The Yasaka Rakza 7 is nothing short of a legendary rubber. It was introduced to the market in 2010, and since then, it has been the rubber of choice for thousands of table tennis players. According to Revspin.net, the Rakza 7 is the 3rd most popular rubber of all time.
I have personally used the Rakza 7 for many years. I have gone through 5 sheets of Rakza 7 on my forehand side, and around 3 or 4 sheets of Rakza 7 soft on my backhand side.
It is a reliable, consistent rubber and it has accompanied me for about half of my table tennis journey, helping me to improve drastically in the time I used it. The Rakza 7 is the ideal rubber for offensive players who want to take their skills to the next level.
Perfect for: Beginner and intermediate offensive players looking to develop an attacking game, all-round players using it on slower blades, and modern defenders. 0-15+ years of playing.
Table of Contents
Design of the Yasaka Rakza 7
The Yasaka Rakza 7 comes in a simple sealed package, protected by a film.
The Rakza 7 claims to use mainly natural rubber gum for the top sheet, and I think it shows when we inspect the rubber. The topsheet does not look as artificial as the Tibhar Evolution MX-P, for example.
The fact that this rubber is made of natural gum and that it does not have such an intense factory boosting makes its durability a lot better. The rubber wears out at a much slower rate than most other offensive rubbers.
The Rakza 7 usually lasts me around 4 months in playable condition while the MX-P lasts me around 1 month and a half, training 3 times a week. The difference is night and day.
In addition, the price of the Rakza 7 is around 35 Euros. This rubber is not only high performing but it’s also durable and reasonably priced, which makes me like it even more.
The Yasaka Rakza 7 has some tension injected into the sponge. It was slightly curled up directly off of the package.
This tension is a product of the design of the sponge and not necessarily due to intensive chemical treatment, such as that present on the MX-P or that on its hybrid sibling, the Rakza Z.
If we press on the topsheet, we will find that the Rakza 7 is a medium/medium-hard rubber. I would say that on the ESN scale, its hardness is around 45-47°. It doesn’t play like a hard rubber at all, though. When playing, the ball digs into the sponge, granting lots of dwell time.
I cut the rubber and glued it to my usual blade, the Tibhar Stratus Power Wood.
Cut for my blade, the Rakza 7 weighs in at 50 grams, the typical weight for a medium-hard rubber in its maximum thickness variant, maybe a tad heavier than average.
Playtesting the Yasaka Rakza 7
I have played with the Rakza 7 for years now, always with the same blade, my Stratus Power Wood. I knew what I’d get from the get-go.
The Rakza 7 is a medium-high speed rubber. I’d say it undoubtedly has enough power to finish points outright against intermediate-level players and below.
The problem arises when you try to hit winners past a good blocker or an advanced player with sheer speed and spin.
You can win points if you attack repeatedly, if you place the ball very well or if you put 80+% of your power into your shots, but it’s definitely not as easy to score points as with faster rubbers such as the MX-P.
With the MX-P, I feel like I can often get past my opponents with a single shot, 2 at the most whereas with the Rakza 7, you either have to place the ball very well or hit with a lot of strength to make up for that lack of inbuilt speed and spin.
This is all considering you’re playing against strong opposition, the top 5-10% of players. For the majority of players, the performance levels of the Rakza 7 are more than enough.
If you’re an offensive player, I’d ask myself whether you need that extra 20% of speed and spin. In most cases, you won’t. The Rakza 7 is a sufficiently fast and spinny rubber for most players.
What makes this rubber so desirable is that the 20% you lose in performance is very noticeable in this rubber’s consistency, and ease of use.
If you get to that point in which the vast majority of your loops go on the table and you feel like could use some more firepower when playing against advanced opposition, that’s where I’d say you would benefit from using one of the high-performance tensor rubbers.
The Rakza 7 is the ideal rubber to get your abilities to the point of landing most of your attacks on the table with good speed and spin, as not having blistering fast speed or immense amounts of spin makes it very easy to get the ball on the table.
When you hit the ball into the net or send it long, it’s easy to understand what you need to adjust to get it on the table the next time around.
Driving and looping
I would say that this is the Rakza 7’s area of specialty. However, the Rakza 7 is a balanced rubber that has virtually no weak points, so it’s not like it’s strictly a looping rubber.
Other rubbers can loop with more quality than this one but few are as confidence-inducing as the Rakza 7.
It is this versatility that makes the Rakza 7 such a recommended rubber for a huge amount of players, and that explains why it is the third most popular rubber in the world.
Drives feel very controllable and the rubber instills a sense of security when performing them. Its base speed is not very high but if you accelerate into the ball with your torso and the forearm, you can get quite fast drives.
Loops are where I think this rubber is wonderful. The Rakza 7 is definitely an offensive rubber, but not excessively so.
Loops have plenty of clearance over the net and travel with good spin and speed. While testing the rubber, I felt that I couldn’t miss. With my current rubber, the Tibhar MX-P, I miss a lot more than with the Rakza 7.
I was amazed at the consistency this rubber has, I had to cut the next clip because it lasted many more loops.
If I try to loop at 70-80% of my max power, I can hit 10+ balls in a row consistently. In this particular rally, I looped the ball 28 times in a row.
This is why I believe Rakza 7 is the perfect rubber for the developing offensive player. I learned to play table tennis first with the Hurricane 3 NEO before transitioning to the Rakza 7.
The Rakza 7 has a lot more speed than the Hurricane, but it wasn’t difficult to adapt. 2 years later, with the consistency I felt I had, I decided to switch to the Rakza Z and then the Tibhar MX-P in search of higher quality attacks.
I could continue playing with the Rakza 7, but if I wanted to play this rubber at an advanced level, I’m not going to get as many points from 3rd ball attacks and forehand loops in the rally as I do with the MX-P.
However, I would be able to land a larger proportion of my attacks on the table.
This is not to say that the Rakza 7 lacks power, though. As you saw in the first clip of this review, if you are well-positioned and attack with the right technique, you can hit passing shots with immense speed.
The only difference is that with this rubber you have to hit hard to get hard shots. With higher-end tensors, even if you hit the ball with medium force, the ball will travel with as much speed as with the Rakza 7, sometimes even more.
With the Rakza 7, the shot the rubber gives you is directly proportional to the force you exert.
Therefore, with higher-end tensors, it is easier to generate points and gain the initiative in all loops, even those in which you hit the ball with medium force. If you want to score points with the Rakza 7, you’ll need to hit with good acceleration.
Loops hit with medium force with the Rakza 7 don’t carry as much of a threat, and not all the loops players perform in a match are powerloops.
The advantage of this is that you will always be able to handle the speed of the game.
Many times with faster rubbers you’ll feel that it is difficult to control balls that come with a lot of spin and speed, or you’ll hit a fast incoming ball and overshoot the table. This doesn’t happen as much with the Rakza 7.
Opening up with this rubber is a dream come true. The rubber has lots of dwell time, so putting open-ups on the table is very easy and intuitive.
Also, you can put a lot of spin on open-ups, possibly even more than with rubbers that have more grip, since you won’t be afraid to accelerate hard on the ball. Safe, spinny open-ups are one of the main strengths of this rubber.
You can really feel the ball soaking into the sponge, and even if the topsheet doesn’t bite the ball as well, you can really accelerate into the ball without second thoughts and load every open up with tons of spin.
Serve and receive
The serve and receive with the Rakza 7 are quite good, especially the receive.
While serving, adequate amounts of spin can be put into the ball. It is neither the best nor the worst rubber in terms of spin, but its advantage is that it’s easy to serve short and it is also very easy to place the ball wherever you want.
The receive is one of the main virtues of this rubber. Since it doesn’t have as much speed and grip, it’s much easier to receive with this rubber than with a Tenergy, for example.
The rubber simply receives less spin and bounces off the racket slower, making it easier to touch short and receive difficult serves.
Because it’s so easy to control, you’ll always have an advantage in the short game, and if you want to go for plays such as pushing half-long to counterattack or pushing fast and deep to compromise your opponent, this rubber will do the trick.
Blocking and chopping
Another virtue of this rubber is blocking. Chops are not bad either, even when using the rubber on an offensive blade. Chops with this rubber on a slower blade would be a lot more effective.
This rubber is excellent for blocking due to everything we previously mentioned. It’s not very sensitive to incoming spins and has just the right amount of speed in my opinion.
It’s not so fast that it’s difficult to block but it’s also not so slow that blocks don’t have any threat. This rubber has the right speed to make blocks easy enough for the blocker but hard enough for the receiver if placed well.
Chops were very good, due to the same reasons. It was easy for me to keep the ball low to the net, even when my opponent was hitting spin-heavy topspin shots.
Overall reflections on the Yasaka Rakza 7.
As you can tell, my impression of the Rakza 7 is very positive. I have used this rubber for years and I recommend this rubber regularly because it is a very versatile rubber. It’s easy to recommend because it’s almost impossible to go wrong with it.
If you put it on an offensive blade, you’ll have a great rubber for consistent, spinny loops with good speed, good blocking, and good serving and receiving.
If you put it on an all-round blade, you will have a spinny, controllable and consistent rubber that allows you to play every shot in the book.
If you put it on a defensive blade, you can chop, block, and when you want to attack you can also do it.
In my opinion, this rubber is perfect for all these players and for those who don’t know what rubber to buy and whose game is offensive-minded.
This is the ideal rubber for the offensive player looking to develop their game to its full potential.
Once these offensive players reach a level where they feel they need more power, they transition to other rubbers such as the Tibhar Evolution MX-P, the Tenergy 05, or the Rasanter R47, to name a few.
They could also stick with this fine rubber if they value consistency and control over sheer power.
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: Evolution MX-P | Backhand: Rasanter R42
Playstyle: Forehand Looper