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The Truth about Chinese Rubbers

I have many questions about “where to buy a real Chinese rubber?” and “what is the best Chinese rubber to buy”. Today, I want to explain what is the best table tennis rubber for you and some myths about the Chinese rubbers that top Chinese players use.

If you are using European rubbers, and want to change to Chinese rubbers, you should read this article. Ma Long is currently using the Boosted Hurricane 3 rubber (blue sponge).



Ma Long’s personal equipment

Ma Long is using DHS customized equipment. These blades and rubbers are not sold to the public. Ma Long’s equipment is explained here.

Ma Long equipment 2013~2015 (DHS 968-997)
Ma Long equipment 2013~2015 (DHS 968-997)


The Truth about Chinese Rubbers

Again, I want to say that the best table tennis rubber is the rubber that suits your playing style but not the rubber that the top players use. First, you won’t play better if Ma Long gives you his racket. Second, the rubber that the top Chinese players (such as Ma Long, Fan Zhendong) use is not the same rubber that you want to buy.

For example, the commercial DHS Hurricane 3 rubbers (black, 2.20 mm) that everybody can buy from the manufacturer has a medium-high throw angle. And most other products that will be sold abroad outside of China have the same property: a medium to high throw angle. These characteristics are confirmed by many testers.

Ma Long is gluing his own racket
Ma Long is gluing his own racket

The top Chinese players are sponsored by DHS company. And many people think that Ma Long uses the same product that the company sells to international buyers. However, it’s not true. Ma Long used a customized rubber that has a very low throw angle. So what you are seeking (buying a real hurricane 3) is totally different from the rubber that Ma Long uses.

To use Chinese rubber, you should use very strong and thick glue. Otherwise, it won’t work. Also, every top Chinese player uses a booster to tune their hard rubbers.

Thick layer of glue on Ma Long's forehand rubber
The thick layer of glue on Ma Long’s forehand rubber

Some dealers have tried to make a good business. They profit that table tennis players can pay much money just to get to the “real professional rubber” and hope to play better. They sell fake national rubber. All of these rubbers are stamped with the name of the top players and pretend to be his personal rubber (look at these photos). But they are not true! Top players are not allowed to sell their rubber to the public.



Myth 1 “Chinese rubber has high throw”

These are the proofs showing the characteristics of Ma Long’s rubber. Look at the real situations in the match, you can notice how a low throw angle of Ma Long’s rubbers.

Real Chinese table tennis rubber has a very low throw. To use the Chinese rubber, you must have a long and powerful stroke. The techniques are different from traditional techniques. You must “carry” and “wrap” the ball more forward. You can see that Ma Long has to “carry” the ball with his powerful Forehand topspin, but the ball goes just slightly over the net and drops right after. The ball is very linear but not curvy.



At the age of 10 in 1988 Ma Long represented his primary school and won the boy's singles and team event in the "Baby Cup", one of the biggest national kids tournaments in China.
At the age of 10 in 1988, Ma Long represented his primary school and won the boy’s singles and team event in the “Baby Cup”, one of the biggest national kids tournaments in China.

The top Chinese players are sponsored by DHS, it does not mean they will use the same equipment line-up on the market. Their rubber is different from commercial rubbers. There is a reason there because it’s very hard to use this type of rubber. If someone gives you the racket of Ma Long, you will feel that this racket is hard dead, not bouncy, and for you, it’s rubbish. But in the hand of Ma Long, it’s a deadly weapon.

So if someone says to you “hey, this Chinese rubber is amazing, very easy to topspin, the throw angle is high”. It’s possible these rubbers are for amateur players, but not for a professional ones. This is myth number 1 about Chinese rubbers.

Remember: Low throw Chinese rubbers has higher spin.

Qin Zhijian: Personal coach of Ma Long
Qin Zhijian: Personal coach of Ma Long


Myth 2 “Pro’s rubbers are expensive”

Myth number 2 is: You need an expensive racket to win. Some players don’t believe my advice because the Chinese racket I suggested was not expensive enough. “No thanks, I’m looking for something around 200$”. Your racket is only 50$.” There are many top young Chinese players at high-level play with rackets that cost less than 40$. Find a rubber that has the characteristics that you need. If it’s an expensive European or Japanese rubber, you can find something similar to a Chinese brand with similar quality but much cheaper.

Ma Long ready position
Ma Long’s forehand rubber has a very low throw. To loop kill the ball.


Myth 3 “No Shortcut in table tennis”

And finally, I want to say: don’t focus on the equipment. Get practicing. So, there is no shortcut in table tennis. Choose your own way of table tennis. Don’t copy the pro’s equipment if you don’t understand why they use them.

Ma Long national Hurricane 3 rubber with blue sponge
Ma Long national Hurricane 3 rubber with blue sponge

If you really want to use Chinese rubbers, learn the proper techniques first. In the next videos, I will explain why Ma Long prefers using 40.5 – 41 hardness rubber, while Zhang Jike prefers using a 39 hardness rubber.



Where to buy the real DHS Hurricane 3?

Where to buy the real Chinese table tennis rubber? What Rubber Ma Long uses? These are some questions that you search for? Today I will show you the Truth and some Myths about Chinese DHS rubbers.

Ma Long plays with a customized rubber and it has a very low throw angle. You should understand why the pro has chosen his equipment. Don’t just copy their equipment (blade and rubber). Ma Long has a reason to pick his best equipment. And this equipment maybe won’t suit your playing style.


Watch this video: the truth about Chinese rubbers | Ma Long forehand rubber

The truth about Chinese rubber
Watch this video: The truth about Chinese rubber – ma Long forehand rubber

Where to buy real Chinese table tennis rubber? How to identify fake Chinese rubbers. Should you buy the personal Ma Long DHS Hurricane rubber.

Beijing official DHS store opposite to the China National Ping Pang Training Center
Beijing official DHS store opposite the China National Ping Pang Training Center

Here is a shop in Beijing where you can buy legit DHS products.

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

37 thoughts on “The Truth about Chinese Rubbers”

  1. Hallo EmRatThich,

    Ich habe vor mir Hurricane 3 Neo (Commercial) Beläge zu spielen.
    Die Beläge haben auf den Seiten des Schwames ein Art Klebeschicht.
    Ist es eine werksbooster oder nur Kleber (ist er VOC frei?).
    Ich habe vor den Belag mit Free Chack Pro II zu kleben, sollte ich vorher diese Schicht vom Belag entfernen?
    Welchen Nutzen hat diese vormontierte Schicht?

    Galaxis MTG

    Hello EmRatThich,

    I plan to play Hurricane 3 Neo (Commercial) rubbers.
    The rubbers have a kind of adhesive layer on the sides of the sponge.
    Is it a factory booster or just glue (is it VOC free?).
    I intend to glue the rubbers with Free Chack Pro II, should I remove this layer from the Sponge first?
    What is the use of this pre-assembled layer?

    Galaxis MTG

    Reply
    • Yes, I think that you need to remove this layer first.
      This is the pre-tuned NEO glue layer, I think.

  2. Aoa. Couch i am your big fan from PAKISTAN.
    And i have watched all of your youtube videos. And i have been benefitted a lot.

    I seek your help regarding this that i want to buy DHS Hurricane 2. But i don’t want to use booster.
    =Can i use DHS Hurricane 2 without booster??
    Kindly guide me. Thanks. ☺☺

    Reply
  3. Aoa. Couch i am your big fan from PAKISTAN.
    And i have watched all of your youtube videos. And i have been benefitted a lot.

    I seek your help regarding this that i want to buy DHS Hurricane 2. But i don’t want to use booster.
    =Can i use DHS Hurricane 2 without booster??
    Kindly guide me. Thanks. ☺☺

    Reply
  4. Ma long did not use HL5X, maybe w968-6 which IS equall structure but national quality. I speak with a lot chinese shops, we think that yet use w968

    Reply
  5. Ah the hl5 is fast with european and japanese rubbers , for chinese rubbers tune the rubbers mates. The feeling is perfect.
    When you need more speed maybe buy hl5 x

    Reply
  6. It is my personal opinión about the Ma long’s Blade and if you think about It, you understand It.
    DHS is a brand who search the marketing, It is a business. The w968 and other Blade with a similar name are the lab studies for create NEw Blades . Only is a name of the studies how butterfly tenergy 05 was not a true name of this rubber un the lab of butterfly. 05 was a Code of labs.
    Evident the ma long’s Blade is not commercial and It is personal created by DHS. Apparently its hurricane long 5. But It is’nt. The more similar and commercial of DHS’s Blade is hurricane long 5 x because simply see the speed and sound of the hits of la long. Maybe his Blade is outter and not inner carbón.
    Ma long use same personal Blade of lab dhs with more speed and more sound with carbón.
    For It, the more similar for structure and speed is the hl5 x and for the era Poly ball.
    But if you want feeling and control, buy the hl5 commercial not labs Blade expensive or hl5 x which is maybe too fast for you.
    Regarda

    Reply
  7. sir can you compare w968 and dhs long 5 blade please . i read a web site that they ask dhs company about there equipment and they said w968 is the lab version of long 5 . and they are not very different . i want you to make this clear please. and also say hello to your country *viet nam*

    Reply
    • Since nobody answered you i will. The DHS Long 5 its the mass production version (commercial), the W968 its the professional version made in the DHS Research Center(Lab) limited edition with better wood, finish, compression and glue for the domestic chinese professionals (Provincial and National Teams) also they measure the properties of the blades and classifies them again in different qualities and prices according to the measurements in: practice and competition blades. There is a Provincial (2mm smaller, harder, less flexible 158×152) and National version(2mm bigger, softer, more dwelly and flexible, 160×152), the national its better for blocking and countering, for far away strokes because its has more trampoline effect due to the better flex and harness and quality of the wood, the provincial version its a dead blade everything needs to have to be an active stroke that’s why its awesome for practicing you need to make a movement or the ball wont go anywhere its does not play automatic, better handle, the tuning of the upper layers of wood are of different thickness for the national version versus provincial because the national its tuned for Ma Long to provide more control to the backhand if you buy the Ma Long special, the Jang Woojin one its different and also there is a National Version that its standard for the national team which is different too, for the Ma Long W968 Special the backhand was tuned to be slow needs some sticky rubber to improve the control to do the setups like Ma Long if you are forehand dominant but if you are backhand dominant use Dignics 09c or YInhe Moon Pro for backhand control, Dignics 05 or Stiga Mantra for speed (medium the hard one does not feel right). The Long 5 commercial its fastest between provincial and commercial, its more flexible but inconsistent with less control the blade becomes deformed with strong hits like counterlooping a strong forehand attack, you need to calibrate the force all the time opening or closing the racket angle like a Viscaria blade according to the force with the National and Provincial you can hit it with the same force and angle because they are less flexible and harder and it goes to the same place, the wood its not the same quality either (Commercial, Provincial, National) the gluing and compression of the wood layers and the handle styles are different, commercial very thin, provincial boxy and big, national more ergonomic feels thin because the butt its bigger and very wide and flat. The provincial its more consistent (if your strokes are executed right with standard technique and footwork is right) but slower than the commercial one, if you don’t have chinese style technique forget it, requires you to have very strong swing, footwork ,hip rotation with good positioning to clear the net otherwise you wont be able to play with it, it does not play how you want it force you to use chinese techniques if you play euro style will be too much to handle in that case just choose the commercial Long 5x model its very comfortable and feel very buttery soft like a viscaria not that soft though. The commercial one its faster than than the provincial one with less control and feeling, use this blades with Dignics 09C or some cheap chinese sticky rubber on the forehand, it does not work well with grippy ones needs to be sticky on the forehand or will be too fast and wont create dwell time and good curve and will have a weird feeling. The Provincial and National are different too, the provincial feels harder, slower, less dwell time, the blocking its more difficult, has less spin and speed than the National version, the magnus effect its more prominent on the national version, if you use dignics 09c on the forehand the second ball will bounce/jump higher than when you use hurricane which has a very low and forward second bounce/jump but the hurricane its to hard and slow without booster also illegal so your choice. The handle gives you a lot of security with the provincial one, the handle its more boxy and squared, the harder you hit you have longer dwell time the ball sticks to the blade and generates a force that feels super heavy on the arm and you need to carry it forward to clear the net, the commercial one just goes does not have that heaviness and the dwell time its shorter therefore feels faster and you feel less control, the National has bigger head more dwell time, its better for blocking its faster, more spiny, better for defense, better control and better for far away strokes due to the bigger size of the head than the provincial one, the handle its more ergonomic and less boxy but it does not feel as good as the provincial one nor gives you the sense of security but lets you do more stuff does not limit you to certain movements, feels better for Chiquita, lets you do better placement, the Carbon kicks with less force and you get better quality shots with less force than the provincial one, the commercial one kicks with very weak force, the quality it is not good and the placement is not accurate due to the deformation of the blade, its easier to overhit out of the table, the magnus effect its weak, the service its not consistent either just comparing it to the provincial and national. The Provincial and National are linear blades you get what you put on it (Popular saying), the provincial one its the most linear one, the national follows and the commercial one its the less linear one with more trampoline effect.

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