JOOLA Golden Tango PS has been on my list of rubbers to be tested for a long time. With my tests for further hybrid rubbers with 50° sponges and sticky top sheets, I was able to implement the long pending test.
I’d like to say in advance that the JOOLA Golden Tango is not only harder than the GTPS, but has little to do with the playing characteristics of its softer version. The normal Golden Tango is based on typical Chinese hybrid rubbers. Another example for such rubbers would be Xiom Vega China.
Instead, Golden Tango PS features a tensor rubber with a hard sponge and very sticky top sheet. Similar to Donic BlueGrip R1 & V1, as well as the Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro, the rubber was modified from a typical tensor rubber. The playing feel is not as extremely hard and undynamic as with many Chinese rubbers.
These unique playing characteristics make these tests interesting. I could already see this on the Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro, which was tested at the same time. But also the Donic BlueGrip rubbers have these characteristics.
The primary goal of this test is to show the differences to the other rubbers , build with the same concept. Of course, JOOLA Golden Tango PS is the pioneer of this rubber concept and is particularly in my focus. That’s why I’m going to take a close look at the special features.
Technical features of JOOLA Golden Tango PS
|Reviewed rubber||Black Max.|
|Sponge||Medium-sized pores 50° Shores (EUR) Hard|
The very sticky rubber surface is conspicuous. This reminds me of the sticky Chinese classics. However, the rubber material is much more elastic than Chinese rubbers are.
The pimple structure of the Golden Tango PS is comparable to the pimple structures of the Hybrid K1 and BlueGrip R1. The differences lie in a different topsheet material and possibly a different kind of built-in factory tuning.
The sponge of the rubber is medium pored. Overall, this rubber appears softer than the indicated 50° (EUR) hardness.
As with other table tennis rubbers, a pink sponge was used. However, the color doesn’t represent its characteristics. I have already read in some forums that this is the sponge of the Rhyzer rubber series. I can’t confirm this.
Play characteristics of JOOLA Golden Tango PS
When warming up with counter play, it is obvious how flexible and soft JOOLA Golden Tango PS is designed for a rubber with a 50° hard sponge. I always had a very good ball control. Incoming balls are literally socked up by the sticky-flexible topsheet. With that you can play the ball back very safely.
The basic speed of this rubber is high, but not extremely fast. In addition, the GTPS has a good portion of catapult. This makes it generally possible to play fast balls with little effort. However the overall hardness and demanding characteristics must be considered as well to get a full picture.
Opening topspin & counter loops
The safe topspin opening is the great strength of the JOOLA Golden Tango PS. Especially on my backhand side the rubber supported my dangerous, spin-heavy topspins answering the opponents backspins. The rotation level is very high. This lead to some balls being blocked over the table by my opponents.
Furthermore you can act fast and direct, although the power is not as high as with Butterfly Dignics 05 or Donic BlueGrip V1, for example.
For counter topspins the GTPS is controllable, fast and dynamic. It didn’t matter if I was involved in counter topspins at the table or from half distance. The spin of the topsheet dominates over the power of the sponge regarding the overall feel of GTPS.
Second effort & comparisons
The the second and third attacks are particularly safe. The combination of rotation, speed & high power, as well as the dynamic of the rubber, allows a good mixture of placement and variability.
Compared to Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro, Donic BlueGrip V1 and Donic BlueGrip R1, the JOOLA Golden Tango PS is the softest and most controlled version. The rotation level is similar to that of the Hybrid K1. However, HK1 is faster than GTPS. When it comes to catapult effect, Golden Tango PS is the leader.
I really liked the combination of K1 on my forehand and GTPS on my backhand side. This allowed me to play with a lot of spin on both sides. On my forehand with the focus on my winners. In the backhand side with safe, rotation-strong opening spins and controlled blocking.
Half distance & longer rallies
In the game from half distance Golden Tango PS is not bad. The rubber develops a good, sufficient dynamic. While I like the spin and the ball flight curve, I would like even more power. The Donic BlueGrip R1 is better suited for playing from distance, as it simply puts more pressure on the opponent.
Long rallies are another strength of this rubber. Especially for spin players like me it is important to dominate from all positions with rotation and not being forced to play always with excessive speed. The rubber definitely has the potential to be a good solution for variable topspin players if you can handle the overall hardness.
And I never had the feeling of losing control, despite the high basic tempo. The rubber is generally spin-sensitive and therefore predestined for one’s own mistakes. But with a reasonably good movement to the ball it compensates this weakness. In general, Golden Tango PS is also controllable for players in the lower leagues, but not for beginners.
Block & Control
What I already liked about the Hybrid K1 Euro goes even better with the JOOLA Golden Tango PS. In the blocking game, the combination of catapult, hardness and sticky, elastic topsheet is almost legendary. Blocked balls from all positions, early or late, on the plate or further away, succeed with a high rate.
Active blocks can be set quickly and flat. In addition, I was able to place it very precisely.
Due to the catapult, passive blocks are also a strength of the rubber. Soft and sensitive, spinning as well as fast shots of the opponent can be played back.
What I like all in all is the very high ball control. Such a thing is untypical for a hard rubber like this one. When I compare this with a Dignics 05, Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 or even a Tenergy 05 Hard, the ball security is highly noticeable.
But with all the praise, it must be clear in what realtion I mean that. Even the Golden Tango PS is not a beginner’s table tennis rubber. But those who like to play hard rubbers and have problems with controlling such rubbers will love the GTPS. However, it must also be said that in connection with the control, the power can not keep up to others in this category.
Service & Returns
Serves can be played very spinny. In this discipline I’ve gotten more out the the Hybrid K1, although the spin level is generally the same. This is probably because the JOOLA Golden Tango PS is a bit slower, which makes slow shots easier to play with rotation, while losing a bit of the extremes.
I had the same feeling with backspins in the return game. You are able to return the serves spin-heavy, short and with a good ball placement. The rubber is extremely sensitive to spin if the racket angle is wrong. If I reacted to late, however, I had fewer problems.
Banana flips are really nice to play. It was so much fun that I wanted to play every return with my backhand banana at some point. With direct flips, and this is the only shot I felt that way, the rubber seemed spongy and inaccurate.
Shots & long defence
Due to the good dynamics and hardness of the rubber, fast shooting is possible without any problems. Unfortunately, the power is not as dominant as it is with a BlueGrip V1, for example.
In the long defence, the rubber was safe and easy to play. What was really interesting, however, was the extremely good suitability for backspins. I got really extreme backspin on the balls, which were hardly attackable. Of course I like something like that 😀
Conclusion on the JOOLA Golden Tango PS
JOOLA Golden Tango PS is a very interesting rubber. The sticky top sheet, the existing catapult and the 50° power sponge provide a unique combination.
Especially on the backhand side, with spin-heavy opening spins and dangerous backspins, the rubber showed its strengths. Unfortunately this mix is at the expense of top speed, full power and dynamics.
Compared to the similarly designed rubbers tested at the same time, the GTPS is the most controlled, softest alternative with the most catapult effect.
The rubber is recommendable for players who are looking for a hard, spinny, but not too fast topspin rubber and want to play more variable. But the rubber can also be used for backspin-defence. Furthermore, the GTPS is not for beginners, but is still suitable for for most of the players.