Today, I want to explain the difference between Chinese rubber (DHS Hurricane 3 for example) and the ESN Tensor Rubber or High Tension Rubber (for example Tenergy 05). I also explain the advantage of Chinese rubber and why pro players prefer playing Chinese rubber on their forehands.
Difference between Chinese table tennis rubber and European rubber?
European rubbers (ENS) are mainly used as the backhand rubber. Here is the list of the top 10 backhand rubbers that you should buy. I have many questions about the Tacky Chinese Rubber. You have many hesitations of using Chinese rubber or not using Chinese rubber.
Trieu Van Sy asked me
“I’ve heard many peoples advice using Chinese rubber (Hurricane H3). But I played with ESN European Rubber for long time. Should I change?”
I think this is a common question, but no one has explained it clearly before, so today I will explain it to you.
First of all, do we really need a Chinese rubber?
Many Western players have spent almost 500 dollars even thousand of dollars every year to buy the Chinese rubbers. They want to improve their table tennis by equipping the professional setup. Unfortunately, there are many versions of Chinese rubbers: Commercial, Provincial, National. And many are fake.
Many fake Provincial and National H3, H2 or TG3 on the market
There are also Chinese dealers on Taobao and on the forum, who claimed that they have a relationship with pro players and can get new “National rubber” . They convinced the buyers “We don’t have many rubbers, you must wait for 2 months”.
But in fact, the “national rubber” are all fake, the dealer just tuned the commercial rubbers with the booster. The effect of the booster will make the rubber easier to play, to spin. And the buyer thinks that the fake rubbers are legit. But no! Pro players don’t play with a soft version of chinese rubber.
Haifu Turner can be used on very hard Chinese rubber
The dealer also prints the name of the player on the rubber such as “Ma Long”, “Wang Hao”. But we (player from China) know that these rubbers are all fake. But it’s a good business so we don’t want to tell the truth. Western players continue to buy “fake tuned Chinese rubber” and think that it is “personal national rubber”.
So please don’t spend 100usd to buy a fake Chinese rubber. And Chinese rubber is not only DHS (Double Happiness) product.
There are many another brands: 729 Friendship, LKT, Yin-He, Globe, Giant Dragon.
In China, a young kid just goes to the shop and buys a 5 usd rubber to play for 2 years and improve so fast. In Europe, you spent 500 usd every year to change and test new rubber and didn’t improve at all. I will explain how to choose a good Chinese rubber in the next video. Today I want to compare Chinese and Tensor rubber.
Advantages of Chinese rubber
This is the spin-force curve for chinese rubber (blue line) and tensor rubber (orange line).
Spin capacity on hard and tacky chinese rubber versus ESN Tensor rubber
In general, tensor rubber can spin the ball easier with the small force.
- That’s why amateur players prefer tensor rubber as it is easier to spin the ball.
- However, pro players hit the ball harder. With the tensor rubber, there is a limit that you can’t improve the spin even if you hit harder.
Chinese rubber is more linear: small spin at small force but chinese rubber doesn’t have the force limit. If you hit harder, the spin will increase. That’s why pro players prefer chinese rubber on Forehand as we can hit very hard with Forehand. With the backhand, the force is not high enough so it’s safer to use tensor rubber on the backhand.
Chinese rubber and tensor rubber don’t have the same throw angle.
The tensor rubber has in general higher throw angle as it can spin the ball easier. Tensor rubbers are also sensitive to the spin. However, you can’t hit very hard with tensor rubber, as if you hit very hard, the ball will mostly goes out of the table.
The throw angle of tensor rubber (orange line) is not consistent in high force domain. But chinese rubber is harder, and less sensitive to the spin. The throw angle is very low and you can hit very hard. This is the main reason why Chinese players using Chinese rubber to loop kill the ball as they can hit very hard.
Look at the video of Liu Guoliang and Xu Xin. They can loop kill the ball and the throw angle is very low. Without chinese rubber, they can’t do that.
So if you buy a chinese rubber with high throw angle, it’s probably fake.
This is the speed-force relationship. The tensor rubber is softer and is more bouncy, springy than chinese rubber.
- In the small force domain, the speed is higher.
- But tensor rubber goes to the limit at higher force domain.
The pro players can hit very hard and make the ball faster with Chinese rubber. That’s why amateur players find that Chinese rubber is slow, but for Pro players, Chinese rubber is faster. Because pro and amateur are in 2 different force zone. Look at the graph, amateur prefer tensor and pro player prefer chinese rubber.
Why chinese rubbers are tacky?
Look at the graph.
If Chinese rubber doesn’t have tackiness, in the small force domain, the spin and speed is very low. As the chinese rubber is hard, without tackiness, it’s very difficult to spin the ball with the small force actions such as serve, flip, drop shot. So Chinese rubber needs tackiness to increase the spin and speed in the low force domain.
Why pro players tune their Chinese rubber with the booster?
The booster is the organic solvent which will be absorbed in the sponge of the rubber. The rubber will be expanded; it will become a little softer and more bouncy, springy.
It will make the ball faster and spinier about +10% to 15%.
Look at the graph, the red line is boosted chinese rubber, the spin and speed increases at low and mid-range of force. Pro players also boost rubber to increase the feeling of the ball as they want to feel the ball in the serve and serve return. If the rubber is too hard, it’s difficult to feel the ball.
Should I use Chinese rubber ?
- Yes. If you have a good foundation: technique, power, footwork. You have a good coach to optimize the technique. Or you can hit very hard. And you like loop kill the ball.
- No. If you can’t hit very hard. You don’t have a good footwork. Stay with Tensor rubber, as Tensor rubbers give more spin and speed at low force.
Should I use Chinese rubber as a Backhand rubber ?
Many amateur players use Chinese rubber as a backhand rubber to block and push the ball. The chinese rubber is hard, and less sensitive to the spin. They profit this property to use Chinese rubber as a “dead rubber” to safely push the ball. However, for the long term, it’s not good for your Backhand. If you want to use your backhand as a weapon to attack, you should use a Tensor rubber. Chinese rubbers are designed for Forehand attack, but not for the passive Backhand.
Should I buy the National Chinese rubber?
The dealer profits the fact that everyone wants to improve their table tennis and make many rubber version with a high price. It’s a waste of money. Ask yourself, even Zhang Jike gives you his setup (his true blade and rubber), can you play table tennis like him? No, it’s even worse as the rubber is too hard for you, you don’t have the feel of the ball, you can’t adapt to his heavy blade and you play worse.
So why spend thousands of dollars to buy national chinese rubber?
- Professional setup is harder to use.
- If you want to use it correctly, you must train for that.
- You must hit harder, faster.
- Improve your technique before buying pro setup.
If you have any question, you can comment in the Youtube channel. Or you can send me your message on my facebook page. You can also send me your video, if I have time, I will correct your technique by viewing the video.
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Coach EmRatThich was born in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1983. He started playing table tennis at the age of 8. After finishing his Ph.D. in Paris, University Pierre Marie Curie (Sorbonne University) in 2011, he is now a table tennis coach in a small club in France (about 153 players). Interested in table tennis coaching for a global audience, he founded pingsunday.com, one of the best online coaching programs for table tennis players. Using the Chinese coaching philosophy, his table tennis lessons are free, which allows many table tennis players to improve fast. He can speak English, French, Vietnamese, and a little bit of Chinese.