DHS Hurricane 3 rubber, blue sponge, fake or real? Should you choose the National, Provincial Chinese rubber? Why do top players heavily tune it with a booster?
Many players asked me many questions about the Chinese Double Happiness Hurricane 3 rubber. That the top Chinese players like Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin are using. DHS will release the new version of DHS Hurricane 9 in several colors.
Many questions about DHS Hurricane 3
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Some of the most common topics are:
- Why do the pro players boost their forehand Hurricane 3 heavily?
- The difference between the DHS Hurricane 3 commercial, provincial, national versions?
- Comparison between the DHS H3 and the H3 Neo version?
- Or should I buy the DHS Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge or Orange sponge?
I’ve explained some of these questions somewhere on this site. You can find all of these answers in How to Choose the Best Equipment.
For example, if you want to know about the difference between the Blue Sponge, and Orange Sponge, just search “Blue Sponge PingSunday” on Google. And boom! You found it!
If you hesitate to choose which version (commercial, national, or provincial) of Hurricane 3 to buy, I recommend you read the article about the personal Ma Long’s Hurricane 3 rubber.
Today, I will explain why top Chinese players tune their forehand rubber (Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge)? And where to buy the real DHS Hurricane 3 rubbers.
Blue sponge vs Orange sponge
What is the difference between the Blue sponge and Orange Sponge of Chinese Table Tennis Rubber? Blue Sponge is harder than the orange sponge.
You will find that almost the top Chinese players use Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge. It’s just because the Hurricane 3 blue sponge version (more info) is harder than the Orange version (more info) (to +1 to 1.5 hardness degree DHS scale).
The blue sponge is a little bit harder and faster than the Orange sponge.
The orange sponge is the old version of DHS rubber.
This is an Orange sponge of 2.10 mm thickness.
The DHS Hurricane topsheet is rather tacky!
Here is a video of the tacky Hurricane rubber:
National version and blue sponge:
Here is the blue sponge national version of Hurricane 3. The national version has a square shape (the edge of the rubber is not cut).
The national Hurricane 3 rubber should be used with a booster.
The orange sponge is often used for the previous Provincial version (early 2020 to 2015).
Due to the difference in sponge hardness,
- All male Chinese players use Blue Sponge. Because males can hit very hard on the forehand side.
- While most of the female players use Orange Sponge. (Orange Sponge is a little bit softer). Except for Liu Shiwen, Zhu Yulin, and Wang Manyu, they are using Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge on their Forehand. (to deal with the success of Mima Ito New Style)
Note: When you buy an Orange Hurricane 3 or Hurricane 3 Neo version (Old version). You need to use the faster blade!
Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge vs Hurricane 3 Orange Sponge
It depends on your style. If you play a lot of control, slow loop, you can play with Orange sponge or the old version of Hurricane 3 (non-NEO version). You need to hit harder to use Blue Sponge. It depends on your style and what blade you use. Orange Sponge needs a stiffer and harder blade.
But nowadays, with the new poly ball, I recommend you choose the “Blue Sponge”. Which is harder, faster! The new ball is bigger, and heavier now. That’s why many top players changed from the old H3 to the new blue sponge version.
And if you found it too hard, you can always “tune” it, or “boost” the rubber (like many top Chinese players do).
Read more about Booster and Tuners for Chinese rubbers here. I have explained the different versions of DHS Hurricane 3 rubbers.
Why do we need to tune Hurricane 3 rubber?
Why do top Chinese players or all of the provincial and national Chinese players heavily tune their rubbers? It’s the truth! No doubt!
Here, for example, I will show you some evident proof.
Guide: How to tune Chinese rubbers with booster!
Here is the equipment of the Chinese players at the recent Asian Games 2018 Table Tennis in Jakarta (shared by Hung Nguyen).
Can you see something in these photos?
Here are 2 things:
- On the Forehand side: All the Chinese rubbers use the Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge version. Hardness about 39-42 (DHS hardness scale). And they boosted the rubbers heavily. How to know that. The boosted rubber has the pimples stretched.
- The booster makes the rubber expand. So you can clearly see the “pimples” grow up!
- You can easily “see”, and “count” these pimples (because of the tuner). While the normal version, you can not see the pimples!
- Even on the backhand side, with the Butterfly Tenergy 05, they also boost it!
- Some players can switch to the softer version of Hurricane 3, and use it on the backhand side instead of the Tenergy 05.
Unboosted vs boosted rubbers
The unboosted, the normal version rubber:
Let’s compare with the normal version (without a booster).
This is the normal version of Tenergy 05, used by Harimoto Tomokazu (Order it on Amazon).
Read it here: What is Harimoto Tomokazu equipment?
And this is the “tuned” version of the Tenergy 05, used by the Chinese player.
Can you spot the difference?
- In the upper photo, you can not see well the pimple!
- In the below photo, you can see that the pimples are “expanding”!
Why are National Hurricane 3 rubbers boosted?
Pro players need to boost the Chinese Hurricane 3 rubber. Why don’t they just buy a softer version?
Because boosting is a way to add the “tension” in the rubber. Japanese engineers have spent many years building the high tension (Tenergy series) rubbers. But using tuners is the fastest way to “inject” the tension in every rubber (by the chemical way).
Tension will make the Chinese rubber +10% faster, and +15% spinnier!
A soft version of Chinese rubbers doesn’t have the “tension”. That’s the reason why top players prefer using harder versions and then tuning to the desired hardness.
Watch this video:
Zhang Jike’s equipment (blade and rubber).
Have you wondered about the professional table tennis racket and rubber? Zhang Jike showed his equipment, personal blade, and rubber.
For example, Ma Long will choose a very hard National DHS Hurricane 3, with 42 degrees, and then tune it to the 40.5 to 41 DHS hardness scale.
DHS Hurricane 3 National BLUE SPONGE
Many players asked me where to buy the real, the original DHS National 3 (Blue Sponge version). This version is rare. Normally, they are reserved only for National Chinese players.
You can read more about the Ma Long forehand rubber (National Blue sponge version) here.
Why do Chinese players only use “Black color” on their forehand side? Read the explication here: Difference Between Red and Black Table Tennis Rubbers?
Provincial DHS Hurricane 3
This is the DHS Original BLUE SPONGE Provincial Hurricane 3 (Size:158*152mm). The Provincial Hurricane 3 is reserved for the top Provincial players in China (professional only).
You can view the Provincial DHS Hurricane 3 (Old version) (Blue Sponge) here.
And here is the Provincial DHS Hurricane 3 (Neo version) (Blue Sponge).
- Topsheet: Only black color, tacky topsheet
- The sponge is NO .22 sponge (Blue). The blue sponge is in general harder than the Orange Sponge.
- Hardness: There 3 hardness versions: 39/40/41. Only the national players can have the customized hardness scale like 40.5, 41.5, and 42. They can tune it to soften the sponge a bit.
- Color: Only Black
- Thickness: 2.15/2.2 mm
- NEO VERSION 2.1mm/2.15mm/2.2mm
How to identify the original, the real version of Provincial rubbers:
Look carefully at the front packing, there are “Three Chinese Characters in Blue” in the “Round White Sticker” (at the right-down corner in the front packing), which is the difference from the normal provincial H3 orange sponge (from the packing).
There are several sellers of the Provincial DHS Hurricane 3, you can select it from the list here.
Commercial Hurricane 3 versus Provincial Hurricane 3
The main difference between the Provincial versus the Commercial version is the topsheet, not the sponge. Because the sponge (both Orange, and Blue versions) are much cheaper than the topsheet. That’s the topsheet that makes the characteristics of the Chinese rubbers.
The pro’s version has a tackier topsheet. And the topsheet tackiness lasts longer. The hardness of the topsheet also will decide the first bounce speed to the ball. The pro version gives the faster ball.
Some dealers said that: “The Provincial Hurricane 3 is cut in the middle of the big sheet. While the commercial one is cut at the side of the big sheet”. However, it’s not true!
If you watch the video “How are table tennis rubber is produced”, you will understand it. There are no so-called big-sheet Chinese rubbers.
If you are new to Chinese rubbers, I recommend you buy and test the Commercial version first (much cheaper, around 15$/rubber).
You can order the DHS NEO Hurricane 3 (Commercial) 2.15mm 2.2mm on Aliexpress here (Rubber is also genuine as there is an authenticity code to check. Recommended).
Please share your own experiences of using Chinese table tennis rubbers below.
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