Andro Rasant Turbo
Bomb Bombard Hard (43-46°)
Review of Bomb Bombard Hard (43-46°)Compared to Hurricane 3, this has a much softer topsheet and a harder sponge.
Throw is medium-low, like 729 classic or Hurricane 2.
Speed is medium.
The topsheet has some kind of tension technology.
Aug 02, 2011
Butterfly Tenergy 05
Review of Butterfly Tenergy 05Very high throw. Lots of gears. has good mechanical spin.
spin when brushing is less than with medium-hard tacky rubber such as globe 999.
Gears: has a low gear and a very high gear which are absent in (legal) Chinese rubbers.
if you want something similar but less expensive, try Xiom Vega Pro or the even cheaper Sanwei T88-I.
Dec 20, 2011
DHS Hurricane 3 (H3)
Review of DHS Hurricane 3 (H3)in short: a cheap, high throw rubber, slow, very hard, with good spin, very unforgiving, with low dwell time and few gears, only usable on very flexible blades.
- Throw: medium-high. The throw is a bit lower than Vega Pro and like Acuda S1 (just tested on Stiga Offensive Wood NCT). Also a bit lower than T05. However, the throw is high for a Chinese rubber. Chinese rubbers with higher throw are: Galaxy Mercury II 37, Palio CJ8000; but these are much slower than H3. One Chinese rubber which has higher throw than H3 and is faster is Sanwei T88-I, but it is factory tuned.
- speed: this rubber is fastest on very flexible blades like stiga offensive classic or stiga offensive cr. On stiff blades, it is very slow. much slower than Vega Pro, Acuda S1, Sanwei T88-I, T05. Faster than Globe999; slower than MercuryII 37. The slow speed makes opening loops easy if you can wrist-brush, but you might lack the power to finish the point.
- hardness: very hard. this makes the rubber unforgiving, because when you are opening loop you have to brush perfectly. if you hesitate and brush a little less, the rubber punishes you.
- spin: very good on power loops, good on opening loops and very good on pushes. MercuryII 37 black has more spin on opening loops, much less on power loops. Vega pro has more spin in everything (opening loops, pushes) except maybe power loops.
- dwell time: very low. this is due to hardness, and makes the rubber very unforgiving and difficult to use. You have to keep your body relaxed throughout the swing, and provide the amortization yourself. In training this is easy to do, but in official matches it is much more difficult because you are more tense. So this is only for experienced players.
- gears: few. This is another problem with this rubber. If you choose a blade where you have enough power close to the table and mid distance, you might not have enough power in killing shots. And viceversa.
this rubber lasts forever.
Jan 28, 2012
DHS NEO Hurricane 3
Review of DHS NEO Hurricane 3This is a medium-high throw, tacky, very hard rubber, only usable on very flexible blades, rather slow, very unforgiving, with few gears.
speed: this rubber is slow unless used on very flexible blades like stiga offensive classic or stiga offensive cr. stiga offensive nct is already too stiff and the rubber performs suboptimally. on very flexy blades, the rubber is not slow anymore in loops, but is still too slow on smashes, where you might lack the power to finish the point-
the main feature of this rubber is that its throw is higher than classic Chinese rubbers. this allows you to be more aggressive on forehand, and makes your fh swing quicker because you charge the shot more from behind and less from below the table. This makes H3 NEO a deadly weapon on forehand, especially close to the table, with a very flexy blade such as stiga offensive classic.
The specialty of this rubber is off-the-bounce counterdrive against loop. Deadly.
Feels as hard as H3 regular (strangely) despite the booster. Also has better touch than regular H3. And is faster.
unlike regular H3, this rubber does not get much softer if tuned with paraffin oil. The sponge stays firm.
The topsheet is very durable: it will last one year.
this rubber has few gears, compared for example to Vega Pro: NEO h3 is fast enough close to the table but lacks a bit of power when smashing, or looping far from table.
control: very unforgiving, due to the hardness. Why? Because on opening loops you have to brush very thinly and with a lot of strength. If you hesitate and brush a bit less thinly, or a bit more slowly, this rubber punishes you. This is one of the reasons I use vega pro.
Jan 28, 2012
DHS Hurricane 2 (H2)
Review of DHS Hurricane 2 (H2)Being used to Hurricane 3 max, I slapped a Hurricane2 black max on a blade and played with it 10 minutes against a robot. I was expecting something different, I am disappointed. It is very difficult to use. The problem is that the rubber seems inconsistent: some balls seem to go to net or out for no apparent reason. Even when looping against a robot, when presumably I always do the same shot, sometimes I net the ball for mysterious reasons.
I have experienced this problem (inconsistency) with 729 40-H also.
Maybe it's a problem with how I hit the ball.
I have to try it again tuned, or the NEO version. I am still not sure if it's a sponge problem or a topsheet problem.
The sponge is harder than H3, and the topsheet is much more tacky. Spin on serves is incredible.
throw: throw when driving is lower than H3, and like a traditional Chinese rubber such as 729 classic. However, throw when brushing is higher than H3. Brush loops are really high over the net.
UPDATE: after testing it again, I think I understand the problem: it is a topsheet problem, not a sponge problem. Due to the tackyness, throw when brushing is much higher than throw when driving. So the rubber has two "modes": a brush mode and a drive mode. Unfortunately my drive shot is sometimes lightly brushed, so that I fall in between the two modes, and the rubber behaves unpredictably for me. Or maybe, at some ball height I brush a bit less or a bit more, without noticing, and this rubber does not forgive and I go to net or out. With some practice this should go away, but so far I don't see the advantage over H3.
Aug 10, 2011
DHS NEO Hurricane 2
Review of DHS NEO Hurricane 2Very difficult to control. Throw is very low when driving and very high when brushing (due to the extreme tackyness). So good luck putting just the right amount of brushing during fast rallies!
This rubber is also, of course, very very spin sensitive, so good luck reading your opponent's spin perfectly.
And of course, you don't get a low gear, due to the hardness of the topsheet, so you are helpless against short flat balls, unable to create a short enough arc.
Bottom line: only for extreme, and very skilled, attackers.
If you are looking for a cheap rubber with a low trajectory, try LKT rapid soft. You get low gear, spin insensitivity, flat hits, good speed on carbon, low and spinny opening loops.
Oct 22, 2011
Donic Acuda S1
Review of Donic Acuda S1In short: fast, hard rubber with medium-low throw, good spin, a long and straight trajectory, good speed glue feel. Very poor durability.
Durability: very poor. Twice I bought it, and twice it bubbled after 1 week. So beware.
throw: medium-low. S1's throw is lower than M1, M2, aurus, Vega Pro, T05, Acuda S2, Mercury II 37, Hurricane III.
spin in loop: good. m1 has more spin. aurus also has more spin in loops.
hardness: hard. only for good forehands.
sound and click: a lot.
Feb 25, 2013
Donic Acuda S2
Review of Donic Acuda S2This is a great rubber for forehand on stiff blades. (max thickness)
The throw stays high enough for forehand, even on very hard carbon blades like Galaxy T4 (OFF+). Throw is lower than vega pro, but higher than vega europe, and much higher than calibra.
Gears: even on fast carbon, the low gear is still there.
Speed: excellent. More than Vega pro, less then Acuda S1 of course.
Arc: like other rubbers in the acuda series (s1, s2 and s3), the arc is rather straight, i.e. it does not have as much arc as vega pro or T05 or bluefire M1 or Sanwei T88-i. However, the trajectory of Acuda S1 is low and long, whereas S2 is rather low and shorter.
Strong point: very easy opening loops, which can be executed with a suprisingly slow motion, yet are spinny and long and penetrating. The arc is not high, but the spin is there and they are very easy to execute. This way, this rubber allow you to slow down the game a bit when you have a difficult ball.
short game: good. (on stiff 7 ply all-wood blade, xiom extreme s).
Jul 18, 2012
Donic Coppa X2 Platin Soft
Review of Donic Coppa X2 Platin Softthe perfect rubber for blocking.
perfect for backhand.
spin is not as much as acuda, but control is immensely better.
drives and hits are great.
loops are good and controllable.
speed is like acuda s2, maybe a bit less.
throw is medium-low, lower than acuda s2, a bit lower than acuda s1, almost identical to sigma pro.
for forehand you might choose x1 because x2 might be too slow (unless you have fast carbon).
Sep 12, 2012
Donic Coppa X1 Gold
Review of Donic Coppa X1 Goldthis is a speed and control oriented rubber with average spin.
the short game is incredible. I mean unreal.
control is unbelievable. very forgiving.
plays like coppa x2 but harder and faster, so it is more appropriate for forehand.
medium-low throw. lower than acuda s2, a bit lower than s1. the same as coppa x2.
spin insensitive, great for blocking, driving and hitting. this is the opposite of acuda: block is nonlinear and unpredictable with acuda.
I use it on forehand because speed and spin insensitivity is needed in the rally. (on bh I have coppa x2 for the same reason)
good for power looping and opening, you miss few balls due to spin insensitivity-- and your loops will be effective because of speed and low throw.
sponge hardness is 45. coppa x2 is 42.5, like acuda s2. acuda s1 is 47.5.
Sep 11, 2012
Donic Bluefire M2
Review of Donic Bluefire M2Perfect backhand rubber for loopers.
Very good to loop the receive with flexible blade.
good for banana flip.
very good for counterlooping after banana flip, due to the high throw and high grip.
Topsheet is not soft, it is medium hardness. Sponge also has medium hardness, 42.5.
Due to the topsheet not being very soft, this rubber has medium-high throw while not being hard.
Loops have a lot of arc.
Counterloops have a lot of dwell.
speed and spin are both very good. And control also very good.
Only average for blocking, due to the medium-high throw.
opening loops are very spinny AND fast.
On fh this rubber can bottom out and fail you. So, for fh, I recommend m1. but m1 needs a flexible blade, so beware.
Dec 11, 2013
Donic Bluefire M1
Review of Donic Bluefire M1Bluefire m1: the ultimate fh rubber for advanced or pro players.
Most notable feature: m1 holds up well when you counterloop with a lot of power; when you miss, you know it is your fault; to the contrary, with mxp or m2, often you feel like it was the rubber which did not hold up to the power. Only t05 is as reliable as m1 in this regard.
Style of play: rubber only for the forehand of very good (advanced or pro) powerloopers who consistently hit very hard and never need controlled loops.
in particular, when you have a dead ball (i.e. a flat ball or a slow block), with m1 you can only
1) kill with a powerloop (which will be low over the net; so you need to have the precision); or
2) make a loop with a lot of brush and a lot of power; (not a brush loop, but a loop where the brush component is large)
you can never do a controlled loop, or a controlled loop-drive, like you would with m2. if you try, the ball won't sink in the sponge and it will fall.
to summarize: with m1 you always need to use a lot of power; but, against dead balls, most of this power must go into brushing.
Comparison with m2 and m3:
m2: on fh this is for intermediate loopers, who do not consistently hit with all their power, and need to generate spin in controlled loops with medium power.
m3: bh rubber for amateur loopers who try to loop the receive, so they need be able to play controlled loops with little power and thin contact.
hardness: for black version: m1 has a hard sponge and hard topsheet. the rubber is harder than t05; harder than mxp; much harder than m2; harder than rakza 9. as hard as dhs rubbers (but faster). --- As a result, the ball won't sink in controlled loops, so you don't get spin in rally with half power. you only get spin when you hit very hard. red version: the red topsheet is softer. the difference with black is quite noticeable. M1 red feels much more similar to Mxp. However, it retains the counterloop reliability of black, and is still more reliable than mxp.
Speed: for the black version: much faster than MXP, T05. Much faster than Rakza 9. M2 can be faster at medium power, but is slower in counterloops at full power. red version: red is slower. The difference with black is again very noticeable. M1 red is more or less as fast as MXP.
Block: with m1 it can be difficult to block. (because the throw depends a lot on the power of the incoming loop). OTOH, it is meant for the forehand of good players, who never block with fh, but counterloop. :)
Loops: the upside: counterloop with m1 is very reliable, whereas rubbers such as m2 and mxp are not. The only rubbers I know which are as realiable as m1 in counterloop are T05, and DHS rubbers. --- The downside is that loops are difficult, because the throw depends a lot on how much the ball sinks, and therefore on the speed of the incoming loop. So you have to pay a lot of attention to the speed of the incoming loop, not only to its spin. (this is different from m2. )
throw angle: low when the ball does not sink in the sponge, medium-high when it does. a bit lower than t05 and mxp. higher than rakza 9. Like m2 but with differences due to hardness.
comparison with mxp: m1 is a lot more reliable and consistent at high power. mxp becomes unpredictable counterlooping at high power; with m1, if you miss it's your fault. mxp has slightly higher throw, as I said (but it is of little use, because it seems to randomly flatten at high power).
comparison with rakza 9: m1 is similar to rakza 9, but harder, especially the topsheet, faster, and higher throw.
compared with m2, m1 is much harder and more reliable in counterloop.
m1 works great on clipper wood, a stiff and soft blade.
Oct 04, 2013
Review of Friendship/729 40HThis rubber seems to me inconsistent: sometimes the ball goes to net for no apparent reason. This is while training, doing always the same shot (topspin loops against robot). Very low throw (much lower than Hurricane 3); this might be due to the extreme tack.
The low throw is such that, if you use Hurricane 3 or T05 or Acuda S1, you have to change your forehand technique completely, charging the shot from below.
Also, since you have to hit with the blade open, you don't get a lot of spin. So this looks like a hitter's rubber.
Dec 09, 2013
Friendship/729 SP Transcend
Review of Friendship/729 SP TranscendThis rubber is now out of production.
May 03, 2011
Review of Friendship/729 Higherin short: this is a medium-soft, low-throw, tacky rubber with a clicking feel.
Throw: Low (exactly like Globe999; lower than Galaxy Moon 38deg; much lower than Galaxy MercuryII 37deg; similar to H3).
Hardness: Medium-soft (much softer than H3. softer than galaxy moon 38deg. much softer than globe999 40deg. on the Galaxy scale, it would be 35degrees). Due to the low hardness, this rubbers bottoms out at medium power. At each stroke, you feel the sponge clicking. (this does not mean you hear a clicking sound.)
control: low. This rubber is very unforgiving if you hit with the wrong angle. Also, if you don't hit hard enough to make the sponge click, it is inconsistent: sometimes it grips the ball, sometimes it doesn't. Furthermore, the low throw requires a completely different technique if you are used to medium throw such as Galaxy moon, high throw such as mercuryII, or very high throw such as Xiom Vega Pro or T05. Balls going to net are frustrating.
Tacky (like H3, but the topsheet is a bit softer. Let's say like globe999)
Speed: medium-fast (like Galaxy Moon 38deg or HurricaneIII. Much faster than globe999 40deg.)
Weight: 60gr cut. (a bit more than Galaxy Moon 38deg. lighter than Globe999.)
What blade to use: I suggest a soft, fast, wooden blade, like Stiga Offensive Wood NCT, or stiga Allround Wood NCT if you need more control.
Bottom line: overall I prefer MercuryII 37deg because it has higher throw, more spin, and more control.
Note: black sheets have a green sponge, red sheets have a yellow sponge, but they play identical. I've seen red sheets with a green sponge, but according to eacheng.net they do not exist. :)
May 26, 2011
Review of Galaxy SunIn short: this is the poor man's Xiom Vega Pro. A bit slower, a bit harder, a bit less spinny topsheet, a bit fewer gears, a bit lower throw, heavier, a bit less of everything, but still the feeling is very similar to vega pro. Tried on the same blade, stiga offensive wood nct.
Medium throw, more or less like Hurricane 3, a bit less than xiom vega pro and tenergy 05. higher than galaxy moon (the description says the opposite but it is wrong).
Reasonably fast. On a carbon blade, this rubber is fast enough for anyone, probably too fast.
Medium hardness (softer than Hurricane 3 NEO but harder than T05 or Gambler outlaw). I am talking about the 38 deg version.
This rubber is supposed to be a clone of Tenergy 25, but is more like xiom vega pro.
Very heavy (unlike galaxy moon).
Topsheet is not tacky (unline galaxy moon which is tacky) but grabby and spinny.
Sun is less grippy than Moon: Sun can fail to grip the ball at low speeds. It is also easier to lift backspin. Moon is better at both.
Sun is more powerful than Moon, and has a bit higher throw.
Bottom line: if you need high throw, speed and spin, and cannot afford a Vega Pro, this is the rubber for you.
Jun 27, 2011
Review of Galaxy MoonI am reviewing Moon 38 degrees max (2.2mm). red or black, it makes no difference.
First, this rubber is supposed to be a clone of T05, but is actually similar to xiom vega pro. It is a bit spinnier, lower throw, slightly harder, and slightly slower than xiom vega pro, but overall very similar.
in more detail:
throw: medium-low. Lower than Mercury II or Hurricane 3, h3 neo; lower than Xiom Vega Pro, lower than Galaxy Sun, higher than globe 999 40deg, lower than T05, lower than Sanwei T88-I.
spin: good, better than xiom vega pro, Galaxy Sun, worse than h3, h3neo, Globe 999 40deg. as many Chinese rubbers, the ball always spins a bit different, so your loops are more difficult to block than, say, T05 or xiom vega pro.
speed: like hurricane 3 neo. slightly slower than xiom vega pro or galaxy sun.
hardness: softer than H3neo, slightly harder than Xiom vega pro, harder than t05, harder than globe999 40deg. Moon only bottoms out on very powerful forehands.
grippiness: very grippy, easy to lift backspin and flat balls. With Galaxy sun it is more difficult to grip; Sun grips less at slow speeds.
Jun 15, 2011
Galaxy Mercury II
Review of Galaxy Mercury III am reviewing the 37degree version, black. (red 37 is harder)
In short, this a very spinny, high throw, tacky rubber, very cheap and with very poor durability and few gears.
- control: good. very good to loop close to table and over the table. unfortunately, it is very spin sensitive, so responding to service and block is difficult.
- spin: crazy, at low and medium power. At high power it bottoms out so you get less spin but still good. This rubber is spinnier than T05, Xiom vega pro, H3, globe999, Galaxy Moon. My coach (former 200th in the world) has trouble blocking my opening loops.
- it has high throw (more or less than T05, like vega pro, much higher than Galaxy Moon, higher than Galaxy Sun, higher than H3, much higher than globe999). I am still looking for a chinese rubber with a higher throw. (found it: palio cj8000 36 jap is higher, but it is nontacky and less spinny; but also less spin sensitive)
- it is not very fast (slower than Moon, Sun, H3, vega pro, though faster than globe999), barely fast enough to be used on forehand on a stiga offensive wood NCT.
- hardness: 37deg version is a bit softer than Globe999 40deg, but much more elastic and lively. Black 37 feels 2 degrees softer than red 37, and makes a louder sound (as if it were boosted), is slower, and bottoms out more.
- it is tacky (more than H3 and globe999).
- it is a bit heavy: 49 grams cut (exactly like Globe999).
For all these reasons, it is a good backhand rubber on wooden blades, and a good forehand rubber on fast blades.
- gears: few. If you choose a soft rubber (37 black), you will have great opening loops but insufficient power. If you choose harder (or red 37) you will have power but the arc will be long and opening loops will be difficult. For this reason I only use this rubber on backhand.
Another bad side: the sponge often cracks when you remove it from the blade. the sponge is very fragile. so remove with care, and use little glue. Unfortunately, even if you never remove it from the blade, if you hit very hard, bubbles can form between the topsheet and the sponge. This happens only in the black 37 sheets. Always keep replacement rubbers ready.
Overall feeling: on a carbon blade, this rubber feels like an Acuda S1 or S2, with more spin but without the top gear.
Oct 07, 2011
Galaxy Mars V2
Review of Galaxy Mars V2Tried Mars2 34 max on a stiga offensive CR. on the other side there was a NEO hurricane 3 tuned with baby oil and goo-gone.
Result: the mars 2 is much faster than the tuned H3 NEO, both in kill shots and in passive shots.
Mars 2 is almost like a tensor in speed and springiness, but not quite.
Then I detached Neo H3 and put a sword hero FT black on the other side. Result: Hero ft is even faster, higher throw, and spinnier. Mars2 34 is softer though, so it could be better for backhand.
The rubber seemed spinny but less than a spinny tensor like xiom vega pro.
The throw was slightly lower than H3. It should be lower than Vega pro. I'd say the throw is medium.
topsheet hardness is medium, so it can be used on backhand.
Gears: good. not like a tensor, but more than a classical Chinese rubber. This rubber is fast in passive shots, and has a noticeable kick in power loops. Again, almost a tensor.
Feb 13, 2012
Gambler Outlaw (Tuned)
Review of Gambler Outlaw (Tuned)n short, this is a very fast, low-throw rubber for hitters, not for loopers.
I am reviewing the 2.2 mm version.
It has huge power. the trajectory is very flat.
Spin is good when driving, but predictable. Also good spin when brushing.
Throw is very low. T05 has much higher throw. Also Chinese rubbers such as Galaxy Moon or Galaxy MercuryII have higher throw.
(If you are looking for something similar to Outlaw but with higher throw, get Sword Hero FT.)
Blocks well because it is spin insensitive.
It is soft; it bottoms out at each stroke. you feel the rubber clicking at each stroke.
Rather difficult to lift backspin because the rubber is very fast; even if you open the blade a lot, and brush the ball gently, the resulting ball has good spin but also a lot of power, so the shot is rather straight and you don't have a lot of margin for error.
I suggest to use this on backhand because of its power and insensitivity to spin.
May 26, 2011
Review of Globe 999I am reviewing the 2.2mm, 40 degrees, chinese sponge version.
This rubber is great for backhand: it is slow but has great spin when you brush.
It is also very deceiving, because when you do not brush (i.e. when you drive), there is not much spin.
however, it is sensitive to incoming spin due to the tackiness. Blocking is not very easy because you have to close the blade a lot to block heavy topspin.
The throw is low, but increases a lot when you brush and block, due to the tackiness. (Throw is like 729 Higher or Hurricane 3; lower than galaxy moon; much lower than galaxy mercuryII 37deg).
The tackiness nearly never goes away, even after one year. Even for the red version.
This rubber is heavy. the weight is 49 grams cut ( exactly like Galaxy MercuryII 37deg.)
This rubber reacts well to olive oil on topsheet: the topsheet becomes softer, spinnier, and gets a corking sound.
The rubber hardness is 40 degs. it does not feel as hard as dhs hurricane.
This rubber requires a fast blade. For forehand, it is too slow unless you have a very fast carbon blade (Stiga offensive wood nct is not enough for forehand).
This rubber is very cheap (4 euros) and lasts forever (I mean, two years at least).
At eacheng.net you can also find it in a "japanese sponge" version, which is more powerful, has less dwell time, and lower throw.
May 27, 2011
Globe 999 National
Review of Globe 999 NationalVery hard, harder than H3. Not very fast. Tuner does not soften the sponge much.
May 18, 2011
KTL (LKT) Pro XP
Review of KTL (LKT) Pro XPThis is a great backhand rubber for carbon blades. soft, low throw, spin insensitive. Red is considerably different from black.
hardness: soft topsheet and sponge. This makes opening loops very easy, and gives you a low gear with a very short arc when brushing lightly. it also makes the rubber slow unless used on a carbon blade. Unfortunately, black sheets are much softer than red sheets. 34 deg vs 36 deg. As a result, black has much more control close to table, and is a bit slower than red. Red sheets have much less of a low gear.
Throw: low, a bit higher than sriver el. Throw in red sheets is considerably lower than black. Your opening loops will be very difficult to attack for this reason, even if you don't risk them, because they will stay low.
tackyness: the topsheet is almost non-tacky, which makes the rubber insensitive to incoming spin, and therefore easy to respond to service and to block. However, opening loops are surprisingly very spinny (almost like with tacky rubbers).
gears: only low gear. That's why you need a carbon blade to provide the high gear.
Spin: spin in XP is considerably more than LKT rapid soft red. (this is true for both red and black XP).
suggested blade: OFF+. dawei wavestone, galaxy t4.
Nov 02, 2011
KTL (LKT) Rapid Sound
Review of KTL (LKT) Rapid SoundMedium hardness, medium fast with few gears and no low gear. nontacky, medium low throw, little arc. good spin.
I tried this in red max on a dawei wavestone blade (carbon). the rubber was too hard, topsheet in particular. as a result I did not have enough of a low gear, and the trajectory was too long and flat. topspin close to table was too difficult, as were opening loops. Switching to LKT Pro XP or LKT Rapid Soft or Palio CJ8000 36 solved the problem.
I also tried this rubber for one minute on a clipper wood. There it seems a good match, but I am not sure if it has enough of a high gear to finish the point.
the rubber plays very similar to sriver EL but is much harder.
I suggest Rapid Soft over Rapid Sound, on any blade faster than OFF-. The former is slightly slower, but you get a low gear and easier opening loops.
Oct 22, 2011
KTL (LKT) Rapid Soft
Review of KTL (LKT) Rapid SoftThis rubber is a Sriver EL clone, spin insensitive, medium-low throw, soft, with lots of control, with poor spin, great for blocking hitting and driving, great on carbon blades, cheap and very durable.
I tried this rubber in red on forehand. blade was galaxy t4 (off++). On the other side I had LKT pro XP black.
Rapid soft is similar in feel to LKT Pro XP black (red XP is harder). Differences are: Rapid soft is considerably faster than black XP (only in the top gear; the low gear is almost the same), is considerably less spinny, has slightly more gears, is slightly higher throw. It is softer than red XP and as soft as black XP.
gears: low and medium-fast gear. (Warning: Rapid Sound does not have a low gear, Rapid Soft does).
Opening loops: the arc is short but low. This is a very good thing: short arc means you have margin for error; low arc means your opening loop can't be easily attacked. However, the spin on opening loops is poor, unlike XP (both black and red), and surely not great as MercuryII 36 or good as Palio CJ8000 36.
Spin insensitive means that blocks, service returns and counterloops are very very easy. This is a strength of the rubber. Also hits and drives are great with this rubber.
Throw: low, slightly higher than sriver. Like LKT PRo XP black (higher than red). Like LKT rapid sound. Lower than H3, Acuda S2, T05, Vega Pro. If you are used to high throw on forehand, give it two days to get used to the low throw, and you will be surprised that you are more consistent.
Counterloops: great. They are very easy, due to the low throw and the spin insensitivity. Your counterloops will not be spinny but consistent, fast and low.
Spin: not tacky and not very grippy. Spin on opening loops is poor, reason why I switched to red XP. However rapid soft is softer so it has more of a low gear than red XP.
Speed: very good on carbon blades. On wood, it might be too slow for forehand.
Pushes: very easy but not very spinny. If you switch from Rapid Soft to vega pro or acuda s2, at first your counterpushes will go to net.
tackyness: almost completely non tacky. The protective sheet barely sticks to the rubber. Plays like a non tacky rubber (actually it is less grippy than many nontacky rubbers)
hardness: this is a soft rubber (about 35 in the DHS or Galaxy scale). This is what gives you the low gear.
Nov 02, 2011
Palio CJ8000 Biotech 39-41°
Review of Palio CJ8000 Biotech 39-41°Very high throw but not so great spin: the ball has a high arc but is slow, indicating that it is not spinning fast.
This rubber plays like a slower Tenergy 05: same high arc and same behavior on opening loops (ball slowing down, indicating poor spin).
If you want high throw and really crazy spin, try mercuryII 37 degrees. Mercury2 is much spinnier because it is both grippy and tacky (whereas cj8000 is just grippy).
MercuryII 37 is also faster than this rubber, just a bit harder, and just as cheap.
The hardness number is misleading: 39-41 is much softer than Galaxy or DHS scale. This would be like 34 in the galaxy scale.
Jun 21, 2011
Palio CJ8000 Biotech 36-38° Japanese Sponge
Review of Palio CJ8000 Biotech 36-38° Japanese SpongeThis is a great backhand rubber for training.
It is a good cheap substitute for xiom vega europe (a bit slower and a bit less spinny). same throw.
It is the only rubber I know which is not low throw, is soft, is nontacky, and is cheap.
More in detail:
Throw: medium or medium-high (less than T05 and vega pro. Similar to Vega europe.). So you get a good arc.
hardness: soft. so you get a very good low gear. (And if you have a very hard blade, you also have a high gear, but not enough on forehand.)
Speed: medium. good for backhand.
gears: not many. the rubber lacks a very high gear like tensors.
control: this rubber is non tacky, so it is not very spin sensitive. however, it seems more sensitive than LKT pro XP. ---- control in opening loops is great. Control in block is more difficult than LKT pro XP, because of the higher throw and greater spin sensitivity.
Weight: medium. (the sponge is soft but very dense).
Suggested blade: to use this rubber on forehand, you need a very fast blade. Ideal is a koto outer ply, like dhs pg3. also good on Galaxy T4. Also good on Dawei Wavestone.
May 28, 2012
Review of Sanwei T88-IMedium-Hard rubber with high throw.
It is difficult to review because it is found in many hardness (38,39,49) and at least two sponges: normal and target. I bought it at eacheng and I got target sponge, which is worse. I bought it in other place and got a better sponge and a much faster rubber (and a more elastic topsheet), but paying it much more.
My review is only for the non-target sponge. (the target sponge is slower, harder, and has less spin.)
This rubber has high throw like t05 or vega pro, and is fast and spinny.
I put T88-I together with a 2 year old T05 on a Stiga Allround Wood NCT. I also put it together with a 1 month-old XIOM Vega Pro on a Stiga Clipper Wood. The results are the following.
With respect to t05, the rubber is harder and much heavier. Same compared with vega pro.
The throw is the same as t05 (or even a little higher, but my t05 was 2 years old). So you will not have to change technique if you switch from T05. compared to vega pro, t88-i's throw is slightly but noticeably lower.
The spin is vicious in power loops, better than T05 or Vega pro.
but on opening loop against backspin and slow flat balls, spin is not very good, because the topsheet is too hard (not like h3 but still too hard), so your ball does not get a lot of spin, so it is flatter and you have less margin for error. vega pro is a lot better here.
in other words: the topsheet does not grip the ball unless you either brush with violence or power loop. if you do a relaxed loop, spin is poor. this can make you lose a match against short pips. So the lower gear present in T05 and vega pro seems to be absent.
This rubber is also faster than T05 (but my T05 is about 6 months old).
T05 has more gears, because T88-I might be lacking a low gear as I said. Same with vega pro: it has more low gear than t88-i.
Hardness is medium. not as hard as dhs rubbers. much softer than h3 neo, more or less like galaxy sun, harder than T05. on the sponge, they wrote hardness 40 deg, but it feels much softer. Compared to vega pro, it feels harder.
Huge dwell time and power due to the sponge not being too soft nor too hard.
Downside: it is very very heavy: 57 gr cut for a stiga offensive nct, which is a small blade. this will probably be more than 60 gr on a normal sized blade. It seems even heavier than Galaxy sun.
Now available at eacheng.net.
Warning: When unwrapped, it has VOC at about 17 PPM so it is not legal. After one week, VOC drop below 3 PPM and is legal.
Apr 11, 2012
Stiga Calibra LT
Review of Stiga Calibra LTin short: great speed and control. spin is average. The perfect forehand rubbers for skilled powerloopers.
after a certain skill level, I believe this rubber is superior to Tenergy 05 in _all_ respects. I know this is a bold statement and I'll try to justify it below.
You can think of Calibra LT as an improved acuda s2, (hardness, throw and feel are similar), but with _much_ more control, and much faster. s2 has superficially the same medium-low throw as calibra, but in reality it has an unpredictable throw, while calibra lt is very predictable (and much faster).
it is a great forehand rubber on any blade. I could use it on bh without problems (and probably will, possibly in a softer version).
only for skilled players due to the low throw, much lower than t05 or vega pro. you have to know how to lift the ball. But, again, much easier than acuda s2.
and you'll find that, on fast carbon blades, calibra lt is _more_ controllable than slower, higher throw rubbers such as t05 or vega pro, because these rubbers are also more spin-sensitive so they amplify your small errors.
I think the keyword for this rubber is _predictability_. The ball seems to go where you want it to.
With Calibra LT it is very easy to counterloop, unlinke T05 or vega pro, because of the low throw and spin sensitivity. this is a big plus after a certain level.
with calibra lt your opening loop will have much more penetration than with t05 or vega pro. This is important because, again after a certain level, spinny opening loops are useless.
with calibra lt, service receive is much easier than with t05, vega pro or acuda.
Calibra lt does not need tuning. It is probably the fastest rubber to date.
It is not true that this is only for mid-distance players. I am a close-to-table looper and have no problem with calibra lt on OFF+ carbon blade. Only, you have to have a good technique for opening loop.
this rubber is not blade-dependent: it works great on both flexible hard wooden blades such as stiga OCR, and stiff carbon blades such as dawei wavestone.
Mar 03, 2012
Review of Sword HeroWarning: this rubber is also available in factory tuned version, which is identical but faster. the regular version becomes like the factory tuned version when you speed glue prime it, or when you boost it repeatedly with paraffin oil.
This is a very good training rubber for tensor users. the only difference is that it is much harder and a bit slower. but it plays the same for loops.
This rubber has medium throw and relatively low spin sensitivity.
It is not not tacky, but grippy.
Has very good touch, very good control on drives and hits.
The throw is medium, a bit lower than coppa x1. So it is a very good training rubber for x1, you can switch easily on forehand. throw is higher than sriver EL, lkt pro xp. a bit lower than H3, lower than vega pro, t05, aurus, acuda s2.
Hardness : the sponge is very very hard, (46 degs chinese scale), much more than hurricane 3. but with a softer topsheet, not soft like tensors but much softer than H3. this creates an interesting behavior on spin (see below).
due to the hardness, it has very little dwell time, so it can arguably only be used with flexible blades. (Stiff and soft blades may not have enough dwell for this rubber, you need flex). Good blades are 5.4mm thin blades such as Stiga OC and Stiga OCR, dhs pg2 and pg3.
speed: this rubber is almost as fast as tibhar aurus, which is a relatively slow tensor. it is much faster than baby oil tuned hurricane 3 or h3 neo.
spin: when brushing, this rubber is incredibly spinny, more than anything. more than vega pro, acuda, t05, hurricane 3. this is probably due to the interaction between the very grippy, medium hardness topsheet, and the very very hard sponge. but this is only when brushing; when hitting into the sponge, spin is poor (less than tensors or H3). this is why I consider it only a training rubber: you cannot get good spin when hitting lightly, in particular against low flat balls. because the sponge is not engaged.
This rubber is one of the few fast chinese rubbers. It is almost fast like a tensor, both in passive shots and in power loops. but still not enough for tensor users. however, it is a lot faster than a baby oil tuned NEO Hurricane 3. In particular the topsheet is reactive, not like an ESN tensor but more than classical Chinese rubbers such as H3.
This is a medium weight rubber, a bit less than H3.
Red version is softer than black.
This rubber is incredibly long-lasting: after about 6 months of usage, even though the topsheet is visibly worn, it still grips more than anything. The spin is still at least as great as Hurricane 3 or vega pro.
For those of you who know Gambler Outlaw: this rubber feels a lot like an Outlaw, but has higher throw, is much more spinny, and harder, with more arc.
The only reasons why you might not like this rubber is that it has few gears, it lacks the very high gear of a tensor (powerloops and smashes), and is very very hard so you need a flexible blade.
its sibling, sword king, is very tacky. it is also much slower and slightly softer. (still very hard)
Aug 12, 2012
Sword Hero Enhanced
Review of Sword Hero EnhancedThis rubber is mostly for drive, due to the medium-low throw and spin insensitivity.
not tacky, but grippy.
Has very good touch, very good control on drives and hits.
The throw is medium-low, like 729 classic. Higher than sriver EL, lkt pro xp. Lower than H3, vega pro, t05, acuda s1, acuda s2.
Red or black makes no difference.
Hardness is more or less like hurricane 3 or 729 classic. The low gear is absent due to the hardness.
Dwell time is very low due to the hardness.
speed: this rubber is very fast (much more than 729 classic or hurricane 3 neo).
Pre-glued (does not require glue to stick to blade).
Sword hero FT is completely different (softer, higher throw, much spinnier)
bottom line: good power, hard, not tacky, poor spin, mostly for drive.
Tests were made on a dawei wavestone (fast carbon blade).
Nov 02, 2011
Review of Tibhar Aurusthis is a great forehand rubber: medium-high throw, medium-hard, fast, spinny in loops, and not very spin sensitive in block.
spin in powerloops is great. spin on brush loops and pushes is average.
the throw is medium-high or high: higher than genius (and of course much higher than sinus). lower than vega pro, higher than m1, a bit higher than m2, similar to t05 hard version. higher than S2.
Block on bh is fair due to spin insensitivity but not great due to the high throw. m2 blocks better because it is softer. s2 blocks worse. m1 blocks much worse.
spin sensitivity is low, therefore control is good.
The speed is very good. faster than tenergy 05, xiom sigma europe. but slower than m2, m1, s2.
hardness is like t05, i.e. medium-hard.
harder than m2, but much softer than m1. The medium-hard hardness is the reason why spin is very good in power loops.
red rubber is less grippy than black.
warning: some say the red color plays bad with humidity.
topsheet has a click feeling somewhat like t05. for this reason, like T05, this rubber works best on stiff blades, like clippe.
bottom line: this is one of the few fast rubbers with medium-high throw. For this reasons, it is one of the best choices for forehand. Use it if T05 is too slow for you, but you still like high throw. Another option to consider is M2, which is a bit softer and a bit faster.
Apr 09, 2013
Xiom Vega Pro
Review of Xiom Vega Pro(updated jan 2013)
This is a forehand rubber with very high throw, very spinny, a fast mid gear but slow in the top gear.
good for developing players but too slow for experienced players.
you can find it useful for close to table looping, as it is similar to tenergy 05 but slower.
Medium-hard sponge, medium-soft topsheet.
good for forehand, difficult for backhand due to the very high throw.
Opening loops are incredibly spinny (maybe they lack a bit the penetration of the acudas and calibra, but they are much easier).
Counterloops over the table and at the table are easy but with very closed angle (good for fh, but very difficult for bh).
The rubber becomes a bit slower and noticeably softer with time (2 months), but does not lose its grip much.
Comparison with acuda s2: s2 is a speed oriented rubber, vega pro is a spin oriented rubber. However, s2 has more dwell time. As I said it is noticeably faster. S2 is lower throw. Spin in s2 is less than vega pro. Flips over the table are much easier with vega pro. Also opening loops are much easier (and spinnier) with vega pro, but also slower. Backhand looping against fast flat services is very difficult with s2, much easier with Vega pro, due to the high throw.
Comparison with tenergy 05: vega pro is slower but equally spinny (or even more). Also, vega pro has the same high throw (maybe even higher).
if you are looking for something similar to T05, bluefire m2 is a much better choice.
A cheaper clone of this rubber is Galaxy Sun; it is similar but worse in every respect.
bottom line: for me, this rubber is too slow for forehand, too high throw for backhand. I am currently using aurus on fh and sigma europe on bh.
Jan 18, 2013
Xiom Vega Elite
Review of Xiom Vega EliteThis rubber is very low throw. Who said it is high throw must have mental problems. :) Vega Pro is high throw.
This rubber is good for my backhand but not for my fh, due to the low throw.
It has many gears.
Oct 19, 2011
Xiom Vega Europe
Review of Xiom Vega Europethis is a great backhand rubber for loopers and blockers, and a great forehand rubber on fast blades.
medium throw, medium-soft, and very spinny in openings and pushes.
For high level players, it could be too soft and low throw for forehand in power loops. in this case, vega pro will be much better, but more spin sensitive in loops, so it requires more skill.
throw is medium, not high like vega pro, which makes it easy to counterloop with the backhand. whereas with vega pro, you need to close a lot with bh to counterloop and block, which is unnatural. (like t05).
also block is much easier than with vega pro, because with vega pro the ball shoots high.
spin on opening is huge. as grippy as vega pro; opening loops against backspin are deadly spinny (and lower than with vega pro).
sponge is softer than vega pro, which makes it easier to generate spin with the backhand; good bh counterloops.
counterlooping on forehand is easy, because it is less spin sensitive than vega pro, but also less spin than vega pro.
If you are not a pro, you should use vega europe on bh, not vega pro.
Jun 15, 2012
Xiom Sigma 1 Euro
Review of Xiom Sigma 1 Euro(updated jan 2013)
This is a great backhand rubber, with huge grip and low throw. not good for forehand because it does not have spin nor enough speed in powerloops.
Low throw and straight arc, so it is good for blocking (and looping) on bh.
Incredibly spinny on openings and pushes. spin is not good in powerloops as it bottoms out.
Fast on backhand, not enough on forehand due to the bottoming out.
What is especially puzzling is that this rubber, while being very grippy, is not very spin sensitive in blocks. It blocks really well.
Blocks and drives are fantastic.
hardness: medium. softer than sigma pro. But much harder than vega europe. It is harder than coppa x2 or acuda s2.
So is this the perferct rubber for backhand? Well probably yes. Is this the perfect rubber for forehand? No. Aurus for example is much better: faster, higher throw, more spin in powerloops. Sigma pro could be a good choice if you like low throw on fh. Also M2, M1, rakza 7, rakza 9, are much better choices on fh.
Jan 18, 2013
NO IMAGEUpload an Image
Yasaka Zap 36-38°
Review of Yasaka Zap 36-38°a sriver clone. very good cheap rubber for backhand on a fast blade.
this rubber is a very good training rubber for vega europe users on bh. compared to vega europe, it is a bit less spinny, a bit slower, and a bit lower throw, a bit softer, and less spin sensitive. but similar.
throw is medium-low.
blocks are very easy.
opening loops are fairly spinny, but not incredibly spinny like, say, vega europe.
this is similar to palio cj8000 36 jap, but faster, softer, with more spin, cheaper, and a bit lower throw.
I am currently using it on bh on dhs pg7 (a fast 7 ply all wood).
Jun 26, 2012