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 ($160) 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 to Tenergy 05? Well, that is what I will be investigating in this post.
In actual fact, Tenergy has become so dominant as the best table tennis rubber, that this post will really be looking at the best table tennis rubbers available today, excluding the Tenergy series. When people ask for table tennis rubbers like Tenergy they usually mean, “I can’t afford Tenergy, what else is good.”
I should point out that I have been a “Tenergy-user” since 2008. I briefly tried out a Stiga Calibra rubber in 2010 but quickly went back to Tenergy within a few weeks. I don’t have much personal experience with the majority of rubbers on this page but I have spoken to other players that use them.
This post was originally written in October 2012 but has been revised in May 2014 to keep it up-to-date.
Adidas Tenzone (+ P7)
When I first heard that Adidas were making table tennis rubbers I thought it might be a disaster. Either a disaster or overpriced rubbish that simply cashed in on the Adidas brand name to sell poor quality rubbers at standard prices. I’m pleased to say I was wrong!
Right from the start (I think they started selling rubbers in 2011) Adidas released a range of really high-quality rubbers and impressed the table tennis community with what they had to offer.
The Adidas TenZone series of rubbers made no attempt to hide the fact that they were designed to be like Butterfly’s Tenergy rubbers. However, they performed well and received positive reviews. Here is a review on Megaspin…
“Overall the Adidas TenZone rubber can be labelled as very fast, with above average spin. Its speed is comparable to that of Tenergy 05, Hexer and Calibra. Its like Calibra LT but a little bit spinnier. Its built for speed and it has lots of it. I enjoyed counter-hitting and smashing with this rubber far from the table. Receiving spinny serves is easy since this rubber is not sensitive to incoming spin. This rubber is above average in blocking also. I would recommend this rubber for advanced players only because this is not everybody’s toy.”
Adidas TenZone Ultra was released in 2013 and I was fortunate enough to be sent a sheet of it early to try out. You can read my full review of the rubber here.
From everything I’ve heard it was a clear improvement on the original Tenzone and received good reviews.
I was going to leave it there until I started reading about the Adidas P7 rubber. This rubber has received a lot of really positive reviews. So many in fact that I’m tempting to buy a sheet and try it out myself! Everybody seems to love this rubber. It’s brilliant for spin but also gives you the speed and control you need. It’s a true attackers rubber and a best seller at Megaspin.
The Adidas P7 is also the highest rated overall rubber on TableTannisDB!
The only downside with the Adidas rubbers is the price. They are all quite expensive.
On Megaspin (in the US) the Tenzone Ultra is $64.95, the P7 is $59.95 and the Tenzone is $59.46.
At TeesSport (in the UK) the Tenzone Ultra is £39.99, the P7 is £35.99 and the Tenzone is £39.99.
Compare this to Tenergy 05 which is available for $64.99 and £49.99, and you’ll see that you aren’t saving very much. In the US, Tenergy and the Adidas rubbers are roughly the same price. In the UK, if you are looking to save a bit of money, the P7 rubber is probably your best bet coming in at £14 cheaper than Tenergy.