I recently purchased a Remo 14" key tuned djembe with a fiberskyn 3 head and a Tubano with a Nuskyn head. I can get slaps out of the djembe but not the tubano. Does this just need tuned? Or are they harder to do with a nuskyn head?
I've had a variety of drums over the years including djembes, bongos, congas and a doumbek (typically Remo or Meinl). In my limited experience I have found the ability perform a slap is related to technique, head material, head tension and head diameter.
1.) Good technique can make up for a looser skin to a point. 2.) Tightening the drum head can also make slaps easier to a point, the trade off being pitch increases. 3.) A larger diameter head provides a larger area to slap allowing one to focus on the slap technique and not so much the slap location making it a bit more forgiving (again to a point). 4.) I've often found softer, synthetic heads to be easier (and certainly more comfortable).
I find my 14" Remo Djembe (Skyn Deep head) is one of the more forgiving drums I've had when it comes to slaps. I don't have a Tubano but I do have a 10" Tubanito (Skyn Deep head) and that also slaps really easily.