Yasaka Rakza 7 Reviews
YASAKA, using mainly natural rubber gum for the top sheet. This improves the level of grip and the power of spin drastically. The top sheet is combined with the new “Power Sponge”. The top sheet and “Power Sponge” work in perfect synergy, producing the Hybrid Energy rubber RAKZA 7.
When the player hits the ball hard, the rubber “grips” the ball and the stroke can be used to place the ball accurately, both in direction and length. The serve and short returns are very sharp and easy to handle. Due to the increased percentage of natural gum the durability is improved.
A winning combination!
- Speed: 98
- Spin: 105
Review by PLL system (published with permission)
A week of testing I would say my experiences covers Yasaka introduction of Rakza7.
I put a MAX red onto a 5ply ALL+ racket with a 2.1 Tenergy 05 without eny booster. I feel the rubber not so shiny as other Germans. It is similar to Xiom’s natural. By pushing I consider that hard rubber. On these feature I believe its high durability. Besides the behaviour is closer to semi-hard or harder soft rubbers. The holes in the Power Sponge are smaller then we get used to with Tenergy, Baracuda, Xplode and even Vegas’. Compering to regulars there are glued Yaska GPS or Srivel EL come into my mind.
Even it is MAX and has short dwell time you can make tricks well. Comparing to Baracuda or Xplode its easier to make the ball rotate back. Chops & short pendulums are really sharp. Grips like Tenergy but the way is more forgiving. At that stage the sponge does not determine much.
Easy in easy out. Does not kick the ball over. The sponge also works well. You can easily drive and accelerate or dump the ball. I am afraid that with using OFF blade it wont be easy. Delivers resonance well, not damping like Tenergy64. I could feel the ball touch in my palm. (you can change it with different racket)
During few hits I could adjusted angles of the racket and looped wonderful arc balls. It is possible to loop over the table bud from mid- or long distance. No lack of power from far. Wether it is due to sponge or rubber or both it grabs even fast balls, no fall outs during counterspin. In sum you can play varietys of loops from killspindrives to side/topspins from far as you want and not as your racket wants
Spin onto chop
It was the only trouble. The dynamics I used so well during loops could not be mastered. I could loop chops back with high amout of spins but I had to be prepared on feet and the balls went higher arc compared to planned. If I did not pulled the racket so much due to the grip and max sponge the balls keep try to find the best way into the net. If you want to hit the chop up or make loop-like movement just forget Rakza7. It requires good footwork if you play offensive. I can really imagine you can also use Rakza7 for defensive style in thinner versions.
I am convinced Yasaka achieved good opportunity to be in the club of Butterfly, Xiom, Donic, Joola, Tibhar in Europe as theye were in the Mark V era. With Rakza7 Yasaka made a rubber that lats you play tabletennis.
I would recommend those who serve well, loop well even from distance and can step over some nonlinerarity. Due to its easy handling fetures it will spread I think for allrounders in 1.8 or 2.0 thickness. I will use it in 2.0 one of my racket and 2.0 Baracuda on the other.
Review 2 (author unknown)
My backhand rubber atm. My originall backhand rubber was DHS Skyline 3 Neo and it was good. But I had an injury and wasn’t able to play for 3 weeks. After that pause, my Skyline 3 was completelly different. Much slower (it was almost like a def rubber), weird sound. I tryed to reglue it but it didn’t help… My forehand Skyline 2 Neo survived that pause well without any problems, really dunno what happened. After that, I started searching some alternatives. Tryed Donic Baracuda, Xiom Vega Europe and Rakza. Rakza is the best of these rubbers for me. It’s sponge hardness is medium-soft (if you check the ratings, you can see that DHS Skyline 2 Neo should be softer – 5.1 comp. to Rakza’s 5.8. It isn’t correct at all, just try to press both rubbers between fingers and you can see Rakza is significantly softer. Another example why you shouldn’t believe in the ratings here). It produces decent spin but it isn’t a spin monster like Skyline or Tenergy (+- same as Baracuda, much more than Xiom Vega Euro). Speed isn’t high, almost the same like Skyline 2 Neo or Baracuda. Controll is good but you can get rubbers with better ball feeling. It performs best in mid distance looping, slightly worse in fast drives and close to the table game. It is a good rubber overally but I think I’ll not keep it for a long time.
EDIT (November 2011): I’ve changed my mind. I’m keeping Rakza, it rocks. Good speed (not extra fast, slightly under Tenergy 05), ideal throw angle, awesome controll and pretty good in looping. Ok, spin is slightly lower comparing to DHS Neo rubbers but you don’t need so much effort and power to get a ball over the net from a strong chop. I have Tenergy 05 and Rakza 7 on my blade atm and Rakza dominates in everything. I’ll remove Tenergy soon, 2nd sheet of Rakza is on a way to me. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a Tenergy alternative, it can work better! I’m a proof of that.
EDIT (December 2011): I use this Rakza on my forehand side, replaced it by Stiga Boost TX on my backhand. The reason is simple – it’s throw angle was too high for my backhand (lower than Tenergy’s anyway). On the other hand if it’s throw was higher, it could be a 10/10 rubber for my forehand. It is because I usually play mid distance forehand loops, oftenly fighting with opponent’s strong chop. I can handle that but the throw angle for that could be slightly higher for perfection, something between T05 and Rakza. But nothing is perfect, Rakza is an awesome rubber.
EDIT (December 2011): I’m back with Rakza on my backhand. I was thinking about it for a long time and this is better. Rakza’s attacking potential is higher and as a both winged looper I need more spin and speed from the mid distance. Boost isn’t bad but it is much worse in mid distance looping. It’s about a compromise.
EDIT (Feb 2012): My forehand Rakza didn’t last longer than 3 months. It is an awesome rubber but it doesn’t last ages if your style is agressive.
EDIT (Feb 2012): After many test I’ve finally stabilized my setup. Rakza is the best offensive rubber I’ve ever played with. Using both rubbers in max thickness atm but I’ll buy the 2.0 version on my bh next time. Many people prefer Tenergy but I don’t. Rakza is better in everything from my point of view.