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 Post subject: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2011, 14:38 
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Hi, I'm x-posting this review from mytt. I'm really in love with this rubber and it's been 3 weeks since I've had it so it's not just the excitement of getting a new toy. Now I really want to spread the word. One word of warning, if you can't deal with heavy(and I mean HEAVY) rubbers, then look away!


I got this rubber after I read some pretty glowing reviews, particularly from seguso since I’ve found myself agreeing with much of his opinion on several rubbers. It’s been said that it plays very similar to the T05, with its only negative being its heavy weight. I’ve tried this rubber on both the Galaxy T-11 and the Sanwei F3 blades. The T-11 is a very light, very stiff, medium-soft, OFF+, very carbony blade. My particular Sanwei F3 is a medium light(79.4 grams), medium flex, soft, ~ALL+, very woody-feeling blade(construction similar to the Innerforce ALC). I’d used the T-11 for the past 6 months until last week, when I started using the F3, so most of my review will be based on the T88-I’s performance on the T-11. As for me, I’m an ~US1700-1800 level two-winged looper. I’ve posted some videos of me playing before, but since my past video I’ve done some TT soul-searching and I’ve changed both my style and what I’m looking for in equipment quite a bit.

First impression:

Even before I opened the package, it felt heavy, so it was no surprise that it weighed 78 grams uncut. Cut to the T-11(~161x151mm head) it was about 60 grams, and cut to the Sanwei F3(~157x150mm head, but a bit rounder/bigger than a typical 157x150 head) it was 57 grams. That’s heavy. Aside from its heftiness, the second obvious impression was that the rubber lies very, very flat on my table, and it didn’t change after I changed it from blade to blade. Most of the rubbers I’ve seen curl up a bit one direction or another, but this one just lies flat like a slab of concrete.

Looks/feel:

Looks-wise, the sponge is somewhat porous, but not very much so. While the sponge is the same color as the T05, the pip structure is much more like the T25's, with massive closely-spaced pimples. The topsheet has medium-light tackiness, I’d say similar to the Moon. The topsheet looks to be of very high quality. I was impressed by the Moon’s topsheet as far as cheap Chinese rubbers go, but this one by far takes the cake. The T88-I has the looks of a high-end rubber for sure. Running my fingers across the topsheet, the grip feels excellent, superb even, better than any rubber I’ve felt. The sponge is listed as 39 degree, and it felt that hard, in between my 41 degrees H3Neo and 38 degrees Moon. Cutting it to the blade was a breeze, very crisp, but the sponge doesn’t feel fragile at all unlike say the Mercury II or the Moon.

Game play:

1) Short game/service—Just bouncing the ball and you can feel that it’s not very bouncy, but a tad bouncier than typical “dead” Chinese rubbers. In this regard it doesn’t feel like the T05 at all. However, this translates to excellent control on services and short games. I might have just been too excited about how it played, especially given how awesome this rubber is at attacking(I’ll expand on that later), but it really felt on my T-11 like it was better in control than even the LKT Pro XT. When I switched it onto the Sanwei F3, the control became simply amazing. I could push short like the pros, which NEVER happened with the T-11! It’s a bit sluggish with the fast serves on the F3, but the speed is fine on the T-11.

2) Loop/Loop driving—As amazing as the T88-I is in the short game, it’s so much more so in light of what a great offensive weapon it is, and this is where it truly shines. Now, Seguso said that it’s spinier and faster than the T05, and I have to say that I’m inclined to agree. When you hit the ball hard and really dig into the dense, hard sponge, you can really unleash the power of this beast. Honestly, I can’t tell if it actually has MORE speed and spin than the T05, but they’re there for sure, at least just as much as my friends’ T05/T8 or T64/Strato combos. It feels a tad faster, possibly because of its sheer mass, as an extra ~10 grams of weight should give your setup more momentum by itself! The spin on this thing is also just massive, which makes counter-looping a breeze with its vicious dip and killer jump off the table. I know that spin is T05’s specialty and I understand that reviews are mostly subjective, but I really feel that the T88-I can generate even more spin than the Tenergies. What’s even more surprising is that even its feel is very close to the T05’s. You can really feel the rubber sucking in the ball and spitting it back out. I thought the dwell time would be low like most hard Chinese rubbers, but that’s entirely not the case. The dwell time is absolutely excellent.

Lifting backspins is another gigantic positive. I have NEVER used a rubber that can lift backspins as easily as the T88-I. With a simple brushing motion you can create a very spinny, low, and short loop against pushes. Before using the T88-I, I’ve always had trouble lifting backspins that barely fall long over the table. Whether it’s the T05 or the H3Neo or any other rubber I’ve used, I’ve always had to use a half-lifting/half-brushing motion to consistent lift those half-long pushes. No more. With the T88-I, on both the T-11 and the F3, I can execute a full brush loop like the pros against those shots. Loop driving higher/longer backspins is pretty easy, better than average, but not as exemplary as brush looping half-long backspins.

3) Hitting/Smashing—Maybe it’s because of the extra dwell time, but I didn’t feel like this rubber is good at hitting or smashing. I don’t hit or smash too often, as I loop when I can hit and I loop-drive when I can smash(I’m not terribly good with smashing period). It does feel a bit more unpredictable than usual when hitting with it.

4) Chopping/Blocking—Blocking performance was pretty good, not quite as crisp as low-dwell, low-throw rubbers like say the Moon 38, but it was predictable and has good speed. IMO, with rubbers like the T88-I, or the T05, it’s better to active block rather than passive block. It seems to be a lot deadlier and at least just as controllable. I almost never chop, but I chopped a few times just to test it out. Chopping thus far have been almost impossible with max rubbers on the T-11, but the T88-I does a surprisingly good job with it. With that said, when you’re using the T88-I, you should attack every ball within reach :D because it’s just that great with it! The throw is definitely high, very similar to T05’s.

Conclusion:

If you want a cheap Chinese rubber that can replicate and, IMO even best, the performance of the Tenergy series, look no more. I’ve tried quite a rubbers that supposedly has either similar feel or performance of the Tenergies, like the Moon, MII, RD, H3N, etc. but nothing came close on either account. My T88-I was 39 degrees, but Eacheng also sells them at 40 degrees, which might be even faster. Seguso did mention that it’s VOC illegal upon first opening the package, but I’ve been using it for 3 weeks now and I haven’t noticed any drop in performance. I can't really comment on the durability yet, but it looks excellent thus far.

In short, for the style it’s designed for, the T88-I’s only drawback is its hefty weight and absolutely NOTHING else.

BTW, you can find some additional reviews, particularly by seguso, on ttdb:

http://www.tabletennisdb.com/rubber/sanwei-t88-i.html


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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2011, 15:21 
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Excellent review, thanks dingyibvs!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2011, 16:49 
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Extremely cool ! 8)

And it is a Tenergy replacement ! Chinese style :D

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 15:04 
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Thanks! I really love how this rubber plays, and I like their F3 blade quite a bit as well. haggisv, I think you should update the Butterfly Equivalent thread to include this as an alternative to the T05, it's way closer than the Moon which I use on my BH. I've almost given up on looking for a cheap Chinese alternative to the T05, but I've finally found it in this rubber. I found it to be better than the T05 actually, for it's not as bouncy on touch shots and and the short game is actually better than most of the typical Chinese rubbers I've used. I think it's a combination of a thick topsheet with densely packed large pimples, and a dense powerful sponge that gives it its unique combination of touch, spin, speed, and heft.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 16:01 
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On eacheng they have T88 in I, II, III, TAIJI and Topspeed versions.

Seems the I is the fastest, while III is the spinniest. Topspeed is listed as a training rubber for kids and beginners, which sounds odd. The TAIJI sounds like its in-between everything.

The T88 also seems to be set as a BH rubber, while the Target is a FH rubber. Target Provincial sounds interesting. How does a manufacturer decide what works better as BH and FH? :lol: Seems to me that's a players decision.

http://www.eacheng.net/index.php?act=pr ... D=&&page=2

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 18:15 
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I think all the T88's are vastly different, at least the I and the II I tried are completely unlike one another. The T88-II is much softer even at similar degrees of hardness labeling, is much tackier and bouncier, and has a lower throw(still medium-high though, just not as high as the likes of the T88-I, Mercury II 37, or T05). It plays a lot like a pure Euro rubber aside from the tackiness, which seems to do little to mitigate the bounciness in the short game, and that's why I much prefer the T88-I. People who use more compact looping motions may prefer the T88-II though, as speed generation is far more effortless, even though its speed tops out more easily than the T88-I. I tried using it on the BH, but it's just too bouncy and quick for me to control.

As for FH and BH designations, I think Sanwei just labels the slower rubbers as for BH. The Target and the T88-Taiji I think are the most popular Sanwei rubbers in China, especially the Target. I'm a bit curious as to how it plays, but I have no incentive to switch rubbers anymore now that I have the T88-I :) I actually prefer its heavy weight, for without it my racket would feel too light. It's at about 185 grams right now with the Galaxy Moon 38 on the BH, which I think is the perfect weight for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 19:35 
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Reb for an offensive player a backhand rubber is usually more bouncy than a forehand rubber, that's the main difference, it's just because it's easier to play a shot with fast bounce from the backhand than the forehand it also helps keep the speed up from the backhand side when on the passive shots. You wouldn't use a tacky rubber on the backhand unless it was an especially bouncy fast one like Thors.

You don't neeed to use a specific backhand rubber but since it's an advantage using two different rubbers you may as well take that option, Tenergy 64 and Shark II don't play exactly like each other but have a lot in common in both being low throw, high grip, fast bouncy rubbers and both favoured on the backhand 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 00:14 
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foam wrote:
Reb for an offensive player a backhand rubber is usually more bouncy than a forehand rubber, that's the main difference, it's just because it's easier to play a shot with fast bounce from the backhand than the forehand it also helps keep the speed up from the backhand side when on the passive shots. You wouldn't use a tacky rubber on the backhand unless it was an especially bouncy fast one like Thors.

You don't neeed to use a specific backhand rubber but since it's an advantage using two different rubbers you may as well take that option, Tenergy 64 and Shark II don't play exactly like each other but have a lot in common in both being low throw, high grip, fast bouncy rubbers and both favoured on the backhand 8)


Noooo! You got it all wrong! BH rubbers have pimples extruding from them! :P :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 01:52 
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Lets get it right, those are for people without a backhand

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 09:32 
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foam wrote:
Lets get it right, those are for people without a backhand

Ouch, I think you got him where it hurts now. :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 09:36 
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haggisv wrote:
foam wrote:
Lets get it right, those are for people without a backhand

Ouch, I think you got him where it hurts now. :lol: :lol:


Hey, he's referring to you too :@ :@ :lol:

And as for young Foam, let's see what you think of my BH when we meet. I'm going to practice some "extra special evilness" just for you! :devil: :devil:

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S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
S/U 2: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Hexer+ 2.1 . BH Red GD Talon
S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
Aussie Table Tennis Shop / Aussie Table Tennis Facebook Page / Equipment Review Index / Read my Reb Report Blog: click here.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 10:03 
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haggisv wrote:
foam wrote:
Lets get it right, those are for people without a backhand

Ouch, I think you got him where it hurts now. :lol: :lol:

I seriously cannot stop laughing :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 15:49 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
haggisv wrote:
foam wrote:
Lets get it right, those are for people without a backhand

Ouch, I think you got him where it hurts now. :lol: :lol:


Hey, he's referring to you too :@ :@ :lol:

And as for young Foam, let's see what you think of my BH when we meet. I'm going to practice some "extra special evilness" just for you! :devil: :devil:


You just worry about getting some runs on the board first :lol: , I'm sure I'll run into in a draw somewhere while you are doing that 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 16:33 
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foam wrote:
Reb for an offensive player a backhand rubber is usually more bouncy than a forehand rubber, that's the main difference, it's just because it's easier to play a shot with fast bounce from the backhand than the forehand it also helps keep the speed up from the backhand side when on the passive shots. You wouldn't use a tacky rubber on the backhand unless it was an especially bouncy fast one like Thors.

You don't neeed to use a specific backhand rubber but since it's an advantage using two different rubbers you may as well take that option, Tenergy 64 and Shark II don't play exactly like each other but have a lot in common in both being low throw, high grip, fast bouncy rubbers and both favoured on the backhand 8)



Different philosophies, I think. In China, the BH rubber is generally slower, and all Chinese companies market their slower rubbers as BH-oriented ones. It probably stems from the traditional Chinese style of using BH mostly for defense and to force opponents into weak returns, while trying to drive every ball with their FH. This resulted in the Europeans having generally much better BH's. Of course, that's changing nowadays with the newer generation of Chinese players like WH, Ma Long, and ZJK, but the masses are still lagging behind since most were trained in the traditional style.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanwei T88-I Review
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 20:54 
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Question for the OP or others-How does T88-1 do from mid distance/off the table? How does it do with off the table counter looping (i have had many problems with chinese rubbers that looped and counter looped well at the table, but did not have the power to do the same off the table)

thanx


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