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Nittaku Moristo SP Review – A Short Pimpled Rubber That Satisfies Most Needs

13 September 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.

I was recently given an opportunity to evaluate three short pimpled rubbers for, i.e., the TSP Spectol Red, Yasaka Rakza PO, and Nittaku Moristo SP. This post is about Nittaku Moristo SP specifically. You can find links to the other 2 reviews at the bottom of this post.

I have been playing with short pips in my backhand for a little over two years and the reviews should be viewed in this light. During this time, I have tried 10+ different short pimpled rubbers including Spinlord Waran, Spinlord Waran II, TSP Spectol, RITC 802-40, Xiom Zava, Stiga Clippa, Stiga Radical, and Stiga Royal.

Testing procedure
I evaluated the three short pimpled rubbers on the Nittaku Ma Long Seven blade that I recently reviewed, along with a sheet of DHS’ Hurricane 3 Neo (provincial version, 2.15 mm, 40-degree orange sponge, black) in my FH. The rubbers were attached to the blade 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 Nittaku J-Top 40+ plastic balls. 

Nittaku Moristo SP (Black, 1.8 mm) – A short pimpled rubber that satisfies most needs

Nittaku Moristo SPNittaku describes the Moristo SP as “the fantastic rubber that pips-out players have been waiting for”, touting a “superb balance of exceptional spin and speed with pin-point control”. Supposedly, the “Tension Technology” affords maximum tension in the top-sheet and sponge, which enables swift attacks and amazing blocks. The Nittaku Moristo SP is used by the young Japanese super star Mima Ito.

The German-made Nittaku Moristo SP comes in a multicolored cardboard package that has a red and golden color scheme. The most important characteristics of the rubber are listed on the back. The sheet has a weight of 46 g uncut (height x weight: 169 x 169 mm) and 35 g cut to the 160 x 151 mm Nittaku Ma Long Seven blade, which renders it an average weight short pimpled rubber. The sheet has a sweet booster smell but does not curl. The cream-colored sponge feels very soft (~38-degrees on ESN scale) and has a high density of tiny pores. The top-sheet is shiny, very grippy, and appears to be of excellent quality. The vertically aligned pips (~16 pips per 5 cm in vertical direction; 9 pips per 5 cm in horizontal direction) are relatively tall, hard, of average width (~2.2 mm), and have a truncated cone shape, with the upper third of the pips being cylindrical. The pip tops are rough and grippy.         

Playing impressions
Nittaku Moristo SP is a fast, but not overly fast, short pimpled rubber. BH drives are comfortable and controlled, even though the contact point is neither soft or crisp. BH drives are not as timing-dependent as, e.g., the Yasaka Rakza PO, presumably because the sponge feels less soft. The level of deception – or sink effect – is quite low with the Moristo SP. Hitting through backspin is relatively easy and is facilitated by the fact that the rubber doesn’t feel soft. BH flicks are also relatively easy to execute as the trajectory provides sufficient clearance over the net. BH “loops” from mid-distance can be played reasonably well, although the rubber perhaps is a little bit too slow for these type of shots, requiring more physical effort which decreases consistency a little bit. Passive blocking against high-quality loops are the Moristo SP’s weakest suit in my opinion. The rubber is too soft (in 1.8 mm), especially when blocking loops from very high level players. The ball simply penetrates too deeply into the sponge and as a consequence, the underlying blade’s character shines through too much, decreasing consistency. At no point, did I feel comfortable blocking with the Moristo SP. This could, quite possibly, be rectified by using a thicker sponge. Another weakness of the rubber is the level of spin generation on long pushes, as only moderate spin levels are attained, rendering it relatively easy for the opponent to attack. Other short pips, such as the Yasaka Rakza PO or Spinlord Waran, can generate significantly higher levels of spin on these types of shots. Short pushes can be kept low and short, as can touch and drop shots. To my surprise, chops played with good form from mid- and far-distance are actually pretty good with the Moristo SP. The ball rolls in with a flat trajectory carrying a lot of spin. Also, it is very easy to play no-spin dead balls by changing the blade angle. In many respect, the chopping behavior of the Moristo SP reminds me of a classic TSP Spectol, except that the consistency is a little lower.        

The Nittaku Moristo SP reminds me of a slightly less spinny version of the Spinlord Waran, which has been my short pimpled rubber of choice in the recent past. It is reasonably fast, good at hitting through backspin, and can, if necessary, allow for BH ‘loops’ from mid-distance and BH chops from far-distance. The feeling on blocking is soft, especially against very high quality loops. However, those who don’t have to return power loops from USATT 2500 level players, will likely be perfectly content with the characteristics of the Nittaku Moristo SP, which is a fine short pimpled rubber.     

Speed: 8/10
Spin: 7/10
Control: 8/10
Deception: 4/10
Hitting through backspin: 8/10
BH “loops” from mid-distance: 7.5/10
Blocking: 7/10
Short game: 9/10
Chopping: 8.5/10

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Yasaka Rakza PO Review
TSP Spectol Red Review