A Different Hurricane

I have a slightly different way to read reviews of table tennis equipment. Bland comments, such as reliable, sturdy, or slightly more spinny than some other well known racket covering, don’t really do much for me. Positive remarks by a majority of users indicates that the rubber will probably be reliable, sturdy, and slightly more spinny than what I’m currently using. But, if five out of ten users say that this is the worst rubber they ever wasted their money on, and the other five say it changed their lives, it might be worth exploring. 

I had always steered clear of DHS Hurricane for several reasons. There are multiple versions of Hurricane. Everything I had ever heard about any Hurricane rubber indicated it was unusable unless it was boosted. It’s “heavy, slow, hard, tacky”, and probably requires ten years of training and the secret boosting formula to have any success with it. The fact that it was typically sold as a forehand rubber in maximum thickness prevented me from considering it. If you think regular Hurricane rubber sounds bad, read some of the reviews for Nittaku Hurricane 3 Turbo Blue. This partnership between DHS and Nittaku created what has been described as the hardest feeling rubber ever. Some reviews warned about the extreme weight and brick hard feel. It doesn’t sound like what most players would want. But, a few reviewers raved about the spin and extreme control. Since I am perpetually in search of a great backhand rubber, I found the conflicting opinions intriguing. Against all logic, I decided to try it. 

They sell it in 1.6 thickness, so that should solve the weight problem. With pips on the other side of my balsa blade, it actually should still be a pretty light setup. The thinner sponge would also alleviate the dead sluggish feeling that is typical of untuned Chinese rubber. I was still wary of the brick hard feeling. Many players also said that Hurricane was only good for players who were in excellent physical condition and strong enough to produce any speed. 

Well….It is different. The first time I used it, I was dumping pushes into the net. I liked the hard feeling and loud sound, but it was so different that I feared I might not make it through the day before giving up on it. I’m usually pretty good at adjusting to different equipment. After about fifteen minutes I was able to make enough of an adjustment to win a few matches against some troublesome opponents. The hard sponge provides a very distinct feel and the tacky rubber is more than a little bit more spinny than what I was used to. I think my serves are better, but the big surprise with the Turbo Blue is the ability to block heavy spin and fast shots. Since blocking and counter driving is such a big part of my game, this version of Hurricane is perfect.

The Nittaku Hurricane 3 Turbo Blue does take a little getting used to. It also might need a little time to break it in. Given the increased number of coaching hours I’ve had lately, that won’t be a problem. It is a unique racket covering; and it’s probably not for everybody. But, it’s fun and effective. That’s all I wanted.  

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