HALLMARK Dr. NEUBAUER SUPER SPECIAL RUBBER REVIEW
I've been playing with it from some time on, and I can tell it's a very good
long pips rubber for almost any stroke. Most chopping rubbers come with wide but
long pips (to keep his aspect ratio high). Dr. Neubauer Super Special comes with
rather short pips, but quite thin (high aspect ratio too). It comes with OX
sponge only, and only in red color, as Hallmark told me that they weren't
selling the black version because it was not as effective as the red version.
This are my comments regarding those dreaded pips:
Top pip surface is dead: This mean that they can't produce any spin at all. You
almost don't have to adjust your racket angle to push backspin or topspin (yeah
you can PUSH topspins over the table now). Also, serves are always no spin, no
matter what you do. Dead top pip surface allows the ball to spin more freely,
and pumps up it's...
Spin reversal: It returns a lot of spin. You can control the amount of spin
returned with the stroke you play. Chopping an incoming topspin will return
(this numbers are approximate - do not take it as exact values, as they depend
on other factors such as blade stiffness, ball speed...) about 90% of the
incoming spin (which is a very strong backspin). Blocking it will return about
60% spin. Re-looping it will return about a 30 to 0% of the incoming spin. Note
that looping an incoming topspin is very difficult, since you can't produce any
topspin. But this doesn't mean you can't attack...
Some attacking properties: You can hit very well against backspin, as you'll
return a topspin ball. Hitting against high balls or ball close to the net is
not a problem, and those no spin shots are hard to return for your opponents, as
they are not used to them. The problem is that you can't attack at all a topspin
ball, because you'll be returning backspin, which makes very difficult to
produce a fast shot that lands in the table. Even better than attacking, this
rubber encourages AGGRESSIVE play: pushes and blocks are extremely effective.
Close to table is where you'll get the best of this rubber, but you can chop
very well if far from table.
Ultra-high control: The rubber is not slow at all for an OX
rubber. (I tried gluing it on a Friendship 729 Japanese sponge. Despite its decent speed, it has
unsurpassed control. You can slow down or speed up the game at will. Placing the
ball is easy with it. I recommend using a high dwell time blade (DEF to DEF+) to
get the maximum control. Depending on what equipment are you used to, it can
take some time to adapt to this rubber, though.
No deceptive at all. Your opponent's will be fooled all the time if they can't
play against long pips, not because the rubber is deceptive, but because they
don't understand spin reversal, and Dr Neubauer has tons of it.
On the bad side: There is a control drop when dealing with no spin balls, but
you'll notice this only if you are going for extreme shots. To overcome this,
you can use fuller brushing strokes (wich won't generate any spin, but will help
to stabilize your return). Also, it's predictability can work against you if
your opponent can play well against long pips. Oh, yes, and they are EXPENSIVE
Conclusion: It's the best long pips for a control game by far. They're very effective as a chopping
rubber. The best for close to table play. Not suited for offensive play, but you
can play so agressively, that you almost don't need to.
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