A combined effort by Japan's KOKUTAKU and China's TUTTLE have made this new high speed short pimple rubber. With a pimple arrangement, new pimple structure and basesheet, this rubber offers high speed, great spin and control. Together with a Japanese sponge, it offer very good speed and control, and has received very good feedback from players.
Reviews (from Internet / forums)
Review of Kokutaku 119 by LawOCG : [note: this review done on a slightly harder sponged version]
Here's the first impressions review. I'll follow it up later on as well.
The 119 is quite a gem, the mold of the topsheet is of the absolute utmost quality. The pips are conical in shape and are extremely wide and short, I compared the 119 side by side with the 802-40 and they are both exactly the same in dimensions. The sponge on the other hand I couldn't find out what variant it was (please fix up if I'm wrong Alex . Its yellow in appearance and the pores are very fine and consistent allround the sponge. The hardness is right smack around 40 degrees, after using 802-40 and Tango Ultra for some while its feels quite alot harder but in actual fact its more a biased feeling due to using soft pips for awhile. Overall very happy with the quality of the sheet, The gluing between the sponge and topsheet is strong enough to cope with gluing without delaminating.
Hitting / Blocking
The first thing that struck me was the high throw of the rubber. After playing with tango Ultra for 2 weeks, everything popped up high and refused to land. After a good session of practice it was much easier to control the rubber. For hitting its extremely crisp and accurate. Almost any topspin ball coming at you can be hit with extreme consistency and accuracy. Blocking is exactly the same - very controlled and solid. This is a significant advantage in my books as this allows pinpoint placement.
note: The fact that the 119 is excellent for controlled hitting, It comes at a price. The 119 sacrifices lethality for consistency. For example when hitting flat against topspin with the Tango Ultra, the resulting ball was dead and contained varying amounts of backspin. Using the same stroke with the 119 produced no such ball. The trajectory of the resulting shot isn't as dangerous as that of the Tango Ultra. I think this has more to do with the stiffness of the topsheet more than anything else.
Hitting against backspin is slightly harder but still can be done consistently. The hard sponge and tremendous speed of the rubber makes this hard, but it can be managed with training.
Probably not where this rubber shines, It isn't as grippy as other pips out there so in turn its not all that effective for looping or chopping. It still able to put the ball on the table, but the resulting spin isn't enough to cause any trouble. For chopping its also the same, The speed of the rubber makes it incredibly hard to chop with.
Pushing / Short-game
Quite excellent for the short game here. Almost anything that just pops long can be hit or looped at a fair pace. Pushing is very nice as the pips grip just enough to create your own varying amount of backspin. Flicking is also very easy as the the stiff topsheet allows you to skim across any spun balls and bring them over the net. The main advantage here is the control, for such a fast pip the control is excellent. I say this in direct comparison with my previous tango ultra, which was notorious for a lack of control.
Overall its a high speed/control pip. It isn't as weird as the softer pips out there but in return its incredibly stable and is very consistent. If I could change a few things, I would soften the topsheet a tad and get a softer sponge. That would dramatically increase the the spin of the rubber while providing adequate speed. To sum it up, its definitely for the control orientated SP hitters out there that play a quick killing game. For those that use SP's who are looking for high effect and spin, this isnt the best rubber suited to that.
Well thats my first diagnosis on it hope it helps to explain a few things.