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Donic Bluegrip review

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Hans Regenkurt View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07/01/2019 at 5:31pm
I got one max sheet of Bluegrip R1 and one sheet of V1. I must admit that I am sceptical of Donic, my opinion is that they sell mediocre stuff at a premium price in terms of racket coverings as far as ESN products go. In spite of my conviction, I could not resist the temptation and I blew some of my money on these two sheets to test them out. About myself: I am an attacking player who uses inverted on both sides. On every training day I do some LP chopping to give me teammates some practice in looping. My USATT rating would be between 1900-2000, I am never gonna know exactly.

My usual rubber is MXP, more recently MXP Hard which I consider the second best after the Tenergy series considering the price / value ratio.

So onto my thoughts. I weighed both sheets, the V1 was 71 gramms (170x171), the R1 74-75 (171x170).  They come with a plastic covering typical of Chinese rubbers. There was an unpleasant surprise on examining the V1. Here is a picture of the two side by side - The V41 is on the left, the R1 on the right.



The unpleasant surprise is that the sponge under the V1 is pretty much the same as the Xiom Tau I or the Xiom Vega Def. Neither fully the usual Chinese, nor the more modern Chinese (p. ex. 729 Presto or Yasaka Rising Dragon). Definitely not German. The rubber with the usual German sponge is the R1. There are distinct differences in their topsheets: the legs of the pips on the V1 are very short and the whole topsheet bears a lot of resemblance to Chinese rubbers. The R1 seems to be Germany made with taller pips.

From this point on I was disappointed because I totally hated Tau and I am not convinced by the Vega Def either.

I glued them onto two of my blades: the R1 went on a Butterfly Diode V and the V1 was mounted on a Gewo Robles Off-.

During the first few minutes of practice it became evident that the V1 is very similar to the Vega Def (but tuned more for offense). The good news is that they both are clearly better than the Tau and the bad is that they are unfit for serious play in my eye. I got rid of the V1 at a Black Friday price although it is Monday today.

My experiences with the R1 are a lot better. My sheet  does not have a booster smell. In play it behaves like a typical ESN product, very far from Chinese characteristics. It lifts the ball well, the spin on topspins is very good. The end speed is lesser than MXP but the flight path of the ball is safer. It rewards loping strokes and in slower on direct hits but at least the are possible to do. In terms of hardness, it is noticeably  softer than than a Joola Rhyzer Pro 50 but harder than the 48 version. Compared to MXP Hard, it is harder.

The trait that distinguishes it from other Donic rubbers is the hardness of the topsheet. It feels firmer than the usual rubbers without the "Turbo" label but still it feels livelier than the "Turbo" versions (I could never use those).

So, after two and a half hours of play, the R1 compared to MXP Hard:

R1 feels harder. In gameplay its speed is about 85% of the MXPH but is more accurate and spinnier.

Compared to Rhyzer Pro 50: the R1 is definitely softer, but harder than the 48. Its speed compared to te Joola R50: 75-80% but a lot safer when it comes to topspinning.

I sense some disturbance in the financial force surrounding Donic. To me they are clearly behind Gewo and Tibhar. Gewo's Nexus Pro El 48 is clearly superior to Donic's Z1 and so is MXP Hard if we talk about advanced players. Even Andros's Rasanters are ahead of Donic and this year Donic could only afford these two new rubbers as a response to their competitors. Unfortunately, a poor response. The R1 could be used on a more serious level and it is quite enjoyable to play but I am convinced that a more serious player is better off with an MXP Hard or a Gewo, where it is more important to outpower the opponent rather than outloop them.

I have moved the R1 onto a Robles Off- blade and I am continuing using it during the following days.

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Sedis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sedis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/02/2019 at 7:21am
Thanks for this, I had been waiting for someone to compare V1 and R1

Would it be fair to say R1 is similar to Tibhar K1 Euro and Joola Golden Tango PS, but V1 is more like Tibhar K2, although probably with a softer sponge?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vvk1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/02/2019 at 7:46am
Originally posted by Sedis Sedis wrote:

Thanks for this, I had been waiting for someone to compare V1 and R1

Would it be fair to say R1 is similar to Tibhar K1 Euro and Joola Golden Tango PS, but V1 is more like Tibhar K2, although probably with a softer sponge?



V1's sponge from the screenshot above looks nothing like K2's sponge - which is far more uniform in texture. See http://mytabletennis.net/forum/joola-golden-tango-ps_topic83085_post1053335.html#1053335
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DLC1325 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/03/2019 at 12:30am
V1's sponge reminded me of KTL Black Power's sponge or some other cheap Chinese sponge and its a Teal color versus the usual Donic Blue* sponge color. My very first thought when I unwrapped V1 was "I could've got the same thing for half the price." Medium throw.

R1 is very much an ESN rubber with a lightly tacky top, which I imagine is akin to Golden Tango PS. I wonder if the original Golden Tango's sponge is like V1?  Sponge is the usual Donic Blue* sponge color. Medium-high throw.
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Hans Regenkurt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hans Regenkurt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/04/2019 at 4:28pm
I tested the R1 yesterday and my assessment is that it is useless. There was no power in loops, spin is only enough to get the ball over the net from 1.5 .2 meters. From further off there is a danger of hitting the white of the net. I boosted it this afternoon and gave it another go in today's session. The result is the same. I am giving my R1 away for a Black Friday price.

It might be good for lower level players but in my view Donic's best rubber is the Bluestorm Z1. They should not have tempted to launch the Bluegrip series of this year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/06/2019 at 11:35am
The sponge is not that porous. 
Independent online TT Product reviewer of ADIDAS, STIGA, TIBHAR, NEXY, JOOLA, ALSER & XVT

ITTF Level 1 Coaching Course Conductor, ITTF Level 1 Coach
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