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A real low and short no-spin serve can give you some easy points in matches, as they are difficult to flip hard, and they require good timing to push hard. Mix it up with a heavy backspin in the same spot. Remember to get it short, the ball should bounce short on your side close to the net...

 Killerspin Blast Review

Blast is latest rubber Killerspin. Although Killerspin is an American company, Blast is fully made in Germany, who makes many of the top table tennis rubber on the market today.

Killerspin's description:
Killerspin's new BLAST is cutting-edge rubber made especially for advanced skill, topspin players looking for extra power. Like Killerspin's Fortissimo, the Blast's rubber consists of a hybrid topsheet made of an elastic compound, which generates amazing rebound, as well as a soft compound that helps grab the ball and create more spin. Equal components of natural and synthetic rubber give an extra spring effect. However, the Blast's topsheet is stiffer than that of Fortissimo, generating extra power for a wicked shot. The Blast also features a made-in-Japan soft sponge, ideal for powerful topspin shots with great control, and German "Torqsion TechnologyTM", which is stronger than normal tension standards, and gives the rubber an added performance edge.

Ratings

  • Speed 10.8
  • Spin 9.3
  • Control 9.3
  • Available thicknesses 2.0mm, max
  • Weight (cut to racket size) 42-43g

Review:

The new Blast rubber comes in one of the new vacuum sealed packages as shown. There is no evidence that this is one of the factory tuned rubbers that some of the other manufacturers use, but I personally would like to see all new rubbers use this type of packaging, as I'm sure it keeps the rubber fresher for much longer and protects it from the elements.

 

Opening the vacuum sealed packaging reveals a fairly standard carton cover with the rubber sheet and a paper protection sheet. The sheet looks of high quality, as you would expect from all sheets made in Germany, and this is of course reflected on the price. The sheet looked in fresh and excellent condition. It was cut very clean and no signs on any imperfections. Topsheet was smooth with a bit a of a shine, and the print was very clear and sharp. It felt a little firmer than something like Globe 999 but not really hard. The topsheet is completely non-tacky but does feel quite grippy as you would expect. It's a little thicker and firmer than most tensors, but it does not feel overly stiff. I would expect it to be quite durable. The sharp edges of the logos show that this was made using a high quality mold.

 

Although I heard that this sponge on this rubber was supposed to be quite firm, it did not feel that hard to me, and upon measuring it it came out at 37deg on my sponge hardness scale. Sponge colour is cream, and similar to many Japanese sponges I've seen as pictured. Pores are visible but not large like on some of the latest rubbers. Topsheet and sponge are glued together very well, and tough to separate, which is good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As pictured (left), the rubber does come with quite a significant dome. This does indicate a fair amount of tension between topsheet and sponge. The dome will result in some tension in the sponge when glued onto the blade, which usually results in a significant increase in rebound speed.

A stronger glue must be used to keep the rubber flat onto the blade, or it will start lifting near the edges of the blade face. If it does, remove it and simply glue it again.

Testing the rubber:

OK, onto some real test now... The first blade I tried this rubber on was a Sanwei V7, which is a fairly rigid and fast 7-ply blade with a medium soft feel. As you will read later in the review, this type of blade actually seems to be the best match for this rubber.

Short game:
This rubber felt quite slow in the short game, and was remarkably insensitive to spin. I found it very easy to return balls short and where I wanted, even when they carried a lot of spin. Slow balls with little or no spin were a little hard to handle, as the lack of tack on the surface made it a little harder to put more spin in the ball, which is most helpful to keep the ball low. Not a big deal but it required some adjustment from the mildly tacky rubber that I commonly use.

Looping:
This is usually the 'make or break' aspect for me... if a rubber does not loop well it's really restricted in the styles that it's suitable for. Well the Blast performed very well in the looping department. The topsheet itself is not that fast at all, which gives the rubber a lower gear that many Tensors lack. Brushing a backspin ball lightly produce a very heavy spin ball at relatively slow speed. You can't brush it as lightly as many Chinese tacky rubbers, but digging the ball in a little brings out high grip which produces the spin.

Digging the ball in a little harder and the sponge effect really kicks in, making the loops a lot faster. Spin is not high, but certainly enough to bring the ball down, making this a very nice power-looping rubber. It quite linear too, in that the more power you put into it, the more speed and spin you get.

The throw of the rubber feels medium to me... a lot lower than something like Tenergy, but certainly higher than something like Bryce. There is very little glue feel / effect in this rubber, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're after a rubber with a high glue-feel, the Blast is not for you.

Counter-looping with the Blast worked very well too. It's not overly sensitive to spin, and even fast loops could be looped back producing good speed and spin. It did not really notice any sort of bottoming out...Although I'm not the hardest looper around, I've felt this effect in many rubbers (mainly softer sponged ones) but I felt nothing like this on the Blast.

Hitting/blocking:
This is definitely the best property of this rubber IMO... it hits beautifully with a nice crisp feel and seems even less affected by spin when you hit it hard. Blocking did work very well too, although the rebound speed seemed fast, making me block over the end a bit more often. If you're used to fast rubbers, this may not be an issue for you.

Pushing / Chopping:
I don't think this is the best rubber for a low-pace pushing rally... the rubber just does not seem to grip enough to keep it low consistantly, although it does seem relatively insensitive to incoming spin as well. For chopping away from the table, where to ball comes a little harder, it worked very well though... as long as you can dig the ball into the rubber a little you get the grip and then the control. I expect a thinner sponge would offer even more control here.

Choice of blade:
After the fairly stiff Sanwei blade, I also tried a Stiga OC (which has a lot more flex) and also a hard and stiff carbon blade. I'm glad I didn't try this rubber on the Stiga blade first, as it did not seem to perform well at all. I didn't seem to get the feel of the ball at all, and the spin on the ball felt worse. I think the stiffer blade allows you to dig the ball into the rubber more easily, which gives you both better feel and spin. The carbon blade performed better, and also hit very well, but it did not seem to perform as well in the looping department. I expect a softer carbon or arylate carbon would work better, but possible the stiffer 7-ply blades, like Clipper or P700 will perform best.

Durability:
I've played with the rubber for 4 sessions, and it shows no signs of wear or tear. The topsheet still has most of it's shine and there is no noticable degradation in performance. The topsheet does feel fairly tough as mentioned before, so I expect this is going to be a very durable rubber.

Conclusion:
The Blast is a quality rubber, most suitable for the more offensive power-loopers or hitters. Those that prefer a more linear feel when looping, as compared to the feel of the non-linear Tensor style rubbers, will probably like the Blast. The choice of blade does seem to affect the performance of this rubber, so take this into account when you consider trying the Blast.

Would you like to try the Blast? Click below to buy direct:
Killerspin Blast

Review by Alex Vanderklugt - OOAK Table Tennis Reviews

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