The Nittaku Fastarc G-1 is one of the most popular rubbers in the world.
Between 2019 and 2021 it was the best-selling rubber on tabletennis11.com. What made this rubber the most popular for three years in a row?
Well, the vast majority of table tennis players have an offensive style and look for rubbers that have high speed and spin values with good consistency. That’s exactly what the Fastarc G-1 offers.
I have gone through 3 sheets of the Nittaku Fastarc G-1 and can confidently say that the rubber is one of the best offerings in the market for offensive players, not only because of its performance but also because of its outstanding value for money.
Perfect for: Offensive players of all levels on the forehand side of the racket, and intermediate and advanced offensive players on the backhand side of the racket. 2-15+ years of playing.
Table of Contents
Design of the Nittaku Fastarc G-1
The Nittaku Fastarc G-1 comes in a blue and gilt-sealed package.
Inside, we can find the rubber.
We purchased a 2.0mm “Super Thick” black Fastarc G-1 specifically for this review.
However, like most European rubbers, this rubber relies more on its grip than on its tack to spin the ball.
The Fastarc G-1 is composed of a shiny, extremely grippy surface and a porous orange sponge.
Also, if we turn the rubber upside down, we will find that it has a good deal of inbuilt tension, and the edges curl towards the center of the rubber. This is common to see on high-performance offensive rubbers.
The Fastarc G-1 weighs in at 49 grams, which is similar to or lighter than other rubbers in this hardness range, such as the Rasanter R47 (49 grams), the Yasaka Rakza 7 (50 grams), the Tibhar Evolution MX-P (51 grams) and the Yasaka Rakza Z (53 grams).
Speaking of rubber hardness, the Nittaku Fastarc G-1’s sponge hardness is 47.5°, making it a medium-hard rubber.
Another thing I want to mention about the Nittaku Fastarc G-1 is its durability.
Having gone through 3 sheets of it myself, I can attest to this rubber’s excellent durability. I’d go as far as to say that it’s the most durable ESN rubber I’ve ever had.
For me, forehand rubbers tend to wear out quickly in comparison to my backhand rubbers, as I hit more often and with more power on my forehand side.
A Fastarc G-1 rubber usually last me around 6 months in good condition. I consider this to be remarkable.
If we factor in the price of the Fastarc G-1, which is even lower than the MX-P, we can understand that this rubber is incredible value for money.
The durability of the Fastarc G-1 is similar to that of the Tenergy line.
Tenergy rubbers drop off in performance very slowly and even when they’re worn out, they still grip the ball.
The same thing happens with the G-1, it drops off very slowly in performance and it’s still usable after many months of intensive usage.
The topsheet has truly remarkable levels of grip, and ball slippage is non-existent when the rubber is new or a few months old.
Playtesting the Nittaku Fastarc G-1
I used all three sheets of the Nittaku Fastarc G-1 on my forehand side.
This rubber can also be used on the backhand side if you can hit hard enough, but I personally prefer softer rubbers than this one.
The thing that makes the Fastarc G-1 so unique is its high throw. This characteristic makes it play like few other rubbers and gives this rubber some key advantages (and one disadvantage).
I found that to use the Fastarc G-1 to its fullest potential, you should contact the ball thinly when going for powerloops.
If you’re going to play a high-power shot, you must graze the top of the ball, or otherwise, you’ll overshoot the table. This rubber isn’t the best choice for hit-loopers because its high throw will make those players send the ball long.
This rubber works great for players who have a forward looping motion rather than a vertical motion, and it also favors players who play with a closed racket angle.
With rubbers such as the Hurricane 3 NEO, you can hit with a vertical motion and a relatively open angle and the ball will go in with tons of spin.
If you want spin with the Fastarc G-1, it’s all about closing the racket angle.
The topsheet has tons of grip and the rubber’s throw is super high, so you can contact on top of the ball and it will go in.
Around 90% of my misses with this rubber were from overshooting the table or sending it wide, and 10% or less from dumping the ball into the net.
As for speed and spin, this rubber behaves like an average European tensor rubber. It has enough speed and spin for every level of play, including advanced levels.
The Nittaku Fastarc G-1 is considerably faster and higher throwing than the Yasaka Rakza 7, faster but not higher throwing than the Rakza Z, ever so slightly faster than the Donic Baracuda and around as fast as the Rasanter R47.
It doesn’t have the performance levels of the Tenergy line, the Dignics line, or an MX-P, but it’s a lot more controllable. I’d say the Tibhar Evolution MX-P is around 20% faster and spinnier than the Fastarc G-1. The MX-P is also more direct and has a lower throw.
Driving and looping
Because the Nittaku Fastarc G-1 has manageable amounts of speed and spin and a very high throw, the main characteristic of this rubber is its safety.
If anything, the only real danger is overshooting the table, which can be corrected with slight technical adjustments.
The Nittaku Fastarc G-1 behaves very well when driving the ball as its high throw gives drives tons of safety and control.
The only thing that the Fastarc G-1 could use in regards to driving is a bit more speed.
The best thing about the Fastarc G-1 is its looping capabilities.
The Fastarc G-1 makes it easy to put a lot of topspin on the ball while maintaining tons of safety due to its high arc.
Loops travel with very good power and are very consistent. Unlike with the MX-P or with ultra-fast tensors, I feel like I can get as many loops on the table as I want with the Fastarc G-1.
I think the Fastarc G-1 is a superb training rubber due to its consistency. This rubber induces confidence in the player because of its grip and arc.
It’s hard to miss the table, and when you do miss it, it’s quite clear why: most times you’ll overshoot the table because you contacted the ball too thickly or you hit upwards rather than forwards.
You will never have to worry about clearing the net because of the Fastarc’s immense grip and high arc.
The Fastarc G-1’s high arc also helps when performing counterspin shots, both close to the table and away from the table.
Close to the table, the Fastarc has tons of safety, a lot more than with rubbers with a flatter throw such as the Rasanter R47.
With rubbers such as the Rasanter, you have to get the timing just right to clear the net and not overshoot.
With the Fastarc, the ball will go up, then down, instead of traveling with a flat trajectory. This, added to the rubber’s hardness and speed levels makes it a whole lot easier to land countertopspin shots.
I also enjoyed using the Fastarc G-1 away from the table.
It’s not as fast as an MX-P, for example, but given its high throw, it behaves much better than rubbers at its speed category, like the Rasanter R47.
The last thing I’d like to mention in regards to looping with this rubber is that it behaves a lot better in match play than I expected.
Due to its grip levels and high throw, it’s super easy to pick up low balls, lift underspin balls and play difficult angles.
I felt a whole lot more confident when pivoting with my forehand because even if I caught the ball on its way down, I could still get the ball on the table 9/10 times.
This is a shot that faster and lower throwing rubbers struggle with, such as the MX-P and the Rasanter R47.
If you wanted to hit a ball that’s around table height with the MX-P, it’d be a whole lot harder to get it on the table because of its high speed and medium throw angle.
This enabled me to feel much more confident with my forehand and to execute lots of hard shots with relative ease in match situations.
The speed level and the arc of the Fastarc G-1 make it an incredibly safe and consistent rubber.
The last thing I noticed with the Fastarc G-1 is that I received balls at a higher height than I was used to.
Due to this rubber’s high spin and high arc, my opponent’s blocks came back to me higher than usual.
This helped me capitalize on more chances than with other rubbers, as I had a greater margin of error.
Serve and receive
In terms of serve and receive, the Fastarc G-1 is a great rubber.
Starting with the serves, the Fastarc G-1 has tons of grip and it’s very easy to imprint lots of spin on the ball.
My serves stayed shorter than with the MX-P and had more spin than with the R47.
I also found the Fastarc G-1 fantastic at receiving the ball. It’s quite easy to play out the short game with pushes and it’s also easy to flick the ball.
It’s not fast to the point you lose control but it’s also not slow to the point that your flicks don’t have power.
The only thing I noticed is that my receives tend to pop up a bit more with this rubber so I had to angle my racket a bit less to counteract its high throw.
Blocking and chopping
Blocking with the Fastarc G-1 is good.
The rubber feels firm and stable and it has the perfect speed for blocking. Again, it’s not fast to the point you lose control but not slow to the point that your blocks aren’t dangerous.
Blocks do travel higher than normal because of the rubber’s high throw, though.
Chopping with this rubber was better than average.
I found that if I caught the ball between waist and knee height, this rubber was great for chopping.
The Fastarc G-1 produced tons of spin and got the ball to clear the net a lot more easily than with flatter throwing rubbers.
It is important to mention, though, that chops with this rubber should be played at a low height.
If you contact the ball higher than waist height, your chops will definitely pop up.
Overall reflections on the Nittaku Fastarc G-1
Before this review, I had already used 2 sheets of Fastarc G-1, and I’ll keep this third one on my main racket.
The main selling points of this rubber are its consistency, its high throw, its speed, and its spin.
However, what I find differentiates the Fastarc G-1 from other rubbers at a practical level is its value and its durability.
There are more advanced and more powerful rubbers out there such as the Tibhar Evolution MX-P or the Butterfly Tenergy 05.
The thing is, the MX-P lasts very little while the Tenergy 05 is double the cost of a Fastarc G-1.
This all explains why the Fastarc G-1 is so popular.
There are lots of great offensive rubbers in the market, but no other rubber is as reasonably priced, lasts as long, and is from such a reputable brand as Nittaku.
Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 200 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!
Blade: Tibhar Stratus Power Wood | Forehand: Nittaku Fastarc G-1 | Backhand: Rasanter R42
Playstyle: Forehand Looper