Butterfly - Table Tennis Brand Profile
When talking about table tennis brands, Butterfly is a synonym for excellence. Butterfly is, without a doubt, the best table tennis brand in terms of innovation and popularity.
Even though they are the ones with the highest prices, Butterfly has always been #1 in terms of sales. Why so? Because they have been the manufacturer with some of the best products for over 60 years.
If we take a look at their rubbers, they have always been the choice of professional players, starting with Sriver, Bryce, then Tenergy, and now Dignics. There has not been an era in which table tennis professionals have not chosen Butterfly rubbers.
The same thing happens with blades, as Butterfly invented the ALC and ZLC compositions which have widely dominated the sport until today.
Butterfly is, by far, the most avant-garde manufacturer. Many players and coaches, myself included, believe that Butterfly has always been years ahead of their competition.
We’ll delve deep into Butterfly’s product range and give a concise outlook into why its products are some of the very best out there. We will also recommend Butterfly products to you based on your playing style and level. Let’s begin!
- Founded: 1950
- Founders: Hikosuke Tamasu
- Headquarters: Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
- Website: www.butterfly.co.jp
Butterfly Equipment Reviews
We buy table tennis equipment and conduct extensive testing so you don’t have to. These are the most detailed, independent Butterfly reviews available online written by players and coaches with years of playing experience. Learn more about how we review table tennis equipment.
The spinniest and highest-throwing in the whole Tenergy line, it’s one of the most legendary rubbers ever to grace the sport.
It has been used by professional players ever since its release in 2008, and it’s still loved by amateurs and high-level players alike.
Released in 2021, it’s the most recent addition to the Tenergy line.
This rubber is the most controllable Tenergy in the whole series, and even though it’s still a high-performance rubber, it’s perfectly balanced. It’s ideal on the backhand side.
This rubber is the middle point between the Tenergy 05 and the Tenergy 64, that is, it’s both fast and spinny, and it has a medium-high throw.
We recommend the Tenergy 80 for modern offensive players who want a good mix of speed, spin, and control.
Where to Buy Butterfly Products
Butterfly’s Most Popular Products
Butterfly are best known for their blades, rubbers, shoes, and robots.
The Butterfly Tenergy line is probably the most popular rubber line in the history of table tennis.
First introduced in 2008, it’s still widely used by professional players and amateurs alike. The Tenergy line was Butterfly’s flagship product for more than 10 years, and for good reason.
These rubbers boast superb speed and spin levels, and virtually all of them produce powerful, high-arcing shots. Their grip is excellent and their sponges are powerful.
These rubbers dominated the sport to such an extent that more than 50% of professional players chose these rubbers for the World Table Tennis Championships between 2009 and 2018.
The Butterfly Dignics is the current flagship rubber line by Butterfly. The Dignics line took over Butterfly’s top spot as their most premium and expensive rubber in 2019.
These rubbers are very hard, and even though they aren’t very similar to the Tenergy line, professional players love them all the same.
The Dignics line has an even better topsheet grip than the Tenergy line, and these rubbers have harder sponges.
What this means is that these rubbers perform better in the short game, they are more stable and they have a higher top-end speed and spin.
The downside to this is that a higher swing speed is necessary to activate their sponges, so these rubbers are targeted toward high-level players.
The Butterfly Viscaria is the most legendary offensive blade ever.
The Viscaria was the very first ALC blade. It was released in the year 1993 and it’s still widely used by top professional players until this day, which speaks for its timeless and nearly flawless design.
The Butterfly Lezolines are, together with the Mizuno Wave Drive, the most popular shoes in professional table tennis.
The Butterfly Lezolines are used by top players such as Timo Boll, Tomokazu Harimoto, and Kanak Jha, just to name a few.
The Butterfly Lezoline line has 6 models to choose from, ranging from $60 all the way to $120. The Lezoline Rifones are the most premium ones and the ones that professional players choose.
All of these shoes are lightweight, grippy, and comfortable. They are designed to play table tennis at the highest level, and they support forward and lateral movements wonderfully.
The Butterfly Amicus line of table tennis robots is the most prestigious one available in the market.
The Butterfly Amicus Prime specifically is without a doubt the most impressive table tennis robot ever created. Its quality is just the best as it’s the most consistent robot, it shoots incredibly spinny balls and its build quality is outstanding.
It even comes with a tablet pre-loaded with 21 different training drills for you to practice.
In addition, you can create and save any training drill you want with varying placements and spins so that every element of your game is covered.
The History of Butterfly
Tamasu Sports Goods Shop
The company we now know as Butterfly was founded in 1946 by table tennis player Hikosuke Tamasu, hence its current corporate name Tamasu Co., Ltd.
In the beginning, Tamasu’s shop was merely a small table tennis goods retailer. In 1949, Tamasu won the mixed doubles title at the All-Japan Championships. After his victory, he decided to retire from competitive table tennis to focus on his shop.
Foundation of Butterfly
In 1950, after WWII, Tamasu would purchase foreign-made rubbers from the American Occupation Forces in Japan, as he was not satisfied with the quality of Japanese made rubbers at the time.
Because of this, he decided to begin producing table tennis equipment. The name he chose for the newly founded table tennis brand was Butterfly.
In 1953, carpenters from the Yamaguchi prefecture were invited by Butterfly to produce their first table tennis blades. A year later, their very own blade factory was established, located at the present location of Butterfly’s headquarters.
In 1961, Butterfly released their first big hit: The Biriba pre-made racket.
In 1967, Butterfly released a rubber that would change the course of the history of table tennis and the brand itself: The Butterfly Sriver.
It adopted cutting-edge technology with a synthetic rubber topsheet and a high-performance sponge. More than half a century later, Butterfly is still selling thousands of Srivers every year.
In 1972, Butterfly released their first high-performance table tennis shoe, the Butterfly Radial.
By 1978, Butterfly would introduce a brand new technology to table tennis: carbon fiber on table tennis blades. They did so by launching the Tamca 5000 racket. Tamca 5000 constructions are still used to this day, for example, on the popular Primorac Carbon blade.
In 1993, Butterfly released what was, together with the Tenergy line, Butterfly’s best invention until today: the Butterfly Viscaria.
The Viscaria is the embodiment of what Butterfly represents: being years or even decades ahead of their competition.
More than 30 years later, the Viscaria is still used by hundreds of professional players, including some of the best in the world, and Butterfly’s competitors still haven’t been able to come up with a blade that professional players prefer over the Viscaria.
The invention of the Viscaria marked a before and after in table tennis, as Arylate-Carbon blades are still the most popular construction at the highest level of play.
In 1997, Butterfly released the Bryce rubber, the first high-tension rubber in table tennis.
And in 2008, Butterfly released the most talked about rubber in the history of the sport, the Tenergy 05.
More than 15 years later, the Tenergy 05 is still miles ahead of most ESN rubbers in terms of speed, spin, and consistency. At that time, virtually every professional player had a sheet of Tenergy on either side of their racket.
In 2019, Butterfly released their new Dignics line, which further solidified its standing as the best rubber manufacturer in the world.
Most brands use player and team sponsorships as a major part of their marketing efforts. This generally involves supplying equipment and funding players’ expenses for tournaments, although the exact terms of sponsorship agreements are often unknown.
These are the major teams and players that Butterfly sponsors:
Butterfly Sponsored Teams
Germany is one of the strongest and most prestigious national teams in table tennis. Led by all-time great and Olympic medallist Timo Boll, they consistently fight for the top spots in table tennis. Team Germany is sponsored by Butterfly and so are some of their greatest stars, such as Timo, Dang Qiu, Patrick Franziska, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and Ruwen Filus. 3 of these 5 players even have their personal Butterfly blades (the Timo Boll ALC, the Ovtcharov Innerforce ALC, and the Franziska Innerforce ZLC)
South Korea is another high-level table tennis national team. 2 of Korea’s greatest players ever also have their signature Butterfly blade (Joo Sae Hyuk and Ryu Seung Min). In addition, Korean players Lim Jonghoon and Lee Sang Su are Butterfly-sponsored players.
Team USA is yet another prestigious table tennis team sponsored by Butterfly. Led by table tennis superstar Kanak Jha, they’re always fighting for big wins in international competitions.
Borussia Düsseldorf is probably the most prestigious non-Asian table tennis team. They have won the German Bundesliga on more than 30 occasions and the Champions League 13 times. Of course, they are sponsored by the most prestigious table tennis brand, Butterfly.
Neu-Ulm fielded a spectacular roster last year. It could be argued that they had the strongest team in the world, partnering with superstar athletes such as Truls Moregardh, and Butterfly-sponsored players Tomokazu Harimoto and Lin Yun-Ju. Each and every one of the Neu-Ulm players in the 2022-2023 season was ranked in the top 10.
Butterfly Sponsored Players
Fan Zhendong is the present and the future of world table tennis. He is the only player that could challenge the GOAT, Ma Long, and he took the #1 spot from him in April 2018.
Today, he is, by far, the favorite to win every important tournament there is.
The German legend Timo Boll is one of the most iconic figures in the history of table tennis. A true sportsman and an excellent player, Timo is best known for his spinny shots, his consistency, and his amazing serves.
Japanese wonderkid Tomokazu Harimoto rose to the top spots of world table tennis at a very young age. At 14, he won the Czech Open title. Just a year later, he was the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals champion. Today, he’s still one of the best players in the ITTF circuit.
Known as the “silent assassin”, Lin Yun-Ju is known for his trademark explosive backhand dominant style and his trademark banana flick.
He took the world by surprise in 2019, when he was the winner of the T2 Diamond Malaysia and the Czech Open, beating top players like Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, and Timo Boll.
The Puerto Rican Adriana Diaz is one of the most entertaining players in the ITTF circuit. She’s known for her creative style, and she’s not afraid to try exciting, high-risk shots even when the stakes are high.
Frequently Asked Questions
Butterfly is by far the best table tennis brand.
We have come to this conclusion because the best players in the world choose their products. Most high-level professional players use Butterfly composite blades, and most high-level attackers will use either Tenergy or Dignics rubbers on either side of their rackets.
“The name was chosen to symbolize something small and agile moving from side to side, reminiscent of table tennis.
This was unlike other companies at the time whose brands’ names predominantly gave off an impression of strength. “Butterfly” also represents the desire to work with integrity.”
Butterfly’s headquarters are based in Suginami, Tokyo, Japan.
Butterfly’s most popular products are the Viscaria, Timo Boll, and Innerforce blades, the Tenergy and Dignics rubber lines, the Lezoline shoe line, and the Amicus robot line.
Related Butterfly Articles
We playtested a Tenergy 19 rubber it for 10+ hours to find out who should be buying it. The most comprehensive Tenergy 19 review on the internet.Read Article
The Tenergy 64 is the fastest, softest feeling, lowest-throwing, and most spin-insensitive rubber in the Tenergy line. Is it the right rubber for you?Read Article
Tenergy 05 is one of the world's best-known rubbers, used by the best players in table tennis. We tested it for 10+ hours to discover exactly how it behaves in...Read Article
We explain 6 ways to identify fake table tennis rubbers, so you can avoid falling for a scam. Ensure you always receive genuine table tennis rubbers.Read Article