I used Big Dipper H40 for over a year unboosted on my Yinhe Pro 01 blade and loved every bit of it. Obviously there are pros and cons with playing with each rubber so it all comes down to preference at the end of the day.
Do keep in mind that BD H40 plays very differently from its H39 and H38 counterparts. It really doesn't feel like a hybrid and feels more like Hurricane 3 classic. This is a HARD and HEAVY rubber people.
Serve and Serve Receive:
BD is really spiny which makes it great for serving and since the top sheet is quite hard with little catapult, it's easy to control the ball and keep it short. You can really use it as a weapon and prep for your 3rd ball attack by serving super spiny.
Serve receive on the other hand is another story since the top sheet is very sensitive to spin so you really need to be careful. Moreover, there is no dwell time with such a hard rubber so you don't have time to rectify during your receive and because it's very reactive to spin, the ball is going to kick off from your blade which might surprise you if you're not used to it.
Opening up backspin
Oh boy, you're going to love and hate this rubber when it comes to opening up heavy backspins. As I mentioned earlier, the rubber is extremely reactive to incoming spin and has the tendency to kick off once it touches the rubber so here's the dilemma.
You really have a split second to accelerate using your core and lower body and have to be very explosive if you want to open a backspin ball with this rubber. So be ready for a lot of dumps into the net or shoot off of the table. It gets better as you get the hang of the rubber but it never went away for me.
If the ball is still rising up, you could loop it but my issue here was recovery as I had to move my body so much that it was hard for me to get into position for the opponent's counter loop or fast block. On the positive side, I usually killed the ball right there cause the rubber is really fast.
If you let the ball drop, this is where I loved this rubber. Brush up vertically as much as you can and you're gonna have a freakishly spiny short ball that is very difficult to receive. When done right, even French Pro B level league players had difficulty with this shot of mine. But again, it was not consistent.
Looping and Counter looping
This is one area that this rubber shined, my loops were really fast and spiny. It's a hard rubber so you can brush up as hard as you want but mid distance, it was a bit tricky as if you couldn't engage the sponge then you would end up dumping the ball into the net.
As I mentioned earlier, the top sheet doesn't offer much catapult effect and it's only when the sponge is activated but since the top sheet is really hard, it's always better if play active/positive at all times.
Counter looping was good but wasn't consistent enough as again the top sheet is very reactive to spin.
It required some time to adjust cause again it's spin sensitive but also depending if you could engage the sponge or not, the rubber plays differently which made it difficult for me to flick consistently. If you can always flick with 100% power then you can make it consistent.
General Play Rules
First rule, make sure that the top sheet or the ball are dry. The top sheet can't grab the ball AT ALL if there's even too much humidity and the ball will literally slip off of the rubber.
Second rule, you have to play actively. If you play passively with a slow pace, you will loose consistency as depending on engaging the sponge or not, the rubber is going to play differently.
I'm using this 2.2mm H38 Red version on forehand on a 729 V6 blade. I usually have a DHS Hurricane 3 NEO 2.2mm H38 on my forehand, but lately I'm starting to loop too long with this. Perhaps more often when playing on hard wooden floors etc. So I tried this instead. It's almost as spinny as the H3N, so brush looping feels almost the same. The difference was that they didn't go long so often any more. The feeling when making slower strokes etc. is better. More balls on the table here as well. It might even be a bit lighter than the H3N, so It's a big + for me using this rubber instead of the H3N. Flat hits and smashes are better with Big Dipper as well. Update 191104: The DHS NEO Skyline TG2 (2.15mm, H38) is about the same as this BD in many ways. Skyline is a bit faster, but Big Dipper has way more control in all strokes. Great if you are a brush looper away from the table (and close). Weight cut, H38: 45-53g. H40:50g. H40 uncut with plastics on both sides: 71g. H38 uncut with plastics on both sides: 63g. Significant difference in behaviour between H38 and H40. Not so much effect when looping with the H40. The H38 is better in all aspects so far. I have trained one session with the H40, but changing back to H38 for now.
I like this rubber but then main cons for me its weight. I have 3 rubbers with 38 and 39 hardness. all 3 rubbers weight between 50 to 54g cut to regular size shakehand blade
it very fast. faster then T05. very durable. after many hours of play and moving between different blades it still looks like brand new
I thought to myself to test a chinese FH rubber just for fun. So to my friends advise I chose the 40 degree BigDipper instead of the 39 and boosted it right before gluing. I removed the factory glue and used Revolution Nr. 3 WBG.
My initial impressions were mixed but good. The sound of the setup was very loud and clappy. Like the ball was broken, or the entire blade was broken. The rubber is a fast rubber with no catapult compared to an ESN rubber. At normal tempo the speed is identical. At high end shots the rubber is fast, faster, than an MX-P. Control wise, first I made some adjustments with the drives and counterdrives. But my loops were always there where I wanted them, and they were even faster. Because of my technique I had to impart more brushing, but It did not matter. My opening loops were fast but had less spin, but my finishing loops were monsters with lightning speed and terrifying spin. All my balls bounced flat. I noticed that my game became more flat hit oriented, due to the shear speed. The rubber surface is not so sticky, it grabs the ball well. After 20 hours it looks like brand new. I clean it every time.
But I had to put it down because I am not strong enough for this rubber, my opening loops needed more power and brushing. So while I tried the Yinhe Moon and said that is an absolute beginners rubber, these are very good professional rubbers, that can do anything. But I'm an euro/jap looping player so my "old" Bluestorm Z2 serves me better.
For $16 this is a no brainer. Way better than MX-S.
I used this rubber on my forehand for over a year. It's very spinny, good feeling, and very controllable. I rate the speed by top gears (9.1). It's not as tacky as I would like, but still picks up balls quite well when out of position. I popped the topsheets once the rubber is broken in, usually last me less than a few weeks each sheet=(.
I tried this rubber on DHS Hurricane Long 5 which is a very fast blade..The ball has a lot power behind it, very spinny and fast at the same time. The feel i got is quite similar to the boosted typical dhs rubber. As it is only in the range of 20 dollar, it is my answer to my infatuation to the boosted dhs rubber which is costing me about 30 more dollar.
This is truly an excellent rubber. I use it in the softest sponge available though I have tried the harder sponges and believe those will appeal to people looking for something more on the hard sponged Chinese end of the spectrum. It's an interesting mix of a soft tacky/sticky Chinese topspheet on an Eurojap type tensor sponge with modest catapult. The idea is to create great control and brush spin on slower loops and serves, though not as linear as harder sponged non-catapult Chinese rubbers. The payoff is that on harder shots away from the table, you don't have to swing as hard to get good pace and spin. This is most apparent in the 38 and 39 deg sponges, especially the 38 deg.
It also comes tuned but plays decently when the tuning wears off. There are also protective sheets if you like them. The rubber has a tuning layer, so you only need glue for your blade and not for the rubber itself. Yinhe seems to be giving the latest batches Provincial level Quality Assurance.
No rubber quite plays like this - maybe Tibhar Evolution MX-S, though that is more tilted towards the Euro side of things and I would consider this rubber even more towards the Chinese short game and quick attack style.
I have used it on a variety of blades, including composites and all wood blades. What blade you decide to use it on depends on your style - I like it on all wood blades, but it played decently on Xiom Vega blades (the whole series) as well.
Blade: Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive (Cpen) - 94 grams
FH: Yinhe Big Dipper, Black, Max - 39 Deg sponge - 44 grams (cpen cut with 1.5cm gap)
BH: Andro Hexer+ (old rubber), Red, 2.1mm - 38grams (cpen cut with 1.5cm gap)
Total weight - 178grams
Warm up and first impression
My first impression was - huge catapult effect - It didn't feel like a Chinese tacky rubber.
It took me around 5 balls before getting the ball onto the table. First five balls, my first touch made the ball go 1meter off the table (I normally use H3 or TG3 on the forehand).
I had doubts that this is a 39 deg sponge, feels more like 36 deg. Maybe it got to do with the factory tuned sponge.
FH Top spin
After gettting used to the pace of the rubber, I was able to generate powerful top spin forehand shots - having high spin and power behind the ball.
As per my previous review above, there isn't a lot of tack in the top sheet (I will explain further), but with a power shot, I was able to grip deep into the sponge and release the ball with extreme precision and spin. The feeling of this sponge is similar to DHS Provincial and more leaning towards National sponge! I'm sure the pretune effect is making it so great, so I actually want to test one without the tune, so I will need to wait a couple of weeks and remove the layer at the bottom and test again.
Yinhe told me, they will be making "provincial" version of this rubber, I can't wait for that.
During warmup, the arc was huge - because I wasn't able to control the rubber yet.
But once I was able to control the rubber slighty better , I could generate low arc and high arc - depending on my bat angle and contact point (of the ball arc)
This feeling is the same with a boosted H3 commercial or provincial H3, just below national H3.
It is very easy to use (a bit too fast and powerful for my students though)
BH Cpen Traditional block
I didn't try a SH backhand, or Cpen RPB (Didn't have enough time as I was doing all this in a coaching session)
The traditional block (passive) arc was quite high, but with a power added traditional block, the arc can get pretty low and more tricky for the opponent.
Again the same feeling as a boosted H3 commerical or prov and just below nat H3 rubber.
I do believe this rubber can work for RPB or normal shakehand play.
I wasn't used to the big catapult effect, as most of my serves was eating too much into the sponge, thus pushing the ball long.
My spin was not as powerful as my H3, but I have to say, service is the most difficult part of the game to master, so I do believe if I had more time to use this rubber, I am able to control it fully.
At the moment, I can only control it 50% and able to do ghost serves, down the line on the white line and side spin onto the base white line and off the right hand side of the table.
Long serve was very easy to do, but overall my service quality, placement etc was not good.
There is plenty of spin, so I don't have doubt that the rubber is good for service, I just need more time to train myself with it.
Getting the ball on the bounce (short balls), I manage to use only the tack of the topsheet and only using the sponge when required. So this is like 2 gears - soft sponge and hard sponge basically. My placement was great, and few times my opponent only got there after the second bounce (wide fh short). Placement - great, spin - almost great.
I did some underspin feeding to my students. Extreme spinny. I can use only the top sheet tack or also can eat deap into the sponge. If I go deep into the sponge, my students will net the ball with a top spin shot (didn't adjust in my change of action). I did notice that my deep into the sponge feed, to shoot out faster and longer - same as a Tensor rubber
So I think I need to serve with this "2 gear" action - Topsheet with little sponge, or with lots of sponge.
But so far for both chop and service - I do wish for a bit less catapult effect.
I think the sponge is too soft for a rating of 39 Deg. I actually want to try 40 or 41 Dec, or 39 with no tune.
The top sheet is just perfect - not too tacky and feels like a provincial H3 top sheet. It also has great grip due to a pretty elastic top sheet - what makes this nice is that one can use the tack when required (short movement or just contact the top sheet), or go further into the sponge and grip the ball like a Tensor rubber and when doing that, you have a best of both worlds (slight tack + tensor like sponge)
I think this rubber is great for players who want tacky rubber but on a softer sponge, or Tensor like sponge. Or Euro style game, but want a Chinese like forehand or play. Best of both worlds and I didn't even know such rubber exists.
The marketing of this rubber states this is a forehand rubber, but due to the soft feel, I would say, this can work on the backhand too. Also the rubber is not heavy compared to a H3 (50grams vs Big Dipper of 44 grams cpen cut). My rating of the soft feel is medium - medium hard, or around 36deg - same as Tenergy 05 +/-.
Also note, this is designed for the new ball. And I have notice much more spin from a topspin game than that of a regular H3 boosted (all other new poly rubber state more spin....I haven't tested other rubbers yet, so maybe if true, this is a pattern).
For example on the more spin, my student uses a TG3 Neo, and tried out my setup. I was choping with a TSP P4 Curl on a TSP Balsa 3.5 (Def+) and with the TG3 he was netting 50% of the balls. With the Big Dipper, he net less than 20% of the ball. I'm sure he will buy a Big Dipper tomorrow
It is really like a provincial H3. However maybe due to the factory tune, the sponge has a lot softer feeling.
More gears - especially away from the table
One can play more passively - unlike traditional hard sponge which requires more active strokes