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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2012, 00:33 
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I tested the Giant Dragon Guard [Special; edit], 1.8mm, black on a Stiga Tube Defensive blade (FH LKT Pro XT 1.5). First of all this rubber should be renamed - it should be Dark Side of the Moon, as that is how it looks after a few minutes of play: full of impact-dents that don't go away (not even when I am writing this, an hour later). I wonder if this is legal...

The topsheet is very thick, with flat thick pips in, and enough tack to collect dust. It is also brilliant black, shiny. The sponge is pink, porous, and similar to that of Dawei Grass 20: press a fingernail in it and the indenture won't go away anymore. Quality seems fine to me, this rubber may be very durable (apart from the dents).

It plays much like other grippy, soft-sponged anti's - slow, simple, reliable, and prone to bottoming out. Control is very high with this anti; speed is similar to Tibhar Ellen Def (which is close to the slowest anti's around).

Passive strokes are more or less ineffective. There is no spin-reversal; the rubber neutralizes incoming spin and produces a dead ball. It is not very sensitive to spin, not even side-spin; nor to speed, which it absorbs, except when balls are coming in very fast - then the sponge is so soft the ball will bottom out and drop off your bat.

Active blocks: you can return literally every ball and place it with ease. You can't punch hard, or the ball will bottom out. Blocking softly will put the ball closely behind the net.

Chop-blocks: adds quite a bit of (back)spin, easy to control, but you have to be careful with very fast loops - it is better to make a full chop with those.

Push: not brilliant... the only really weak side. The sponge is so soft it will grip the ball even if you don't want it to, so there is almost no reversal and pushing/pressing against backspin will result in very little topspin, so the ball will not drop fast. If you want to attack backspin, it is best done with flicks or sidesweeps, really helping the spin on.

Counterdrive: easy and can be quite fast - fast enough to win the point when the opponent is slightly oput position. No reversal. But you can put some topspin on the ball, as the sponge grips it very well.

Loop: can be done, takes an effort, produces a bit of topspin. You can actually lift dropping balls, but there will be little speed and spin on them, so if the opponent knows his business he'll kill them.

Flicks: easier than with most anti's on account of the soft sponge - as I said before, it grips the ball well and makes it easy to guide it.

Chops: ahhh... The sponge is so soft that you should chop going under the ball; this way you will grip it and be able to add quite a bit of spin to the incoming rotation, producing very heavy backspin. The ball will stay very, very low over the net, too, as it is easy to drag it down with this sponge.

All in all a more than decent allround antispin rubber, very good for chopping at medium and long distance, and cheap. The only thing that bothers me is the denting...

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012, 04:38 
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I e-mailed Mark Koehler of ttdd.de (where I bought the rubber) about the dimples; that they did not interfere with the properties of the rubber as far as I could see, but that there was a real possibility that umpires would rule the rubber illegal, so it should be mentioned in the description of the rubber.
He answered that having dimples would happen to every rubber mounted on a dampening sponge, regardless of brand.
I returned that even so it would be no trouble at all to mention it...

Personally, I don't feel comfortable with his answer.

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012, 09:48 
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Nice review Kees! :clap:

I guess the dents would be a lot more obvious in the 1.8mm version, whereas most people have only tried the thinner version so it would not have been so obvious (like me ;) .

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012, 15:23 
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The dents should occur only in the version with the 1.2 and 1.8 mm dampening sponge, not in the version with 0.4 and 0.8 mm ordinary sponge.

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012, 17:04 
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Ahh, so it's the Guard Special that you're referring to here?

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012, 19:19 
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haggisv wrote:
Ahh, so it's the Guard Special that you're referring to here?
yes. Same topsheet, different sponge.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 05:34 
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Kees wrote:
haggisv wrote:
Ahh, so it's the Guard Special that you're referring to here?
yes. Same topsheet, different sponge.

Are you sure top sheet is the same?

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 06:07 
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Slick wrote
Quote:
Are you sure top sheet is the same?
Well... Every shop states it as a fact (spinfactory.de, schuett-sport.de, sporteurope.nl, tabletennisshop.com.au...). The difference is in the kind of sponge and the resulting speed (Guard is somewhat slower than Guard Special) or that is what is maintained.
But there is some reason to suspect things are slightly more complex. According to spinfactory.de the Guard comes in 0.4, 0.8, 1.2 and 1.8 mm. The Guard Special comes in 0.6, 1.2, 1.8 mm. As I understood from ttdd.de, the thickness 0.4 and 0.8 are "normal" chinese sponges, 1.2 and 1.8 are dampeningsponges; I know for a fact that 1.8 with Guard Special is a dampeningsponge; I suspect 0.6 with the Special is a "normal" sponge. But my only source for the differencde in the sponges is ttdd.de, as this fact (perhaps...) isn't mentioned on the other sites :swear: .
I guess Haggisv could solve this for us...

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 06:17 
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Yes I'm sure Kees is right... Although I only tried one of them, the topsheets of both looked and felt the same.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 16:41 
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I wonder if the Guard in 1.2 and 1.8 is attached to the exact same sponge as the Special in 1.2 and 1.8?

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 21:49 
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All the guard have the same spongeas each other, and all the Guard Specials have the same sponge as each other. The regular guard does not come in 1.8mm form memory, but goes down to 0.4mm

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 22:09 
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haggisv wrote:
All the guard have the same spongeas each other, and all the Guard Specials have the same sponge as each other. The regular guard does not come in 1.8mm form memory, but goes down to 0.4mm


Spinfactory.de has Guard in 0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.8 mm:

Quote:
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard rot 0.4mm Giant Dragon Guard rot 0.4mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard rot 0.8mm Giant Dragon Guard rot 0.8mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard rot 1.2mm Giant Dragon Guard rot 1.2mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard rot 1.8mm Giant Dragon Guard rot 1.8mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard schwarz 0.4mm Giant Dragon Guard schwarz 0.4mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard schwarz 0.8mm Giant Dragon Guard schwarz 0.8mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard schwarz 1.8mm Giant Dragon Guard schwarz 1.8mm 16.90EUR


and Guard Special in 0.6, 1.2 and 1.8 mm:

Quote:
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard Special rot 0.6mm Giant Dragon Guard Special rot 0.6mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard Special rot 1.2mm Giant Dragon Guard Special rot 1.2mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard Special rot 1.8mm Giant Dragon Guard Special rot 1.8mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard Special schwarz 0.6mm Giant Dragon Guard Special schwarz 0.6mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard Special schwarz 1.2mm Giant Dragon Guard Special schwarz 1.2mm 16.90EUR
Produkt direkt in den Warenkorb legen Guard Special schwarz 1.8mm Giant Dragon Guard Special schwarz 1.8mm 16.90EUR



My surmise was that only the 1.2 and 1.8 mm sponges are dampening sponges, as a thinner sponge of that kind would make little sense. Now I'm confused... :?:

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 22:14 
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Well this is what's in GD's catalogue, which is what I was going by:


Attachments:
guard.jpg
guard.jpg [ 38.76 KiB | Viewed 4065 times ]

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 22:21 
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:sweat: :^) :sweat: Now my guess is Guard in 1.2 and 1.8 is identical with Guard Special in 1.2 and 1.8... :devil:

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2012, 22:25 
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The different sponges have different package. It's been consistant from what I've seen.

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