Falco Life Expander Review


“Does your rubber go dead after 2 month or even less?? FALCO LIFE EXPANDER is the solution!

Feeds – Protects – prolongs – unglues

It feeds your rubber, keeps the rubber elastic longer. Prolong the life of speed glue integrated rubber by 3 fold. Reduce risk of cracking and bubbles. Restore the grip! VOC free.

For any rubbers:
Apply a single layer on the topsheet side between 2 and 4 times a month. Let it penetrate for a few minutes.

For speed glue integrated rubber:
On the topsheet side, apply a layer between 2 and 4 times a month and on the sponge side, apply a layer once or twice a month. Let it penetrate on the sponge for a few hours.

Apply a small amount between Falco Water Sheet II and the rubber to help take them off.

Boosting / tuning:
Use 2-3 Layers: It boosts your rubber for many days. Takes about 20’ to be ready. (Note: Boosting rubbers is not legal for formal competition under ITTF rules).

NOTE: Do not apply the FALCO LIFE EXPANDER more than the indicated frequency because the rubber could become engorged. If used correctly, the container should be enough to feed and protect 6 rubbers for 6 months.

Made in Belgium by Berenger, one of the leading manufacturers of table tennis glues.”


Buy direct from:

OOAK Table Tennis Shop (Australia, ships worldwide)


Review (by Alex)

Life Expander to extend the rubber life and revitalise:

When you only use a single layer of the expander, it’s designed to just revitalise your rubber, and extend it’s life. In my honest opinion, this is perfectly legal under ITTF rules, as we’re not changing the rubber, nor applying any sort of treatment, but we’re merely restoring the rubber and extending it’s life.

The Life Expander is a thin and oily type liquid, which is easy to apply to the rubber, and gets soaking in very quickly, usually within about 20secs.

Tip: When using the Life Expander for the first time, push the tip down several times onto a non-porous surface, until the sponge is completely full of the liquid. This makes it much easier to spread on the rubber, and ensures you don’t damage the rubber surface, as a dry sponge can be a little abrasive. I found that I only had to do this once, as the liquid remains in the sponge after that, and does not evaporate.

I’ve used the Expander on several rubbers now, some German Tensors like Baracuda, Hexer HD and Acuda S2, as well as some Chinese tacky rubbers like JUIC 999 Turbo and Hurricane 3 Neo, and in all cases it did a great job at restoring the grip, and none seems to have any type of detrimental affect.

Tip: Before use, it’s best to give the rubber a really good clean, and then make sure it’s dry completely before you use the Expander. Then push the sponge onto the surface until you see some liquid coming out around the sponge edge, and then simply cover the rubber in line from top to bottom, pushing the sponge down again when required.

Why do I like the stuff? Well I’ll give you my reasons. I had been using the JUIC 999 Turbo rubber for about 6 months, and felt it was losing some of it’s life and grip, and was ready to change to a new sheet. Before I changed I remembered I had not tried the Life Expander on my own playing rubber before (I had only had a brief test on a few other rubbers to see how well it worked), and there is no better way to test it than in real competition with your own bat.

I played competition that night, and did not even remember that I had applied the stuff, but seems to be playing really well that night, but more importantly I was getting a lot more spin, and my opponents even commented how much spin I was getting! By the end of the night, I realised that the life expander had not only restores the grip, but had restored the elasticity of the rubber as well (elasticity is a more important factor than grip, for getting high spin on loops), and it’s something that other cleaners simply do not seem to do.

Six months later I’m still using the same rubber, as it plays really well (most Chinese rubbers play better as they wear in anyway) and the spin is still huge! I use it only about twice a month now which is plenty.

Although the stuff is more than most cleaners, it does do something special that cleaners do not do, and extending the life of a rubber can save you a lot more money than it costs to replace them. I’ve been using my bottle on many of my rubbers, and have also let others try it on their bats and it’s still about 2/3 full, so one bottle will last you a long time!


Life Expander as a booster:

Disclaimer: In my interprewtation of the rules, boosting or tuning rubbers is not legal for formal competitions that abide by ITTF rules, although it’s perfectly fine for social and other competitions. Although it does not bother me in the least if other people use boosters, I don’t use any booster/tuner for formal competition, nor do I encourage it’s use, but I do love to experiment with them … I always have.
I like the idea of being able to revive on old and useless rubber, or a rubber that’s dropped in performance, back into something that can be used again for some time. Similarly it’s great to be able to turn a $10 rubber into a monster with performance like a $50+ rubber. Now that I got this off my chest, here we go:

When you only use a single layer of the expander, it’s designed to just revitalise your rubber, and extend it’s life. It does appear to do that, which I’ve already talked about in the equipment section. However when multiple layers are used, it has the effect of a booster, which is what I’ve tested below.

I dug up a bat with a Cornilleou Pilot Advance rubber, which is Tensor with glue effect. The sheet has only been used a few times, and is still in decent condition, apart from needing a decent clean, as shown below:



As I realised afterwards, this product is not really designed to be a cleaner, so I should have cleaned the rubber before, but I went ahead anyway.

First time you use it (either for normal use or for boosting) you need to soak the liquid into the sponge so that the sponge is wet with the liquid. This ensure that the sponge on top of the bottle is not abrasive when rubbed onto the rubber. It’s easy to do, just push the sponge onto the rubber a few times, and the liquid comes out real easy. The liquid feels like a very thin oil.

I pushed it on a few times, then rubbed onto the rubber surface until it all looked wet, and then to make sure the application is fairly even I went across it in lines. The rubber soaked it up real quick, much quicker than I expected! It was gone within about 20secs, so keep this in mind when you do apply it, as you want to spread it out fairly evenly before it’s all soaked up. This is what it looked like just after an application (still a  little wet in only a few spots):


You can see it’s soaked up completely apart from a few little spots where I obviously did not spread well enough.

I was surprised how quick it soaked up, so to ensure it wasn’t just evaporating, I put some on a metal surface to check. On there it just stayed as a liquid for hours, so obviously the rubber was actually soaking it up.

After the first layer was soaked in the surface, you can see some lines/streaks of where you rubbed it. This virtually disappears after a little while and the rubbers surface looked fresh and even again.

After a min or so, I applied the next layer, and repeated again for the third layer. I waited for about 20mins as recommended in the instructions.

After this time, the rubber looked clean and felt very grippy. I could not seen any type of stretching or swelling. Bouncing a ball on there gave the familiar feel of tension and the same squeaky sound.

I tested it against the ball machine, both before and after, and the increase in speed (and even sound) was quite obvious… There was a significant increase in grip (partially due to the cleaning I’m sure) but with at least 10-15% increase in speed, and definitely more spin and sound as well.

I felt it again the next day, and the feel was still there. How long this stuff really lasts, and when the effect starts dropping off I’m not sure yet. I would need to have 2 identical rubbers on the same bat to test it, so that I can more easily compare.

I also tested it a tacky rubber, a sheet of Darker Vlon to see how well it worked on there. My biggest concern was that it might reduce the tack, as this seems to be the result of parafin oil on tacky rubber. I was happy to see that the tack was not reduced at all. I tried multiple layers on this rubber as well, and although the grip was restored really well, the boosting effect was not as strong as on the Tensor. I suspect that because the Vlon has a thicker and much less elastic topsheet, the boosting effect is not as significant.

So does it work as a booster? Yes it certainly gives the rubber a good boost, especially for this Tensor. According to the manufacturer, this product is by far their most popular product in Europe (as a booster). I suspect it’s not because of the boosting effect being the greatest (which it isn’t as the other Falco boosters seem stronger) but because this is so easy to use, and does not require removal of the rubber.

Although this stuff is supposed to be used regularly during the life of the rubber,  it is also great to give back some life to a Tensor that feels like it’s dying, which can happen quite suddenly for some rubbers, and some players are quite sensitive to this.

Using the booster on the sponge (instead off or in addition to using it on the topsheet) I have not played with much, although it does done the rubber, so it will obviously work to least some extent.