Before I start my review of the Tenergy rubber, I should state that this is not my first racket but my third.
My first racket (if you can even consider it a racket) was a 6 dollar Sportscraft pre-made from Wal-mart. It was a cheap, very low spin on the rubber and only 1.5 mm sponge, but honestly, for 6 bucks and someone starting, you can’t go wrong. My second racket was a Stiga titanium pre-made.
It was a pretty good setup, but its strong ability was flat hitting and had a VERY low throw, I will be honest. It is responsible for improving my game incredibly and helped my game become much more aggressive than passive, but it was an extremely heavy setup.
The blade was exceptionally thick; about 50% thicker than a TBS, and the rubbers had a somewhat hard and very dense 2.4mm sponge on both sides. Now onto my review.
This review pretty much only exists to make further most reviews of the 05 and 64 more concrete. I glued them on a Timo Boll Spirit, but I will not be reviewing it, only the rubbers. The only difference between this review and others is that I have minimal experience with other rubbers (as mentioned above), so it’s coming from that kind of perspective.
Tenergy 05 2.1mm Black (Forehand)
Compared to my old setup, this is an EXTREMELY diverse rubber than what I was previously used to, but this is a good thing as I was getting tired of that old Stiga. For the first time, I finally figured out what everyone meant by gears.
Tenergy 05 is very precise and does precisely what your stroke tells it to do (this is where those gears come into play). What I enjoyed is that if you want to keep the ball at a slower speed, the 05 is more than capable of doing so, and at the same time, it still stays extremely spinny.
Just as everyone says, the 05 is a looping monster. Its loops are the definition of a power loop. No matter the distance, the high spin of this rubber always seems to get the ball on the table, assuming you use the correct stroke.
Also, its flat hitting was undoubtedly excellent as well, with solid drives and flicks and also superb smashes. My serves are LOADED. Great control on them, but if you’re not careful, it can go a little long, but I still absolutely love its serving ability.
It is also pretty solid on sidespin looping, but I need to work on this, so it may be partly my fault that I screw those shots up.
The only cons I managed to find are its chopping abilities, pushing, and somewhat its block. The blocks are not that bad, but the 05 is sensitive to spin, so you have to have a more active kind of slight topspin block. It isn’t a problem since, on my forehand, this is how I would generally block anyway.
When pushing, I find the Tenergy 05 to be still very sensitive to spin and can make the ball pop up a little high, so it’s essential to read spin well when using this rubber.
For chopping I don’t usually chop on my forehand during a volley. Suppose I ever end up chopping with my forehand during a rally. In that case, it’s usually one of those “do anything possible to get the ball back on the table” kind of saves on a low ball (but this is rare). Still, I tried my mediocre forehand chop a little, and while it wasn’t terrible, I found it a little hard to control and ended up going higher.
- Looping – 10/10
- Driving – 7.5/10
- Flicks – 8/10
- Pushes – 6.5/10
- Smashing – 9/10
- Serving – 9.5/10
- *Side-spin Looping – 7/10
- *^Chopping – 5/10
“*” indicates my low level of ability for this stroke
“*^” indicates this rubber is not meant for this kind of stroke
Tenergy 64 2.1mm Red (Backhand)
Well, first of all, I should say that my backhand is a bit unorthodox. I’ve modeled my offensive attacking strokes in the style of Karanga/Steger. It has been very effective for me and is something I’m sticking with. What makes my backhand unorthodox is that I also combine chopping with my repertoire.
I usually chop on my backhand if the ball ends up going just a little above table height or lower if the ball is close to the table, but if it’s farther from the table, I only chop if it’s below the height of the table. It helps me prevent lobbing and, at the same time, throws off my opponent.
Often, I’ve seen people lift the ball to get that point, and more often than not, that lift puts them into a lob, leaving them at a disadvantage. So in terms of percentages, my modern offender backhand (a la modern defender) would be about 75% attack to 25% defend.
Anyway, I have found my dream rubber for my backhand. This rubber suits my style in every sense. As most reviews say, it has a beautiful long-distance loop. When closer to the table, I usually attack with a quick, punchy loop (kind of like a more compact version of the stroke I use to loop), and I couldn’t ask for a better rubber in that regard either as it’s always loaded.
It’s also pretty good at flat hitting; when using a straight regular punch, it’s always very quick with good placement and flicks. I have found the 64 is identical to the 05 for that stroke.
The only other rubber I’ve used to chop with besides inverted was a short pips rubber that had a 1.5mm sponge, and I could tell from that the pips were made for defense.
Keeping in mind that the 64 is an inverted rubber, its chops are great, and I doubt any other offensive rubbers could be better. I’m able to chop with great backspin. The 64 is capable of producing floaters.
Pushes provide good backspin, too, and are much better than the 05 for this kind of stroke. Many reviews have stated that the 64 is a dream at blocking, and I am here to solidify this statement. I block with my backhand much more often than my forehand, and I have to say that blocking is effortless.
Except for Michael Maze and, to a lesser extent Timo Boll, I, along with pretty much everyone else, cannot give a sidespin loop on my backhand, so I don’t think it would be very fair for me to review it. Pretty much, I found no real cons.
I occasionally use a backhand serve and found that the 05 can produce higher quality serves, but this isn’t a problem since 90% of my serves are forehand.
- Looping – 9/10
- Straight Punching – 8.5/10
- Flicks – 8/10
- Pushes – 9/10
- ^Chopping – 9/10
- ~Serving – 8/10
“^” indicates this rubber is not meant for this kind of stroke
“~” indicates I do not commonly serve with my backhand
Again, this is my first good set up so I might just be impressed because this is the first time I’ve used good equipment, but honestly, my old Stiga wasn’t terrible, so I’m not going into this completely blind. All in all, from what I’ve tried, you can’t go wrong with the Tenergy 05 and 64.
Truthfully these rubbers are quite similar, but each has its unique perks about them. To make an analogy, it’s like getting two of the same gun and putting various specialty attachments to them. Feel free to take my review with however many grains of salt you want, but this is my honest opinion.