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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2019, 03:59 
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Just received a red sheet of Firestorm Soft.

The sponge is bright yellow and at least as soft as the Waran's.
The pimples are conical, smaller and I'd say a little shorter than the Waran's. They also feel softer.

Looking forward to trying it out tonight!


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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2019, 05:28 
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ziv wrote:
Just received a red sheet of Firestorm Soft.

The sponge is bright yellow and at least as soft as the Waran's.
The pimples are conical, smaller and I'd say a little shorter than the Waran's. They also feel softer.

Looking forward to trying it out tonight!


In 1.8mm? Probably the best option if the sponge is indeed soft as 1.5mm could bottom out.

Your comparison against Waran will be interesting especially re how low the ball skids on blocks and drives i.e. what they seem to all call disruptive effect. I like Waran on the BH for attacking but it can be difficult to block hard shots short i.e. take pace off the ball.

It might seem a bit too lively on first go due to the heavily boosted sponge.


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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2019, 05:43 
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ChasFox wrote:
ziv wrote:
Just received a red sheet of Firestorm Soft.

The sponge is bright yellow and at least as soft as the Waran's.
The pimples are conical, smaller and I'd say a little shorter than the Waran's. They also feel softer.

Looking forward to trying it out tonight!


In 1.8mm? Probably the best option if the sponge is indeed soft as 1.5mm could bottom out.

Your comparison against Waran will be interesting especially re how low the ball skids on blocks and drives i.e. what they seem to all call disruptive effect. I like Waran on the BH for attacking but it can be difficult to block hard shots short i.e. take pace off the ball.

It might seem a bit too lively on first go due to the heavily boosted sponge.

Yes, in 1.8 mm.

Just bouncing a ball on the racket showed that Firestorm is spinnier than the Waran (which was surprising to me as Firestorm's pimples have smooth tops) and indeed livelier. The latter is probably not surprising as my sheet of Waran is about 7-8 months old and has lost a lot of its booster properties.

I'll see how it plays tonight and will post my impressions.


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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2019, 11:00 
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pip orientation?


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PostPosted: 16 Mar 2019, 17:37 
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Firestorm pimples are horizontal so soft should be the same.


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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2019, 01:09 
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Yes, the pimples are horizontally aligned.

I played with Firestorm Soft for about 2 hours yesterday. My impression is controversial but I'm not going to give up on it yet.
I lost to the people that normally beat me. However, they seemed to have more trouble than usual with my blocks. It looks like that, compared to the Waran, the FS produces flatter ("skimming"?) blocks that are harder to deal with.
I found that pushes are a little bit more spinny than with the Waran. Again, my opponents seemed to have more trouble than usual lifting them.
Attacks, on the other hand, were very difficult for me. It might be that I was just off with the BH attacks (it happens) but I think that's because the FS is so soft that it bottoms out on virtually every stroke. My feeling was like I was hitting with the bare blade - in fact, one of my opponents asked me if I was using OX pips because of the distinctive sound the FS makes.

To summarize: the FS feels softer than even the Waran and bottoms out really easily. This seems to make my blocks somewhat more dangerous for the opponents, but the attacking shots harder to implement for me.
The FS is definitely spinnier than the Waran (at least compared to my sheet that has probably worn out to some extent); perhaps it requires more brushing shots when attacking?


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2019, 02:17 
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Unless this sponge is unusually soft, it's usually quite difficult to bottom out sponge with BH stokes. Is it possible that it's just really corky, i.e. a loud rubber?! Very soft sponges are often loud like this, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're bottoming out. As far as brushing with SP, you shouldn't need to do that unless you're deliberately trying to introduce spin variations. SP's strong suit is flat-hit balls that arrive on a beeline without any topspin to help your opponent lift their return over the net. Watch some Mima Ito videos on Youtube to get an idea of this. Of course, these are also the most difficult strokes to deliver, so less elite players like us tend to strike a balance between safety/success and the beeline drive. For me, the most rewarding SP drive is one that's so fast and spinless that my opponent hits it onto their side of the table first, as if they were serving. :devil:


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2019, 02:58 
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nathanso wrote:
Unless this sponge is unusually soft, it's usually quite difficult to bottom out sponge with BH stokes. Is it possible that it's just really corky, i.e. a loud rubber?! Very soft sponges are often loud like this, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're bottoming out. As far as brushing with SP, you shouldn't need to do that unless you're deliberately trying to introduce spin variations. SP's strong suit is flat-hit balls that arrive on a beeline without any topspin to help your opponent lift their return over the net. Watch some Mima Ito videos on Youtube to get an idea of this. Of course, these are also the most difficult strokes to deliver, so less elite players like us tend to strike a balance between safety/success and the beeline drive. For me, the most rewarding SP drive is one that's so fast and spinless that my opponent hits it onto their side of the table first, as if they were serving. :devil:

The sponge is indeed very-very soft, softer than the Waran's, the softest I've ever seen (although I am no fan of soft rubbers).

I understand what you're talking about, and my BH strokes naturally aren't brushing. But when I hit the ball with the FS, the feeling is like there's no rubber at all, like a bare blade. I haven't had this feeling with any other rubber. With the Waran, you may feel something similar when blocking a really hard topspin shot, but with the FS it's almost every shot.


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2019, 05:28 
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I'd say the only short pips I've had that had a sponge that felt softer than Firestorm Soft was Dr Neubauer Pistol 2.

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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2019, 05:39 
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dwruck wrote:
I'd say the only short pips I've had that had a sponge that felt softer than Firestorm Soft was Dr Neubauer Pistol 2.

Could you compare Pistol 2 to FS and Waran?


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PostPosted: 21 Mar 2019, 05:50 
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Pistol 2 didn't suit my game at all. It felt like a very dead rubber to me, like it was meant more for a classic style blocking/hitting game. I couldn't get any spin out of it at all, and because the sponge was so soft, I wasn't getting a lot of speed either. Maybe a more experienced short pips user would get more out of it, but it was too slow and flat for my taste.

Waran can give a little spin (definitely more than Pistol 2) and was faster than Pistol 2. On blocks, Waran is very good, sending a fast, sliding pace back. With Pistol 2, it was more of a slower, dead ball. Maybe Pistol 2 would work better as a blocking/hitting backhand rubber. Waran is, to me, more of a forehand rubber. Pistol 2 was lighter than Waran, not that Waran was heavy, just Pistol 2 felt relatively light to me.

Firestorm Soft, the sponge is softer than the Waran, but not slow like the Pistol 2. Spin wise, there is no comparison. I was getting almost as much spin on forehand shots as you can get with moderately spinny inverted. Despite the softer sponge, I felt like hits still had enough pace to be dangerous for an opponent. Having the ability to change between spinny shots and flatter hits is something that I find interesting. I find the throw of Firestorm Soft to be a little higher than Waran. Probably the closest short pip on my forehand that I've tried recently is TSP Spinpips Red. That is also spinny, but not quite as spinny as Firestorm Soft. But, the sponge of Spinpips Red is much harder. So if you like a more firm feel and want to spin the ball a bit, you'd prefer Spinpips Red.

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PostPosted: 22 Mar 2019, 17:01 
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dwruck wrote:
Had a fun time at the tournament yesterday. Was a giant round robin format and I was ranked 7th out of 8 guys, so playing mostly guys rated above me. Early on I started with the Waran II, thinking the harder sponge would be more necessary against the better players. But the fact was, I just couldn't control it against their shots. So I switched back to the softer Waran and started playing better and better as the day went along. After only winning 1 game out of my first five matches, I won my last two matches (one against a player above me, one against the player below), both 3-0. I stopped thinking technically about my forehand stroke and just played with feel, and started hitting some very good, well controlled forehand shots. Blocking with the softer sponge was much easier, and I could counter attack better. Earlier in the day players were going after my forehand as they could tell I was struggling. By the end, they were staying away from it, which worked well for me because I really like the ORKan on the backhand. Without swinging hard I felt like I was able to get decent enough speed with more spin than I expected. Had one opponent notice how often the ball was hitting his finger when trying to block my forehand shots, as I was getting more sidespin than he expected. I've still got a long ways to go, but considering I was able to play to my current rating with a setup I've only been using maybe 7 or 8 times prior to the tournament, with a completely different stroke on the forehand, this is very encouraging. I will be sticking with the regular Waran 2.0 mm sponge on my forehand for a while.
On a side note, it was fun to see a short pips penhold player in my group. His rating was in the mid 1900s and he took second place, and even beat the top seed, who was rated over 2200. He used Victas VO>101 very effectively. The amount of spin that he was able to vary on spins gave a lot of people trouble, and his flat hits would end points consistently.



I find hard to think about a penhold player with v101 the rubber has low control but I d want to see how he plays.whats his name?


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PostPosted: 22 Mar 2019, 21:52 
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His name is Keigo Yamagami, just under 2000 USATT. Had never seen him before that tournament.

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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2019, 11:39 
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dwruck wrote:
Hi ChasFox, my Waran sheets have the more recent batch that you describe. I've learned to do soft loops against under spin with it, but against dead balls or top spin balls trying any sort of spin-type stroke is not possible. I do like that I can return a soft loop with a bit of top spin against just about any amount of under spin, as heavy under spin used to give me a lot of trouble. I might have to try the Firestorm soft. Also interested in trying the Victas VO>102 as I've read a lot of good things. I do have a blade with the TSP Spinpips Red on it. As others have noted, it is very different from Waran, quite spinny and sponge is faster. It also feels quite a bit heavier to me. I almost forgot, I also have a sheet of Globe 889-2 sitting around to try.
EDIT: Ordered a sheet of Firestorm Soft today!


Can anyone confirm that firestorm soft has the same disturbance of waran? Who is using ax now?

889-2 with soft sponge is like 102 with more control and slower but less reactive


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PostPosted: 27 Dec 2019, 02:43 
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bbkon wrote:
Can anyone confirm that firestorm soft has the same disturbance of waran?

I'd say that the Firestorm Soft has very little, if any, disturbance.
It is very spinny, and the topsheet is even tacky - I think it was able to lift the ball. However, I found the FS to be very blade sensitive - for me, it was playable on only one of my blades, the Sanwei Fextra.


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