Yasaka blades and
Here is my summary of the most notable / special rubbers and blades from
the Yasaka brand. This is not meant to promote or criticize the Yasaka
brand or products in any way, it’s simply a summary of opinions of the
more famous and highly regarded products of the brand.
The brand Yasaka has its origin in the late 1940s when founded by Mr
Hirose Yaoita and Mr. Sakamoto who gave the name of the company (YAoita
+ SAKAmoto). Yasaka has since grown to become a major player among the
table tennis manufacturers, offering the complete range of equipment,
and having shown some great innovation in their products. Yasaka used to
work together with Stiga, who made their blades for them, whereas Yasaka
made their rubbers, but they separated in the early nineties and went
their own way.
The majority of the Yasaka blades are made in Sweden. A large portion of
their rubbers are made in the Japan, with the remainder of their rubbers
are made in Germany and China.
After talking to many people, and getting lots of great feedback from
people on the table tennis forums, I’ve summarised the most popular
Yasaka rubbers and blades below. Although the popularity can be biassed
by marketing and availability, there are some that many agree on to be
great products, so there must be something to it…
Mark V – probably the most famous of all rubbers, that has stood the
test of time and is still commonly used in modern days, even after
several decades since it was released. This rubber is suitable for all
levels, where thinner sponges are usually used for more control at the
lower levels and they rubbers are speed glued at higher level for extra
Other Mark V variants (AD, 30 degrees,
XS, M2), building on the great
reputation of the original Mark V, have been developed over the years.
The 30 degrees has been particularly popular among speed gluers, where
the glue provided some very desirable properties. The XS and M2,
although not bad rubbers, have not enjoyed the same popularity.
With the forever increasing demand for faster rubbers, Yasaka developed
the V-Stage and also the
X-Tend series, in more recent times. Although
these are regarded as good rubbers, they have not been quite as popular,
partially due to the wide range of similar speed rubbers now on the
The Yasaka Pryde is their latest venture into the German Tensor technology,
and is recognized among the top Tensor rubbers currently on the market.
The Do, Original T-Version and Visco are almost worthy of mention, and
have had a decent following but for a more select group of players.
For the more defensive players, the Yasaka Anti Power is held in high
regard and has been very popular for many years. Their long pimpled
rubbers, like the Yasaka Phantom series enjoyed some good popularity for many
years, but the early ones did not survive the ITTF long pimple bans. The
more recent additions are quality products, but don’t seem to be that
popular, although it’s still early days, and many long pimple players
are still looking for alternatives.
Although Yasaka is probably not one of the most popular brands for its
blades, they’ve had some great success with quite a few blades. The
Gatien series of blades were a huge success, the
Gatien Extra 3D being
one of all-time best selling blades! More recently the Ma Lin series,
the Ma Lin Carbon and Ma Lin Extra offensive (especially in pengrip) in
particular, have become very successful, no doubt helped a little by the
great success of Ma Lin the player.
Other worthy of mention are the Max Wood, Balsa plus, Leopard, Yasaka
Allround 40, who have enjoyed great success but among a smaller group of
Most agree that the Yasaka manufacturer produce high quality products,
and has been very successful spanning many decades. I believe part of
the reason the brand is not even more successful is due to limited
distribution… many blades (and also some rubbers) are simply not
available in some areas. They’ve also discontinue some of their previous
moderately successful products. The same can probably be said about some
of the other Japanese brands.
It is likely that a player of any level and style can find something
appropriate from the Yasaka brand, but this is the case for many of the
other major brands too. Hopefully this summary will be useful for Yasaka
fans or those that only have this brand available to choose from. Yasaka
do have a range of other table tennis related items, in fact they pretty
much sell everything related to table tennis, but blades and rubbers are
the extent of this write-up.
YASAKA - THE STORY
# 1947 YASAKA Co. Ltd. was founded by Mr Hirose Yaoita and Mr. Sakamoto
who gave the name of the company (YAoita + SAKAmoto). Mr. Yaoita was a
table tennis player and his aim was to offer table tennis players
products with high technical quality and superior performance.
# In the 50's YASAKA developed rapidly, in a close connection with
Japanese top players that took over the leading position in World table
tennis. With the rubber Original Yasaka supplied several Champions all
over the world.
# In the end of the 60's Yasaka made break through in the rubber
development and could introduce superior table tennis rubbers to the
market. Winning the men's single in the 1970 European Championships and
1971 World Championships MARK V started a victory-road in table tennis
all over the world. Since then MARK V has been continuously developed
and Yasaka MARK V is probably the most well known (top quality) table
tennis product on the market.
# In the 90's Yasaka started a new blade factory in Sweden and 1993 the
success story Gatien EXTRA blade was introduced. EXTRA is a blade that
was created by the wood technicians in a very close cooperation with the
1993 men�s singles World Champion Jean-Philippe Gatien and since then
Gatien EXTRA is one of the absolute best selling blades all over the
# In the year 2000 the International Table Tennis Federation changed the
regulation regarding the ball, and the 40 mm ball was introduced to
improve the sport. Players all over the world had to adopt and develop
new playing techniques. This change was of course also a big challenge
for table tennis manufacturers, to be able to offer equipment suitable
for the new size of ball. Proving the high performance of Yasaka
products World Championships gold medals was captured with Yasaka rubber
and blade in the first WTTC with the 40 mm ball (Osaka 2001).
# 2002 Yasaka made a major step in the field of rubber and
launched. Through own laboratory tests it is shown that V-STAGE offers
more spin and more speed than any previous rubber. In the same year Yasaka also surprised the TT-World, to be able to produce a 17-layer
blade, DYNAMIX. And again an immediately success! In the Swedish
Championships 2003, Mattias Stenberg as an outsider won the men�s
singles. Mattias is using V-STAGE (red/black) and DYNAMIX.
# Since a couple of years Yasaka has successfully entered the biggest
single table tennis market, China. A big, and very demanding market,
with a hard competition from numerous companies that wants to share. Now
Yasaka offers a complete range of high quality table tennis products
also in China. Especially the Yasaka blades are very much demanded, and
the 5-ply blade "EXTRA" is a big sales success also among Chinese