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Nittaku Hurricane Pro 3 Turbo Orange Review - A Faster and More Responsive Hurricane 3

08 January 2018  | 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.

Nittaku Hurricane Pro 3 Turbo Orange packageThis time, I was given the opportunity to evaluate the most recent addition to the Hurricane 3 series, i.e., the Nittaku Hurricane Pro 3 Turbo Orange (NHP3TO). The top-sheet is made by DHS, whereas Nittaku makes the Japanese ‘high reaction’ sponge. The rubber is described as being “faster with active charge”, having “more speed that ever”, and “being ready for 40+ plastic balls”.

The rubber comes in a glossy, silver cardboard with red and black text, inside a thin, regular plastic foil bag. The top-sheet, which is covered with a thin protective foil, is thick, very glossy, and exceptionally sticky. The contours of the pimples are faintly visible below the surface. The top-sheet has a different ITTF registration number (24-038) than the regular DHS Hurricane 3 and the text is also different. The uncut sheet weighs 79 g (168 mm x 174 mm, no corners cut) whereas the sheet weighed 55 g when cut to the 158 x 151 mm test blade.

This is one of the heaviest rubbers that I have tested, weighing 5-8 g more than an equivalent sheet of DHS Hurricane 3 Neo, and weighing about the same as a DHS Hurricane 8. The apricot orange colored sponge has tiny pores and a characteristic sweet booster smell, but is not covered with a tuning layer like some versions of the Hurricane 3 series, and does not dome. The sponge feels slightly softer than the regular or Neo versions of DHS’ Hurricane 3 but significantly harder than, e.g., Tibhar’s Evolution MX-S.

Testing procedure
I tested the brand-new and unboosted sheet on a Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition blade, which has a classic 7-ply limba-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-limba construction. I used Spinlord Waran short pips in my BH (1.8 mm, red). As always, I attached the rubbers using the Revolution 3 normal viscosity glue and tested the set-up over a couple of sessions, playing drills and matches against my usual training partners using the DHS D40+ 3* plastic balls. 

Playing impressions
Going into the test, I did not quite know what to expect. Would the Nittaku Hurricane Pro 3 Turbo Orange be a faster but still firm-feeling version of DHS’ Hurricane 3 Neo or a more dynamic and soft-feeling rubber like DHS’ Hurricane 3-50? A few minutes into the test, it became obvious that the NHP3TO is closer to the former. The rubber is exceptionally tacky – pure fly paper. As a result, FH drives initially had a very high throw angle and landed shortly behind the net, giving the impression that the rubber is slow. However, as the most extreme tackiness wore off after ~15 min of play, the NHP3TO became faster and had a less extreme trajectory. The tackiness of the top-sheet, the slightly faster sponge (relative to the regular and Neo versions of DHS’ Hurricane 3), and high throw angle, allow for very controlled looping against heavy backspin with plenty of safety over the net and precise ball placement.

Loops were loaded with spin and produced a prominent kick off the bounce, which rendered blocking a challenge for my opponents. Unfortunately, the feeling on ball impact is subdued, quite like the regular or Neo versions of DHS’ Hurricane 3. While the NHP3TO is slightly faster than the Hurricane 3 Neo, it is still best used close to the table and until mid-distance. Beyond that, significant physical effort is required to land shots. The higher throw angle of the NHP3TO provided more safety in topspin-to-topspin rallies away from the table than the regular or Neo versions of DHS’ Hurricane 3, which have flatter trajectories with smaller margins for error (ball often going into the net or off the table).

Nittaku Hurricane Pro 3 Turbo Orange

Passive blocking with the NHP3TO is relatively comfortable, although the rubber is somewhat sensitive to incoming spin. I found active blocking to be a better solution, as the tacky and grippy topsheet holds on to the ball for a fraction of a second, allowing the player to guide the ball over the net. Flat hits were only moderately fast, and it was hard to make outright winners. There is no doubt that the NHP3TO – just like its Hurricane 3 cousins – is best suited for a topspin-based game, rather than a hit-based game.

The NHP3TO works quite well in the service return game, especially when executing more active strokes such as flips. Short pushes are comfortable, but the aforementioned spin sensitivity must be taken into account. Serving with the NHP3TO is excellent due to the tackiness and grip of the topsheet. Short backspin or no-spin serves were particularly easy to make, as well as, long top/side-spin serves. 

The Nittaku Hurricane Pro 3 Turbo Orange is an interesting alternative for players who are used to traditional tacky Chinese rubbers such as the DHS Hurricane 3. A common critique of the H3 Neo is that it is too slow, and either requires great physical effort, a very fast blade, and/or treatment with boosters. The NHP3TO rectifies this to some degree by being slightly faster, while maintaining the overall characteristics that have propelled the Hurricane 3 rubbers to one of the most popular rubber series in the world, i.e., very high spin levels on serves and opening loops and good control in the short game. The tacky topsheet and dynamic sponge work well together in anything topspin-based, be it opening flips, opening loops, quick counter loops, or loops from mid-distance. The main disadvantages of the NHP3TO are its high weight and moderate speed on flat hits.  

Serves: 9.5/10  
Serve receives and short game: 9/10
Looping: 9.5/10
Flat hitting: 8.5/10 
Blocking: 9/10

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