Best Backhand Rubbers For All Types of Players (2022)

While some players are content using the same rubber for backhand and forehand, others like to experiment — to mix and match to find rubbers that suit their unique styles.

After all, we perform strokes on both sides of the paddle but the backhand and forehand are wildly different. For many of us, this stems from the fact we have a favored side.

For me it’s forehand, I struggle with backhand consistency. So we give that side more time and love, which causes the other to lag. Consequently, the requirements of backhand rubbers vary quite a lot from player to player.

To make the selection process a little easier, I’m going to cover what I believe to be some of the best backhand rubber choices. Each rubber is broken down by play style. But first, let’s delve a little deeper into understanding the backhand.

NumberProduct imageProduct NamePlaystyleRating
1Butterfly Tenergy 05Butterfly Tenergy 05Offensive9.3
2Rasanter R42Andro Rasanter R42Offensive9.3
3best backhand rubberRakza 7Offensive9.4
4Yasaka Mark VYasaka Mark VAll-round8.6
5Butterfly SriverButterfly SriverAll-round8.5
6best backhand rubberAcuda S3All-round9
7xiom Vega DefXiom Vega DefDefensive8.5
8TSP Curl P1RTSP Curl P-1RDefensive8.5

How Does Backhand Differ From Forehand

I’m going to begin by getting the obvious out of the way. You play backhand strokes in front of your body whereas you perform forehand strokes to the side. This, in turn, creates different mechanisms for each shot.

As you strike the ball in front of you on the backhand side the stroke is far more contained. This restricts your rotation at the waist which forces you to generate speed and spin using mostly your elbow and wrist.

Forehand, by comparison, allows for much larger strokes as you strike the ball to the side of your body. This means you not only use a lot of elbow, but also more hip rotation and legs. As such, the forehand tends to be a much more powerful stroke, and this is the reason why the vast majority of players prefer it.

What Makes a Good Backhand Rubber in Table Tennis?

Ultimately, personal preference will decide the properties of your choice of rubber; but when looking for the best table tennis rubber for backhand, players should follow these general rules.

First, you want a rubber with a good amount of speed. As mentioned earlier, backhand strokes are far more contained than forehand strokes. This means you need a little more help from the rubber in the higher gears for backhand strokes.

Most players also prefer a slightly softer rubber on their backhand side compared to their forehand. The softness allows you to be more versatile and gives you greater dwell time on your shots. But don’t go too soft or the rubber could feel uninspiring.

In terms of throw angle, I would say this is one of the more subjective areas. Most of the time players prefer a medium throw angle. Why? Because players want to play more directly with shots, such as with flicks. You don’t necessarily need a heavy arc on your backhand shot — it is rarer to loop from a low position on your backhand compared to your forehand.

Also, Chinese rubbers are great for the forehand, but they aren’t ideal for the backhand. This is because you must generate a lot of power to use them effectively. Most people just won’t be able to use Chinese rubbers to their full effect on the backhand side.

Best Backhand Table Tennis Rubbers for Offensive Players

1. Butterfly Tenergy 05 — Most Explosive

best backhand rubber tenergy
  • Ratings: Speed 9.3, Spin 9.4, Control 8.4
  • Thickness: 1.7mm, 1.9mm, 2.1mm
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $$$
  • Rating: 9.3

Unsurprisingly, the most popular rubber of all time, Tenergy 05, makes the list as one of the best backhand rubbers on the market in 2022. With explosive power, Tenergy 05 gives you all the speed you need for the more contained backhand strokes.

It is medium-hard and has a high throw angle. Personally, I prefer a lower throw angle but to each their own. Tenergy 05 is versatile and works well on both the backhand and forehand side. Moreover, it’s been the backhand rubber of choice of many professionals for years and I see this continuing into the future.

The only two caveats to Tenergy 05 are its control and cost. Since it’s so fast and spinny, it’s hard to control. Even offensive players may want something a little more controllable on their backhand. Tenergy 05 is also one of the most expensive rubbers you can buy. It is undoubtedly a good offensive backhand rubber, but if you are on a budget, it may be better to look elsewhere. Many cheaper rubbers do rival Tenergy 05. For a more detailed look at this rubber, check out our review.

2. Andro Rasanter R42

best backhand rubber rasanter
  • Ratings: Speed 9.2, Spin 9.4, Control 9.3
  • Thickness: 1.7mm, 2mm, Ultramax
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $$$
  • Rating: 9.3

Since I’m a huge fan of the Rasanter series, either R42 or R37 would inevitably make this list. I chose to go with R42 over R37, as the latter is very soft — probably too soft for most players.

Rasanter R42 is an incredibly fast and spinny rubber suited for the offensive modern-day looper. Created as a successor to the Rasant series, it addresses the plastic ball change. This saw the top sheet reduce in thickness, while the sponge thickness increased.

R42 offers sizeable dwell time which makes it a great choice as a backhand rubber. If you are a particularly spinny player, you should have no trouble winning points from backhand loop openers against backspin. Rasanter R42 is one of the spinniest rubbers available and has a medium-high throw angle.  

Durability is another area in which R42 shines. It is very long-lasting, which will save you money in the future since you won’t need to replace the sheets as often. Check out our review of Andro Rasanter R42 for more information.

3. Rakza 7

best backhand rubber rasanter

Ratings: Speed 9, Spin 9.3, Control 8.9
Thickness: 1.8mm, 2mm, Max
ITTF Approved? Yes
Price: $$$
Rating: 9.4

Rakza 7 plays very similarly to Rasanter R47 (my personal rubber), and it’s a bit harder than Rasanter R42 above. Despite having been out for a long time, it is still one of the most popular backhand rubbers in 2022.

It’s got everything you need as an attacker, great spin, speed, and control. Like Tenergy 05 it’s medium-hard so it doesn’t hold the ball for a particularly long time. You also get a much lower throw angle than Tenergy 05 which makes it a better rubber for the backhand side in my opinion. In fact, to me, it’s one of the best backhand rubbers in table tennis right now.

If Rakza 7 sounds like it might be for you consider reading our full break-down

Best Backhand Table Tennis Rubbers for All-round Players

1. Yasaka Mark V

best backhand rubber yasaka
  • Ratings: Speed 8, Spin 8.2, Control 8.7
  • Thickness: 1mm, 1.5mm, 1.8mm, 2mm, Max
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $
  • Rating: 8.6

Yasaka Mark V is a staple of table tennis. It’s one of the most popular rubbers of all time and is suitable for almost all players (only beginners should avoid it).

Sporting a sponge of medium hardness, Yasaka Mark V plays in a very predictable way. The throw angle is medium. It lacks the springy catapult effect of modern rubbers, which makes it easier to control and gives you more confidence in playing your strokes. Mark V is a good forgiving rubber for backhand.

Available in 1mm through to max, you have a great deal of customization at your disposal. Despite the lack of speed even in the higher thicknesses relative to other rubbers, Mark V has still shown its quality on the world stage. It’s helped many players, such as the great Ma Lin, win world titles.

Yasaka Mark V is a great choice for players who don’t want top-notch speed and want their rubber to last. It’s renowned for its durability. It’s also one of the more affordable rubbers. Read our review of the Yasaka Mark V for more insight into it.

2. Butterfly Sriver

best backhand rubber sriver
  • Ratings: Speed 8, Spin 8, Control 8.5
  • Thickness: 1.5mm, 1.7mm, 1.9mm, 2.1mm, Max
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $
  • Rating: 8.5

Rated and priced very similar to Yasaka Mark V, it’s a close call between these two rubbers. Sriver has been a long-time favorite and bestseller among Butterfly players. This rubber has helped players secure over 20 World and 70 European Titles.

Sriver is available in several different thicknesses which allows you to cater to your specific style. 1.5mm is a great choice if you lean towards defending, 1.7mm/1.9mm is best for true all-round players, and 2.1mm+ is for all-round players who need an attacking edge.

As far as all-round rubbers go, Sriver is a perfect fit. It may be old, but it doesn’t need the newer technologies developed mostly for the highly offensive style — it’s not that kind of rubber. If you want to block more, I would go for Sriver. If you want a bit more pace, Yasaka Mark V is a slightly better choice.

To learn more about Sriver click here.

3. Donic Acuda S3 — Softest

best backhand rubber acuda
  • Ratings: Speed 8.4, Spin 9.1, Control 8.7
  • Thickness: 2mm, Max
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $$$
  • Rating: 9.0

Acuda S3 is an offensive-/all-round+ rubber. It is notably slower than the likes of Tenergy 05 but quicker than Sriver and Mark V. What makes this rubber unique is its soft sponge which gives you a lot of dwell time.

Back when I was competing a lot at county level, the Acuda series was very popular with players. As I recall, Acuda S1 and Acuda S2 were the most common. However, I feel S3 is a great backhand choice. Not only is it great for flicking and looping. But it also excels in the blocking department too, so you can comfortably defend in between your attacking spells.

Best Backhand Rubbers for Defensive Players

1. Xiom Vega Def — Most Versatile

best backhand rubber xiom

  • Ratings: Speed 8.2, Spin 9, Control 8.6
  • Thickness: Max
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $$
  • Rating: 8.5

Xiom Vega Def is a chopping rubber, and one of the hardest rubbers you can buy at 57.5 degrees. Xiom Vega Def is only available in max thickness. This is surprising, since most choppers prefer something a little thinner; but, this rubber provides a different playing experience than what most defenders are familiar with.

Designed in response to the plastic ball change, Vega Def has a very grippy top sheet for generating heavy backspin. It’s also very fast for a chopping rubber. Players can easily attack to punish poor pushes and loops from their opponents. However, this rubber is a lot slower than the rest of the Xiom range, as it was designed for the defensive game.

The underlying sponge is a deep black, which conveys the threatening potential of this versatile rubber.

2. TSP Curl P-1R — Tricky Rubber

best backhand rubber curl

  • Ratings: Speed 5.6, Spin 6.5, Control 7.5
  • Thickness: 0.3mm-0.6mm, 1mm-1.3mm, 1.4mm-1.7mm
  • ITTF Approved? Yes
  • Price: $
  • Rating: 8.5

TSP Curl P-1R is a great choice if you’re after a long pimple rubber. The Curl line is very popular with table tennis professionals, and outstanding players like Joo Saehyuk and Suh Hyowon use it. Once banned by ITTF regulations, Curl P-1R was re-worked to make it legal once more.

It has the softest and longest pips of the Curl rubber series, which helps it play very deceptively. This will make you a tricky player to deal with. Curl P-1R can reverse spin very well, turning backspin into topspin and vice-versa.

The TSP Curl P-1R is attractively priced, meaning you can really splurge on your forehand rubber if you want to. I recommend pairing it with an inverted rubber to make your game extra tricky. You can then twiddle your bat between the two to try and force a mistake out of your opponent.    

FAQs

What Rubber is Best For Backhand?

The best rubbers for backhand depend on your style of play. For attackers, Rakza 7 is a very good choice. It has the spin and speed required to play lethal backhand strokes. Allround players on the other hand, are better off with a rubber such as Mark V or Sriver. They offer more control but are still able to finish points with powerful shots.

What Rubber Does Ma Long Use on Backhand?

Ma Long is currently using Hurricane 3 NEO on his backhand side. This is strongly advised against for most players as Chinese rubbers require a lot of power to use properly. You only tend to see them on the forehand side. But as Ma Long is the best player in the world, he has the skill to use it effectively.

Is Tenergy 05 Good for Backhand?

Tenergy 05 is a super rubber for the backhand, but its explosive power and high throw angle may deter some players. Personally, I feel it is better suited to the forehand side, but it’s so great that you can use it on both. If you want a more direct Tenergy rubber check out Tenergy 64.

How Do I Keep Rubbers in Top Shape?

To keep your rubbers in great condition you should avoid getting them dirty. The best way to do this is to store your bat in a case when you are not using it. You should also clean your rubbers after every session. You can do this with rubber cleaner or by breathing on the sponge and wiping away the dirt with the water vapor from your breath.

Closing Thoughts

Most people have different rubber requirements on their backhand compared to their forehand due to the fundamental differences of the strokes. Hopefully, this guide has presented you with some rubbers that may be of interest.

My top recommendation is Rakza 7. It ticks all of the boxes for me. It has a ton of spin and speed for me to give my opponents trouble, and it also isn’t too hard and its throw angle isn’t too high. Tenergy 05 by comparison has a pretty high throw angle which I would rather not have on my backhand side.

As for an allround rubber. I feel Mark V is the best rubber for backhand. It’s softer and slower than Rakza 7 which makes it far more manageable. As such, it’s a great choice both for advanced and intermediate players. Rakza 7 on the other hand is only suitable for advanced folks due to its high spin and speed.

Want to learn more about our favorite rubbers? You can read about that here.

Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.