Player Level and StyleShakehander with inverted both sides - 2000+ USATT level. Used on a Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit blade.
Rubber ReviewedKillerspin Forza 4z inverted rubber, Red, with 2.1mm sponge.
SummaryUnglued, Forza 4z is a very good rubber for aggressive players who are looking for plenty of pace and matching spin, without sacrificing too much control. When speed glued or boosted/tuned, Forza 4z is truly a lethal weapon worthy of its manufacturer's name.
Who Will Like ItAny attacker with a hint of killer instinct, who enjoys blowing the ball past his opponents almost at will.
Who Will Hate ItPure control players, defenders and push/blockers. Both because this rubber is not for them and also because they won't like their opponents using it against them!
Marketing ClaimKillerspin Forza 4z was developed for those players who play a relentless topspin game. The spinny and high rebound topsheet creates dynamic spins, while a soft high tension sponge allows for superior ball feel. Forza 4z really comes into its own when speed glued, generating heavy loops as easily as touch shots.
SpecificationsThe uncut rubber is 16.5cm wide by 17.1cm high, and weighs in at 56 grams. It was about 44.6 grams when cut, but I was leaving a fair bit of extra rubber to allow for larger blades than the Timo Boll Spirit. So it would probably be a fair way under 40 grams when cut to size.
As the marketing claim says, the sponge and topsheet are pretty springy. I'm not a throw angle nut, but to me the throw angle didn't strike me as exceptionally high or low - I had no problem switching from my defensive bat to using the Forza 4z. The topsheet is grippy but not tacky, on firmish sponge. This is the kind of rubber that is good at producing mechanical spin (spin coming from the ball sinking into the sponge rather than sticking to the topsheet).
Playing ImpressionsI tried the Forza 4z both with and without speed glue, since it is supposed to be able to be used either way. Here's my conclusions.
Forza 4z With Speed Glue
I've got to admit that this rubber really brought out the evil side in me. As a defender, I'm used to playing with rackets that are slower than everybody else's. But with speed glued Forza 4z, suddenly I had the power! Mwahaha!
Seriously though, this rubber is a powerlooper's dream when glued up. It's seriously fast and with heavy spin to boot. Against block, chop, topspin or counterloop it really didn't matter, I could pretty much pick my spot on the table, swing for the fences and make the shot. It's not for the beginner (bat angles still matter), but in experienced hands with good technique this rubber is a real rally-killer. Aggressive play will be well rewarded with glued up Forza 4z. Even blocking takes on a new dimension - the control is good but the ball really zips off the racket.
On the touch shots, you get pretty much would you would expect from a rubber this fast - less control due to the large amount of spring. A light touch is needed in the short game, but the rubber is quite predictable in its linear behaviour through its gears, so there are no two-speed surprises lying in wait. But don't expect to do a Joo Se Hyuk and chop with glued up Forza 4z, unless you have Joo's level of technique - the rubber isn't that forgiving.
Forza 4z Without Speed Glue
Without the speed glue, Forza 4z behaves pretty much like any good aggressive rubber - quite zippy with good spin and nice control through all gears from slow to fast. It's not quite as lethal when hitting hard, it still produces a fast and spinny bread and butter loop, and it's a fair bit more easy to handle in the short game. But for players looking for a good offensive rubber that doesn't have to be glued, boosted or tuned out the wazoo to have any offensive firepower, Forza 4z can deliver the goods.
DownsidesAs you can no doubt tell, I'm kind of like a kid in a candy store at the moment - high on the sugar rush of hitting winners all over the place and loving it. I haven't found much not to like about this rubber really. You could ask for more control in the short game but that would probably be greedy - it's no worse than any other aggressive rubber. I can't vouch for the durability or quality control either (I haven't had this one rubber that long), but I haven't seen any reason to expect that they should be a problem in any way.
OverallThis Killerspin Forza 4z rubber kind of caught me unawares. I was expecting a Sriver / Mark V clone type rubber of probably inferior quality, and instead I found that Forza 4z is no cheap knock off, but a quality rubber that almost makes me want to start two-wing looping again. Five minutes with this rubber speed glued turned me into a drooling maniac looking for my next victim that I could call down the lightning upon! Any attacker with a shred of aggression should give it a try. Those of you who are truly nasty should boost, tune or speed glue it and give your opponents something to really worry about! Just not against me, OK?
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