Yasaka - Table Tennis Brand Profile
Yasaka is one of the most reputable table tennis brands in the market. This reputation has been built on years upon years of delivering top-tier table tennis equipment. In particular, they are well known for some of the best table tennis rubbers available.
Yasaka has been one of the most important rubber manufacturers for over half a century, starting with the Original Yasaka in 1950, and following with the legendary Mark V in 1969.
They are known for never letting their customers down, as their products are high-quality and usually very durable.
When you purchase a Yasaka product, you know you will get great quality control and build quality. Their rubbers are grippy and durable, and their blades are always well-built.
We’ll delve deep into Yasaka’s product range and give a concise outlook into why its products are some of the very best out there. We will also recommend Yasaka products to you based on your playing style and level.
Yasaka Equipment Reviews
We buy table tennis equipment and conduct extensive testing so you don’t have to. These are the most detailed, independent Yasaka reviews available online written by players and coaches with years of playing experience. Learn more about how we review table tennis equipment.
The Yasaka Rakza Z is one of the most popular hybrid rubbers in the market.
It features a medium-hard, elastic sponge with average levels of speed but tons of grip and a high throw. This makes it a very safe, spinny offensive rubber that’s ideal for intermediate-level offensive players.
The Yasaka Rakza 7 is one of the most balanced offensive rubbers.
It features a medium sponge and it also has medium speed and spin levels. This is a very balanced and controllable rubber that’s great for beginner and intermediate-level offensive players.
Yasaka's Most Popular Products
Yasaka is best known for its Rakza rubber range, its Ma Lin blade range, its Sweden blade range, and its Mark V rubber range.
Rakza rubber range
The Rakza rubber range is one of the most popular German-made rubber ranges produced today. It features a wide arrange of rubbers which are specially made for offensive players of all levels.
This rubber range features high-speed rubbers, high-spin rubbers, control rubbers, grippy rubbers, tacky rubbers, short pip rubbers, you name it!
The best thing about this rubber range is that each and every one of their products is of superb quality.
The Rakza rubber range is Yasaka’s top-of-the-line range, and it has been this way for over 10 years (since the release of the Rakza 7 in 2010).
Ever since then, Yasaka has kept adding new offerings to this range, but these have been few and far between. This guarantees that Yasaka only adds high-quality products to the range, as they only introduce rubbers that they know are great deals.
Some players compare Yasaka to other manufacturers, such as Donic or Tibhar, that release rubbers much more frequently. It’s relatively common to see some rubbers from these brands “flop”, while others make it to the top of the sales charts.
With Yasaka, every single Rakza in the range has been a top seller. The Yasaka Rakza line is composed as follows:
- Yasaka Rakza Z and Z Extra Hard
- Yasaka Rakza X and X Soft
- Yasaka Rakza 9
- Yasaka Rakza 7 and 7 Soft
- Yasaka Rakza PO
As we said before, each and every one of these rubbers is worth considering, so we’re going to explain their characteristics briefly. What I like most about these rubbers is that they are all very durable, so any of these is a great buy.
The Yasaka Rakza Z and Z hard are the latest additions to the Rakza line. They are modern hybrid rubbers with tons of grip and spin. They are ideal for safe topspin and counter topspin play.
The Yasaka Rakza X is a modern grippy rubber. It is fast, its throw is medium-high and it has plenty of spin. It features a medium-hard sponge and it’s a good offensive rubber for intermediate players and up. The Rakza X soft is a bit less powerful but more controllable.
The Yasaka Rakza 9 is similar to the Rakza X, but it’s a bit lower-throwing and faster. You could say it’s the more direct brother of the RX. It’s a better rubber for players who prefer low throw angles.
The Yasaka Rakza 7 is slower than the Rakza 9 and Rakza X, but it’s way more controllable in the short game and when counterspinning. It’s ideal for offensive players who are still developing their techniques.
Here’s a graph in which you can see the throw angle of all the Yasaka Rakza inverted rubbers:
The Yasaka Rakza PO is the short pips rubber of choice of Swedish star Mattias Falck. The Rakza PO is a particularly spinny short pips rubber, so it’s great for players who want the directness of short pips but want to retain some grip to perform spin shots.
Ma Lin blade range
Named after the 7th best table tennis player of all time, the Ma Lin blade range is one of the best offensive blade ranges in the market. It’s composed of all-wood blades as well as carbon blades.
We love the Ma Lin blade range as these blades are quite affordable and they’re all great quality. The Ma Lin blades we recommend are the following:
- Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive
- Yasaka Ma Lin Carbon
- Yasaka Ma Lin Soft Carbon
- Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Special
The Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Offensive is the most popular blade in the Ma Lin range. It features a 5-ply all-wood construction with hard outer plies, so it’s the ideal 5-ply blade for loopers of all levels in the poly ball era.
The Yasaka Ma Lin Carbon is one of the best-value carbon blades in the market. It’s really affordable and it features a 5+2 design. It is powerful, spinny, and stable.
As the name implies, the Ma Lin Soft Carbon is a softer variant of the outer carbon blade. It has more dwell time than the Ma Lin Carbon and it’s more controllable.
The Yasaka Ma Lin Extra Special is a superb 7-ply all-wood offering for attacking players. It’s good for loopers and hitters, and it has more pop than 5-ply blades while retaining the touch and control of all-wood constructions.
Sweden blade range
The Yasaka Sweden range is Yasaka’s control-oriented blade range. These blades have superb feel for the ball, and great spin-generation capabilities, at the expense of power and speed.
The best Yasaka Sweden blades are the following (in order of speed):
- Yasaka Sweden Extra
- Yasaka Sweden Classic
- Yasaka Sweden Guardian
- Yasaka Sweden Defensive
The Yasaka Sweden Extra is an ALL+ blade, which means it’s an offensive-oriented all-round blade. It has great touch in the short game and it’s great at spin loops. It’s not the fastest blade in the market but it’s a very good choice for offensive beginners and all-round players.
We recommend it as the best budget table tennis blade you can buy.
The Yasaka Sweden Classic is an ALL blade, so it’s a tad slower than the Sweden Extra. This blade is all about control. It doesn’t have that much power but it has even more control than the Sweden Extra for blocking and defending.
The Yasaka Sweden Guardian is Yasaka’s offering for modern defenders. It’s surprisingly hard and stiff for a defensive blade, but it retains good touch and control. It’s a great choice for defenders who like to attack when the chance arises.
The Yasaka Sweden Defensive is Yasaka’s offering for classic defenders and long pip blockers. It’s the slowest blade they produce and its dampening effect is superb. It’s a great blade for defending and absorbing power.
Mark V rubber range
The Yasaka Mark V rubber range is Yasaka’s range of classic rubbers. The original Yasaka Mark V was released in 1969, and ever since then, new Mark V rubbers have been developed over the years.
The most popular Mark V rubbers are the following:
- Yasaka Mark V
- Yasaka Mark V HPS
The Yasaka Mark V was released in 1969 and has sold thousands upon thousands of copies. Though it doesn’t have much grip or speed by today’s standards, it’s still a great rubber for feeling and controlling the ball.
The Yasaka Mark V HPS is essentially a faster Yasaka Mark V, though it’s still a far cry from modern offensive rubbers. It’s a great choice if you think offensive rubbers are too fast and allround rubbers are too slow.
The History of Yasaka
Yasaka was launched in 1947 by Mr. Sakamoto and Mr. Hirosi Yaoita. In just a few years, Yasaka became one of the most popular table tennis brands among top Japanese players.
In 1953, Yasaka released the Yasaka Original, a rubber that offered great grip for the time and allowed for spin shots to be played.
In the 50’s and 60’s, many Japanese table tennis players elected Yasaka Original rubbers as their weapon of choice, but everything would change with the advent of the Mark V.
Yasaka Mark V
The introduction of the Yasaka Mark V in 1969 changed everything for this table tennis brand, as it’s probably the most sold table tennis rubber ever.
In 1970, Hans Alsér won the European Championships using the Yasaka Mark V.
In addition, the winner of the men’s singles event at the 1971 World Championships was 18-year-old Stellan Bengtsson, who also utilized Mark V rubbers. Stellan also won the 1972 World Championship using them.
However, the greatest achievement of the Yasaka Mark V was yet to come. Sweden managed to beat China in the 1973 World Team Table Tennis Championships. Stellan Bengtsson and Kjell Johansson, two of Sweden’s national team players, used the Yasaka Mark V.
This rubber dominated the sport from the ‘70s until the mid-’90s. In the later years, the Mark V was commonly used in conjunction with speed glue to increase the speed and spin of the rubber.
Up until the 1990’s the Mark V’s biggest competitor was the Butterfly Sriver. This was the only grippy rubber that could keep up with the Mark V in terms of spin, grip, touch, and speed.
However, in 1997, Butterfly released the first high-tension rubber, the Butterfly Bryce.
Yasaka’s Mark V continued to sell, but the offensive rubber by excellence was now the Bryce.
Ma Lin joins Yasaka - present
In 2008, tides began to change for Yasaka, as World Champion Ma Lin joined the Yasaka team.
Soon after, some of the great Ma Lin blades we covered previously were developed.
In terms of rubbers, Yasaka released the Rakza 7 in 2010, which is still being used by offensive and all-round players to this day.
In the following years, all of the superb Rakza rubbers we know today were developed, starting with the Rakza 9 (2012), then Rakza X (2014), and finally Rakza Z (2020).
Today, Yasaka is still one of the world’s best table tennis manufacturers, and they’re currently selling great Swedish-made blades and superb German-made rubbers.
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 Yasaka sponsors:
Yasaka Sponsored Players
Mattias Falck is, without a doubt, Yasaka’s most successful active sponsored player. He’s a hard-hitting player, especially on the forehand side, in which he utilizes the Yasaka Rakza PO short pips.
He’s especially good at doubles, and he won a gold medal in the 2021 WTTC with his brother as his partner.
Ma Lin is the most successful Yasaka-sponsored player ever.
He won countless medals, and he holds the record for being the only male player ever to win Olympic gold in Singles, Doubles, and Team.
Jin Takuya is an electrifying offensive player.
He was part of the Japanese national team on many occasions and he’s currently playing in the German Bundesliga.
Satoshi Aida is one of my favorite table tennis players.
He has a very pleasing style, as he’s a modern defender who uses inverted rubbers on both sides. He loops on the forehand side and he chops, loops, or blocks on the backhand side, so you never know what he’s going to do next.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yasaka is a great brand. Yasaka is a very reputable brand that has crafted its reputation over decades and decades of making table tennis players happy.
To this day, Yasaka keeps offering high-quality, built-to-last blades and rubbers for affordable prices.
The name Yasaka comes from mixing the names of the brand’s founders, Mr. Yaoita and Mr. Sakamoto. Combining both their names YAoita and SAKAmoto gave the brand’s name.
Yasaka is situated in Tokyo, Japan, and their blades factory is in Tranås, Sweden.
Yasaka’s most popular products are the Rakza rubber line, the Mark V rubber line, the Ma Lin blade line, and the Sweden blade line.