Friendship 729 FX Blue Sponge 1.5 mm Review

by Varghese on April 7, 2008

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The cover says the sponge is blue. After opening it, and looking at the sponge, I was convinced the color of the sponge is not blue but in black color. I tried to understand the hardness of the sponge, and it is very hard – probably harder than the hardest sponge available in the market.

I have used the Butterfly VOC free regular glue to glue the rubber to the blade. Try after try, the sponge does not stick well to the blade. I suspect rubber cement or something similar required assembling the rubber to the blade. I’m sure you should not use “super glue”.

The top sheet of Friendship 729 FX is tacky – not highly tacky. I was able to see the rubber hanging on to the rubber upside down. This rubber can generate good spin. However, the spin comes purely from its top sheet. The hard sponge on this rubber prevents the ball from touching the blade. This is a curse to the player who prefers control.

Friendship 729 FX with blue sponge is faster compared to rubbers that come with sponge size of 1.5 mm. On an Offensive blade, this rubber is pretty fast. The speed glue can increase the speed of this rubber.

The rubber is good for drives, brushing the ball to generate spin, blocking, pushing and also for smashing. This rubber will be dangerous to someone who uses a lot of wrist – especially pen holders - to generate different kinds of spin during the serve. This rubber is not suitable for looping away from the table or even close to the table. Being close to the table and responding to the ball as soon as it rises will make this rubber a great fit for a player. The best spin you can generate with this rubber is side spin (with top or bottom) – the ball will have a lot of rotations.

Friendship 729 FX responds very well to the incoming spin because it is tacky. It is required to read the spin of your opponent to play against with this rubber. The forearm and wrist needs to be well used to respond well to the incoming spin.

The greatest downside of this rubber is that this rubber is not consistent – the rubber shows inconsistent behavior to the arc it generates. It is hard to predict whether or not the ball hits the exact place where you want to hit. The rubber also lacks quality. I played with this rubber for few hours, and I could see some small bumps on the rubber – I was surprised how this can happen.

These cheap Chinese rubbers are promoted as being used by Chinese world top players. I don’t know how a professional can use this rubber to play a consistent game!

This rubber suits table tennis starters and someone who wants to learn how to generate spin on a table tennis ball. The rubber is cheaper and available everywhere.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Buyer August 5, 2008 at 2:14 am

The old 729 FX was one of the rubbers that used when I first started out playing table tennis. Of course over the years–sounds like from the review–they have change the formula. It used to be hard blue sponge with sticky top sheet that’s perfect for a hitting style. I love it! Good old days!

Varghese August 5, 2008 at 2:15 am

I was very much disappointed by the sponge hardness. I thought the sponge hardness is soft but it was just the opposite. The top sheet is okay, but the sponge is so hard - more like plastic :)

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