1.  Introduction

‘Hurricane Long’ series is the top models in current DHS (Double Happiness) blade range. ‘Long’ in the series is the name of world’s best player – Ma Long.

DHS Hurricane Long 01
Fig.01 The box of ‘Hurricane Long 5’

Whenever Ma Long changes his blade, new model of ‘Hurricane Long’ series is launched. His current blade, i.e. current top model of DHS, is ‘Hurricane Long 5’. And, one of his former blades is ‘Hurricane Long 3’.

‘Hurricane Long 5’ is a fiber blade, and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is a 7-ply wood blade. Both of those two are suitable for top players or skilled amateur players whose main technic is topspin.

DHS Hurricane Long 02
Fig.02 ‘Hurricane Long 5’ (left) and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ (right)

Fig.02 shows ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’. The graphic of those two blades are almost identical – Light blue handle with yellow accent, black lens with gold text and blade surface without any printing. The graphic on blade heads in Fig.02  is not printed on the surface of blade but on the vinyl cover. Professional players will like the blade surface on which nothing is printed.

DHS Hurricane Long 03
Fig.03 Lenses at the bottom of handle of ‘Hurricane Long’ series

At the bottom of handle, there are plastic lens in which the picture of Ma Long is printed. The picture on ‘Hurricane Long 5’ (left) is not identical to that on ‘Hurricane Long 3’ (right). (Unfortunately those bottom lenses look cheap. But, probably nobody cares.)

DHS Hurricane Long 04
Fig.04 Backside of handle

There is a graphic on the backside of handle. It describes the head of dragon. That is because ‘Long’ which is the given name of Ma Long (‘Ma’ is family name) means ‘dragon’ in Chinese language. This graphic looks very good, differently from bottom lens.

Then let’s see the plywood constructions at a glance.

DHS Hurricane Long 05
Fig.05 Plywood construction of ‘Hurricane Long 5’

Above is the plywood construction of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Arylate Carbon (ALC) is placed between the second (= middle) layer and the center layer of 5-ply wood construction. Top layer is Limba. Second layer and center layer are Ayous. Overall thickness is about 5.8mm. This construction is very similar to that of Butterfly InnerForce Layer ALC. Therefore it will be interesting if we examine the characteristics of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ with those of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’.

DHS Hurricane Long 06
Fig.06 Plywood construction of ‘Hurricane Long 3’

Above is the plywood construction of ‘Hurricane Long 3’. Interestingly, if we think that the red wood layer is fiber layer, the construction looks similar to that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. I.e. this is the 7-ply wood construction that additional thin red wood layers are inserted between the second layer and the center layer of 5-ply wood construction. Top layer is Limba, and all other layers are Ayous. Overall thickness is 6.4mm. It is much thinner than Stiga ‘Clipper CR’ whose thickness is about 7.0mm and is basically suitable for smash although there are so many players who use ‘Clipper CR’ but whose playing style is not fast attach (= mainly smash + block) but topspin. For comparison, I selected ‘Clipper CC’ instead of ‘Clipper CR’ because ‘Clipper CC’ is thinner and softer than ‘Clipper CR’. Like ‘Hurricane Long 3’, ‘Clipper CC’ is for modern topspin style.

 

Then, let’s examine the characteristics of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ and compare those two with some other blades.

 


2. Blades to be compared

Following blades will be compared with ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’.

  • Stiga Allround Classic – Reference for Performance Indices
  • Butterfly InnerForce Layer ALC
  • Stiga Carbonado 45
  • Stiga Clipper CC
  • Butterfly Korbel

 

‘Allround Classic’ is the representative of traditional all-round blades. And, it is the reference blade of Performance Indices in TTGear Lab. All indices for ‘Allround Classic’ is 1.0.

‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ has similar construction as ‘Hurricane Long 5’. The fiber of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is ‘Arylate Carbon’ which is same fiber as that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. In the constructions of both of those two blades, ‘Arylate Carbon’ is placed under second layer (= middle layer). We call that kind of construction as ‘inner fiber construction’. Please refer to “Butterfly InnerForce Layer ALC – Overview & Lab Test” for more detailed information of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’. And please also refer to “Characteristics of four known ‘Inner Fiber’ blades – Comparison” to look the overall characteristics of ‘Inner Fiber’ blades at a glance. The thickness of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’  is about 5.8~5.9mm. That is same as the thickness of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Both of those two blades are being selected by many top players now. It will be meaningful if we can find out the similarity and difference between those two blades by the observation of performance indices.

‘Carbonado 45’ is also one of important blades those are being selected by top players now. It is not an ‘Inner Fiber’ blade because its fiber is placed directly under its top layer. The fiber of Stiga ‘Carbonado’ series is ‘Textreme’ which is basically a kind of woven Carbon fiber but is made much flatter than ordinary Carbon fiber. The flatness of ‘Textreme’ reduces the amount of epoxy when it is inserted in plywood. The result is higher efficiency of energy and much softer feeling when compared with conventional Carbon fiber. Stiga is applying three kinds of ‘Textreme’ for its ‘Carbonado’ series. Among those three, the one of the lowest density (= the softest one) is being applied to ‘Carbonado 45’. Also, the orientation of fiber in ‘Carbonado 45’ is not ‘vertical and horizontal’ but ’45° CW and CCW from vertical direction’. That makes the feeling of ‘Carbonado 45’ even softer. Therefore we can compare ‘Carbonado 45’ with ‘Hurricane Long 5’ or ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ those are the blades with ‘Inner Fiber’ construction.

‘Clipper CC’ is a blade with traditional 7-ply ‘Clipper Type’ construction. But, the thickness of ‘Clipper CC’ is meaningfully reduced from that of ‘Clipper CR’ or ‘Clipper Wood’. The reduced thickness makes ‘Clipper CC’ slower and softer. That makes ‘Clipper CC’ suitable for modern topspin style. Because ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is also a 7-ply blade with reduced speed for modern topspin style, it will be meaningful to observe the similarity and the difference between ‘Clipper CC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’.

‘Korbel’ is a representative of 5-ply wood offensive blade. In fact, the most important meaning of many ‘Inner Fiber’ blades or modern 7-ply wood blades is the improvement of speed from ‘Korbel’ for survive the change of the environment of table tennis. Therefore it will be meaningful that we also include Korbel in this comparison.

 

Comparison will be done by performance indices. Concerning the detail of four performance indices, please refer to following articles in ‘Background’ section :

 


3. Comparison by Performance Indices

DHS Hurricane Long 07
Fig.07 Comparison by Elasticity Indices

Fig.07 shows the comparison graph of Elasticity Indices.

Ep (Primary Elasticity Index) is directly concerned with the rebound speed of blade. In general, Ep of 5-ply wood blades is in the range of 1.0 and 2.0. Around 1.5 can be considered as the standard value of Ep of 5-ply wood ‘offensive’ blade. Ec (Central Elasticity Index) is concerned with additional ‘kick’ when player hits ball very hard. In general, Ec of 5-ply wood blade is lower than Ep of that blade. This makes the feeling of most of 5-ply wood blade even softer than its actual softness.

Ep and Ec of ‘Hurricane Ling 5’ are 1.64 and 1.24 respectively. And, Ep and Ec of ‘Hurricane Long 3’ are 1.56 and 1.34 respectively. The difference between Ep and Ec of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is bigger than that between Ep and Ec of ‘Hurricane Long 3’. ‘Hurricane Long 5’ provides higher primary elasticity and lower central elasticity when compared to ‘Hurricane Long 3’. But, the fundamental difference between two blades doesn’t look significant.

We know that the construction of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is similar to that of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’. The primary elasticity index – Ep – of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is not much different from that of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’. However, the central elasticity index – Ec – of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is much smaller than that of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’. It means that in actual use we will hardly feel that ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is similar to ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’. On the graph, the shapes of those two blades look quite different.

On the contrary, the relationship between Ep and Ec of of ‘Carbonado 45’ looks very similar to that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ although ‘Carbonado 45’ shows one step higher values than ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Although ‘Carbonado 45’ is one step faster than ‘Hurricane Long 5’, we will soon notice the similarity between those two blades in actual use.

‘Clipper CC’ is slower than traditional fast 7-ply wood blades such as ‘Clipper CR’. That is because ‘Clipper CC’ has been optimized for modern topspin style. However, it is still faster than ‘Hurricane Long 3’ which is also a 7-ply wood blade for modern topspin. In actual use we will not be able to feel the similarity between ‘Clipper CC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ mainly because of the significant difference of Ec (1.61 vs. 1.34). In fact, ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is very close to ‘Korbel’ which is a typical 5-ply wood offensive blade. We will be able to easily replace our ‘Korbel’ with ‘Hurricane Long 3’ because the overall characteristic of ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is not that of a 7-ply wood blade but that of a typical 5-ply wood blade.

 

Examining Ec/Ep is also a easier way to understand the tendency of elasticity of blades. Fig.08 shows the relationship between Ec/Ep and Ep.

DHS Hurricane Long 08
Fig.08 Ec/Ep vs. Ep

 

Ec/Ep expresses the ‘tendency’ of the elasticity of blade. By examining Ec/Ep and Ep at the same time, we can easily understand the behavior of blades.

One the graph, all blades under comparison (except for reference blade whose value is fixed to 1.0) are in the range of Ec/Ep < 1.0, i.e. ‘Hold’ range.

We can notice that four blades – ‘Hurricane Long 5’, ‘Hurricane Long 3’ ‘Korbel’ and ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ – are placed near a vertical line that Ep = 1.6. However, those four blades show a variety of the level of ‘Hold’. ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is placed near the border between ‘Mild Hold’ area and ‘Deep Hold’ area. The one whose level of ‘Hold’ is the most extreme is ‘Hurricane Long 5’. ‘Korbel’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ are placed in between ‘InnerForce ALC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’. It can be easily predicted that ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’ will be noticeably different from each other in actual use.

‘Clipper CC and ‘Carbonado 45’ are placed near a vertical line that Ep = 1.8. Those two blades can be considered as one step faster blades than former four blades those are placed near a vertical line that Ep = 1.6. Interestingly, ‘Clipper CC’ is close to ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’, while ‘Carbonado 45’ is close to ‘Hurricane Long 5’. The level of ‘Hold’ of ‘Clipper CC’ and ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is quite mild. However, the level of ‘Hold’ of ‘Carbonado 45’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is extreme. If we have to replace our ‘Clipper CC’ with an ‘inner fiber’ blade and we don’t have much time for adaption, ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ may be better solution than ‘Hurricane Long 5’. ‘Hurricane 5’ will require more time for adaption if our former blade is a 7-ply wood blade with traditional construction such as ‘Clipper CC’.

‘Carbonado 45’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’ are not similar in construction. ‘Carbonado 45’ is a fiber blade with ‘outer fiber’ construction while ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is a fiber blade with ‘inner fiber’ construction. Even there is difference of fiber material. The fiber of ‘Carbonado 45’ is pure carbon fiber although it is woven in very unique way, while the fiber of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is ALC which is the mixture of carbon fiber and arylate fiber. But, nevertheless those two are very similar with each other. ‘Extreme Hold’ is a word that can express the characteristic of those two. In recent years many top players have selected ‘Carbonado 45’ or ‘Hurricane Long 5’. It may be concerned with the ‘Extreme Hold’ of those two blades.

 

Then successively, let’s compare Vibration Indices. Fig. 09 shows the comparison graph of Vibration Indices.

DHS Hurricane Long 09
Fig.09 Comparison by Vibration Indices

Vibration Indices are concerned with feeling. Vp indicates primary feeling which is transferred to player’s palm. And, Vl is the feeling at the wing of a blade. It is felt by player’s index finger or middle finger.

The Vp’s of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ are 1.06 and 1.11 respectively. It means that in primary feeling ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is a bit harder than ‘Hurricane Long 5’. The Vl’s of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ are 1.27 and 1.25 respectively. We can notice that the difference between Vp and Vl of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is noticeably bigger than that between Vp and Vl of ‘Hurricane Long 3’.

On the graph, ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ shows relatively smaller gap between Vp and Vl, when compared with ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’. Some players will feel that ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is somewhat close to ‘Hurricane Long 3’. But, it will be hardly expected that there will be players who feel the similarity between ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ and ‘Hurricane Long 5’.

‘Korbel’ and ‘Carbonado 45’ look similar to ‘Hurricane Long 5’. We may also be albe to think that ‘Korbel’ is close to ‘Hurricane Long 3’.

The Ep of ‘Clipper CC’ is 1.20. That is the biggest value in this comparison. It means that it is the stiffest blade in this comparison. The El of ‘Clipper CC’ is 1.24. It is not much different from the other blades in the comparison (except for reference blade). Overall tendency of ‘Clipper CC’ on the graph is very unique. It may be the unique feeling of ‘7-ply wood’ blade in ‘traditional’ 7-ply construction.

From the comparison of Vibration Indices, we can conclude that both of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ provide the feeling similar to the 5-ply wood offensive blade such as ‘Korbel.

 

Examining Vl/Vp is easier way for the comparison of the tendency of feeling. Fig.10 shows the relationship between Vl/Vp and Vp for easier comparison.

DHS Hurricane Long 10
Fig.10 Vl/Vp vs. Vp

 

On the graph of Vl/Vp, all the blades except ‘Allround Classic whose values are fixed as 1.0 are placed in the range that Vl/Vp > 1.0. I.e. in ‘relatively sharper at fingertip (of index finger) and relatively softer at palm’ range.

The blade placed at highest position is ‘Hurricane Long 5’. ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is close to ‘Carbonado 45’ and ‘Korbel’ on the graph. Those three blades provide remarkably sharper relative feeling at index finger. ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is placed one step further.

We can also consider that all blades in the comparison (except for reference blade) are placed near a straight line which runs from upper left to lower right. ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is at upper left end, while ‘Clipper CC’ is at lower right end. ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is placed just in between ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Clipper CC’. On the line, ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is far from ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Instead, it is quite biased to ‘Clipper CC’.

Although the construction of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is similar to that of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’, there is significant difference in feeling. ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is very close to ‘Korbel’ which is a typical 5-ply wood offensive blade.

Also, ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is more biased to ‘Korbel’ than to ‘Clipper CC’. Its feeling is not much different from that of ‘Korbel’ which is a typical 5-ply wood offensive blade. It is not similar to ‘Clipper CC’ which is a 7-ply wood blade of traditional construction.

 


4. Summary

The result of comparison can be summarized as follows :

  • The primary elasticity of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ or ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is close to that of a 5-ply wood offensive blade such as ‘Korbel’. ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ also shows similar level of primary elasticity. However, there is noticeable difference in the tendency of Ec/Ep. Both of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ holds ball very deep when player hits the ball very strongly. Those two has extreme tendency of ‘Deep Hold’, while the level of ‘Hold’ of ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ is somewhat mild.
  • Both of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ are very soft, and are relatively sharper at index finger. Especially ‘Hurricane Long 5’ shows very high level of sharper relative feeling at index finger.
  • ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is not similar to ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’ which has almost identical construction but to ‘Carbonado 45’ whose construction is much different from that of ‘Hurricane Long 5’. Also ‘Hurricane Long 5’ is very close to ‘Korbel which is a 5-ply wood blade.
  • In every aspect, ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is also close to ‘Korbel’ which is a 5-ply wood blade. It is not similar to ‘Clipper CC’. Overall characteristics of ‘Hurricane Long 3’ is in between ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘InnerForce Layer ALC’.

Both of ‘Hurricane Long 5’ and ‘Hurricane Long 3’ are keeping the overall characteristics of 5-ply wood offensive blade such as ‘Korbel’ Both of those two will be very good choice for the player who want to enhance power of blade but don’t want to give up the typical feeling of 5-ply wood offensive blade. The choice between those two depends on the level of ‘Hold’. If the player prefers deeper hold, ‘Hurricane Long 5’ will be better choice. But, if the player wants milder level of hold, ‘Hurricane Long 3’ will be better choice.

 

DHS Hurricane Long 11

 

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