These two rubbers are two of the four newest rubbers JOOLA released in the third quarter of this year. The JOOLA Rhyzen ZGR is the harder version and the CMD is the softer version.
At first look, both rubbers have distinct topsheets and sponges. The grain of the Rhyzen ZGR topsheet is almost identical to that of the JOOLA Dynaryz rubbers. The much finer grain of the Rhyzen CMD topsheet is noticeably different. The pimple structure is also different on both rubbers. The Rhyzen ZGR has 0.8mm tall by 1.5mm wide pimples with 0.9mm of space between pips. The Rhyzen CMD has 1.0mm tall by 1.4mm wide pimples with 1.2mm of space between pips.
The sponge of the CMD version has a lighter purple color with much smaller pores. The ZGR version has a much more porous sponge, and the purple is somewhat darker. Out of the box, the Rhyzen CMD was curling much more. I am yet to confirm if the black CMD rubber also has this kind of curling out of the box. The Rhyzen ZGR however has slight curving.
JOOLA Rhyzen CMD
For the hardness, the Rhyzen ZGR has a hard sponge. If considering the topsheet, I estimate the ZGR has an approximate hardness of 54 to 55 degrees. I have 55-degree rubbers from other brands, and they feel much harder when pressing your fingers into the rubber. The Rhyzen CMD on the other hand, has a somewhat soft feel. The topsheet has a softer construction and my finger sinks into the sponge easily. It feels like a 45–46-degree rubber when including the topsheet.
I played with the two Rhyzen rubbers using the JOOLA Santoru KL-C Outer and a 7-ply, all-wood blade from another brand. When using both rubbers on the same blade back-to-back, you could feel the differences in their arc and speed. The Rhyzen ZGR and CMD rubbers are not as fast compared to any of the Dynaryz rubbers. It is possible that the partial tackiness of the topsheets might be reducing the speed of both rubbers.
The tackiness of both rubbers is only minimal. They do stick onto their wax paper-like covers out of the box, but are not as tacky or sticky as the JOOLA CWX rubber. I would say the Rhyzer 43 and Rhyzer 45 rubbers from JOOLA are faster than the Rhyzen ZGR and CMD respectively. Still, both Rhyzen rubbers are on the OFF level, so they are not slow. It’s just that you would feel the speed gap if you are using any of the Dynaryz rubbers.
These two Rhyzen rubbers are spinning machines! The semi-tacky topsheet of these rubbers give a high amount of spin. I would say there are differences on how these two rubbers produce spin. On stronger shots, both rubbers should be more engaged when compressing the sponge, especially at far distances.
The CMD version is easier to spin by just compressing the ball against the topsheet and sponge. The ball sinks easily into the Rhyzen CMD’s topsheet and sponge. Aside from the soft sponge, this is probably due to the larger spacing and longer pips. The Rhyzen CMD is ideally suited for players who engage the sponge or compress the sponge more than just purely brushing the ball with the topsheet. In a way, it is easier to produce spin because the rubber’s softness lets the ball sink both into the sponge and topsheet, thereby wrapping the ball for more grip.
JOOLA Rhyzen ZGR
The Rhyzen ZGR on the other hand, rewards you more if you have the correct basic strokes and touch down and know how to make contact on the ball. If you are used to using the JOOLA CWX rubber that plays like a typical Chinese rubber, with some adjustments, the Rhyzen ZGR can give you almost equal spin, but with even more power and bounce. The Rhyzen ZGR is in a way, spinnier than Tenergy 05.
The difference in arc between the two rubbers is also obvious. The JOOLA Rhyzen ZGR has a medium to medium-low arc, which is somewhat higher than the Rhyzen CMD, which has a low arc when looping. Even when doing forehand to forehand drives, I have noticed the Rhyzen CMD produces a much flatter and longer trajectory.
For other strokes, the CMD blocks easier because the soft sponge easily returns loops and smashes. Punchblocks are also easier with the CMD, which has better control. The ZGR version, however, pushes better. With its hard, but not too bouncy sponge, the ZGR has better drops shots and short pushes. The CMD version is also the most affordable of the new rubbers. Overall, these two rubbers are very affordable options that keep up with the performance of today’s rubbers. The ZGR especially, is expected to be a rubber suited for high-level players that are wanting more spin in their game without sacrificing any speed. The CMD version will offer good control, power, and spin at a much lower price.
Disclaimer: These rubbers were sent to Yogi_Bear by JOOLA. This review is not paid and all views are his own. Review has been lightly edited for grammar. You can find the original review, published on Table Tennis Daily, here.
Known in the industry by his username, Yogi_Bear is a table tennis influencer, equipment expert, and frequent contributor on the table tennis forum Table Tennis Daily. He is an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Level 1 Coach and ITTF Level 1 Coaching Course Conductor.