Sanwei Target National is the upgraded version of Sanwei’s Target rubber, created with the new plastic ball in mind. The production technique involves covering the unsmooth topsheet of the rubber with an ultrathin sticky rubber film.
Sanwei claims this production technique provides the rubber with both high elastic performance and a good spin effect – coupled with a “cake” sponge that is designed to offer sustained and strong power.
SANWEI TARGET NATIONAL REVIEW
Here is Dan O’Connell’s full review of the rubber…
Having not had much experience with Chinese-style rubbers prior to testing out Sanwei Target National, the first thing I noticed was just how tacky the rubbers are. Just after sticking them onto the blade it was possible to press the rubber onto a ball and pick it up without the ball dropping off. I was interested to see how this would affect the gameplay of Target National.
SPEED & SPIN
Sanwei Target National is designed to be a fast attacking rubber and in terms of speed, it is similar to Tenergy 05, if not a little bit faster.
As for spin, the tackiness of the topsheet ensures there can be a good level of spin placed on the ball, whether you are using topspin attack or serving and receiving. The rubber did start to lose a little bit of the tackiness after about an hour of use but this only caused the spin generated to decrease a fraction and not really enough to affect the shots being played.
CONTROL & FEELING
Control was one area where, not having much experience with hard Chinese-style rubbers, I was unsure what to expect. I assumed that the hardness of the rubber would cause the control to be negatively affected given that softer rubbers tend to provide higher levels of control than harder ones.
However, I found the Target National to have surprisingly decent levels of control whilst blocking. This may be due to the fact that although the sponge is much harder than any other rubber I have tried personally, the Target National actually has a softer sponge than Hurricane 3 by DHS and some other Chinese rubbers on the market.
So, whilst it doesn’t provide the same levels of control that softer European rubbers do, it does make it possible to block the ball well if you really need to.
THROW & ARC
As is typical with harder rubbers, Sanwei Target National produces shots that have quite a low trajectory over the net. The ball travels quite flat and direct compared to more European-style rubbers. Target National can be used to topspin away from the table but requires a good technique as it doesn’t produce a very high arc on the shot and there is not much room for error in terms of timing and contact on the ball.
This is also true when trying to lift backspin balls with the rubber. I found that if you try to loop the ball back with a high trajectory over the net there is very little margin for error. A slight miscalculation with timing and the ball can miss by a considerable distance. It was actually easier to hit through the backspin and go for the lower trajectory shot over the net than a high arc shot.
Target National is very sensitive to incoming spin due to the tackiness of the top rubber sheet and the hardness of the sponge. As soon as the ball strikes the bat the rubber grips the ball and the spin that is on the ball takes effect. This isn’t a problem, however, as long as the incoming spin has been judged correctly.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
Sanwei Target National is at its best when being used for aggressive, attacking play. Whether flicking or topspinning the Sanwei Target National is effective and great to use.
More defensive shots are where the Target National struggles. ‘Fishing’ the ball back with a high arc whilst away from the table is difficult due to the natural low trajectory created with these rubbers. Blocking is also a downside because, although it had higher control on blocking than I was expecting, it cannot match softer European rubbers in this department.
WHO IS IT FOR?
The type of player that Sanwei Target National would suit best is a very aggressive player, who also has a good technique, attacks with a topspin shot at the first available opportunity, and then continues to attack throughout the point.
The opposite style of player – such as someone who looks to build up into the rally and uses placement over power – would struggle if using Target National and would be better suited to some of the softer rubbers on the market.
THANKS TO MEGASPIN.NET!
Sanwei Target National is currently for sale at Megaspin.net for $34.95 which works out at around £26. This represents good value for money in my opinion as rubbers from other manufacturers can cost up to twice as much for a similar level of performance.
Megaspin.net are one of our favourite online table tennis retailers. They have fantastic prices and offer North America’s largest selection of table tennis equipment. Check them out!