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  1. yogi_bear is offline
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    #1

    Yasaka Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard rubbers

    Rakza Z









    Rakza Z Extra Hard














    Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard Reviews

    It took me a few years to review something from Yasaka again. The last rubber and blade I have reviewed were, Rakza 9 and Rakza 9 soft with Yasaka Galaxya. I was glad that Olle from Woodhouse Tranas contacted me to try the new Rakza Z rubbers. It took a while to receive the parcel from Sweden because of the Covid crisis around the world. In the first few days, I was only testing this using the return board but was fortunate to have the community lockdown ease up a little bit and people whom I played can come over to my place and play with me. Only regret I have is that at that time the Falck blades were still not available at that time so I choose to have my favorite Yasaka blade, Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon to use as a blade in the test instead.

    Specs of the 2 rubbers:

    Rakza Z
    Weight: 74 grams (approximate uncut)
    52 grams cut to a size of 157x150mm
    Speed: Off+
    Thickness: Max
    Hardness: 50 -52 degrees approx.

    Rakza Z Extra Hard
    Weight: 76 grams (approximate uncut)
    54 grams cut to a size of 157x150mm
    Speed: Off+
    Thickness: Max
    Hardness: 53-57degrees approx.

    I was excited to test the rubbers since I heard they have a tacky topsheet. I opened the packaging and the rubbers have a plastic sheet covering sticking to the topsheet. I opened both the Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard and I could tell immediately that it is semi-tacky. I wiped the topsheets of both rubbers with wet sponge because I wanted to see how tacky it is after the initial cleaning. I can say that the tackiness or stickiness of the rubbers is not in the level of Chinese rubbers. The Yasaka Do rubber that Yasaka had before in their arsenal was way extremely tacky and was one of the tackiest rubbers I have encountered. The tackiness is lesser than that of the Hurricane 3 or Rising/Shining Dragon rubbers. I could compare the tackiness near to DHS Tin Arc rubbers or Stiga Genesis rubbers. The 2 rubbers are distinguished by their sponge colors. The regular Rakza Z has a creamy white sponge while the Rakza Z Extra Hard has an orange sponge. The pores are quite small or minute compared to the pores of Yasaka Rakza 7 rubbers. I know that Yasaka advertised both rubbers with a range of hardness but with my personal estimate and comparison with other ESN rubbers, the regular Rakza Z felt about 50 or 51 degrees while the Rakza Z Extra Hard felt it was like 55 degrees. The topsheet like other 50 degree or harder rubbers has a short pimple structure reminiscent of Chinese rubbers.

    Speed

    Both rubbers are very fast. The speed is evident on both rubbers the moment you do forehand to forehand drive warm up drills. I would say that the speed is evident because personally, the Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon is not a super fast blade. I would rate it as an Off blade and not an Off+ blade. It is more of a controlled looping blade with a medium-soft feel and flex. When compared to the Rakza 7, the regular Rakza Z is faster with an obvious gap. I would say the speed of the regular Rakza Z is comparable to the Rakza 9 regular. The Rakza Z Extra Hard is even faster since the very hard sponge has a lot of speed potential when you know how to compress the sponge properly in your shots. If you compare it with Tenergy rubbers, the regular Rakza Z seems faster than Tenergy 05 but slower than Tenergy 64 while the Extra Hard version seems like equal or faster than Tenergy 64.

    Spin

    The Rakza Z rubbers are one of the spiniest ESN rubbers in the market right now. If the Rakza Z series has a very obvious characteristic, it is spin and tons of spin. I believe the rubbers in the market have evolved to having semi-tacky/full tacky from just being grippy. I have told people about this story that happened years ago. I suggested to a rubber company with ESN rubber products that maybe they can produce a rubber that has a tacky or semi-tacky topsheet over an ESN sponge. You get the spin of a Hurricane 3 rubber while having the speed of fast ESN rubbers. The idea got rejected saying that it was not good or practical, rubbers would lose speed and such. Nowadays, ESN sponges are going on the harder spectrum with some even reaching 60 degrees with sticky or tacky topsheet. I have 2 points on this situation. One is that the way to go if you wanted a higher amount of spin for rubbers, you would need to be tacky. Having a hard sponge and short pip structure sometimes affect the amount of spin produced if the topsheet is not tacky. I have tried very hard rubbers with same pip structures but are not tacky, the spin is way less and also you would need to compress the sponge harder just to produce a good amount of spin. Second, I think this is a way also to go into the path of having a faster Hurricane 3-like rubber. DHS Hurricane 3 is not easy to use even if you have the skills but did not boost it because
    It takes a lot of effort to produce speed even at higher levels. So I am seeing rubbers that have Chinese rubber-like characteristics but with speed or power that an ESN rubber offers or what we call having “hybrid properties” having the best of both worlds. To compare the spin, both rubbers have more spin than Tenergy 05. Both are as spinny as Hurricane 3 with a higher arc. The regular Rakza Z has a slightly higher arc than the Extra Hard version. If I compare it to Tenergy 05, both rubbers have a lesser arc when doing loops. I looped the balls both underspin and topspin with almost a closed angle and it was not hard to lift especially underspin balls. Both rubbers are excellent in both serving and pushing strokes. The tacky topsheet emulates pushing underspin balls like using a Chinese rubber or serving using one.

    Control

    I was intrigued that I saw a video seeing the Rakza Z rubber users having difficulty in controlling the rubbers. I removed the rubbers from the Ma Lin Soft Carbon and place it in a hinoki carbon-aramid blade that is on the off+ speed just to check and verify. The combination is sure very fast with the Rakza Z Extra Hard edging the regular version by a few notches. The combination was very bouncy and in my opinion, it takes a bit of skill to fully control the Z series rubbers if you are using a very fast blade like pure carbon blades that are stiff and fast. You would see the ball fly out of the table. However, I see 2 simple solutions on this issue. One, having tacky topsheets, it is better to use the Z series rubbers with a closed angle like when looping with a Chinese rubber. Two, use an off level blade that has more flex. Rubbers nowadays are already very fast so using super fast carbon blades is not that practical anymore. When blocking, you needed to have a closed angle also with the 2 rubbers. The topsheet like any other tacky rubber has some sensitivity to incoming spin that is why it takes a bit of advanced level of skill.


    Smashing
    It is not as hard to smash balls compared to using Hurricane 3 rubbers. I find the Extra Hard version more powerful to smash with while the regular version is more user-friendly. Both rubbers are outstanding in smashes and spin drives.

    Overall Impression

    Both the Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard rubbers are for advanced level players. If you really wanted to use these 2 rubbers but is still learning the basic strokes, I would choose another Rakza rubber like Rakza 7 or to some extent a thinner version of Rakza Z like 2.0mm or thinner if available. Overall, the rubber is surprisingly outstanding and was not expecting to be just another “meehhh” rubber produced by ESN.







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    Last edited by yogi_bear; 06-16-2020 at 10:59 AM.
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    #2
    Yogi,

    Thanks for another great review. Always enjoyed reading your reviews.

    Just wondering, would you please compare (may be in the form of a table) or rank the top rubbers that came out recently, like Rakza Z, Dynaryz, O7 Hyper, etc. in terms of speed, spin and control.

    That would help a lot of people to choose their next rubber.

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    #3
    What is also interesting is:
    Rakza Z Price in Belgium is 35 euro, while Dignics 09c is 80 Euro.
    That is a huge difference.

    I guess this is an answer to Butterfly's Dignics 09c ?

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    #4
    How is it compared to dignics 09c?

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by goodhand
    Yogi,

    Thanks for another great review. Always enjoyed reading your reviews.

    Just wondering, would you please compare (may be in the form of a table) or rank the top rubbers that came out recently, like Rakza Z, Dynaryz, O7 Hyper, etc. in terms of speed, spin and control.

    That would help a lot of people to choose their next rubber.
    Too much work and i might be called biased so i would rather not have that.

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by guni4you
    How is it compared to dignics 09c?
    Have not tried dignics 09c.

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    #7
    This is closer to the Joola Golden Tango.

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    #8
    Thanks for the review! I'm very interested in trying it out myself. Would you say it shares any similarities to Xiom Omega V Tour?

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    #9
    First generation of Semi tacky rubber is Stiga Mantra and Goldarc 8
    I will elaborate later.

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    #10
    Stiga mantra is not a tacky rubber. Stiga Genesis is.

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    #11
    What is the wood composition of the Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon?

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    #12
    If i am not mistaken it is anigre outer plies.

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    #13
    Palio Thors is the first porous tacky Tensor, released around 10 years ago. It was all the rage not long after the glue ban. That was a time when your typical German brands tried so hard to imitate Tenergy with Baracuda/Hexer/Genius. Palio was so ahead of its time. 54°(52-55°) sponge with a softish topsheet!

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    Last edited by zeio; 06-03-2020 at 07:14 AM.

  14. Konrad Bak is offline
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    #14
    You right

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by zeio
    Palio Thors is the first porous tacky Tensor, released around 10 years ago. It was all the rage not long after the glue ban. That was a time when your typical German brands tried so hard to imitate Tenergy with Baracuda/Hexer/Genius. Palio was so ahead of its time. 54°(52-55°) sponge with a softish topsheet!
    Ritc was even more advanced. Remember those ritc rubbers with German sponges? Those were the first real hybrids back in early 2000s.

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    Last edited by yogi_bear; 06-03-2020 at 10:17 AM.

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    #16
    Ugh, the excitement and disappointment of putting 729 topsheet on top of Japanese GP or Bomb sponge in the 90s...

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    #17
    Thanks for great review. Rakza Z is more valuable(low price rubber) to come close to Dignics09C from Butterfly.

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    #18
    Nice review Yogi!

    Since this rubber is also a German ESN rubber, do you think they're similar and use the same technology as other recent tacky Tensors, like Joola Golden Tango PS, Donic Bluegrip series, Tibhar Hybrid series, etc?

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    #19
    It is less tackier than the Hybrid series but faster and it is nearest to the Golden Tango rubbers but they kinda felt different.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    It is less tackier than the Hybrid series but faster and it is nearest to the Golden Tango rubbers but they kinda felt different.
    Did you notice any difference in spin between Golden Tango rubbers and the Rakza Z rubbers? Or they are about the same?

    And thanks for the review, this rubber seems really good
    Last edited by shinshiro; 06-15-2020 at 03:41 AM.

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