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OSP Ultimate II Test

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OSP Ultimate II Test

BeitragMo 29. Okt 2018, 00:46

Da ich den Testbericht urspruenglich in englisch verfasst habe und keine grosse Zeit habe ins deutsche zu uebersetzen warden ich hier die originale Version posten. Falls jemand etwas nicht verstehen sollte, bin ich gerne bereit Passagen zu uebersetzen oder Fragen zu beantworten.

OSP Ultimate II Review

About the reviewer:
My USATT rating is currently around 1800. My strength is my forehand with which I score the majority of my points mainly through looping; I play close to the table with blocking and looping. I play with frictionless anti on backhand, mainly for returning serve and blocking topspin loops but recently also more with attacking shots.

Setup:
I played the Ultimate II (abbreviation UII) with DHS Hurricane 3 Neo 2.15mm provincial orange sponge (39deg and black) on forehand and with Dr. Neubauer frictionless anti Tarantula (red and 1.8mm) on backhand. The handle is round-straight, and weight is 87.8 g with 6.21 mm thickness as given by OSP card included with the blade. I confirmed the weight with my own balance at home as well.
I used rubber cement (Elmer’s brand) and applied 1 layer each on the blade and on the sponge, allow each layer to completely dry, lightly press the rubber onto the blade and then let it sit for a couple of hours with 3 heavy textbooks on top.
The setup was tested with 2 different kind of balls: Nittaku premium (ABS) and Nittaku J-Top (practice balls).

Introduction:
The OSP Ultimate II is a 7-ply Off blade and is the successor to the now discontinued Ultimate blade. The UII is designed specifically for the new poly balls and has a different structure than its predecessor model. The thickness of the plies is different, but the most significant change seems to be a dark brown wood as the second layer under the top ply, which is still the same looking limba wood.

Appearance:
The Ultimate II is yet another masterpiece by OSP. Well done again Mr. Palatinus! The limba top ply looks very nice with a beautiful grain and feels very smooth so that sealing the blade is not necessary. The handle design is particularly gorgeous, and I like it even better than that of the old ultimate blade.

Weight
I specifically asked for a little lighter weight than the 93g Ultimate I was using before and I got exactly what I wanted at 86g. The Ultimate II, just like its predecessor, feels very balanced and not at all head heavy. This to me is one of the most striking OSP features, that, despite fairly heavy weights, the blades never feel “heavy” but always well balanced.

Feel/Touch
The Ultimate II feels crisper than the original Ultimate and I would describe the hardness as medium whereas I called that of the original Ultimate medium-soft in test report. I believe this feel is related to the second dark-brown layer (maybe heat-treated wood?) because on slow shots the UII still feels fairly soft but on harder shots it feels significantly crisper.
I like the UII in combination with Hurricane 3 with the orange sponge (39º) that I usually play but it didn’t test it with any other rubber though I do feel that it can also be played with a softer rubber which I would not recommend for the Ultimate. I tested the UII with Dr. Neubauer Rhino+ and Tarantula antis (both in 1.8mm) and particularly liked the Tarantula because it has a little bit softer sponge which made for a nice overall feel.

Flex
The Ultimate II is quite stiff as you would expect from a 7-ply blade similar to a newer Stiga Clipper I had tested and probably also slightly stiffer than the Dr. Neubauer Matador which was my main blade before the Ultimate and has a similar thickness. Indeed, it has a similar stiffness as some of the carbon blades I played before like Viscaria Light, Schlager Light or YinHe VIS-A Pro without the hard and dead feel of carbon. The Ultimate is not for those who like flexy 5-ply blades of the same thickness.

Speed
The Ultimate II is a pretty fast Off but probably not quite Off+ yet but with similar speed than some of the carbon blades I had played before like the Schlager Light or a YinHe replica of Viscaria. It also provides a high catapult effect making it a faster blade than the Ultimate as far as top end speed is concerned. However, UII has a fairly moderate speed on slow shots or touch play, even slightly slower than the Ultimate.
I found it a little bit difficult to control the antis I tested when blocking faster loops or drives and would generally recommend to pair the UII with slower antis than Rhino or Tarantula.

Control
I have never played or tested a blade before in the Off category with this much control as the Ultimate and I was absolutely amazed by the feel and control this blade provides. I wasn’t really sure what to expect initially and I had read quite a bit about various OSP blades, but I was absolutely blown away by how the Ultimate plays. I have never experience this with any other blade before. Absolutely amazing!

Dwell/Spin
Spin generation on the Ultimate II is very high despite the crisp feel and surprisingly it develops even more topspin on loops than the Ultimate, which my practice partner confirmed when I tested the blades side-by-side with the same rubber on forehand (Hurricane 3 Neo). The dwell doesn’t actually feel as high as on the Ultimate (as in “sticking to the blade”) but it provides a great bite on the ball which results in the high spin generation on loops described above.

Throw Angle
The Ultimate II shows a very interesting behavior regarding the throw angle, something I have not seen like this on any other blade. On slower loops and when looping against underspin the UII show a high throw similar to the Ultimate, but on faster shots or power loops the throw flattens out and becomes lower making the ball very dangerous for the opponent.

Looping
Looping is the big strength of the Ultimate II as it provides great acceleration and spin of the ball while still pretty controllable and stable. However, due to its crisp feel and high speed on power loops it is a little bit less forgiving than the Ultimate and good technique as well as footwork is required to take complete advantage of the UII. Still for advanced players the Ultimate II is a fine looping machine.

Blocking
One of the strongest points of the Ultimate II is blocking which can be carried out with great control and precision.
Smashing work very well as well with UII and can be carried out with high precision due to the stiffness and crispness of the blade. The receives tremendous acceleration on smashes but good footwork or position to the ball is required here.

Play with anti
I tested the Ultimate II with Dr. Neubauer Rhino+ and Tarantula, both with 1.8mm sponge, and found the disruptive effect and spin reversal to be very high, on a similar level to some carbon blades I previously used, which are generally considered to be better for anti than all wood blades. However, the UII overcomes this due to its harder touch and stiffness. In particular attacking with the Tarantula was a highlight for me as it was very easy to smash underspin balls over the table for direct winners. I have not seen this before with any other blade/anti combination. Blocking of loops was generally also very controlled, however returning faster more flat hits required a more delicate technique (loose wrist) and good concentration.

Conclusions
The OSP Ultimate II is a fast offensive blade with a great crisp feel but still good control for a blade in this speed range. The design and craftsmanship of this blade is absolutely outstanding as always with an OSP blade. It is designed for the new poly balls and works very well at looping with high amounts of topspin as well as driving and blocking. Balls can be lopped off the bounce with awesome acceleration and precision. The UII provides a stronger catapult effect than traditional 7-ply blades aimed at overcoming the slower speed of the new poly balls
I would recommend the Ultimate II to any double winged looper or loop-drive player with good technique and footwork, who is looking for a fast and crisp blade in the new age of poly balls. Topspin and catapult with the UII are absolutely awesome while at the same time being controlled and slower than the Ultimate in the short. To fully take advantage of this blade I would not recommend it to beginners or players still learning proper technique but to medium or more advanced players.
The Ultimate II also works very well with frictionless anti in particular for players who prefer a more attacking style with anti. For anti players who prefer more of a passive blocking style, I would suggest to pair the blade with very slow antis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2TbdY6oTBw&
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Holz: OSP Ultimate ST
VH: DHS H3 Neo 2,1 mm
RH: Dr. Neubauer ABS 2,1mm

Anti rules!

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