In our previous blog, we made a comparison between Donic Baracuda and Yasaka Rakza 7. But we have never reviewed Yasaka Rakza 7 specifically. So today we are going to have a look at this great rubber.
The Yasaka Rakza 7 has indeed made a significant impact in the world of table tennis since its introduction in 2010. Its popularity and performance have established it as one of the most sought-after rubbers among players.
Yasaka Rakza 7 is the most popular rubber among all the rubbers released by Yasaka Company. When I was in China, I used this rubber for my forehand as my coach recommend it to replace my previous DHS Hurricane 3. But at that time, I was using a TSP blade!
Who uses Yasaka Rakza 7
The most famous pro that has used Yasaka Rakza 7 is Liang Jingkun from China. Liang Jingkun has been a top-ranked player in China since his youth, and he has won numerous titles both nationally and internationally. He is known for his aggressive playing style and is considered to be one of the most promising young players in the sport today.
He used Yasaka Rakza 7 for several years during his career but now he is using DHS Hurricane 3 Blue Sponge on both his forehand and backhand, along with a Viscaria blade.
Who is Yasaka Rakza 7 for?
Yasaka Rakza 7 is an ideal choice for all-round or offensive players who seek great consistency and control during the games. Offensive players can make full advantage of its great spin and control.
Besides, it can benefit beginner and intermediate players seeking to hone their attacking game.
Players can use it on both the forehand and backhand. Also, this rubber can be used on both slow and fast blades.
Review of Yasaka Rakza 7
Appearance and construction
I am quite into the design of the package, which looks like storms. The biggest feature of Rakza 7 is that the top sheet of the Yasaka Rakza 7 is made primarily of natural rubber gum, which enhances its grip and spin capabilities. This material improves the player’s ability to generate more spin on their shots and maintain control over the ball.
According to Yasaka Company, the top sheet of the Yasaka Rakza 7 has been paired with the advanced Power Sponge to create the Hybrid Energy rubber. This collaboration allows for an optimal balance between the top sheet and sponge, resulting in exceptional performance.
But what we can directly feel is that the rubber is a little bit tacky. It is not as tacky as Chinese rubbers but tackier than Donic rubbers. When we press the rubber, it could be felt that the rubber is medium hard. Yasaka Rakza 7 has tension or “springiness” built into its sponge, but it’s definitely not a great tensor rubber such as Tenergy 05.
I glued Yasaka Rakza 7 on my Stiga Clipper CR blade. Actually, I am quite used to German rubbers with Cake Sponge. For most of them, speed comes with friction, which means sometimes the flat hits have some “dead” feel and lack enough speed.
However, the Yasaka Rakza 7 shows its great speed in both flat hits and loops. Rakza 7 has around 85% of the speed of top offensive rubbers like Tenergy 05 but what makes it stand out is its great balance.
Normally speaking, when the speed increases, the spin might decrease a little. But Rakza 7 can guarantee decent speed and spin at the same time. I have tried the topspins both near and far from the table, the ball has a great initial speed and has a quite nice consistency.
For those attackers, the first three strokes are super important as they have to open up and find opportunities to attack. Yasaka Rakza 7 has quite a satisfying performance in the first three strokes.
However, it should be noticed that when we attack with Rakza 7, the proper time to hit the ball is super important. And I suggest that the racket should not be too open. It’s better to hit the ball with a closed angle, otherwise, the ball might have a high arc with lots of spins. It’s dangerous when playing with ultra-offensive pros.
Yasaka Rakza 7 has really marvelous spin. In addition to its slight tackiness, the soft natural rubber gum is more beneficial for its friction. Thus it’s easy for players to generate super spinny balls during the games.
I have a clear feeling when I chop and my teammate returns the ball with Rakza 7. The ball has so strong topspins that sometimes it’s almost impossible for me to chop the ball back with inverted rubber. I have to pass the ball softly or do counter loops but as the ball is super spinny, I have to find the proper time to hit the ball. Otherwise, it might be overshot.
Thus, players can use Rakza 7 for both backhand and forehand. The secret to generating more spin is to slightly open the racket and the ball can be quite spinny and hard for opponents to return back.
Superior control can certainly contribute to the perception of increased speed when using Yasaka Rakza 7. Its excellent control allows players to be less precise with their loops, which can lead to faster and more confident shots.
What I feel about the rubber is that it has great control over the drop shots. Players can return the ball into the net zone and once the opponent returns the ball a little bit longer, they can open up and attack back with great speed and spin. This is the ideal and correct use of this rubber.
Another cool thing is that when we serve with Rakza 7, we can always control the ball perfectly when we intend to serve short shots. The ball can be placed easily at the place you desire.
Yasaka Rakza 7 is not sensitive to the spin so at first, I was quite struggling with the passive block. The rubber has somehow a “dead” feeling when I block. After several strokes, I adjust the correct way to block with this rubber.
It’s somehow like the way you drive the ball. Players just need to make a small friction cover the ball, and a small motion is enough. We don’t need to hit the ball with great effort, otherwise, the ball might be overshot. The faster you can defend back and make it harder for the opponents to play consecutive shots.
However, it’s almost impossible for players to wait for the ball passively and block it back.
Topspin and Backspin
Yasaka Rakza 7 has a great advantage in lifting up heavy backspin balls. Players only need to increase the angle when hitting the ball and it’s super easy to open up. I could still recall that when I was a beginner, I was not good at this technique until I used Rakza 7.
The rubber helped me a lot in finding the correct feeling of grabbing the ball and hitting it. I gained huge confidence with Rakza 7 when I was young. Even today I suppose this is a great rubber good at backspin.
When it comes to the topspin, the Yasaka Rakza 7 is known for its consistency and controllability, making it easier for players to get into a rhythm and maintain it throughout the match. Players can switch freely between the backhand and forehand.
Pros and Cons of Yasaka Rakza 7(Simplified)
Pros of Rakza 7
- Great consistency and control
- Great durability
- Strong spin
- Clear feel
Cons of Rakza 7
- Relatively cheap price
- Not proper for the passive block
- Not as fast as top-tensored rubbers like the Tenergy series
Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft
In fact, as a chopper, I am more into Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft. It’s because the sponge is softer and I can have better control of the ball. Both Yasaka Rakza 7 and Rakza 7 soft share the same top sheet, but the only difference is that the sponge of Rakza 7 is softer.
Rakza 7 Soft has a built-in speed glue effect to make up for the lack of speed and improve stability as well as control. Besides, this rubber has quite a high throw that can help me lift up the heavy backspin much easier.
Besides, Rakza 7 Soft can totally grab the ball and generate great spinny balls. It’s an ideal choice for close-to-table topspin, open-ups, pushes, drop shots, and chopping.
Even if you are not a chopper like me, you can still find that Rakza 7 soft help you control the direction and location of the ball precisely. I know even some double-wing loopers use this rubber on both their backhand and forehand.
Maybe the only drawback of Rakza 7 Soft is its speed is not as fast as Rakza 7, not to mention other super fast rubbers like DHS Hurricane or Tenergy. It’s somehow like Yasaka Mark V HPS Soft, but I would still choose Rakza 7 Soft.
If you are tired of hard rubbers or you emphasize more on the spin and stability instead of crazy speedy strokes, then I strongly recommend you try this rubber instead of the regular Rakza 7.
Nowadays table tennis players have loads of choices for their rubbers and if you ask me why you should choose Yasaka Rakza 7, then my answer is: Because of its consistency and versatility. The rubber can be used on almost all kinds of blades and is suitable for players with different levels.
Beginners can use it to practice and improve their basic skills on a relatively slower blade or an all-wood blade, as we always recommend. Intermediate players can use it with a faster blade with carbon fiber to improve the performance of the games and deepen their understanding of table tennis.
Advanced players can pair the rubber with the blade most suitable for them and have dominant control during the games.
Players who want softer rubber with spinny strokes and better control can choose Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft.
As we said, no matter what level you have with table tennis, you can always make progress with Yasaka Rakza 7.