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Review: Hurricane 8-80

03 December 2021  | Posted in: Table Tennis Reviews

DHS Hurricane 8-80 

      As I have pointed out several times on this blog, the switch from the 38 mm ball over to the 40 mm ball and then the 40+ ball, has prompted a demand for rubbers with sticky top-sheets and elastic sponges to regain some of the lost spin. I transitioned from European/Japanese-style rubbers to Chinese rubbers a couple of years ago. Like many other players, I use the DHS Hurricane 3 (H3) rubber in my FH today. However, my transition began with the regular DHS Hurricane 8 (H8). Here, I review the 38-degree version of the new Hurricane 8-80 (H8-80), which combines the Hurricane 8 topsheet with a new and more dynamic 80 sponge.  

     DHS describes the H8-80 as a rubber that offers both speed and control, producing a solid feeling. It is touted to be lighter and more elastic than the original H8 and suitable for both FH and BH play. The H8-80 comes packaged in a shiny purple cardboard wrapper, which lists a description of the rubber on the back. The rubber is protected by a thin plastic film but is not vacuum-packed. 

      The H8-8 topsheet feels very substantial and is quite tacky (can lift a ball for a couple of seconds), although it is less tacky than H3. The pimples are just barely visible below the surface. The deep-red sponge has a high density of tiny pores and a rippled surface. The sheet - which domes very slightly and has a rubbery, but unboosted smell - is moderately hard to the touch, feeling softer than a 40-degree blue or orange sponge H3. The uncut H8-80 weighs 65 grams uncut (height x width: 169 mm x 164 mm, all four corners are cut off the sheet) and 49 grams cut to the Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition test blade (height x width: 158 mm x 151 mm). This renders the H8-80 lighter than the original H8 (>55 g), but still heavier than 40-degree H3 rubbers (~45 g). 

Playing Impressions


     The H8-8 is, indeed, more dynamic, and less “metallic” than the regular H8 and is accordingly faster, producing longer trajectories. My FH drives felt snappy while still offering the hallmark robustness and control of the regular H8. However, compared to traditional European/Japanese rubbers, it still is only a moderately fast (OFF-) and linear rubber, where the player needs to generate power through physical effort. The contact point is – by Chinese rubber standards – quite sharp.


     I rather enjoyed FH looping with the H8-80. My shot consistency was excellent, but spin levels were lower than with H3. As a result, I feel the H8-80 has less penetrating power than H3 or the regular H8. The arc, while medium-low, is high enough to provide sufficient clearance over the net. My most common error was overshooting the table as I started forcing the shots to generate more spin on my FH loops. My high-level practice partner did not have much trouble keeping his blocks on the table unless I pulled very aggressively upwards against a strong backspin push. Speaking of FH loops against long backspin pushes, I enjoyed good control of ball placement on these shots, allowing for the execution of highly angled shots, which opened the table for subsequent follow-up shots. All-in-all, I would characterize the H8-80 as a rubber that is easy to loop with, but which has an upper power limit that is lower than a 40-degree H3 or H8. 

     The more dynamic and softer nature of the H8-80 worked great in FH loop-to-loop rallies far from the table. The rubber offers sufficient power to bring the shots on the plate with high consistency, but again, I doubt you will overpower any high-level opponents. 


     Given its slightly softer and bouncier nature, I suspect the H8-80’s main intended use, at least for high-level players is as a BH rubber. Accordingly, I did a set of BH loops against long pushes, even though I rarely practice these shots as a BH short pip player. As expected, it is relatively easy to execute these shots, as the topsheet’s tacky nature and the softer sponge make the ball ‘stick’ to the paddle for a little longer than normal, allowing you to curl the ball over the net. In fact, the sponge was a touch too soft for me (at least when combined with the relatively thick and stiff test blade, as I overshot the table on several occasions. The BH loops that landed were quite spinny, giving me practice partner difficulties.  


     The H8-80 works well on FH flicks as the rubber’s tackiness helps curl the ball over the net, while the more dynamic sponge (relative to the original H8) gives a little extra length to shots. However, the flicks are only moderately fast, unless you fully commit to the shots.


     Blocking is perhaps the H8-80’s weakest point. The topsheet is relatively spin-sensitive and this, coupled with a livelier sponge, means that blocking requires some thought. Don’t get me wrong - passive blocking as in warm-up drills is solid and fine. It is blocks during randomized drills or match situations that are a little more challenging as the margin for error is lower. If you are well-positioned relative to the incoming loop, you won’t have any difficulties. However, if you are caught but a little off guard, you may find your blocks go long. The H8-80 is simply not as solid as the regular H8 in this respect, which, in turn, is a veritable blocking machine.          

Flat hits

     The H8-80 is better suited for flatter hits and smashes than the regular H8, given its livelier sponge, but it is still a far cry from fast European-style rubbers. It is wise to focus on good shot placement or - even better – utilize spinny loop drives instead, as the flatter trajectory renders them challenging shots for opponents to return. 


     FH pushes with the H8-80 are livelier than with the H8, which is truly outstanding in the short and touch game. Thus, I had to ensure to utilize a less aggressive motion and softer hands when executing long pushes with the H8-80 to prevent the shots from going too long. Long FH pushes were of decent quality, but spin levels are generally lower than with H3, which, in turn, enabled my practice partner to attack these shots strongly. 

      Initially, I struggled a little bit to get the right length on short pushes as they had a tendency of being too short, presumably because the tacky surface “held” the ball for too long on these low-impact shots. Once I dialed in the right amount of input power, I was able to play short pushes that were low and rather spinny, judging by the difficulties my practice partner had flicking the shots. In other words, it is easier to generate spin when using low levels of input power relative to H3 or H8, but harder to generate top-end spin on high-input shots due to the more dynamic nature of the sponge.


      The H8-80 is a good serving rubber. Its sticky surface holds on to the ball for a fraction of a second, in turn allowing for more wrist action to be used and more spin to be produced. The dynamic sponge, in turn, gives long top/side-spin serves additional pep.    


     The 38-degree DHS Hurricane 8-80 is a more dynamic version of the regular H8, which in turn gives it more “H3-like” characteristics. However, the #80 sponge is firmer and less dynamic than the #50 sponge of Hurricane 3-50. Thus, the H8-80 is still, fundamentally, a robust rubber that excels in the controlled looping, short, and serving game. I think the H8-80 will be an easier FH rubber to play with than H3 or H8 for intermediate-level players or players who are making the transition from European/Japanese FH rubbers. High-end players, on the other hand, will likely find that the H8-80 lacks the top-end and penetrating power of H8 and – especially – H3. The H8-80 might appeal to an even broader player base as a BH rubber, as this is where the #80 sponge’s more dynamic nature comes to its full right.   


Testing Procedure

      I tested the Hurricane 8-80 as received on my main blade, i.e., the Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition, using a well-used sheet of Spinlord Waran II (2.0 mm, red) short pips in my BH. I attached rubber using two layers of Revolution 3 medium viscosity glue. I tested the set-up over 4-5 sessions playing a mix of regular and match-like drills against my regular high-level practice partner (two-winged looper). Neottec Neoplast Pro 40+ training balls were used throughout this test.








About the Reviewer

     Patrick 'Pong Professor' Hrdlicka is a table tennis enthusiast with a Ph.D. in chemistry who combines his analytical and experimental skills with his love of table tennis in order to test and review a wide range of table tennis equipment.