Joola rubber and blade overview
Here is my summary of the most notable / special rubbers and blades from the Joola brand. This is not meant to promote or criticize the Joola brand or products in any way, it’s simply a summary of opinions of the more famous and highly regarded products of the brand.
Joola products Overview:
The brand JOOLA has its origin in the 1950s when it was popular to combine the names of companies and cities. The sports section of the department store JOOss in LAndau was involved in the production of the first table tennis tables in 1952. Joola has grown to become a major player among the table tennis manufacturers, offering the complete range of equipment, and having shown some great innovation in their products. You can read here about the Joola Company Profile.
Their blades are believed to be made in Germany, Sweden and possibly some in China. A large portion of their rubbers are made in the German ESN factory, home to the majority of top Tensor (Tensor is a trademark of ESN) rubbers in the world. The remainder of their rubbers are made in Japan and China.
After talking to many people, and getting lots of great feedback from people on the table tennis forums, I’ve summarised the most popular Joola rubbers and blades below. Although the popularity can be biassed by marketing and availability, there are some that many agree on to be great products, so there must be something to it…
Joola Tango has been without a doubt the most popular Joola rubber. It was one of the first Tensor rubbers released onto the market, and the unique feel and inbuilt speed-glue effect made it very popular. As demand for more speed grew, Joola released the Tango Extrem, a considerably faster version of the Tango, which also became quite popular.
The Tensors appear to be the most popular Joola rubbers. The Energy Green Power in particular, and more recently the Energy X-Tra and Air Rosnet have enjoyed moderate popularity. In the last few years Joola has released the Express One and Express Two rubbers, which seem to enjoy some good success, especially with Joola fans. Most recently in 2012 Joola has released the Joola Rhyzm and by early reports it promised to be one of the best Tension type rubbers released in the last year or so. With several other major manufacturers releasing Tensor rubbers, it is getting harder to retain a competitive advantage.
Tensor are not for everyone, and Joola has released some other rubbers with reasonable success. The Japanese made like Mambo, Mambo H, the Samba, Drum and Drum CWX all enjoyed some popularity, but don’t stand out as much as the Tensors. With the speed glue ban now in place, they may become less popular as some of these need glue to really come alive.
The Tango Ultra is one of the most successful short pimple rubbers, offering great spin potential and control, thanks to the wide pimpled grippy topsheet and the Tensor sponge. Joola Snabb also deserve a mention.
For the more defensive players, there is the Joola Tony Hold Antitop which is held in high regard. Some of the long pimpled rubbers, like the Fakir and Razor, did not survive the ITTF frictionless long pimple ban, although Octopus, rumoured to be made by TSP Japan, has gained some popularity since it’s release.
The Joola Amy, named after and still used by one of the world top female anti-spin player Amelie Solja, seems to have a bit of a following. The new Joola Timeless has certainly turned some heads as well… the huge US$130 pricetag as much as the rather unique design and performance!
Joola is not one of the most popular brands for its blades, although they have enjoyed some success with some of their range and are generally regarded as high quality blades. The Balsa core blades appear to be the most successful. The Joola Kool, Panther and Cat were quite popular for a while, but the Kool appears to be the only one still made, as is easily the most popular of the three. More recently the Joola MC1 and R*1 have gained some popularity too.
The K-series appeared to have been very popular in China, although only their most popular, the K5 appears to be still made. A few others like the Fever, Viva, Guo 3C deserve a mention, but have never become very popular. Similarly some of the Rosskopf blade, like the Fire, Force & Allround deserve a mention.
For a modern defensive blade, the Joola Chen Weixing is easily the most popular and highly regarded blade from Joola. The Hold White deserves a mention as well and has a small following.
More recently Joola has released the Joola Eagle Carbon blade, along with another ‘Eagle’ blade range that appear to be of high quality and an attractive design, but it’s too early to tell how successful they will be.
It is likely that a player of any level and style can find something appropriate from the Joola brand, but this is the case for many of the other major brands too. Hopefully this summary will be useful for Joola fans or those that only have this brand available to choose from. Joola do have a range of other table tennis related items, in fact they pretty much sell everything related to table tennis, but blades and rubbers are the extent of this write-up.
Article by: haggisv