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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2009, 06:15 
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In this review, i'll be comparing the Nittaku Narucross Ex Hard 2.2mm to Joola Express Two 2.0mm, as FH rubbers.

Background:

For a while now, i've been playing with Express, on both sides of my blade. I feel that Express 1, on an all wood blade like W-6, serves me best as a BH rubber, and i still feel this way. Blocking and counter-hitting is a breeze, and sharp/flat loops down the BH line have become so much easier.

The Express 2, in the FH, also provided me with incredible stability in terms of blocking and counter-hitting. Express is by far the best rubber i've tried for this, no doubt. Both rubbers are incredible for short-play because of their hardness.

However, when being forced around the court, to the point where you need to stretch yourself to your limits to reach a ball, i was finding it hard to perform FH loops that weren't simply acts of desperation, but would allow me to get back into the point with a decent trajectory and lots of spin. Because of the speed/elasticity/hardness of the express, performing loops from that angle became extremely hard. So i began looking for something else that would allow me to improve that part of my game, well knowing that i'd be sacrificing some consistency in blocking/counter-hitting.

Nittaku Narucross Ex Hard 2.2mm:

I'm usually not a big fan of 2,2mm sponges, but i found this lying around at my local TT-store, and i couldn't stand for it lying there by it's lonesome. (I also got a sheet of Renaros Bright 2.2mm, that i'll be testing at some point).

Initial impressions

Topsheet - excellent quality. The tackiest new-tech rubber i've tried/seen. The nittaku protective sheet almost appeared to be wet, when i applied it to the rubber.

Image

The pips aren't immediately visible like they are on certain other rubbers, because it's tackier.

(Express 1)
Image

(Narucross Ex Hard)
Image

Image

Rolling the ball around on the surface, you can feel the friction. Bouncing the ball, you can feel the crispy innards begging to come into play. Even at 2,2mm, you sense that it's somewhat slower than the Express 2 2mm, but the Express is by nature more explosive. Didn't come as a surprise to me.

Hardness - It feels about the same as the Express 2.

How does it play?

Blocking/counterhitting - The first thing i wanted to do, was to test it against the Express 2, because it's so brilliant at 2mm. The narucross seemed to lack the same crisp and consistent bounce, but it's by no means shabby. It keeps you on your toes because of the 2.2mm sponge combined with the hardness. You need to be a bit more active in your strokes which begs precision in execution. It's still a great blocking/counter-hitting rubber, and i'm definately going to keep it for further testing.

Looping - This is where it gets interesting. Brush looping is easier due to the tackier topsheet and slightly slower speed. Getting some crazy spinny angles on your FH loops is easier aswell, because of the exact same criteria. It seems to prefer a chinese style of looping. I was able to squeezy some power out of my loops that i didn't have the confidence to do with the Express, which isn't as forgiving. Narucross now offers me some increased stability in that department.

When chasing those balls at crazy angles, as i mentioned was one of my goals for this rubber, i was able , in full stretch, to put the ball back on the table with lots of spin and low trajectory, allowing me time to get back into the points. Big thumbs up.

Counter-looping - Excellent. There's alot of control in this rubber away from the table, i feel. Decent speed coupled with great spin and control will have you putting balls on the table for a long time. Counter-looping away from the table is mostly about keeping the ball in play, and the narucross offered some great improvements over the Express Two, i felt. Close to the table, i still feel the Express Two has the edge.

Smashing - As i've said earlier, it's a bit slower than the express, but it still packs quite a punch. I do prefer to twiddle my blade and smash with the more seemingly more powerful Express 1.

Conclusion

This one i'm keeping. On an all wood blade it provides some excellent play in every aspect of the game, while not being overly fast/bouncy. Adjusting to a more chinese style of looping, i felt it provided me with faster loops than ever. On odd angles, it provided me with a weapon to get back into the points. Hardness/speed allows for spinny and short services. I'll have to do some more testing, but right now i have nothing negative to say about it. Since it's made in germany, there may be durability issues but i'll get to that.

It didn't quite stack up to Express 2 in terms of blocking/counter hitting, but what's the difference between brilliant and more brilliant? It's not much.

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BT777 / Narucross Ex Hard 2.2 / Express One 2.0


Last edited by zrrbiteDK on 28 Feb 2009, 17:07, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2009, 14:48 
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Very nice review ZrrbiteDK! You're stirring my inner EJ! :twisted:

I think seeing the pimples on the Express 2 is easier mainly cos its translucent red, while the Nittaku is black! :wink:

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I'm always in the dark, but the Dark sheds lights upon everything!! :twisted: Beauty is only pimple deep! Beauty is in the eye of the pipholder!
S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
S/U 2: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Hexer+ 2.1 . BH Red GD Talon
S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2009, 15:13 
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nice review ... thanks so much

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2009, 17:02 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Very nice review ZrrbiteDK! You're stirring my inner EJ! :twisted:

I think seeing the pimples on the Express 2 is easier mainly cos its translucent red, while the Nittaku is black! :wink:


You're right, to a point :) We're actually looking at the Express 1, and i have the Express 2 in black, where the pips are also visibile (altho not as much as on the express 1).

The topsheet of the narucross just seems so...dense. Like liquoriche. I almost want to take a bite out of it. It looks so delicious!

parhelia9 wrote:
nice review ... thanks so much


You're welcome!

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BT777 / Narucross Ex Hard 2.2 / Express One 2.0


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2009, 18:29 
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Yes wery nice review,thanks

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2009, 07:50 
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I used to accused of being a Nittaku Pimp. Your review is cool, but I promised myself to never buy Nittaku rubbers until they drop 60 percent in price. It is so fun to try stuff out and review it for your internet friends.

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2009, 16:47 
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Der_Echte wrote:
I used to accused of being a Nittaku Pimp. Your review is cool, but I promised myself to never buy Nittaku rubbers until they drop 60 percent in price. It is so fun to try stuff out and review it for your internet friends.


Nittaku pimp, hah. Yes, it is indeed fun to try out stuff and review it for friends. I probably wouldn't even have bought these rubbers on a hunch, if they hadn't been so cheap. My local store don't import nittaku at all, not rubbers nor blades, but the retailer they import from sometimes gives them a box of random rubbers they can sell off, to test whether or not theres a market for it or not.

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BT777 / Narucross Ex Hard 2.2 / Express One 2.0


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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2009, 20:49 
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Count Darkula
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Joined: 01 Dec 2007, 15:07
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Blade: Bty Gergely T5000
FH: TSP Regalis Blue Max
BH: Tibhar Grass Dtecs
Wow, I like the sound of your retailer ZBK.

I also like the sound of someone developing a TT rubber made of licorice, so that when its no good for TT anymore, you cane eat it off your bat!! :wink: :lol: :lol: Maybe the sponge could be Bubblegum! :D :lol:

_________________
I'm always in the dark, but the Dark sheds lights upon everything!! :twisted: Beauty is only pimple deep! Beauty is in the eye of the pipholder!
S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
S/U 2: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Hexer+ 2.1 . BH Red GD Talon
S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
Aussie Table Tennis Shop / Aussie Table Tennis Facebook Page / Equipment Review Index / Read my Reb Report Blog: click here.


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