Spin Testers

Best Table Tennis Rubbers 2023 for Intermediate Players

So, you're already couple months into playing table tennis and consider yourself an intermediate player. You learned basic strokes like pushes and drives. Maybe you've also had some success with your first couple topspins. Now you are ready to take the next step in the table tennis equipment game. It's time to upgrade your rubber from a classic beginner rubber (like the ones mentioned in our beginner guide) and start playing with entry level tension rubbers. Now you might be wondering what a tension rubber is. Basically, these are rubbers where the sponge has a certain tension to it, so when the ball hits the racket, it will sink into the sponge first and then bounce off faster giving your game more speed. (Read more about tensor technology in our guide here). The reason why you wouldn't want a strong tensor effect on a classic beginner rubber (like Mark V and such) is because as a beginner you won't be able to control the increased speed when the ball shoots off the racket. The solution are so called entry-level tension rubbers.


What is an entry-level tensor rubber?

An entry-level tensor rubber provides only minimal catapult when the ball leaves your racket after impact which is usually perfect for developing and intermediate players. The ball still sinks into the rubber but the acceleration is slower compared to faster rubbers. With increased experience you will be able to control this speed increase which again will allow you to play faster. Therefore, we do recommend to try out an entry-level rubber once you feel confident enough with your old classic rubber. Below you will find a couple of best entry-level tension rubbers that can be recommended to get started with:


Best entry-level rubber recommendations 2023

Andro GTT45

Best Andro Intermediate Entry Level Tension Rubber

The Andro GTT45 sits right in between classic beginner rubbers and advanced tensor products. It is primarily targeted for players who already have a couple of months of experience playing table tennis and now want to step up their game by entering the world of best tensor rubbers. GTT45's sponge has medium hardness and works great when improving basic strokes like push, drive and topspin near the table. For intermediate players, we do recommend to try to use GTT45 on your forehand and GTT40 on your backhand because the GTT40's softer sponge creates more catapult to compensate for most player's weaker backhand power.

Special bonus: You can get this rubber also in blue and pink color!.

Recommended sponge thickness:
1.8mm.

Rating
Speed 8/10
Control 8/10
Spin 8/10
Overall 8/10
Rating
  • Medium sponge
  • Moderate speed
  • Decent control
  • Grippy topsheet
  • Affordable ($40)
  • Slightly springy sponge

Nittaku Factive

Best Nittaku Factive Intermediate Entry Level Tension Rubber

The Nittaku Factive is one of those rare entry-level tensors which is a great alternative to the Andro GTT45. Its medium sponge is neither too fast nor too slow. The topsheet is grippy enough to execute all standard strokes close to the table, like push, drive or topspin loop as an intermediate player. For more advanced players however, who play aggressive power-topspin from mid-distance, this rubber will probably be way to slow. If you're an advanced player, then you might want to look for something a little bit faster. One thing to note especially for those who believe aesthetics are important: The Nittaku Factive has a purple sponge which might visually not fit well with other blade/rubber combinations that use different color combinations.

Recommended sponge thickness:
1.8mm.

Rating
Speed 8/10
Control 8/10
Spin 8/10
Overall 8/10
Rating
  • Medium sponge
  • Moderate speed
  • Decent control
  • Grippy topsheet
  • Affordable ($40)
  • Slightly springy sponge

Yasaka Rakza 7

Best intermediate table tennis rubber Yaska Rakza 7

As good as Andro GTT45 and Nittaku Factive might be, for some players these rubbers still might feel a bit to springy despite being entry-level tensors hence Yasaka also offers an even tamer version called Rakza 7. But don't be fooled by the word tame. Rakza 7 is an offensive style rubber but offers even more control by having the least tensor effect of the 3 rubbers on this list. However, if played right, Rakza 7 can definitely be the base for a fast, offensive playing style if you can activate it by generating a bit more power from your own technique. In general, Rakza 7 is recognized world wide by many players as a great allround rubber best suited for intermediate players who desire great control and speed. Tip: There is also Yasala Rakza 7 Soft available!

Recommended sponge thickness:
1.8mm.

Rating
Speed 7/10
Control 9/10
Spin 8/10
Overall 8/10
Rating
  • Medium sponge
  • Moderate speed
  • High control
  • Grippy topsheet
  • Somewhat affordable ($45)
  • Less springy, almost no tensor/catapult effect

Table Tennis Blade Recommendations for Intermediate Players

When upgrading from beginner to intermediate tensor rubbers, you can usually keep your beginner blade. However, if you want to step it up a notch, try one of these blades below which work great with any of the rubbers mentioned earlier. The following 3 blades are so called all-wood builds which means that all layers are completely made of wood.

Yasaka Allround Plus

Best Yasaka Allround Plus Intermediate Blade

Yasaka Sweden Extra

Best Yasaka Sweden Extra Intermediate Blade

Butterfly Korbel

Best Butterfly Korbel Intermediate Blade

Please note that the classic all-wood composition has changed a bit in modern table tennis in favor of carbon inserts. Blades with carbon typically consist of 5 wood layers plus 2 carbon layers. The reason why some blades now include carbon is that with the introduction of the plastic ball rackets now need to be faster. Therefore manufacturers tried to make these harder so they can be combined with softer rubbers which provide more tensor effect (what is tensor effect?). If you're interested in skipping the next iteration of an all-wood blade and go directly for an entry-level carbon product like for example the Nittaku Flyatt Carbon or check out our list of best budget blades. All of these would work best for an intermediate player who trains regularly at least 2 times a week.

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