out far too weak and stronger hits tended to go too long. However after trying it again and adjusting my footwork and technique (circular looping stroke), I found it to be very reliable. Where it excels is in the block but I could also solidly flick and power loop after getting used to it but I wouldn't say it does either of these very well.
This rubber has fewer gears than T80 and has significantly less spin and speed. I would only play this on a hard 7-ply blade as it comes out very mushy on a 5-ply all wood. I feel like T80 FX serves a different purpose in being deliberately weaker but slightly less demanding than its siblings. It is a "jack of all trades but master of none" so it works well for people who aren't sure what they are looking for in a backhand rubber and acts as the gateway to the Tenergy series as it is the easiest one to transition into. However if you can help it, I'd recommend sticking to Sriver or Mark V until you are truly ready for one of the 'real' Tenergy rubbers.
An uncut sheet weighs 65g and cut (normal sized Stiga head) is 43g.
I played with this on a 7-ply Carbon (5+2) blade - Stiga Super Carbon WRB.
My playstyle is backhand dominated two-winged shakehand looper.
May 29, 2017
Butterfly Tenergy 80
Review of Butterfly Tenergy 80Tenergy 80 is a well rounded offensive rubbers with good spin and speed. I tried this on my backhand and feel the rubber is very good for short flicks and drives and is good for blocking. Despite its fairly low sensitivity to incoming spin, it itself is able to generate a great deal of spin on pushes and especially serves. It plays best at mid-distance and away from the table whether blocking or counter looping.
Pushing close to the table will require an adjustment due to the Spring Sponge's propensity to pop the ball up (though a lot of backspin is generated). The main limitation I found with this rubber is power loops on the backhand side are difficult to execute close to the table due to the springiness of the sponge but work great away from the table. I also had a few hits with it on the forehand side as well and also works well there with 3rd balls being a bit easier to execute compared to backhand. I briefly tried T80 with a 7-ply Carbon blade but found it played much better on a 5-ply OFF wood blade as I found it to be too bouncy on the Carbon blade, though this could also be to do with my level.
Overall a very solid rubber and good introduction to the Tenergy series. T80 is great for attacking short balls but when those fail, your rallies and game winners will come from mid/away from the table. I would recommend this to intermediate to advanced players who aren't particularly fussy but want a stable rubber that gives them that extra kick. T80 is many ways better than its FX counterpart as it offers far greater spin, speed and more gears at the cost of slightly worse blocking, pushing and control.
A cut sheet (normal sized Stiga head) weighs 46g which is a bit heavier than the FX at 43g and classic Sriver at 42g. I'd put the hardness of T80 between the two being harder than FX but a bit softer than Sriver.
I played with this on a 5-ply OFF blade - Stiga Eternity VPS.
My playstyle is backhand dominated two-winged shakehand looper.
Feb 05, 2017
Galaxy Big Dipper
Review of Galaxy Big DipperBig Dipper is a rubber that nicely blends the modern porous sponge with the Chinese topsheet. I tried it on my forehand in 38 deg and found it to be an adequate replacement to Neo Hurricane 3 and I feel like players making the change from Euro/Jap rubbers to Chinese-style rubbers will find it to be a good compromise. Big Dipper does well in the short game and in looping. I feel despite the sponge it's a bit weak on the passive block and after breaking it in (the initial tack wearing off), spin on serves loses great potency which I suppose is to be expected.
One small problem I found was that many loops and drives close to the table went out which I attribute to me not adequately adjusting my technique but also due to the sponge. Because of it's livelier nature in comparison to Hurricane, I feel like it would pair nicely with a 5-ply blade rather than a 5+2 ply carbon blade (which I was using).
Overall, Big Dipper is a fast and spinny forehand rubber with adequate control and offers great value for money. After an adjustment period, Hurricane enthusiasts may find this to be a suitable replacement (even for the provincial version) to their beloved forehand rubber given the performance for the price.
Notes: A cut (normal sized Stiga head) is 51! I played with this on a 7-ply Carbon (5+2) blade - Stiga Super Carbon WRB. My playstyle is backhand dominated two-winged shakehand looper with Chinese forehand technique.
Jan 10, 2017
Nittaku Hammond Pro Beta
Review of Nittaku Hammond Pro BetaNittaku Hammondpro Beta is a solid backhand rubber with good speed and a low throw angle. The sponge is relatively soft and the trajectory is very long so in this regard I would say it's comparable to Tenergy 64. It is however much more forgiving and easier to push with. I would say it has good control (ball placement) but you can only take advantage of this once you get used to the trajectory. Despite relative insensitivity to incoming spin, you will need to adjust to the low throw.
This rubber does most things adequately but after playing with this on my backhand I feel it excels in blocking and open ups. Due to the long trajectory, power loops and drives/smashes tend to go long if you aren't at least mid-distance from the table. I feel like this would play best on a 7-ply OFF blade with a decently high throw. Playing it on a 5-ply OFF blade felt mushy and the medium throw of the blade did not pair well with the low throw of the rubber as it caused many shots to go into the net.
HPB took everything its predecessor Hammondpro Alpha brought to the table and improved on it, especially in spin. I would recommend this as a backhand rubber to offensive players with a more passive backhand - relegated to open ups, blocking and counter looping. This is because HPB will pull its weight in these departments while the forehand will be used to finish most points.
An uncut sheet weighs 55g and a cut sheet (normal sized Stiga head) weighs 38g.
I played with this on a 7-ply OFF blade - Stiga Super Carbon WRB.
My playstyle is backhand dominant two-winged shakehand looper.
Feb 11, 2017