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Reviews for Yasaka Rakza Z Extra Hard (8)

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Just got my RZEH and i must say Its good rubber. Compared to Tenergy 09C...it just lacks the spring sponge. I wouldn't necessarily say that its tacky..All I have ever played with is National BS on my forehand so compared to that its not tacky..but it very grippy. Im playing with a Stiga Carbonado 90 which is not super fast but maybe a tad faster than Vascaria..lifting backspin with this rubber is very very easy. You dont need to use as much leg but you still need some leg to get power. On my forehand has always been chinese rubber so I felt right at home with this rubber. Now when it comes to hardness..definitely not as hard as chinses rubber.. I play with a boosted 41 degree National BS so it might play at 40 or 40.5 degree.. Yasaka still feels softer. Serving is better than National BS. Sometimes tacky rubber can slow your spin down if you dont brush right.. RZEH seems to get more revs on the ball..Serve return is a little like chinese rubber. Not sensitive to incoming spin. This is where RZEH is better than 09C. that spring sponge tends to pop the ball up..RZEH still keeps the ball low. The weight i dont feel..Im in the gym 6 days a week so the weight is not even noticeable...my blade is 90 grams... with this RZEH and a National Orange Sponge 37.5 degree on my backhand feels fine not a problems at all. Tospin is good... can easily loop over incoming top spin close to the table...away from the table you need to use a little hip and legs to drive the ball..09C wins in this department..that spring spnge helps.not as much effort needed. Conclusion RZEH plays closer to chinese rubber than 09C. Would I boost this? Im not sure. It plays good without it. I would have to buy another sheet and do a review. Ive tried boosting non-chinese rubber..it tends to get mushy.
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Comparison of Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard:

Rakza Z
Weight: 74 grams (approximate uncut)
52 grams cut to a size of 157x150mm
Speed: Off+
Thickness: Max
Hardness: 50 -52 degrees approx.

Rakza Z Extra Hard
Weight: 76 grams (approximate uncut)
54 grams cut to a size of 157x150mm
Speed: Off+
Thickness: Max
Hardness: 53-57degrees approx.

I was excited to test the rubbers since I heard they have a tacky topsheet. I opened the packaging and the rubbers have a plastic sheet covering sticking to the topsheet. I opened both the Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard and I could tell immediately that it is semi-tacky. I wiped the topsheets of both rubbers with wet sponge because I wanted to see how tacky it is after the initial cleaning. I can say that the tackiness or stickiness of the rubbers is not in the level of Chinese rubbers. The Yasaka Do rubber that Yasaka had before in their arsenal was way extremely tacky and was one of the tackiest rubbers I have encountered. The tackiness is lesser than that of the Hurricane 3 or Rising/Shining Dragon rubbers. I could compare the tackiness near to DHS Tin Arc rubbers or Stiga Genesis rubbers. The 2 rubbers are distinguished by their sponge colors. The regular Rakza Z has a creamy white sponge while the Rakza Z Extra Hard has an orange sponge. The pores are quite small or minute compared to the pores of Yasaka Rakza 7 rubbers. I know that Yasaka advertised both rubbers with a range of hardness but with my personal estimate and comparison with other ESN rubbers, the regular Rakza Z felt about 50 or 51 degrees while the Rakza Z Extra Hard felt it was like 55 degrees. The topsheet like other 50 degree or harder rubbers has a short pimple structure reminiscent of Chinese rubbers.

Speed

Both rubbers are very fast. The speed is evident on both rubbers the moment you do forehand to forehand drive warm up drills. I would say that the speed is evident because personally, the Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon is not a super fast blade. I would rate it as an Off blade and not an Off+ blade. It is more of a controlled looping blade with a medium-soft feel and flex. When compared to the Rakza 7, the regular Rakza Z is faster with an obvious gap. I would say the speed of the regular Rakza Z is comparable to the Rakza 9 regular. The Rakza Z Extra Hard is even faster since the very hard sponge has a lot of speed potential when you know how to compress the sponge properly in your shots. If you compare it with Tenergy rubbers, the regular Rakza Z seems faster than Tenergy 05 but slower than Tenergy 64 while the Extra Hard version seems like equal or faster than Tenergy 64.

Spin

The Rakza Z rubbers are one of the spiniest ESN rubbers in the market right now. If the Rakza Z series has a very obvious characteristic, it is spin and tons of spin. I believe the rubbers in the market have evolved to having semi-tacky/full tacky from just being grippy. I have told people about this story that happened years ago. I suggested to a rubber company with ESN rubber products that maybe they can produce a rubber that has a tacky or semi-tacky topsheet over an ESN sponge. You get the spin of a Hurricane 3 rubber while having the speed of fast ESN rubbers. The idea got rejected saying that it was not good or practical, rubbers would lose speed and such. Nowadays, ESN sponges are going on the harder spectrum with some even reaching 60 degrees with sticky or tacky topsheet. I have 2 points on this situation. One is that the way to go if you wanted a higher amount of spin for rubbers, you would need to be tacky. Having a hard sponge and short pip structure sometimes affect the amount of spin produced if the topsheet is not tacky. I have tried very hard rubbers with same pip structures but are not tacky, the spin is way less and also you would need to compress the sponge harder just to produce a good amount of spin. Second, I think this is a way also to go into the path of having a faster Hurricane 3-like rubber. DHS Hurricane 3 is not easy to use even if you have the skills but did not boost it because
It takes a lot of effort to produce speed even at higher levels. So I am seeing rubbers that have Chinese rubber-like characteristics but with speed or power that an ESN rubber offers or what we call having “hybrid properties” having the best of both worlds. To compare the spin, both rubbers have more spin than Tenergy 05. Both are as spinny as Hurricane 3 with a higher arc. The regular Rakza Z has a slightly higher arc than the Extra Hard version. If I compare it to Tenergy 05, both rubbers have a lesser arc when doing loops. I looped the balls both underspin and topspin with almost a closed angle and it was not hard to lift especially underspin balls. Both rubbers are excellent in both serving and pushing strokes. The tacky topsheet emulates pushing underspin balls like using a Chinese rubber or serving using one.

Control

I was intrigued that I saw a video seeing the Rakza Z rubber users having difficulty in controlling the rubbers. I removed the rubbers from the Ma Lin Soft Carbon and place it in a hinoki carbon-aramid blade that is on the off+ speed just to check and verify. The combination is sure very fast with the Rakza Z Extra Hard edging the regular version by a few notches. The combination was very bouncy and in my opinion, it takes a bit of skill to fully control the Z series rubbers if you are using a very fast blade like pure carbon blades that are stiff and fast. You would see the ball fly out of the table. However, I see 2 simple solutions on this issue. One, having tacky topsheets, it is better to use the Z series rubbers with a closed angle like when looping with a Chinese rubber. Two, use an off level blade that has more flex. Rubbers nowadays are already very fast so using super fast carbon blades is not that practical anymore. When blocking, you needed to have a closed angle also with the 2 rubbers. The topsheet like any other tacky rubber has some sensitivity to incoming spin that is why it takes a bit of advanced level of skill.

Smashing

It is not as hard to smash balls compared to using Hurricane 3 rubbers. I find the Extra Hard version more powerful to smash with while the regular version is more user-friendly. Both rubbers are outstanding in smashes and spin drives.

Overall Impression

Both the Rakza Z and Rakza Z Extra Hard rubbers are for advanced level players. If you really wanted to use these 2 rubbers but is still learning the basic strokes, I would choose another Rakza rubber like Rakza 7 or to some extent a thinner version of Rakza Z like 2.0mm or thinner if available. Overall, the rubber is surprisingly outstanding and was not expecting to be just another “meehhh” rubber produced by ESN.
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RZEH is good for my forehand. Takes time to get familiar on serve returns as sometimes tends to become too strong. RZEH is heavy. I feel that RZ is more spinny and RZEH has more power. I like both.
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Like the little brother but with more speed. Contact feels direct. Counter attack better because of the hard sponge. Needs good legs for this rubber! Service with normal RZ has more spin potential. Rakza Z extra hard is the heaviest Rubber which I know! Overall very good rubber for agressiv Attackers!
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I've been using yasaka rakza z extra hard for nearly two months now. When taken right out of the packaging it's pretty tacky, can hold a ball for 1 second, and the tackiness hasn't vanished yet (recently I've been playing 2-4 hours weekly and try to wipe the rubber after every session). Speed is very good, definitely faster than untuned hurricane 3. For me, the speed was somewhat like hurricane 3 (40 degree hardness) boosted with two layers of falco, maybe a bit faster. You can feel the catapult effect when you strike hard, and then you can shoot bullets, although the touch play near the net is excellent as well, probably due to the rubber being pretty tacky. The rubber has many gears. I usually play with chinese tacky rubbers and I'm comparing the yasaka to this kind of rubbers. The sponge of the yasaka is hard but it doesn't feel that hard when playing, it feels softer than untuned hurricane 3 h40, it's more like 39 for my taste. The throw is medium high I'd say, it's quite easy to lift backspin balls. On the whole, I like this rubber a lot, I've been using it on donic dicon whuch is an off- blade, and this setup suits me well. I wanted something hard and tacky, but on the other hand easier to play than the typical chinese rubbers. Recommended!
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I bought Yasaka rakza z extra hard 15 days ago, now rubber have broken completely, too dusty during play than DHS Hurricane Neo, weight is too heavy. I recommend not to buy it. I wish to upload photo of my rubber, but there is no way.
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Tried both of them Z now. Very similar. Doesnt feel like 58 degrees, first time i looped riddicoulus fast loops, around the net, and sidespinloops that 2 of my trainingfellows just barely saw, when they whistled past them. This rubbers i must say, are outstanding for my pretty agressive spinplay a meter back from the table. Serves spinny as nothing else, not so sensitive for incoming spin. Play both on Kiso-Hinokiblades from Nittaku. I take care of them as i as my children...
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57 degrees...is that a recordholder? I believe so. This is like little brother, but faster, for those that need. PingPongs finest members club
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