Friendship 729 Super FX Review

Friendship 729 Super FX is a slow Chinese tacky rubber that gives maximum control and a tacky surface capable of producing lots of spin.

This was the first rubber I ever used on my first custom bat and I’m pleased to say that Friendship 729 is still around today helping beginners start their table tennis career just like it did mine. Friendship 729 super in my opinion is one of the best rubbers for beginners that are just starting to play local leagues because it gives the player huge amounts of control but also gets them used to the spin aspect of the game. Its good for building the foundations of strokes. If anybody asked me which rubber I would recommend for beginners there is no hesitation in my mind it is Friendship 729 super fx or its slightly softer brother – Friendship 729 Super soft.

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Manufacturers Description

The characteristics of “729” are unsurpassed in all aspects.Its strongest impact resilience coupled with superb frictional coefficient provide the fastest drive,the most powerful spins and excellent control in all kinds of strokes. It is highly recommended for all levels of skill and competition players.

Spin

The rotation that Friendship 729 generates is great. Friendship 729 has a very tacky surface that generates a lot of mechanical grip at low speeds. The spin you can get on services is amazing I have never been able to spin the ball so well off my service and keep it short. Because the rubber is slow you can play loop shots without perfect technique and still generate a ton of rotation. The slow brush shots are very consistent as the rubber surface is extremely grabby as well as tacky and it barely ever loses traction. At higher speeds the rubber isn’t as good at generating spin as speed glue rubbers – they definitely have the edge at higher speeds and with Friendship 729 Super you will have to put a lot of effort in to play fast loops. Friendship 729 doesn’t have much of an arc it has a fairly flat trajectory. For a beginner type rubber this rubber has incredible spin and at slow speeds will out spin most European rubbers.

Speed | All-

There is no sugar coating it… this rubber is not fast, in fact its very slow but this is what gives it so much control; this is why it suits beginners so well. This rubber is slow so that it can compensate for incorrect technique and will not punish you as much for using a larger unrefined swing. It is possible to generate some pace when looping with this rubber as the spin doesn’t take away the pace like other rubbers but there is not much pace there to begin with. As with most chinese rubbers you get out what you put in so its quite linear in that respect – again perfect for beginners. Bottom line is this rubber is not designed to be a speed demon its designed for control and it does an excellent job. If you’ve reached a reasonable level and have been playing for a couple of years you’ll benefit from a faster rubber.

Control

As friendship 729 is a very slow rubber it doesn’t feel as bouncy as other rubbers which means it is easier to play touch shots and absorb the pace of shots from your opponent. This rubber can be used effectively as a result by defenders. The Chinese tacky surface can sometimes make incoming spin shots hard to control because the surface has so much grip and it can fly off the rubber very quickly. The rubber is very consistent and the ball rarely slips on the rubber and the speed of the rubber is very predictable and true. Friendship 729 is very easy to play with and gives you a large margin of error to play with so your technique does not have to be perfect which makes it perfect for beginners.

Feel & Hardness

The sponge is not too bad actually for a Chinese rubber its not too hard, it sits at about 43-44deg so it has some give in it and it about medium hardness but the topsheet is quite hard and thick so it does increase the hard feel a little bit, feels overall like a 45-46deg rubber.

Chinese rubbers tend to have quite a metalic/plastic feel to them and Friendship 729 super is no different -this is the hard synthetic topsheet in action. This does make it very predictable and consistent which is why it is perfect for beginners.

Quality & Durability

Friendship 729 super fx has a very long lifespan. It’s incredible actually I found my first bat I ever owned at the bottom of a cupboard with 2 sheets of Friendship 729 on and they are still slightly tacky to the touch after more than a decade! I’m confident I could pick up this bat and play with it again and still being able to generate reasonable pace and spin. The most impressive part of Friendship 729 Super’s longevity is its tacky surface stays tacky for an incredibly long time. Most other Chinese tacky rubbers tackiness fade faster over time but Friendship 729’s tackiness and grip seems to last.

Quality I found to be pretty good, I find in general Friendship 729 quality slightly better than DHS overall. But this is a Chinese rubber and the quality control is not to the same standard as European rubbers. Considering its price though its still amazing.

Price/Performance

For the price Friendship 729 Super FX must be the best value for money for a rubber I have tried. It has a high quality tacky topsheet that lasts a very long time and the topsheet is strong and tough. This is one of the cheapest rubbers you can buy and its still pretty damn good! price/performance wise im not sure any rubber can beat it.

What Playing Style Does It Suit?

This rubber is ideal for beginners learning the basic strokes with the maximum amount of control. Players coming from a ready made bat (e.g your average supermaket bat) This rubber is also a popular choice for defenders because of the high amount of control, grip and spin. It can absorb pace very well and is a very linear and consistent rubber.

Other Aspects

Chinese tacky rubber

Medium – Low throw angle

Very cheap – RRP’s at around £12.00!!

Sponge hardness is about 43-44 Deg (medium)

Overall

In terms of performance unfortunately I have to give a low score to the Friendship 729 Super FX because there are so many rubbers you can get more performance from and there are countless rubbers that are better for players who are not beginners. But this rubber is not meant for raw performance, its meant for control and ease of use. Finding a good table tennis rubber is all about finding which rubber is right for you and your style and its not the same for everyone. Sometimes I see players just starting out go for rubbers that are way to quick and hard to control and ultimately it hinders there progression, technique and some get so frustrated that they quit. What they needed as beginners were to use something high in control so they can learn to do the basic strokes well and then they can upgrade incrementally. I cannot stress how important this is. This rubber is there for beginners just like it was for me and countless other young players just starting out.

Friendship 729 Super FX is an excellent rubber for a really good price. It is ideal for beginners starting to learn the game and allround players seeking maximum control with lots of spin. It’s a good defensive rubber too as it is easy to absorb attacking shots and its capable of producing very spinny defensive chop shots. Serving is easy too enabling you to generate maximum spin with precision. Its also great for players who just want a decent rubber for a very low price. There is not a rubber out there right now that I would recommend over this one for a beginner just graduating from ready made bats. Its cheap, its got huge control, good spin – ideal

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