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    #1

    Best rubbers to go with Timo ball ZLF?

    Hello,

    I play table tennis since few years now. I didn't have that money money so I was using the normal stiga prestige carbon. I recently bought the timo ball ZLF blade but I am so confused on what rubbers to choose. I play offensive with spins. So I read some reviews saying that I should have T05 for fh and T64 for bh. What do you think of such combination?

    Thanks a lot!

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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by AkiraKonami
    Hello,

    I play table tennis since few years now. I didn't have that money money so I was using the normal stiga prestige carbon. I recently bought the timo ball ZLF blade but I am so confused on what rubbers to choose. I play offensive with spins. So I read some reviews saying that I should have T05 for fh and T64 for bh. What do you think of such combination?

    Thanks a lot!
    Hi there,

    There's no such thing as best rubbers for a given blade, otherwise everyone would be playing with that setup, it's really up to the player's level and preferences in terms of feel, playing characteristics, hardness...

    How long have you been playing? Do you play at a club? Do you train with a coach? Are you comfortable with drives, topspins, loops, flicks etc. from both wings when playing a game against someone around your level or higher?

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    #3
    Don't select the fastest of the fast, go for something a little bit slower. I would recommend Yasaka Rakza 7 on both FH and BH since Your old racket most likely had the same rubbers on each side. (It will take You time to find Your favorite anyway). I personally don't like Rakza 9 and Rakza X. Haven't tried Rakza Z.The Tenergies are good but I think they are waaaay expensive. Another option would be Tibhar Evolution EL-S, EL-P, FX-S or FX-P. MX-P and MX-S are a little hard and fast (for me). There are plenty of others but I have not tried them yet.

    Cheers
    L-zr
    Last edited by Lazer; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:16 PM.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.pong
    Hi there,

    There's no such thing as best rubbers for a given blade, otherwise everyone would be playing with that setup, it's really up to the player's level and preferences in terms of feel, playing characteristics, hardness...

    How long have you been playing? Do you play at a club? Do you train with a coach? Are you comfortable with drives, topspins, loops, flicks etc. from both wings when playing a game against someone around your level or higher?

    Thank you for your reply.

    Actually I asked because I never made a racket for myself, I used to buy an already "made" one So I am new to this domain and thanks a lot for your input.

    I've been playing since 4 years now but I stopped 1 year ago, and I train with a coach lately 4 times/week. I am comfortable with what you mentioned. I win games against people who are sometimes better than me.


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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer
    Don't select the fastest of the fast, go for something a little bit slower. I would recommend Yasaka Rakza 7 on both FH and BH since Your old racket most likely had the same rubbers on each side. (It will take You time to find Your favorite anyway). I personally don't like Rakza 9 and Rakza X. Haven't tried Rakza Z.The Tenergies are good but I think they are waaaay expensive. Another option would be Tibhar Evolution EL-S, EL-P, FX-S or FX-P. MX-P and MX-S are a little hard and fast (for me). There are plenty of others but I have not tried them yet.

    Cheers
    L-zr

    Thank you lazer. You helped me a lot. I checked Evolution FX-P and found the following. How about this setup?
    Blade: Donic Ovtcharov Carbospeed
    Donic bluestorm Z3 (fh) and Tibhar Evolution FX-P (bh).

    Thanks a lot!


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    #6
    I prefer the -S type (S Stands for spin and P stands for Power) but FX-P would be alright (It is the softest and slowest rubber in the Evolution series). I don't know anything about Donic rubbers, but maybe yogi_bear will respond to this thread, he has tested most rubbers.

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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer
    Don't select the fastest of the fast, go for something a little bit slower. I would recommend Yasaka Rakza 7 on both FH and BH since Your old racket most likely had the same rubbers on each side. (It will take You time to find Your favorite anyway). I personally don't like Rakza 9 and Rakza X. Haven't tried Rakza Z.The Tenergies are good but I think they are waaaay expensive. Another option would be Tibhar Evolution EL-S, EL-P, FX-S or FX-P. MX-P and MX-S are a little hard and fast (for me). There are plenty of others but I have not tried them yet.

    Cheers
    L-zr
    Agree with you that he shouldn't select the fastest of the fast. Rakza 9, X, Z, most of the Tenergy's (except 64 FX and 80 FX). MX-P and MX-S are in that category and would likely be way too fast, hard and uncontrollable for OP coming from a pre-made with not good rubbers.

    I also prefer Rakza 7 to the other Rakzas, better topsheet and balance in my opinion.

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AkiraKonami

    Thank you lazer. You helped me a lot. I checked Evolution FX-P and found the following. How about this setup?
    Blade: Donic Ovtcharov Carbospeed
    Donic bluestorm Z3 (fh) and Tibhar Evolution FX-P (bh).

    Thanks a lot!

    I thought you had bought and were looking for rubbers for a Timo Boll ZLF?

    Are you looking for a completely different blade now? If so, having only played 3 years, you should not get a carbon blade and instead buy an OFF- 5-ply all-wood blade that will have a great balance of speed, spin, control and feel so you can work and develop your game comfortably with your coach and get better quicker. I'd recommend a Butterfly Korbel or Xiom Offensive S. The Timo Boll ZLF (no carbon, just fiber) could be ok too but I'd stay away from the Carbospeed and other carbon blades.

    For the rubbers, I think the Bluestorm Z3 and FX-P would be alright. Well-rounded rubbers like Butterfly Rozena or Xiom Vega Japan would work too.

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.pong
    I thought you had bought and were looking for rubbers for a Timo Boll ZLF?

    Are you looking for a completely different blade now? If so, having only played 3 years, you should not get a carbon blade and instead buy an OFF- 5-ply all-wood blade that will have a great balance of speed, spin, control and feel so you can work and develop your game comfortably with your coach and get better quicker. I'd recommend a Butterfly Korbel or Xiom Offensive S. The Timo Boll ZLF (no carbon, just fiber) could be ok too but I'd stay away from the Carbospeed and other carbon blades.

    For the rubbers, I think the Bluestorm Z3 and FX-P would be alright. Well-rounded rubbers like Butterfly Rozena or Xiom Vega Japan would work too.
    I have to disagree with You here. Superspeed blades should be avoided. But if Butterfly's own rating is correct the blade he selected is rated almost like an innerforce ALC. That blade is not superfast. I think it is better to get a decent blade and adjust the speed with the rubber. Id say Timo boll ZLF is a perfect blade for him.

    Also Stiga premade blades have quite decent rubbers. I thing the one he had was a 5 star. That's not too shabby.

    Cheers
    L-zr

  10. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #10
    If you haven't played with a blade, it is hard to talk about it based on speed ratings listed from a company. Those speed ratings are pretty much meaningless. However, the TB ZLF is not super fast and could be used. The issue I would say with it is:


    1) It is not NOT LINEAR because of the soft layer of zylon near the surface of the blade. I used that blade for several years. It feels really nice. But, I am not sure it would be a great choice as a first blade after using prebuilt rackets.
    2) The zylon layer does dampen some vibrations so it would make it harder to develop feeling for a player just starting to use higher quality equipment.

    On the positive side, the the TB ZLF, if you are used to a layer like zylon directly under the top ply, the give and softness of the zylon under the hard koto top play does really allow you to spin the hell out of the ball if you already know how to get the ball to sink in and hold on the blade face.

    AkiraKonami: if you have never used a racket from separately assembled parts and have only used PreMade rackets, I would think about getting something along these lines:


    Blades:


    Butterfly Petr Korbel
    Tibhar Stratus Power Wood
    Butterfly InnerFiber ALC
    Xiom Offensive S
    Nittaku Acoustic


    Rubbers:


    Yasaka Rakza 7
    Xiom Vega Pro and/or Europe
    Tibhar Evolution FXS, FXP, ELS, ELP


    That is, unless you have tried a lot of setups and know exactly what you want.


    So, the other recommendation is to start asking people at the club you play at to let you try their rackets and when you pick up one you particularly like, see what the blade and rubbers are. After you have tried enough setups, you will have a much better idea of what you want.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:02 PM.
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    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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    #11
    Disagree there too, specially butterfly blades are quite accurately “specked”.

  12. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer
    Disagree there too, specially butterfly blades are quite accurately “specked”.
    We can agree to disagree. Advising someone on equipment you never used based on reading numbers, it just is not the best recipe for good advice.

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    #13

    I disagree again, Characteristics like linearity bla bla etc, does not mean much until you get really really good. Until then you need something to grow with and almost anything except the super fast will be OK. When you have developed enough skills you can make your own choice.

    What I have found is that it doesn’t matter, I can get almost the same characteristic with all my blades rated all up to off+ by selecting an appropriate rubber. The difference is when a hit is really hard but that only matters when you get really good.

    When I read some of your advices I would think your a salesman who wants to sell as much equipment as possible.

    The bottom line is that stay away from the superfast blades anything else is OK.

    Cheers
    L-zr


  14. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #14
    Lazer, you have been playing a long time and have stopped and started. You know more than most.

    However, if you have never played a blade that has Zylon without carbon, or Arylate without carbon, I will suggest, you try one to see how those blades respond before thinking you know how they respond. Balls coming off the blade face at odd angles because the substance under the top ply resembles a soft plastic material (both Zylon and Arylate have been used on the outside of cell phone charger cables to give you an idea of what the substance is like), then I suggest, you may not know what the unknown unknowns are in a substance like that as under the top ply.

    Sorry, but....I have played with a ZLF blade long enough to know, I would not recommend it to someone who has not tried it first.

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    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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  15. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #15
    [Not sure why the photo of the charger cable is not showing up on Chrome. When I go to edit, it is there.]

    The casing of this cable is made of Arylate. Zylon is fairly similar. [I tried to post a photo of an Anker Powerline II Lightning Cable. Feel free to search for photos.]

    I would put Kevlar in a similar category. A semi-soft plastic, under a thin top ply, for a player who does not have decently precise technique could end up giving unpredictable results that would slow a player’s development of skill and precision in contact.

    I would not recommend it unless someone had decent technique and had tried the blade.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:52 PM.
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    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Lazer, you have been playing a long time and have stopped and started. You know more than most.

    However, if you have never played a blade that has Zylon without carbon, or Arylate without carbon, I will suggest, you try one to see how those blades respond before thinking you know how they respond. Balls coming off the blade face at odd angles because the substance under the top ply resembles a soft plastic material (both Zylon and Arylate have been used on the outside of cell phone charger cables to give you an idea of what the substance is like), then I suggest, you may not know what the unknown unknowns are in a substance like that as under the top ply.

    Sorry, but....I have played with a ZLF blade long enough to know, I would not recommend it to someone who has not tried it first.
    You’re right about one thing I’ve been playing long enough to know that after 3 years your good enough to play with most blades, but not good enough to draw advantage of, or suffer from the minute characteristic differences.

    And you better tell Butterfly that their ZLF blades are unpredictable, that’s news to them...

    I stand by what I said. It will not matter much what blade he chooses as long as he stays away from the super fast.

    Cheers
    L-zr

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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer
    You’re right about one thing I’ve been playing long enough to know that after 3 years your good enough to play with most blades, but not good enough to draw advantage of, or suffer from the minute characteristic differences.

    And you better tell Butterfly that their ZLF blades are unpredictable, that’s news to them...

    I stand by what I said. It will not matter much what blade he chooses as long as he stays away from the super fast.

    Cheers
    L-zr
    Fair enough. I agree on a lot of what you are saying. We don't have to agree on everything.
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer
    I have to disagree with You here. Superspeed blades should be avoided. But if Butterfly's own rating is correct the blade he selected is rated almost like an innerforce ALC. That blade is not superfast. I think it is better to get a decent blade and adjust the speed with the rubber. Id say Timo boll ZLF is a perfect blade for him.

    Also Stiga premade blades have quite decent rubbers. I thing the one he had was a 5 star. That's not too shabby.

    Cheers
    L-zr
    Hey Lazer,

    While I agree really fast blades should be avoided for beginners and intermediate players, blades with a mute feel like ZLF and AL regardless of their speed should be avoided too, since they lack the vibrations that give good feedback to develop good feel for the ball and touch, ever so important for the short game, serve receives, blocks, counters... you name it. Butterfly has a good and fairly accurate way to rate their blades speed-wise, but their stats are not a good indicator of overall feel and felt hardness.

    While rated in the similar ballpark, the Innerforce ALC is a blade which provides ample feel and feedback, while the Timo Boll ZLF (and other ZLF and AL blades) does not. I've tried several ZLF and AL blades both inner and outer (still own a couple), and I could not get used to their mute very dead feel for the life of me, unlike ALC and ZLC blades which have plenty of feel regardless of how much punch they pack.

    Blades like the Butterfly Korbel and Xiom Offensive S are more than "decent" blades (excellent blades really) that have plenty of speed, even enough for many pros. Premades, even the more expensive ones from big TT companies like Stiga, are made from cheap materials, wood plies and carbon alike, and the rubbers, even marketed as 5-star are quite crap, that most of them don't even sell on their own. So transitioning to a 5-ply all-wood OFF- blade, he would gain not only in quality and speed, but in stability.

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    Last edited by thomas.pong; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:25 PM.

  19. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #19


    I think I got the cable to post.

    The shell of this cable is made of Arylate. Qualities of something between a soft plastic and polyester. And Arylate is a poly material. And Zylon is a close relative that is also used on things like the fabric of sails. And used to be used in bullet proof vests (like Kevlar). But they found that after a few years, Zylon breaks down and is no longer bullet proof. Would a Zylon blade that is a few years old play differently? Mine does. The material degrades.

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  20. Lazer is online now
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas.pong
    Hey Lazer,

    While I agree really fast blades should be avoided for beginners and intermediate players, blades with a mute feel like ZLF and AL regardless of their speed should be avoided too, since they lack the vibrations that give good feedback to develop good feel for the ball and touch, ever so important for the short game, serve receives, blocks, counters... you name it. Butterfly has a good and fairly accurate way to rate their blades speed-wise, but their stats are not a good indicator of overall feel and felt hardness.

    While rated in the similar ballpark, the Innerforce ALC is a blade which provides ample feel and feedback, while the Timo Boll ZLF (and other ZLF and AL blades) does not. I've tried several ZLF and AL blades both inner and outer (still own a couple), and I could not get used to their mute very dead feel for the life of me, unlike ALC and ZLC blades which have plenty of feel regardless of how much punch they pack.

    Blades like the Butterfly Korbel and Xiom Offensive S are more than "decent" blades (excellent blades really) that have plenty of speed, even enough for many pros. Premades, even the more expensive ones from big TT companies like Stiga, are made from cheap materials, wood plies and carbon alike, and the rubbers, even marketed as 5-star are quite crap, that most of them don't even sell on their own. So transitioning to a 5-ply all-wood OFF- blade, he would gain not only in quality and speed, but in stability.
    I totally disagree, the difference is minute and doesn’t make any difference at that level. Stigas higher end premades are definitely not crap. And I have experimented on this subject and it doesn’t make any difference if you have a couple of years experience.

    At my office we got a table a couple of years and a half ago, and lots of people had just that kind of experience and racket. Now the office is empty but before the pandemy I felt sorry for them and arranged a couple of Stiga all round with DNA future. The difference they noted didn’t make any difference whatsoever. So I don’t believe in that myth anymore.

    Cheers
    L-zr


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