Rubber SpecificationsI am using a black version of Stiga Destroyer, with no sponge (OX). The blade I have been using it on is a Timo Boll Spirit. The pips are rough-topped and have some grip, as do the sides of the pips. The pip height is what I would call medium-long, and the pips are reasonably flexible, but not towards the extremely bendy side of the scale. They are also placed fairly close together, as you can see from the second accompanying picture (click on the picture of the Destroyer cover to see the pips layout).
This is a great rubber for defenders who play away from the table. The very first time I used this rubber I was impressed by its excellent control when chopping against heavy topspin. In comparison to other pimpled rubbers that I have used (such as TSP Curl P-2 in 1.0mm sponge, and TSP Curl P1-r OX), Stiga Destroyer makes it easier to keep the ball low over the net.
This extra control then translates into more spin variation, since you can chop with more backspin, knowing that you will retain control of the height and depth of the ball. Destroyer also does a good job of increasing the spin on the ball when chopping, and it is relatively easy to kill the spin as well. Spin reversal (or continuation) is about average, which is to be expected since it is not a frictionless rubber.
For close to the table pushers and blockers, Destroyer provides plenty of control, but for players looking to disrupt their opponent with wobble or heavy spin reversal combined with a soft return that bounces twice on the table, this is not the rubber for you. Destroyer provides very little wobble (as far as I can see), and has a bit too much spring for consistently absorbing powerful loops and drop shotting them back. It is pretty easy to push with though.
Hitting with Destroyer is actually reasonably easy, within certain limits. Bearing in mind that it doesn't have enough grip to loop the ball, Destroyer actually provides a lot of offensive capability. It doesn't take too long to learn to attack consistently with the rubber, which is a plus. High lobs can also be smashed with ease with this rubber.
However, I would forget about trying to blast through your opponent with sheer pace - it doesn't have enough zip for that. In any case, I find my attacks with Stiga Destroyer are most effective due to the difference in pace between this rubber and my normal rubber on the other side of my bat. The change in pace produces a hesitation in my opponent's stroke, which tends to produce a weaker return that I can then exploit with my normal rubber.
Destroyer also gives you a nifty sidespin bounce when using it to third ball attack after serving with sidespin. Since the ball is not going all that fast forwards, it really does break pretty heavily sideways, and I've had a number of opponents miss the ball completely!
No doubt about it, this stuff is tough! I've been using Destroyer pretty heavily for the last year, and I've yet to lose a pimple from the rubber - even on the spot where my index finger rests! The pips are still nice and grippy, and have stayed flexible (some long pips get a bit slick and stiff after a while), so I think I'll get a few more months use out of this rubber at least. And since the price of Destroyer isn't all that high to begin with, that's pretty good value for money.
DisadvantagesI would not say that Stiga Destroyer has any bad points as such - it's more just the natural limitations of this type of grippy long pimpled rubber. It does what it was designed for very well, but if you try to make it do something else (such as loop the ball, or wobble the ball all over the place), you are going to be disappointed.
RecommendationsFor any long range defenders out there, Stiga Destroyer OX is a pretty good pick. Excellent control, good spin variation, and some attacking capability. If you like a bit more pace and can live with a bit less control, you could always put a thin sponge under the topsheet. For close to the table blockers who want control instead of wobble, and want to retain some attacking ability, it can do that too. For other playing styles, I'd say it is probably a bit too specialized to give you what you need.
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