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  1. yogi_bear is offline
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    #1

    Stiga DNA Dragon Grip Review

    https://imgur.com/DxRxxm4

    https://imgur.com/SgL8ld5

    https://imgur.com/Y7Yojmi

    Stiga DNA Dragon Grip
    Weight: 72 grams uncut (2.3mm)
    Speed: Off+
    Topsheet: Very High – Grip, Low Tack

    The DNA Dragon Grip is a specialized DNA Series rubber that has slightly tacky topsheet. The last non-Chinese rubber that Stiga had was years ago with the Magna Series namely Magna TP, TC and TX rubbers. The concept of those rubbers is quite advanced for their time wherein most of the European and Japanese brands rely mostly on grippy topsheet surfaces whereas the Magna rubbers has added spin potential due to their tacky topsheets. The concept slowly picked up a few years ago and now the trend in the market is for European rubbers to have a semi or fully tacky variant. The topsheet of the DNA Dragon Grip is surprisingly almost non-tacky compared to other brands that are also produced by ESN. When you press your fingers against the topsheet, you can feel some tack but not too much that it can pick and hold the ball for a few seconds. The sponge is 2.3mm thickness which made the rubber a bit heavy but common among hard sponged rubbers starting from 50 degrees and up. The Dragon grip is right now the hardest Stiga rubber but the topsheet is medium soft which compensates for the 55-degree sponge hardness. The pores in the sponge are very minute. When compared to the DNA Platinum XH or Extra Hard rubber, the topsheet of the Dragon is a bit softer and I will explain it as I go along with the review. This was tested Nostalgic All+, Inspira CCF and Stiga Energy Wood V2 blades.
    The speed is quite fast for a hard rubber but it is slower than most 55 degree I have owned and tested. The sponge and topsheet both give the ball the more than desired speed but I did not find it too fast coming from a boosted Chinese rubber. I do not think the topsheet has too much effect in keeping the ball not too fast for the user. The tack on the ball can affect the speed during topspins but even with great sponge compression, the speed seems to be slower compared to the DNA Platinum XH version. I believe the XH version of the DNA Platinum is still one of the fastest ESN rubbers in the market now despite having a softer sponge at 52.5 degrees. The ball repulsion with the DNA Platinum XH is quite profound obvious that you have to adjust your swings on your forehand attacking shots especially topspins and follow-up loops against blocked topspins. With the DNA Dragon Grip, even with full swings on the said strokes, I did not see any need for adjustments. It was pretty tamed for a 55-degree rubber. The speed is definitely there but not as much as the 52.5-degree DNA Platinum XH version. For smashing the speed and power was excellent because the tackiness or the almost-lack of tack does not interfere with smashing the ball enabling a very efficient energy transfer from the racket to the ball.
    The Dragon Grip is the spinniest rubber of Stiga nowadays. The Platinum series especially the Hard and Medium versions are the spinniest or the easiest to spin with when they came out but common to all grippy rubbers, there is this certain feel that I am looking for in a rubber that can only be found among Chinese rubbers like Hurricane 3. Let us face it, the newer generations of tacky ESN rubbers could not escape comparison with Chinese rubbers such as Hurricane 3. The gold standard of rubbers that produce tons of spin is with Chinese rubbers but spin is not everything nor speed is everything. DNA Dragon Grip offers a fairly good balance of both parameters with more on the speed factor. Chinese rubbers have this sort of feel the moment you contact the ball with the rubber and that distinct feel can help you spin the ball better. Maybe it’s the stickiness or any other factors like type of topsheet, sponge or the overall make up and design of the Chinese rubber. Chinese rubbers user can attest to this but it is hard to coin or find a term for it. The DNA Dragon grip has some of that feel when contacting the ball but quite less maybe because the tackiness is way less and the ball has lesser “dwell” but the presence of a small amount of this feel make the DNA Dragon Grip makes it a very spinny rubber and at the same time a very fast one. I would place the spin slightly above or equal with Tenergy 05 minus the spin sensitivity. The arc when looping both underspin and counter topspins seem to be on the medium high to high arc. ON the same angel with other rubbers, I would see it pass the net approximately at 3-4 inches which is a bit higher than other DNA regular series or DNA Platinum series rubbers.
    The DNA Dragon Grip is rubber designed for advanced level players but compared to other rubbers with the same hardness or above it, the DNA Dragon Grip is easier to handle. I have had rubbers in the 55 degree range up to the 60-degree range that can only be consistently used by players with varsity-level playing skills and I mean the good and trained ones. It has the capabilities of both Chinese and Euro rubbers. It has the capability to easily do drop since it has some tack and also do spinny pushes but in the speed department it is an offensive weapon for its speed. The cost of the DNA Dragon Grip is way less than the DNA Platinum Series and on the same range as other 50-degree ESN rubbers from other brands. Compared to other slightly tacky rubbers ranging from 50 to 60 degrees including Dignics 09c, the Dragon Grip has the least amount tack but it is fair to say it is the easiest to use and is more of the forgiving rubber in all offensive shots.


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    #2
    thanks yogi for the nice review. always excellent reviews.

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    #3
    always excellent reviews.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    Compared to other slightly tacky rubbers ranging from 50 to 60 degrees including Dignics 09c, the Dragon Grip ... is the easiest to use and is more of the forgiving rubber in all offensive shots.
    I haven't tried as many other tacky rubbers as you have, Yogi, but I agree that the Dragon Grip is very easy to play with. It seems to me that this is an under-appreciated quality of Stiga rubbers generally: they have such good control and give the feeling of confidence in going for your shots.

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    https://imgur.com/DxRxxm4

    https://imgur.com/SgL8ld5

    https://imgur.com/Y7Yojmi

    Stiga DNA Dragon Grip
    Weight: 72 grams uncut (2.3mm)
    Speed: Off+
    Topsheet: Very High – Grip, Low Tack

    The DNA Dragon Grip is a specialized DNA Series rubber that has slightly tacky topsheet. The last non-Chinese rubber that Stiga had was years ago with the Magna Series namely Magna TP, TC and TX rubbers. The concept of those rubbers is quite advanced for their time wherein most of the European and Japanese brands rely mostly on grippy topsheet surfaces whereas the Magna rubbers has added spin potential due to their tacky topsheets. The concept slowly picked up a few years ago and now the trend in the market is for European rubbers to have a semi or fully tacky variant. The topsheet of the DNA Dragon Grip is surprisingly almost non-tacky compared to other brands that are also produced by ESN. When you press your fingers against the topsheet, you can feel some tack but not too much that it can pick and hold the ball for a few seconds. The sponge is 2.3mm thickness which made the rubber a bit heavy but common among hard sponged rubbers starting from 50 degrees and up. The Dragon grip is right now the hardest Stiga rubber but the topsheet is medium soft which compensates for the 55-degree sponge hardness. The pores in the sponge are very minute. When compared to the DNA Platinum XH or Extra Hard rubber, the topsheet of the Dragon is a bit softer and I will explain it as I go along with the review. This was tested Nostalgic All+, Inspira CCF and Stiga Energy Wood V2 blades.
    The speed is quite fast for a hard rubber but it is slower than most 55 degree I have owned and tested. The sponge and topsheet both give the ball the more than desired speed but I did not find it too fast coming from a boosted Chinese rubber. I do not think the topsheet has too much effect in keeping the ball not too fast for the user. The tack on the ball can affect the speed during topspins but even with great sponge compression, the speed seems to be slower compared to the DNA Platinum XH version. I believe the XH version of the DNA Platinum is still one of the fastest ESN rubbers in the market now despite having a softer sponge at 52.5 degrees. The ball repulsion with the DNA Platinum XH is quite profound obvious that you have to adjust your swings on your forehand attacking shots especially topspins and follow-up loops against blocked topspins. With the DNA Dragon Grip, even with full swings on the said strokes, I did not see any need for adjustments. It was pretty tamed for a 55-degree rubber. The speed is definitely there but not as much as the 52.5-degree DNA Platinum XH version. For smashing the speed and power was excellent because the tackiness or the almost-lack of tack does not interfere with smashing the ball enabling a very efficient energy transfer from the racket to the ball.
    The Dragon Grip is the spinniest rubber of Stiga nowadays. The Platinum series especially the Hard and Medium versions are the spinniest or the easiest to spin with when they came out but common to all grippy rubbers, there is this certain feel that I am looking for in a rubber that can only be found among Chinese rubbers like Hurricane 3. Let us face it, the newer generations of tacky ESN rubbers could not escape comparison with Chinese rubbers such as Hurricane 3. The gold standard of rubbers that produce tons of spin is with Chinese rubbers but spin is not everything nor speed is everything. DNA Dragon Grip offers a fairly good balance of both parameters with more on the speed factor. Chinese rubbers have this sort of feel the moment you contact the ball with the rubber and that distinct feel can help you spin the ball better. Maybe it’s the stickiness or any other factors like type of topsheet, sponge or the overall make up and design of the Chinese rubber. Chinese rubbers user can attest to this but it is hard to coin or find a term for it. The DNA Dragon grip has some of that feel when contacting the ball but quite less maybe because the tackiness is way less and the ball has lesser “dwell” but the presence of a small amount of this feel make the DNA Dragon Grip makes it a very spinny rubber and at the same time a very fast one. I would place the spin slightly above or equal with Tenergy 05 minus the spin sensitivity. The arc when looping both underspin and counter topspins seem to be on the medium high to high arc. ON the same angel with other rubbers, I would see it pass the net approximately at 3-4 inches which is a bit higher than other DNA regular series or DNA Platinum series rubbers.
    The DNA Dragon Grip is rubber designed for advanced level players but compared to other rubbers with the same hardness or above it, the DNA Dragon Grip is easier to handle. I have had rubbers in the 55 degree range up to the 60-degree range that can only be consistently used by players with varsity-level playing skills and I mean the good and trained ones. It has the capabilities of both Chinese and Euro rubbers. It has the capability to easily do drop since it has some tack and also do spinny pushes but in the speed department it is an offensive weapon for its speed. The cost of the DNA Dragon Grip is way less than the DNA Platinum Series and on the same range as other 50-degree ESN rubbers from other brands. Compared to other slightly tacky rubbers ranging from 50 to 60 degrees including Dignics 09c, the Dragon Grip has the least amount tack but it is fair to say it is the easiest to use and is more of the forgiving rubber in all offensive shots.

    How does this rubber compare to Dignics 09C in terms of speed and spin?

    also out of curiousity what boosted Chinese rubber do u use?


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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dipak1974

    How does this rubber compare to Dignics 09C in terms of speed and spin?

    also out of curiousity what boosted Chinese rubber do u use?

    I use DHS h3 37 with seamoon booster. I would say Dignics 09c is faster but spin wise they are almost equal. Sometimes D09c would be spinnier.

    ITTF Level 1 Coaching Course Conductor at your service!

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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear

    I use DHS h3 37 with seamoon booster. I would say Dignics 09c is faster but spin wise they are almost equal. Sometimes D09c would be spinnier.

    If that’s the case then what would the benefit be of using H3 other than the price? I would imagine serve receive and short game would be better with H3 but any other real benefit of H3 over D09C. I’m asking as I use D09C and have done for over a year but considering trying H3 provincial orange sponge from a Chinese player at my club.


  8. Lê Hoàng Long is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dipak1974

    If that’s the case then what would the benefit be of using H3 other than the price? I would imagine serve receive and short game would be better with H3 but any other real benefit of H3 over D09C. I’m asking as I use D09C and have done for over a year but considering trying H3 provincial orange sponge from a Chinese player at my club.

    Spinwise it's the same but 09c requires much less effort to generate the power while H3 pro orange or even national version you will have to make double effort to generate the equal power


  9. TT Lover is online now
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear

    I use DHS h3 37 with seamoon booster. I would say Dignics 09c is faster but spin wise they are almost equal. Sometimes D09c would be spinnier.

    Good day to you sir,
    Do you use 37 degree DHS H3 Commercial Version or other versions.

    Thank you.
    Best regards


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    #10
    Thanks a lot Yogi. How is this compared to Rakza Z. I’ve been used to Rakza Z on my backhand and want to just stick with it. But it’s constantly out of stock so I’m kinda worry. Also have you tried Donic Bluegrip C1/C2/S2 as well?

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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tango K
    Thanks a lot Yogi. How is this compared to Rakza Z. I’ve been used to Rakza Z on my backhand and want to just stick with it. But it’s constantly out of stock so I’m kinda worry. Also have you tried Donic Bluegrip C1/C2/S2 as well?

    I used Rakza Z before switching to DG. The main difference is speed. DG is much faster. It also has a higher throw angle and higher margin of error. Even if you don't take a full stroke under pressure you can still get the ball over the net.

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gtsnake

    I used Rakza Z before switching to DG. The main difference is speed. DG is much faster. It also has a higher throw angle and higher margin of error. Even if you don't take a full stroke under pressure you can still get the ball over the net.

    I've only been playing with it for 2 weeks but want to ask how long does the Dragon Grip last for you ? Some say it loses its grip quite fast after a month,


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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lê Hoàng Long

    I've only been playing with it for 2 weeks but want to ask how long does the Dragon Grip last for you ? Some say it loses its grip quite fast after a month,

    I play 3x per week and it lasted me a little over 2 months. It loses its tack and starts to slip a little. It's a gradual wear but really noticeable after 2 months. At first it starts to get a little transparent in the center then when you see the pips underneath wider and wider.

    I've had to start looking for alternatives because there's a supply problem with new stock. It's too bad because it's a really great rubber.

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    Last edited by Gtsnake; 09-27-2022 at 01:12 PM.

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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Gtsnake

    I play 3x per week and it lasted me a little over 2 months. It loses its tack and starts to slip a little. It's a gradual wear but really noticeable after 2 months. At first it starts to get a little transparent in the center then when you see the pips underneath wider and wider.

    I've had to start looking for alternatives because there's a supply problem with new stock. It's too bad because it's a really great rubber.

    i have ordered from stigas website and it works ok. dont know if it might work to us but it can be worth a try as an alternative or maybe by dandoy sports webshop


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    #15
    I guess I could get them from other retailers like Paddle Palace but with TT11 you get a big discount if you buy in bulk.

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