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  1. yogi_bear is offline
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    Stiga DNA Pro Rubbers Review

    Stiga DNA Pro Rubbers Review


    This is it! After a long time of waiting for these rubbers to be released, Stiga has finally shifted to ESN rubbers for their newest rubbers.

    I asked them why the change of factory for their newest rubbers and they said, they have seen the importance of producing rubbers from ESN since German rubbers have a surge in popularity among table tennis fans and also in my opinion the need for better performance rubbers that could compete with Tenergy rubbers. The previous rubbers like Mantra, etc will still be produced by their Japanese manufacturer and will still be available in the market for players to enjoy. I think it took about 2 years for Stiga to develop these rubbers with ESN as they have applied the license with ESN about 2 years ago to give a unique German rubber that will not be identified as "just another ESN rubber" but rather one with good amount of quality, unique playing characteristics and at the same time compete with other famous ESN rubbers. Max versions are at 2.1mm and they are what I used.

























    Stiga DNA Pro H (Hard)

    Weight: 71 grams uncut

    Hardness: 50 degrees ESN scale

    Speed: OFF++



    In my opinion, this is the flagship rubber of Stiga today. The DNA Pro rubbers are composed of 3 rubbers but this for me is their best rubber right now. This is considered as a thin topsheet-thick sponge rubber so it is possible that the sponge thickness could still reach 2.2mm at its thickest. I have noticed a great deal of effort placed on the quality and overall production of the rubber. The rubber seems very durable including the sponge. I have reglued the rubber a few times transferring it to different blades just to test its properties and I have not encountered any instance of sponge tearing up or separating due to the removal of glue. I used a Stiga water-based glue Connect for the tests and

    dried it using a hair dryer. The sponge holds firmly when you are removing the glue and it is a good sign of not having a brittle sponge. Sponge is porous with a thin topsheet. Unlike other ESN rubbers of its generation, the pimples seem longer and narrow compared to the Rhyzer 50 or 45 version. The topsheet is medium or medium soft. I could feel the firmness of the topsheet separately and not just the sponge unlike other brands that have an obvious soft topsheet to compensate for the sponge, the DNA H offers a grippy but firm topsheet. I checked the colors and the red topsheets are bright cherry red color instead of the matte red dull color of a different design.



    I was excited to test this rubber and I glued it immediately to the Dynasty blade (I also used this in a Rosewood V). I placed 1 thick layer onto the sponge and 1 thick layer to the blade. I used a hair dryer to immediately dry the glue. I did drillings immediately using the DNA H in my forehand and backhand. In the forehand to forehand drill, I have noticed a very high arc even when not doing topspins or brushing and just plain hitting the ball. This is a good indication for my part since for most people they could have a very forgiving rubber wherein it does not hit the net easily compared to other rubber's low arc. The DNA version is very bouncy and fast even at 50 degrees. Other 50 degree rubbers are outright not that fast but this one even on a semi passive stroke, you can feel the bounciness that it can give you when hitting the ball . FOR ITS speed, I can definitely say it is more bouncy faster than the Rasanter R50 and Joola Rhyzer 50 but 1 or 2 notches. You can feel the difference in speed but the difference is not too big. They have different feel when you are using them so you cannot say they are the same rubbers.

    Now for the fun part, the DNA H version is a very spinny rubber. The very grippy topsheet bites the ball easily and when combined with the bouncy and hard sponge, spinning or looping the ball requires little swing. In fact, you can do Timo Boll style. I can safely say that it has the bounciness of the Rasanter R50 but also has the spin and even more spin than the Joola Rhyzer Pro 50. So what makes the DNA Pro H different? It seems the DNA H has more to offer like increased amount spin and speed and that is automatic but the best thing I have observed about the DNA H is that even at close to the table distance, the DNA H has a good amount of control. While it is very fast and bouncy, it seems a bit forgiving for its speed. Ideally, this would still be an advanced level's rubber since the rubber and sponge feel firm and hard and you would need a good amount of skill in engaging the sponge and brushing the ball using the topsheet. If you have used a Chinese rubber in the past effectively, then all you need is an adjustment in the speed but other than that I would suggest this rubber for all out attackers and this is awesome both in backhand and forehand as an attacking rubber. In fairness, I had a teen player I was coaching for a day and she used the DNA H as both forehand and backhand rubbers, she never had any difficulty switching to them coming from Tibhar K1 Hybrid rubber which her arcs and throw were a little wild. She is using the DNA effectively and to almost the same amount of spin but better control so I guess it can show that the rubber is very forgiving. Thes best way to optimize this rubber's performance is contacting the ball with a good amount of brush and at the same time with sponge engagement. This has gears like other hard rubbers so you can take this on a slow and controlled stroke or go an all out power stroke. As far as memory goes comparing MXP 50 degrees and DNA Pro H, I would say DNA H is more bouncy with probably the same level of spin but at the same time, with less shrinkage upon removal of rubber and better control near the table. I find the higher arc of the DNA H more forgiving. I cannot directly compare it with the Omega 7 Asia since they are different type of rubbers and at the same time the sponge hardness of the Omega 7 Asia is about 2 degrees higher. All I can say is that the DNA Pro H can compete also with the Omega 7 series.













    Stiga DNA Pro S


    Weight: 67 grams uncut
    Hardness: 42.5 degrees
    Speed: Off


    This is the softest rubber among the DNA series. It is also light at 67 grams uncut and approximately 47 grams cut to a standard blade. Out of the packaging, the DNA PRO S has a semi soft feel when you are pressing against the topsheet with sponge. I would categorize this as a medium soft rubber and not entirely soft because other rubbers such as Rakza 7 soft or Vega Europe DF are much softer than this. The closest feel and hardness would be the R42 Rasanter. This category of rubbers all exhibit an outright springy and fast characteristic since the sponge is very reactive to force applied but reaches a plateau once a certain amount of force is applied to them.
    The DNA S version is a fast and bouncy rubber with more emphasis on control. It is designed for players who hits a lot and hits through the sponge deeply. Of the 3 rubbers in the DNA series, this is the most controllable and also the most forgiving. It is also the easiest to smash with because of its medium soft sponge. This is better for players who wanted to spin but needs to sink the
    ball into the sponge because of their playing style. It has this dull but loud sound when you are whacking the ball. Many people will agree with me if I can compare this to the FXP or FXs rubbers but it has combined characteristics of the Rasanter R42 only this is more bouncy. The S version also has less shrinkage compared to the FXP and FXS rubbers. The S version is more of a close to the table and middle distance rubber since the softness of the sponge limits its power but even beginners at 1.9mm sponge thickness can definitely use this rubber because it is very forgiving.
    It is also easy to learn basic strokes especially with looping because the sponge and topsheet greatly help with the forward force and gripping the ball easier when a new player uses it to practice. I think it also blocks best compared to the M and H versions because of the softer sponge. The DNA S would work well with players who smash and drive a lot. This is more or less an all around rubber that offers high level of control.












    Stiga DNA Pro M rubber


    Weight: 69 grams uncut
    Hardness: 47.5 degrees
    Speed: OFF+


    The Stiga DNA Pro M is the outright bouncy rubber among its variants at first hit when you are engaging the sponge with some depth. This has a cut weight of approximately 49 grams compared to the 51 grams cut version of the DNA Pro H version. This is the medium hard offensive rubber of the DNA Pro Series. The DNA Pro is an honest to goodness offensive rubber. If you do not prefer hard rubbers that will reach at 50 degrees then this is the rubber to consider. I know a lot of people will say we have already lots of similar rubbers in the market but I beg to disagree. Even if these rubbers are produced by ESN, companies such as Stiga still need to forward their specs for each particular rubberand produce the rubbers they think are worthy of releasing according to their own specifications.


    Anyway, this is a another high quality rubber from Stiga and the topsheet is very grippy with almost no tacky feeling. I would put the speed of the DNA Pro M as slower than the Joola Rhyzer 48 by 1 or 2 levels but faster than Rasanter V47 more or less. It does not offer the wild throw and trajectory of the Rhyzer 48 wherein a lot of people including me find the Rhyzer 48 a bit too fast at first use. When I was using the Rhyzer 48 I had a hard time controlling it and until now I think it is still the fastest rubber among 47-48 degree category rubbers. At least the DNA
    Pro M has a fairly good amount of control and despite the very high speed. It is good to know that the DNA Series has a good amount of control despite near the table. The DNA Pro M has a
    medium to medium high level of arc when looping. The DNA Pro H has the highest arc at about 5-6inches above the net while the M version has about 4 inches of height from the net when I was doing forehand to forehand drive drills. I would agree that people would compare this with the MXP rubber since it is safe to say that the MXP is the bestselling rubber produced by ESN. All I can say is that MXP's topsheet seem a little less durable. Also, I noticed less shrinkage with the DNA M when I glued and removed it to several blades. For the record, I used the Dynasty blade, Rosewood V and another unknown limba 5 ply blade for this test.


    How did it play? It was expected that it was very bouncy, no question about that but it has this good hitting feel when you start to engage the sponge. It has some softness upon impact with hard hits probably due to the medium soft topsheet that is very elastic. Looks like it has the same topsheet with the H version only on a softer sponge.It has more outright spring effect compared to the DNA H version having a slightly softer sponge. I looped with this rubber a lot of times whether looping against heavy underspin or counter looping against topspin balls. It is different compared to the H version because it has a more typical euro type feel when you loop with it. Its arc and height is just high enough to clear the net with fast and straight trajectory when landing on the table. The H version has a better kick the moment it lands on the table. At first the H version seem has less speed up to a certain contact on the ball but the moment the ball lands on the table, the H version has a certain strong kick for the table. The M version has sharper bounce but it seems to keep a uniform bounce with less extra kick compared to the DNA H version. Again this is made for at least middle distance due to its power and speed but it was surprisingly controllable near the table just like the H version. On stronger shots, the MXP may plateau on its power while the DNA M may give you some extra juice. Spinwise they are more or less equal. Of the 3 DNA rubbers, I think this is the version that will suit most players since it a lot of players can relate to its feel but with some added extra features compared to other German rubbers from ESN. I would place this as a forehand and backhand rubber but I used this more as a backhand rubber since I like the H version better. Advanced level players would love this on either side with not much adjustments on their playstyles.

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    #2
    I do not have the pic of Truls using the DNA H yet but I will try to find one.

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    #3
    Very nice review thanks

    So it's a thin topsheet rubber if i understand well ? The max thickness will be 2.1mm ?

    If you can give some comparaison with Mantra it would be nice also

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    #4
    Yes it is 2.1mm for max but it is still in the thin topsheet, thick sponge class. Obviously, the spin is levels above Mantra. Although Mantra H was spinny, the DNA rubbers are quite far spinny. Mantra has an awesome sponge though.

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  5. P1ngP0ng3r is offline
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    #5
    @yogi_bear, you mention "bouncy" and "springy" several times. Can I interpret this as "above average sensitive for incoming spin" ?

    and of course: many thanks for the review!

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    #6
    Ah yes, it's surprising that it is only 2.1mm with a thin topsheet while you have MAX (more than 2.1mm) with thicker topsheet for other rubbers

    Anyway i was hyped and i bought it

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    #7
    Thanks Yogi!

    It's good to hear that the DNA series defers enough from other ESN rubber series, also that the sponge is not brittle and fragile like I anticipated it to be.

    Would you say that DNA Pro M is topping MX-P as ESN's best rubber? Is its sponge surface less porous than MX-P's? Was it easier to glue?

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wister
    Ah yes, it's surprising that it is only 2.1mm with a thin topsheet while you have MAX (more than 2.1mm) with thicker topsheet for other rubbers

    Anyway i was hyped and i bought it
    Let us know what you think!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.pong
    Thanks Yogi!

    It's good to hear that the DNA series defers enough from other ESN rubber series, also that the sponge is not brittle and fragile like I anticipated it to be.

    Would you say that DNA Pro M is topping MX-P as ESN's best rubber? Is its sponge surface less porous than MX-P's? Was it easier to glue?
    It was easier to remove glue and never had any sponge tearing. For mxp 47 and dna m, they both go toe to toe although in the long run, i will choose dna m for durability.

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    Great review yogi_bear, do you think the topsheet of DNA Pro H is more grippy than Joola Pro 50 or about the same?

  11. zeio is offline
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    I assure you they're just teething problems...


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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    Yes it is 2.1mm for max but it is still in the thin topsheet, thick sponge class. Obviously, the spin is levels above Mantra. Although Mantra H was spinny, the DNA rubbers are quite far spinny. Mantra has an awesome sponge though.
    Sorry to pour cold water on this, but what does "levels above" mean? In your Mantra reviews, you claimed the spin is almost the same level as MX-P. So, by implication, are you also claiming DNA rubbers are "levels above" MX-P in terms of spin?

    And how can you make any claims about DNA's durability as compared to MX-P? Unlike DNA, MX-P has been on the market for years, and we know fairly well what its durability is.

    Come on, at least make an effort to be impartial.

  13. zeio is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by vvk1
    Come on, at least make an effort to be impartial.

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    Yes, that what he is claiming. Also, of course he can judge the durability. The durability of the rubbers he has received and tried. He is not making a claim that he is referring to the durability on a yearly basis, since it’s not been out so long as you mention.

    I think Yogi is one of few who is truly impartial. In comparison to you, or Especially Zeio who is obvious haters of stiga for whatever reason. I think they are one of very few brands who are actively working to improve Table tennis in general, instead of just selling cheap, low quality products to low prices, which doesnt improve the outside view of tt.

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by vvk1
    Sorry to pour cold water on this, but what does "levels above" mean? In your Mantra reviews, you claimed the spin is almost the same level as MX-P. So, by implication, are you also claiming DNA rubbers are "levels above" MX-P in terms of spin?

    And how can you make any claims about DNA's durability as compared to MX-P? Unlike DNA, MX-P has been on the market for years, and we know fairly well what its durability is.

    Come on, at least make an effort to be impartial.
    Yes, that what he is claiming. Also, of course he can judge the durability. The durability of the rubbers he has received and tried. He is not making a claim that he is referring to the durability on a yearly basis, since it’s not been out so long as you mention.

    I think Yogi is one of few who is truly impartial. In comparison to you, or Especially Zeio who is obvious haters of stiga for whatever reason. I think they are one of very few brands who are actively working to improve Table tennis in general, instead of just selling cheap, low quality products to low prices, which doesnt improve the outside view of tt.

  16. zeio is offline
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    #16
    Subbed by Stiga hater zeio. Not to mention all those STIGA VTT tutorials. Yup, I hate them so much I promote them without getting a dime in return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vvk1
    Sorry to pour cold water on this, but what does "levels above" mean? In your Mantra reviews, you claimed the spin is almost the same level as MX-P. So, by implication, are you also claiming DNA rubbers are "levels above" MX-P in terms of spin?

    And how can you make any claims about DNA's durability as compared to MX-P? Unlike DNA, MX-P has been on the market for years, and we know fairly well what its durability is.

    Come on, at least make an effort to be impartial.
    Quote Originally Posted by zeio
    I assure you they're just teething problems...


    Heard he withdrew from the Doubles Because of injury. Probably also german Open. Was obvious to anyone watching the match against Kara yesterday that he had big problems with his right shoulder. Too bad, hope he recovers soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vvk1
    Sorry to pour cold water on this, but what does "levels above" mean? In your Mantra reviews, you claimed the spin is almost the same level as MX-P. So, by implication, are you also claiming DNA rubbers are "levels above" MX-P in terms of spin?

    And how can you make any claims about DNA's durability as compared to MX-P? Unlike DNA, MX-P has been on the market for years, and we know fairly well what its durability is.

    Come on, at least make an effort to be impartial.
    Quote Originally Posted by zeio
    I assure you they're just teething problems...


    Quote Originally Posted by zeio
    Subbed by Stiga hater zeio. Not to mention all those STIGA VTT tutorials. Yup, I hate them so much I promote them without getting a dime in return.

    Who cares about sharing some 4 years old video with some random blonde woman.

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    Ya, share with us your video and we'll talk.
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    #20
    It's obvious that yogi has some informal arrangements with the manufacturers which results in some bias. And I don't say that to knock him - it's just the nature of the beast. Most people who receive products regularly from suppliers in return for reviews will have some sort of pressure on them - either explicitly or implicitly. Has yogi ever given a bad review for an Xiom or Stiga product? No. Is everything Xiom and Stiga make 100% amazing? Maybe, maybe not.

    People should always try to "read between the lines" when he posts a review (I think he's said as much himself at times) And that's good advice with any review from anyone of course! There is value in there, but important not to get carried away.

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