When it comes to the most successful table tennis rubber of Butterfly Company, which one comes to mind first? I think 80% of ping pong lovers would say Tenergy 05. However, for the older generation, their answer might be Butterfly Sriver.
Butterfly Sriver was first released in 1967 and it has always been famous for its great consistency. This rubber has helped over 20 world and European champions got their victory in their careers. According to the official statistic data, over half of the players chose Butterfly Sriver at the 1993 World Championships in Gothenburg.
So many people may ask, is Butterfly Sriver still good nowadays? Especially after several reforms of ITTF, the balls, the glues, and loads of things are totally different from that in the past. So this article will make an in-depth review of this legendary rubber that has a history of almost 40 years.
Who is Butterfly Sriver for?
The Butterfly Sriver is proper for all-round attackers or players who have a controllable playstyle. It’s a great choice for beginners and intermediate players to practice and improve their basic skills. It’s recommended to use this rubber on the backhand.
Review of Butterfly Sriver
Appearance and construction
After receiving the rubber, I glued it on the Maze Advance blade. This rubber is also called “small Butterfly” in China. I can recall that when I first learned to play ping pong in the year 2000, people often talked about “big” and “small” Butterfly rubber. The big one refers to Tenergy 05, while the small one is Sriver.
The rubber has a slightly hard topsheet with an orange sponge. The topsheet is not as hard as T05, but as an offensive rubber, the proper hardness guarantees speed. The thickness of the sponge is available at 1.5, 1.7, 1.9, 2.1, and MAX. We shall choose 1.9 for the test.
Actually, when Butterfly Sriver was first released, the games were not as so fast-paced as that nowadays. So can the speed still adapt to the pace of today’s game？ Let’s have a look.
After trying this rubber for several strokes, I could say the overall speed is not as fast as its successor, Tenergy 05. The rubber has somehow a “dead” feel at first, especially under higher gear.
The close-to-table drives have decent speed with great control. The rubber can grab the ball well. The strokes have decent initial speed but it becomes relatively slower after the ball falls on the table. It’s super friendly to beginners and intermediate players as they can learn and practice basic skills.
The loops far away from the table are not the strength of Butterfly Sriver. The rubber lacks sufficient support. Even though the speed is not as fast as those top offensive rubbers, it’s still enough for loads of intermediate and amateur players.
Similar to the speed, the spin of Butterfly Sriver was one of the best 30 years ago. But later there is much cutting-edge technology emerging and they can provide better spin with faster speed.
I can feel during the test the spin is not as much as T05 or Yasaka Mark V (click to read our previous review). However, the rubber has a decent throw angle and can grab the ball well. Especially under small gears, rubber can grab the ball well and generate decent spin. So players can loop or drive with great control and add spin with more friction.
Control is absolutely the best part of Butterfly Sriver. Its biggest strength is great consistency. Players can do forehand or backhand topspin consistently with proper speed and spin. Also, players can switch between forehand and backhand and control the ball with precise location.
What I like most about Butterfly Sriver is the clear feedback when hitting the ball. Especially doing short pushes or long pushes, the ball can be located precisely in the area I want. As I said previously, Butterfly might is not a top offensive rubber, but it is still a popular choice nowadays due to its great control.
Actually, I suppose that Butterfly Sriver is a great choice for all-around attackers or players who have a controllable playstyle. This is a great linear rubber and players can easily adjust and control the rhythm of the games.
I personally think that this rubber has decent performance when we use it to block. The rubber is less bouncy and it’s great to do both passive block and active block. Especially I find it’s a great choice for the backhand.
Personally speaking, I think Butterfly Sriver has a better performance in topspin than the backspin. Even though players can open up and lift up the backspin ball without a problem, they can have better control during the topspin rallies, especially when playing near the table.
When I do some backhand loops or drives, I can find that it’s much easier to control and change the route of the ball according to the opponent’s standing place. I would rather use a faster rubber on the forehand and match this “control monster” on the backhand. Thus, I can have both offensive and controllable choices.
As a chopper, I always do the chopping test for the rubber and blade. There is no exception for Butterfly Sriver. I should say the balls are not quite spinny but the arc can be controlled relatively low over the net. If you are a defensive player or a chopper, you could consider this rubber. Especially when you do some blocks or counterattacks, this rubber can provide you with great safety.
Pros and Cons of Butterfly Sriver
What I like about Butterfly Sriver
- A rubber with amazing control
- Acceptable price
- Amazing consistency
- Great durability
- Decent performance in defense
What I am not satisfied with Butterfly Sriver
- The speed and spin are not the top levels
- Not proper for far-distance loops
What is the difference between Sriver and Sriver FX?
As the most successful product of Butterfly Company, Butterfly Sriver helped the company to open the market and become well-known overnight. Despite the fact that today it’s no longer the first choice for those top players, this rubber is still a great option for loads of amateur players.
Players can practice all the basic techniques in table tennis, even chopping, with this rubber. Butterfly Sriver can help you play the game with great consistency and get the victory with more confidence. If you are not a pro, then you could choose Sriver as a great friend to accompany you on the way to improving your table tennis skills.