STIGA DNA Pro
Today I had the chance to use the STIGA DNA Pro rubber for the first time on my STIGA Dynasty Carbon. This new rubber was released earlier this year but for a variety of reasons I didn't get the chance to test it sooner. With a gap between competitions now it felt a good time to try this out and see how it compared to the previous STIGA rubber I was using, Mantra. In this setup I went for DNA S, which is the softest sponge option, 42.5 hardness. I like to have control on the ball from the rubber and because I have a fast blade this setup is more than fast enough. First impression in comparison to Mantra, very slightly heavier just as a rubber, but doesn't feel particularly heavier on the blade that you notice. Gluing was a little different, where DNA absorbed the glue quicker and easier than Mantra which tends to stay more on the surface.
I like the nice feature on the top sheet with a small embossed triangle at the bottom of the top sheet which gives you the centre point of the rubber when sticking down. Only small issue for me is my Dynasty handle isn't a symmetrical pattern. It was easy to stick down, the appearance when new is slightly different to Mantra.
I compared the DNA Pro S v Mantra S and Mantra M. The DNA felt as equally quick as both the Mantra rubbers when driving and counter hitting, certainly very good for blocking and the control was there just as I like it. However perhaps the most noticeable difference is the increased amount of spin that can be generated from the rubber. It felt very easy to spin up a lot of top spin from a deep push. These are just first impressions and I will be back with more feedback once I have had a chance to play some matches.
I also have a new bat case to use. This is one of the retro look cases and I think it looks fantastic in dark blue with white piping. This one holds two blades and it has some additional internal pockets which are useful at competitions for putting a playing number, pins etc. There is also a zip pocket on the outside. A really nice touch is adding the metallic Stiga emblem, which is like you get on the bottom of the more expensive Stiga blades. Feels like it will really protect the blades and looks great in the process.