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DHS Hurricane Long 3 and Long 5 Review - Are These Flagship Blades Worth the Money?

23 August 2017  | Posted in: Table Tennis Reviews

About the Reviewer

Patrick HrdlickaPatrick Hrdlicka is a table tennis enthusiast, who was introduced to the sport by his parents at the age of six. Patrick progressed to play in the highest national cadet and junior team leagues in his native Denmark and was among the top 40 players in his age group, which fostered several long-standing members of the Danish National Team. With college looming, Patrick quit the sport for almost twenty years. During this hiatus, he obtained a Ph.D.-degree in chemistry and accepted a position as professor of chemistry at the University of Idaho.

At the beginning of 2014, the mid-life crisis and yearning for table tennis grew too strong for Patrick and he decided to pick up the sport again. Bitten again by the table tennis bug, he plays 4-6 times per week. 

Since his comeback to table tennis, he has enjoyed combining his analytical and experimental skills with his love for table tennis, testing and reviewing a wide range of table tennis equipment.

This time around, I was given the opportunity to evaluate two of DHS’ flagship blades, i.e., the Hurricane Long 3 and Hurricane Long 5. I have heard much praise for these blades on various forums and was, therefore, very excited to get the chance to test them out. In fact, at the time I wrote this blog, these blades were the two highest-rated blades on tabletennisdb.com.

I tested the DHS Hurricane Long 3 using a sheet of regular Hurricane 3 Neo (2.2 mm, 39 degrees, black) in my FH, whereas I used a DHS Hurricane 8 (2.2 mm, 39 degrees, black) with the DHS Hurricane Long 5. I used a sheet of Spinlord Waran (1.8 mm, red) on my BH with both blades. As always, the rubbers were attached to the blades using Revolution 3 normal viscosity glue. I evaluated each set-up over at least two sessions, playing a mix of simple drills and matches against my regular practice partners using seamless 3-star 40+ plastic balls.

Both blades come in the same very high-quality red box, which features a picture of Ma Long on the front. The thick material used in the production of the box, the magnetic closing mechanism, and the interior grey foam protection, give the box a very high-end feel. Inside, there is a certificate carrying Ma Long’s picture, which lists the blade’s serial number, name, weight, thickness, and other measurements.  

DHS Hurricane Long 3 – A Fast and Exquisitely Balanced 7-Ply Blade that Supports Many Different Styles  

DHS describes the Hurricane Long 3, which Ma Long used earlier in his carrier, as a 7-ply blade that allows for loops plus quick attacks, producing greater power and facilitating steady handling.

The DHS Hurricane Long 3 is a 7-ply all-wood blade with a classic limba-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-limba construction, which is similar to that of the DHS Power G7 and Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition, which I have reviewed earlier. The individual ply thicknesses look virtually identical to the Power G7, i.e., a relatively thick core ply surrounded by thin red plies, followed by a relative thick penultimate ply, and a thin outer layer. However, one should be careful not to assume that they are identical blades, as different production techniques likely are used and different quality controls are applied.  

DHS Hurricane Long 3The DHS Hurricane Long 3 has a slightly-above-normal size (head size: 158 mm x 150 mm) with a thickness of ~6.4 mm and weight of 88 g. The surface has a light color and has no print on it. The blade is smooth and seems to be well-made except that the surface looks like it might be prone to splintering. For this reason, I coated the blade with a water-based varnish before use. The handle is blueish-grey with a yellow curved line and has a black and golden lens on the front, the serial number on the side, a silver symbol on the back, and a circular lens with an image of Ma Long on the bottom. The handle (length x width x height: 101 mm x 26.5-35.5 mm x 22-26 mm) is very comfortable. However, the wings have not been sanded and might require minor modifications. The test set-up was well-balanced (towards the center) and felt light.

The DHS Hurricane Long 3 is in the OFF-/OFF category and offers great feeling and control. I was able to play FH and BH drives with high consistency. The feeling upon ball impact is prominent and on the softer side. Despite being a 7-ply blade, the Hurricane Long 3 does not feel particularly stiff and in fact offers a lot of feeling for all types of FH loops. Opening loops and loops against very heavy backspin from long pips are particularly pleasant to play and associated with a higher-than-average throw angle for H3 Neo and high spin values. My loop drives were less powerful and consistent than my usual OFF+/Hurricane 8 setup but still offered a good power-to-control ratio. The Hurricane Long 3 provides plenty of power and arc for engagement in topspin-to-topspin rallies from mid-distance. FH and BH blocks feel solid and controlled and have just the right amount of speed and control. Similarly, flat hits can be produced with plenty of pace but the medium-soft feeling does not lend this self toward this style of play. The blade offers excellent control in touch play and on service receives. I was able to make low and short pushes, multi-bounce drop shots, long aggressive serve return pushes, and – by my standards – consistent FH/BH flicks. The Hurricane Long 3 has a medium-long dwell time which enables spinny serves. All-in-all, the Hurricane Long 3 does everything that it is supposed to very well, provided the player has the necessary skills. 

Having recently tested three other 7-ply blades, i.e., the DHS Power G7, the Nittaku Ma Long Seven, and the Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition, it is quite natural to draw some comparisons. The Power G7 is the slowest of these but offers excellent control and a relatively soft feeling. The Ma Long Seven is the bounciest and has the most elastic feel of the four. The Tibhar blade provides has the stiffest feeling and is the fastest of these blades. The Hurricane Long 3 is a well-balanced 7-ply blade: fast, not too hard, not too soft, excellent feedback upon ball impact, and high levels of control, which instill a feeling that every shot being possible. Players who base their games on consistent loops will prefer the Hurricane Long 3, whereas hitters and blockers will gravitate towards the Tibhar blade. Players looking for blades that are faster than classic 5-ply limba/ayous all-wood blades or provide more feeling than modern composite blades while maintaining high-speed levels, will feel right at home with the Hurricane Long 3

Read Hurricane Long 3 Customer Reviews & Get Our Best Price >>

 

DHS Hurricane Long 5 – A Very Fast Blade With a Relatively Woody Feeling for Topspin Dominance

According to DHS, the Hurricane Long 5 is the fastest blade in the DHS Long series.

The Hurricane Long 5 is a 5+2 composite blade with a limba-ayous-arylate-ayous-arylate-ayous-limba construction. It is slightly larger than normal (head size: 158 mm x 150 mm) and has a thickness of ~6.0 mm and weight of 86 g. The surface ply of the Hurricane Long 5 has a very light color and is without any print. As with the Hurricane Long 3, the handle is blueish-grey with a yellow curved line and has a simple black and gold lens on the front, the serial number listed on the side, a silver symbol on the back, and a circular lens with an image of Ma Long on the bottom. The handle fits comfortably in my large hands (length x width x height: 101 mm x 26-35 mm x 25 mm). The wings do not appear to have been sanded. While the craftsmanship of the blade appears to be good, the surface is a little rough, and I chose to coat the blade with a thin layer of a water-based varnish to prevent any splintering following rubber removal. The test set-up was well-balanced with a slight head-heaviness to it.

DHS Hurricane Long 5The first couple of FH drives quickly revealed that the DHS Hurricane Long 5 is an OFF+ blade as several of my drives flew well past the end of the table, even when using the relatively slow Hurricane 8 FH rubber. However, once I reduced my swing speed, I was able to play FH drives with high consistency. The Hurricane Long 5 is a medium-stiff blade, but the feeling on ball impact is dampened and woody and not particularly hard – I would categorize it as medium to medium-hard, being slightly more solid than typical 7-ply all-wood blades. While I tend to prefer all-wooden blades, I must admit that the Hurricane Long 5 offers a pleasant feeling for a composite blade. This is probably because the composite layer surrounds the core, rather than being placed directly underneath the outer ply. BH drives were slightly too fast for my liking with the Spinlord Waran short pips. Looping with this blade, be it spinny opening loops or forceful power loops, is near-effortless, and once you get the hang of its speed, looping is remarkably stable and controllable. The blade is fast, especially when you hit the very center of the blade, which results in a pronounced catapult effect and particularly fast balls. The blade supports – by Hurricane 8 standards – a relative high throw angle. The blade has enormous speed potential and easily allows for loops far from the table. In fact, even when playing 4-5 meters behind the table, I still managed to overshoot the table on several occasions. Due to the medium-stiff character and large sweet-spot of the blade, passive as well as active FH blocking is robust, fast, and yet controllable. As with BH drives, BH blocks felt a little bit too fast, presumably because the sponge of the regular Waran short pips is too soft and thin (in 1.8 mm), allowing the blade’s underlying (fast) character to shine through. Following the initial round of testing, I tried out a sheet of Spinlord’s new Waran II short pips in 2.0 mm on this blade, which have the same topsheet as the original Waran pips but a harder and slightly slower sponge. This change significantly improved my consistency on BH drives and blocks. Flat hits are fast and deadly, yet controllable. Considering how fast the blade is, short pushes and touch play are remarkably easy to play. The combination of a hard very tacky rubber and the responsive fast blade, allowed the ball to bite into the rubber for strong spin production. Aggressive serve returns only require a little flick of the wrist and seem to make their way deep into your opponent’s territory without much effort. The dwell time of the ball is sufficiently long to allow for strong spin production on serves.

The DHS Hurricane Long 5 is a fast and high-end composite blade for relentless offensive play, while still allowing an excellent short game. The high speed of the Hurricane Long 5 allows for more compact and controlled strokes even when playing with relatively slow and tacky Chinese rubber like the Hurricane 8. If combined with faster rubbers, this will yield a blistering fast set-up. Compared to the 7-ply Hurricane Long 3, the 5+2 ply Hurricane Long 5 is faster, stiffer and more direct. High-level players with outstanding offensive technique will be able to generate more power on loops, drives and punches with the Hurricane Long 5, whereas the Hurricane Long 3 has a softer feeling which lends itself toward a more spin-offensive game style that focuses on more controlled looping.

Read Hurricane Long 5 Customer Reviews & Get Our Best Price >>


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