If you’ve ever played with Tenergy, you’ve probably wondered if there are any decent Tenergy 05 alternatives. Since its release in 2008, Tenergy 05 has been practically worshiped by table tennis players the world over!
Butterfly describe it as “the world’s best table tennis rubber”. It’s used by almost all of the world’s top players. Players even describe a feeling of “never being able to go back to another rubber” after playing with it. So what’s the problem? Well it’s too darn expensive!
In the UK, Tenergy 05 sells for £49.99. In the US, $79.99. And this is per sheet! You obviously need two sheets of rubber to play. So you’re looking at £100 per change of rubbers and you’ll probably need to change at least twice or three times a year. This is getting expensive.
So are there any cheaper alternatives? In this post I’ll be talking about two of the best Tenergy 05 alternatives and having a look at how they match up. The two rubbers are;
- Donic Bluefire M2
- Andro Rasant
Before I start, I should point out that I haven’t actually played with either of these rubbers. My reviews are collations of personal opinions and experiences from the table tennis forums.
Donic Bluefire M2
Bluefire M2 is probably my favourite Tenergy 05 alternative. It was the only rubber to be consistently compared to Tenergy 05 in terms of its feeling and just the general way it plays.
Here are a few comments from Bluefire M2 users…
“Bluefire M2 is the first Tenergy 05 alternative I’ve found to be acceptable. I have tried many other so-called ‘alternatives’ and most I’ve ripped off after about five minutes of play.”
“You can play the same way with Bluefire M2 as with Tenergy 05. You don’t have to change your game to adjust, as you would with many other alternatives.”
“Bluefire M2 is the only rubber that even comes close to Tenergy 05. It plays in much the same way but isn’t 100% identical.”
Overall, Donic Bluefire M2 appears to be a fairly good Tenergy 05 alternative. It sounds as if it has the same high throw and sharp arc when looping, and comes in at £36.99, a saving of £13 per sheet, 26%.
It is also said to be faster than Tenergy 05. One player even said that Bluefire M2 in 2.0mm was faster than Tenergy 05 in max thickness. It’s not completely identical to Tenergy 05, you should expect a slightly different feel, but if you’re looking to save a bit of money and switch away from Tenergy, Bluefire M2 could be for you.
I also found this video of a guy comparing Donic Bluefire M2 to his Tenergy rubber.
Rasant is a rubber that is often compared to Bluefire. I don’t think that it is as good an alternative to Tenergy 05 as M2 but I decided it was still worth a mention and some players may even find they prefer playing with Rasant, if their style fits the rubber.
Here are some comments from Andro Rasant users…
“Rasant is quite similar to Tenergy 05 but I find it harder to control because it’s bouncier and faster.”
“Rasant is the best of both worlds. Good power and decent spin.”
“Despite being similar, I found Rasant to have less spin than Tenergy 05.”
It seems that Andro have managed to make a faster rubber than Tenergy 05 but haven’t managed to matched its spin. Tenergy 05 has a great ability to allow you to spin balls with excellent feeling whether it’s a slow loop or a faster over-the-table shot.
Rasant is priced at $59.99 at Megaspin.net. Bluefire M2 was $56.96 and Tenergy was $79.99, so Rasant is similarly priced to Bluefire. If I was picking between the two I would probably go for Bluefire M2 as it has had the more positive reviews of the two.
However, if you are more of a ‘hitter’ than a ‘looper’ you may prefer the faster and flatter dynamics of Rasant. The rubber appears to have less spin than Tenergy and Bluefire, and therefore could be more suited to flat hitters or players with a strong backhand punch. It also has a green sponge (if that’s the kind of thing that excites you).
There are a number of other decent table tennis rubbers available at the moment (October 2012). If you’re a ‘Tenergy addict’ you may be disappointed by these but if you’re just looking for a good attacking rubber, or you’re willing to spend the time changing your game and adapting to your new equipment, you may be interested in the following;
- Adidas P5
- Andro Hexer
- Donic Baracuda
- Stiga Calibra LT
- Xiom Vega Pro
- Tibhar Aurus
- Yasaka Razka 7
Personally, I tried Calibra LT about 18 months ago thinking, “As a student I can’t really afford Tenergy and how different can they be?” How wrong I was! I put them on just a few days before a major tournament (as my Tenergy’s were well and truly dead) but I hated them so much I switched back to my dead Tenergy and put the Stiga rubbers on an old blade to use for Multiball feeding etc.
The moral of the story? These ‘other rubbers’ aren’t bad, but if it’s a Tenergy 05 replacement you’re looking for, I’d steer clear.
Bluefire M2 by Donic is probably the closest thing to Tenergy 05 available at present. It has similar characteristics in terms of speed, spin and ball trajectory. It also comes in at about 25% cheaper than Tenergy, so you can make a decent saving by switching.
For me, I’m sticking with Tenergy! In my opinion it’s the best rubber available at the moment and nothing can quite compare. It has a unique combination of feel, control, speed, arc and spin. Yes, it’s ridiculously over-priced but it is unique.
Remember, it’s also expensive buying new rubbers that you don’t like. I shelled out for two sheets of Calibra LT and never played a competitive match with them. If you’re not entirely pleased with your cheaper alternative, you’ve wasted a decent amount of money. At least with Tenergy you know you will be happy. Not to mention the possibly psychological influence playing with rubbers that you believe are sub-standard could have on your performance.
I believe that the gap between Tenergy 05 and the rest is narrowing but it’s not quite there yet. That’s why Butterfly can charge so damn much!
What do you think about Tenergy 05? Do you currently play with it? Have you played with it before and then successfully switched to another rubber? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your experiences.
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