Generally, there seems to be a lot of excitement as soon as Butterfly announces new products. That’s not only due to the image of the traditional brand, but also to the fact that many products have previously revolutionized the market.
Success of Tenergy
Probably the biggest success was the introduction of the Tenergy rubbers in 2008. Many table tennis players were faced with the great challenge of finding a replacement for speed gluing. But how should a speed-glued Sriver or Bryce, as well as the glued classic rubbers of the other table tennis brands, be adequately replaced?
The answer came with the Butterfly Tenergy 05, which is still considered to be the benchmark for rotation and arc among table tennis rubbers. Soon after a race for the favor of the table tennis players began, which Butterfly answered with further Tenergy versions, like the Tenergy 64 or Tenergy 80, as well as the FX versions of the rubber series.
Other brands followed their lead, which was only possible due to the enormous development advances on the part of the manufacturer ESN and its Tensor rubber technology. Nevertheless, I think most table tennis players would still be playing Butterfly rubbers today if it hadn’t been for a change both in pricing and distribution structure.
The new concept of the Butterfly brand caused many table tennis players to move to other brands. But unhindered by this, the Tenergy rubbers were and are a huge success. Recently, however, the interest in another Tenergy rubber version with the Tenergy 19 was rather modest.
Butterfly Glayzer rubbers series as cheap Dignics alternatives?
Technically and in terms of performance, the ESN tensors have at least caught up with the rubbers featuring the first Spring Sponge technology, if not even overtaken them in terms of catapult and dynamics.
Rubbers that meet today’s standards in these areas and should therefore actually dominate the market are the Butterfly Dignics rubbers. With a total of four versions, the Dignics 05, Dignics 64, Dignics 80 and Dignics 09C, very good rubbers are available for the modern offensive player.
Unfortunately, the Spring Sponge X rubbers, a further development of the original sponge technology, have carried a price tag of €80 so far. This is not only a discouragement, but also makes many players scratch their heads.
Fortunately, Butterfly has now decided to offer affordable rubber variants with the Glayzer series, similar to the Butterfly Rozena. But the question is, what can the affordable rubber series, and especially the Butterfly Glayzer, actually provide? How does the rubber differ from its predecessors like T05 or D05? For which type of player is the rubber suitable? And what alternatives are already on the market?
Technical features of the Butterfly Glayzer
When looking at the Butterfly Glayzer, I can first of all state that the topsheet can be rated as very high-quality and grippy. In addition, the topsheet is not too hard, but rather within the medium to medium-soft range.
The pimple structure is similar to that of the Dignics 05, i.e. rather short, more closely spaced pimples. But the width is comparatively average. Overall, I expect a spin-elastic, but still firm ball contact.
The sponge is made in an atypical gray tone. The pore structure of the sponge is very fine and homogeneous. With compression testing, I would blindly guess a hardness of 47-48° EUR . The official specification in Japanese hardness is 38°. This means harder than the Tenergys (36° JPN) and softer than the Dignics’ (40° JPN).
The evaluation of the weight comes out very positively. My two tested Butterfly Glayzer rubbers (red and black, each 2.1mm) weighed 93.84g (red) and 94.21g (black) with packaging. The uncut red rubber weighed 69.50g, while the uncut black rubber weighed 69.94g.
When cut on my two testing blades (prototype of the Tibhar Offensive Premium and my backup blade of Butterfly Viscaria), the red Glayzer weighs 45.99g, while the black Glayzer weighs 46.33g.
Playing characteristics of the Butterfly Glayzer
My very first counter stroke with the Butterfly Glayzer I simply dropped into the net, which is rather untypical for me, since I actually counter the balls out the back. After a short adjustment of my expectations to the playing characteristics, the countering and whole warmup worked very well.
The Glayzer provides a very consistent and direct feeling for the ball without exaggerating even a nuance of catapult. The basic speed is rather in the middle range of the rubber range. Nevertheless, due to the hardness of the rubber, I can also keep up with a high pace. What is put into the stroke ends up on the table.
Topspin play & spin developement
The Butterfly Glayzer really shows off during the topspin play. The first topspins were easy and smooth. Both the secure opening and the follow-through topspin succeed effortlessly, consistently and with a medium trajectory.
In terms of spin development, a lot can be extracted from the rubber. The topsheet is very spin elastic and allows a constant guidance of the ball. However, spin peaks like with a Tenergy 05 or Dignics 05 are not achievable. Nevertheless, I would classify the spin as very good and sufficiently competitive.
Half distance, counterloops & consistency
From half distance the Butterfly Glayzer develops a good dynamic. You can hit very spin-rich and medium-fast to fast attacking strokes. Compared to modern tensors or the TOP rubbers of the Tenergy and Dignics series, it is clearly noticeable that the rubber was designed with a somewhat reduced power. It lacks the last boom, so to speak.
On the other hand, I haven’t been able to play my topspins with such consistency from all positions for a long time. I really like the honest and predictable dynamics of the rubber. Especially when I have a bad footwork and positioning to the ball, I intuitively get a good feel for the ball and can play it with a high quality.
When counterlooping, the Glayzer reacts very benevolently and follows the pace of the approaching ball well. I was able to operate very precisely and quickly. However, the rubber is not an absolute killer. Final strokes succeed with an extremely high rate, but they don’t necessarily produce points immediately. I can rather set up my opponents well and play them out.
Comparisons to the Butterfly Glayzer
Compared to other rubbers, the reference rubbers either do not do justice to the Butterfly Glayzer or it was simply not designed with the same intentions. Because it is supposed to be a rubber with high performance, which is below the TOP rubbers, but also is not a beginner rubber.
Tenergy comparison & rubber-blade-combination
For categorization, however, I would like to make comparisons with the other Spring Sponge rubbers. Compared to the Tenergy rubbers without FX sponge, the Butterfly Glayzer is somewhat slower in terms of basic speed. Due to the harder sponge, however, a almost similar speed can be achieved.
The trajectory and spin rates are somewhere between the Tenergy 19 and Tenergy 80. On my all-wood Tibhar Offensive Premium, I was able to generate significantly more rotation and noticed that the Glayzer benefited from its feeling and the spin support.
In contrast, the rubber on the Viscaria seemed much more undynamic and noticeably slower than other rubbers in this hardness range.
Compared to the Dignics rubbers, it became clear in my tests that this is not simply a rubber that is softer and slower, but that there is noticeably less power. More focus is placed on consistent performance throughout all kind of strokes.
While a Dignics 05 is hard to manage in some playing situations, a little more liveliness and impact power wouldn’t hurt the Glayzer. I consider the topsheet in particular to be of equal quality and with a lot of potential in terms of play, while the gray Spring Sponge X sponge has been heavily restrained compared to its red counterpart without using your own arm movement.
Glayzer 09C & Rozena
Furthermore, the Butterfly Glayzer is hard to compare with the softer Rozena or differently constructed Butterfly Glayzer 09C when looking for a true alternative. It has to be said that the Rozena has more catapult and supports better allround-offensive strategies. So it can be played more variably. The Rozena is of course softer. The control comes from the balance of catapult and flexibility.
In contrast, the Butterfly Glayzer is a pure attacking and topspin rubber, which comes with restrained power, constant dynamics and very good spin development. However, it is noticeable that both rubbers are easier to play within their respective segments than the Tenergy and Dignics rubbers, which is why a comparison makes sense at first glance.
A completely different case is the Glayzer 09C. With this one, a harder sponge has been given a slightly sticky topsheet. The result is even less dynamics and basic speed, but an extremely toxic spin and a comparatively flat trajectory. Apart from the price, the name and the same sponge technology, there are hardly any similarities in terms of performance and playstyle.
Blocking & Counterplay
Blocking works incredibly well with the Butterfly Glayzer. The direct, but not very catapult-like playing characteristics create a nice pressure point, which makes it possible to return any topspins precisely and easily to the opponent’s half of the table.
I could literally dominate my opponents with fast blocks and counter strokes close to the table. The error rate is also extremely low. Following up and taking the initiative within a controlled framework is an absolute strength of the rubber.
With passive blocking, the sensitivity to spin is kept within limits. The result is a medium ball throw. This problem is quickly solved by the slight closing of the racket.
Service & Return
On serve, the Butterfly Glayzer provides a good mix of rotation and precision. This allowed me to place the serves well and play my dangerous serve play without many sacrifices. At the short-short push, the balls can be kept nicely flat.
With returns, the rubber shows itself to be reliable and equipped with a good touch. The catapult only kicks in on more powerful strokes, resulting in maximum control. The rubber absorbs an acceptable amount of rotation, but generally reacts very benevolently.
Active returns like flips or over-the-table openings can be played safely, directly and precisely. However, the Glayzer lacks the power and toxicity of other rubbers. Only my spin-rich banana flip with a lot of wrist engagement was useful for preparing an aggressive attacking game, but it never directly scored points.
Shooting & high defense
The Butterfly Glayzer appears accurate when shooting and is equipped with good dynamics. However, the terminal speed could be higher, which means that the focus is on the precise outplaying of the opponent. Due to the low catapult and the good control at the same time, high defense can be played safely, although the high balls have to be handled skillfully by the player himself.
Counterattacks are developed by several, increasingly faster strokes, but are not powerful enough to win points directly.
Conclusion on Butterfly Glayzer
The Butterfly Glayzer is an interesting rubber that should be considered by many table tennis players due to its price-performance ratio alone. I particularly like the consistent playing characteristics on the counter strokes, topspins, blocks or serves, which leads to very few unforced errors.
The rubber forgives some mistakes and is, despite its hardness, rather in the moderate to controlled offensive range. Nevertheless, it is possible to keep up with faster rubbers. The spin dynamics, especially the ball guidance and spin development, are impressive.
Unfortunately, the Butterfly Glayzer sometimes lacks power and force, which means that rallies have to be won more by a high quota and precision.
Compared to the TOP rubbers from Butterfly, a few sacrifices have to be made, which is compensated by consistency and more overall control.
The Butterfly Glayzer is recommended for players who are looking for a high performance but controllable table tennis rubber that is at the same time low in catapult and nevertheless develops a sufficient amount of dynamics. Topspin players who don’t always have a perfect stance and footwork can benefit from the rubber.
I think young players who still need to develop their skills, but who are already showing good progress, would benefit from the Glayzer. And especially because the rubber is extremely reliable in blocking and counterplay, it can also be a valuable backhand rubber or rubber for the weaker racket side. Particularly when the catapult-heavy soft rubbers do not offer the ideal playing characteristics.
Personally, I consider the Butterfly Glayzer to be a good choice and well priced, so I can highly recommend it for the mentioned player types.