Review of the new Joola Golden Tango, one of the rare Tacky Tensors on the market, and a rubber suitable for modern defenders, with plenty of attack potential.

The new JOOLA Golden Tango is „Made in Germany“, combining the advantages of a tacky upper rubber, usually characteristic of Chinese rubbers, with the enormous elasticity and speed of a Tensor sponge.

This interaction results in a completely new sensation. The tacky surface offers maximum grip thus enabling loaded topspin and undercut strokes at the most extreme blade angles. JOOLA Golden Tango produces incredible rotation and an arched trajectory. The molecular structure of the energetic sponge underlay makes JOOLA Golden Tango extremely elastic and provides sufficient speed reserves to counter unexpected spin attacks. The sponge is very forgiving, therefore it also offers maximum control for all cut variations either at the table or from half-distance.

Additional Information

  • Strategy DEF – OFF ex.

  • Speed fast

  • Spin extra high

  • Hardness 54

 

This review of the Joola Golden Tango (2.0mm) was done on a TSP Trinity Carbon blade, a light weight blade (~70g) with outstanding control characteristics, rating about off in speed. Having used both Tenergy 05 (2.1mm) and Victas VS > 401 (2.0mm)on the same blade, I use these rubbers for comparison.

Visual Inspection

The Golden Tango topsheet feels soft and is quite tacky. Not as tacky as some of the super sticky Chinese rubbers (which are actually becoming rare these days), but it’s certainly sticky and can lift a ball momentarily.

The sponge does feel quite firm as expected (54deg), and looks fairly dense, not large pored like Tenergy, Bluefire, etc. It feels reasonable heavy like most modern attack rubbers, similar to T05.

The rubber comes in pretty standard packaging. Unlike most German Tensors, the Golden Tango comes with a plastic sheet fixed to the topsheet.

This rubber is a true Tensor, as indicated by the Tensor symbol on the packaging.

As a nice extra treat, it also comes with a spare adhesive protection sheet. Since the topsheet is already tacky, technically an adhesive protection sheet is not necessary, but it still works and can provide a better seal when storing your bat.

 

 

Joola Golden Tango Review

 

Serves & pushes

Spin on serves & pushes is outstanding. Not only does it provide extreme grip due to the tackiness, but the topsheet also has a slow & dead feel, so it’s real easy to keep the ball low with high spin. I’d put the spin right up there with Victas 401 or Tenergy 05, although both these rubbers won’t keep the ball as short/low as easily. To get the high spin, both the Golden Tango and Victas 401 require a fast brush underneath the ball, while the Tenergy 05 requires a bit more of a dig into the sponge and a snap of the wrist. Against incoming spin, the tacky topsheet of the Golden Tango makes it a little more sensitive.

 

Blocking

When I first swapped from my usual Victas 401 (2.0mm) to the Golden Tango (also 2.0mm), my practice partner seemed to have more trouble when looping against my blocks, and it took me a while to work out why. The tacky topsheet seemed to take more pace off the ball, so my balls landed shorter at times, making him reach more. Control of the pace of the ball is actually really good with this rubber (on Trinity Carbon), and you can certainly block fast as well by putting a bit of oomph onto it. Controlling high spin is a little harder, and is not as good the Victas 401 (which excels at this), but it’s not as sensitive as Tenergy 05. Rebound-wise, pace of the ball with Golden Tango < Victas 401 < Tenergy 05.

 

Looping

This is always a tricky one to review, because spin & speed of a loop depends so much on your technique, so perception can vary a lot. For a brush loop (big swing, Chinese style), spin was very high, especially when not engaging the sponge so much, you get a very high spin slow loop, and can be a very effective weapon. I’ve always found the Victas 401 to be king in this area, but the Golden Tango comes close, although the throw and speed is a little lower, so it takes more effort to lift heavy backspin. Tenergy 05 excels in this area too, but the ball comes off with considerably more speed, making it harder to control and an easier combination to block.

So for brush loops:

  • Speed: T05> Victas 401 = Golden Tango
  • Spin: Victas 401 > Golden Tango > Tenergy 05
  • Throw (arc) Victas 401 > Golden Tango > Tenergy 05

For Loop drives (more compact, higher impact, Euro Style), the story is a little different. Spin is still very good for this, but the arc is lower.

  • Speed: T05> Victas 401 > Golden Tango
  • Spin: Tenergy 05 > Victas 401 = Golden Tango

 

Chopping

I do believe this rubber is specifically suitable for modern defenders, who want good spin and control for chopping, yet good power for counter attack. This puts it in the same category as the Victas 401, which is why I’ve been using this for comparison.

For chopping, the rubber performance is excellent, able to generate loads of backspin, and the control is very high giving good dwell time due to the soft & tacky topsheet. I tried it in 2.0mm, and expect it will offer even more feel & control in 1.8mm, and a little less in MAX. It’s a shame they didn’t make a 1.5mm version as well (like the Victas does), or the control is likely to be even higher.

As with any rubber used for chopping, you need a fast chopping action to get the spin and control, else the rubber becomes more sensitive to incoming spin, reducing the control (and spin) significantly. Comparing The Golden Tango to the other 2 rubbers, the spin on all 3 would be similar (all very high), but the control is best on the Golden Tango, followed very closely by the Victas 401, with T05 a distant 3rd, as it’s much more bouncy. Since only the 401 comes in 1.5mm, it’s still the leader of the pack.

 

Durability

Well I’ve only used the rubber for a few sessions, and no sign of wear at all. Tackiness has remained consistent, as long as you keep it clean and continue to apply the protection sheet.

 

Conclusion

So, does the Golden Tango replace the King of Choppers rubber, the Victas 401? No, not quite my opinion, but is does have some advantages over the Victas 401, depending on your style of play and the types of shots you play most, so it may be the better choice in some cases. If you like tacky rubbers, like many Chinese rubber, but want the speed of German/Japanese rubber, then Golden Tango is an excellent choice and there a very few (if any) that can match it.