Saturday, May 16, 2009

Japan solves Tensor durability issues?

The Germany based ESN factory has always been at the forefront of the speed glue effect technology with their rubbers, offering by far the closest feel to a speed glued rubber. The Technology is most commonly known as Tensors, although some manufacturers use the same technology under a different name. Although several of the non-German brands offered good speed glue effect rubbers, they actually had them made in the German ESN factory as well. While speed glue was still legal, using a much cheaper rubber with speed glue was always a viable alternative, but since the ITTF has since banned speed glues, this option is no longer available.

One common problem with ESN made rubbers has always been the durability of the surface of the topsheet. At the higher levels of club competition people would usually get 4-6 weeks out of a sheet, although some get a lot more, but some also less. Compare this to your regular non-speed glue effect rubber, which would typically last you at least 3 months. The feel and glue effect was always an accepted trade-off for the higher cost of having to replace the rubber more often.

However in the last year or so, Japanese factories seem to have finally worked out how to make rubbers with glue effect similar to that of the German Tensor Technology. The only two rubbers that I’m aware of using this technology are the Butterfly Tenergy and JUIC Air Condle. These rubbers not only have a glue effect similar to that of the latest generation Tensors, but also have Japanese-made topsheet, which appears to be much more durable than the Tensors.

The high price tag of the Butterfly Tenergy has certainly put off a lot of people, but when you consider they are more durable than Tensors, the cost over time becomes comparable. The marketing for the JUIC Air Condle has been virtually non-existant outside Japan, but since the cost of this rubber is similar to the cheaper Tensors, it’s likely to become very popular as well. For some more information on these rubbers, see the Butterfly Tenergy and JUIC Air Condle reviews.

Of course all these rubbers have their own little unique properties, which makes them hard to compare. Whether a particular one suits your level or style is yet to be determined, they are all worth considering on their own merits, and for many the cost is also a big consideration.

1 comment: said...

I think that from this review misses the most important Japanese tensor rubber series.
I am talking now for Stiga’s Boost series.
Let’s start with Stiga Boost TC rubber.
Boost TC is much more durable than Tenergy. Yes I agree you can’t compare Tenergy with German tensors but TC is even more durable.
Tenergy has a soft top sheet. This top sheet is capable to produce satisfactory amounts of top spin but at the same time is vulnerable to the opponent’s spin with bad results in returning service and to the close to the net game. Furthermore the Tenergy (05 or 64) are very heavy much heavier than the light Boost TC. If we put two Tenergy to racket the weight will be so much that we’ll lose in the speed of our reactions.
On the other hand Boost TC is awesome in the most important factor in the game of an offensive player: The first top spin against backspin. There it’s almost impossible to loose a shot. The top spins against drives are very good but there Tenergy appears to be a bit faster than TC. Top spin against top spin, there TC is very good.
TX now is faster than TC and faster than Tenergy (05 or 64) in all the parts of the game and has a similar feeling with the Boost TC. Comparing with TC, TX has a bit more difficult top spin against backspin, but the stroke is now more powerful.
TX is very light also.

In my opinion Stiga at this moment has with the Boost series a much better approach in the case of Tensor rubbers. Already Boost TC is considered as a classic rubber in big markets as German market.