Yasaka Rakza 7 : A Great Tenergy 05 Alternative
Tenergy is becoming more and more expensive through the years, forcing some players to search for other rubbers that have equivalent performance. My personal opinion is that the Tenergy is a bit overrated especially from beginners who don’t actually know to take full advantage of a rubber’s attributes.
In this review I will highlight the features of Rakza 7 which is cheaper (even 50 % in some e-shops), pointing out the similarities with Tenergy 05. Please note that the comparison is also valid for the soft version of both rubbers (Yasaka Rakza 7 soft – Tenergy 05 FX).
First of all, one of the special characteristics of this rubber is that Yasaka uses a high percentage of natural gum for the topsheet (most commercial rubbers use synthetic gum which is of low quality), thus making it more durable and elastic. This is a feature you rarely find among commercial tensor rubbers.
The feedback you get in both rubbers is almost identical. Tenergy 05 is definitely more elastic, thus more spinny. Rakza 7 is a bit more bouncy with higher arc on your loops (excellent choice for a starter BH rubber) and with less accurate short game, but this will not be a problem once you get the hang of it.
I couldn’t actually observe a visible difference here, I could perform all the types of serves/receives with the same motion, no adjustments needed at all. Tenergy 05 as I mentioned before is 10-20% more spinny. Control and placement are identical.
Looping with the Rakza especially from the BH side is more safe, it is absolutely perfect for beginners. Deep high arc loops with small differences in spin and speed comparing to the mighty Tenergy.
Short Play – Flicking
In this area Tenergy outplays Rakza. Rakza is a bit bouncy but not too much, delicate players with good touch will not face a problem. Short pushes off the bounce are difficult to execute, if you want the same result with Tenergy.
Flicking though is very good, flat hits provide extra kick to your stroke in comparison with the T05. Optimal choice for backhand sidespin flickers/loopers.
In general, I believe that Yasaka Rakza 7 is totally worth the money. It lasts long and offers you an approximately 80% performance of the T05 in all strokes. It is a solid and cheap choice for a BH rubber, bear in mind that FH rubbers wear out faster (FH side rubbers is used far more often in serving, receiving and looping).