- Jan 2012
Joola Rhyzen Fire & Ice rubbers Review and Comparison
Joola Rhyzen Ice
Weight: 69 grams uncut
Hardness: as per Joola website Soft+
Speed: off- to off
Spin: very high
Joola Rhyzen Fire
Weight: 71-72 grams uncut
Hardness: as per Joola website medium+
Speed: off to off+
Spin: very high
Joola has released a few months ago their mid-range level rubbers. These rubbers are intended for the general playing population that most are playing seriously to improve their skills and some even compete. Joola has several classifications of rubbers based on the level of performance for their rubbers. Both the Joola Fire & Ice rubbers are mid-range in terms of performance and price. With the very inflated prices of rubbers in the market nowadays, the Fire & Ice rubbers are surprisingly very cheap. For the past few years especially with the start of the Covid pandemic, price adjustment happened with several of major table tennis companies, these 2 rubbers are very cheap for being newer rubbers in the market. Priced as $39.99 in their website, these rubber prices are cheaper than most rubbers that we have. This was a company trend for Joola that I have noticed since they released the Rhyzen CMD rubber with the same price.
Basically, these 2 rubbers have the same structural properties but with some obvious difference that I will be covering in this review. Both the Joola Fire and Ice rubbers have the same individual pimples height, width and spacing if we will be basing this on their official website specifications. The differences are with the overall hardness, trajectory or arc and speed. All of which I will be discussing in my review.
For the overall hardness, the rubbers have a difference of night and day wherein you can actually feel the ball sink more into the Rhyzen Ice rubber when you engage the ball with the sponge more. This is my opinion on the hardness and it differs slightly than the Joola official specification on the sponge hardness but I do not feel that it is a soft rubber. The Joola Ice has the firmness including the topsheet that is similar to that of a 45-degree Joola Rhyzer. In my personal opinion, the Joola Rhyzen Ice does not feel like a soft rubber at all. I have tried Joola’s past rubbers that have sponge hardness of 38, 40 and 42.5 degrees and all of these rubbers are softer than the Joola Rhyzen Ice rubber. The Joola Rhyzen Fire on the other hand does not feel like a medium+ hardness. Again, disclaimer on this that this is my personal opinion and observation and it differs from what Joola placed on their website. The Joola Rhyzen Fire felt harder than a medium rubber. By personal experience the Rhyzen Fire felt like a 47.5ish-degree rubber. Again, basing on the previous rubbers of Joola within the 47 to 47.5-degree hardness range, the Rhyzen Fire felt like it has this kind of hardness.
For the speed, the Rhyzen Ice is slower. The Rhyzen CMD in the past that I have reviewed is slightly slower probably because of the slight tackiness in the topsheet but Rhyzen Ice borders in speed range of off- to off. Rhyzen CMD felt like an all+ to off- rubber. The Rhyzen Fire is more aggressive and has more speed than Rhyzen Ice. The Rhyzen Fire more or less is in the speed range of Rhyzer 45 degree and Rhyzm 48 degrees. It may not be faster than the mentioned older-generation rubbers but it is in that speed range. The Rhyzen Ice is a rubber better suited for intermediate level players who is looking for a good amount of speed but are weary of losing control due to the sponge being too bouncy. The softness of the Rhyzen Ice;s sponge is makes it responsive to slight sponge compression of the ball producing a good amount of speed but at the same time does not produce too much rebound wherein you lose a lot of control. The Rhyzen Ice could be considered an off+ rubber in the celluloid era but nowadays, its speed is like an older generation off rubber and not off+.
For spin generation and looping attacks, both rubbers do well above the expected performance basing on their price and generation. Let me be straight and direct here, both the Fire and Ice rubbers are not as spinny as the newer generation Rhyzen or Dynaryz rubbers simply because they are not designed to be as spinny as them but coupled with the fact that the Rhyzen and Dynaryz rubbers are high pro or higher-level competition rubbers, they also need a higher set of skilsl to be fully utilized. Both the Fire and Ice rubbers need lesser skills to be fully used especially the Rhyzen Ice. The Rhyzen Ice’s softer sponge enables easy engagement in producing speed as well as generating spin. The mechanics of producing spin for both rubbers is hitting through the sponge and brushing the ball. The Fire version needs lesser amount of sponge compression to produce spin and you can even just brush the ball thinly to produce great amount of spin while the Ice version is not well-suited in brushing the ball thinly. I would say the amount of spin the Fire version can produce is comparable to MXP rubbers and lower than Tenergy 05 rubbers while the Ice version is more or less in the range of FXS rubbers. The Rhyzen CMD rubber which has a slightly tacky topsheet and in my opinion spinnier than both Ice or Fire versions. The arc or trajectory for the Rhyzen Fire is medium low while the Rhyzen Ice has a medium-high arc. The Rhyzen Ice has an advantage on its medium-high arc because it gives room for error when hitting or spinning the ball as it easily clears the net and needs lesser level of skills. The Rhyzen Fire’s lower arc does not need much adjustment and makes it faster than the Rhyzen Ice.
Performance-wise if based on strokes, each rubber has his own strengths and weaknesses. The Rhyzen Ice being softer blocks easily and has better control but Rhyzen Fire is much more aggressive and offers more power and speed. Rhyzen Ice is very easy to smash with but Rhyzen Fire produces a more powerful smash attack. Spin-wise basing an many types of strokes, the Rhzyen Fire would offer more spin despite the Rhyzen Ice makes spinning easier may it be loops or loop drives.
Overall, these 2 rubbers are worth more than their price in terms of performance. Joola has done it again by offering players with very affordable rubbers that can compete with high-performance rubbers from other brands in the market today.