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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 15:37 
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Hi guys,

This is my first real review on OOAK, so please take it with a grain of salt. I've been playing with the Spinpips Red over the past 4-5 months after moving from 802-40 which I have used for many years. A quest to find a "crisper hitting" Spinpip/802-40 replacement has led me to Spinlord Waran. I'll be following the rubber review pro-forma posted a few years back.

1. The reviewer:

Penhold short-pips attacker, prefer thick sponged spinny short pips with reasonable ability to loop and atleast try to keep attacking initiative. I never prioritized sink, float, deception etc.

From online reviews and extensive youtube videos, the Waran has a reputation of "the fastest, most aggressive attacking short pips available", right up my alley! Thus understandably, my expectations were rather high.

I've had the chance to hit the red 2.0mm sponge version on a number of 7-ply, 5-ply, and composite blades.


Direct comparisons will be made with: Spinpips Red (2-2.1mm), 802-40 (lettuce 38 deg, 2.2mm), 802 (Mystery III "hard", 2.1), and 729 Legend 105 (34 deg, 1.9mm), which were all once used on the same blades. I have used many other pips in the past, but as I don't have them on-hand for direct comparison, will not be mentioned.

2. Physical Properties:

Very clear, deep translucent red topsheet on a bright yellow-orangish sponge. The molding quality of Waran is so far the best I've seen (amongst short pips) with consistent pimple textures throughout, well done!

Topsheet Hardness: Advertised as "rather hard", relatively I would say medium soft (802>802-40>Legend 105>Waran>Spinpips Red). Just slightly ahead of Spinpips, but far softer than Chinese cooked pips, softer still vs 105 which is considered raw.

Sponge Hardness: Very very very soft, may be the softest of any rubber I've tried to date. 802>802-40>Legend 105=Spinpips Red>Waran

Pimple Structure: Relatively low, medium width, fairly tightly packed. Pips geometry is similar to Spinpips red, but more closely packed together. Much smaller than 802-40.

3. Speed:

On light bouncing, the Waran is fairly springy and with a crisp feel (Yes!), however, it is not as bouncy as I expected, the Spinpips Red seems faster on all gears. Nevertheless, Waran much faster than any other Chinese pips (yes, Waran is made in China) and sufficient for any attacking style.

In play, the speed limitations are further apparent. Because of the very soft sponge, bottoming out is detected even on moderate impact. I won't say bottoming out is a bad thing, as I've been used to 802-40 bottoming out as well which is partially responsible for the crisp, responsive feedback. With the Spinpips Red, I felt "mushy" partially because of how hard it was to hit bottom with that thing! I had to use a full swing and wrist snap at optimal timing in order to bottom out the Spinpips! Nevertheless, I felt the Waran bottomed out too easily and atleast psychologically means its slower than the Spinpips (both on smashing and overall play).

Speed ranking: Spinpips Red>Waran>105>802-40>802.

4. Spin:

With densely packed pimples and fairly high friction material, the Waran is capable of significant spin compared to traditional short pips, however, not as much as I would expected for a spin-oriented pips.

On serves, the high surface friction gives enough for very spinny starts. Ranking: 802-40>Spinpips Red>Waran>105>802

On opening loops/drives, the Waran is less effective. While medium-high spin is possible, the very soft sponge results in a very low throw angle and attacking window (arc) is noticeably smaller than my other pips. In this area, the Spinpips Red really shines, while softer and less grippy than the 802-40, the Spinpips topsheet+sponge combo really comes alive during looping, making it perhaps the best looping pips I've tried to date. Other members have mentioned that it's hard to get lift from Waran, and I concur, Waran is not an effective looping rubber. Nevertheless, sufficient spin is possible on topspin drives albeit with a very flat arc. Ranking on topspin attacks: Spinpips Red=802-40>Waran=105>802.

Blocking is excellent! While having a slower top-end speed, the active blocking speed from Waran is atleast on par with the Spinpips Red. Slightly less spin sensitivity and crisp feedback also gives me a lot of confidence to be more active with placement while blocking. While 802-40 and Spinpips red have a hard time keeping down heavy spin loops, the Waran seems immune, almost like classic pips.

5. Control:

Subjective. I find Spinpips Red and 802-40 more controllable while attacking (higher grip, less slip/net balls, more arc etc) and the Waran more controllable on the passive game. If a ball is high enough, you can smash with anything, but if you want to nit-pick, Waran has a slight edge on smashing placement.

6. Other Playing properties:

In my opinion, the Waran is an excellent block and smash rubber. However, with less capabilities in topspin "starters" it is harder to reach the smashing phase. Thus, while fast, I would rate it as an effective counter-attacking rubber, but not an "aggressive" attacking rubber.

Despite being not perfect for my playing style, I do appreciate the "build quality", great mix of moderate high speed and crisp feedback (I really really really really really like my pips crispy!). For classic pips out hitters looking for a little more speed while keeping effective blocks, the Waran is perfect. For shakehand backhands that don't need a rubber to both loop and smash, this is excellent. If you are more of an active attacker, then look for something with more topspining qualities.

On blade paring, I believe classic 7-plies are more of a match than composite. Waran brings out the best of a woody "crack" on high impact while moderating the feel of bottoming out. I emphasize again that the Waran feels good!

Alas, my quest for a crispy, spinny, fast short pip continues! After playing with the Waran, I'm experiencing newfound appreciation for the Spinpips Red. The speed and spin capabilities of Red is astounding and perfectly suits my playing style. I can very very hesitantly overlook the lack of crispiness and stick to it for now. But… if anyone has recommendations for a rubber with similar characteristics as Red but with crispy feedback, please do share!


Last edited by lasta on 19 Nov 2018, 14:30, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2018, 00:36 
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Hey lasta, have you tried Waran II during your quest?


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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2018, 14:28 
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ziv wrote:
Hey lasta, have you tried Waran II during your quest?


Hi Ziv,

I haven't tried the Waran II yet. From the sound of it, harder sponge would solve some of the bottoming out issues and perhaps provide a more solid base for brush strokes. But the weight is throwing me off at the moment.

Right now, I've leaning towards Express Ultra, Hexer Pips Force, and Impartial XS.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2018, 23:06 
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lasta wrote:
I haven't tried the Waran II yet. From the sound of it, harder sponge would solve some of the bottoming out issues and perhaps provide a more solid base for brush strokes. But the weight is throwing me off at the moment.

It's understood that Waran II should be heavier than Waran due to the sponge hardness, but do you have the exact data on its weight?

lasta wrote:
Right now, I've leaning towards Express Ultra, Hexer Pips Force, and Impartial XS.

Will you be able to share your impressions about those rubbers once you try them out? Thanks!


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2018, 00:52 
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By all means, if and when I get them haha! And you as well, on the Waran II. :up:


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2018, 02:36 
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Although not great for looping due to the low throw you mention, Waran on the forehand is quite good at lifting back spin with a vertical motion and the low throw and grip makes it good for chopping.

Have you thought about SpinPips Blue which has the same top sheet as Red but a firmer sponge?


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2018, 01:52 
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lasta wrote:
By all means, if and when I get them haha! And you as well, on the Waran II. :up:

My part is done :)


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