(by Steve Hopkins)
I recently had opportunity to try Dignics 05. I put the rubber on both sides of my bat and after about 10 hours of playing time, I’m happy with the result.
I’ve been playing with Butterfly Tenergy 05 for some time, and had played with Tenergy 05 Hard on my forehand for a few weeks to explore some offensive advantages. I’m going to try to relay the differences here as I see them.
As a 2000-and-change level player, my analysis and comparison of equipment has limits. I don’t have the arm speed of the pros, and I don’t rely on powerful loops or try to drive the ball through my opponent – so my review is on how this equipment works for me in a competitive setting. I’m an all-around or control player that uses precise shots to set up high-percentage points. I vary spin and speed, and my attacking shots generally occur when the other player has made a mistake or as a counter attack using my opponent’s power against them.
To be honest, because Tenergy 05 Hard was the latest in the Tenergy series, I had expected Dignics 05 to be much harder than Tenergy 05. This was not the case. In fact, the ball seems to stay on the paddle longer with Dignics 05 and this creates a softer feel to the ball strikes. Counterloops are better with this rubber (with my armspeed) than any rubber that I have used. This means some of the funner aspects of the game are improved – and there is some advantage felt when going toe to toe with an opponent when you are both standing away from the table exchanging big topspin shots. Even though the materials say 22% more, for my loop after adjusting to the feel of the rubber the arc seemed very similar. However, there is late movement that pulls the ball down a little earlier. That extra “action” on the ball means free swinging players will have a larger margin for error. My backhand benefited at distance much the same way as my forehand, and the over the table topspin strokes (“banana flips” and the like) were easier to execute as well.
I block aggressively, and will note that Dignics 05 reacts similarly to Tenergy 05 in that regard. I found Tenergy 05 Hard to be better than both of the other 05’s in regard to stiff, deep blocks. But Dignics 05 has an added flexibility in regard to softening the the speed of the opponent’s ball and using a soft stroke to apply topspin and return a safe shot. The ability to return the ball with a soft “cover” of the ball is a good transition between blocks and loops.
Dignics 05 imparts more spin during serves and serve returns than the other two rubbers. This is very good for keeping the ball short and varying one’s serves. The soft rubber takes some getting used to in regard to touch shots during a rally as I have sometimes noted extra “spring” to the shot even with a very soft touch.
In the end, I don’t expect anyone to have trouble making a transition to Dignics 05 from Tenergy 05 or Tenergy 05 Hard. I see positives for starting the point (serves, underspin returns, and flips) and for ending the point (higher margin of error for topspin rallies), so that’s enough reason for me to stick with the new rubber.
I always tinker with equipment, but I’m looking forward to trying Dignics 05 at our next tournament.