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Spintech Blackjack Platinum Rubber Review




Spintech Blackjack Platinum ReviewI

I've been trying the new Blackjack Platinum (max thickness) for the last few weeks and it's a very interesting rubber.

I already knew the Blackjack topsheet had more grip than Juic Driva Smash or Stiga Innova. It is fairly thin, keeping the rubber light but not so thin as to be fragile, like Supersonic or Makss.

The really special thing about this rubber is the sponge. It is very soft, yet uses the high tension air pocket sponge technology. This gives it more stall resistance, a lower throw angle and better control at low speeds.

There are now three versions of Blackjack, regular (with a sponge just a bit softer than Innova's), Blackjack Ace (significantly softer than Innova's, more like Supersonic S40) and Blackjack Platinum, which is softer than any rubber I've tried.

I primed it with Spintech's Spin Speed Glue, a thicker speed glue designed for that purpose. I then used Spintech's booster which is a bit more viscous than Asti's, no smell and dries quicker and gets working almost immediately. While with Asti booster I would always wait an hour or two to play, with the Spintech the rubber was ready almost immediately after gluing.

I've tended to avoid soft sponge rubber as they tend to stall easily and are better for looping, not so good for blocking and hitting, which as a single sided penholder I tend to do a lot.

Heavily speed glued soft sponge rubber also tends to pop the ball up on pushes and blocks and decreases control. The high tension air pocket sponge technology minimized this and was still easy to serve with. I actually used a few drop shots and short pushes playing doubles so the touch is still there. This is one of the things I like about high tension air pocket sponges.

The very soft sponge, while having a bit higher throw angle than regular and Ace was not really high, but more medium and easy to control. I tried the rubber earlier on a very hard and fast blade and thought it a worthy replacement for Supersonic S40.

However it was only after a few gluings and placement on a softer 1 ply hinoki blade that it really shone. I could bend the ball around the net, kick it into my opponent's fingers and really play with the spin in a way I'm not used to being able to do.

Usually I wait for the ball to get up and then I smash it, but here looping was effortless and loop kills were also effective. My mindset was loop everything and that worked for me. I could back up and counter loop with abandon, a shot not normally part of my repertoire.

What surprised me most was blocking. Generally soft sponge rubber doesn't block well and tends to pop up. Yet this rubber seemed to block as well as the previous Juic Driva Smash Ultima, which has a good deal harder sponge.

When off the table, however Blackjack Platinum is the way to go. I can do fast loops, slow loops, vary arc and spin and put the ball away when I want to. For players who like to loop, especially a few steps back from the table and like to speed glue and hear the loud corking sound, I think Blackjack Platinum is an excellent choice. It is extremely light and seems more versatile than other soft sponge rubbers.

In my opinion this rubber is an upgrade to Joola Mambo rubber.