Having recently written a post about anti- spin rubber, it only makes sense to address the opposite end of the spectrum. When it comes to really sticky rubber, I think most people either love it or hate it. I happen to love it; the tackier, the better. If you are playing a defensive game, it can work on either your forehand or backhand. The tackiness can provide extra dwell time for chopping. It can be used for creative blocking, and is excellent for precise ball placement. Offensive players prefer it for their forehand. Players that learn how to loop with tacky rubber frequently stick with it for life. If you are trying to lift a under-spin ball, a little stickiness on the forehand side can be really helpful. Tacky rubber can give you extra control and a feeling of confidence…if you know how to use it.
Everybody doesn’t like it, and not all players understand how to use it. It only makes sense that the Chinese tended to prefer the sticky stuff. If your philosophy is to emphasize spin, extra dwell time will help with that style of play. Tacky rubber is not necessarily great for flat hitting. The tackiness only slows the ball down. Players that love tacky rubber, probably won’t like extremely bouncy rubber. The advantage of tacky rubber is that you can slow the ball down with the sticky top-sheet, but still be able to make powerful shots by engaging the sponge with stronger strokes. It looks like Butterfly has caught on to this idea with their latest rubber.
If you are coming from Tenergy, you’ll not only have to adjust your strokes, but also your approach to playing. The sticky stuff has always been good for defense. Some players grew up using it for offense. I predict a lot more players will be going in this direction. It’s a trend that’s sure to stick.