Player Level and StyleShakehands with inverted both sides. U.S. rating 1650-1750, intermediate level. Strengths: Serve, table control, third ball attack, forehand loop, drive, and smash. Weaknesses: Many, but inconsistent footwork, timing, and backhand are currently "dominating".
Rubbers ReviewedJoola Energy (2.0mm black and Max thickness red)
SummaryJoola Energy is a new-generation tensioned "no speed glue required" rubber with a medium soft sponge. It is fast and has plenty of spin. As a bonus, it also has a nice sound. It is not quite as fast or spinny as most heavily speed-glued "normal" rubber, but it definitely has a nice kick.
Along with the speed and spin, Energy also has better control than expected. My experience with other "no speed glue" rubbers has mostly been less positive - all loop well, but, to varying degrees, they are more difficult to handle for pushes, touch blocks, and sometimes even drives. Although Energy is fast, it seems less "bouncy", which makes it easier to control - especially in the short game.
It is a very good all-around offensive (style, not speed) rubber for anyone wanting to avoid speed glue.
The rubber has two downsides:
- It is quite expensive - over $40 (US) if bought in North America (i.e. at Joola USA).
- It is delicate. Note that similar rubbers (Andro Plasma or Donic Desto series for instance) are similarly delicate. It isn't nearly as durable as "standard" rubbers such as Butterfly Sriver, Yasaka Mark V, Stiga Mendo MP, Tibhar Rapid, or Juic Driva Smash Ultima.
Who Will Like ItPeople wanting, or needing to get away from speed glue. Excellent for loopers, but it is also a solid choice for hitters, drivers, and anyone with an offensive game.
Who Will Hate ItPeople who hate mangling $40 rubber whenever they lightly ding the table. It also might not be optimal for pure hitters (perhaps a bit too soft) or control spinners (maybe too hard?).
Marketing ClaimNo speed glue required.
SpecificationsThis is a fairly light rubber with a medium soft sponge. On my blades, when cut to size, it weighed between 40 and 44 grams.
The speed is "pretty fast". It isn't as fast as speed-glued Butterfly Bryce, Stiga Mendo MP, or the like, but is faster than pretty much any unglued "normal" rubber. I'd rate its speed in the neighborhood of lightly speed-glued Butterfly Sriver EL. The spin seems balanced with the speed.
Initial ImpressionsNice looking rubber, with a nice feel from the start.
Playing ImpressionsInitial impressions are that Energy feels more like speed glued rubber than not. It is fast, and has good spin and an audible "pop". Definitely entertaining!
After a little playing time, I found that the feel/dwell worked for me. I've spent a lot more time playing with "firmer" rubbers, and generally don't like the feel and "seemingly endless" dwell of super soft rubbers - think Stiga Mendo Energy, Joola Samba, or even Andro Plasma 380. While this rubber has more dwell than Butterfly Sriver or Stiga Mendo MP, it isn't enough to bother me or cause significant stroke adjustments.
Although fast, it isn't overly bouncy. It is controllable (for its speed) and predictable when pushing, blocking, and returning serves. It seems to have a linear response, and the spin and speed are "balanced". The throw is pretty close to average - I didn't need to make any significant adjustments.
I was impressed with this rubber's play. It is best for looping - especially with some power - but doesn't cause problems in other facets of the game. It allows me to generate plenty of spin on serves and pushes, and block confidently as well.
Like "real" speed glued rubbers, this requires you to do your part. It isn't foolproof, or suitable for beginners. If you can't read spin, have bad timing, contact, or consistency it will, like any high-performance rubber, cause you grief.
For what its worth, the red sheets seem to be slightly more durable than black.
OverallJoola Energy is an outstanding, but delicate and expensive rubber. It is especially good for aggressive all-around attackers. It has a lot of control for the amount of spin and speed. If you can stand spending $40 on rubber, and don't like or want to speed glue, it would be an outstanding option. It helps if, unlike me, you rarely dink the edge or corner of the table!
Interested in Purchasing Joola Energy table tennis rubber? Buy Direct