(By Darryl Tsao)
Tenergy 19 is a modern performance rubber from Butterfly that is actually easy to use. The sponge is noticeably softer than the Dignics series, as well at the topsheet. Additionally, the topsheet is also less grippy on the Tenergy than the Dignics. In this test, I used my Viscaria blade with this rubber. The Tenergy 19 plays like a watered down Dignics, suited for more beginner to intermediate players. Athletes who have refined techniques and lots of power will find that the rubber feels very mute, and doesn’t have the crisp sensation the Dignics series has. On the forehand side, you can immediately feel the “Spring Sponge” come into effect, you just feel the ball spring out of the rubber after a rather long dwell time. But once you start adding power, the spring effect goes away, and you might feel that the ball is shaking. It feels like hitting into a sponge, with the sponge releasing the ball with less power than the incoming ball. On the backhand side however, the disadvantages of a muted feeling and a lack of power, almost completely go away. There is still a hint of it, but it is much more suited to the backhand than the forehand. Much like the forehand, the ball soaks into the rubber a lot, and springs out with much spin, but not as much quality as the Dignics series. However, this rubber performs really well in the shots that you have a lot of time with, such as mid distance looping, looping topspin from underspin, and especially the backhand flicks. These shots really excel with the Tenergy 19, due to the long dwell time, as well as the trajectory of this rubber, which is fairly high. However, like the forehand, once you try to add more force into the ball, the shaky ball feeling comes back. I feel like once you have reached the rubber’s highest “gear”, the ball quality starts to diminish.
One area that the Tenergy 19 excels at even more than the Dignics is that it is incredibly easy to hit through the rubber. What I mean by this is that not much power is needed to achieve the rubber’s maximum quality. Ironically, the best and worst areas of this rubber are in the short game. The flicks feel exceptional, with the right amount of arc and spin. However, the pushes feel way out of control. There is just not much control in this area, and I find myself easily pushing long, even when barely touching the ball. I believe that this rubber fits a niche of players; players who like to flick and play from mid distance from the table, spinning the ball with a lot of feeling, not power. But I feel like intermediate players will benefit the most from this rubber, since it has good dwell time with above average spin, and its ability to easily hit through the rubber, which makes it one of the easiest to play high end rubbers.
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