STIGA Mantra Soft
Weight: 63 grams uncut, 45 grams uncut
Sponge Hardness: 42°
Blade used: Carbonado 90 & 145 + Infinity
Here is mine and Tom's review on the STIGA Mantra Soft in the TableTennisDaily Studio. The Mantra seems to have a gripper top sheet on initial inspection than the airoc series.
The soft, medium and hard versions of the Mantra all have the same pimple structure with the only difference being the sponge hardness. The Mantra sot has a 42 degree sponge hardness and comes in at 63grams when uncut and when cut is 45 grams.
It was apparent from the beggining that the Mantra series were fast rubbers with myself and Tom making errors with our shots just missing the end of the table. The Japanese based rubbers are known for their speed. Within the series the soft was slower by quite a notch however had more control over the medium and hard versions.
The Mantra worked very well on the backhand side and gave great consistency and control. For example on wide balls when out of position the Mantra soft grabbed the ball well giving good arc in the shot.
As mentioned in our Mantra Medium Review we were pleased with the amount of spin we were able to produce. This spin excelled it's predecessor Airoc by quite a margin. The soft being the softer sponge soaked the ball into the sponge well producing lots of spin. The spin was not as high as what the recent Stiga Genesis produces but it was enough to put our opponents under all sorts of pressure to follow up with a strong 5th, 7th ball attack.
Tom found he could produce a lot of spin on his backhand side and found it easier with the soft version. More safety and accuracy was found when using the softer sponge of the series.
The backhand flick has become an integral part of table tennis. This shot requires a grippy top sheet to pick up the ball against backspin. I found with the Mantra soft I could grab the ball well over the table producing a reasonable amount of spin.
Initially the ball shot of the end of the table during the counter topspin again this was due to the speed and we found this quite often with the hard version. When using the soft version there was greater control and with the rubber being slower we had more time and precision to execute a successful counter topspin.
During touch play we had enough bite on the ball to keep it low over the net which helped to stop each other from attacking. Sometimes the ball did pop up a little high as you can see in the footage, but again, with a few adjustments to the bat angle, we were able to keep the ball low over the net.
The latest rubbers from STIGA, the Mantra series is a great development to the previous Airoc series with one major key advancement, the rubber being spinnier.
STIGA’s latest Mantra rubber series are a great advancement to their predecessor Airoc. The major difference between the Airoc and the Mantra is found in the topsheet. The topsheet of the Mantra is a lot grippier, however packs similar speed to the airoc, thus the Mantra allows you to have more safety in yours shots without compromising on speed.
In comparison to other rubbers the Mantra series have similar spin capabilities to ESN based rubbers Donic Acuda and Joola Rhyzm. But less than the previously released STIGA Genesis series, although they do have greater speed. The speed being similar to the recently reviewed Tibhar evolution series.
A key feature we like with the Mantra series is its quality during active blocking and holding against aggressive topspin balls. The rubbers are not too sensitive to incoming spin which gives you great confidence when you need to really control the ball.
The Soft is good for all round offensive players, as it's slightly slower than the medium and hard versions and possesses more control giving greater safety. The Medium is for players who want a equal balance between high speed and good spin. Finally the hard version is good for all out attacking players wanting decent spin but are primarily focused on playing hard offensive shots.
I have given this rubber 4* as I prefer the medium version of the Mantra which I have given a strong 5* which you can read here.
Stay tuned for upcoming TableTennisDaily reviews in 2017.
Weight of the STIGA Mantra Soft
Sponge hardness of the STIGA Mantra Series