XIOM Vega Pro Rubber Review Boz Why would a Tenergy 05 lover buy Vega? I wouldn't spend my own money on this rubber because of all the bubbles I have seen, but William Henzell uses XIOM Vega Pro after he used Butterfly tenergy 05. Not only that, I had $65 in vouchers at my club to spend from winning various things. I also did buy a sheet of Andro Hexer recently to trial and from all I had heard Xiom Vega Pro still sounded like a closer clone.
So Last night I stuck on a black max thickness Xiom Vega Pro. I will keep adding day by day my continued thought and impressions.
Yes the xiom Vega Pro sponge is black, which looks very cool. It feels harder to compress than the Butterfly Tenergy Spring Sponge. The Vega pro feels stiffer and deader at its 47.5 mark. The overall weight feels similar to Butterfly's tenergy sponge.
The vega pro topsheet looks very glossy and has that much smoother ESN rubber tensor look about it. The Vega topsheet seems identical to the Andro Hexer in this respect and as a result, both Xiom Vega Pro and Andro Hexer has much less graze grip. After a few minutes of practise I noticed in playing with service return of spinny balls the Xiom Vega pro is much less reactive to spin and also less able to create spin than Butterfly Tenergy topsheets.
Xiom Vega pro's topsheet is not tacky, it is less grippy than tenergy 05.
In usual first counter hitting, looping and driving warm ups. I felt yes this is playing differently but it is easy to change from Tenergy 05 to Vega Pro. The Vega pro does feel like the closest thing I have tried to tenergy 05. Vega Pro is better than Andro Hexer as a Tenergy 05 replacement clone.
I have seen a few of the Australian juniors starting to use the Vega Pro as a result of William's reputation and because the Xiom Vega Pro seems to be a stepping stone toward using the full spinnier and faster Butterfly Tenergy 05. Which brings me to my next thought.
Vega pro is for the players who like to drive more instead of loop. Actually I think there should be a review between tenergy 25 and Vega Pro instead of my constant references to tenergy 05. The reason I refer to Tenergy 05 the most is that Butterfly Tenergy 05 is the best seller around the world, most players use it. I don't want to get off topic, but the tenergy 05 spin to speed ratio is still a benchmark for comparisions.
Back on topic. Table tennis players who like tenergy 25 more than Butterfly tenergy 05 will like xiom Vega Pro more. As Tenergy 25 is a close to table low angled drive power kind of rubber. Players who found that tenergy 25 was too fast at table and to grippy would probably like the vega pro more. Because of the softer and thinner topsheet and pip shape the Xiom Vega Pro is easier to penetrate into the sponge and down to the blade, so the Vega Pro would probably suit players with less powerfull strokes than tenergy 25. If you move away from the table the Vega will disappoint though, it just is not a counter looping rubber. It is much harder to get power out of it or the right curve to land balls that are dropping.
In the 5 hours I played last night I played game after game sticking to one way through out the game. Both ways had advantages and disadvantages. If you play players who attack your backhand and you need to block their fast attacks the Xiom Vega Pro was better on my backhand. But if you play a player who gives softer returns to your backhand the tenergy 05 loop was much more effective. The xiom vega seems to play better for a shorter more compact drive than a big looping attack stroke. For that reason I primarily felt it was best on backhand. It also was a bit less spinny for serves, so should not be on my forehand. I often take a dropping ball or should I say I get to my forehand slightly later and the tenergy 05 excells by far for a looping arc from any height compared to the more direct drive line of the xiom vega pro. Although Xiom packaging talks of the Vega having a larger window it is only larger compared to their own old generation rubbers. The Vega has a smaller window than tenergy 05 because of its throw angle.
Some said they noticed nothing and yet I noticed that they played much better against me. But on the whole they noticed that there is less power in my top spin drive and loop strokes. Players I played noticed less of the ball kicking up and less side spin kick too. The XIOM Vega not only lacks power in this sense but as a result allows your opponent to block your shots with much more ease. My opponents countered my xiom vega loops easily compared to the ones I was doing with Tenergy 05. However since I was using both I found the contrast beneficial.
Not only does Vega have less power, it lacks the big tenergy spin. My shots which usually had my player sending their return high up into the air were only just clearing the end of the table. I also am much less reluctant to turn on my backhand with the vega on my forehand. With Tenergy 05 I could turn and loop toward their backhand and they block the slower loop off the end. With the Vega they easily block wide and I lose the point. So Vega requires the player to commit to a big winning drive before leaving parts of the table unguarded.
You have to be the man on the job to be able to control the much lower throw angle in high speed rallies. Xiom Vega Pro requires more precision to be able to counter loop since it draws more of a straight line. The speed it beats tenergy 05 is the low control department. If you draw a line it is faster from A to B than if you draw the curvy line of the tenergy series. In rallies though Xiom Vega offers brakes. You can slow down the rally if you hit softly. With tenergy the spin and speed energy is not lost as much as with the deader absorbing Xiom Vega Pro. This deadness on gives Vega its better touch.
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So far the softer slower less tense or turgid topsheet makes touch shots much easier than with the more rigid bouncy Butterfly Tenergy 05. In this sense the Vega is identical to the Hexer if not even better since the harder sponge gives more control to any rubber.
Vega or Tenergy Hardness
The more I squeeze the rubbers the more I feel that vega pro and tenergy 05 are identical in regards to hardness feeling. Just as all tensors have the super soft topsheet the Vega is no exception. Tenergy 05 the topsheet is harder but the sponge feels softer. Vega Pro the topsheet is softer but the sponge is feels harder. A lot of people would say that more catapult comes from the tougher topsheet. Varghese would say Tenergy feels hard and heavy compared to Xiom Vega Pro, but the majority of real table tennis players would say Butterfly Tenergy 05 or 64 doesn't play like a hard or heavy rubber at all.
So I just got home after 2 single matches and doubles match with my new table tennis combination.
Playing Peri Campbell Innes - She is probably the best player at our club and for sure the best womens player in Queensland and has represented Australia at various Commonwealth and Olympic games. So When I say various levels I mean it. I have played her many times now in the A grade fixtures at our club. Tonight is the best I have ever played against her. I actually was 2:1 in games up! She beat 10:6 in the fifth, but I am very excited by the results.
So I am not saying any rubber will make you win but I can say how it performs at various levels. I believe Xiom Vega Plays better against much higher players than myself. Where as Tenergy 05 plays best against players at my level and lower. Strange thing to say isn't it?
I can do a medium open loop and spin most players off the table or atleast make them pop it right up and kill it. At the much much higher level ( I mean about 500 points above me: I am currently about 1750 on the Australian rankings) the control of the Vega started to help and big opening loops which vega is not that great at being dangerous, seemed better to avoid. The vega pro on my backhand became a drive tool at the table, until I got forehand and looped big and hard. Also the expectation of big spin and not getting it, gave me some points a bit like using old generation rubbers. The topsheet of the Xiom Vega Pro was slipping quite noticably, so when dealing with troublesome things like side spin, I could just roll the ball back low over the net and give them something quite weird to deal with.
I am excited guys, really excited. The more I used the Vega I realised this lack of surface spin could be a great advantage to mixing up my game. It seems to start to lean toward the time I used solcion on my backhand. Low, just clearing the net control. But the sponge is harder more drive of course.
day 3-4 more than 20 hours play now
Last night I played I guy who is the best chopper at our club, he uses long pimples on backhand and tenergy 64 on his forehand and yes he is Korean too!
Once again I can confirm that in a match I still keep my unbeaten record, but now he is getting games off me. When I used tenergy 05 on both sides he could very rarely get a game off me but now.... I am having trouble with the Xiom Vega Pro's lack of spin to bring the ball down on my loops in rallies or easier finish points on my backhand in particular.
I noticed that with the vega we would have very long rallies. He would chop I would loop over and over again. It was easy to maintain a balance of spin because I couldn't create as much spin as I can with the tenergy 05. With tenergy 05, if he chops I rarely bother looping more than one in a row because either he can't chop it well enough, it goes high so I smash or if he manages to land it I push touch the ball back and then loop the next one.
With Vega you can just keep looping because it isn't as scary. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I still would rather loop him off with Tenergy 05.
I am still changing because the Vega has really been letting me down on shots I usually put away now. I found my forehand could handle the xiom vega pro better and is starting to give me a bit of de ja vu of when I used tensors on my forehand in the past. Not much difference really.
I think I will try the Xiom vega on Boll ZLF today, to see how it performs and if it will feel too slow as the Andro Hexer did.
Day 5 - more than 25 hours match practise now
Unfortunately, there were only lower level players at the club tonight, so I didn't get to give the Butterfly tenergy 05 and Xiom Vega Pro a real test. But I must say this: Just as the Andro Hexer played better on the Boll ZLF so did the Vega Pro! I was using a much older sheet of Tenergy 05 that was left on my ZLF from previous tests and very mildly speed glued the Vega pro, mild in that I let all the solvents evaporate for a very long time before sticking the rubber to the blade. So I don't think the speed glue improved the rubber really.
For some reason which ever side I had the tenergy 05 on I just had more that extra 110% confidence that every shot was possible, yet I was happy the Xiom Vega pro was there because many of the lead up shots to a winning point got a touch more varied. As usual I twiddled a lot and think I won't be able to stop twiddling but I felt the total opposite to when I was using the Butterfly ishlion blade.
The right blade for Xiom Vega Pro is not the right blade for Butterfly Tenergy 05. I actually noticed this from using a friends blade earlier. My mate as known at OOAK forums is HappyFunSlider uses a Timo Boll Spark arylate blade, which is one of the best blades butterlfy should have never decided to discontinue. The weight and solidity of the blade gives the speed and the softness gives the spin the Xiom VEga lacks compared to The Big Tenergy spin.
oops back on topic.
Similarly, Boll ZLF is a much spinnier, slower, dwellier, higher throwing blade compared to my ishlion. The longer lower throw of the Xiom Vega Pro really balances out with the boll ZLF. I have had the Boll ZLF for sometime now not being able to find a way to use it although I love the handle and dimensions and look and spin of it. It may be a bit to earlier to jump the gun because I didn't get to play higher level players who punish me for playing slower as I did with the Andro Hexer. However I must say the Butterfly Boll ZLF may have found the most suitable rubber to date in the Xiom VEga Pro on one side.
On the ZLF I could handle the Vega suprisingly better on my forehand than on my backhand.
Ok so after a week and about 30 hours of using the xiom vega pro I decided it just wasn't for me. Funny however that one of the best players at our club just bought 2 sheets of Vega Pro and we had about 10 games in a row. Result I noticed his game was much slower than before, he had much more trouble returning my serves also. He was using 6 month old mark v some version I don't know.
I beat him 7 games to 3, my serves, loops, counter loops, attacks and pretty much every other shot improved with my tenergy 05 on ishlion and sealed my final decision to never touch xiom vega Pro again. I love tenergy 05 on ishlion!
The Price in America is under $40 and it was introduced Jan 2009, the usual thing websites say is Topspin weapon for professional players, innovative energy efficiency and extreme feel. Vega Pro is a professional players' rubber of new era. Extreme topspin performance, which is indispensable for top players, is realized by the mixture of two new Xiom technologies: Hyper-Elasto and Carbo Sponge. New top sheet layer of "Hyper Elasto" technology is made of natural rubber for extraordinary grip and spin. The newly developed black "Carbo Sponge" provides unprecedented energy efficiency, and converts more energy of hitting to the speed and spin of the pall. Pimples are densely arranged for harder and more direct feel which is preferred by top players. The ball from Vega Pro draws a higher and sharply curved ball trajectory. Players can immediately feel that the 'safe zone' above the net is enlarged. Accurate and precise response to the player's intension gives more opportunities to lead the game. Speed: 70 Spin: 90 Control: 85