Plays almost the same as a Timo Boll ALC, maybe a bit slower/softer (the Gewo blade is also a wee bit thinner when I compare them).
1 big difference though: I can generate a lot more spin than with the Timo Boll ALC.
Flared handle seems even thinner than a Boll ALC and the shape is less pronounced, almost between flared an straight.
For a smaller price, you get a more forgiving version of a Timo Boll ALC.
This is my favorite rubber of all time. Before I found this rubber, I was using Hurricane 3. All of the characteristics of Hurricane 3 that I like, this rubber has even more. If you like Hurricane 3 I highly suggest trying this rubber.
I currently use Skyline 2 on both sides when I play penhold, and I use it on my backhand (my stronger side) when I play handshake grip.
I do not boost this rubber, as I like to play with it unboosted. I am quite strong so it does not bother me to have to put in extra effort to get a fast ball. Make no mistake, when you hit the ball hard with good technique, it goes FAST, even faster than Tenergy. However, if you do not hit with power and correct technique, the ball will go very slow. This can be beneficial for control in the short game. Because of this I am not sure how to rate the speed of this rubber.
One of the main features of this rubber is that you need to use good Chinese technique -- power comes from your legs, and you need to lightly brush the ball (rather than hit through it). In some ways this is a pro, since it reinforces good technique and makes you learn good technique quickly -- when you hit the ball correctly, you will feel it and it feels very good. However, this is also a con, since you need to make a good quality effort with every single hit. You cannot be lazy, even for a single stroke.
The spin on big loops far from the table is unparalleled. The loop-kill (Ma Lin's signature shot) is incredible -- I see why Ma Lin used this rubber. Control in the short game is amazing. Throw angle is very low (even lower than Hurricane 3).
The main thing I like about this rubber is the feeling -- the ball stays on the rubber for a long time, and you can really "pick up" the ball and "throw" it with Skyline 2. In the short game, you can "pick up" the ball and "drop" it where you want.
There is one downside of Skyline 2, which is that you can't flat hit the ball. Every stroke you make must have spin on it, it's the only way to get a consistent shot. If you try to flat hit, the ball will fly away randomly -- I think it is due to the rubber being extremely sticky.
If you do not boost this rubber and make sure to clean it, it will stay sticky and last for many months.
Interesting rubber with unique qualities. Sidespin monster!
I got my hands on a sheet of Xuperman Powerplay-X and tried it for a 3-hour playing session tonight. I thought it had some really unique qualities, and wanted to share my thoughts about it.
A bit about me:
I'm around 1500 USATT rating and I typically play 1-sided penhold (with occasional RPB, which I am still learning). Xu Xin is one of my favorite players and I really try to imitate his playing style, so when I heard that he developed a new rubber, I had to try it. Like Xu Xin, I am tall, quick, and strong, and my backhand attack is inconsistent, so I typically try to cover most of the table with my forehand. I also like to hit powerful sidespin loops from far behind (and below) the table -- this is my main strategy for winning points in games.
Most of my playing experience is with tacky Chinese rubbers (Hurricane and Skyline series) and a bit with hybrid rubbers (D09c, K3, Rakza Z) so this is generally what I am comparing to Xuperman when I say it is fast or spinny or whatever. My main reference is Skyline 2, which is what I have been using for the past year.
Skyline 2 is a rubber that was developed for Ma Lin, and used by Xu Xin in his professional career. It's slower and spinnier than the popular Hurricane 3 and it excels at
- short game control and blocking
- loop-kill (somewhere between a loop and a smash, one of Ma Lin's signature shots)
- spinny arcing loops when you take the ball from far behind/below the table (Xu Xin's signature shot)
Usually my racket is Nittaku Miyabi (a 1-ply hinoki blade) with DHS Skyline 2, unboosted, on both sides. Today, I put Xuperman rubber on the forehand of my blade, and left Skyline 2 on the backhand. Unfortunately, the Xuperman rubber only comes in black so I only put it on one side. I did not boost the Xuperman rubber.
Physical properties of the rubber:
Xuperman Powerplay-X is slightly tacky -- not nearly as tacky as DHS Hurricane or Skyline rubbers, but it will briefly hold the ball on the paddle upside down. The sponge feels slightly softer than DHS rubbers. The topsheet and sponge are both quite stretchy.
The first thing I noticed was the ease of the loop. Even forehand drives will come off with a substantial amount of spin. I can absolutely see why Xu Xin wanted to develop this rubber and why he likes it. The closest thing I can compare this rubber to was a lightly boosted blue-sponge Hurricane 3. It also felt similar to Andro Rasanter C53.
Sidespin: More than anything, I think this rubber helps to add sidespin -- my sidespin was absolutely deadly today. Even though my loops usually include a lot of sidespin, my playing partner missed a lot of my loops today because they drifted too far to the side. Sidespin serves were very spinny and curvy. I'm not sure what kind of material properties create this sidespin capability, but it was really interesting to play with.
Out-of-position hits: The other main thing I liked about this rubber is that it really helps you when you are in a bad position. With Skyline and Hurricane rubbers, you need to hit all of your shots with perfect Chinese technique (power from your legs, light brushing, etc) in order for it to go on the table. With Xuperman, you can still hit pretty-good shots when you are off-balance, stretching for it, or otherwise in a bad position.
Topspin: The topspin was alright, not as good as Skyline 2. I think my loops are usually around 70% topspin and 30% sidespin, but with the Xuperman rubber, the ratio was reversed.
Speed: In terms of speed, the rubber was quite a bit faster than unboosted Skyline 2. It felt like it had a bit of catapult effect, almost like a tensor rubber. Contact time is less than Skyline 2, but still more than most tensor rubbers. Its speed is similar to Rakza Z in my opinion (but with a much lower throw angle).
Fishing: This rubber reminds me of Skyline 2 with its fishing capabilities. The rubber is a lot bouncier, and so the fishing shots end up being higher than they are with Skyline 2. This makes them harder to smash for the opponent.
Counterspin: This rubber really excelled at counterspin. It's not very sensitive to incoming spin, which is very nice.
Backspin: Backspin is my main complaint about this rubber, it was noticeably lacking in comparison to Skyline 2. I probably need to learn how to use the rubber better, but after 3 hours I did not manage to find a good way to create heavy backspin -- something which is usually a big part of my short game. EDIT: after trying some more, I found that you can create backspin by giving a very sharp jab under the ball -- so sharp that your wrist bounces back after. At the same time, you have to be very relaxed in the wrist and arm. Seems difficult to execute consistently.
Blocking: The blocking is faster than Skyline and Hurricane rubbers, so it is taking me some time to adjust. I thought it was a bit less controlled, but not too bad. With Xuperman rubber you need to control the angle and actively block fast onto the table.
Loop-kill & smash: One of the main reasons I like Skyline 2 is because you can make very fast topspin smashes with it. In fact, smashes with Skyline 2 require some element of topspin -- if you smash with Skyline and don't use topspin, your shot will be very unpredictable. Hurricane 2 and Hurricane 3 have this property to an extent as well.
Xuperman Powerplay-X notably does not have this property. Xuperman rubber allows for flat, no-spin smashes, but you cannot get a very good loop-kill with it.
Throw & Trajectory: The throw angle was a bit higher than Skyline 2 but still pretty low. Able to loop underspin easier than Skyline 2.
I think I will continue to use blue-sponge Skyline 2 until my next tournament, at least. After that, I think I will give Xuperman a serious try and maybe post a better review once I have learned to use it. I may also try to use it on my backhand in the future.
I really enjoyed the sidespin and security in awkward positions, but I don't think that is worth the downsides. It will be a huge disadvantage for me to lose backspin. Additionally, because Xuperman is faster than Skyline 2, it has less control than Skyline 2. I am strong enough to hit hard with Skyline 2 when I need to, so the increase in speed is not very valuable to me, but if you are not so strong you might find benefit from Xuperman Powerplay-X.
I think this is a very good rubber if your playing style is like Xu Xin's. For other playing styles I am not so sure. I may try playing handshake style with it and update my review.
Faster and easier to generate spin/speed than Chinese unboosted rubbers
Looping heavy underspin requires good footwork
Not suitable for players not used to non-bouncy rubbers
On a 7 ply Andro Timber 7 Off/S (limba-ayous), this is a very safe rubber for the vast majority of amateurs and hobbyists. Gives you plenty of spin and speed to finish off points, as well as rewards good technique.
The unique Butterfly Spring Sponge feel is there without the downsides of uncontrollable speed or high spin sensitivity. Perhaps more advanced players would find it too slow on wood blades and would need to pair with a Viscaria-like blade.
Also you would probably not like it if you've never tried harder linear rubbers (like H3, H8, Big Dipper, Gear Hyper etc). But it is easier to play with compared to those...
Decent blade with a lot of value. I don’t like the handle as it rubs off and digs into your palms. I’ve been using this blade for over 1 year now and it‘s been pretty consistent paired up with dignics.
Arc, counter loops, smashes, short game, blocks, pushes
I used to play with H3 or Skyline 3 prov and changed to this rubber on forehand last year. What I like most about T25 is the controlled catapult and the high and short arc it produces when you loop. Chinese rubbers usually create flat and long curves. I play an aggressive game style close to the table and the higher and shorter arcs enable me to land a lot more shots on the table. So gained a lot of control with this rubber. The downside is that T25 is less spinny on serves and that the loops are less dangerous than the long flat ones with tacky rubbers. Another pro is that T25 is much better on smashes. All in all this is a very good forehand rubber which suits my game a lot. The price is the only downer.
Counter loops, smashes, blocks, flicks, pushes, short receives
For me this the most suitable bh rubber I have played so far. I play close to the table with quick third and fifth ball attacks and T25 fx is perfect for this game strategy. It excells on flicks, blocks, short receives and pushes. It’s very also very good bh counter loops and smashes. It is not as spinny as T05fx or T80fx, but the spin is more than sufficient and it is also less spin sensitive than the other Tenergys. The only downer is the price.
H8-80 37 degree, fantastic Chinese tacky rubber that doesn’t ‘need’ boosting
High spin capability
No need to boost
Some may find it slow
H8-80 37 degree version.
Used by many as a BH rubber, but the 37 degree version shouldn’t be considered ‘ONLY’ a BH rubber. For many people this would be a good FH rubber as well.
In the right hands this rubber is capable of high spin levels. Serves are very spinny.
Speed is not fast but it has more than enough speed to put balls away.
As with many tacky rubbers, short game control is good. On harder strokes the sponge kicks in, but for short pushes etc this rubber is very good.
looping on both FH & BH is very good, slow topspin v backspin can be loaded with spin.
blocking is solid, crisp.
mid distance play is good, long distance is OK you still have to put more effort in than with a tensor/spring sponge rubber, but no more than playing with H3 Neo or similar.
DHS has various rubbers with 37 degree sponge hardness these days, targeted as BH rubbers. This sponge hardness gives you more ‘easy’ power availability on the BH wing.
Many will say that 37 degree is ‘too soft’ for FH, but at the end of the day this is just personal preference.
Many will say it still needs boosting, again personal preference. For myself it doesn’t need any boosting, my preference!!!
If you just can’t be bothered with having to boost Chinese style rubbers then give H8-80 a go!!
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.
The stickiness of the rubber and the elastic topsheet make it very good at picking up half long balls and returning shots with offensive brush. I think if one finds it too slow when looping, one can use the cover sheets less and just clean the rubber and put it in a case, the lower tack will make it a bit faster. The drive speed when the carbon kicks in is extremely good, this is when it performs best given its spin focus. It is very good for stopping spin and counterlooping with a close to the table game. A bit further away, one definitely needs a faster blade with carbon kick. That said, for someone who likes Dignics 09c for example, it is a good alternative, probably a little slower, but cheaper.
The high spin rating is based on personal effort with little top end. If you are looking for easy spin, this is not the rubber, but if you generate your own spin, you will find this extremely spinny and your ability to control the ball arc while often keeping it low will impress you.
I currently use it both sides of on a Cybershape Carbon and a Mizutani SZLC, though I have also used it both sides of the Innerforce T5000 and Vyzaryz Trinity.
Unique Shape - Hard to switch rubbers between different blades
I bought this blade when it was initially re-introduced by Donic few years ago. I remember that I used it for 1 session only (just to check the characteristics of this blade)) and then stored it in my drawer. It has the same construction with my Donic Dicon, Avalox BT555, OC, Infinity vps, etc. Basically it is a classic limba - spruce - ayous - spruce - limba blade.
Lately, I have been re-testing all my 5-ply allwood blades: BTY Korbel, Samsonov Alpha, Donic Dicon, etc. but I did not test this blade as the head shape is unique, so it is hard to transfer rubbers from other blades to this blade.
But last week, I transferred rubbers from my Korbel (158 x 152 mm) to this blade, and they do not fit perfectly, but still OK.
To my delight, this is actually the better blades compared to other allwood blades that I re-tested recently. The head shape is unique but I did not find it affect my play at all. In fact, I did not feel that the head shape is different during play. I can use it instantly without any adjustments. The positive aspect is the straight handle which fits perfectly in my hand. It is a bit longer and what I like the most is the wings are very nice. I can grip the blade better, without any obstructions.
Speed is in the Off- range, which is perfect for me. Control is excellent. I usually find that 5-ply allwood blade is good for looping but not that excellent for blocking (compared to my 7-ply allwood blades) but Waldner Offensive 2016 is quite good for blocking. But for flat hit / smashing, there are better blades. It shines in serving, serve receive, short game, and especially looping. As I have stated above, the control is excellent.
I am thinking of using this blade as my main blade now and therefore I will test this blade further / longer before deciding to do so.
Oh, my copy is 80.4 grams only, but I bought another one last year, and it was 90 grams. I think it is the exception, as I remember people reported only 78 - 82 grams in various forums.
In conclusion, this is an excellent blade, which is still relevant in the 40+ plastic ball era, especially for intermediate players. Pros will find this blade not fast enough.
tackinnes really opens up a lot of possibilities. it is important to keep some moiture (water) on the topsheet to increase tackiness. i dont fell it is a slow rubber since you can hit it flater and it will still impart a good arc on the ball. itts unbeliveble for receive: short touch or chiquita. its very safe, you dont need to read the spin perfectly. perhaps a little hard for backhand for some people. very fun to play with, great feeling.
i cant say if this is also qualitys of other tacky rubber. perhaps.
it does not have the dwell or elasticiity of chinese bosted rubber however.
I bought this blade with FL handle in April of 2023 and have played with it with multiple rubber combos, the first being Rozena both sides, second Dignics 80 FH and Dignics 05 BH and third DHS Hurricane 3 Neo BS Provincial FH and Xiom Vega X backhand (next combo will be Tenergy 05 Hard FH and Dignics 80 BH). This is the first professional blade that i have bought so i do not have any comparisons to other blades. The handle felt nice in my hand, very comfortable. When I played with this blade, it feels quite fast and rather hard, but the control is still there so that i can still land most of my powerful shots. I love this blade for the BH flicks on receive, they came skinny and fast, though i had to practice the BH flick for a while to get used to it. My BH topspin was also good and quite easy to execute. For my forehand topspin, my primary weapon, it was very fast yet still controllable which was a joy to use. As a player who loves the third ball attack, i was very happy to see that my serves come spiny and fast whenever i wished which made my opponents miss or hard to hit. Blocking is just good, not extraordinarily good but not bad either, the ball will go to where you place it but it will be easy for the opponent to return the block. In rallies the blade performs well, though i prefer with the blades speed to try and finish the point outright. I will say that it is hard to control in the short game with the FZD ALC due to how hard it is (maybe i’m just bad lol). It’s a very good blade, possibly the best imo but don’t take my word for it since i haven’t played with other butterfly blades. Just wish it wasn’t so damn expensive lol.
This is an all-round rubber that will not disappoint you in any segment of the game. Where the rubber stood out was the flat hits and active block, while I was disappointed with the amount of spin. In terms of speed, it has a great control-to-speed ratio. You can really get a lot of speed out of it very easily, and with good control.
For a more detailed analysis, see my video review...
This is an innerforce ZLC blade, and I have been enjoying it so far. Coming from viscaria previously, it took me some adjustment, as it is not as crisp as viscaria, but it compensates with a easier shorter game with better control. Due to the carbon being underneath wood, to get the same power as viscaria, I have to put in more effort.
The handle is very nicely designed, but sweat on the handle will eventually blur out the colour, which isn't a problem as it shows the scars from battle.
When I first switched to this blade, I felt my backhand become easier whereas I had to make more adjustment to my forehand, but that was no longer an issue after the adjustment period.
I have ordered 15+ box of DHS 3 stars D40+ balls for my robot. They work very well for robot training. I also used it in serve practice and matches with friends, no issues with them.
They also seem to last a long time, as I haven't broken much of them apart from occasionally stepping on them.
The rural club that I am currently playing at uses them, and they are so worn out that the labels are barely visible but the balls are still fine, and that is a sign that they are quite durable.
I cannot comment on roundness and hardness as I never actually tried testing each of them.
It’s a medium hard rubber which feels mostly medium when playing. Topsheet grip is very nice, so is serves and short game. Not so bouncy. Blocking is very controlled. Faster than Glayzer 09c which is slow for most. Very easy and consistent to loop but sometimes makes you feel it lacks the finishing power/spin. Very suitable for most intermediates.