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Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither?
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Author:  learninTT [ 28 Sep 2018, 07:51 ]
Post subject:  Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither?

I use a Sanwei M8 Junior and have been using the Gambler X3 Diamond with GearZ sponge 1.7mm on my backhand. It is ok but nothing special. I read somewhere that it is the updated version of the Outlaw and that would explain why it seems to have some of the bad traits as well; I probably hit it on the table and the topsheet has split along one edge which seems to have been a common complaint with the Outlaw.

I play a looping/blocking style and am on the lookout for a replacement rubber for my backhand. I also use pushes quite effectively against short backspin serves. My main requirement is that the rubber should help with the short and medium game (the X3 Diamond seems to be not too good at medium range). I have narrowed down my choices to those below:

Sanwei T-88 Taiji (<$10 on AliExpress)
Palio Aeolus 45 ($30 + shipping on ttnpp)

In addition, I am also looking at the rubbers below.

Yasaka Rakza 7 (not soft) ($39.5 + shipping on ttnpp)
Palio Blitz 47.5 ($28 + shipping on ttnpp)
Gambler Mech-Tek ($14 + shipping on Zeropong)

What is your opinion about these choices and, specifically, which one would you recommend both from a playing and longevity perspective? I'm not keen on paying the inflated costs of the various Tenergy rubbers unless their longevity is proportionally more.


Author:  iskandar taib [ 28 Sep 2018, 12:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

Is there a reason why you're using 1.7mm sponge on the backhand? The problem is most Chinese rubbers (including Taiji) only come in one thickness (usually 2.2mm). Not really a problem IMHO for most people, what with the 40mm ball. I was curious so I had a look. The cheapest T88-Taiji on AliExpress I found was this:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-Sh ... 56317.html

Quite confusing - it lists all these sponge thicknesses but it turns out there's only one (2.2mm) available! It does claim to be a "backhand rubber". I actually have a sheet on that "M8 Premade" I got, the other side has T88-I on it. I honestly can't tell the difference - and to be honest most Chinese sheets (bar, say, Hurricane III and Ckylin) are almost indistinguishable from each other anyway.

To muddy the waters - there's apparently a "New Taiji" out now too:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SANWEI- ... 57814.html


This costs more like $12-13. Despite the new cover it's got the old T88-Taiji "headstamp". And interestingly enough - it's got two LONG corners cut off, like Target National. And it also claims to be a "backhand rubber".


I've pretty much decided, with Chinese rubber, if half a dozen of one and six of another - the $5 sheets work about as well as the $10-15 sheets, the $20 sheets are probably slightly faster, H3 is dead slow unless you have Ma Long's muscles (or boost it). And Tensors really aren't all that much faster or hard to use, in the end I can play with almost anything, it doesn't effect my game very much. Doesn't prevent me from buying more, though, out of curiosity, like that sheet of AK47 Blue I just ordered... :lol: (Blades are another story - I find them very different from each other and am sensitive to different ones.)

Aeolus? For $30???? Really???? It's $77 at Eacheng... :lol: It's not Chinese, it's a Tensor - and a bloody expensive one, or so I thought. No reviews that I've seen, not that I've been looking. Blitzt (or however you spell it) is another Tensor sold by Palio. Rakza 7 has the reputation of being soft (though not necessarily slow) and supposedly is capable of lots of spin. I have a sheet, still haven't mounted it to a blade yet (it'll probably replace the Rakza X when I decide it's too far gone to boost yet another time).


Author:  Red [ 28 Sep 2018, 17:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

i think there's little need to spend $40 on a backhand rubber; have a look on Xiom Vega Intro instead, it may fit your needs better than Aeolus or Rakza. I can't recommend a soft-rubber below 2mm unless you're absolutely sure about what you are doing. Going for a fast rubber but to get a thin sponged one because 'it may be too fast at >1.8mm' doesn't make sense at all, especially not on a spring-sponge or tensor where you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Nevertheless, since I can't judge on your backhand-preferences, the Taiji may be an option as a softer chinese type of rubber with below-average weight. There are a lot of players out there who are fine with 729 SuperFX and similar rubbers on their backhand and a more expensive, state-of-the-art rubber would be a waste of money.

Author:  learninTT [ 28 Sep 2018, 23:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

Thank you for your responses and apologies for not being more clear. I specified that my current rubber was 1.7mm by way of telling you what I was currently using and neglected to specify that I wasn't looking to get a similarly thin sponge. I'm currently looking at those rubbers in the 2.0/2.1mm thickness and, if that isn't available, in Max thickness.

I bought my current BH rubber at a time I wasn't too sure whether I would be able to handle a faster rubber and thought a thinner sponge would provide more control. Now, after playing more, I realize my fears were unfounded. I now realize it wouldn't have made too much of a difference.

I did find that vendor on AliExpress and also noticed that they only have Max thickness. My question was related to whether I should go for the Taiji (36 degree sponge which is a bit on the soft side) or one of the tensors that I specified. At my current level of play, I don't think I will have any issues but couldn't decide and was hoping someone had some experience with those rubbers to guide me. I'm aware that selecting a rubber is very subjective and there is no "one size fits all".

I had bought my current paddle at Iskandar's recommendation and am extremely satisfied with that decision. I was hoping to get some insights from people who had used these rubbers that could similarly guide my decision.

Thanks again for your valuable inputs!

Author:  iskandar taib [ 29 Sep 2018, 02:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

Hmm interesting. I didn't notice the part about "soft Japanese sponge" on the blurb:

T88-Taiji no opponent for backhand

It is high elastic unsmooth rubber that adopts MP molecular combination technology, the bottom surtace is very thin, the tower column structure
with oppropriate grains can make speed and confrol blend better.

Matched with soft and elastic Japanese sponge producing deep friction
to the ball, it is the classical combination of speed and control as well as rapid strike back and stable placement. It is easy to be on the table for passive defense, with powerful defense and transition offense and strong lethallty, is the backhand's ace in inorganic times.

Speed: 9
Spin: 10
Control: 11

Sponge thickness: MAX

I took out my "M8" premade and did the finger test to see if it felt softer than T88-I, kinda hard to tell. I'll try playing again with the racket tomorrow and see if I can tell the difference.


Author:  iskandar taib [ 29 Sep 2018, 02:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

Actually, having a look at the blurbs of the Sanwei T88 rubbers made me realize a few things.

1) T88-III comes in single sheets, vacuum packed (~$9) OR in a twin, non-vacuum pack (~$5.50 a sheet). The single sheet has the "Tension" logo, the twin pack does not! (But it does have "Supple Sponge", "Tense" and "Tenacious Violence". :lol: Same markings, same topsheet at least. No guarantee the sponge is the same.



2) There's a new T88 - "T88 Ultra Spin 40+". It too has "Tenacious Violence". :lol:


It uses the "62-008" topsheet (in the LARC simply as "T88").

3) T88 New Taiji uses the same topsheet (or came out of the same mold) as the Old Taiji. Same headstamp in any case.

4) Similarly, Target National (and I expect Regional :lol: ) use the same topsheet as the old Target (62-001). But the new Europe Target 40+ uses a new topsheet (62-015), listed in the LARC as Target Pro 40+. By the way.. Does this LOOK LIKE a $30 rubber????? :lol:


At first I thought it was just a badly trimmed sheet, but look at the red one:


5) The Pistol Racket Rubber is listed in the LARC as 62-016, but I've never seen it for sale anywhere.

6) Sanwei A+ doesn't seem to be in the LARC! This is that infamous rubber with both tacky and nontacky versions (if it's the same topsheet - how is it possible? :lol: ). No exposed topsheet photos so I can't see the headstamp, and it's a $20-25 rubber so I'm not likely to get a sheet just to see...


Author:  learninTT [ 29 Sep 2018, 23:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

Those are some very interesting observations about the Sanwei rubbers. Their quality control also seems to be lacking looking at the cut of those sheets. They also seem to have some interesting labeling - "Tenacious violence" :rofl:

Did you have a chance to play with the T-88 Taiji yet? Did you find it excessively soft?

Regarding this thread, I finally figured out recently what I was doing wrong in my BH loops. I thought I would get a tensor or, at least, a more dynamic rubber for my BH so that I could take my game to the next level.

I have been going through your comments about your experiences with the Tibhar Evolution MX-P and, frankly, I'm disappointed that tensors may not last very long. My impression was that tensors would last at least 5-6 months (I play only about 8 hours a week) even if their performance wouldn't be as good towards the end. I'm surprised that a tensor could go "dead" in a month with only moderate use. That just makes them way overpriced and unaffordable.

I'm not into boosting rubbers nor do I want to spend an excessive amount of money. I'm now thinking about what rubber to buy for my BH if not a tensor.


Author:  iskandar taib [ 30 Sep 2018, 02:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

To be fair, the misaligned "headstamp" on the Target Euro only seems to be present on that rubber. And it might not be a problem with every sheet, either. I haven't used any Sanwei rubber long enough to see if there are any delamination problems or anything of that sort (it really seems to be a problem with some LKT sheets, as well as Kokutaku 868).

I played with the Sanwei premade all this afternoon (maybe 8 or 9 games of doubles) and, as expected, I had trouble distinguishing Taiji from T88-I (I'd flip the bat around once in a while). I could loop, block, hit, push, serve, etc. equally well (or equally poorly) with both. Taiji DID feel a slight amount softer, but I really had to stop and think about it. If there was a difference, it was pretty subtle - or it might've just as easily been in my head. In any case, no, Taiji is by no means "too soft". (And for the sake of full disclosure - the only rubbers I've ever found to be "too soft" were that version of Yasaka ZAP with the 33 degree sponge, and Reactor Ckylin. H3 was too SLOW, but it wasn't "too soft".) Mind you, my game is very forehand-oriented. I use the forehand maybe 80% of the time. I did try a variety of backhand shots - mainly pushes and topspin drives - with both rubbers.

I mainly boost to revive "dead" rubbers (Tensors), and rarely boost Chinese rubbers. There are cheap boosters out there, Wendy's is something like $10 for 100 ml on ebay. Baby oil might work just as well, to be honest.. (see the "What is booster" thread).


Author:  learninTT [ 09 Oct 2018, 10:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

I have been meaning to ask you how you find the premade racket with T88-I and T88-Taiji? Do you think the rubbers can be taken off and replaced without splintering the paddle since they wouldn't have sealed it with lacquer? I did consider buying it but would rather buy the paddle and rubbers separately if it means sealing it properly and putting on rubbers that I'm more likely to like/keep.

I'm looking at the Palio Hadou 40+ 42-44 (FH) and AK-47 yellow (BH). Any experience with those rubbers?


Author:  iskandar taib [ 09 Oct 2018, 10:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

As far as I can tell (the thickness, ply thicknesses, and playing characteristics) the blade is exactly the same as my M8s. The rubbers? First, I can't really tell them apart - I can flip the bat around and it feels the same. Second, if anything, they're just a tiny bit slower than the "generic" Palio Emperor Dragon I have on another blade, and just a tiny bit harder than the Tin Arc 5 I have on the other side of that blade. I can do my usual shots with the premade. I'm not going to try to peel the rubbers off until those rubbers start to go dead, and that won't be for a while since I'm not planning to use this racket full time. I think, if you're careful, splintering shouldn't be a problem, unless they've really glued it on (which they might have..). Given the price, though...

I've tried Hadou, I can't remember the sponge hardness but I generally tend to buy ones that are softer than 44. Can't say I remember anything unusual about it - fairly recently I dug it up to mount on my "April Fool's Bat" - it's got long pips on one side and both sides are black! NO ONE NOTICED THIS FOR THE ENTIRE EVENING... :lol: The AK47 Yellow? Have not tried it, but I have a sheet of Blue on the way. Didn't they recently repackage Hadou, like they did with AK47?


Author:  learninTT [ 09 Oct 2018, 20:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

I'm looking for a backup racket with substantially similar characteristics to my primary one; hence my question about the premade. I figured I would give the T88-I/T88-TAIJI a try since it is only $5 more than the paddle alone without rubbers. But, I want the option to replace the rubbers in case I don't like them or if they go dead since my current backup is very much different. I think I'll go for the paddle alone so that I can seal it properly prior to putting on the rubbers.

Regarding the Palio rubber hardness, Palio says it is per the 729 hardness scale, which, looking through the forum appears to quite a bit softer than the DHS scale. I have seen 42-44 on the 729 scale being equated to ~38-39 on the DHS scale; which is what I am looking for. I did think about the AK47 Blue but that would be ~36 on the DHS scale which may be a little bit soft for my liking.


Edit: You must be really sensitive to sponge hardness since the Taiji sponge is rated at 36 degrees and the Tinarc 5 is rated at 35 degrees. Wow!

Author:  man_iii [ 09 Oct 2018, 21:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

There might be a different rating system for T-88 Taiji ... which might be 35 deg Chinese hardness scale. And TinArc 5 ... TinArc being Euro series ... 36 deg European hardness scale :P ....

Author:  learninTT [ 09 Oct 2018, 22:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

man_iii wrote:
There might be a different rating system for T-88 Taiji ... which might be 35 deg Chinese hardness scale. And TinArc 5 ... TinArc being Euro series ... 36 deg European hardness scale :P ....

You're probably kidding because European 35 degrees sponge would be soooooft. May be good for sleeping on but probably not good for TT.:D

Author:  iskandar taib [ 10 Oct 2018, 02:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

If you're after a backup racket that you can just pick up and use if you damage your primary one, I'd suggest getting the same rubbers. If you really wanted to get serious about it, buy a matched pair of blades and four rubber sheets and make up two identical bats. (Getting two matched weight M8s MIGHT be a challenge, unless you buy them from Eacheng - they do bend backwards to help customers in this regard.) On the other hand, if you like trying different things, then try different things (at least, up to the point you can comfortably justify the expense). Personally, I don't find having two matched rackets all that important - first of all, I'm not making a living through table tennis, nor are any tournament results or even league matches on the line, but also, to be honest, I can't really tell the difference between the three or four M8s I have with different rubbers I carry around in my bag. I mean, I can TELL the difference if I stop to think, but it doesn't effect my game, since I find the differences subtle, even if it's six month old Rakza X and a brand new sheet of $5 Palio Generic Dragon. But that's just me - I'm sure there are lots of people out there that DO find switching between even identical bats challenging, and these people really do need to have matched pairs of bats or they drive themselves crazy worrying about breaking a bat just before that important game... :lol:

In any case.. it's a $15 bat. That's a couple of breakfasts at McDonalds or a half a tank of gas. Just get one, if it peels, it peels, you don't really need to worry about that for six months at least... :lol: If you like the rubbers, then get another one as a backup. If you don't like the rubbers, throw it in the bag to lend to other people and go to Plan B.


Author:  learninTT [ 10 Oct 2018, 05:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Backhand rubber - Sanwei T-88 Taiji/Palio Aeolus/neither

What you say makes too much sense to be helpful. :lol:

I'm in the same boat as you; I don't have a tournament to play nor do I make a living off TT. I was looking for another paddle but it doesn't have to be exactly the same. That is why I was looking at different rubbers than the ones I currently have.
My main criteria for the rubbers is that the FH should be tacky and the BH should be non-tacky and bouncy. In addition they must not be too soft (for me) and should last a reasonable amount of time (6-8 months since I don't play that much per week).

I find the one I have currently on the FH to be reasonably good but don't like the BH one (too thin sponge, inadequate durability and not bouncy enough for a BH rubber). Due to this, I'm still looking for rubbers I can really like for FH and BH so long as they're within the criteria specified earlier. They do not have to be the exact same ones. When I find the best rubbers (for me), then I will use that as my primary blade and make the configuration on the backup blade the same.

The search continues... |( :lol:

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