Review by LawOCG (published with permission with thanks):
reviewed the Faster III a few weeks back and that to me was probably the
greatest friendship rubber Ive ever used. I wont go so far as to say the best
chinese rubber, but its definitely up there with the best. Many people tend to
compare 729 and DHS rubbers because they are the most widely used. Well there is
one clear difference between their top rubbers, The new friendships (Higher,
Faster, Focus 2) are much more playable then their DHS counterparts(
Hurricanes/Skylines). The new friendship series pretty much has all the gears
and can do everything jap rubbers can do at a slightly slower speed with much
more spin. The DHS rubbers tend to be "one dimensional". Well the main
purpose of this review is find out how the Higher III compares to the Faster
III. Ill mostly be comparing them head to head. The fasterIII has a powerful
topsheet with low throw attached to a german sponge. The Higher III has a
incredibly elastic topsheet with high throw attached to a Soft japanese sponge.
Their characteristics are quite different but read on to see how they fare. In
this review Im going to seperate it into different sections comparing each of
their attributes... Enjoy
the Faster III and Higher III are highly effective for serving, The topsheets on
both of them have roughly the same amout of tackiness on them and allow spinny
serves to be effortless. The topsheet isnt so sticky that you have to put more
effort in to give the ball speed, Also it isnt so fast that it makes grazing the
ball hard. Its just perfectly balanced for serving IMO.
most chinese rubbers both of these rubbers excel in this area. Chops can be made
with ease and will have huge amounts of backspin on them. Pushes can be keep
very short with a decent amount of spin . Flipping is also pretty good as it has
enough grip to lift most short balls and allow you to place them where you want.
is where their similiarity ends with traditional chinese rubbers. Both the
Faster III and Higher III and tremendous for counterhitting and blocking. You
can hit very very hard and allow the ball to sink into the sponge without it
topping out. The Faster III is better in this respect as the german sponge is a
tad bit harder then the Higher III's jap songe so it hits better. The Faster III
allows you to hit the ball pretty hard and the results are superb. The Higher
III can also do the same but the higher throw makes this a bit more difficult
(the same applies to blocking, where the faster III has a low throw so blocking
is slightly more effective). Keep in mind that the higher is also excellent for
blocking as well.
ol Smashing with both of these rubbers are excellent. Traditional chinese
rubbers are renown for their ability to NOT be able to put anything away. With
these rubbers thats not the case, You can easily smash the ball at terminal
speed. Both rubbers perform equally in this respect, with their only difference
being their throw angles.
main part that I would guess interest most players. This is where we find out
which reigns king in terms of looping ability. The faster III allows you to
powerloop effortlessly. The ball will tend to dive down with a incredibly low
arc at a pretty fast pace. With the Faster III there is a tendency where it
feels almost like a japanese rubber because the spin component was slightly
lacking as would you expect from a chinese rubber.
Higher III is a monster. Straight from the first loop I knew that this would be
it. The Higher III's medium soft jap sponge combined with the Higher topsheet is
a excellent combination. This would probably be the successor of the Cream/MRS
combination. I can safely say that at this moment there isnt anything chinese
that I have tried so far that can compare to this (Even the highpoint isnt as
mightly as this). Loops at normal pace are excellent, there is loads of spin on
the ball, the second kick is apparant and the speed of the loops are superb.
Speedwise the Higher III is on par with the Faster III. When you start to crank
up the power, you will see the difference. The rubber just keeps giving and
giving. The harder you hit the faster and spinnier the ball. Even at terminal
speed there is no loss of control. To me I would say the high arc is the
contributing factor to this.
with the Higher III is also a pleasure. The ball will fly over with a nice arc
on it and plenty of speed/spin. Basically against my friend with a glued up
Hammond, my Higher III can fight on equal ground at middistance. For
counterlooping the Higher III is the king of the hill in the friendship range.
rubbers are tremendous and excel at everything, there is only some slight
differences between the two and it will come down to personal preference.
III - Slightly faster, low throw, slightly less speed and more heavy in terms of
III - Probably around 2-5% slower, higher throw, more spin then the Faster III
and most important factor.... its much lighter then the faster III. I dont know
by how much but theres enough of a difference for you to notice it.
players that like to end the point with loop kills, the Faster III is the way to
go. For players that want to be able to do anything and everything the Higher
III wont let you down. One last note On the packaging of the Higher III they
recommend it as a backhand rubber, to me thats bullocks this rubber is more and
enough for the forehand in terms of power and playability.
Review by Silvalis:
First impressions are good; this rubber comes in a nice box
with "You'd better not taste or smell the rubbert products" (sic) on
the back and has a handy brochure on new Friendship products inside. The rubber
itself looks promising: cream colour japanese sponge of approximately 42
degrees, thick, tacky (but not sticky) topsheet. Overall, it's a bit softer than
the Palio CJ8000 Extreme Loop. Weight comes out to be roughly 0.24g/cm^2 - not a
light rubber. Cut to the size of my HWL (about std Butterfly head size) it comes
in a 48g (no plastic).
Glued with Butterfly Clean Chack makes the rubber play
"nicely". Nothing special, I'd guess that you need to speedglue this
thing to make it stand out. Unglued, it's a bit hard and plays similarly to
Palio CJ8000 Extreme Loop - well behaved, but not exciting. The topsheet is
really tacky and you can load up the spin in loops. Hitting and serving are
fine. The thicker topsheet causes a little bit of loss of feel for short pushes,
but I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Overall I'd call this a good forehand rubber, but not very
exciting unglued. I think I actually prefer this over sriver for an advanced
beginner. Would suit a looper glued up.