DHS Hurricane Long V Review

DHS Hurricane Long V is a hard and super fast offensive Arylate Carbon blade that was designed for Ma Long -arguably the greatest table tennis player thats ever lived. Its an inner carbon construction powerhouse with lots of gears. In the right hands this blade is an absolute weapon and is not for the faint hearted. You need to have serious skill to wield this monster and the touch of a maestro. It comes with an immaculate presentation box and an ID card with dimensions and weight.

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I had been looking forward to using this blade for a while as it ticked all the boxes for my game – hard feeling, ALC, inner carbon construction & fast! It did not dissappoint. Iv always liked the extra hardness that the Chinese seem to have for their blades, in particular DHS tend to favor harder woods to give a stiffer harder feeling because the chinese tend to swing very hard and they need something stable and not too flexible. Another trait that it endeared to me straight away was the originality of the blade, it feels like nothing I have used before and gives you a unique feeling – which I enjoyed.

Manufacturer’s Description

The fastest blade in the Long series, The DHS Hurricane Long 5 is incredibly fast but still has the right touch needed for pushes, flicks, and close to the table play. Its incredible power is unleashed on hard strokes making it suitable for all distances and all offensive strokes.

Structure

The Hurricane Long V infuses lightweight Chinese ‘Aromatic’ Carbon (essentially the same as Arylate Carbon) onto a wooden blade with several high quality wooden layers Chinese ALC has a very similar feel and quality to Butterfly’s ALC but they are different in colour Chinese Arylate Carbon being White and Black compared to Butterfly’s Blue and Black. I personally in structure cannot tell much difference between them.

The blade has 7 plies:

• 2 outer layers of Limba
• 2 layers of Ayous
• 2 inner layers of Arylate Carbon
• Central layer of Ayous

Thickness: 5.9mm
Dimensions: 157mm x 150mm

The soft limba outer layer gives a soft feel in slow shots with good amounts of dwell is backed up by a harder Ayous layer that is much stiffer but provides a harder and more stable feel before the ALC kicks in. This makes the overall setup feel quite hard and gives less dwell time.

Sweet spot is particularly big on this blade, the harder wood layers give it a large and uniform sweet spot

The Long V is an inner carbon construction but it separates itself from other inner carbon blades by having the 2 outer layers of wood thinner than typical Inner carbon blades so that the ALC carbon layer is actually closer to the outside of the blade by a fraction. This means you dont have to swing that hard to get the advantage of the dwelly but crisp nature of the ALC.

Its an interesting structure that I personally love! It feels and looks half way between more traditional inner carbon blades – Butterfly Innerforce ALC & Tibhar Stratus Carbon and outer carbon blades like Timo Boll ALC & Tibhar VS Unimited. And that is a very good balance to have. The harder layers in actual fact makes it feel closer in terms of hardness to the outer carbon blades but the structure allows it to retain the benefits of inner carbon construction at low arm speeds.

Speed | OFF+

DHS Hurricane Long V is an extremely quick offensive blade. One of the fastest. The hard dense wood and elastic ALC really makes this blade fast. Its a whole notch faster than all the popular classic Carbon blades like Viscaria, Tibhar VS Unlimited and Stiga Carbonado 145. Id even put it faster than the Stiga Carbonado 290 which is pretty quick. It is a very linear speed too which is fantastic and you can vary the speed very accurately.

I would say the only type of blade than is faster than DHS Hurricane Long V are the thick chunky Hinoki carbon monsters you can get. I think the Butterfly Primorac Carbon is a shade faster than the Long V but they have very different feeling and construction. And the Primorac Carbon is nowhere near as good at looping than the DHS Hurricane Long V

In terms of speed reserves. This blade has so much potential for speed. Im a fairly good player nationally but I don’t think Iv got close to the top potential speed of this blade. One of the best advantages of this blade is its not just fast when you smash or flat it. Somehow the blade really bites the ball when looping and loops can be played extremely fast – which again suits Ma Long’s style of third ball brush loop attacks. So brushes are fast, smashes are fast, when you swing hard with any shot with the Long V you can generate vast amounts of speed. Its a true offensive force.

Control

Im not going to lie this blade is tremendously hard to use. It is probably one of the toughest blades to get the most out of and I don’t believe it will suit anyone but the very top players because they are the only ones that will have the required skill to use it. Having said that it has very good control which is pretty paradoxical I know. Let me explain. In terms of speed linearity it is a fantastic blade and you are able to get more gears out of it than something like Timo Boll ALC and you can be more precise & accurate in shots like touches, serves and blocks plus it is less bouncy but you have to be able to vary this pace effectively and you have to have immense touch and skill yourself to do this because the blade is very hard and doesnt give you much feedback.

This is exactly the same in the rallies. You have to be very precise and technically efficient to get the most out of it. The Hurricane Long V rewards good technique but punishes bad technique too. The best way I can sum it up is precision instruments require precision inputs.

Despite how hard the Long V is to use its control for the short game is truly great if you can master it and being able to have this ability and play deadly attacking shots when you hit them with correct technique is why I loved this blade and used it for a whole season.

Feel, Flex, Touch & Balance

Feel: Despite its overall hard feeling the 2 Limba layers make this blade feel a lot softer at slower speeds which allows a good amount of spin in slow shots like serves and pushes but past a certain threshold, the hardness comes out and it is a very hard blade. For me this gives me good precision but if you like the feeling of holding the ball on the blade you might not like the Long V as the ball doesnt hang around very long on the blade surface! The only thing that vaguely reminds me of how hard the hurricane Long V feels is the Stiga Carbonado 290 but other than that its pretty much harder than anything that I have used.

Due to its inner carbon construction is got quite a woody feel to it until you open up and swing harder, then you can engage and feel the carbon layers.

Flex: DHS Hurricane long V maybe fairly thick and hard but it does have some flex when you really swing. Sometimes it can be quite hard to separate hardness and stiffness of a blade but I think in the Hurricane Long V’s case its is very hard but does have a low/medium amount of flex. When you really swing hard you can feel the blade wrap around the ball slightly.

Touch: To my surprise considering its speed it has a relatively good touch. The soft Limba outer and the inner carbon construction really helps with this and I would say this blade has a better touch than most outer carbon construction blades including Timo Boll ALC which is a real asset to the Long V. being able to be so fast and yet have a better touch than the Timo Boll ALC is a rare thing and in my opinion one of the main reasons this blade is so great.

Balance: DHS Hurricane Long V is very heavy due to its short and small handle.

Handle

The worst part about this blade for me is the handle. Which is annoying because the design is great. So 1) The blade (in true Chinese style) only comes with a flared handle which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasnt for point 2) The handle is tiny. For me the handle is small and really uncomfortable and when swinging hard I always get the feeling of it slipping which can put me off when im smashing.

Shots

Serve & touch shots – Really special for such an offensive blade, you can generaly good spin and vary the pace really well as this blade has plenty of low gears. Hurricane long V can be really precise and accurate.

Looping – Another speciality of the HL5 is looping, its not as easy as other blades to perform but they are certainly just as deadly. Again you can vary the shot so well in terms of pace and spin and you can add a lot of spin when you brush loop.

Driving – deadly, the combination that the Long V has with driving and looping is mega. Driving is powerful and pentrating and you can play some fantastic winners. Again though it takes good technique to perform.

Smash – its good at smashing but not as easy as other blades to perform, you have to be quite precise when playing the shot you cant just lash it and hope for the best otherwise the shot will most probably shoot off.

Blocks – really good, you can vary the pace really well if you wish, you can choose to soak up the pace or add your own power very well.

Counter shots – very god again but you have to be precise, its very capable of being able to produce deadly counters but technique has to be spot on as there is little margin for error.

Arc – DHS Hurricane long V gives a medium to low arc on shots, it doesnt have much dwell time but this lower arc than its competitors (Timo Boll ALC) make the shots more penetrating and harder for your opponent to get back but at the cost of ease of use and margin for error.

Hurricane Long V is very much a looping blade, it gives great bite on the ball so you can grip the ball well and brush looping is a particular highlight as you can create immense amount of spin with varying speed and penetration. Driving is also brilliant and you can generate really powerful shots and winners. Its attacking nature is a real highlight and very potent.

Unlike other looping blades which are generally not great at the other shots like blocks and drives HL5 seems to be great for nearly everyshot. There is no shot that I look back on and think was particularly weak which is a great advantage for a blade to have.

What kind of player does this blade suit / Playing Style

in short a professional. DHS Hurricane Long V needs a lot of skill to get the most out of it. Its one of the most demanding blades out there in terms of technique. However its easy to say this but whatever skill you are its always fun to try something that offers so much performance. Hell if you offer me a Bugatti Veyron tomorrow im not gonna say ‘no thanks im not skilled enough to get the most out of it’ im gonna take that bad boy for a spin for the fun of it! And its the same with HL5. In my opinion Hurricane long V is probably the blade with the most potential of performance out of all the blades iv tried and if you think you have the skill to wield it, go for it. But be warned it is uncompromising.

In terms of styles the blade is a loopers dream, in particular it s a fantastic brush looper blade, after all it was designed for Ma Long who is one of the best of all time and for me has the best forehand I have ever seen. Its best suited at close to the table hitting third ball winners or ending the point as soon as possible with strong attacking shots. Its good for taking balls as early as possible and is a great counter attacking blade. You need to be quite active in your stroke as you get out what you put in with this blade and as your technique needs to be good you also need to have great footwork too to use this blade effectively.

Pro’s & Con’s

Pro’s

Great at brush looping and easy to impart spin

Fast and extremely powerful

Great control and linearity for speed

No particular glaring weakness in terms of shots

Con’s

Very hard to use and unforgiving

very head heavy

handle small and uncomfortable

Quality control

Quality

I wasnt impressed with the quality of the blade considering the price. The outer surface is quite rough and has a tendency to splinter when taking rubbers off which can be especially hazardous with water based glue. The wings weren’t sanded which means the handle was even more uncomfortable and just quality control issue were present on the blade which I haven’t seen on European or Japanese blades. Things like the edges of the blade not being sanded square, things like that. So overall the finished quality left something to be desired on this blade but I found the structure and the overall materials of the blade to be of high quality. Sadly it does not match European or Japanese Quality though.

The presentation box is an excellent touch though, very high quality and it even has an id card to tell you when it was made, weight and dimensions which is rather cool.

Price/Performance

Price wise DHS Hurricane long V is £149.99 and is priced around other popular high quality blades like the Timo Boll ALC which is £139.99 so its not exactly going to be a value for money blade. However it is one of the best blades ever made so I would say considering what it can do the price is not too bad, I just wish the finishing touches and quality was a bit better considering the money.

However what makes me incredibly frustrated is that there is a blade called the DHS Fang Bo Carbon (review coming later) which plays almost identically to the HL5. Its structure is the same, wood layers the same, and it plays I would say about 95% the same, maybe a little harder and faster than the Long V but only a fraction. However it is roughly £55.00, nearly a third of the price. So that makes me think im paying nearly £100.00 for Ma Longs name which is very annoying. So if you want a cheap Hurricane Long V save yourself a large amount of money and get a Fang Bo Carbon – its basically the same blade!

Overall

Hurricane Long V is an exceptional blade with an extremely high performance potential, there is no shot it is particular weak at, its control is superb for such an offensive blade and the shots and loops you can produce are godly! It suits all kinds of rubbers and is easily one of my favorite blades along with the Powerwood, Viscaria & Timo Boll ALC. The only thing you have to be careful of with this blade is your own technique and skill, this is not a forgiving blade it is a precision tool. The performance potential of this blade is in my opinion higher than any other blade out there right now (2019). In the right hands it can be devastating as Ma Long proves week in week out.

I have used this blade for about a season and a half but ultimately I stopped using it because I don’t think I was technically good enough to be consistent with it. I found the performance to be a bit too erratic, when I was on it I could hit some hero shots and iv played the best table tennis iv ever played in 10 years with this blade. But equally when I wasn’t playing well it was awful, so many mistakes crept into my game and I also played the worst iv ever played for about the same period of time. And that said to me that I wanted something just a little bit more forgiving. It was fun to play with though and my forehand has never been as good so I still really enjoyed using it and for me is one of the best blades ever made. I just wish I was better to get the most out of it!

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