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Review: Hallmark Frustration PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mathias   
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Review of Hallmark Frustration, by Mathias

Source: Forum Thread:

Ok I don't have much prior experience with attacking pips and little experience with sponge so the following is working progress. Normally I'll play with frictionless pips and twiddle and bh loop using inverted.

Checking the rubber out the rubber it has medium soft pips on a medium firm sponge (1.5mm). The pip tips are a grey colour and they appear to be pretty 'frictionless', although the stems are reasonably sticky but not as sticky as C&F3 or Leggy. Pips are horizontally arrange medium diameter - smaller than 755 and larger than Leggy. I did a fair few tests against 755 (1.5mm) and it initially appeared that whilst Frustration was good at 'inversing' spin and offered good control, it lacked control in reversing spin unlike 755 which was extremely good at reversing spin. 755 had a resembalance of a frictionless pip.

On the table things were different. Both were offered great control at attacking - I'm not sure which was better at landing the attack against various spins, perhaps 755. Anyway attacking was easy. Manipulating the topspin return was also very easy with Frustration, you could also play a variety of frictionless shots, sidespin swipe - pretty good, chop/ chop block - ok, lifts/floats - very good. Drop shots were difficult but not impossible.
Playing 755 sidespin against topspin - I dunno but on some returns it seemed to produced more deviating effects - all other strokes pretty good.

The surprise of the rubber was the punch block:
This is a key stroke in attacking long pips - although it is also used in frictionless pips. It is the equivalent to the frictionless pip 'drop shot' which is one of the strongest strokes in amateur tt because it produces slow heavily underspun balls (against a loop) which bounce twice. It is a very difficult stroke to deal with. A punch block is a 'hard push' which will produce an underspun ball travelling at speed. Needless to say it is a difficult stroke to deal with. Frustration excelled at this stroke - it produced a pretty good underspun ball which was pretty fast. The technique and the blade angle had to be spot on, however there was no doubting the outcome. 755 seemed to perform poorly at this stroke Shocked you would have thought the increased reverse spin would have produced a strongly underspun ball against topspin - in fact it was weak. Sure the stroke was easier to control with 755 but it wasn't effective. For such a key stroke in attacking long pips this is a major weakness of 755 and a key strength of Frustration.

The other stroke both rubbers could produce was a forehand sidespin loop. This was fantastic. Frustration excelled at this again because the ball nestled into the pips gave great dwell time and would produce a sidespin arc. The throwing angle is much lower than with inverted but its easy to land the stroke and its highly controllable. The importance of this is that most players I face have trouble against heavy sidespin - it does two things forces the opponent out of position on the far forehand or else arcs into their body at a approx 45o angle on the bh (for a right handed player), or a variant being to drop unpredictably either side of the cross over point. The ability to mimic this stroke but now with a reversed top or backspin has to be useful and should cause havoc against a good opponent.

The last feature of this rubber to deal with is the topspin punch block against incoming topspin. Well so far I can shift between a floated punch block and underspun one - although the disguise is not great at present but I'm working on it. I'm not sure whether 1.5mm sponge will produce sufficient topspin (from a punch block not a loop) to do this, but with a fresh cleaned (non-dusty) pip sheet it could do and might simply be technique.

In short this is a good pip. The transition from frictionless to attacking pip is not trivial but there are strong parallels. Frustration in summary is working progress but it looks good.

Phew got through this review without mentioning Carl Prean once.....errh.. until now!
Last Updated ( Friday, 19 October 2007 )
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