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Gewo Hype EL Pro 47.5 / 42.5 / 40 Table Tennis Rubbers Complete Expert Review

27 June 2016  | Posted in: Table Tennis Reviews

 

About the Reviewer

Patrick 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.


Gewo Hype EL Pro Series - Introduction

Impressed by the quality and characteristics of the Gewo nanoFLEX FT series, I was eager to evaluate the next-generation high-end rubber family from Gewo, i.e., the Hype EL Pro series, which was added to ITTF’s List of Approved Racket Coverings (LARC) in April 2015. Gewo describes the Hype EL Pro series in the following manner: This "Made in Germany" high-tech product meets all the criteria demanded of an excellent a rubber for the modern game:
i) When top-spinning, the GEWO Hype EL Pro is incredibly dynamic with an extremely high arc.
ii) The EL-sponge (Elastic Rubber) is specially designed for GEWO, it provides impressive feeling when hitting the ball during the fastest of rallies.
iii) The DGC40+ (Dynamic-Grip-Concept) ensures a consistent, reliable contact with the ball, preventing any "skidding" with the new poly ball.”

The Gewo Hype EL Pro rubbers come in colorful but otherwise relatively simple looking cardboard packaging. In addition to marketing information, Gewo also lists speed, control and spin ratings for the rubbers on the back of the packaging: EL Pro 47.5 (122/92/120), EL Pro 42.5 (115/97/120) and EL Pro 40 (110/102/122). The ratings suggest that the Hype El Pro rubbers are faster, more controlled, and spinnier than their nanoFLEX FT counterparts. However, one should always take manufacturer stats with a grain of salt.   

Just like the nanoFLEX topsheets, the Hype EL Pro topsheets feel robust and are matte, grippy, and non-tacky, with ~13 pips per 5 cm in the horizontal direction and ~22 pips per 5 cm in the vertical direction. Gewo uses the same topsheet throughout this series as evidenced by the fact that all three rubbers have identical ITTF identification numbers. The sponges are orange (47.5), cream- (42.5), and lemon-colored (40), respectively, and have small pores. This is different from the nanoFLEX series in which the sponges have medium-large pores. The uncut Hype EL Pro rubbers weigh 74 (47.5), 68 (42.5) and 67 (40) grams respectively, for a sheet size of ~169 mm x ~169 mm. All of the rubbers smell very ‘rubbery’ upon unpacking but are devoid of any doming. I did a blind press test of the rubbers and got the following order of overall hardness: nanoFLEX FT48 (B) > Gewo Hype EL Pro 47.5 (B) > Xiom Omega V Asia (B) > Tibhar Evolution MX-P (B) > nanoFLEX FT45 (R) > Gewo Hype EL Pro 40 (R) > Andro Rasant Grip (R) > Gewo Hype EL Pro 42.5 (B) > nanoFLEX FT40 (B), where B and R stand for black and red sheets. The EL Pro 40, Rasant Grip, and EL Pro 42.5 have a very similar hardness.

Testing Procedure

I used 2.1 mm unboosted Gewo Hype EL Pro sheets for these tests - the 47.5 and 42.5 versions were provided as black sheets while the 40.0 version came as a red sheet. In my first test, I used brand-new rubbers on the FH side of an OFF- rated 5-ply all-wood blade with a hard outer ply, together with Adidas Blaze Spin short pips in my BH. Roughly two months later, I re-tested the meanwhile ~10-hour old Gewo Hype EL Pro rubbers using an OFF- rated 5+2 composite blade, playing with Xiom Zava short pips in my BH. In both testing programs, the Gewo rubbers were attached to the blades with Revolution 3 normal viscosity glue and evaluated using seamless 40+ plastic balls (testing order on both occasions: 47.5, 42.5, 40). After warmup and light FH drills for 20-30 minutes, I played ~20-35 sets against my usual training partners.

Gewo Hype EL Pro 47.5 (2.1) – An explosive rubber but can you control it?

Gewo describes this rubber in the following way: “The GEWO Hype EL Pro 47.5 has the perfect combination of explosive power spin and an extreme increase in speed, a rubber specially developed by GEWO for top players. The fastest and most dynamic rubber of the Hype EL Pro Series has been developed specifically to meet the demands of players with a higher practice routine who favor harder sponges. High dynamics on impact, coupled with a very spinny surface, make this the perfect rubber for every offensive player”.  

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

Frankly, I am a little bit mystified by this rubber. On one hand the Gewo EL Pro 47.5 is very hard and heavy for a European rubber, being slightly harder and heavier than Xiom’s Omega V Asia, Tibhar’s MX-P or Gewo’s nanoFLEX FT48 (52 grams cut to a 157 mm x 150 mm blade). However, the EL Pro 47.5 plays quite differently than any of these rubbers. First off, the EL Pro 47.5 feels remarkably squishy in game play for a 47.5-degree rubber. One sudden move and you unleash huge speed reserves. The catapult does not appear to be booster-based as is often the case with other ESN rubbers, but instead feels like a mechanical property of the sheet. This feeling remained similar regardless whether I used the all-wood or composite test blade. FH drives and loop drives generally felt ok, but I had a hard time judging how much power to put into the shots. The lack of linear correlation between input and output meant that my FH drives and loop drives at times flew 1-2 feet off the table. I also had a tough time developing a consistent feel for FH loops against heavy backspin (spin-reversed returns from long pips) - the ball often caught the edge of the net, something that I ascribe to insufficient topsheet bite and a medium-low throw angle. The EL Pro 47.5 shines on full commitment shots that are guaranteed to activate the catapult and unleash its speed potential. Blocking, on the other hand, was not without problems due to the bouncy nature of the rubber. Interestingly, the rubber is not particularly bouncy on soft shots, which allowed pretty decent short play and serve returns. Serves were less not as spinny as I had hoped. Interestingly, I enjoyed this rubber more during match play than during drills; tactical short play combined with controlled FH drives and fast flat hits won me many points.

Conclusion

The Gewo EL Pro 47.5 has its strengths in uncompromising attacking play close to the table that is mixed with occasional short game. The all-out attack style ensures that the massive catapult always is activated, which gives you access to a speed monster.

Serves: 7/10  
Serve receives and short game: 8/10
Looping: 7/10
Flat hitting: 8/10
Blocking: 7/10

Recommended player type : The Gewo EL Pro 47.5 is best suited for advanced to pro level all-out attackers who want to dominate and quickly finish off rallies with hard kill shots. Someone like Kalinikos Kreanga comes to my mind as having a style that could fit well with this rubber. It is less suited for players like myself who tend to play more touch- and spin-based shots.

Gewo Hype EL Pro 42.5 (2.1) – full commitment needed to unleash its speed and spin potential.

According to Gewo “The Gewo Hype EL Pro 42.5 is the optimal synthesis of power, spin and surface grip (Dynamic Grip Concept). It is the tempo-elastic middle rubber of the Gewo Hype EL Pro Series and offers a balance between a dynamic and punchy game (Power Tension boost), and it provides perfect ball feeling with reliability in all game situations. A rubber with exceptional speed in reserve, but despite the high speed, allows good control in more passive strokes when driving blocking, or pushing. The GEWO Hype EL Pro 42.5 is the perfect rubber for players who want maximum spin at high speeds.” 

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

Just like its harder-sponged cousin, the Gewo Hype EL Pro 42.5 felt squishy and bouncy during regular FH drives and loop drives. Once beyond a certain threshold – and I had a hard time determining exactly when – a strong catapult kicks in and if you are not prepared, it becomes difficult to keep the ball on the table. I found FH loops against backspin to be easier to execute than with the 47.5 version since the throw is a little higher with the 42.5 sponge. However, it is still only a medium-low throw rubber. I had the most success looping with the EL Pro 42.5 when using a lot of fast wrist action. This technique resulted in loops that were loaded with spin causing my opponents significant difficulties. Flat hits and blocking are slower than with the 47.5 version, but activation of the catapult still often led me to overshoot the table. Similar to my observations with the 47.5 version, the EL Pro 42.5 is not particular bouncy a low speeds, which allowed me to play solid short pushes and serve returns. I had a hard time generating a lot of spin on brush serves, although serves were spinnier than with the 47.5 version. My impressions of the EL Pro 42.5 were essentially the same regardless which test setup I was using.

Conclusion

The Gewo Hype EL Pro 42.5 is a medium-fast bouncy rubber that is suitable for offensive play close to the table or from mid-distance. The EL Pro 42.5 requires fast sponge-penetrating strokes to unleash its full speed and spin potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if this rubber fits better with softer and/or slower blades as this might reduce the mushy feel.  

Serves: 7.5/10  
Serve receives and short game: 8/10
Looping: 7.5/10
Flat hitting: 7.5/10
Blocking: 7/10

Recommended player type : Advanced players who seek to make fully committed shots that are accelerated by a massive catapult and thus emphasize speed over spin and touch.

Gewo Hype EL Pro 40 (2.1) – A forgiving offensive rubber.

According to the marketing material “The softest rubber of the Hype EL Pro-series gives extraordinary sound and good control with a catapult effect. The GEWO hype EL Pro 40.0 has been specifically designed and developed for players who demand good control from the sponge and a surface with an excellent grip. The DGC40+ "Dynamic-Grip-Concept", the ‘Power Tension Boost’ and CPI ‘Clean Power Inside’ support you in your game of active blocking, precise placement and safe counterattacking. The GEWO hype EL Pro 40.0 is the perfect rubber for players who place great value on spin with maximum control.

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

Given my experiences with the harder-sponged rubbers in this series, I was skeptical ahead of my test of the Gewo Hype EL Pro 40, especially because I tend to prefer harder rubbers. Interestingly, the EL Pro 40 turned out to be my favorite in this series. The rubber is not ultrafast but the sponge is sufficiently soft to allow the underlying blade’s character shine through more clearly, which resulted in harmonious set-ups with both the all-wood and composite test blades. The EL Pro 40 provides a responsive feel on FH drives and loop drives. A loud click is produced on FH loops, which helped me to appropriately adjust the bat angle. As with the rest of the Hype El Pro line-up, the rubber has a catapult that becomes very prominent on faster strokes. However, activation of the catapult does not result in as many stray balls as with the harder versions because the rubber is slower. I would categorize the throw angle as medium. As a result, it is relatively easy to lift backspin balls. There is still plenty of speed to finish off points with flat hits. Blocking is more controllable and predictable than with the other rubbers in this series. The catapult is not as prominent on slow strokes, which allows for a controllable short game and good serve returns. Like for the other Hype EL Pro rubbers, it was difficult to impart very high levels of spin on serves - the spin is respectable, but not exceptional.  Although I use short pips in my BH, I tried out the EL Pro 40 there and the feeling was equally nice, especially on BH loops. I am sure that the EL Pro 40 will appeal to many as a BH rubber as it has just the right amount of catapult and throw to compensate for the shorter and less powerful backhand motion.

Conclusion

The Gewo Hype EL Pro 40 is by far the easiest rubber to play with in this series. It is a nicely controlled attacking rubber that has many gears and which allows you to do pretty much everything with confidence. It offers excellent feel and control on aggressive shots, as well as, touch shots. I would probably still chose Gewo’s nanoFLEX FT40 over the Hype EL Pro 40 due to the better spin capabilities of the former. I am excited to see if Gewo has managed to address some of the shortcomings of the Hype EL Pro series in their brand-new Hype XT Pro series, which I will be reviewing next.   

Serves: 7.5/10  
Serve receives and short game: 8/10
Looping: 8.5/10
Flat hitting: 8.5/10
Blocking: 8.5/10

Recommended player type : The audience for the Gewo Hype EL Pro 40 – in my opinion – is much broader than the other Hype EL Pro rubbers, ranging from advanced basement players all the way up to very advanced players playing at mid-distance.

 

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You might also be interested in: Gewo nanoFLEX FT48 / FT45 / FT40 Rubbers Complete Expert Review