Nittaku FastArc G-1 has been around for a long time, more time than you might imagine. Its from the same generation of rubber as Tibhar Genius, Joola Xplode and of course Butterfly Tenergy. Its only just started to become popular in the last 3-4 years due to it being more available in Europe and at a much lower cost. Its received quite a bit of hype online so I decided to give it a try.
Fastarc G1 is made by ESN and it has a 47.5deg small/medium pored orange/yellow sponge with a fairly thick and stiff topsheet – kind of the opposite of where things have moved onto now with more modern rubbers. This makes it reminiscent of a Chinese style rubber which generally also has a thick and stiff topsheet.
The NITTAKU Fastarc G-1 rubber is “Fast” with an “Arc”! A power topsheet with a built-in tension power sponge produces the ideal combination of ball speed and ball arc — an outstanding powerful spin ball.
Choose Fastarc G-1 for more spin with great power, and choose Fastarc S-1 for more speed with great spin.
Fastarc G-1 has quite a few glowing reviews on how much spin in can produce and how good it is for brush looping, which is basically a rubber I want because it suits my style! It is often compared to a good Tenergy replacement However im going to be a bit contrarian and say that I wasn’t that impressed by this department of the rubber. It has a good level of grip on the topsheet but its not the best and when I was trying to loop because the topsheet is quite stiff I found it hard to get the rubber to ‘bite’ the ball. This gave me mixed results when I was trying to brush loop. However when I started to engage the sponge a bit more with a thicker contact then things started to become better. When you engage the sponge the arc becomes much more pronounced and its easier to add spin. I would say the amount of spin I could produce with Fastarc G1 is on a par with Evolution MXP, maybe slightly less in slow shots and maybe slightly more on powershots
Topsheet grip – Pretty good but there are so many rubbers out there with better grip nowadays. It has a better surface grip than Evolution MX-P but worse than Tenergy, Evolution MX-S, Rhyzers, Rasanters, Bluestorms etc
Arc – I would say Nittaku Fastarc G1 has one of the highest trajectories of all the rubbers I have used when you engage the sponge. To me only Tenergy rubbers have a higher arc and considering this rubber is made by ESN which generally have quite a low arc this is quite impressive.
Nittaku Fastarc G1 is quite linear in its speed delivery so it doesnt feel immediately that fast but when you engage the sponge it is pretty quick and because the sponge is 47.5deg it has quite a lot of potential for speed. I would say Nittaku Fastarc is something like 85-90% the speed of Tenergy 05 and is similar in speed and power delivery to the Tibhar Evolution MX-S. You dont think its very fast but when you swing hard and fast you can unlock this rubbers potential.
In general really good, at slow speeds it is very linear and slow and that thick hard topsheet allows you to play with a really high level of precision, it is very good close to the table the control is amazing. Fastarc G1 is very linear too and its easy to be accurate when adding power. The only thing I would say that I dont like is when your hitting medium power shots and above the sponge tends to take over and its like a different rubber. G1 seems to have a split personality to me in the slow shots it feels like 1 rubber and in the power shots it feels like another it is quite weird and quite uncommon. I put this down to the thick stiff topsheet. You need a bit of power to penerate the topsheet into the sponge properly and when this happens it changes the way the topsheet and sponge work together. Its an odd feeling which doesnt neccesarily make it bad but it is certainly a quirk of the rubber. It reminds me a little bit of chinese rubbers.
The best way to describe this feeling is there seems to be a lack of synergy between the topsheet and the sponge and its almost as if you had 2 playing styles in one rubber. The thin contact shots with very little arc and hard crisp feeling dictated by the topsheet and then when you engage the sponge you get big arc softer feeling which the sponge gave you.
Feel & Hardness
Fastarc g1 has a nice crisp feel but when you engage the sponge it can get a bit mushy which is odd because its 47.5deg. When you start hitting power shots with this rubber it does feel soft or at least softer than 47.5. So slow shots that only use the topsheet feel crisp and hard and when you engage the sponge the shots feel mushy and soft. Nittaku Fastarc G1 is a unique rubber!
If I had to generalise. In slow shots this rubber feels like its 49deg at medium shots is feels like a 47deg rubber and fast shots feels like its 45 deg. Very peculiar but hey you never now there are players out there that will like this.
Serve: I did not enjoy serving with this rubber at all, I dont think you can consider it bad because the topsheet has good grip and accuracy is really good but I just felt there was a lack of penetration and dwell time into the rubber at slow speeds and I couldn’t generate a decent amount of spin. So my serves ended up in a great location with not very much spin.
Slow Loop: Again i didn’t really enjoy slow looping I couldnt get enough bite on the ball at enough angle. The surface has great adhesion but its a tough surface so the rubber doesnt warp around the ball and a lot of the time although I could get decent spin on the ball they ended up going high and slow which my opponent could just counter.
Fast Loop: fast looping with a thicker contact was really good and very easy to do, it has a really high arc and medium speed so you can be very consistent and have some good rallies. I dont think they were the most potent of loops but very good for the allrounder who plays a tactical spin game. You can loop all day from mid distance with Fastarc G1
Drive: Good, I feel G1 does much better with flatter contacts I found this very good to drive with.
Block: you can absorb a lot of pace when you block but redirection is not easy it always felt that depending how the ball came at you massively impacted how much you had to compensate a lot more than other rubbers.
Flicks: not great. I struggled to get a good angle on flicks and any meaningful spin – the ball just doesnt like hanging round on the rubber!
Smash: ok I mean you can do them easy enough but they are not very fast or potent so not ideal.
Flat Hits: again, ok you can do them but same as above, not really fast enough to be dangerous
Counter: I really struggled with these shots I had a tough time reading how the rubber was going to react. If it was a slow counter it would react differently to a fast counter and I had a hard time compensating for the spin because depending how much the ball sank into the rubber determined how reactive the rubber became to incoming spin.
Chop: I really liked chopping with this rubber for some reason. Stiff thick topsheet = good chopping rubber! I could get good accuracy and a decent amount of spin.
Arc: High. Nittaku fastarc G1 generates a pretty high trajectory which I would say is just slightly lower than tenergy 05 which gives you a good amount of safetly over the net when playing attacking shots.
Nittaku FastArc G1 VS Tibhar Evolution MXS
Both rubbers are very linear and suit a tactical spin game. I feel that these rubbers have a very similar playing style despite feeling very different. Fastarc G1 feels like an easier to use Evolution MXS – its easier to generate power, you get a lot more margin for error and its just a bit more in the vein of traditional attacking rubbers from ESN. But what you dont get is the potency of Evolution MXS – I think in the right hands MXS is a much much more dangerous weapon. For me the spin I could produce on MXS dwarfs anything I could produce on the G1 and it was much easier to produce in pretty much every shot. There seems to be a lot more potential but you need to have the skill to get the most out of it. So if your a beginner all the way up to intermiediate Nittaku Fastarc G1 might be the better choice, but advanced players will pick MXS everytime.
Who Does this rubber suit / Playing Style
I believe this rubber is meant for people who play a tactical spin game from middle distance. A player who doesnt look to overpower the opponent but likes creating points by using angles, spin and playing your opponent into trouble and then coming in for the kill – the patient attacker! It also suits players who like a large margin of error for their shots and values consistency above everything else. The high arc will provide extra safety in attacking shots and the medium speed will allow more consistency plus the linear nature will allow lots of variation.
As with all ESN rubbers the quality is very good. Durability is not that hot. The drawback of having that thick stiff topsheet is when the topsheet grip goes this rubber becomes very very unusable. It turns into a sheet of glass. Thankfully this doesnt happen that quickly but the durability seems to be less than other ESN rubbers. I put the durability at about 3-4 months, after this point it will be very hard to play with. When the topsheet grip does start to go you will struggle to get very little spin on the ball and there will be a lot of ball slippages.
This depends as Fastarc G1 has varied a lot in price over the years and in different countries. Here in the UK it is now pretty cheap for an ESN rubber at £32.99 but in Europe at the moment its around 44.90 which is slightly cheaper than most of the ESN offerings. So overall its pretty good
Personally I thought I would love this rubber, I really like Evolution MXS and I just wanted something a bit more bouncy and catapult y and I thought this could be the one. Unfortunately I don’t think it is, its a very good rubber and a unique offering but for me I think its a bit too old school now to compete with the modern rubbers. The thick and stiff topsheet is a rare sight nowadays especially in European rubbers and I do admire Nittaku for heading in this direction as it offers something different to the market and will suit a niche of players. The Arc of the rubber was a pleasant surprise and being able to hit winners from so far below the net with so much safety was a lot of fun.
As for a Tenergy 05 replacement, im not so sure, its pretty different from Tenergy and in my opinion I think Evolution MXP is closer but I can see what people mean when they say this, the arc massively reminds me of Tenergy, everything else… not so much.
There are not many rubbers like this – Evolution MXS, Nittaku Fastarc G1 and potentially Joola Rhyzm-P seem to sit a little sub category of rubbers on their own with non-catapult dense sponges with huge potential and I personally love these types of rubber as it offers somewhat of a very heavily European weighted compromise between European rubbers and Chinese rubbers. They are like the table tennis worlds version of sleeper cars – cars that look average but pack a massive engine under the bonnet that could put a ferrari to shame.
Id recommend the Fastarc G1 to anyone who likes to play long rallies with a lot of spin, safetly and precision. Rally away!
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