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Spintech Dynasty Platinum Rubber  Review

                                                          

 

 

Spintech Dynasty Platinum Review

Unleash Your Power

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT. Most excited I’ve been about a new table tennis rubber since I got my first sheet of Sriver!

EQUIPMENT. Spintech 9th Wonder blade, Dynasty Platinum (max thickness sponge), freshly glued.

SPEED GLUING… NO “BIG TOP” REQUIRED. I have used several of the Spintech line of rubber sheets over the past two years, and my initial impression with speed gluing them is always the same. Specifically, with the surprising exception of the original Dynasty, they don’t seem to provide that “big dome” effect some other sponges exhibit. Well, this Dynasty Platinum does not dome “big” either, but it just don’t matter! As I’ll describe in following paragraphs, the lack of dome height doesn’t seem to affect DP’s speed, spin, and playability. That’s not to say that DP’s characteristics would not change if unglued… I’m sure they would, just as with other rubber. However, I can’t imagine why anyone WOULD NOT speed glue with this stuff, given the fabulous qualities DP displays with a fresh glue job! Glue effect lasts a sufficient length of time (nominally 3-4 hours). Keep in mind that different glues may provide slightly higher or lower dome height and provide longer glue effect.

SERVING… GET A GRIP! The Spintech website talks of DP’s long dwell time, and it seems to be true. As a result, serving is not the touchy affair you might expect with such a fast rubber. Some might describe the top sheet as “sticky,” but that term smacks more of a Chinese Globe 999. Instead, I’d call DP’s top sheet “grippy,” which means it clearly “grips” a clean finger pulled across its surface. Contrast that to the Globe’s “sticky” surface with which you can pick up a ball on an inverted blade. Hope that makes sense… Anyway, don’t be surprised if your first serve goes into the net, but don’t be alarmed either. Why? Because in this phase of what I’ll call the “short game,” DP is very well behaved, due to what I’ll call its “low gear.” By that I mean, you need not be shy about applying goodly amounts of blade force to spin it up on serves. Matter of fact, if you just forget this is a power rubber, your serves get better, then quickly become exceptionally spinney.

PUSHING, CHOPPING, AND SMUG THOUGHTS. The same “low gear” described above means the friendliest pushes of any power rubber I’ve ever tried – and I’ve tried them all. However, with DP I myself pushing less and less, since both the rubber and 9th Wonder continually beg me to flip, loop over the table, or just let ‘er drop and “go for greatness.” All kidding aside, when I got a chance to chop hard, the ultra spinney top sheet forces numerous in-the-net returns by opponents, prompting most to look at their blades in bewilderment. Now tell me truthfully… isn’t that a wonderful smug feeling?

COUNTERING WITH BARRY BONDS. Let me define “countering” as the transition game. I mean, most points at or above the intermediate level go from short serve to a push or two, then “transition” to topspin, at-the-table counters, then (perhaps) to a mid-distance Barry Bonds vs. Alex Rodriquez looping slugfest… Got it? Anyway, DP is happy to shift to its “mid gears” at this phase, allowing you to feel you are always in control and “in the point.” I’ll term the feeling of the rubber “friendly” and “in check” here. But, like a thoroughbred biding his time on the backstretch, DP is ready to pick up the pace it at any moment. The best thing is, when combined with the 9W, you don’t have to “swing for the moon” to get the ball back with considerable pace! NOTE: see my write-up on the 9th Wonder on the Spintech website.

HITTING AND “BABY BEAR’S PORRIDGE”. I’m the world’s worst “hitter”… or used to be. Somehow DP’s medium-low throw top sheet combines with a sponge hardness that is “just right” to convey a new sense of control over where those flat hits and picks go. It is tough to get “down to the wood,” but, surprisingly, the ball seems to linger in the depths of the sponge. However, when the orange orb leaves, buddy, it leaves right now! Lookout, Goldilocks… I’ve got a new stroke!

BLOCKING THE FREIGHT TRAIN. My buddy Dave and I try to work a few drills every week, and our last practice called for some looping to blocking work. Now I consider blocking a skill that must be honed, and I recognize that different blades can make a huge difference in how the block is done. However, with the DP it sure seemed like I was able to return Dave’s freight train loops easier than ever before, due I believe to the aforementioned grippy top sheet and the medium soft, springy sponge. Loosen your grip on the handle, and the rubber “down shifts” to its lower gears described earlier, allowing for slow, short returns. Keep your normal grip and direct the ball, and DP shifts a gear or two higher, putting it right where you aimed – at the speed of heat! Bottom line is I now have much better control over my blocks… which puts me in control of the point, not the guy cranking 75 mph loop drives at the other end of the table. FWIW… I have never believed ANYBODY can hit a ball 100 mph!

LOOPING AND MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS: Ever drive a really expensive sports car with a stick shift? Remember that crisp “snick” sound as you went from gear to gear? That’s pretty close to the sound a freshly glued sheet of DP makes – at least on my 9W. So what, you say… Well, that audible “click” announces to your opponent that the ball you just looped from six feet back will zing past him about one eye blink after the sound itself arrives at his end of the table. Oh yeah, baby… this is the “turbo gear” we’ve all been looking for! Getting on top of the ball and stroking with decent technique seems to provide a logarithmic increase in speed and accompanying spin. In other words, in this top gear DP seems to give back more speed and spin than you would expect from the force and velocity of your stroke. So how fast is it? “As fast or faster than Bryce” is a phrase I think everyone can relate to. Fine… However, no Bryce ball EVER carried the amount of spin DP provides, noticeably pulling your loops down and under the blade of your wildly swinging opponent. More importantly, no Bryce ball was ever launched with the confidence DP provides when you really crank on it. After only a short time hitting with it, you are simply SURE that every loop is going to land! When’s the last time you felt like that while hitting back where the “big kids” play?

FORGIVE ME, FATHER, FOR I HAVE OVERSPENT. I admit it… I’m the guy at the local club who is always buying the newest piece of equipment that promises the very latest in technological innovation (I keep hoping it will a cure three decades of bad habits at the table). I have dropped a small fortune over the years, searching for the perfect combination of speed, spin, and control in a sheet of table tennis rubber (not to mention blades!). Guess I could say that’s one reason I bought the Dynasty Platinum, since it is new and has advertised ratings at the high end of all those aforementioned specifications. Well, I must say that DP exceeded my expectations, and that has happened with only one other sheet of rubber – that first sheet of Sriver! In other words, I absolutely love this Dynasty Platinum!

BOTTOM LINE, REEALY! I’ve told you DP is reealy fast… I’ve explained that DP is reealy spinney… I’ve done my best to describe that DP is reealy controllable for such a powerful rubber… I’ve tried to make it clear that DP reealy has lots of gears… So, I’m hoping all my pontificating has persuaded you to order a sheet and try it for yourself (and no, Michael still isn’t paying me for saying that!). You say you aren’t willing to part with the cash, just ‘cause I say you should? Well, then mention my comments to the guy in your club who always buys the new stuff, then try his DP for just five minutes… I’m betting you’ll have your own sheet(s) the next week! Reealy!