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ashishsharmaait View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03/11/2015 at 9:28am
Over the past 1 year, I have managed to reduce the cost of my setup by more than half and still managed to improve my game a lot.

In Oct/2013, I moved away from using Sigma 1 Pro to T05 as I thought it would help me in the long run. Before this I has played with Xiom rubbers (for 2 years).
I actually started to enjoy T05 a lot, especially the ease with which I could hit winners even when out of position with half-a-stroke.
..but then I played with someone a couple of hundred points above me and realized that my half-strokes from out of position did not get me points. Service misreads and the inability to keep return of  low half-long underspin/no-spin serves within the table meant that I was always on the defensive on the opponents serve.
In Oct 2014, I was visiting the TopSpin in San Jose and got to hit with a couple of lightly boosted H3 Neos on the same blade as mine (TB ZLF). To my surprise, full hits were as fast, service returns were a lot less trickier and service misread did not pop he ball as high as it did with T05.
I found H3 Neo a bit slow for my taste (never having played with Chinese rubbers seriously) and decided to find something which was linear and not as bouncy as T05.
...so I tried SpinArt. People say its between H2 and H3 and they are right. To my surprise, it was even slower than H3 Neo but as I had bought 2 sheets I decided to persist.

In less than a month I understood what the fuss about Chinese rubbers is all about. I would not say that there is a technical advantage of using either a japanese or chinese rubber (at my modest ~2050 USATT), but it did make the most troubling aspects of game at this level easier (service, service return and blocking at the table).

Last month, I finally decided to take the dive and try H3 (not even Neo) (on a Xiom Vega Euro Blade) and I could not be happier. I had to boost it using 3 layers of Falco but I think overall its worth it.
My serve returns are better and I can produce a lot of variation in spin while looping by slight adjustment of arm movement. Overall my game has improved a lot. I do not know if I have gained rating points but I certainly haven't lost any. My overall understanding of the game has improved a lot.

On the BH I still play T64 I'll get rid of that too soon. Its not that I hate the moth, but the moth is getting greedier everyday.

I hope this helps people who are looking to change to Chinese rubbers (or to cheaper hybrid Chinese rubbers from all the expensive stuff). Take it from me that the myth about Euro/Chinese style is just a myth. Its not that you have to  use a straight arm to loop with H3, its just that its more controlled and has a more sudden dive on the opponent's side, so you can hit harder....so why not.
What matters most is understanding of the ball, racket speed and racket angle.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 9:48am
My advice: never try H3 national blue sponge otherwise you will become addicted and as a consequence...you will think tenergies are really cheap rubbers if you compare....
Nittaku Goriki 94gr, dignics 09 max, super do knuckle, 1,4mm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote atomant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 10:13am
Originally posted by kakapo kakapo wrote:

My advice: never try H3 national blue sponge otherwise you will become addicted and as a consequence...you will think tenergies are really cheap rubbers if you compare....


Have you personally tried?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 11:16am
I tried the H3 commercial from ttnpp. I tried a H3 provincial (also from ttnpp) on someone's racket and the difference between a 1 week used provincial and commercial (both boosted with 3 layers of Falco, commercial had thicker layers applied) was negligible.I don;t think I would be able to spot the difference if I didn't know which was which.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The soul of rock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 11:48am
Originally posted by kakapo kakapo wrote:

My advice: never try H3 national blue sponge otherwise you will become addicted and as a consequence...you will think tenergies are really cheap rubbers if you compare....
I would disagree. I switched from some "national version" of the H3 Neo to Tenergy 05 and the Tenergy suits my game better. In the end, the one that suits you is the best Wink


Edited by The soul of rock - 03/11/2015 at 11:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 2:37pm
Originally posted by atomant atomant wrote:

Originally posted by kakapo kakapo wrote:

My advice: never try H3 national blue sponge otherwise you will become addicted and as a consequence...you will think tenergies are really cheap rubbers if you compare....


Have you personally tried?

Yes and it is really an amazing rubber for spiny serves and looping not for hitting (better twiddle to hit).
The only problem is that i don't manage to block and it is normal since these rubbers are not made for blocking. Unfortunately, as a European player, forehand block is a part of my game even if it is rarer than backhand block.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 2:38pm
Originally posted by The soul of rock The soul of rock wrote:

Originally posted by kakapo kakapo wrote:

My advice: never try H3 national blue sponge otherwise you will become addicted and as a consequence...you will think tenergies are really cheap rubbers if you compare....
I would disagree. I switched from some "national version" of the H3 Neo to Tenergy 05 and the Tenergy suits my game better. In the end, the one that suits you is the best Wink

I'm also back to t64 because my blocking sucks with H3 neo national blue sponge but it was better for looping.
Nittaku Goriki 94gr, dignics 09 max, super do knuckle, 1,4mm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CraneStyle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 6:20pm
ashishsharmaait - Thanks for sharing your experiences...

There's a possibility that your transition through these rubbers has also improved your touch and stroke...

I have personally been put off by the "rubber doctor" boosting, oils and lack of consistency in products to buy in the Hurricane # market...

If I was sure I could buy a consistent Hurricane # "out of the packet" without having to boost, it would be worth a try...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kprimorac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 6:40pm
If you are a lopper and have a good footwork, H3 boosted in FH is an excelent choice, otherwise, don't play with it because for blocking and hitting, it's a nightmare (see kakapo comments).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saltebor1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 6:49pm
Actually, H3 is very good for blocking. It absorbs power of the opponent loop, and return dead ball right neart to the net. It just you need to move your hand forward during blocking, otherwise it will go to the net. Smashing is the real problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 7:42pm
I don't think H3 is bad for blocking. You just have to ensure that you don't swat the ball but try to brush it back. That actually means that your block is lower, has some topspin and is more aggressive.
The fact that you have better touch with H3 in the short game also means that you have to block less.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 7:44pm
I also don't think its about H3, but about using a less bouncy and a more linear rubber.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheondo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 9:22pm
I've gone through this same thing, but I've found TG Skyline 3 Neo to be better than Hurricane Neo. I don't boost it or anything. It's not as good as Tenergy, of course, but at that price, it's definitely worth it. And it has some advantages over Tenergy. I used Hurricane Neo and just didn't like it. Too dead or perhaps 8 hours wasn't enough time to break it in. Skyline took about 2 hours to break in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saltebor1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 11:39pm
Skyline is harder more bouncer and faster then H3 neo. For softer blades is a dream rubber, but for stiff blades h3 works better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 11:48pm
I've played with either Tenergy 05 or Barracuda for the last four or five years, most recently returning to T05. However, very recently I've been working with a Chinese coach (2550+) and he told me to try H3-50.

First I bought two sheets and put them on both sides of a backup paddle (Juic Stellan Bengtsson Alpha). Coach said, 'oh no, not on backhand. On backhand, stay with Tenergy". So then I put T05 on the backhand but stuck with H3-50 on forehand. My experience was that it was too slow. Good grip, great short game, but just really slow for looping. Then coach says, it needs to be boosted (I've been avoiding boosting since the end of speed glue).

So he's going to reglue with booster (I don't have any booster and I'm interested to see what it's like to have rubber glued by a Chinese pro). So next week we'll see how this works out.

One thing to notice is that the SB Alpha is only All+ or Off- at most. It may be that I need something faster. I do have my old Timo Boll ALC, so I may need to try that.

Another concern is playing with the 40+ balls. I've been testing the Nittaku Premium 40+ balls off-and-on and I'm very concerned that I can no longer produce enough speed or spin to hit past the blockers and quicker hitters. Will H3 help or hurt that problem?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote right2niru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/11/2015 at 11:49pm
Originally posted by ashishsharmaait ashishsharmaait wrote:

I also don't think its about H3, but about using a less bouncy and a more linear rubber.

Its a great post you have started , Your observations are spot on , if one cannot get a good service , return game no point you having monstoreous loop as you would never be able to execute it . Also have a good serve return means less need for blocking as that sets up very well for 3rd/5th or 4th/6th ball and once a few feet away from table you can swing really great to dig into the hard sponge to get spin.

I also agree completely on the linear feel especially on serve/ return however when looping i like a little bit of oomph which is why , if you haven't already , you need to try Tibhar MXP . The top sheet is almost about 30 - 40 % like Hurricane for first 3 - 4 weeks and then behaves like ordinary Japanese top sheets however the serve and receive really if not as linear as an H3 or Tacky rubber but close enough . 



Edited by right2niru - 03/11/2015 at 11:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 12:23am
Originally posted by right2niru right2niru wrote:

I also agree completely on the linear feel especially on serve/ return however when looping i like a little bit of oomph which is why , if you haven't already , you need to try Tibhar MXP .


I have tried MX-P. Its really good for the first 2-3 weeks, after that the sponge gets harder and the topsheet wears off and the ball begins to slip, especially on slow loops from just off the table.
My friends who have tried powergrip, also report the same problem as MX-P so I think its something common with all hard ESN rubbers.

http://saletabletennis.com/product/lidu-gold-lidu/
LIDU Gold is another rubber I am watching out for but at that price I'm skeptical about trying it out as I have heard the Tacky Topsheet + german Sponge crap before and it always disappoints.
H3 Neo is solid and proven and there should be a big incentive to look elsewhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote right2niru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 12:31am
Originally posted by ashishsharmaait ashishsharmaait wrote:

Originally posted by right2niru right2niru wrote:

I also agree completely on the linear feel especially on serve/ return however when looping i like a little bit of oomph which is why , if you haven't already , you need to try Tibhar MXP .


I have tried MX-P. Its really good for the first 2-3 weeks, after that the sponge gets harder and the topsheet wears off and the ball begins to slip, especially on slow loops from just off the table.
My friends who have tried powergrip, also report the same problem as MX-P so I think its something common with all hard ESN rubbers.

http://saletabletennis.com/product/lidu-gold-lidu/
LIDU Gold is another rubber I am watching out for but at that price I'm skeptical about trying it out as I have heard the Tacky Topsheet + german Sponge crap before and it always disappoints.
H3 Neo is solid and proven and there should be a big incentive to look elsewhere.

I agree that is why i recently ordered a blue #22 H3 sponge :) just to try for the heck of it 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ashishsharmaait Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 12:32am
Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:


Another concern is playing with the 40+ balls. I've been testing the Nittaku Premium 40+ balls off-and-on and I'm very concerned that I can no longer produce enough speed or spin to hit past the blockers and quicker hitters. Will H3 help or hurt that problem?

I have played with the same blockers/hitters for the past year since this transition and I can tell you that the speed without placement is not enough to hit past good blockers. I get the same results against them that I got with T05. I have compensated for the lack of speed by hitting sharper angles. Th eball does not bounce much on the other end (due to flatter arc) and this makes blocking difficult so people tend to block up rather than down (which means a slower block).
With T05 it is a bit easy to get carried away and hit shots from out of position but in my opinion these don't help much against more consistent players.
I recommend that you persist for at least 4-5 weeks. Its common (especially after playing with T05) that you find that H3 sucks up your power. An easy tip which I can give is to leave the racket face open after brushing (rather than closed as with T05).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vic#74 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 12:42am
You guys pointed out it very well above....I moved to T05 from H3. H3 is the best for service, service return and all -time-looping style. But for the latter you need excellent fit, for a 40+ player it's very energy wasting manner. And the main reason to switch was that it was nearly impossible to hit the opponent through with 40+ ball. I was feeling lost and helpless at some moments. At least with Viscaria. May be ZJK SZLC or smth like that would do better.
So. I've lost a little in service (return), but instead I've got much better block and counter hit/loop, more out of position balls on the table and higher top speed. And...no more twiddling to kill a fisher! LOL 
 
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote atomant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 1:10am
Originally posted by ashishsharmaait ashishsharmaait wrote:

Originally posted by right2niru right2niru wrote:

I also agree completely on the linear feel especially on serve/ return however when looping i like a little bit of oomph which is why , if you haven't already , you need to try Tibhar MXP .


I have tried MX-P. Its really good for the first 2-3 weeks, after that the sponge gets harder and the topsheet wears off and the ball begins to slip, especially on slow loops from just off the table.
My friends who have tried powergrip, also report the same problem as MX-P so I think its something common with all hard ESN rubbers.

http://saletabletennis.com/product/lidu-gold-lidu/

LIDU Gold is another rubber I am watching out for but at that price I'm skeptical about trying it out as I have heard the Tacky Topsheet + german Sponge crap before and it always disappoints.
H3 Neo is solid and proven and there should be a big incentive to look elsewhere.



LIdu top sheet is really tacky and it really last.....outlasting H3 in tackiness. The ESN sponge is a typical ESN sponge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flamingmdn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 6:01am
I've changed to boosted H3 from Tenergy in order to improve my footwork & power of strokes and I can say this really helps and improves footwork and timing a lot.
After 3 month of hard training now I'm much more confident in FH looping and I found that now I use BH only for recovery shots and serve receive.
So if you want to improve footwork switch to H3 or smth similar is pretty good option. Just give it a try and don't go back to your beloved T05 after few training sessions: it takes some time to adapt your mechanics to hard & tacky rubber.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unstopabl3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 9:57am
How would you guys compare H3 Neo with Rakza 7 and Rakza 7 soft ???

I have a weaker BH and better players tend to exploit it by serving heavy spin serves on my BH. Lately I've improved my BH a lot with Rakza 7 soft, but still every once a while I tend to volley the heavy spin serves giving them an easy smash shot. 

So would H3 Neo on my BH help me with these spiny serves???

I'm loving Rakza 7 on my FH so won't try H3 Neo on my FH.

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flamingmdn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/12/2015 at 10:25am
Maybe yes, but in general H3 is not a BH rubber if you are not Ma Long. 
Have you thout about using short pips? Makes receive a lot easier but suitable only for close to table play. If it's your zone - give it a try, there are some very similar to inverted in terms of required stroke mechanics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khmd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2015 at 1:27pm
For backhand, you may try DHS H 3-50 which is soft (35 and 37 degree),
and for BH use. It is out in the market last year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AgentHEX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/15/2015 at 9:18pm
The OP post is pretty much spot on. These type of higher friction rubbers provide more leeway not just in straight up serve/push but the shots in between opening strokes and rally where you might want to aggressively manipulate spin but can't swing all out.

However unless you're high level, boosting isn't even necessary if you get one of the newer faster chinese hybrid-ish rubbers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clarence247 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/15/2015 at 10:25pm
I happen to have a sheet of Nittaku H3 Pro which I have never got around to using because of the reliability I found in the Adidas P7. Based on videos I has seen of USATT players I would say I fall in the 2000-2100 range... after coming back to ttennis from a 14 yr break - I was training seriously (3hrs daily) for 3 months. I first tried boosted classics (Mendo MP + Sriver EL) but the extra spin and ease of opening vs underspin made me shift to P7 and Rakza 7. I decided not to EJ while training seriously because I wanted to focus on bringing my game back up (as a Junior I used to train regularly and have good technique).

Well, now I am training less, and I really wish to try the H3 Pro:
a) I rely a lot on heavy spin serves, with a predictable return (i dont focus much on deception although I add float serves) - mainly short underspin or sidespin of various length according to strategy i chose for that point
b) I am an attacker - I like to power loop the 3rd ball - adding risk but going straight for a powerful attack after the return (which is not weak but predictable because of my serve) - even vs underspin I am able to open with power and spin and do not need to lower power for safety (at least with Adidas P7)
c) I generally use a lot of my power - i dont rely on the rubber's catapult - I play hard and fast, looping whenever I can - and pushing with heavy underspin if I cannot - I use a lot of hip rotation when looping - definitely not just my arm but my whole body.
d) because of the way I play most points are short and I do not end up in many rallies far from the table.

Do you H3 users think that the H3 would suit me? The P7 is the best I have tried / found so far - better than T05, MX-P or Sigma for my game - but due to it's bouncy nature it does sometimes cause some errors - or lack of control for example in short game, or with some attacks going long on full power.

my concerns are:
a) will H3 open well and allow me to use power vs underspin returns - I have heard it's unforgiving - but this term is so vague - if I attack well, with good technique - will it be easy to attack the 3rd ball and safe to do so with power - or will I miss more than with a Euro rubber? 3rd ball attack is the centre of my game
b) what are the disadvantages vs a euro rubber for someone who has power and does not need the rubber to give him power? Does it lack in ant other department? Generally harder rubbers mean that if the contact is not perfect, then the ball just falls right into the net because there is no dwell time... is it the same with H3?
c) Many strong players 2400+ told me that ultimately H3 costs you points unless you are a pro player... basically the people I have asked said they would score less points in a match with H3 even if they are very strong players - (semi pro level) 

Hope I can get some feedback - I don't just want to try it and then quit - if I try it I want to stick to it for at least 3 months.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/15/2015 at 11:13pm
Well, tacky rubber is like a cultural thing.  You don't think "does it suit me?"  You take the bad with the good.  It is not a "love it or hate it" thing, either.  You suck it up and stick to it, for life, not "for at least 3 months."  It is a belief.  A way of life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AgentHEX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/16/2015 at 5:29am
Originally posted by Clarence247 Clarence247 wrote:


my concerns are:
a) will H3 open well and allow me to use power vs underspin returns - I have heard it's unforgiving - but this term is so vague - if I attack well, with good technique - will it be easy to attack the 3rd ball and safe to do so with power - or will I miss more than with a Euro rubber? 3rd ball attack is the centre of my game
b) what are the disadvantages vs a euro rubber for someone who has power and does not need the rubber to give him power? Does it lack in ant other department? Generally harder rubbers mean that if the contact is not perfect, then the ball just falls right into the net because there is no dwell time... is it the same with H3?
c) Many strong players 2400+ told me that ultimately H3 costs you points unless you are a pro player... basically the people I have asked said they would score less points in a match with H3 even if they are very strong players - (semi pro level) 

Hope I can get some feedback - I don't just want to try it and then quit - if I try it I want to stick to it for at least 3 months.


The problem ultimately with H3 is it's not fast enough for high level play without boosting, etc, esp for those w/ mediocre form, which a surprising amount of euro players have. Otherwise it's easier to use (ie better for amateurs) for everything except maybe topspin rally as long as you can reasonably read spin.

So IMO the decision comes down to where someone's form is at now or how much they're willing to work on it. It's probably not worth if someone has or is committed to a safe opening/roll/rally style.
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