When Butterfly started its Tenergy Series back in 2008, no one could image the impact Butterfly Tenergy 05 and its followers are going to create in the world of Table Tennis. A decade later, Tenergy rubbers are still very famous.
Some say, it is the best rubber series of all times. Especially for Pro-Players, and the ones who seek to become a professional table tennis player in the future, Tenergy rubbers are the number one answer on a demand, the speed-glue ban created back then.
Butterfly an Tenergy 05
Since 2008 Butterfly’s Tenergy 05 is probably the mostly played and best known Table Tennis rubber in the world. When it comes to comparisons about rubbers, Tenergy 05 stands as reference.
Foremost you have to measure up attributes like rotation and durability. And up to today, other brands weren’t able of producing a similar rubber. Of course, Tibhar Evolution rubbers and others can provides sufficient playing characteristics. But I still don’t see a rubber ahead of it.
To begin with my journey of reviewing the Tenergy series, I want to discuss a little more about Butterfly Tenergy 05.
Why is this rubbers still being played by so many players? Why do professionals like Timo Boll count on that particular table tennis rubber? And is it worth it to pay a fortune for it, when other rubbers cost almost have of it?
Butterfly Tenergy 05 - Unique playing style
From the very first moment you can feel the perfect grip the rubber provides with the ball. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to creating spin. This makes Tenergy 05 a dream come true for almost every table tennis player.
When hitting the ball, it leaves the rubber in a very high, natural arc. It’s very easy to play topspins from all different kind of positions. With your hitting power and arm movement Butterfly Tenergy 05’s speed will be activated on a constant basis.
In playing over the table the rubber has almost no catapult effect. Short returns can be played easily when the spin of your opponent was recognized correctly.
The biggest weapon of Tenergy 05 can backfire. When a rubbers grips the ball perfectly, it’s also very sensitiv to the opponents spin, which will result in easy mistakes for players who don’t master the rubber. On the long term I see many advantages by that. Because you have to learn the right playing technique.
In short Butterfly Tenergy 05 is a rubber for advanced topspin players, playing with a variety of fast, spinny topspins. The rubber isn’t made for passive blocking and pure choppers, although there can be produced a heavy backspin.
Tenergy 05 is a weapon, which must be mastered and used the right way. Not everyone is able to control Tenergy 05. And it mustn’t be. Nevertheless every ambitious table tennis player should at least consider this rubber.
When first unpacked, Butterfly Tenergy 05 plays extremely fast. After a few weeks the rubbers loses a little speed. From there on the rubber contains its attributes until the very end.
The question, when you should replace your T05, isn’t exactly determined. Even a worn out T05 can be played with really well. The average durability is about 4-6 months, which is double the average durability of an Tensor rubber (2-4 months).
Why do so many pro players play with Tenergy 05? Even the pros sponsored by other brands?
The answer is pretty easy. This rubber works. The quality is amazing. For pros, one of the most important things is a consistent spin-arc. In addition a reliable equipment is necessary.
Furthermore the players had to get used to the unique attributes of Tenergy 05 until the other brands could manage to create similar rubbers. Then why change while your equipment still works pretty well?
Best alternatives for Butterfly Tenergy 05
Nittaku Fastarc G-1
Nittaku Fastarc G-1 is the number one best-selling table tennis rubber in Japan. The rubber is sold more often than T05.
Furthermore Fastarc G-1 provides the best alternative to Tenergy 05 with its similar attributes.
Especially in terms of maximum rotation and topspin play Fastarc G-1 is on the same level. Because of the extremely grippy topsheet and the low catapult, the feel of the rubbers is similar.
Next to the comparable hardness, the rubbers shares the same weaknesses. Number one is the sensitivity to spin. In comparing the angles, arcs and spin level, we can also see the shared advantages.
A difference can mainly seen in the open game. Nittaku Fastarc G-1 has more direct feel when hitting the ball hard. Tenergy 05 though is more dangerous in the first, opening topspins.
Xiom Vega Pro
For a long time Xiom Vega Pro could have been considered the best alternative to Butterfly Tenergy 05. Still this rubber provides a good replacement solution, especially when your budget is limited.
Xiom Vega Pro is a complete topspin rubber. Otherwise it wouldn’t be considered an alternative to T05.
The difference between those two rubbers can be found in catapult and dynamics. Vega Pro possesses more power from half-distance strokes and with fast, hard hitters. Even though the catapult is similar in short-short play, the rubbers explodes a lot more while blocking and in counter play.
Overall the feel while playing is different, although the general attributes, like a high arc, lots of spin or a strong sensitivity to the opponents spin, are the same.
Why not Tibhar Evolution MX-P
When searching for high level rubbers, Tenergy 05 and Tibhar Evolution MX-P are named often. Both have their absolut strengths and can be considered as two of the best performing rubbers in table tennis.
But performance level doesn’t mean these rubbers have the same attributes. MX-P has more power, a flatter arc and way more catapult.
So, there are better options for replacing T05, when a similar playing style is wanted. But that doesn’t mean you can’t switch from T05 to MX-P. It just needs some adjustments.
Conclusion - Is Tenergy 05 the best of all time? The GOAT of table tennis rubbers?
Up to today Butterfly Tenergy 05 is one of the most famous table tennis rubbers. You can love it. You can hate it. But that’s a fact. The spin, the arc and durability speak for themselves.
And because of this extremely endurable concept, a change to other rubbers helps only a little to save money. And no, I am not currently playing with T05. But I have to recommend it.
The best rubber of all times? Only after ten years on the market, I would choose all time classics like Yasaka Mark V or Butterfly Sriver over T05. However this rubber is currently the ultimate weapon, even though Tibhar Evolution rubbers and Nittaku Fastarc don’t stand a long way behind.
Furthermore, with Dignics 05 there is a new generation of spring sponge rubbers on the market. We will see how it will be accepted due to the high price.
For now, Butterfly Tenergy 05 stands on top of the high-end rubber market.
✓ Maximum spin
✓ Maximum arc
✓ Perfect grip
✓ Long-lasting durability
✗ High price
✗ Hard to master