That said, I've had constant advice from my fellow long pip competitors to switch to Tibhar Grass D.Tecs long pips instead of Destroyer. I've been told that it has more disturbing effects (more wobble and dip), better spin reversal, more control, and even better long range chopping ability. So this year I finally decided to give it a try and test it out for myself, and I ordered myself a sheet. Needless to say, after all the advice I had been given, my expectations were high.
Player Level and StyleShakehander allround combination bat style with Killerspin Blast max thickness sponge on the forehand, 2000+ USATT level. Used on a Butterfly Matsushita Pro Special blade.
Rubber ReviewedTibhar Grass D.Tecs long pips rubber, black, in OX (no sponge).
Fellow long pip devotees probably already know that there have been many incarnations of Grass D.Tecs over the years. Off hand, I can remember the original rubber which was discontinued for some reason (I think it might have had problems with exceeding the ITTF's pip aspect ratio when the ITTF changed the ratio), a new version with some sort of cloth backing which had a total thickness that often exceeded the 2mm thickness rule for pimpled rubber and was therefore illegal, and a version without any backing that was came in just under the 2mm limit and was perfectly legal, provided not too much adhesive was used.
The version that I received was without any cloth backing, so I would think that it is the latest legal version.
SummaryGood standard grippy long pip rubber, with rough pip tops and grippy pip sides. Has excellent control, good spin variation ability, and decent attacking capability. Not much in the way of disruptive effects or wobbling.
Who Will Like ItLong range defensive players looking for a chopping rubber with good control and ability to float or heavily chop the opponent's loop. Up to the table combination bat players who want a rubber with good control and decent spin reversal.
Who Will Hate ItUp to the table combination bat players looking for a highly disruptive long pip that wobbles a lot. Up to the table combination bat control players looking for a slow long pip to allow short returns against strong attacks with high spin reversal.
Marketing ClaimWith the integrated D-Tecs effect in our classical long pimples rubber, the player will experience new variations to cut the ball and to counter his opponent's destabilising strokes. Thanks to an integrated tension as well in the pimples as in the sponge, the pimples get softer, which enables the player to cut the ball in a sensational way. On the other hand, because of the softness of the rubber, the D-Tecs effect will provide a wonderful control and during disturbing attacks at the table enough speed to destabilize the opponent with nervous aggressive shots.
Playing ImpressionsI'll admit that I was hoping for something spectacular after all the hype I had heard from my fellow long pip players, especially after the dismissive attitude I had received from many of them regarding my own Stiga Destroyer long pips. So I was eagerly awaiting my first practice session with Grass D.Tecs. I even warned my training partner that I had some new special long pips to watch out for, and then we got down to business. And then...
No fireworks, explosions, or special effects. No wobble or amazing spin reversal. No great increase in control, or in spin production when chopping away from the table. In fact, I don't think Grass D.Tecs did anything better than my trusty Stiga Destroyer.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like the Grass D.Tecs was a bad rubber by any means. In fact, it is a perfectly good rubber. And it's possible that I'm not using the rubber in the proper manner to get the best out of it. And it's also possible that I've used Destroyer so long that I'm resistant to any change. But to me, it basically felt the same.