I have many questions about “where to buy a real Chinese rubber?” and “what is the best Chinese rubber to buy”. Today, I want to explain what is the best table tennis rubber for you and some myths about the Chinese rubbers that top Chinese players use.
The Truth about Chinese Rubbers
Again, I want to say that the best table tennis rubber is the rubber that suits your playing style but not the rubber that the top players use. First, you won’t play better if Ma Long gives you his racket. Second, the rubber that the top Chinese players (such as Ma Long, Fan Zhendong) use is not the same rubber that you want to buy.
For example, the commercial DHS Hurricane 3 rubbers (black, 2.20 mm) that everybody can buy from the manufacturer has a medium-high throw angle. And most other products that will be sold abroad outside of China has the same property: a medium to high throw angle. These characteristics are confirmed by many testers.
The top Chinese players are sponsored by DHS company. And many people think that Ma Long uses the same product that the company sells to international buyers. However, it’s not true. Ma Long used a customized rubber that has a very low throw angle. So what you are seeking (buying a real hurricane 3) is totally different from the rubber that Ma Long uses.
Who is Ma Long?
Ma Long is considered one of the best, or even the best table tennis player in history. He is the 5th Grand Slam table tennis player, just after Zhang Jike (the 4th).
You can find some information about Ma Long 马龙 here:
- Ma Long’s childhood and education
- Ma Long’s forehand rubber
- Ma Long’s wife
- Ma Long’s forehand techniques
- Ma Long’s backhand technique
- Ma Long’s unique feeling in block
Especially, you can find the history of Ma Long table tennis racket, blade, and rubber below. Understanding the equipment of top Chinese table tennis players will help you choose the right Chinese forehand rubber for you.
In the 2019 World Table Tennis Championships at Budapest, Ma Long is the legend in table tennis.
In this WTTC 2019, no one can win Ma Long more than 2 sets. He is the real captain of the China Team. The most trusted player in history right now!
- 1st round VS Aleksandar Karakasevic 4-0
- 2nd round VS Kanak Jha 4-1
- 3rd round VS Vladimir SAMSONOV 4-1
- 4th round VS Hugo CALDERANO 4-1
- quarterfinals VS LIN Gaoyuan 4-0
- semifinal VS LIANG Jingkun 4-1
- final VS Mattias Falck 4-1
If he wins the Olympics Tokyo 2020, he will be the only legend in table tennis. The first player who can win the DOUBLE GRANDSLAM in history. Let’s see!
What is Ma Long personal equipment?
What rubber does Ma Long use?
Waldner is the first foreign player who visited the Chinese National Team training hall. He is the first Grand Slam in table tennis.
He asked about the personal equipment of Ma Long.
The personal blade of Ma Long is the DHS W968 (Hurricane Long 5 National).
The forehand rubber is the Hurricane 3 (National Blue Sponge version 42 degree Hardness, 2.15 mm).
The backhand rubber is the Hurricane 3 (Orange Sponge, 37 Hardness, 2.15 mm)
Here you are the first 3 Grand Slams in table tennis.
Number 1: Waldner
Number 2: Liu Guoliang
Number 3: Kong Linghui
Number 4 Grand Slam was training in the background.
Watch the full video here: “Waldner asked to see Ma Long personal equipment”
Ma Long forehand rubber
This is Ma Long equipment in the LIEBHERR 2019 ITTF WORLD TABLE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS (WTTC 2019):
Well, Ma Long uses national hurricane 3 blue sponge rubber, 40.5 to 41 DHS hardness scale, 2.15 mm thickness, used with the booster. Ma Long personal rubber is not available to the public. They are designed based on Ma Long’s physical strength, the sponge is much harder than a commercial one.
It’s not the sponge but it’s the top sheet that Ma Long’s rubber is different than the commercial version.
The topsheet of Ma Long personal forehand rubber is much more elastic, consistent. The pimples structure is also different: denser, smaller than the commercial one. The tacky topsheet with this pimple structure provides the maximum of spin to Ma Long’s shot.
You can see that both Ma Long and Zhang Jike use National Hurricane 3 (Blue Sponge) on their forehand side. The blue sponge is 1 to 2 degrees harder than the commercial Orange Sponge DHS Hurricane 3 rubbers.
You can Order the DHS Hurricane 3 (Old version) directly from Double Happiness Shop here. [Order Now] Or you can buy the DHS Hurricane 3, combined with the LANDSON Rubber Protector Film of DHS. Order here.
Ma Long backhand rubber
Like many top Chinese table tennis players, Ma Long used Japanese Butterfly rubber on his backhand: Tenergy 05 Professional version, harder, and faster. The normal Ten05 rubber has a hardness of about 36-37 ESN Scale. Ma Long backhand rubber is 39-40 hardness ESN scale (around 35 hardness Chinese scale).
With the new poly ball in table tennis since 2017, Ma Long switch back to custom hurricane rubber, red side on his backhand. Japanese rubber is not hard enough, so Chinese players search for more direct feeling rubber on their backhand.
Order the real Butterfly Tenergy 05 (red, 2.1 mm) from the Official Butterfly Amazon Shop here. You can also use the Tenergy 05 Hard to for the new plastic ball. Here is the review of Tenergy 05 Hard.
You can also use the Red DHS Hurricane 3 for the new poly ball.
Ma Long’s equipment: blade
Ma Long has changed many blades from 2005 to now.
- 2005-2008: Ma Long tried some Nittaku blades: Violin, Acoustic, and Rutis.
- 2009-2011: Ma Long’s blade is Timo Boll Spirit and Timo Boll ALC.
- 2013 – 2018: Ma Long uses DHS 968 and DHS 997 table tennis blades.
- Since 2019: He is using Hurricane Long 5x
This is the resume of rxng for the table tennis equipment used by Ma Long.
Ma Long’s equipment 2019
At the WTTC (World Table Tennis Championship 2019), Ma Long is using Hurricane Long 5x.
Hurricane Long 5x has +0.5mm thicker core than the normal Hurricane Long. The normal Flared handle is very comfortable. The blade is 89 ∓ 3 (g), the thickness is around 6.0 mm. The Speed is very fast OFF ++, the blade composition is similar to the normal Hurricane Long.
You can order the blade from the Official DHS AZ Shop. This blade is one of the top 10 professional blades in the modern table tennis. Or you can also buy the complete racket setup assembled by DHS staff: DHS DIY Assembled, Hurricane Long-5 blade, Forehand rubber is the Neo Hurricane 3 Black Rubber (Blue Sponge, Provincial), and backhand rubber is Neo Hurricane 3 red Rubber (Orange Sponge, Provincial). This is a very good racket for advanced players.
DHS Hurricane Long V is a very good table tennis blade for looping style:
- 5 Wooden + 2 Arylate-Carbon Speed OFF++
- Looping machine – a dreaming blade for those who want to loop kill the ball
- Powerful core
- Good feeling in the short game
- Hurricane Long V – DHS 997
Here is another photo of the person setup of Ma Long of the World Championship 2019. You can clearly see that Ma Long is using the Hurricane Long 5 with 2 ALC layers. This blade is faster than the classical Viscaria, despite that the composition is rather similar to the Viscaria.
Should I buy personal Ma Long rubbers?
So why DHS does not commercialize the rubber of Ma Long? Because it’s not a good commercial plan. Not many players can use a very low throw rubber in a real situation. You must have a full and strong stroke to use this type of rubber. So making a medium-high throw angle rubber can fit a wide range of players, and using the commercial strategy to sponsor the top player is a better plan.
Some dealers have tried to make a good business. They profit that table tennis players can pay much money just to get to the “real professional rubber” and hope to play better. They sell fake national rubber. All of these rubbers are stamped with the name of the top players and pretend to be his personal rubber (look at these photos). But they are not true! Top players are not allowed to sell their rubber to the public.
Myth 1 “Chinese rubber has high throw”
Real Chinese table tennis rubber has a very low throw. To use the Chinese rubber, you must have a long and powerful stroke. The techniques are different from traditional techniques. You must “carry” and “wrap” the ball more forward. You can see that Ma Long has to “carry” the ball with his powerful Forehand topspin, but the ball goes just slightly over the net and drops right after. The ball is very linear but not curvy.
The top Chinese players are sponsored by DHS, it does not mean they will use the same equipment line-up on the market. Their rubber is different from commercial rubbers. There is the reason there because it’s very hard to use this type of rubber. If someone gives you the racket of Ma Long, you will feel that this racket is hard dead, not bouncy, and for you, it’s rubbish. But in the hand of Ma Long, it’s a deadly weapon.
So if someone says to you “hey, this Chinese rubber is amazing, very easy to topspin, the throw angle is high”. It’s possible these rubbers are for amateur players, but not for a professional ones. This is myth number 1 about Chinese rubbers.
Remember: Low throw Chinese rubbers has higher spin.
Myth 2 “Pro’s rubbers are expensive”
Myth number 2 is: You need an expensive racket to win. Some players don’t believe my advice because the Chinese racket I suggested was not expensive enough. “No thanks, I’m looking for something around 200$”. Your racket is only 50$.” There are many top young Chinese players at high-level play with racket cost less than 40$. Find a rubber that has the characteristics that you need. If it’s an expensive European or Japanese rubber, you can find something similar to a Chinese brand with similar quality but much cheaper.
No Shortcut in table tennis
And finally, I want to say: don’t focus on the equipment. Get practicing. So, there is no shortcut in table tennis. Choose your own way of table tennis. Don’t copy the pro’s equipment if you don’t understand why they use them.
If you really want to use Chinese rubbers, learn the proper techniques first. In the next videos, I will explain why Ma Long prefers using 40.5 – 41 hardness rubber, while Zhang Jike prefers using a 39 hardness rubber.