Top 10 Best Backhand Rubber

Top 10 Best Backhand Rubber

What is the best backhand rubber? Is choosing the backhand rubber is the same as forehand rubber? This is the common questions that many new players asked me. So today I will try to explain how to buy a perfect table tennis rubber for your backhand.

Understanding best rubbers for backhand

First of all, you need to know that choosing the backhand rubber is not like the forehand rubber.

Backhand rubber is different than the forehand rubber.

Because you hit the ball with a harder, and longer stroke on your forehand. While you hit the ball on your backhand side with a much shorter and quicker stroke.

Forehand rubber

While players prefer choosing the hard, or even very hard rubber on the forehand side. Good players also prefer tacky Chinese rubber as the forehand rubber. Because on your forehand side, you can hit very hard. Using the forehand you can hit while rotating your whole body. It’s the mechanism of this stroke.

Fan Zhendong forehand rubber: National Hurricane 3 Blue sponge
Fan Zhendong forehand rubber: National Hurricane 3 Blue sponge

Backhand rubber

Unlike forehand rubber, you need to choose the backhand rubber differently. Because the mechanism of the backhand stroke is different than the forehand technique.

You normally can only do the backhand strokes in front of your body. So backhand stroke is much shorter, and weaker than the forehand stroke. That’s the reason why you should play with the softer rubber on the backhand side. So here is my guide to choosing the best rubbers for your backhand side.

Fan Zhendong butterfly backhand rubber: Tenergy 05
Fan Zhendong butterfly backhand rubber: Tenergy 05

How to choose backhand rubber

Choosing backhand rubber is not the same as choosing your forehand rubber. Here are my tips:

Choose bouncy rubber

  • Always aim for “offensive and fast rubbers” for your backhand side. Prefer using the Tensor, High Tension, ESN, Japanese rubber on the backhand side.
  • Use Chinese rubber on the backhand side, only if you can hit very hard with your backhand.
  • Choose a rubber not too soft, neither too hard (around 41 – 50 ESN hardness scale). Too soft rubber will bottom out the ball. Too hard rubber is difficult to spin the ball.

Choose medium-hard rubber

  • Don’t use very hard (harder than ESN 53 degree) on your backhand
  • Choose a rubber with thickness around 2.0mm to 2.15mm or 2.20mm. Don’t choose too thick rubber (thicker than 2.3 mm sponge thickness).
  • Don’t use max thickness if you are the beginners.
  • Best backhand rubbers are “bouncy rubbers”. Because “bouncy rubbers” give you additional speed for backhand. (Backhand strokes is short).

Don’t choose too soft rubber

  • Don’t choose too soft backhand rubber (softer than 35 ESN hardness scale). It’s very bad! Easy to spin, but the ball’s quality (speed and spin) is average.
  • Contradictory to many Western coaches, who insists new players to play with soft, to very soft rubber on the backhand side. In China, new players begin with medium hard rubber, and they improve faster! Trust me!
  • When you improve your level, prepare to upgrade your backhand rubber. Upgrade means choosing the harder, and faster rubbers.
  • Think about the color. Red and black rubbers are not the same. Top players often choose red rubbers on the backhand side.

What is the optimal hardness for backhand rubber?

How hard or how soft rubbers depends on your hitting power. Pro players will play with very hard, and fast rubbers. While beginners will play with softer rubbers. The optimal combination between the forehand rubber and the backhand rubber is:

  • Forehand rubber’s hardness = x (hardness)
  • Backhand rubber’s hardness = x-2 (hardness)

This formula works best! Tested on many of my players.

Ma Long backhand rubber - Choose 2 degree softer than your forehand rubber
Ma Long backhand rubber – Choose 2 degree softer than your forehand rubber

So for example, on your forehand side, the sweet hardness for you is about 49 ESN scale. So for your backhand side, you should choose the 47 ESN hardness scale.

Optimal range: backhand hardness = forehand hardness -2

Top 10 backhand rubbers 2018

Here is my recommendation for your backhand rubbers. There are the rubbers that I see my players, and other good players use a lot. The feedback is very high. Because their rubbers give a lot of spins, additional speed, and ability to flick on the table. They are mostly European (ESN rubber), or Japanese rubber because this type of rubbers suit the backhand playing style.

What is a good rubber for backhand?

A good backhand rubber needs to provide:

  • Spinny ball at the low impact shots (serve, receive, topspin, flick)
  • Additional speed (to aggressively return the ball, to initiate the first attack, to counterattack)
  • ability to flick, hit on the table (to fit the new trends of table tennis) (one of the reason for the success of Harimoto Tomokazu – big phenomena in modern table tennis era)

1. Butterfly Tenergy 05

Tenergy 05 is no doubt the most used backhand rubbers for both pro players and amateur players. Many top Chinese players including Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Zhang Jike, Xu Xin, Lin Gaoyuan, Wang Chuqin, etc use Tenergy rubber as the backhand rubber.

  • Advantages: Most popular backhand rubber. Higher spin and easy to create spin.
  • Disadvantage: Expensive, short durability. Not recommended for amateur players who can’t get the sponsor from Butterfly. If you get free Tenergy rubber, go for it. Higher spin but slower than the Tenergy 64.
Zhang Jike has used Tenergy 05 fx as the backhand rubber
Zhang Jike has used Tenergy 05 fx as the backhand rubber

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2. Stiga Mantra M/H

Stiga Mantra is the new generation rubbers from Stiga. Truls Moregards is using Stiga Mantra rubbers on both sides. I really love this rubbers. Much more durable than Tenergy 05. So powerful backhand rubber. The balance of spin and speed is just wonderful. I recommend this rubbers for advanced players or to whom who wants to improve quickly with serious training.

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3. Butterfly Tenergy 64

Tenergy 64 is a very popular backhand rubber, just after Ten 05. The main difference between Ten 05 and Ten 64 is: Ten 64 has a lower throw, and faster. Zhang Jike used mainly Ten 64 as his weapon for the backhand. If you play more counter-attack on your backhand side, just buy Tenergy 64.

For the new poly ball, and the new trends in table tennis, I recommend you check the new version of Tenergy rubber. It’s the harder Tenergy version! Which is even better!

Tenergy 05 has higher throw angle than Ten 64 - better spin but slower
Tenergy 05 has higher throw angle than Ten 64 – better spin but slower (by Butterfly)

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4. Tibhar MX-P

MX-P is becoming popular in early 2017-2018. It has been used by many top European professional players. It’s fast and spinny. The main advantage of this rubber is lower throw than Tenergy 05 (similar to Ten 64), easy to create spin. However, I don’t like this rubber. The sponge can be easily broken just after 2 weeks. It’s not durable at all!

If you like something fast for your backhand, this rubber is for you.

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5. Cornilleau Target Ultim 50/ Cornilleau Target Pro GT-H47

I really like the old version of the Cornilleau Target rubber. The topsheet is so grippy, and the sponge is something in between the Ten05 and the Rakza 7. More durable than Ten 05. A good candidate for the alternative of Ten 05.

However, this version is discontinued. It is replaced by the Target Pro GT. The Pro GT is made for the new poly ball. But the topsheet is less grippy and less consistent for short ball. Simon Gauzy is using this rubber on his backhand side.

If you want to find a durable, and all round rubbers, you can find Target Pro GT.

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6. DHS Hurricane 3 (38 Chinese hardness degree)

With the new ball, some top Chinese rubbers have changed from Tenergy rubbers to Chinese rubbers on the backhand side. The problem of Tenergy rubber with the new ball is lacking power. The ball is heavier, so you need to play with a harder sponge.

For the backhand side, you should choose the DHS Hurricane 3 about 37-38 DHS hardness scale.

Be careful before buying the real DHS Hurricane 3 (National version)! And here is the review of the National version DHS H3.

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7. JOOLA Rhyzm-P

This rubber has a medium throw angle and is spinny. Some national players that I know in France use this rubber on the backhand side. Joola Rhyzm-P is perfect for plastic balls. The main advantage is it gives a great amount of spin in loops and serves. Blocking is very easy too.

It’s easier to impact spin than with other rubbers like Tenergy 80, Yasaka Mark V or DHS hurricane 3. The speed is good but average.

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8. Yasaka Rakza 7

Very good rubber for backhand. It shares the similar properties of the recent ESN New generation rubbers: medium hard sponge, grippy topsheet, easy to spin, and great speed. It gives you direct feeling, with medium throw angle. Lower throw angle than the Tenergy 05. Blocking is very easy. I recommend it to any intermediate to advanced players.

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9. XIOM Vega Europe

One of the best alternative for Tenergy rubbers. The best choice for intermediate control loopers who can’t afford the high price Tenergy rubbers. Spong spin, and great control. It has a medium – soft sponge so it gives a good feeling. Recommend to use it on OFF- to OFF blade. This rubber is dynamic and easy to counter-attack.

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10. DONIC Bluefire M3

The Bluefire series is the tensor rubber that gives a wide range of gears. The topsheet is also grippy. Clear feeling for the short game. Service spin is good. This rubber is for the new player who wants to improve the backhand techniques. Because it gives you the “dwell-time”. Not as fast as the previous rubber above.

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Best backhand rubbers for control

Spinniest backhand rubbers

Fastest backhand rubbers

Best rubbers for backhand flick and topspin

to be updated!

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9 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Backhand Rubber

  1. can please make videos on how to control our mind during very nervous situation. hope you understand

  2. I think GEWO Hype pro XT50 is a very good bh rubber and very long lasting as well.It lacks a bit of helping your power so you need to work hard ,need to play actively.
    The new GEWO Nexxus XT 48 is even faster ,and has added a bit of boumcyness making it a bit more forgiving in short game.Unfortunatelly this rubber is very delicate to damage ,slightest contact to the table will cut the rubber so you need to change a lot more often compared to Hype Pro.

    • You are right. Gewo has some very good rubber. Many top young players in EU used Gewo rubber on the backhand side.

  3. My daughter loves the GEWO Nexxus XT 48 and offers a bit more speed and spin compared to Tibhar Mx-s and Cornilleau Target pro and hype pro xt50 ,these three offer less bouncyness which is a real challenge in short game (high rate of balls ending in net as the force input is so delicate you really have to be very precise in reading and adjusting to incoming spin )

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