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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2021, 18:10 
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I am not as much looking for an advice on a particular rubber model (even though appreciated) as I would like to resolve potential misconceptions that formed in my head about current rubber available on the market.

I'll start by providing the context of this question.

I stopped playing about 4 years ago, at the time I would consider myself still a beginner with poor technique (as compared to people who are playing professionally since childhood). Perhaps even more so now, although I am returning to the scene and taking table tennis much more seriously this time. Regardless, at that time I bought Butterfly Viscaria and Tibhar Evolution MX-P as a replacement for Donic Persson Exclusive OFF with Rasant Grip, as I felt like neither blade nor rubber was good enough for the final forehand stroke to end the point (I prefer to play the powerful stroke as soon as possible).

Since a lot of time has passed, I might be misremembering, but the rubber played very well for about a month or two, and then kinda changed its characteristics. I didn't pay much attention and soon after stopped playing in general. During the last month I have trained with the rubber outside under direct sunlight, which deteriorated the rubber significantly and I am now looking for replacement.

Now, I have learned that booster exists, and that manufacturers boost the sponge at the factory. I have also read a few similar opinions that after the booster evaporates, the rubber can change its characteristics so much that it may be required to adjust the stroke significantly. Then I recalled the situation above and I felt like I have experienced the same situation.

Therefore, the main criterion is that the rubber should degrade linearly, or at least survive for 100-150 hours (~3 months) before dropping off and becoming a different rubber. However, I got an impression that most, if not all, new rubbers on the market are factory boosted, which, according to the internet, shortens their lifetime to a month before it changes the feeling. Perhaps, one can rip them off and reboost manually, but it's highly unlikely I will be doing that.

Another reason for durability requirement is the current price of the table tennis equipment, which has grown 1.5-2.5x where I live (and in general, manufacturers like Butterfly are selling more and more expensive rubber compared to the past). Henceforth, once I install certain rubber, I better adjust to it for the time being, and if I have to adjust to it more than once during its lifespan it will be non-optimal.

Are my concerns about shorter lifespan of advertised characteristics of the rubbers valid? What rubbers can you recommend that meet the requirements above?


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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2021, 19:23 
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Blade: Darker: Speed 90
FH: Butterfly: Dignics 09C
BH: Andro: Rasant Chaos 0.5mm
ygiuseilfuhi wrote:
I am not as much looking for an advice on a particular rubber model (even though appreciated) as I would like to resolve potential misconceptions that formed in my head about current rubber available on the market.

I'll start by providing the context of this question.

I stopped playing about 4 years ago, at the time I would consider myself still a beginner with poor technique (as compared to people who are playing professionally since childhood). Perhaps even more so now, although I am returning to the scene and taking table tennis much more seriously this time. Regardless, at that time I bought Butterfly Viscaria and Tibhar Evolution MX-P as a replacement for Donic Persson Exclusive OFF with Rasant Grip, as I felt like neither blade nor rubber was good enough for the final forehand stroke to end the point (I prefer to play the powerful stroke as soon as possible).

Since a lot of time has passed, I might be misremembering, but the rubber played very well for about a month or two, and then kinda changed its characteristics. I didn't pay much attention and soon after stopped playing in general. During the last month I have trained with the rubber outside under direct sunlight, which deteriorated the rubber significantly and I am now looking for replacement.

Now, I have learned that booster exists, and that manufacturers boost the sponge at the factory. I have also read a few similar opinions that after the booster evaporates, the rubber can change its characteristics so much that it may be required to adjust the stroke significantly. Then I recalled the situation above and I felt like I have experienced the same situation.

Therefore, the main criterion is that the rubber should degrade linearly, or at least survive for 100-150 hours (~3 months) before dropping off and becoming a different rubber. However, I got an impression that most, if not all, new rubbers on the market are factory boosted, which, according to the internet, shortens their lifetime to a month before it changes the feeling. Perhaps, one can rip them off and reboost manually, but it's highly unlikely I will be doing that.

Another reason for durability requirement is the current price of the table tennis equipment, which has grown 1.5-2.5x where I live (and in general, manufacturers like Butterfly are selling more and more expensive rubber compared to the past). Henceforth, once I install certain rubber, I better adjust to it for the time being, and if I have to adjust to it more than once during its lifespan it will be non-optimal.

Are my concerns about shorter lifespan of advertised characteristics of the rubbers valid? What rubbers can you recommend that meet the requirements above?



Practice and training are SIGNIFICANTLY more important then equipment. A viscaria is a great blade, you should keep it. The evolution series is good quaility rubbers, maybe you should buy some new MXP and also invest in some formal coaching.


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2021, 02:22 
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ygiuseilfuhi wrote:
I stopped playing about 4 years ago, at the time I would consider myself still a beginner with poor technique (as compared to people who are playing professionally since childhood). Perhaps even more so now, although I am returning to the scene and taking table tennis much more seriously this time. Regardless, at that time I bought Butterfly Viscaria and Tibhar Evolution MX-P as a replacement for Donic Persson Exclusive OFF with Rasant Grip, as I felt like neither blade nor rubber was good enough for the final forehand stroke to end the point (I prefer to play the powerful stroke as soon as possible).


Not sure what sort of "beginner" you are (you COULD be USATT rated 2200, OR you could be USATT rated 1100, or anything in between) but I find it hard to believe this "as I felt like neither blade nor rubber was good enough for the final forehand stroke to end the point" has to do with equipment. Both setups have relatively fast blades and relatively fast rubbers, unless you're playing from 8 feet back I can't believe you can't generate enough power to end points, unless you're playing against relatively good defensive players. A lot of us here prefer ALL to OFF- rated blades, and a lot of us play with rubbers that are slower (though, to be honest, to me the blade is the important thing, rubbers aren't that enormously different from each other).

ygiuseilfuhi wrote:
Since a lot of time has passed, I might be misremembering, but the rubber played very well for about a month or two, and then kinda changed its characteristics. I didn't pay much attention and soon after stopped playing in general. During the last month I have trained with the rubber outside under direct sunlight, which deteriorated the rubber significantly and I am now looking for replacement.


Unless you actually leave the bat out in the direct sunlight (don't you at least play under a roof?) when you're NOT playing, I doubt the sunlight has to do with it. Instead, what I think is happening is what you describe below.

ygiuseilfuhi wrote:
Now, I have learned that booster exists, and that manufacturers boost the sponge at the factory. I have also read a few similar opinions that after the booster evaporates, the rubber can change its characteristics so much that it may be required to adjust the stroke significantly. Then I recalled the situation above and I felt like I have experienced the same situation.

Therefore, the main criterion is that the rubber should degrade linearly, or at least survive for 100-150 hours (~3 months) before dropping off and becoming a different rubber. However, I got an impression that most, if not all, new rubbers on the market are factory boosted, which, according to the internet, shortens their lifetime to a month before it changes the feeling. Perhaps, one can rip them off and reboost manually, but it's highly unlikely I will be doing that.

Another reason for durability requirement is the current price of the table tennis equipment, which has grown 1.5-2.5x where I live (and in general, manufacturers like Butterfly are selling more and more expensive rubber compared to the past). Henceforth, once I install certain rubber, I better adjust to it for the time being, and if I have to adjust to it more than once during its lifespan it will be non-optimal.

Are my concerns about shorter lifespan of advertised characteristics of the rubbers valid? What rubbers can you recommend that meet the requirements above?


Yup, this really does happen. You can tell if you pull the rubber off the blade - if you do this after only a month or two you often find the rubber has shrunk, sometimes by 2 or 3mm all the way around. And it does slow down somethat. In my experience it happens gradually, rather than performance falling off a cliff. The way around this? If you want to keep using a rubber that is factory boosted, you will either have to rejuvenate it through boosting, or buy a new sheet. Or you could start out with something that ISN'T boosted at the factory. Which usually means buying a slower/cheaper sheet to begin with. Then again, you seem to like very fast equipment, so maybe that won't work and you're doomed to the first two options.. :lol: The fourth option is to join that TT Edge thread and learn how to generate more power in your strokes - there's stuff in that thread that even I, a perennial low level player, have found useful.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2021, 02:38 
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Everything you wrote is basically correct, the new high-end rubbers are factory boosted, and thus less durable.

The most durable rubbers are IMO still classic rubbers like Coppa and Mark V. They are very durable. Tensor rubbers that are not boosted (e.g. Vega Intro or Hexer Duro) are more durable than boosted tensor rubbers (like MX-P), but not as durable as classic rubbers.
Also, the change to the larger heavier and less flexible plastic ball has also significantly decreased the durability of rubbers, which IMO is why the new ball was introduced in the first place -> more profit for the manufacturing companies that sponsor the ITTF.

Some people say that the modern Butterfly rubbers are more durable than modern ESN rubbers, but I have no personal experience with that.

Also, if you are a beginner, a Viscaria with MX-P is IMO too fast a combination for you. If you try to compensate poor technique with faster equipment, the result will be the opposite. Your technique will get even poorer, because you do not have enough control and will "hold back" trying not to overshoot. If you cannot hit "fast enough" with a slower blade, it doesn't mean your blade is too slow, it means your technique is not good enough, and you have not yet mastered that blade.
In my Team, which consists mostly of people that have trained about two times a week since childhood, nobody would play a blade like this. This would be considered a blade for people that train 4-5 times a week.


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2021, 02:42 
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iskandar taib wrote:
ygiuseilfuhi wrote:
Since a lot of time has passed, I might be misremembering, but the rubber played very well for about a month or two, and then kinda changed its characteristics. I didn't pay much attention and soon after stopped playing in general. During the last month I have trained with the rubber outside under direct sunlight, which deteriorated the rubber significantly and I am now looking for replacement.


Unless you actually leave the bat out in the direct sunlight (don't you at least play under a roof?) when you're NOT playing, I doubt the sunlight has to do with it. Instead, what I think is happening is what you describe below.

UV light has an extremely degrading effect on the rubbers. Even if it is cloudy it is still noticeable, so this is definitely correct. Furthermore, playing outside also makes the balls get rough, with has further degrading effect on the rubbers. Playing outside really is deadly for rubbers.
I would recommend having a second blade for outdoor training on which you can put rubbers that are not good enough for indoor training any more.


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2021, 05:08 
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Ah.. he really IS playing outdoors.. :lol:

Yeah, that's less than ideal, though if he covers up the bat when it's not in use it would minimize exposure to the sun. Still, exposure to the sun would affect the topsheet rather than the sponge, and would make the rubber less spinny rather than slower. I've been playing in a car port - the MAIN problem is wind, and also glare. I can't imagine playing games on that venue - step back too far and you're in the dirt. I remember a couple of tables like this at this university in Amsterdam, when I was on sabbatical some years back. I never saw anyone use them - there's a reason why there are so many windmills in the Netherlands.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2021, 06:30 
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Thank you for your opinions.

I expected the comments that Viscaria and MX-P is too fast and advanced for my level, perhaps you are absolutely right. My experience is limited to these two blades and these two rubbers. When I was playing in a club for a few years I was not proactive to test other people's equipment, and therefore just don't know any better. So, take this ignorance in context when you notice me expressing an opinion or a feeling about something.

Perhaps if I give the context of how I grew the way I am, the discussion will be more productive.

My introduction to proper table tennis was somewhere around 2012, when I was playing outside at a holiday resort and some dude brought a blade with Andro Rasant. I remember well that sweet rubber click, and the special Andro sound when you get a good spin with it. I had no technique whatsoever and played some pre-made Butterfly bat that became complete anti-spin with time and sunlight (and yes, usually there is no roof on outside table tennis tables, and yes, you play under the heat of the sun sometimes -- those who wanted to play didn't mind it :) ). He was surprised how well I was able to do fast flat strokes, in which I put all the power and which was my winning strategy. So, he suggested to teach me a bit of proper tennis, so we found some cheap premade bat which had grip, and we trained for about 3 weeks every day. I think it was the time when tensors just started to get popular. So obviously after I came home I wanted to have a bat like him, so I looked at what Andro had to offer, and of course it had to be a tensor rubber :)

After that I found a local club and played some Sunday tournaments for a few years. And yes, I remember playing against defenders and not being able to finish the point in 1-2 shots, which is what I was used to from playing with anti-spin rubbers just smashing flat balls at almost any height as hard as possible. The Rasant Grip rubber generated a lot of spin, but I had to choose: either I play for spin (opponent makes a mistake in not closing the bat well enough during block) or for flat power (opponent cannot react to the ball at all), something in between was countered easily by opponent. And I wanted both, since going 100% on one or the other was too risky and led to me loosing against myself.

I don't think I've changed the gear all the way untill I bought Viscaria and MX-P about 2-3 years later. It was a different place, different time, I started noticing that the Donic's rubber is loosing grip, and I also wanted something more "professional". Reading that is was stiff (blade) and fast (rubber), I thought that it should suite my hyper-aggressive play style. In retrospect, I would say I wasn't wrong. It gave me both spin and power, I was able to finish the point with 3rd or 5th ball pretty often. Obviously, I missed pretty often too, as the bat was pretty unforgiving. But at least even when I lost to myself, I know that I am in control of the situation, and it's about me improving to hit better, and not just looping the ball medium power waiting for the opponent to make a mistake. This might be a psychological issue, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion: I want to either win or lose myself, and I am okay with that currently.

I would say I have a decent forehand topspin, and I would say can put a lot of body power into it, so no, I don't think it was an attempt to cover weak stroke with faster equipment, it was more like "I want this, but even faster/more powerful", as I wanted to come back to "impossible to return" shots that I liked to do during childhood. Perhaps I can record a video with forehand topspin for you to judge in a few weeks. Backhand one is very bad, though, as I did not undergo formal coaching, and whatever I self-learned is not good enough. However, remember the first paragraph of this post -- I might have indeed "not mastered the blade", I just don't know any better.

The good news is, I am going to undergo formal coaching (in a group, but regardless) starting next week, as I again feel the passion for table tennis. Henceforth, replacing the practically dead rubber now. This month was my "warmup" outside, I am going to play inside now. Although it's unfortunate that I had to kill pretty expensive rubber with sunlight not knowing any better. Anyways.

Just a few words regarding these two blades and rubbers that I have, and what I think about them. They are indeed surprisingly similar, I guess hats off to Donic, as its price is much lower. With rubbers Viscaria weights 179g (without stripe, with stripe it was around 182g), Donic -- 177g. The sweet spot is bigger in Viscaria, it doesn't absorb incoming kinetic energy, I don't feel the ball as much (not in a bad way, quite the opposite, I like it this way, with a little bit of vibration, I can ignore the speed of incoming ball, I don't feel the energy being eaten away by the wood). The weight balance is better on Viscaria, but that might be due to the fact that I have both rubbers in 2.3 (I think, or in 2.2, in the max thickness anyway) and Donic blade was not made for heavy rubbers. Viscaria also requires me to hold it properly (has wider "ears"), otherwise it's uncomfortable (which is good), Donic one is comfortable to hold even in "half-hold" (has smaller "ears"), which leads to inconsistency in shots. Donic bat is better at short pushes and control in general. But when the rubbers were new, even that was rather poor because of how tensor catapult likes to throw the ball out. So yeah, I pretty much just gave up on precise short game, usually going for aggressive pushes and falling back to counter-spin opponent's topspin.

So again, since I've only played with tensors, I don't know any better. I also don't know if I want to know. I think I like this strong catapult effect, even though it can lose me the point if I don't play a stroke with correct ball contact point and bat angle. Softer rubber on Donic is much more forgiving in this regard, but I think I can "just" improve the stroke instead.

And now to the pragmatic part. I have two blades. I like how Viscaria plays more in all regards. I am not planning to spend on another blade. So yes, even if it's too fast for my current level, this is the way it will be for now, I think I am teachable enough to become efficient with it.

Back to the original topic of rubbers. Firstly, I myself layed eyes on Nittaku Fastarc G-1 as it is reported to be more durable compared to alternatives, and in characteristics it is similar to MX-P. From your suggestions my shop has Coppa, Mark V and Hexer Duro. Now, I have to ask do "classic rubbers", as you call them, have the same catapult effect? That is, if I drop the ball on the rubber, how high will it jump back? If I drop the ball on an almost dead MX-P, it still jumps almost to the same height it fell from, and continues to bounce for quite a long time, 5-8 times, until full stop. I assume Hexer Duro has similar behavior. What experience will I get with classic rubbers? Perhaps you have a better way of describing the characteristics than in my example. All these rubbers are pretty much of the same price, so money-wise it doesn't matter between them. It's just that I am not willing to pay megabucks for the Butterfly rubber.

I also forgot to note, but I think I want a very grippy rubber, if possible. So for example, when you do a popular exercise where you put the bat at around 10 degrees and throw the ball with your left hand into the bat horizontally, and the ball goes vertical and starts spinning a lot, and then on the second hit I want to be able to put the bat at around 80 degrees and still have the ball jump vertically (instead of falling over to the side). I remember that some new rubber performs just like that. Currently my rubber can only handle no more than 45 degrees. So, I want to be able to pick up the balls at the very steep angle. Why? Firstly, for backhand flick. Secondly, I prefer to play "forward" with forehand topspin with closed bat (bat almost parallel to the table), it helps with playing very spinny loops in a powerful way so that the ball flies fast. If the rubber doesn't catch the ball at steep angle, the ball just falls off the rubber.


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2021, 06:48 
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iskandar taib wrote:
I can't imagine playing games on that venue - step back too far and you're in the dirt.

It's not the dirt there, more like high grained sand and something else. The actual surface around the table is supposed to be like the court in big tennis. I have already told the personnel of the park that it would be nice if they cleaned the surface, as it is indeed almost impossible to move -- during fast-pace game the legs are sliding apart like on the ice. Alas, still waiting for the action.

What you see here is perhaps the best outside table tennis place in the whole city, at least in the centre. And with covid, well, if you want to play, you have to play outside. It's not that bad, to be honest. You can get used to it and even have fun. I have played outside for the better part of my amateur days and it's nearly not as bad as people who hardly ever played outside make it to be.


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PostPosted: 04 Aug 2021, 02:15 
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ygiuseilfuhi wrote:
The good news is, I am going to undergo formal coaching (in a group, but regardless) starting next week, as I again feel the passion for table tennis. Henceforth, replacing the practically dead rubber now. This month was my "warmup" outside, I am going to play inside now. Although it's unfortunate that I had to kill pretty expensive rubber with sunlight not knowing any better. Anyways.

In that case I'd recommend talking to the coach about equipment recommendations. Normally coaches can better judge appropriate equipment from looking at your play than people on an internet forum.

Quote:
Back to the original topic of rubbers. Firstly, I myself layed eyes on Nittaku Fastarc G-1 as it is reported to be more durable compared to alternatives, and in characteristics it is similar to MX-P. From your suggestions my shop has Coppa, Mark V and Hexer Duro. Now, I have to ask do "classic rubbers", as you call them, have the same catapult effect? That is, if I drop the ball on the rubber, how high will it jump back? If I drop the ball on an almost dead MX-P, it still jumps almost to the same height it fell from, and continues to bounce for quite a long time, 5-8 times, until full stop. I assume Hexer Duro has similar behavior. What experience will I get with classic rubbers? Perhaps you have a better way of describing the characteristics than in my example. All these rubbers are pretty much of the same price, so money-wise it doesn't matter between them. It's just that I am not willing to pay megabucks for the Butterfly rubber.

No, classic rubbers play completely different than modern Tensor rubbers. If you are looking for a similar experience, I would not recommend them at all, you will be disappointed. I was primarily answering the question about durability with that. Also, IMO such rubbers don't pair well with modern stiff blades.
Hexer Duro is middle of the road. It is more durable than MX-P, but it is still slower than the Rasant Grip you played before the MX-P.
There is not way around it, the faster the rubber is, the less durable it will be in many cases, especially due to factory tuning.

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I also forgot to note, but I think I want a very grippy rubber, if possible. So for example, when you do a popular exercise where you put the bat at around 10 degrees and throw the ball with your left hand into the bat horizontally, and the ball goes vertical and starts spinning a lot, and then on the second hit I want to be able to put the bat at around 80 degrees and still have the ball jump vertically (instead of falling over to the side). I remember that some new rubber performs just like that. Currently my rubber can only handle no more than 45 degrees. So, I want to be able to pick up the balls at the very steep angle. Why? Firstly, for backhand flick. Secondly, I prefer to play "forward" with forehand topspin with closed bat (bat almost parallel to the table), it helps with playing very spinny loops in a powerful way so that the ball flies fast. If the rubber doesn't catch the ball at steep angle, the ball just falls off the rubber.

In this category, there still is Donic Barracuda which has a very high throw angle, and catches the ball very well. It is not factory tuned and therefore more durable than factory tuned tensors. But even though it is faster than Hexer Duro, it is still slower than MX-P. I think the category "as fast as MX-P, but more durable, and less expensive than Butterfly" doesn't exist.


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PostPosted: 04 Aug 2021, 04:22 
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I'm not saying the Viscaria with Rasant or MX-P is too fast for you, I'm saying I'm surprised you find it too slow to end points with.. :lol: I'm not really sure it'd be too fast for ME, but I'm pretty sure it'd be too heavy.

As for rubbers - yeah, the newer "boosted" rubbers definitely feel different and are faster than the old stuff, but on the other hand I think it's perfectly possible to play well with the older rubbers and make plenty of power with it, too. The new rubbers mimic what people used to use in the 1980s, which was the old rubber treated with "speed glue". Speed glue has since been banned - if you think the new rubbers are too expensive and don't last long enough, it was worse during the speed glue era - the glue itself was expensive, you had to "glue up" before playing every evening and you had to repeat the process every 2-3 hours of playing time. And the rubbers were shot after a month or less.

One thing you don't seem to have discovered yet is the plethora of Chinese rubbers.. :lol:

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 04 Aug 2021, 22:16 
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Alright, thanks everyone for the information. Perhaps I'll go with Hexer Duro/Barracuda on one side and Fastarc G-1 on the other, see if the latter plays well for significant time. Revspin has a really high durability rating for G-1, even though I understand that this can be influenced even by the manufacturer themselves. Will see how it goes!


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2021, 00:41 
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I'd take Revspin with a grain of salt - it kinda works for something really popular (Tenergy 05 or Baracuda) but a lot of the rubbers and blades only have one or two reviews. It's kinda hard to crowd-source rubber ratings and get any sort of consistency. A lot of the stuff on that site is old and isn't being sold any more. A lot of the rubber reviews seem a little too detailed - I've bought rubbers (mainly Chinese ones) to see if I can figure out if I can see/feel what the reviewers were saying, and the usual result was, well, it felt and behaved just like a lot of other rubbers I had tried.

Keep in mind that a lot of rubber is made by 2-3 companies - everything that comes out of Europe is made by a German company called ESN - doesn't matter who sells it, it comes out of the same factory and is very similar. And a lot of stuff that comes out of Japan is made by a company called Daiki (they even claim to make rubbers for Tamasu - i.e. Butterfly). In China there are probably 4 or 5 companies that make rubber, the smaller brands are made in the same factories as the bigger brands.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 06 Aug 2021, 02:29 
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EVERLASTING STICKINESS ON RUBBER SURFACE.
Image size=320x213&quality=96&crop=68,0,678,451

Yes, it looks quiet plausible. DF manufacturer is known for using Dr. Fisher's patented formula since long ago.


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