Dr. NEUBAUER Scalpel Review (Sponge 0.6 mm)

by Varghese on September 15, 2007

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Scalpel is a frictionless Long Pips rubber. If you don’t know what a frictionless rubber is, let me shed some light. A frictionless rubber does not have any friction on its surface. You can’t generate any spin with a frictionless rubber; however the long pips can generate spin by utilizing your opponents spin and your hand techniques.

The top sheet of the rubber is well glued to the sponge. I used butterfly basic chalk to glue the rubber to the blade. Since the sponge is thin, you have to wait longer for the glue to dry before putting on the blade. Don’t put the rubber on the blade if you see wet areas on the sponge - this will generate bubbles between the rubber and blade.

I tested the Scalpel 0.6 mm on a Dr. Neubauer Combination Effect paddle. Scalpel is a very good rubber to play close to the table. As the name it implies, it has the effect of a sharp knife. In addition to its cutting effect on the ball, it has a very sinking effect on the ball while blocking – being away or close to the table. What about the control? It has the excellent control. The above three characteristic make this rubber a good choice for close to the table defensive players.

Now a days, a lot of defensive players play close to the table. If you are someone who is running far and close to the table like Koji Matsushita, Mathew Syed or Joo Se Hyuk does, the Scalpel may not be a good choice for you. You may be able to generate only no-spin balls far away from the table with this rubber, but close to the rubber this rubber is deadly. The chops can generate very deadly underspin to your opponents – very good for chop blocks. Blocking a top spin balls also generate good underspin. I like to chop heavy topspin shots, and I was able to chop the balls very low as well as high from close to the table. I haven’t had a chance to go back further from the table because the opponents can’t smash or loop balls too far against my controlled chops.

It has good spin reversal, and is not too extreme. I like the moderate spin reversal and variations in spin because the opponents will have hard time to judge what is coming back from me. Some of the opponents I played against with this rubber told me I have the best spin variation which troubled them a lot – most of these players are 1900 rated and below.

Blocking with this rubber against low trajectory heavy top spin or smash is deadly. I could not see any of my opponents returning my blocks successfully - either they will raise the ball high to put on my side of the table, and I was able to loop kill those shots. Against a 2200 player I received the comments that all my chops were low and deadly - he was not able to do anything against some of the blocks I did against his loops.
I had very good control when I played with this rubber. The errors in playing shots wide to the corner of the table as well as close to the net reduced to minimum – rarely the ball went out of the table. However, against a heavy smasher, I had some troubles. This was due to my bad footwork and positioning. Since the rubber does not have any friction, I should have positioned little better to take the shots – I had a wrong angle of the blade, and the returns went outside of the table.

This is a very good rubber for players who are playing close to the table and like the blocking game, especially if you are over 50 or injured and can’t move much. Your techniques along with this rubber are a good defensive weapon - a defensive weapon to defensive players who would like to play close to the table.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carsten Neubauer September 15, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Thank you very much for the review of our long pimpled rubber ‘Scalpel’, well done!

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