Joola have released their latest offering – Rhyzer 48 and Joola have adopted the technology of new generation of table tennis rubbers – thin topsheet thick sponge rubbers which so far I think is a promising advancement.
Now im going to start by saying im not a big fan of Joola, some of their rubbers and blades are of questionable quality and dont hang around for very long (anyone remember Joola Phenix?), but occasionally they produce some hidden gems that are rather good – Joola Xplode or Joola Fever to name just a few. Rhyzer 48 will go down as another Joola Gem as this rubber is a real step forward from previous generations.
Joola Rhyzer 48 is an explosive, grippy powerhouse of a rubber that is not for the faint hearted. Its fast, has loads of spin capabilities and is well adapted to the modern style of taking everything early. It suits the ultra aggressive attacker very well.
The spin of this rubber is remarkable. At slow speeds and brush strokes is where this rubber owns it!
Topsheet Grip – it is easily one of the best non tacky rubbers for topsheet grip that I have played with. its outstanding, im not sure there is an angle that it wont grip the ball. The topsheet on Rhyzer is soft and thin, softer than Bluestorm, Aurus Prime and Rasanter and this allows the rubber to make more surface contact with the ball until the firm 48deg sponge kicks in and launches it back out again. It feels like the rubber just folds around the ball and the topsheet has a grainy quality to it as well which adds to the grip. Mega grip.
So as you can imagine a rubber with huge amount of grip will spin the ball very well. At slow to medium speeds this rubber spins the ball like no other. Rhyzer 48 has more spin than Tibhar Evolution MXP and I would say ever so slightly more than Tenergy 05 – finally an ESN rubber that can compete with Tenergy 05 on the mechanical grip stakes.
However when playing high speed/ high arm speed strokes is where things start to change.
On high power shots like drives and high power loops the spin tends to decrease in proportion to speed and the arc can collapse pretty suddenly. Essentially if you are not brushing the ball hard you will struggle to get a lot of spin and arc on high power shots (similar to chinese rubbers) and the more you engage the sponge past a certain power point – the harder it will become to add spin and arc. This is where Tenergy 05 and Evolution MX-P come back into the fold and tend to be much better. With both rubbers somehow the sponge compliments the topsheet at high power and Tenergy 05 in particular you can hit harder without sacrificing spin and arc. It seems as though with T05 & MXP when you engage the sponge you can still add to the spin whereas with Rhyzer 48 its the opposite. Whether this is a drawback to the soft thin topsheet im not sure but it seems like it might be. Rhyzer 48 just doesnt seem to have the stability at very top gear than Tenergy 05 and MXP have.
Arc/Throw angle – Medium-high on slow to medium power strokes , low on high power strokes, generally higher than Evolution MXP but lower than Tenergy 05
Despite the reduced spin and arc at high speeds this rubber is a brush loopers dream, it excels at brush looping. You can get immense spin and placement. there are a couple of people I know that have even ditched their Chinese rubbers in favour of Rhyzer 48.
Speed | OFF++
In a word – explosive. When you engage the sponge the ball absolutely flies off the rubber and the great thing about this, aside from the bombs you can put past your opponent, is you can vary the pace easily by how much you engage the sponge. So if your driving the ball with a flatter stroke the speed will be massive but when you brush its not uncontrollably fast either, you can vary the pace quite accurately and easily depending on how much the sponge is compressed. This is a fantastic characteristic to have for a rubber, having all that speed there and only activating it when you need it. I love that about this rubber and with the newer generation of rubbers in general.
When you go to play flatter hits that’s when this rubber becomes a power house. Drives, smashes and counters when you get good contact and sponge compression are lethal quick. A true monster of an attacking rubber.
It reminds me of a speed glued rubber / Tenergies, it has a really good catapult when you engage the sponge at medium swing speeds. The only thing I think this rubber lacks is a Top top gear. Whenever I tried to kill off points with a fast stroke, it seemed that I was swinging faster and faster but past a certain point it wasnt adding anymore speed and shots became very unpredictable. This made me overshoot a lot because I was putting so much effort in and the control suffered too. Rubbers like Evolution MXP and Tenergy 05 have this stable top gear and when I switched back to MXP I found I could kill off points more reliably than with Rhyzer 48.
This is where you would expect it to be lacking because its so fast but no, this is where the thin soft topsheet comes into its own. The thinner softer topsheet allows you to have such a good touch close to the net and you can generate really good spin too. The control for such a fast rubber is sublime, much better than tenergy 05 & 80 and you can really feel the ball on the bat, the dwell time is high but at the same time not too mushy. Because of this feeling you can be really precise and it has great linearity – slow shots slow, fast shots super fast. For a rubber this fast to have control this good is rare. This is where the newer generation of rubbers have really improved upon the game allowing big speed reserves but ultimately not sacrificing touch – something Tenergy rubbers do to a certain extent which is why they are challenging in the short game.
The only gripe I have in the control department is its performance on high speed shots. Sure balls were still powerful but it felt like at high speeds they could go anywhere. I had a really tough time hitting really powerful shots where I wanted them to go. When I added a lot of power I really struggled to get the ball on the table, maybe I need more time with this generation of rubbers but when I switched back to Evolution MXP I didnt have this problem, I could hit fast winners again.
Despite the lack of top gear what impressed me most about this rubber though was its ease of use. It was so easy to access this performance. You dont need to be the best player in the world to access Rhyzer 48’s potential. Its a pretty forgiving rubber and even mere mortals can be playing loops with incredible spin and pace.
Feel & Hardness
The hardness threw me a little to begin with, it feels very soft for a 48deg rubber. It feels more like a 45-46deg rubber, which I will be honest is a little too soft for my liking on either fh or bh. I put this down to the topsheet being thinner and softer than most. To be fair it is the same with Donic Bluestorm Z1 & Aurus Prime, both feel softer than their suggested hardnesses to a varying degree, I think this is just a side effect of having a thinner topsheet. I think there is quite a bit of booster on the sponge out of the factory as well which softens up the sponge too. If fact im pretty sure they cover it in the stuff. They even recommend airing the rubber for 48 hours before you put it on a bat!
In play the Rhyzer 48 sort of reminds me of the catapulty feel / speed glue effect you get with Tenergy rubbers when you swing but at the same time when you need to you can tame it for touch play you can without the overly bouncy nature of Tenergy. Its been a long time since iv had that feeling and It feels great when looping, easy to add power easy to add spin, loops are almost effortless. A dwelly soft feeling catapulty rubber, it feels great! Lots of Tenergy lovers will like this rubber.
Serve: Really excels in this department. soft and grippy topsheet = short and spinny serves
Slow Loop: Really nice and easy but I must say I do prefer Evolution MX-S in this department as as the topsheet is jucier and gets a bit more bite, but in the grand scheme of things very good.
Fast Loop: Quality at medium speeds, just so effortless. This is such a good looping rubber. Bit unpredictable at high power the margin of error goes up significantly
Drive: Good but I think there are better rubbers out there for this shot, I much prefer MXP, T05, Bluestorm & Aurus Prime, I think the soft topsheet takes a bit away in the driving department.
Block: good, can absorb a lot of pace and relatively spin insensitive.
Flicks: Banana flick is a particular highlight, you can just grap the ball and redirect it anywhere, a real advantage.
Smash: Good but I feel there is a power limit at which point smashes wont get any faster.
Flat Hits: for a looping rubber I did not struggle with this shot at all which surprised me.
Counter: This shot surprised me the most with this rubber, it is one of the best counter hitting rubbers I have ever used, no matter what the opponent gives me I can put what I want on the ball and redirect it where I want with as much power as I want, I dont feel as if I have to compensate as much as other rubbers and I can take it right off the bounce, this is a special counter hitting rubber!
Chop: you can generate a lot of spin but for chopping I prefer something a little harder with a bit more firmness, this I feel is a bit too soft for being good at this shot.
Arc: Medium high on slow-medium shots, low on high power shots. In general higher than Evolution MXP, Lower than Tenergy 05.
It suits players that stay close to the table up to mid distance and take balls quite early and aggressively. Its very good for players who brush loop very well but Rhyzer is also good when you engage the sponge more. Topspins is where this rubber shines but counter hitting players will love this rubber – there is nothing you cant counter! If you look to topspin attack and plan to use as much spin as possible in every shot, whether using placement or power, this is a rubber you do not want to overlook.
Quality & Durability
Sad to say but the awesome speed of this rubber does start to fade rather quickly, within a month, I suspect the booster that they smother on plays a big role in the speed of this rubber and when that goes it does slow down but thats ESN rubbers these days, so as you can guess when you take the rubber off your bat it will shrink significantly, nowhere near as bad as Evolution MXP but still a noticeable amount.
The quality of the topsheet and sponge is really good, the Sponge is not as porous as mxp so it doesnt crumble as much when you take the glue layer off. I must say im not a big fan of manufacturers adding so much booster to the sponge because it means the performance changes a lot over time, but when it makes shots feel this good, its hard to say no!
Because of the soft thin topsheet however im pleased to say the grip level of this rubber lasts for much longer than older generations which means it will remain usable for a longer period of time. However because Rhyzer 48 has a softer topsheet than both Bluestorm and Aurus Prime, the topsheet can start to wear more quickly and as a result is not as durable as those 2 rubbers but overall pretty good, I would say this remains usable for 5-6 months (playing 2-3 times a week), not bad Joola!
Same price as Tibhar’s Evolution series and considerably cheaper than Tenergy 05 this rubber is very good value for money, Overall I think Rhyzer 48 has surpassed Tibhar Evolution MXP in everything but high arm speed shots and its knocking on the door of Tenergy 05.
I think this rubber has the potential to be very popular. Performance wise I think this rubber is right up there with the best rubbers on the market right now. For me it has exceeded ESN’s best offering for years (Tibhar Evolution MXP) in both spin and speed (at least at medium speed shots). So will we see a flock of pro players lining up for Joola Rhyzer’s?? I would say very unlikely. As much as I like this rubber, for Pro’s, this rubber will be much too soft and they hit soo much harder and they will really miss the top gear that I think Rhyzer 48 lacks. Pro’s will most likely stick with their Tenergies, Evolutions and Dignics because they are much better at higher speeds.
I have been using Rhyzer 48 on and off for the past 6 months and its been a close call but I have gone back to Evolution MXP (at least on my backhand). I missed the powerful winners I could produce, Evolution MXP is just so much more stable away from the table on powerful shots. Its weird having a rubber that I know is slower and less spinny with nearly all my shots than Rhyzer 48 and being happy with it, but then I play someone really good and we have fast attacking rallies and then I hit a massive winner with MXP and immediately I think yeah iv made the right choice.
So why do I think Rhyzer 48 will be so popular then? Because its so easy to play high quality shots. You do not have to have perfect technique or fast arm speeds to play ferocious topspins and fast drives, its so automatic. A similarity which is shared by Tenergies. This was the great thing about Tenergy 05, it was easy for amateur/intermediate players to play dangerous shots without having the best technique and now I believe Rhyzer 48 has made it even easier for players to access this performance – with a better touch game!. I know several intermediate players who have switched to either Rhyzer 48 or Rhyzer 43 and they can access more speed and more spin than their previous rubbers but the best bit is they are being more consistent with the shots. They are getting more performance out of the shot but getting more balls on the table as well – thats the sign of a top class rubber.
I believe as slower arm speeds Rhyzer 48 has surpased Tenergy 05 in terms of performance and is even more forgiving. This is one of the best rubbers for intermediates ever made. Im confident that if they produced something inbetween Rhyzer 48 & Rhzer pro 50 in terms of sponge pore size, topsheet hardness and pimple structure they would have a very special rubber and would have taken Tenergy 05’s crown as the best rubber on the market. Its that close to being that good.
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