Released in 2017, Butterfly’s Rozena is one of the most popular table tennis rubbers currently in production.
The Butterfly Rozena is a special rubber and one that I like a lot. It’s not as expensive as most of the other Butterfly rubbers, but it’s still close when it comes to performance.
Butterfly is a brand that’s known for its cutting-edge equipment. Professional players always choose Butterfly blades and rubbers as they’re known for being arguably the best you can get.
However, because Butterfly put their efforts into developing the fastest and spinniest rubbers, they never released a rubber for ’developing’ offensive players, that is, until the Rozena arrived.
To clear all the doubts we had about the Rozena, we bought a sheet specifically for this review and tested it for more than 40 hours to see exactly how it performs.
The Rozena features 2 main technologies, the Spring Sponge (present in the Tenergy series), and the Rozena Tolerance. Its sponge is medium-soft and it is bouncier than average. The Rozena is quite fast without losing out on too much control, and it has a high throw angle.
The strongest attributes of this rubber are its control and its safety in offensive play, especially considering that it’s a fast rubber. It excels at the whole variety of offensive strokes, be it loops, blocks, or flicks, and it’s also good for serving and the short game. It is a superbly balanced rubber.
The Rozena is the ultimate rallying rubber for developing offensive players, as it’s very controllable, it has a high and safe throw angle, and it’s very easy to use while being dangerous for the opponent. It is the perfect rubber for The Controller playstyle.
Perfect for: Attackers of all levels on either side of the racket (depending on the blade used and what they want out of the rubber), and advanced all-rounders on either side of the racket. 1-10+ years of playing.
Alvaro brings 7+ years of playing experience. He’s tested 20+ rubbers for Racket Insight and his style is The Controller.
Blade Used: Stratus Power Wood
Rubber Thickness: 2.1mm
Hours Tested: 40+
We recommend the Butterfly Rozena to players who want a very well balanced, modern, medium-soft offensive rubber.
Design of the Butterfly Rozena
The Butterfly Rozena comes in a high-quality sealed package.
Upon opening the package, we find the rubber. The version we ordered is a red 2.1mm sheet of Butterfly Rozena.
The topsheet of the Butterfly Rozena is very grippy and almost non-tacky, and its sponge is a bright pink color.
Its hardness is medium/medium-soft, somewhere around 43-45 degrees ESN. It’s slightly softer than all of the rubbers in the Tenergy range.
The Butterfly Rozena incorporates two main technologies, the Spring Sponge and the Rozena Tolerance.
The Spring Sponge is the trademark Tenergy sponge. In the Rozena, the Spring Sponge is a slightly softer and tamer version of what you would find on any of the Tenergies.
Even then, the Rozena is quite a bouncy rubber and it has a high arc like the Tenergies. The arc on the Rozena is comparable to that of the Tenergy 05.
The second special technology of the Rozena is the Rozena Tolerance. In this picture, we can see its key effects:
If you ask me, I would say that the Rozena Tolerance is the addition of a slightly tamer and softer sponge to a slightly less grippy version of the Tenergy topsheet.
All these characteristics combined give you a markedly offensive yet very safe and controllable rubber, which excels at blocking, looping, flicking, and countering.
Cut to my Fan Zhendong ALC, the Butterfly Rozena weighs in at 47 grams, a very good weight for a rubber with these playing characteristics.
As for the Rozena’s durability, this is how it’s looking after around 40-50 hours of intensive training and tournament play.
I would say that the Rozena’s durability is slightly above average. As you can see from the picture, the rubber is starting to wear out in the center, but this effect is mostly visual.
After these hours of intensive use, the rubber still plays as if it were brand new.
In terms of durability, there are two things I love about Butterfly rubbers:
- Their sponges aren’t factory-boosted, they’re very fast rubbers because of their high tension. This means that Butterfly rubbers don’t lose speed and power as they degrade, as there isn’t a factory booster that evaporates over time. This happens all the time with ESN rubbers.
- Even when Butterfly rubbers are worn out, they’re still relatively usable, unlike rubbers from most other brands.
Added to all this, the Rozena comes in at “just” $40. For a durable and high-quality rubber, this is a more than adequate price point, especially when we consider that this rubber has superb playing characteristics.
- Speed: Medium
- Spin: High
- Control: Medium-High
- Tackiness: Slightly tacky
- ITTF Approved: Yes
- Sponge Thickness: 1.7mm, 1.9mm, 2.1mm
Summary: Dominate the open rally with this fast, spinny and controllable offering from Butterfly.
Playtesting the Butterfly Rozena
Before analyzing the rubber, I must mention that we tested the Butterfly Rozena on a Tibhar Stratus Power Wood, our usual testing blade, and a Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC, my personal blade.
The Rozena performed wonderfully on both blades, however, I felt like the combination between the Stratus and the Rozena was slightly ‘mushy’. The Rozena didn’t feel “crisp” or “clicky”. It felt slightly sluggish compared to what I’m used to.
If you’re a beginner or an early intermediate-level player, you can definitely go for a combination that includes the Stratus Power Wood or any OFF- blade and the Rozena. However, the more advanced you are, the more you’ll notice the lack of feeling.
I had been looking for an alternative to the Xiom Vega X, as I wanted something slightly faster and more offensive while not losing out on much control. I figured I wasn’t quite ready for a Tenergy 05 on my outer ALC blade, but I wanted something like it but with more control. The Rozena fit the bill perfectly.
I feel like the Rozena has the dwell time and control I need while having more “pop” than the Vega X.
I also really like the feeling of the Rozena with the Fan Zhendong. The Rozena pairs wonderfully with carbon blades. You can feel the ball dig into the sponge and you have that extra millisecond of dwell time, but you don’t lose out on explosiveness and the combination feels nice and lively.
In terms of base speed, the Rozena is a step above rubbers like the Rasanter R42 and the Xiom Vega X, and a step below all of the Tenergies.
Driving and looping
The Butterfly Rozena is spectacular for driving, looping, and punching the ball.
It delivers a lively feel in the hand, but due to its throw angle and relative softness, you get great safety over the net, a sense of control, and tons of dwell time.
The Rozena works great for driving the ball as it has just the right amount of catapult.
Due to the characteristics we mentioned above, the Rozena instills a sense of confidence and control when driving the ball.
As for looping, the Rozena is a unique rubber, unlike any other I’ve tried.
The Rozena is such a great rubber for looping because it retains most of the characteristics that make the Tenergy 05 a special rubber. The Rozena is essentially a toned-down, softer, and slightly less grippy version of the Tenergy 05.
This makes it a much safer and manageable rubber. I’d say that, for the vast majority of players who aren’t yet at an advanced level, the Rozena is the better choice, especially for the backhand side.
In terms of looping, the Rozena is quite dynamic, especially when playing close to the table. The Rozena offers a high arc, tons of safety, good spin, speed, and a relatively long dwell time.
As a medium soft rubber, I would only recommend it for the forehand side if you don’t have a soft and flexible blade.
If you were to pair the Rozena on the forehand side of a Nittaku Acoustic (a soft and flexible all-wood blade), you would have a very high throwing, mushy feeling racket with little to no “pop” and directness.
This is what happened when I tried it on my Stratus Power Wood.
However, when I tried it on my Fan Zhendong ALC, the Rozena felt a lot clickier and more direct, even on the forehand side of my racket.
How this rubber behaves varies greatly depending on the type of blade you use it on.
The Rozena is better suited for rally players and players who don’t mind playing 2-5 loops to win the point rather than those who serve and try to finish the point on the following ball.
I like the Rozena on my backhand side for the same reason. My aim with the backhand is not to finish points outright, but rather, I like to attack my opponent over and over and get one more ball on the table than them.
I also am the type of player who uses the backhand as a setup for the forehand. On my backhand side, I open up, loop, block, and punch the ball with great consistency, but I never powerloop in tournaments and league matches.
The Rozena is just perfect for playing all of those strokes. Many players are like me, and that’s why the Rozena is such a popular backhand rubber.
As for counterlooping, the Rozena is great, especially when close to the table and at mid-distance. The “Rozena Tolerance” really comes into play when countering, as it grants us that additional time with the ball and a greater margin of safety over the net.
The Rozena Tolerance also comes into play when performing open-ups. The additional dwell time you get when compared with ultra-offensive rubbers is very noticeable, and it helps me land more open-ups on the table on a regular basis.
This effect can really come in handy in tournaments and league matches. Having that extra confidence when the pressure’s on can sometimes be the difference between opening up and taking the initiative versus playing a push and giving the first attack to your opponent.
With the Rozena, I noticed that I progressively stopped playing pushes on my backhand side. Even if I’m slightly out of position, I always trust my rubber to put out a safe and spinny, high-arcing open-up.
If I had a Tibhar MX-P or a Tenergy 05, I wouldn’t have the same confidence in playing these shots, and this is why I value the Rozena so much. It is a dynamic offensive rubber, but it makes you feel confident that you won’t miss at the same time.
Serve and receive
Serving and receiving are very good with the Butterfly Rozena.
In terms of serving, it produces the amount of spin you’d expect from a modern offensive rubber, but it doesn’t get to the level of the Tenergies, the Hurricane 3 NEO, or the Fastarc G-1, for example.
I did value, however, the extra amount of dwell time and the speed level of the Rozena in that the ball didn’t bounce straight off my racket and I could place all my serves wherever I wanted.
The best attribute of this rubber is, in my opinion, serve receive. The Rozena excels both at active and passive serve receives.
Starting with passive serve receives, the Rozena is not as bouncy as top-tier offensive rubbers, so you can push wherever you want, with any speed or depth. Touching short is also comparatively easy.
In terms of active serve receives, I believe that the Butterfly Rozena is the ideal rubber to learn the backhand flick.
It’s superb at backhand flicks, and it’s the ideal rubber for intermediate-level offensive players who want to incorporate this stroke into their game.
You get quite a bit of time with the ball and you can really feel it sink into the rubber, but, at the same time, you have the trademark explosiveness of the Butterfly Spring Sponge.
In addition, the Rozena has quite a high arc, so flicking underspin serves is a lot easier than with most other rubbers.
To this day, the Rozena is the best rubber I’ve tried for getting consistent backhand flicks.
Blocking and chopping
Blocking with the Rozena was great.
It’s easy to play both passive and active blocks. If you relax your wrist, the Rozena is a great rubber for soaking incoming speed and spin.
I really liked how it’s a lot easier to block spinny open-ups and powerloops with the Rozena than with other faster and spinnier rubbers. In practice, this makes us get more balls on the table, therefore winning more points.
Active blocks also work very well with the Rozena. With a slight flick of the wrist, you can use incoming speed against your opponents.
I feel like the Rozena has the perfect speed in that it’s not overly hard to control blocks against hard-hit loops, but, at the same time, it’s fast enough so that our active blocks can be dangerous to the opponent.
Lots of rubbers can’t get this balance in blocking quite right.
Slow rubbers, such as the Yasaka Mark V, are great at controlling incoming speed, but our blocks won’t be fast enough to trouble our opponents.
Very fast rubbers, such as the Tenergy 64, are great at producing dangerous blocks, but you need to relax your wrist and always get the racket’s angle virtually perfect to get the ball on the table.
I felt like the Rozena struck the perfect balance between being relatively easy to control while also enabling us to trouble opponents with our blocks.
Chopping is quite good with the Rozena. I don’t know who would benefit from using the Rozena to chop, though.
You see, modern defenders love using rubbers such as the Tenergy 05 on the forehand side.
The Tenergy 05 produces very spinny chops if you know what you’re doing, and it’s also superb for attacking.
Classical defenders love using defensive rubbers such as the Butterfly Tackiness Chop on the forehand side to get as much control as possible.
The Rozena is kind of in the middle. You wouldn’t want it on the forehand side of your racket if you’re a modern defender because it wouldn’t be fast enough to attack on a defensive racket nor will it give you as much control as defensive rubbers if you’re a classical defender.
The Rozena is good for chopping since you can get almost as much spin as with a Tenergy and a bit more control, but I don’t think any defenders will be using it, sadly.
It may be a good option for all-rounders who want a good balance between defense and attack, though.
Alternatives to the Butterfly Rozena
Overall reflections on the Butterfly Rozena
The Butterfly Rozena is a superb rubber. I recommend it for intermediate-level players who aren’t ready for an ultra-offensive rubber just yet but want a safe and dynamic offensive rubber to get their game to the next level.
I also think that the Rozena is a superb backhand rubber, even for advanced players. Backhand loops, open-ups, flicks, and blocks are made quite easy with this rubber, and they’re quite effective too.
One of the attributes I like the most about the Rozena is its superb touch. Its medium-soft sponge gives us great confidence, very good feeling with the ball, and a lot of dwell time.
In addition, the Rozena is quite durable and well-priced, considering it’s made by the most reputable brand, Butterfly.
Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 100 in his native Argentina. He loves to compete in provincial tournaments and is always looking for ways to improve. Alvaro made his favourite memories with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight team to share his passion with other players!