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    Reviews posted by yogi_bear
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    Avatar yogi_bear
    Total reviews: 28
    Total Likes: 27
    Reviews Rubbers(18)
    Blades(9)
    Shoes(1)
        Posted 2 Days Ago
        4.00 Good Chinese rubber

        A good Chinese rubber with a bouncy sponge. It is similar to the Tin Arc rubbers. The Rubber is made by DHS. It is medium fast and is very spinny on slow loops. High amount of control and excellent for close to the table type of play. Pushes and blocks well too.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 2 Days Ago
        5.00 Arctic is awesome

        A better 5 ply looping blade that Infinity VPS. It is composed of a new "Arctic wood" outer ply with inner spruce and ayous layers. Loops very well and is forgiving on difficult shots. Faster than VPS but still has a lot of flex. Slower than Tibhar SPW but faster than a Primorac Off= blade. A perfect balance of speed and control and very user-friendly. Ideal for all levels of playing from beginner to advanced levels. It is also not choosy with rubbers you glue on it. It is also a light blade for its kind. My legend flared version was only 85 grams.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 3 Weeks Ago
        4.00 Good, above average rubber

        more suited as a backhand rubber rather than a forehand rubber. this is more suited for players who are still developing their game and also for all around type of play where every stroke counts a a point earning stroke liek push chops and flicks. advanced players can use this more as a backhand rubber and just stick to Tenergy 05. Spin is much less compared to Tenergy 05 or MX-P.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-14-2017
        5.00 Favorite from the 3 Mantra versions
        • Fast
        • Very grippy
        • Impressive

        STIGA Mantra Rubber: H
        Weight: 65 grams uncut
        Speed: OFF+
        Spin: Very High

        After waiting patiently the new Mantra rubbers are here. I finally got hold of each version S, M and H. To stop the rumors flying about that the Mantra rubber series was recalled due to a low durability. It was due to a factory enhancement with the rubber which I know but do not have the liberty to discuss.





        I paired the Mantra H, alongside the Genesis Rubber on a DHS Hurricane 3 for the Carbonado 290 and 245 and the Celero Blade. Out of all 3 versions soft, medium and hard I preferred the hard. The medium version is 47 degrees in hardness. Between all 3 versions the pimple structure between the Soft, Medium and Hard are the exact same the only difference being the hardness of sponge.

        The topsheet on the Mantra rubber is a huge update from the Airoc and a great improvement. The Japanese company that produced the rubber has surprised me with is new topsheet. It has a very grippy surface and it does not come with the plastic like texture.

        Speed: The Mantra rubbers are fast with the hard version being the fastest. It has similar speeds to the Tibhar Evolution MX-P if not even faster! The Japanese rubbers never had a problem with speed it was that they needed more spin. The M is also fast but on similar speeds to a EL-S. The S is slow and soft, slower than a FX-P.

        Spin: The Mantra rubbers are very grippy. This is the first time the Japanese company have produced such a topsheet for Stiga. The Airoc was spinny but not on the levels of the new Mantra rubbers. In comparison to other rubbers the topsheet feels closest to Haifu Shark 3 and Whale 3. They are grippy without the tackiness. The hard version has almost the same amount of spin as the Evolution MX-P but a sharper and longer trajectory. When used with the Carbonado 290 the throw was low but accurate enough to clear the net. The medium version is also very spinny. Both M and H versions of the Mantra are spinny enough that they could pass as ESN rubbers, its this trajectory that makes them different from ESN rubbers. The M produces a medium arc whereas the S has a medium to high arc. You need to hit through the sponge more with the S to produce more spin. The Genesis rubbers are initially more spinny but when you compress more on the sponge and when you do very strong attacks, that is where the Mantra H and M rubbers shine and you can feel the combination of the speed and spin.

        Which version do I prefer of the Mantra series? I was really biased with the H version but lately I also like the M version a lot. Let me explain why.

        The Mantra H is the most stable rubber of the 3 in terms of attacking and blocking. The H version was placed on a Carbonado 290 which is a very fast attacking blade, a OFF+. I didnt have any problem with blocking the ball. It produced a low return when blocking

        Mantra H version is one of the most stable rubber I have tried in terms of attacking and blocking. Take note that the H version was placed on a Carbonado 290 and the said blade is an off+ very fast attacking blade. I had no problem blocking with it. It produced a low return when blocking just an inch higher than the net which is sometimes hard for opponents to attack back. Both the M and H are really easy to block with. The M is a tamed version of the H and is easier to control. The H versions very low throw often upset my opponents with its unique attacking properties. The players who tried it were using the Donic P-Series and MX-P series. The guys using the Donic P-series all said the Mantra H was a more vicious and better rubber in attacking. The guys using the MX-P were very impressed by its good spin capabilities and sharp low arc.

        The M version is the tamed version of the Mantra H. It can do everything the M version can but on a more tamed attack and easier to control. The 3 rubbers are never spin sensitive but they spin great with serves and pushes aside from loops. The S version, I would recommend it really for a backhand rubber or for developing players mostly. The H and M versions are really the rubbers to buy.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 02-14-2017
        4.00 Review on the stiga mantra M
        • Fast
        • Very grippy

        STIGA Mantra: M
        Weight: 63 grams uncut
        Speed: OFF
        Spin: Very High

        After waiting patiently the new Mantra rubbers are here. I finally got hold of each version S, M and H. To stop the rumors flying about that the Mantra rubber series was recalled due to a low durability. It was due to a factory enhancement with the rubber which I know but do not have the liberty to discuss.







        I paired the Mantra M, alongside the Genesis Rubber on a DHS Hurricane 3 for the Carbonado 290 and 245 and the Celero Blade. Out of all 3 versions soft, medium and hard I preferred the hard. The medium version is 45 degrees in hardness. Between all 3 versions the pimple structure between the Soft, Medium and Hard are the exact same the only difference being the hardness of sponge.

        The topsheet on the Mantra rubber is a huge update from the Airoc and a great improvement. The Japanese company that produced the rubber has surprised me with is new topsheet. It has a very grippy surface and it does not come with the plastic like texture.

        Speed: The Mantra rubbers are fast with the hard version being the fastest. It has similar speeds to the Tibhar Evolution MX-P if not even faster! The Japanese rubbers never had a problem with speed in the past it was that they needed more spin. The M is also fast but on similar speeds to a EL-S. The S is slow and soft, slower than a FX-P.

        Spin: The Mantra rubbers are very grippy. This is the first time the Japanese company have produced such a topsheet for Stiga. The Airoc was spinny but not on the levels of the new Mantra rubbers. In comparison to other rubbers the topsheet feels closest to Haifu Shark 3 and Whale 3. They are grippy without the tackiness. The hard version has almost the same amount of spin as the Evolution MX-P but a sharper and longer trajectory. When used with the Carbonado 290 the throw was low but accurate enough to clear the net. The medium version is also very spinny. Both M and H versions of the Mantra are spinny enough that they could pass as ESN rubbers, its this trajectory that makes them different from ESN rubbers. The M produces a medium arc whereas the S has a medium to high arc. You need to hit through the sponge more with the S to produce more spin. The Genesis rubbers are initially more spinny but when you compress more on the sponge and when you do very strong attacks, that is where the Mantra H and M rubbers shine and you can feel the combination of the speed and spin.

        Which version do I prefer of the Mantra series? I was really biased with the H version but lately I also like the M version a lot. Let me explain why.

        The Mantra H is the most stable rubber of the 3 in terms of attacking and blocking. The H version was placed on a Carbonado 290 which is a very fast attacking blade, a OFF+. I didnt have any problem with blocking the ball. It produced a low return when blocking


        Mantra H version is one of the most stable rubber I have tried in terms of attacking and blocking. Take note that the H version was placed on a Carbonado 290 and the said blade is an off+ very fast attacking blade. I had no problem blocking with it. It produced a low return when blocking just an inch higher than the net which is sometimes hard for opponents to attack back. Both the M and H are really easy to block with. The M is a tamed version of the H and is easier to control. The H versions very low throw often upset my opponents with its unique attacking properties. The players who tried it were using the Donic P-Series and MX-P series. The guys using the Donic P-series all said the Mantra H was a more vicious and better rubber in attacking. The guys using the MX-P were very impressed by its good spin capabilities and sharp low arc.

        The M version is the tamed version of the Mantra H. It can do everything the M version can but on a more tamed attack and easier to control. The 3 rubbers are never spin sensitive but they spin great with serves and pushes aside from loops. The S version, I would recommend it really for a backhand rubber or for developing players mostly. The H and M versions are really the rubbers to buy.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-14-2017
        4.00 Review on the stiga mantra s

        Mantra S
        Weight: 62 grams uncut
        Speed: Off-
        Spin: High

        After eagerly waiting several months for the new Mantra rubbers, I finally got hold of all 3 versions. Also to stop all the rumors that the Mantra rubber series needed to be recalled due to low durability is in correct. It was due to factory enhancement with the rubber which I know but do not have the liberty to discuss.









        I paired the Mantra S, alongside the Genesis Rubber on a DHS Hurricane 3 for the Carbonado 290 and 245 and the Celero Blade. Out of all 3 versions soft, medium and hard I preferred the hard. The soft version is 42 degrees in hardness. Between all 3 versions the pimple structure between the Soft, Medium and Hard are the exact same the only difference being the hardness of sponge.

        A Japanese company developed the Mantra and it is surprisingly different to what I expected especially with The topsheet. The new topsheet on this rubber is very grippy and not like the Airoc series whereby it has that plastic like texture. Lots of people have been asking what are so good about the Mantra's, is it just a marketing gimmick, I have asked myself the same questions. I also asked myself when I tried to place myself on other people’s shoes especially the doubtful ones and I do not blame them for being doubtful.

        Between the 3 Mantra rubbers I found the soft version to be the slowest, slower than a Tibhar Evolution FX-P. The Medium version is faster and similar speeds to a EL-S. The Hard version was the fastest one, it matches similar speeds if not faster than a Tibhar Evolution MX-P. The Japanese rubbers didnt really have much problems with speed in the past it was that they needed more spin.

        In terms of speed all 3 versions are very grippy, this is the first time that the Japanese company produced such a topsheet for STIGA. The Airoc series was spinny but not on the level of the Mantra rubbers.

        The soft version reviewed here requires more hit through the sponge to produce spin. This rubber is for players who compress the sponge a lot when driving or top spinning.

        The M version has a medium arc while the S version has a medium to high arc. The S version needs to be hit through the sponge to produce more spin. This rubber is designed for people who compress the sponge a lot when driving or looping. The Genesis rubbers are initially more spinny but when you compress more on the sponge and when you do very strong attacks, that is where the Mantra H and M rubbers shine and you can feel the combination of the speed and spin.

        I have also posted a review on the Medium and Hard versions which I preferred more.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 08-27-2016
        4.00 Xiom Vega Europe DF Review
        • soft
        • Lots of control
        • Spin

        • More speed
        Xiom Vega Europe DF Rubber
        Weight: 41 grams cut (151x157mm blade)
        Sponge hardness: Soft
        Speed: Off-

        I have not used the Xiom Vega Europe for a while. In 2009 it was my favorite rubber when it first came out. I wanted to go back to XVE because I missed the feel and control plus spin I got when I started playing with the polyball. I contacted my local Xiom distributor in Philippines, www.pingpongonline.com, they sent me the new Vega Europe DF. The blade I used in the review was the STIGA Exclusive blade.

        The Xiom Vega Europe DF feels very much like a 35-degree European hardness. When I pressed against the rubber it felt soft. When comparing side by side the original Vega Europe and Vega Europe DF the original felt a bit harder. The Vega Europe feels more of a 37 degree sponge hardness. The pimple structure looks identical between the two with the only difference it seems is the hardness. The Vega Elite is still the soften Vega Rubber in the series. When comparing all 3 rubbers in terms of hardness the Vega Europe DF is between the original Vega Europe and Vega Elite.

        While testing the rubbers I used the Nexy 3* polyball, I felt right away that the original Xiom Vega Europe is slightly faster than the newer DF version. The speed of the DF felt between the Vega Elite and Vega Europe. The sound of the Vega Europe DF was very loud, the Vega Series is known for its sound, the DF was louder by a few notches. In terms of categorising the speed, the DF ranged from ALL+ to OFF- speed, but in general the speed on all of my strokes was OFF-.

        I found the DF rubber to work well inside the table on shots such as short pushes, drop shots and serves.Serves in particular are very controllable and not too bouncy. The spin on my serves and sharp pushes seemed very high when you compress the ball onto the sponge.

        The topsheet of the Xiom Vega Europe DF is very spinny and feels grippy, infact spinier than the original Xiom Vega Europe.

        Comparing to Rasant Beat: The Vega Europe DF is spinier than the new andro Rasant Beat rubber, however the Beat is faster. The advantage with the DF is looping and spinning the ball.

        The DF rubber produces a medium arc which I liked when looping or spinning the ball. When contacting the ball thin strokes were not the way to go with the DF version. Even with the plastic ball the DF rubber is very spinny. The rubber is not to sensitive to incoming spin and is highly controllable on blocks and controlling the heavy spin. I found the Europe DF more suited for the Forehand. This was because it is designed for close to the table producing lots of spin, at mid distance you need more effort because of the softness of the rubber. On the backhand I could have done with a bit more pace. If you are a player who likes to block, spin and drive on the backhand then the DF would suit you well. I think to make the rubber faster you need it on a faster blade like the Xiom Zetro Quad or the Stradivarius blade. This rubber would pair well with carbon blades as the spin and control would balance well.

        Overall, the new Vega Europe DF rubber is a great all round attacking rubber designed for the plastic ball. The high control and forgiveness of this rubber would even be suitable for beginners. This rubber is excellent for learning the strokes because its very balanced between spin and control and a reasonable amount of speed.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 06-15-2016
        5.00 Review on the Genesis M Rubber
        • Very spinny
        • Fast

        Stiga Genesis M
        Weight: 64 grams
        Thickness: 2.0mm
        Speed: Off

        Throughout the review I will compare the Genesis M to the Genesis S and to similar rubbers that share the same characters as the Genesis series. The Genesis M feels fairly tacky however not to tacky like other Chinese/Tacky rubbers in the market. The topsheet on the Genesis could easily pass for a Euro style topsheet on first look however it is a Chinese topsheet. The Genesis M has the best topsheet I have seen for a Chinese rubber, very high quality, better than rubbers such as the Haifu which I have tested before. Someone has commented already that the rubbers have been produced by DHS and are similar to the Tin Arc series by DHS. I have tried the Tin Arc series previously and I think the Genesis is a few notches higher in performance and quality and definitely feels more responsive. The markings on the sponge as seen below are a giveaway on who made and produced the rubbers. The pores on the sponge are more porous and larger than DHS rubbers. Between the two Genesis rubbers the M version is 47 degrees whilst the S is 45 degrees. The topsheet on both the rubbers are medium to soft and not as hard as DHS Hurricane rubbers.

        Speed

        The Genesis M is fast and bouncy and feels similar to a Euro rubber instead of a traditional Chinese rubber. In comparison to other Stiga rubbers, the Genesis seems as fast as a Stiga Calibra LT Sound but with a more harder feeling. The Genesis M is definitely faster than the S and Calibra Spin. When comparing the Genesis against other brands in terms of speed the M is faster than DHS Tin Arc rubbers and has similar speeds to the Donic Acuda S2. The Genesis M is faster than the Acuda S2 however slower than the Airoc Astro or the Evolution series by Tibhar for example.

        Spin

        Over the last few years this is definitely the most spiniest Stiga rubber I have ever used. The spin on the M produces a high arc and long trajectory. I would say the Genesis M has slightly less spin than a Hurricane 3 or a Tenergy 05 however it is just as spinny as a MX-P by Tibhar or a Rhyzm rubber by Joola. The Genesis M is a notch spinier than the Tin Arc rubbers. The topsheet on the Genesis feels more 'grippy' than 'tacky'. The M only needs a minimal brush technique to produce a lot of spin. The Genesis series have a lesser sensitivity to spin in comparison to other Chinese and Euro rubbers.

        Overall performance

        Overall I think the move by Stiga to produce this type of rubber is excellent. The Genesis M is a fantastic rubber which works well on both an allwood or carbon blade. The Genesis M is my favorite between the S and M and is a well rounded attacking rubber which allows you to play all shots. The rubber works well in the serve and receive game as well as touch shots such as the drop shot. The rubber is a good alternative to Hurricane rubbers with players who struggle to adapt to the new plastic ball era. Players who struggle with the new ball may like the Genesis as the rubber offers increased speed and who do not want to change to a Euro or Japanese rubber. The M version works very well from mid distance and near to the table. In the near future I will review the Genesis M in 2.1mm to feel the fullest speed of the M version.

        How does this rubber stack up against Tenergy 05?

        If we compare the Genesis rubber to the Butterfly Tenergy 05 I would say, it's still a few notches below but the m version is already fast at 2.0mm. Spin is greater than some ESN rubbers but lower than T05. A superb rubber by Stiga.

        Pictures from the Review:






        7 people liked this review
        Posted 06-15-2016
        5.00 Review on the Genesis S Rubber
        • Spin
        • Close to the table

        Stiga Genesis S
        Weight: 63 grams
        Thickness: 2.0mm
        Speed: Off

        Firstly I just want to compare the Gensis S rubber against the Genesis M or similar rubbers which have the same rubber characteristics to the Genesis series. Both rubbers are lightly tacky and not ridiculously tacky like other tacky rubbers out there. The topsheet could pass as a euro topsheet on first look although it is a Chinese topsheet. I have seen a lot of Chinese rubber topsheets however the Genesis has the best quality Chinese topsheet I have seen on the market. It is even better quality than rubbers such as the Haifu which I have tested before. Someone has commented already that these rubbers have been made by DHS and are similar to the Tin Arc series by DHS. However it seems to me the Genesis rubber is a few notches higher in quality and performance because I have tried the Tin Arc previously and it definitely feels more responsive. The marks where the sponge is cut is a giveaway on who made and produced the rubbers. The sponge are more porous than the DHS Hurricane rubbers. The pores on the Genesis are larger. Between the two sponges the Genesis S is 45 degrees and the Genesis M rubber is 47 degrees. The topsheet on both of the Genesis are medium to soft and not as hard as the DHS Hurricane rubbers.

        Speed

        The Genesis S 2.0 is fast. The M version is fast and bouncy and feels similar to a Euro rubber instead of a Chinese rubber. In comparison to other Stiga rubbers the Genesis seems as fast as a Calibra LT Sound but with a harder feeling. The M version of the Genesis series is definitely faster than Calibra Spin. Comparing the Genesis against other brands the Genesis S and M are both faster than the DHS Tin Arc rubbers and I would put the speed on similar levels to the Donic Acuda S2. I think the Genesis is faster than the Acuda S2 but slower than the Airoc Astro or Tibhar Evolution MX-P for example.

        Spin

        Out of all the modern rubbers by Stiga this is the spiniest I have ever tried. The S version has a low arc when spinning and the M version has a higher arc. Both produce a long trajectory. Comparing the spin produced on the Genesis to other brands I would say the Genesis M is a bit lower in spin to a Hurricane 3 or Tenergy 05 however it is as spinny as MX-P or Joola rubbers like the Rhyzm. I have played with the Tin Arc rubbers and the M version and to some extent the S version are a notch higher in spin. The top sheets on the Genesis feel more 'grippy' than 'tacky'. The S version can be spinny but requires more dig and bite into the sponge to produce high levels of spin. The M version requires minimal brush and will produce a great amount of spin. The Genesis series have a lesser sensitivity to spin in comparison to other Chinese and Euro rubbers.

        Overall performance

        Overall, I think it is a good move by Stiga to produce fantastic rubbers like the Genesis. Both the S and M version are good for smashing but the S does seem more suited for hard carbon blades. The S version I was a bit picky on what to use it with, it works very well close to the table. Whilst many people like having Chinese type rubbers on the forehand I prefer the S version on my backhand because it makes blocking and punch blocks with ease. The Genesis S is very controllable and great for touch and drop shots as expected with the Chinese based rubber.

        I will try to review the 2.1 version in the near future because I would like to feel the rubbers speed at is fullest. I would also be interested if Stiga would try using the sponge from Airoc and the topsheet of the Genesis, this would be one complete rubber for attacking and spinning. The airoc sponge itself is a super sponge that is very fast but light at the same time.

        If we compare the Genesis rubber to the Butterfly Tenergy 05 I would say, it's still a few notches below but the m version is already fast at 2.0mm. Spin is greater than some ESN rubbers but lower than T05.

        Pictures from the Review:






        5 people liked this review
        Posted 03-29-2016
        5.00 My Evolution MX-P Rubber Review + comparing to Tenergy 05
        • Very fast
        • Lots of spin
        • Counter looping

        • For pro's
        Tibhar Evolution MX-P
        Weight: 69 grams uncut
        Harness: Medium/Hard
        Speed: Fast
        Spin: High
        Blade used: Adidas Avenger 5 blade

        Initial Look

        The Evolution rubber series is completely different in comparison to the Q series by Tibhar. The topsheet of the Evolution is a deep red colour whereas the Q series a light red color. The deep red sponge is from ESN Germany and is often believed to be a Japanese sponge.



        Sponge comparison between MX-P, FX-P, EL-P

        Out of all three sponges from the Evolution series the MX-P is the hardest sponge which is the one at the bottom of the pile in the picture below. The sponge feels medium to hard. The MX-P is the hardest out of the series with FX-P being the softest. The EL-P had a medium sponge hardness. The MX-P had the largest pores of all three with the EL-P having the smallest and the FX-P in between.

        Picture below top to bottom (FX-P, EL-P, MX-P)


        Speed

        I glued the MX-P rubber to the Adidas Avenger 5 blade which is a 5 ply wood blade, even still the MX-P felt like a rocket. Out of all 3 the rubber is definitely the fastest in the Evolution series. It is faster than a Tenergy 64 for example. The rubber felt hard when hitting the ball producing a medium to high trajectory when away from the table. The power of my shots did not change even if If I took a step off from the table.

        Spin

        Out of the 3 rubbers, the EL-P was the easiest to spin the ball with, although the MX-P produced greater spin however more effort was needed. With the MX-P, to produce its maximum spin a higher level of play was needed to fully utilize its power in term of speed and spin on attacks. The MX-P away from the table hit with a lot of power and speed, I found this rubber a little to fast for my level and would say its a professional rubber for pro's. I found the EL-P gave me greater control away from the table. The MX-P rubber surprised me when I pushed and served the ball as i could get a lot of spin and it was easier, similar to using a hard Chinese rubber however the MX-P is not tacky.

        Control and inside the table game

        I found the MX-P quite tricky for control as its very fast, I had to adjust to its speed. In shots such as receiving serves and drop shots it was bouncy and required a precise touch. It was excellent for pushing though.

        Blocking

        The MX-P produced very fast blocks as expected. The rubber could produce very fast punch blocks which is cool if you can control it.

        Conclusion:

        The MX-P is definitely an advanced rubber and is a beast! it is very fast, powerful and spinny when you apply the right technique. If you are a counter looper or want to have a counter attacking game the MX-P a great choice of rubber.

        How does Evolution MX-P compare to Tenergy 05?

        The Tibhar Evolution MX-P is faster than Tenergy however the spin is 10% less. I think the Evolution rubbers are a lot more durable than Tenergy. Interestingly about this rubber is that it makes a nice "thock" when you hit it, even in max. It is interesting because it is not at all a soft rubber. It is actually quite hard, and a much louder rubber than Tenergy.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 02-29-2016
        4.00 My review on the Nimbus Delta S
        • Medium/Soft
        • Good price
        • High control

        Tibhar Nimbus Delta S
        Weight: 67 grams unct
        Harness: Soft
        Speed: Off-
        Spin: High

        The Tibhar Nimbus Delta and Delta soft will be the last Tibhar rubbers I will review this year. These are traditional German rubbers designed for the plastic balls. The Delta S has a orange colored non-porous sponge which is popular among the older generation of tensor based rubbers. The topsheet is similar to other Tibhar rubbers however has a slightly longer pip structure.





        In this review I used the Tibhar Nimbus Delta S and the ITC XC carbon blade for this test.

        The Nimbus Delta had a classic tensor feel during contact. The Delta feels like a medium/soft rubber, similar hardness to the closer to the Aurus Soft rubber.

        The Delta S is a fairly fast rubber but not as fast as modern Tibhar rubbers like MX-P for example. The speed is more like a allround rubber and closer to MX-s. The rubber drives very well, and using a plastic ball the rubber combated the ball well. When smashing the ball the Delta rubber had more control rather than speed. The rubber felt suited close to the table.

        When generating spin, I would rate the Delta S rubber quite low in terms of spin in comparison to the Q or Evolution series. The Nimbus Delta needs a stroke that compresses the ball more on the sponge or hitting through the sponge to produce good spin all abecause the topsheets are not as grippy compared to the newer generation Tibhar rubbers.

        To conclude, the Nimbus Delta has a great amount of control and blocks very well. I could counter well from middle distance to the table. I would recommend this rubber for new players or developing players that use the poly ball. Once you have developed your strokes you should switch to a higher level rubber like the Q series or the Evolution series. The price is good.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 02-29-2016
        4.00 My review on the Nimbus Delta
        • High Control
        • Good price

        Tibhar Nimbus Delta
        Weight: 71 grams uncut
        Hardness: Medium soft
        Speed: OFF
        Spin: High

        The Tibhar Nimbus Delta and Delta soft will be the last Tibhar rubbers I will review this year. These are traditional German rubbers designed for the plastic balls. The Delta has a white non-porous sponge which is popular among the older generation of tensor based rubbers. The topsheet is similar to other Tibhar rubbers however has a slightly longer pip structure.





        In this review I used the Tibhar Nimbus Delta and the ITC XC carbon blade for this test.

        The Nimbus Delta had a classic tensor feel during contact. The Delta feels like a medium rubber, similar hardness to the Aurus.

        The Delta is a fairly fast rubber but not as fast as modern Tibhar rubbers like MX-P for example. The speed is faster than EL-p but is definately slower than MX-P. The rubber drives very well, and using a plastic ball the rubber combated the ball well. When smashing the ball the Delta rubber had more control rather than speed. The rubber felt suited close to the table.

        When generating spin, I would rate the Delta rubber quite low in terms of spin in comparison to the Q or Evolution series. The Nimbus Delta needs a stroke that compresses the ball more on the sponge or hitting through the sponge to produce good spin all because the topsheets are not as grippy compared to the newer generation Tibhar rubbers.

        To conclude, the Nimbus Delta has a great amount of control and blocks very well. I could counter well from middle distance to the table. I would recommend this rubber for new players or developing players that use the poly ball. Once you have developed your strokes you should switch to a higher level rubber like the Q series or the Evolution series. The price is good.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 10-05-2015
        3.00 Astro M Reviw
        • Improved Spin
        • Excellent Speed
        • Improved sponge

        Stiga Airoc Astro M
        Sponge hardness: Max
        Weight: Approximately 66-68 grams uncut
        Hardness: around 45 degrees
        Speed: OFF+



        I tested the Astro M on a verity of blades including Stiga Rosewood V, Yinhe T-1 as a representative of using a very fast carbon blade, an ITC XF for a controlled composite fiberglass layered blade and the Stiga Clipper wood.

        The Astro M has a reactive and springy feel when pressed hard. On first bounce the rubber has a high rebound on the ball. The sponge pores are very small and lightweight. The topsheet feels grippy, more so than the original Airoc M version.

        The Astro M speed is similar to very fast euro rubbers and is evn bouncier than any other 45 degree tensor rubber. It is slower than the Evolution MX-P though. The rubber has good spring when hitting the ball on drives and smashes.

        The M performs superbly on service and receives. They are both insensitive to incoming spin which I liked about the rubbers in this area of play. When receiving using drop shots or flicks, there is high control.

        When playing topspins the M version had good amounts of spin but not as much as the soft version of the Astro rubber. The Astro M however does produce more spin than the Airoc M. The Astro M has a low to medium arc when doing loops and the Astro S has a medium to high arch doing the same stroke.

        Overall, I would prefer the Astro S version. It is a very good and complete all around rubber which offers good spin and excellent attacking in all strokes. The Astro M is better in smashing and driving away from the table but the Astro S has better spin. The 2 rubbers pair well with both all wood and with composite blades. The Astro S is very versatile and plays good with any carbon blade with off or off+ speeds. The Astro M can be a smashing and driving monster when paired with an off+ carbon blade especially if you are far from the table.



        1 people liked this review
        Posted 10-05-2015
        4.00 Review of the soft Airoc Astro
        • Great spin
        • New sponge

        Stiga Airoc Astro S
        Sponge Version: Max
        Weight: Approximately 62-64 grams uncut
        Hardness: around 45 degrees
        Speed: OFF



        I received the soft version of the Airoc Astro a few weeks ago testing on a variety of blades. I predominately used the STIGA Rosewood V blade and tested on other blades including the Yinhe T-1 as a fast composite blade and an ITC XF for a controlled carbon blade. I also tried the Airoc Astro S on a STIGA Clipper Wood. The rubbers were glued using a water-based glue. I used a polyball and a celluloid ball when testing the rubbers.

        The Airoc Astro Series was released this year as players wanted more spin on the poly ball, this rubber is an advancement to last years Airoc rubber. The older sample of the Astro rubber has a calibra topsheet with Airoc sponge, this was very good however STIGA decided not to use this as the Astro series according to them had increased in quality. This rubber is simply the same as the Airoc topsheet however with a new, reformulated sponge.

        The sponge of the S has a reactive and springy feel when pressed hard. Initially the first bounce seems to have a high rebound. The sponge has small pores and the topsheet feels grippy.

        The speed of the astro S feels slightly faster than the Airoc series. I can feel more of a spring effect with the s version on drives and smashes. The Soft is harder than other STIGA rubbers such as the STIGA Sound rubbers. The S speed is faster than the Evolution EL-P.

        On serves and receives the rubber performed superbly producing lots of spin. Both rubbers are insensitive to incoming spin which me like this rubber in this area of play. When receiving using shots such as flicks or drop shots there is high control.

        When playing spinny loops, I found the S to be spinnier than the M version. The improved sponge certainly helps in this area. Comparing the astro S and the M the S was spinnier the ball grabs into the sponge more. I think if you placed a euro or Chinese rubber on the Astro topsheet, you would have one complete spinny and fast rubber. The Astro M has a low to medium arc when doing loops and the Astro S has a medium to high arch doing the same stroke.

        Overall,the Astro S version is a very good and complete all around rubber which offers good spin and excellent attacking in all strokes. The rubber pairs well with both all wood and with composite blades. The Astro S is very versatile and plays good with any carbon blade with off or off+ speeds.




        2 people liked this review
        Posted 09-05-2015
        4.00 Andro Ligna OFF Blade Review
        • Lots of control
        • Gr8 craftmanship

        • Expensive


        Andro Ligna OFF Blade

        Blade Specs:

        Weight: 90 grams
        Blade Dimensions: 151x156mm
        Thickness: 6.1mm
        Plies: 7 (spruce outer with carbon 3rd layer)
        Hardness: Medium Stiff
        Test Rubbers: Andro Plaxxon 450 & 350, Reactor Corbor medium soft, Andro Rasant Beat, MXP
        Speed: OFF



        Product Description:

        “Origin, water content, storage, processing method and many more aspects have big influence on a blade’s playing characteristics. For the in Germany manufactured exclusive andro® LIGNA series only the finest wood, which is also used for manufacturing violins, is processed.

        Particular attention is given to the sawing method of the wood veneers: Only the finest sawn veneers are processed for LIGNA woods. Major advantage is that this processing leaves no scar on the veneers behind. Consistently solid and clean cut veneers on both sides form the foundation for an outstanding feel. Wood in the way it should be.”



        Initial Inspection:

        This blade came to a surprise because the outer layers of the blade are made of SPRUCE! Yes the spruce wood that we know that is usually used as a 2nd layer for famous 5 ply blades is used in the Ligna blades. You could mistake it as Hinoki because of the lines but on closer inspection you would see some sort of difference. Andro claims that this is the wood that is also used in making violins. Spruce looks like Hinoki because they are pine trees and belong to the same group of trees.

        The blade itself is an example of fine craftsmanship and above average quality among European blades. This blade at first look is obviously not a product from the factory that makes Andro blades. I like the texture and smoothness of the blade and the handle. I got the straight handle. It felt a bit small for my hands.

        On a bounce test, the ball has only average height and the sound is like a metallic low pitch. I was curious with its flared handle because the one I got was ST. The ST version tends to have its weight more on the blade head.



        Playing Observations

        The speed is only OFF level. It is not too fast in my own opinion. The control is like that of an all wood 5 ply offensive blade. The Ligna OFF is not faster than a Timo Boll ALC. Sometimes it feels slower but the control is better. This is more of a spinnier’s blade or a looping blade. I really noticed the high throw that this blade gives with different rubbers that I tested it with. Top spinning near or middle distance from table is its forte. There is some flex on the blade despite being medium stiff and it has some vibration. It is very easy to loop and spin with. I had a weird feeling with the feedback maybe because it was a new feel in terms of the blade. It gives a medium hard feedback when I strike the ball and there is this hard metallic feel with a muffled not so loud sound. However, this is not a bothersome feeling. I think I could attribute the feel with the kind of carbon layer they placed together with the spruce outer layer.

        The Ligna OFF goes very well with medium to hard rubbers. The Plaxon 450 and Rasant Powergrip were good combinations. I think faster rubbers would even be better because I tested it for 10 min. with an MXP and the control was so good the shots were accurate enough not to miss. With soft rubbers, it can be choosy. There are soft rubbers like the Plaxon 350 and Rasant Beat that did very well with the Ligna off but softer and slower rubbers like the Reactor Corbor seems not a good combo. If one has to use a soft rubber it has to be a fast and bouncy soft rubber.

        Overall, this is a very good blade. It can be used from intermediate to expert levels of players. A bit expensive but very good.
        1 people liked this review
        Posted 04-12-2015
        5.00 Stiga Carbonado 145 Review!

        Stiga Carbonado 145 Review!



        Carbonado 145
        Head Size: 150 x 156mm
        Thickness: 5.8 - 5.9mm
        Weight: 88 grams
        Handle: Straight
        Hardness: Medium Stiff

        Rubbers used: Calibra LT Sound max, LT Spin and Hurricane 3



        Finally, after months of anticipation and excitement the Carbonado 145 arrived at my door step. I wish I could have gotten this baby much, much earlier but then due to large volumes of orders I had to wait for a while. Stiga informed me that these 2 Carbonado blades are a result of a 3 year research and development using the high tech material Textreme. Textreme is a high tech carbon fiber used in making lightweight bikes, parts of a formula car and this is even used in Prince tennis rackets. Textreme boasts of a thinner carbon fiber layer compared to a traditional weaved carbon layer that is used mostly on conventional carbon blades in the market today.

        The Carbonado 145 blade comes with a a very good finish on the blade surfaces. Unknown to many people, Stiga has been improving the quality finish of their blades. The blade comes with a metal tag which gives a much more better quality finish. Gone are the thick NCT coating on the blade surface. What remains now is a much thinner and barely noticeable coating on the surface. Before, you could see an obvious dividing line that separates the NCT coating between the blade head and the neck of the blade part.

        Before everything else, I would like to point out that the 2 Carbonado blades 145 and 190 have only slight differences in that they have the same construction and wood veneers (Limba-Textreme Carbon-Ayous-Ayous Core-Ayous-Textreme Carbon-Limba). Also, the orientation of their carbon weave is their distinguishing mark. The 145 having a slanted or diagonal orientation and the 190 which has perpendicular orientation. The 2 ayous layers before and after the central ayous core are a bit hard to see at first unless you look at them closely. The Textreme carbon layers are very thin. In fact much thinner than most carbon layers of other blades presently in the market.



        Speed

        The Carbonado 145 blade is not blazingly fast. I would rate it as Off to Off+ but more on the OFF side. In comparison to other Stiga blades, The Stiga Intensity Carbon is much faster. On other brands, the Carbonado blades at time can be faster than a TB ALC or at the same level of a primorac carbon at time. The Super MJ ZLC is much faster than the 2 Carbonados.

        Feel

        I thought the blade is very stiff but only mildly stiff. The 145 only felt a notch harder than a regular ZJK ZLC blade but feels more solid. It has this different carbon feel because every time you strike the ball with the Carbonados, the feel of being woody and carbon like alternates in my hand. It is a good thing actually because the 2 blades offer good feed back. The vibrations are minimal compared to the intensity carbon. Also, unlike conventional carbon blades, it doesn't feel that hard and ball feedback is slightly enhanced maybe due to the textreme carbon layers that are very thin.

        Throw

        Tried using both soft rubbers (LT Sound) and medium rubbers (LT SPIN) on the Carbonado 145 blade. In a way Stiga was right in claiming that the 145 has a higher throw but personally I would rate this 2 blades as having low throw heights but with the Carbonado 145 having a higher throw. The 190 has about 2-3 inches ball height from the net when doing spin drives or loops. The Carbonado 145 has about 3-4 inches of ball height using the same strokes and rubbers.

        On close to the table attacks

        The Carbonado 190 has this low, sharp trajectory when doing smashes and spin drives. Close to the table, the Carbonado 190 is much better than the 145. When you attack with loops you need a bit of adjustment for your ball arc especially when taking the ball on-the-rise against underspin. It takes a bit of practice, but when you get the hang of it you can adjust to it easily. When you use attacks on the ball that use more sponge compression and care for speed more than the spin then the 190 is much better.

        On mid distance/far from the table

        The 145 version easily outshines the 190 despite both having long trajectories, the 145 has a slightly higher arc when countering or spinning the ball mid distance. Through this slightly higher arc, the 145 is more forgiving than the 190 and offers more room for error on that distance.

        Other strokes

        Depending on the distance both blades are very good at blocking but the 145 blocks better at mid distance and the 190 close to the table. I have to say that both blades have high levels of control and are much user-friendly compared to other super-fast blades in the market. On short strokes, both are not that bouncy on drop shots and flicks but I would give the 190 as a better blade in doing drop shots because of its slightly lower arc than the 145.



        My Personal Choice

        I was more impressed with the 145 in comparison to the Carbonado 190. The arc was slightly better when I used a Hurricane 3 on the blade. The combination proved to be very good and balanced - the 145's speed + the H3's spin and control. The 190 was a better blade with a Chinese rubber on the forehand but I felt that the 145 is much better. I will not be surprised if people who wanted an alternative to composite blades and are looking for something with a different blade will get the 2 Carbonados while using an H3 or Globe 999 National.

        Overall, I am greatly impressed by the Carbonados with much more partiality on the 145 version. I think that the trend of making a faster blade every time a new season for blades arrive is over. With all the very fast rubbers in the market right now you will not worry much about speed but rather on the feel and control of the blade. The speed itself can be partially compensated by the rubber you use. The Carbonado 145 blade is user friendly even to those players who are on their intermediate levels.

        4 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Tibhar Pure Wood
        • Allround classic

        Pure Wood

        Weight: 88 grams
        Plies: 5 (ayous-???-ayous-???-ayous)
        Blade Head Size: 150x156mm
        Hardness: Medium Soft
        Thickness: 5.9mm (approx.)
        Speed: ALL to ALL+
        Test Rubbers: Tenzone Ultra SF, Xiying 999 LP, Moon Speed

        This is a simple and classic blade. It is more suited to an all around playing style or a long pimple attacking or blocking style. With its speed you can even chop with this blade. It is like an all around classic but a notch faster. Control is its best asset and is very much suited to a defensive or blocking style. You can still attack with it using fast rubbers. The feel and ball feedback are very good with minimal vibration. I would recommend this for beginners since this is a very newbie friendly blade and it could be a developmental stage blade. For all around style of play I suggest using faster rubbers with it like MX-P or 5Q power series since other players might find this slow to their liking.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition
        • Hard feel
        • Solid feeling

        My review of the Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition

        Weight: 89 grams
        Plies: 7 (limba-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-limba)
        Blade Head Size: 150x156mm
        Hardness: Slightly Stiff
        Thickness: 6.7-6.8mm (approx.)
        Speed: OFF
        Test Rubbers: Tenzone Ultra SF, Globe 999 National, Tenergy 05fx

        I waited for about 6 months in order to get my hands on this blade! The Force Pro Black Edition (let's call it the FPBE) is indeed a great improvement over the previous Force Pro blade with the blue handle design that came out 2 years ago. The handle which is flared is bigger than most Tibhar flared or concave handles and is comfortable to my large hand. It is surprisingly comfortable to hold unlike those blades that are too squarish in shape. The FPBE also has a large handle. Compared to the Stratus Powerwood, the FPBE has a cross sectional size of 36x26mm compared to the SPW's 34x24mm



        Speed

        The Force Pro Black Ed. is convincingly faster than its predecessor Force Pro. The original Force pro is rated between OFF- to OFF. Sometimes in some shots it is quite slower than the FPBE. Among other brands, the FPBE is faster than a regular Clipper wood but slower compared to the Clipper CC or an Adidas Challenge speed blade. The FPBE is a good counter hitting or smashing blade. This is good until middle distance. Far from the table it seems have lesser speed and power in shots. The optimal distance is close to the table and middle distance.

        Spinning

        The FPBE can spin good but the original Force Pro seem to be easier to do spin especially on loops and spin drives because you could brush or graze the ball easier with the Force Pro. Middle distance, the FPBE seem to shine better when counter spinning the ball. The Globe 999 national version was equally good on both blades on looping with the favoring heaving slow top spins on the original Force Pro. The FPBE however spins better when you need more power and speed. The FPBE gives a medium to high arc on slow loops when using the Globe 999 national and T05 fx.

        Feel

        The FPBE feels a little bit harder compared to the original FP blade. The regular FP is almost similar to the stiffness of the regular Clipper but the FPBE feels harder and gives a more solid feeling when flat hitting the ball.

        Control

        There are times the FPBE behaves like a an OFF+ blade and so does its control. The original Force Pro is more controllable than the FPBE but I wouldn't say that the FPBE lacks it.

        Overall:

        The Force Pro Black Ed. is a great improvement over the original Force Pro. People need a little bit of adjustment when playing with this great blade. I would not recommend this to a beginner unless they choose a thinner rubber because the bounciness can be quite uncontrollable. Playing chinese rubbers are highly recommended because it pairs very well with a hurricane 3 or globe 999 national provided you can tolerate an increase in its weight. Also, the only draw back i can think of this blade is that you need to seal the blade surface especially if you change rubbers or reglue your rubbers frequently. I notice sort of very thin, hairlike splinters even with the use of a rubber cement glue but this is not a problem as long as you seal the blade when a thin layer of sealant.
        2 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Adidas R4 rubber

        R4 Black
        Thickness: 2.2mm or max
        Weight: Uncut 53-54 grams 171x171mm; 38 grams cut to an Adidas C500 carbon blade
        Sponge hardness: about 36 degrees in a DHS Scale

        Basically, the faster rubber in the R- Series. It has the same topsheet with the R6 but with a harder sponge.

        FH to FH, Bh to BH:

        same with the R6 but faster by 10-15%. R6 has more control and dwell time.

        Pushes:

        A bit more stable in the pushing department because with the harder sponge, the ball doesn't pop up.

        Loops:

        on fh and bh loops i liked this better since I could brush the ball better. Its really a matter f preference though since I have a somewhat Chinese stroke which emphasizes more on brushing the ball and not hitting through the sponge. The trajectory is still low a bit higher than the R6 but still considered low and long.

        Countering, blocking ad Smashing:

        Same with the R6 but faster and the ball has a lesser dwell time.

        All in all the R6 and R4 have surpassed my expectations for their level of rubbers. These rubbers are the first generation of Adidas rubbers the company has produced. It can compete with the level of those JO Silvers and JO Gold but are faster and more controllable. I have noticed that the topsheets are much durable than that of the JO series too. These 2 rubbers are user friendly especially to beginners and intermediate rubber though I am not saying this are beginner rubbers only. These rubbers are good because they have more than enough speed coupled with very good control. The best thing about these rubbers is that both are very light and when i weighed the set up: R4 38 grams + R6 36 grams + C500 blade 85 grams = a staggering 159 grams only! That is very, very light compared to 170-180 gram blades that are already considered normal in weight
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Adidas R6 Rubber
        • Nice loud sound
        • Good spin
        • Hitters dream

        R6 Red

        Thickness: Max or 2.2mm
        Weight uncut: 50-51 grams 171x171mm ; cut 36 grams to an Adidas C500 carbon blade
        Sponge Hardness: this is the softest Adidas rubber I have tried. By DHS Scale its about 34 degrees. My fingers really dug deep into the sponge upon pressing it.

        FH to FH BH to BH:

        doing speedy fh and bh drives with this rubber. I tested this mainly on the forehand and I love its very loud sound. Maybe because it was due to its softness combined with the C500 carbon blade. Having a soft sponge means I had to hit the ball through the sponge to get the full effect. Control is very good and driving is effortless.

        Pushes:

        Pushes are above average and can still produce very spinny balls. Need to adjust the angle of the blade when receiving pushes to compensate for the height of the ball.

        Loops:

        Low throw trajectory. Somewhat of a straight, long line when looping. This rubber has a very good dwell time because of its softness but you need to dig deep into the sponge to get maximum spin. Control is not an issue but i liked this better in my fh for looping.

        Blocking:

        This rubber excels in blocking - active and passive. The blocks are very stable and this rubber is not sensitive to incoming spin.

        Countering:

        Awesome rubber for countering topspins in all ranges -near-middle and far from the table. lobbers, counter drivers and blockers will surely love this rubber. Control and stability makes this rubber a hitter's dream.

        Smashing:

        Despite its very soft sponge this rubber is built for smashers who wants a soft and controllable rubber than its very fast.

        All in all the R6 performed above average for speedy attacks and strokes which are not prioritizing spin. I would rate the spin as above average for a tensor rubber but not on the level of a donic baracuda or tibhar genius though the R6 is faster than both rubbers. I would greatly recommend this rubber for beginners (2mm) who wanted a stable and controllable rubber to develop their game and for intermediate players (max) and advanced players (max) who wants an extra speed on their game but dont want to lose a lot of control. The R6 should be paired with an off- or off all wood blade to fully utilize its spin potentials according to the blade designer which I fully agree since I tested it with a carbon blade, it suits more to an all wood blade.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Adidas Avenger 5

        My review of the Adidas Avenger 5



        - 5-ply offensive blade of hard surface and 5.9mm thickness.
        - Feeling : Surface is hard. But, overall feeling is quite soft, and it holds ball very well.
        - Proper playing style : Continuous topspin at close area to table.
        - Tagreted players : Aggressive topspin players of all level.

        Plies: 5 (walnut-tanne-ayous-tanne-walnut)
        Weight: 87 grams (average weight is 86 grams)
        Blade head dimension: 150x157mm
        Thickness: 5.9mm
        Vibration: Minimal
        The slowest among the 3 avenger but not necessarily slow. When you remove the 2 soft carbon fleece of the Avenger carbon you would get the Avenger 5. Designed with a hard walnut outer ply and a thick core of ayous with a tanne sandwiched in between, this blade offers a balance of speed and control.

        If I am a developing player who has an all+ blade and rubber set up and wanted to shift to a faster blade to further develop my game especially on an all around basis, I would choose this blade simply because it has good sense of control and feel plus some good speed to offer. If I am an advanced player who is looking for a blade that will help my aggressive attacking game close to the table without removing control on my arsenal, this would be the blade for me. While using the max P5 on this, I really find the combo one hell of a spin maker. The Av 5 has sufficient dwell time looping is its forte. It loops better and more controllable that its Av Carbon brother due to its lesser speed and more control. Slow spinny loops are very good on a delayed contact and even off the bounce aggressive loops are powerful enough. I found this suitable for an all around based game meaning you can do a good blocking game with it then switch suddenly to an aggressive attacking game. Control is abundant in this blade its very good in the short game like flicks and drop shots. The good feel of the blade helps execute strokes that are a bit sensitive to perform during a close, hard scoring game. I would recommend medium to hard rubbers for this blade. The Adidas Tenzone, P7 and P5 pair well with the Av 5. Chinese players who use hard Chinese rubbers would also benefit greatly from this controlled looping blade.




        In conclusion, even these blades are still under development and are not available in the market, they show a great amount of promise once introduced to the market and the various necessary improvements made during testing will be implemented. Its like Adidas is making developments and improvements with each series of blades and rubbers they are introducing showing the world of table tennis that they have the equipment to compete with the top companies that presently dominate the market.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Adidas Avenger Carbon
        • Soft feeling
        • Great control

        My review of the Avenger Carbon



        - Soft carbon blade of 5.6mm thickness. (Softer than FiberTec Classic.)
        - Feeling : Feeling is very soft and comfortable. It holds ball very well.
        - Proper playing style : Continuous topspin at close area to table.
        - Tagreted players : Aggressive topspin players of all level.

        Plies: 7 (walnut-tanne-carbon-ayous-carbon-tanne-ayous-walnut)
        Weight: 89 grams (average weight is 90 grams)
        Blade head dimension: 150x157mm
        Thickness: 5.6mm
        Vibration: Minimal

        The only carbon blade in the Avenger Series, this blade is not to be underestimated on its performance even though it is not as fast as other super or ultra fast blades in the market. For those who wants to maintain a woody feel when using a carbon blade, the Avenger Carbon is sufficient for this need. The placement of the soft carbon fleece after 2 layers instead of just after the 1st ply results to a woody feel. Adidas said they designed this blade especially for players who are close to the table attackers. This is fast maybe between the speed of a Butterfly Gergely and a Primorac carbon. The soft carbon fleece balances the harder outer walnut plies which when combined provides a soft feeling and at the same time helps make power shots. It has a large sweet spot that it gave my shots stability when I was looping close to the table. The blade has very good feel. The vibration is minimal and the sweet spot is large. Although it has similarities with the construction of a Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon blade, the feeling is quite different and the speed is a lot more. It is faster than the Ma Lin SC blade and has more feel. Sometimes I would felt that the Ma Lin SC blade lack the feel compared to the Avenger Carbon. It was fun doing topspins over the table and pure looping with the Avenger carbon since this blade has a good feel and the dwell time is really good to produce spinny loops. Unlike its brute brother, the Avenger 7, the Avenger carbon was built for looping more. When I was looping the ball, it has a long trajectory mid distance from the table though this blade is more of a close to the table looping blade. Countering was very good as I felt my shots have stability including my active blocks against loops or drives. Chinese rubbers are good with the Avenger Carbon though I havent tried hard rubbers like the H3 or TG3 neos on this but a soft 36 degree Dawei SPrungfeder on the forehand and a medium soft Adidas Syntec Fast on the backhand. Soft to medium rubbers are ideal with this blade like the Adidas P5, Tenzone SF and the Syntec Series. This blade is also for players who would like to shift to a carbon blade but will not tolerate a loss of control and the woody feel coming from an off 5 or 7 ply all wood blade.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Adidas Avenger 7

        My review on the Adidas Avenger 7

        - 7-ply offensive blade of hard surface and very unique construction. 6.2mm.
        - Feeling : The mixture of hardness and softness. Very strong feeling.
        - Proper playing style : Aggressive topspin from all area.
        - Tagreted players : Skilled players who want speedy blade.



        Plies: 7 (walnut-ayous-tanne-ayous-tanne-ayous-walnut)
        Weight: 92 grams (average weight is 90 grams)
        Blade head dimension: 150x157mm
        Thickness: 6.2mm
        Vibration: Minimal
        This blade has thin outer plies and a thick central ayous core. The outer walnut plies provide stiffness and speed to the blade. The ayous and tanne layers provide a feeling of softness and control to the blade. The thick central ayous core provides additional speed to the blade.

        This is the powerhouse of the Avenger series. They rated this as OFF but its clearly OFF+. I placed a 2.0mm Adidas P5 black on this and a Dawei Sprungfeder G3 red max. I immediately started doing fh to fh drills and bh to bh drills with this beast and i noticed right away how fast it is. Lets just say its faster than a Mazunov blade, A stiga Ebenholz 7 or a Clipper CR blade but with a softer feel. Apparently, Adidas has found a way to mix both hard and soft wood layers that produces a soft feeling when doing power shots enabling control and sensitivity. Having tried a lot of 7 ply blades and collected a few 7 ply all wood blades in the past, I would say Adidas is on the right track making this kind of blade for the reason that it offers a unique option among 7 ply lovers. I would attribute the feeling of softness despite the hard outer plies to the tanne layer. Tanne as what I have read about is a Fir tree related to Cypress. The blade designer told me that it has a mixture of softness and hardness on feel, I really agree with him when I tried it. On power shots, I didn't feel the hard impact like what i felt with the Ebenholz 7, it felt a bit soft but my shots were fast especially on fh drives, smashes and spin drives. This blade is good for close-to-the-table and mid-distance shots. This is more of a hitter's and spin driver's blade rather than a pure looping blade. Though, I suggest getting a 2.0mm medium soft rubber or a chinese rubber to pair with it if you want to loop with it. I still find my shots spinny enough using the dawei and 2.0mm P5. On passive shots like blocking and drop shots, the tanne layers really help absorb the shots and provide a great amount of control. It is surprising that for a beast like the Avenger 7 it is not hard to do controlled shots. I love blocking with this both punch blocks and passive slow blocks.

        I would recommend this blade to aggressive players who do not want to use a carbon blade. It takes some skill to fully utilize this and also some muscle because this blade is a 90gm blade (-+3 or 4 grams). Also good for players who want a hard blade but doesn't want the excessive vibration produced by other hard 7 ply blades.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        5.00 My review of the Adidas Tenzone SF Rubber
        • Great Control
        • Excellent spin

        I decided to glue it on my stiga eb7 blade. this bright red rubber with the same topsheet as tenzone regular differs in the sponge hardness. The regular tenzone has a 39 degree hardness and the tenzone sf has a 36 degree hardness in the dhs hardness scale according to my estimate.

        Fh to FH & BH to BH drives:

        i love the sound of this soft rubber and its loud, louder than the regular tenzone. The ball sinks into the soft sponge and you can feel it through your blade. Control is above average.

        Loops:

        Using it on both fh and bh loops i would say this is a looping rubber than a hitting rubber. Slow loops are very good and when i looped with this rubber (pure looping) i found it faster than the regular Tenzone. 2 things in its arsenal are spin and control on loops.

        Pushes and serves:

        Pushes are very spinny with some adjustments. Serves are very spinny also. This rubber is not sensitive to incoming spin. Sidespin and underspin serves favor this rubber. Looping arc is medium to high. Its very easy to loop spinny underspins with this baby.

        Smashing, hitting and counterhitting:

        Smashing is average and so is hitting though this may come down to personal preferences since i prefer harder rubbers in smashing and hitting. On counterhitting and counterlooping this rubber is in the level of Tenergy 05 fx, Hexer ++ and Calibra LT Sound. Control is very good with these strokes.

        Initial Impressions:

        I love this rubber and im planning in keeping this. Its not as fast the regular tenzone but its way better in terms of spin and control. Don't get me wrong this rubber is still very fast and bouncy. i love the feel of this rubber especially when the ball sinks into the sponge. This is better near to mid distance from the table. I think i would describe this as a soft genius rubber with the good qualities of hexer and acuda s2 combined. I would recommend this to intermediate to advanced players.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My review of the Adidas Tenzone Rubber
        • Crisp Sound
        • Good speed

        Tenzone Max Black

        The Tenzone max black is a high quality rubber from adidas. when i saw the rubber for the first time i was impressed with its production. from the looks, the topsheet is less grainy compared to joola x-plodes' topsheet. i would say it looks identical of the genius' topsheet but differs in the pips structure and topsheet thickness. The Tenzone has a thicker topsheet than that of the genius. The sponge when i pressed it and played with it is medium hard. In the DHS scale hardness i would rate it as 38 degrees.

        FH to FH & BH to BH drives:

        Tenzone is very bouncy. The sharp and crisp sound produced when hitting the ball is distinctive of being an ESN rubber. The control is there but not its biggest asset.

        Loops:

        Tenzone produces a low to medium arc on both bh and fh. Tenzone is good for on the rise loop drives above the table. Spin is above average for both and fast loops and is enough to lift heavy underspin balls. during the first 2 days the rubber wasnt that spinny but now its very spinny after some time breaking in the rubber

        Pushes and serves:

        Spinny pushes are not hard to produce though you have to make some adjustments not to let balls pop up when making pushes but the adjustment is easy. serves on sidespins and underspins are average but fast knuckle or dead balls and topspin serves are very good due to the rubber's speed.

        Smashing, hitting and counter loops:

        These are the areas that this rubber shines. i think its built mainly for speed than doing spins. Topspins are easy for countering mid distance to far from the table. Its power doesnt diminish that much. Smashing is awesome coupled with its nice whacking sound. On these 3 areas countrol is very good.

        Initial impressions:

        Overall the Tenzone rubber can be labelled as a very fast with above average spin rubber. Its speed is comparable to that of Tenergy 05, Hexer and Calibra. Its like Calibra LT but a little bit spinnier. Its built for speed and it has lots of it. i enjoyed playing counterhitting and smashing with this rubber far from the table. Receiving spinny serves are good since this rubber is not sensitive to incoming spin. This rubber is above average in blocking also. I would recommend this rubber for advanced players only because this is not everybody's toy.
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        5.00 My review of the STIGA Emerald VPS
        • High control
        • Hard Wood Feeling

        • Expensive
        Stiga Emerald VPS

        Weight: 92 grams
        Handle: legend flared
        Thickness: approx. 6.1-6.2mm
        Plies: 5 (ebony-spruce-ayous-spruce-ebony)
        Speed: OFF
        Hardness: Stiff
        Test Rubbers: Stiga Airoc M max, DHS Neo Provincial H3, Globe 999 National

        Stiga to gave me this piece of art for review, I got this on my mailbox. The Emerald or "Green Ebenholz" is a complete overhaul of the preview Ebenholz 5 blade. Yes, they have the same wood composition but I will showing some of their differences. I have obtained also an Ebenholz 5 which Stiga provided for because I am very sure a lot of people will be curious on what are the similarities and differences of both blades.



        Stiga has spent a great deal of effort in making the packaging of the Emerald VPS into a more elegant and classy look. The Emerald, out of the box, is unlike anything I have seen from Stiga. It boasts of a different logo design which departed from the usual plastic lens with blade name. It has been replaced by metal logo including the stick at the bottom of the handle.








        This was first adapted by the Infinity VPS blade in which the surface of the blade, instead of a thick NCT coating, they made the varnish thinner and spread all over the blade extending up to the neck and handle borders. It is smooth but you can feel the wood fibers more compared to the NCT coating of the Eb5 blade. I theorize that Stiga has made the VPS blades this way because players wanted more feel on the blade at the same time offering some protection while removing and regluing rubbers on the blade. The handle of the Ebenholz 5 is rougher compared to that of the Emerald. I have been bugging Stiga to maybe try considering having a smoother handle and maybe they are starting to listen. Now if only they can sand the neck part of the handle then that would be perfect!





        The first pic from this part is the picture of the Emerald VPS while directly on top is the picture of both Emerald (top) and Ebenholz 5 (bottom) on top of each other. At first look, differences may be negligible but on closer inspection you can find that the second layer of spruce on the Emerald VPS is darker in color. Either they dyed it or they used a burnt spruce to have a harder 2nd layer??? Also, you can see that the ebony wood top ply of both blades differ in thickness. The top ply for the Eb5 is thin while on the Emerald VPS, they increase the thickness of the top ply by parts of a millimeter. When I measured the approximate thickness, the Emerald has 6.1-6.2mm (approx.) while the Ebenholz 5 has approximately 5.8-5.9mm of thickness. Suprisingly, the Ebenholz 5 with having also a legend flared handle weighs only 84 grams! I have seen 83-84 gram Rosewood 5 blades in master flared but never Ebenholz 5 at this weight! The one I owned 3 yrs ago was 92 grams. I don't know if almost all of the newer batches of blades are as light as the one I have but if they do then praise Stiga! They may have increased the quality of their blades.



        On a serious note, I glued the test rubbers and the Airoc M didn't feel that heavy despite having 68 grams uncut weight. I glued the globe 999 national which i have been using for a few months now and also the DHS Neo H3 Provincial replacing the Globe 999 national afterwards. I also glued the same test rubbers on the 84 gram Ebenholz 5 in order for me to have a better comparison of the 2 blades. The Emerald VPS with both rubbers glued was 200 grams in weight blaming partly on the thick amount of glue on the used Chinese rubbers and also the weight of those heavy rubbers. I was surprised that the 200 gram Emerald set up didn't feel that heavy. I have to say the blade is balanced unlike the Ebenholz 5 which tends to be head heavy with the same kind of rubbers glued on it. As of now, we all know that the Eb5 handle is hollow. For the Emerald, I am not sure it. I've been tapping the handle on its different points in order to hear different sounds when tapping different parts but I am not sure yet.

        The Emerald was very easy to use. It was bouncy on the first forehand to forehand drills. It doesn't have much vibration compared to the Ebenholz 5. Speedwise, I will rate the Emerald as OFF and not OFF+. I can say that it is fast but highly controllable. On some shots the Emerald felt faster than the Ebenholz 5 but on other times they seemed to be equal. The Emerald VPS is faster than the Rosewood 5 and Rosewood XO but slower than their 7 ply versions. Overall, the Emerald seems to be faster by a few notches. The difference between their speeds is very small. On power shots and loops, I could feel the Emerald has this hard woody feeling upon impact of the ball whereas the Ebenholz 5 has a stiffer, more crisp feel. The Ebenholz 5 feels harder than the Emerald VPS, even the Rosewood 5 is stiffer all because of the thick NCT coating of the mentioned blades.

        Looping-wise, the emerald was a better looping blade using the chinese rubbers because it was less stiff than the Ebenholz 5. The Eb5 was stronger for smashes and counter smashing, Emerald shines on counter loops, looping both near and middle distance from the table. If you want a more spin based game then go for Emerald, if you want a more smashing game with lesser spin then go for the Ebenholz 5.



        Many would be hesitant to buy this blade because it is expensive. It is much worth it because the performance is better than all the previous Stiga blades that I have owned, tried and reviewed even compared to my intensity nct which was my personal favourite. I


        1 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        5.00 My review of the Adidas P7 Rubber
        • Lively
        • Fast
        • Great for loops

        The Adidas P7 comes with a high quality ESN topsheet and sponge. The topsheet is grainy and very grippy and the sponge is orange and porous. The pips are lined closer to each other than the P3 which has a bigger gap on its pips. Its nice for Adidas to include an adhesive plastic cover for the rubber also.

        Rubber: Adidas P7
        Thickness: 2.2mm or max
        Sponge hardness: 38 degrees by DHS scale approx.
        Weight: Uncut 172 x 172 mm, 62-64grams; on a 149 x 157 mm Adidas Blade Head blade
        head, 47 grams

        This rubber was designed and produced with the cooperation of pro and high level Chinese players. For players who do not want to go too far away from the table and those who want to acquire the needed effect on their strokes with the spin of a Chinese rubber and the speed of a Euro rubber this is the rubber for you guys.

        Driving:

        FH-FH, BH-BH:
        The rubber is very bouncy, lively and drives very fast. Driving the ball through the sponge does not bottom out and its effortless to hit the ball because of its long trajectory.

        Pushes:
        Spinny on the pushes though you need to adjust your angle a little bit because the ball has the tendency to pop at the first few tries but its never a problem.

        Serving:
        The spin on my underspin and sidespin serves are very high. Even though the rubber is bouncy, shorts serves are not a problem. Fast, spinless serves are also wonderful with this rubber.

        Loops:

        One of the 3 strengths of this rubber is its ability to loop spinny, underspin balls with minimal effort. If your stroke is a brushing stroke with less sponge on contact because you are used to a chinese rubber then you would love the P7. Minus the tackiness of a Chinese rubber but with the same spin, this rubber produces a medium to high arc on loops whether its a fast or slow loop. The spin is amazing and you can feel the ball kick on the racket if you are on the receiving end.

        Loop drives, loop kills, spin-drives:

        One way to measure a rubber's strength is to check its ability on loop driving the ball above the table, off the bounce or on the rise contact against a low spinny underspin ball that lands almost short on the table. With the P7, if you have the skills you can do this strokes with lesser effort than with a tenergy 05 or 25. As what I have observed on what I was doing and including my coach who taught this stroke was that even if you hit the ball through the sponge when doing loop drives, its still possible to land the ball on the other side. meaning the rubber is very forgiving. on emergency situations like if yo haven't brushed the ball enough and hit more on the sponge, using tenergy 05 or 25 is less forgiving. On the P7, even with hitting through the sponge it still produces a good arc and spin clearing the net about half to 1 inch.

        Countering:

        The 3rd characteristic of this rubber that makes it superior to most other modern rubbers is its built also for countering and its very forgiving. Near of mid-distance (about 5-6 feet) away from the table, the power and speed does not diminish.

        Blocking:
        Near the table and above the table blocking are very controllable yet the ball is very fast on passive block, more so on active blocks.. Punch blocking low fast topspin balls are still quite possible with this rubber.

        BH Loops:

        Its strange but my backhand loops are spinnier than my fh loops. My bh loops and so does with a friend has a more profound arc and spin.

        Overall impressions:

        I am super impressed with this rubber for the first 2 days of testing it! This is the controlled or tamed version of the tenzone. Tenzone is still the best rubber Adidas has ever produced but it doesnt mean that its not an awesome rubber, it is at par with tenergy rubbers especially with T25. What I have noticed about this rubber is that you need to have a greater usage of your wrist in doing spins to fully utilize your spin potential using this rubber. Dont get me wrong, its very spinny even with little wrist movements. This rubber takes only a day to break in.

        Recommendations:

        definitely for advanced players or those with good basics. if you want something slower get the 2.0mm. blades that are off+ will still be alright as long as you have the right technique. If you are a pure looper or spinner i suggest you would get an off- minus or off blade like the Adidas C100, C300 or C500 and Adidas Fibertec Power series
        0 people liked this review
        Posted 03-03-2015
        4.00 My Instinct shoe review
        • Soft soles
        • Comfortable
        • Very Grippy

        Got these awesome shoes finally after a few months of waiting! I swear I would have mistaken this for a pair of Mizuno shoes due to the design and quality.

        Size: 43
        Weight: 265 grams per shoe (approx.)

        The Instinct Shoes are way different from their previous line of shoes. I suspect this shoe comes from different factory. The soles are soft and very much more comfortable compared to the previous Pro Swede model. Almost the larger part of the shoe is covered with a nylon mesh. It doesn't feel hot and comfortable. This is a first from Stiga in terms of shoes. They have not produced this kind of shoes up until this one which is very good. The design is not too flashy but it really catches attention. The soles are of good design and very grippy on a ceramic tile floor which where I usually play and coach. I felt really comfortable on heavy footwork drills especially on the
        lateral movements.



        Shining shivering splendid!























        0 people liked this review
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