A short intro
The DHS Hurricane 3 Neo is the most popular chinese/tacky rubber on the market. It has always been a big temptation to try this rubber, and, finally, I decided to give it a try. Please note that I DID NOT BOOST this rubber and it was glued with water based glue. I am currently using it on the forehand side of my Butterfly Timo Boll Forte blade along with Donic Acuda S2 - MAX thickness on the backhand side. I have been using it since Jan-Feb this year playing around 10 hours a week.
Out of the package the rubber comes with a protective film on the topsheet and a similar thing on the sponge, since the sponge already has glue on it. After glueing the rubber to the blade and removing the protective film, it reveals its strong tackiness being able to pick up a ball without any issues. The sponge won't even remind you the one of the Euro/Jap rubbers - it's a lot harder and with minuscule pores. Another interesting thing that I noticed is that the uncut rubber was definitely smaller than an uncut sheet of Acuda rubber.
Gameplay - Speed
As the Hurricane 3 Neo is a chinese rubber I was expecting a catastrophic lack of speed that would require me to improve the power of my shots. But the first week playing with this rubber was quite strange. The first impression about speed was "OK, it's just a little bit slower than a euro rubber, so nothing serious" and I was certainly surprised by that, also it didn't feel as hard as I expected it to be. In the first week, it felt like an almost ideal rubber. After the first week, the sponge started to become harder, the speed started to decrease considerably, and , finally, I began to feel that lack of power I was expecting. I think the process of slowing and hardening didn't last more than a week. After two strange weeks, the rubber didn't have any major changes and has been very consistent since then. The above mentioned lack of power took quite some time to adjust to, because the speed gap between the Acuda S1 Turbo I had used before and the H3N is pretty evident, and the further away you go from the table, the more evident it becomes. Before I gained more power in my shots, the speed of this rubber was enough only when looping close to the table. To be honest, I didn't quite have a normal counterlooping away from the table in the first month. If you have enough power to handle this rubber away from the table, it becomes a deadly weapon, since it's absolutely fantastic close to the table.
Definitely the biggest plus of the H3N. The tackiness allows you to get massive amounts of spin if you get a good brushing contact. I think no european rubber is able to generate such an amount of spin as the H3N does. It certainly helps a lot in the opening topspin against backspin. You also have the possibility to get more spin on the serves and pushes/chops because of that.
Usually people refer to a rubber's control to be either good or bad or anything else. I think it's not quite correct to do so and the H3N convinced me that on different shots rubbers may feel either safer or uncomfortable - and that's not the case of H3N alone, but let's get closer to the subject. When does the H3N feel uncomfortable and when it feels safer? The answer is in rubber's tackiness - on the one hand, it makes the rubber more vulnerable to incoming spin, which means passive blocking should be, formally, a weak point of this rubber. However, I found there is only need for a bit of adjustment, because the rubber may be tacky and you need to be able to read spin, but actually it is just a little bit worse at passive blocking. At the same time I found the hardness and the lack of springiness of the H3N being a huge plus, because the rubber has a very solid feel which I like very much. Yes, in passive blocking and serve receive - where you also have to deal with opponent's spin, there may be question marks, but in the other departments - short game, looping, flipping, pushing/chopping, counterhitting, serving I feel this rubber is absolutely safe.
What kind of shots does this rubber suit?
As I wrote above the rubber may be not so efficient(vs. Euro/Jap rubbers) when dealing with your opponent's spin passively. So, passive block and passive serve receive are the shots where the Euro rubbers have got the edge. Looping away from the table may be an issue if you aren't able to get enough power to come from your hand. But what you get instead is more spin(really more spin) and control on your loops and serves, a better short game. This rubber lifts backspin easier than any euro rubber can. Also, it's way easier to kill opponent's slow spinny loops. The forehand flip kills are the shots that surprised me the most and which have become one of my most dangerous weapons since switching to H3N.
I have noticed recently that near the edge of my racket, some pips started separating from the sponge. I've talked to a chinese friend and he said that this is uncommon for Hurricanes and has to be the result of my actions. Also it seems that a small bubble is starting to form. So, durability seems a little bit questionable for now, but taking into consideration that this rubber costs only 20$ that shouldn't be that big of an issue. I have another sheet of this rubber so I'll see what happens to it when I'm done with this one.
What else to take into consideration about Hurricane 3 Neo?
1. This rubber is best if you play active strokes. It will help you only if you are 100% on each shot.
2. It's a slow rubber so it will require you effort to play it and athletic ability.
3. It's a tacky rubber, so it's attracting dust and dirt very fast. I am cleaning it quite often with my breath or sweat and so far, so good, after more than half a year of use, it's still tacky and grabs the ball very well.
The DHS Hurricane 3 Neo is definitely a rubber that won't suit everyone. It's slow speed and the fact that it's a little more reactive to spin may be an issue for some, as it requires to be active and athletic at the table and having enough power away from the table. But it also can deliver an enormous amount of spin when having the right brushing contact and very good control on active strokes. It has a hard solid feel which no Euro rubber can deliver and which I liked very much. This tacky rubber also requires to be cleaned regularly as it attracts dust and dirt pretty quickly. For me, durability is a little bit questionable, but I won't jump to make conclusions that this is not a durable rubber, as it's only the first H3N I've got. The price of this rubber is absolutely fantastic compared to Euro rubbers and allows you to get 2-4 Hurricanes for the price of an Euro rubber. I would reccomend this rubber to the attack-minded player which stay close to the table most of the time and wouldn't mind being required some effort in order to use the H3N to its full potential. As for now, I am not planning to switch to another rubber on my forehand side and I want to keep playing it as it really makes me work at the table and I like it.
*EDIT 2 November 2016*
So after almost a year playing with Hurricane 3 Neo and switching to another sheet there are some more points I would like to add to my review :
1. Quality control is far from ideal, the second sheet is significantly less tacky than the first.
2. After about 7 months of use, a bubble appeared on the sheet near the sweet spot area, and that was the reason for the change.
3. The rubber is quite sensitive to humid climate, because the ball starts slipping on the topsheet and you fail to generate a decent amount of spin.