After a short break I was able to review another Dignics rubber. With the Butterfly Dignics 09C, however, a rubber has appeared that actually only shares the same name.
The Butterfly Dignics 05, 80 and 64 follow the same scheme, which could already be observed with the successful Tenergy series. One takes a proven sponge (in this case 50° EUR) and combines it with different topsheets.
But somehow the Dignics 09C has emerged alongside it. Timo Boll, the most successful German table tennis player, was largely involved in the development. The rubber was mainly created by and for him. This is what he says about it:
“DIGNICS 09C is a rubber of a totally new type. I have long wished to play with such a rubber”
If now even Timo Boll plays with a rubber that is harder than the other TOP rubbers and also has a sticky rubber surface, many amateur athletes will probably try such rubbers themselves.
The trend to harder and harder rubbers, which should also be played by the normal club player, is obvious. Donic Bluegrip, Xiom Omega VII China Guang, Ying and Tour, andro Rasanter R53, Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro, JOOLA Golden Tango or Golden Tango PS are only a small selection of such rubbers. Butterfly had already made a first attempt with the T05 Hard.
Therefore, what matters most to me in my reviews is whether the rubber in question is at all suitable for amateur players. What use has the best rubber if it could not be mastered or used optimally by anyone?
I am also interested in the differences to similar rubbers. And of course I’m looking for player types who can cope with the rubber in question. It won’t be any different when reviewing the D09C.
Technical attributes of Butterfly Dignics 09C
After unpacking, the covering foil must first be removed. Underneath is a slightly to medium-lightly sticky rubber. The rubber compound appears to be very elastic. The pimple structure is short and closely spaced.
A fine-pored, hard sponge can be found investigating the rubber. Overall, the Butterfly Dignics 09C appears a little softer in the compression test than the stated hardness would suggest.
In terms of weight, the rubber is still within reasonable limits. With packaging, my sample (red 2.1mm) weighs 103.66g. The square rubber piece has a weight of 73.75g. Cut to my blade (150x157mm fiberglass OFF prototype), 49.10g remains on the racket.
Playing characteristics of Butterfly Dignics 09C
The play-in succeeds well right away, although the Butterfly Dignics 09C is already a strange rubber. The basic speed is very low. You get the feeling that the entire energy of the incoming ball is absorbed during passive and slightly swung strokes.
This braking effect gives you a very long dwell time to return the ball. Due to the hardness of the rubber and the previously mentioned playing characteristics, counterstrokes seem safe, precise and easy to play. The feel is completely accompanied with a low catapult-effect.
Topspin-Opening, Counter-loops & finishing strokes close to the table
The topspin opening is one of the strengths of Butterfly Dignics 09C. With extremely strong rotation, topspin openings on backspins succeed with a lot of security. The ball trajectory is enormously high. When looping close to the table, a high speed can be built up during rallies, which is strongly dependent on the arm acceleration.
Another strength is the counter topspin or counterattack close to the table. Especially during backhand topspins, which quickly move over the ball with the wrist, the Dignics 09C develops a high spin-dynamics as if out of nowhere. With this spin-strong acceleration, unprecise attacks of the opponent are dangerously answered.
On finishing strokes, the strokes have to be executed in the rising phase / on the highest point in order to be dangerous in terms of velocity. This also works very well. If, on the other hand, you drop the balls a bit, you can play with extreme rotation, but the speed is then much lower.
Half-distance & Blade-Rubber combination
From the half-distance, the Butterfly Dignics 09C has a very hard time. It simply lacks the lightness of a catapult-strong, dynamic table tennis rubber. You need a lot of your own arm movement to be successful even from half- to long-distance.
I could make an interesting observation with the choice of the blade. While the D09C in combination with a slow all-wooden blade did not want to spark at all, the faster and more dangerous the rubber becomes when a harder carbon blade is used.
It is not only the increase in speed that plays a role here. Almost at an exponential rate, the Dignics 09C develops its full potential on stiff carbon blades. In the past, I have observed such phenomena sometimes more, sometimes less. But in this case, it is clearly visible.
When comparing the Butterfly Dignics 09C with other table tennis rubbers, I find it very difficult. This is due to the fact that the rubber resembles different rubbers and rubber types in different stroke techniques. In direct counter, block and shooting play, I can think of a few China or China hybrid rubbers that present comparable characteristics.
In topspin-openings on backspin, D09C certainly feels almost similar to an ESN hybrid rubber. JOOLA Golden Tango PS, which is a bit softer to play, comes to mind at first. But also a Hybrid K1 Euro or the recently tested Omega VII China Guang have their comparable moments with the respective hitting hardness or stroke technique.
But when I enjoy the spin-dynamics of the Dignics 09C, the comparisons all fall short. Because then the rubber is clearly more competitive with a hard version of Dignics 05.
Service & Return
Serving is a showpiece of the Butterfly Dignics 09C. I was able to serve really dangerously with extreme rotation. As with traditional Chinese rubbers, I like hitting the ball particularly softly to fool opponents and disguise the spin based on my stroke motion.
In addition to the short, well-placed serves, extreme direct and sidespin serves can also make life a living hell for the opponents 😉.
When returning, the rubber is very slow and controlled. Backspin in any form makes problems for the opponents. What I find difficult are direct openings that are supposed to be without spin for a change. Or returns that are played spin-empty with some variation in mind. The D09C is only really good when I have committed myself to spin.
The banana flip is also very dangerous. Nasty rotation, equipped with a strong arc, makes opponents sweat. Unfortunately, I hardly succeed in direct flips with the forehand. A strong spin-sensitivity acts there, which requires perfect timing. And I don’t always have it.
Blocking, shooting & long-defense
In the blocking game the Butterfly Dignics 09C is good, but also strange to play. Sometimes active blocks are too slow to be dangerous for the opponent. Especially when I’m not quite early or don’t go over the ball.
With passive blocks, the rubber absorbs the incoming pace and spin nicely. Unless I apply a certain amount of pressure. Then a full dose of spin-sensitivity comes through. Ultimately, the rubber wants you to always go over the ball and make completely passive shots the exception. Despite the good control, the rubber follows its own rules.
In the shooting game, the Dignics 09C is precise, but also non-dynamic. I can understand why one would want to turn the racket then. Just stupid when the rubber sticks on both sides 😉
High defense is playable and spin-heavy, but not particularly effective. It does better with a long-backspin cut and thten to continue playing at the table. I was able to develop a hefty portion of backspin, which makes the rubber very interesting for modern defensive play.
Conclusion on Butterfly Dignics 09C
Spin, spin, spin. Close to the table and early timing. These are the basic recipes with which the Butterfly Dignics 09C can be played successfully. If you want to attack, you should also use a carbon blade or a hard & fast all-wooden blade. On a soft all-wooden blade the rubber seems to be pulled with the handbrake.
Strengths & weaknesses
In general, it can be said that this rubber has very great strengths. The spin development and the spin-dynamics close to the table are absolute arguments for using the Dignics 09C. But you always have to be on time and should actively do something.
Although the rubber is passively very controlled, it can also be very ineffective. If it is not played at a certain angle or with the required speed, you will get problems. Personally, I don’t find a real comparison rubber, but a lot of alternatives in the different playing directions. Depending on which characteristics you like.
Recommendation & final thoughts
I can imagine the D09C very well on the backhand side. Especially if the player always wants to play actively and opens mainly with the backhand, following up with the forehand in attacking play. With the spin-dynamics, tempo accelerations can be added to your game concept out of nowhere, so to speak.
I think the rubber is unsuitable for the common player. It’s true that everyone can cope with the basic speed, but there are much more favorable spin-controlled rubbers in this range. To utilize the offensive advantages, you need an adequate technique and the right blade. In addition, the change to this rubber requires a really big adjustment. I could observe that on my own.
There are strokes that I couldn’t play as well with any other rubber. I see the spin development as particularly good, even with short acceleration. But then I would have to adjust my entire technique to it and abandon other strokes that I are my strengths. Do I want that? Actually not…
The review was a lot of fun. I’m always happy when not the hundredth version of the same rubber scheme comes out. And the Butterfly Dignics 09C can offer that. Please more of it! But not for 80€!!! 🙂