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  1. Zwill is offline
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    #1

    Non-shrinking ESN rubbers



    The ESN rubber shrinking has been discussed prior but I don't find a topic where people try to collect which ESN rubbers don't shrink or not so much.
    In general I think ESN rubbers are pretty good for relatively short period, it can be a month or two but after the factory boost (or whatever they get) evaporates their playing characteristics change. Once this happens and you take the rubber off gluing it back with a proper fit is next to impossible since the rubber becomes smaller than the racket head. Of course you can play around with re-boosting or stretching it back but it's quite horrible. If you take the rubber off and leave it stored for another month it becomes so small that there can be centimeters missing in all direction.
    I took a random photo from the internet about the issue and you might think this surely is overexaggerated, but in fact it's not even that drastic. I have seen more severe cases.
    This property of ESN rubbers always pushed me away from even considering them, while I have tried on others rackets Gewo, Andro, Joola, Victas, Xiom etc etc rubbers and they play quite nice. So I'm wondering if there are any modern rubbers that don't shrink.

    I have found that Tibhar K2 and Rakza 7 soft doesn't shrink. I have a Rakza 7 soft which I got for my dad and it has been sitting in storage for a few years now and surprisingly it didn't shrink. Is it the same with the normal Rakza 7? Because I think even these ~10 year old tensor rubbers are still quite relevant and very usable.

    Tibhar K2 has a dense, non-pored sponge and it didn't shrink for even after a year, it has pretty good durability.

    I recently got some Victas V>15 extras and they don't have any sweet smell nor oily touch like MX-P and some other notoriously shrinking rubbers. So I have some confidence that it might not shrink so much.

    Any other experiences?


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    #2
    Tibhar K1 Euro, Joola Golden Tango PS, Victas V11 Extra and Donic JP series don't seem to shrink.

    Tibhar EL-P shrinks less than MXP and FXP

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sedis
    Tibhar K1 Euro, Joola Golden Tango PS, Victas V11 Extra and Donic JP series don't seem to shrink.

    Tibhar EL-P shrinks less than MXP and FXP

    Cheers, the Joola Golden Tango and the K1 Euro doesn't surprise me, since I think the Golden Tango is kind of the equivalent of the K series of Tibhar. In Donic I believe it is the Bluegrip V and R series, but I never tried any other than K2. The V11 Extra makes me very happy if it doesn't shrink since I tried it receintly and it is a very good rubber and so light. A V15 Extra and V11 Extra combo sounds like a no brainer to me in this case, since the V15 extra is a bit heavy.

    I think it is also important to note that a rubber that has been sold 6-12 months after production most likely lost all of its factory boost just sitting on a shelf. So they will shrink less than something that was produced not long before purchase/use.

    Last edited by Zwill; 04-20-2022 at 08:23 PM.

  4. yoass is offline
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    #4
    Rubber shrinking is annoying, but tbh it's less of a deal in practice than I once feared.

    As it goes, to my experience, once I glue and cut rubbers (I do this for many members of my club) the rubbers stay on until (actually, usually, after) they're worn out completely.
    Every once in an exceptional while, somebody regrets a rubber choice and I get to peel off a near-new slab. My habit is to glue these back onto another blade immediately, and very often there's another person around that just happens to be a happy beneficiary for repurposing it. While head sizes (they're specified as if they are rectangles…) don't differ all that much, there's enough variation in shapes (they're not rectangles, actually) to create minor headaches.
    Sometimes you just need to accept small imperfections. "Don't sweat the small stuff."

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    #5
    What I would do is cut them rather liberally so that about 2mm are overhanging, many pro players are doing that too.

    ​​​​​​That way you have a little more leeway if the rubber shrinks a little.

    I think the shrinking is built in into the tensor technology because as the name says there is tension in the sponge/rubber and that tension wants to pull back at some point.

  6. vvk1 is online now
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    #6
    Most tensors do not come vacuum sealed (unlike DHS Hurricane) so one would imagine they would shrink naturally during their shelf life which they don't appear to.

    In my experience, tensors end up shrinking when re-gluing if too much pressure was applied when using a roller to smooth out the rubber surface (or when attempting to "stretch" the rubber when glueing like in some TT pro videos, e.g Ovtcharov's videos).

  7. Zwill is offline
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    #7

    Rubber shrinking is annoying, but tbh it's less of a deal in practice than I once feared.

    As it goes, to my experience, once I glue and cut rubbers (I do this for many members of my club) the rubbers stay on until (actually, usually, after) they're worn out completely.
    Every once in an exceptional while, somebody regrets a rubber choice and I get to peel off a near-new slab. My habit is to glue these back onto another blade immediately, and very often there's another person around that just happens to be a happy beneficiary for repurposing it. While head sizes (they're specified as if they are rectangles…) don't differ all that much, there's enough variation in shapes (they're not rectangles, actually) to create minor headaches.
    Sometimes you just need to accept small imperfections. "Don't sweat the small stuff."

    Yes, the shrinking is very annoying and for sure the best way to combat it is to not remove the rubber until you scrap it. The other problem is that as I mentioned the rubber playing properties change too once the factory boost wears off. After 1-2 months your rubber plays much worse than a non factory boosted rubber.
    I've know players who were thinking maybe they need to re-glue their rubber since it feels broken. It's actually really hard to convince them of the reality, they don't really want to accept it.
    In my case I would rather use something that is not boosted but plays a bit worse than a new sheet of MX-P, but keeps its playing properties for its lifespan.
    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect 3-4-5 months of life from a sheet especially from some of the newer 60EUR ESN sheets. Butterfly stuff can do this, many use a sheet of Tenergy for a year without issues.

    What I would do is cut them rather liberally so that about 2mm are overhanging, many pro players are doing that too.

    ​​​​​​That way you have a little more leeway if the rubber shrinks a little.

    I think the shrinking is built in into the tensor technology because as the name says there is tension in the sponge/rubber and that tension wants to pull back at some point.

    Since I wasn't very satisfied with the photo I found on the internet I made one from a Rasanter R53 that I cut with an overhang. I guess you can see how severe the shrinking is in some cases. When the rubber was new it played very well, but after 2 months it was like chewed dogshit.

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    #8
    Exactly the same happened to a sheet of R53 I had!! With R53 the shrinkage seems excessive to say the least!!!!, From memory R48 shrank as well but not as badly as R53.
    These must be boosted to hell and back!!!!

  9. ttarc is offline
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sedis
    Tibhar K1 Euro, Joola Golden Tango PS, Victas V11 Extra and Donic JP series don't seem to shrink.

    Tibhar EL-P shrinks less than MXP and FXP

    V>11 Extra does shrink. Not as extreme as e.g. a BlueStorm Z2 where even booster and rubber cement containing a lot of solvents did not help to stretch it back to original size (but plays great in that condition as long as the topsheet has enough grip). Problem with the V>11 and other ESN rubbers is that their sponges degrade/fail first when the topsheet is still usable.
    Quite stable are some hybrids that I have: Rakza Z and Gewo Codexx EL 52.

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  10. yoass is offline
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwill
    Since I wasn't very satisfied with the photo I found on the internet I made one from a Rasanter R53 that I cut with an overhang. I guess you can see how severe the shrinking is in some cases. When the rubber was new it played very well, but after 2 months it was like chewed dogshit.
    Its width looks ok, but its length… are you really sure it wasn’t stretched when first applied?

  11. Zwill is offline
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    #11

    Most tensors do not come vacuum sealed (unlike DHS Hurricane) so one would imagine they would shrink naturally during their shelf life which they don't appear to.

    In my experience, tensors end up shrinking when re-gluing if too much pressure was applied when using a roller to smooth out the rubber surface (or when attempting to "stretch" the rubber when glueing like in some TT pro videos, e.g Ovtcharov's videos).

    Yes, most ESN rubbers don't come in a vacuum package. The Tibhar K2 has the most "sealed" package I have seen from ESN.
    Not sure if they are not shrinking on the shelves, there are some cut size differences in peoples reports. But I'm just assuming they cut most ESN rubbers the same size. I know the Evolution series tries very hard to look Japanese, even their cut size copies Butterfly.

    Its width looks ok, but its length… are you really sure it wasn’t stretched when first applied?

    The bottom looks okay, but if I moved it up a little you would see even the width isn't matching. I never stretch new rubbers, when I glue on a new sheet I gently lay the rubber down first, then put on the paper sheet it comes with and first just press downwards. After I pressed down everywhere I do use my elbow but at that point it's not stretching since it's already attached to the blade. Once the rubber is already small do stretch because I can't stand if the blade is not covered properly but not with a new sheet.
    I could show a Rhyzer, MX-P, Gold Arc 8 that looks about the same as this Rasanter R53.

    Quite stable are some hybrids that I have: Rakza Z and Gewo Codexx EL 52.

    It seems the hybrid rubbers are quite good.
    Last edited by Zwill; 04-21-2022 at 01:43 PM.

  12. Der_Echte is offline
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    #12
    Add Yasaka Anti-Power to the list of non-shrinkers as Sergey Tsos is laughing all of those not using the secret 8 layer boosting process for their H3s...

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    #13
    If you use Elmer's rubber glue, like I do, it is best to let the rubber glue dry before applying it to the blade. If you apply the rubber while the glue is still wet, it is no wonder the rubber shrinks when it is removed from the blade.
    If you want to avoid the shrinking problem them let the rubber dry before applying to the blade.

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    #14
    Never wait for the glue to dry and never have rubbers shrink on me…

    Cheers
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by IB66
    Exactly the same happened to a sheet of R53 I had!! With R53 the shrinkage seems excessive to say the least!!!!, From memory R48 shrank as well but not as badly as R53.
    These must be boosted to hell and back!!!!

    I tried Andro Hexer Powergrip about a year ago, and while it did "the magic" in its brand new state, it turned out, that it was because of the heavy boosting, which was gone in about 3 months. After that, the rubber topsheet edge was raised along the edge of the blade, and reduced precision noticeably. Also initially it got too narrow edge tape, so it was very easy to tear the edge away from the blade by accident. - The topsheet was also sub-par, losing grip very easily.
    Another story with Xiom Vega Asia Df: initially it was very bouncy, and it had low and long arcs, but similarly after 3 months the playing properties changed significantly. I regained control over the rubber at the expense of impact - I could not pose any threat to my opponents later with it. The edge rising issue was also present.

    So, I think, I am completely done with Andro rubbers (never intend to try any in the future), and also with Xiom Vega rubbers.
    I am also afraid of Tibhars as well, I will retest my racket with MX-S, and maybe I'll update with my experiences.

    Regarding the keepers, I am still very happy with my racket of Yinhe Pro Feeling + dual side Rakza Z. Rakza Z seemed to be a nearly indestructible rubber, once I made an accidental dent on its rubber topsheet - it has a 1.5mm length very thinly visible scratch mark, but nothing more - that swing would have resulted in ragged edges with many other rubbers...


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    #16
    To stay on topic, I think, shrinkage of rubbers may depend on two important aspects:
    • The level of factory boosting the rubber got treated with
    • The method of rubber application.

    As I do, I press on the rubber with some force during the application, but I move very slowly with the roller in order to not stretch it in any way. So maybe if I don't experience raising edges with a rubber months after application, it should mean, that it wouldn't likely to shrink too much. In this regard, I think, Nittaku Fastarc G-1 (and C-1) is a perfect rubber. I have also Victas Ventus Extra - there is a very slight edge raising, but still way much better, than the previously mentioned bad examples.

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    #17
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    Last edited by Konrad Bak; 05-15-2022 at 10:44 PM.
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    #18
    When I glue a new sheet of ESN rubber, I try not to stretch it. I just let it rest on the blade gently and roll press it without exerting undue force. This way, I have less shrinkage problem when removing and regluing later. The problem of shrinkage is more pronounced when you stretch it like a bread dough.

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  19. ttarc is offline
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    When I glue a new sheet of ESN rubber, I try not to stretch it. I just let it rest on the blade gently and roll press it without exerting undue force. This way, I have less shrinkage problem when removing and regluing later. The problem of shrinkage is more pronounced when you stretch it like a bread dough.
    Does this explain why these rubbers shrink in all dimensions, lose weight or why a fresh Evolution or Bluefire smells like booster?

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by damszelfly

    I tried Andro Hexer Powergrip about a year ago, and while it did "the magic" in its brand new state, it turned out, that it was because of the heavy boosting, which was gone in about 3 months. After that, the rubber topsheet edge was raised along the edge of the blade, and reduced precision noticeably. Also initially it got too narrow edge tape, so it was very easy to tear the edge away from the blade by accident. - The topsheet was also sub-par, losing grip very easily.
    Another story with Xiom Vega Asia Df: initially it was very bouncy, and it had low and long arcs, but similarly after 3 months the playing properties changed significantly. I regained control over the rubber at the expense of impact - I could not pose any threat to my opponents later with it. The edge rising issue was also present.

    So, I think, I am completely done with Andro rubbers (never intend to try any in the future), and also with Xiom Vega rubbers.
    I am also afraid of Tibhars as well, I will retest my racket with MX-S, and maybe I'll update with my experiences.

    Regarding the keepers, I am still very happy with my racket of Yinhe Pro Feeling + dual side Rakza Z. Rakza Z seemed to be a nearly indestructible rubber, once I made an accidental dent on its rubber topsheet - it has a 1.5mm length very thinly visible scratch mark, but nothing more - that swing would have resulted in ragged edges with many other rubbers...

    The Xiom Vega Pro is good for me, and I don’t think it shrinks that much.

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