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Xiom Omega V Pro / Euro / Asia / Tour Rubbers Complete Expert Review

11 May 2016  | Posted in: Table Tennis Reviews


About the Reviewer

Patrick Hrdlicka is a table tennis enthusiast, who was introduced to the sport by his parents at the age of six. Patrick progressed to play in the highest national cadet and junior team leagues in his native Denmark and was among the top 40 players in his age group, which fostered several long-standing members of the Danish National Team. With college looming, Patrick quit the sport for almost twenty years. During this hiatus, he obtained a Ph.D.-degree in chemistry and accepted a position as professor of chemistry at the University of Idaho.

At the beginning of 2014, the mid-life crisis and yearning for table tennis grew too strong for Patrick and he decided to pick up the sport again. Bitten again by the table tennis bug, he plays 4-6 times per week. 

Since his comeback to table tennis, he has enjoyed combining his analytical and experimental skills with his love for table tennis, testing and reviewing a wide range of table tennis equipment.



Introduction to the Xiom Omega V Series

Xiom aims to develop paradigm-changing products through high investments in research and development (interesting interview with Xiom’s overseas manager). Xiom products have a good reputation and are increasing in popularity. I was, therefore, excited to be given the opportunity to evaluate the range of Xiom Omega V rubbers, i.e., Asia, Tour, Pro and Euro, all of which cater to advanced and high-level players.    

The rubbers come in high-quality glossy packaging, which looks very nice. Xiom lists the main characteristics of the Omega V rubbers on the inside of the packaging (i.e., sponge hardness, suitable strategy, distance from the table, expertise, speed, spin, precision) using a non-numerical scale. All of the rubbers are described as having “dynamic friction technology” from snow tires and being “plastic ball ready”. All of the topsheets are non-glossy, grippy, and non-tacky, with ~13 pips per 5 cm in the horizontal direction and ~21 pips per 5 cm in the vertical direction. Xiom has not released any information regarding the dimensions of the pips and I, therefore, cannot comment on this aspect with any confidence. The black carbo sponges have a sweet and rubbery smell, suggesting that the rubbers have been treated with booster liquid from the company. However, none of the rubbers curled up upon unpacking. The sponge characteristics differ significantly throughout the series. Asia and Europe have large pores, Tour has medium-sized pores while Pro has small pores. The rubber sheets, all of which measure 171.5x168 mm, weigh 73 g (Asia), 72 g (Tour), 69 g (Pro), and 69 g (Europe). I conducted a blind press test and got the following order of overall hardness: Asia > Tour > Pro ~ Euro

Testing Procedure

I attached the Xiom Omega V rubbers on the forehand side of an OFF- rated 5+2 composite blade using 2-3 layers of the Revolution number 3 normal viscosity glue. In my backhand, I used Xiom Zava short pips. I tested the rubbers in the following order for 3-6 hours over 1-2 days, playing with seamless 40+ plastic balls: Asia, Tour, Pro, and Euro. The rubbers were not boosted. 

 

Xiom Omega V Asia (black, max) – Excellent Speed / Control Ratio


The Xiom Omega V Asia has been being described as a hybrid between European and Chinese rubbers. In terms of physical characteristics, Asia has more in common with other hard European rubbers like the Andro Rasant Powergrip or Tibhar’s Evolution MX-S rubber than DHS’ Hurricane H3 Neo or H8 rubbers. The signature black carbo sponge has large pores, yet is very firm. However, it feels significantly softer than DHS’ H3 Neo or H8, I’d say around 47-48 degrees on the hardness scale that is used to describe European rubbers. The Omega V Asia weighed 51 grams when cut to my 157 mm x 150 mm blade, which puts it in the same range as Tibhar’s MX-P and Gewo’s Nanoflex 48.

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

The test setup gave a wonderful direct sensation during topspins, flat hits, and blocks, making it really delightful to play with. In fact, the Omega V Asia might be the best blocking rubber that I have tried. I would characterize the throw angle as medium – plenty of safety over the net when looping, and not too high allowing excellent flat hitting. The presence of a small catapult meant that I did not have to use as much effort in my strokes as with Chinese rubbers, but more than with the Omega V Tour or Tibhar’s MX-P. The V Asia is ~5-7% slower than the MX-P, but also significantly less bouncy, which, together with the rubber’s linearity, gave me great control and confidence on my attacking strokes. For the same reason, serve returns are a breeze with the Omega V Asia, especially since the rubber is quite insensitive to spin. The linearity of the runner also helps to keep pushes short and low. It is easy to control the placement and angle of serves with the Omega V Asia, but expecting a spin monster, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of spin that I was able to apply on my serves. Yes, the ball bites well into the rubber, but the resulting spin is still ~3-4% below that of MX-P and ~5-7% below rubbers like DHS Hurricane 8. The harder sponge and non-tacky topsheet also mean that loops against backspin require a slightly more open angle than usual. However, it is easy to make appropriate adjustments.

Conclusion

The Xiom Omega V Asia is an excellent rubber, which has a very favorable speed/control ratio, making it a delight to play with. It excels in all aspects of close and mid-distance play. I would suggest pairing the Omega V Asia with a blade in the OFF- or OFF+ range that has a harder outer ply and/or internal composite layers to get an extra kick. It will be interesting to see Xiom launch an updated version of the Omega V Asia with 5% more spin from a tackier topsheet. Such a rubber would have the potential to be a true game changer.   

Serves: 8/10 
Serve receives and short game: 9/10
Looping: 9/10
Flat hitting: 9/10
Blocking: 10/10

Recommended player type: Attackers playing with a lot of power on their FH shots and emphasizing hard loop drives and flat hits, who still want to be able to play a very tight short game.

 

Xiom Omega V Tour (black, max) – Great Attacking Rubber Providing Excellent Safety Over The Net

As expected, the Omega V Tour feels slightly softer than the Asia version, and it is only a smidge softer than Tibhar’s MX-P (~46 on the European scale). The V Tour weighed 50 grams when cut to my 157 mm x 150 mm blade, which is one gram less than V Asia, MX-P or Gewo’s Nanoflex FT48.

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

I developed a BIG smile after the first couple of FH topspin rallies. The Omega V Tour has the same direct feeling as the V Asia, but the slightly greater catapult allowed me to play faster shots with the same effort. Omega V Tour’s throw angle is slightly higher than Omega V Asia’s, resulting in a very pronounced arc over the net and excellent looping consistency. I applaud Xiom for getting the combination of throw and catapult just right with the V Tour. I have played with other high throw rubbers but often found their catapult effect to be too strong and/or inconsistent, resulting in many balls going long. Not so with the V Tour. In position or slightly out of position made no difference - I seemed to be able to loop the ball over the net with commanding pace and control. Loops against backspin were a little easier than with the Omega V Asia, and seemed to generate more spin, presumably due to deeper penetration of the ball into the softer sponge. Blocking with V Tour is excellent and consistent, which again reflects an excellent combination of throw and catapult. Just like V Asia, the Omega V Tour is insensitive to spin, allowing for excellent control on serve returns. Due to its slightly bouncier nature, short pushes with Omega V Tour went a smidge longer than with the V Asia but remained low and unattackable. My serves felt a little bit spinnier than with the V Asia, approaching the spin levels of a Tibhar’s MX-P.

Conclusion

The Xiom Omega V Tour is an excellent rubber that provides a great feeling during looping, blocking, and serve returns. Omega V Tour is the slightly bouncier sibling of Xiom Omega V Asia and can, accordingly, be played with a little bit less of physical effort without giving up control. In my opinion, the Omega V Tour works very well from all distances and would pair well with a wide range of blades in the OFF- to OFF range. While I am a BH short pips player myself, I could easily see players with very well-developed techniques use the Omega V Tour in the backhand as well. As I mentioned in my review of the Omega V Asia, it would be nice if Xiom were to launch a revised version with a slightly tackier top-sheet to increase spin on serves. As it stands right now, this rubber is in the top echelon of rubbers.    

Serves: 8.5/10 
Serve receives and short game: 8.5/10
Looping: 9.5/10
Flat hitting: 9/10
Blocking: 9.5/10

Recommended player type: Attackers with good touch and who emphasize consistent and spinny looping higher than hard loop drives and flat hits, and still want to have the ability to play a tight short game. 

 

Xiom Omega V Pro (black, max) – For Those Who Prefer Bouncy Rubbers

The Pro version was the third rubber that I tested in the Xiom Omega V series. The Omega V Pro feels noticeably softer than the Omega V Tour but slightly harder than Andro’s Rasant Grip (~45 degrees hardness on the European scale). It weighed 48 grams when cut to my 157 mm x 150 mm blade, which is similar to Tibhar Quantum, Stiga Airoc Astro M, or Nittaku Alhelg.

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

Omega V Pro plays significantly softer than V Asia and V Tour, and also has a much more pronounced catapult effect. Being someone who has a fast forearm and who puts considerable power into his FH shots, I often found myself struggling to control the length of flat FH hits, with many balls flying off the table, leading me to lose confidence in my FH shots. FH drives and loops felt better and were associated with a loud click and plenty of safety over the net. However, these shots are best played from mid-distance using ‘soft’ hands and a fair amount of touch. This is not a rubber for power loopers. Lifting backspin is relatively easy, but I wasn’t able to impart as much spin on these opening loops as I would have liked. Blocking is good, in large part to the spin-insensitive topsheet, but the bouncy nature of the Omega V Pro meant more of my blocks strayed long than with the V Asia and V Tour. Compelled by the softer feel of the V Pro, I tried a couple of BH loops, which landed with good consistency (disclaimer: I switched to short pips in my BH less than a year ago, but haven’t completely forgotten how to make BH loops). In my opinion, the rubber works better as a BH rubber as the risk of hitting through the sponge is lower for most players. Moreover, the strong catapult and medium-high throw angle help the ball to gain pace and depth. Short game and serve returns are more challenging with the Omega V Pro due to its bouncy nature, especially on serves that would have a second bounce close to the baseline. I could impart a decent amount of spin on my serves, but effective short serves required good touch.

Conclusion

I am surprised just how different the Omega V Pro feels from V Tour. Clearly, this rubber did not suit my style particularly well but this does not mean it is a bad rubber. Actually, in my experience, the quality of rubbers nowadays is uniformly high. The trick is to match rubbers with the appropriate playing style. In my opinion, the Omega V Pro is quite suitable as a FH rubber for players who do not generate a lot of mechanical power on their shots and who rely on a rubber’s catapult to do most of the work for them such as developing kids and intermediate level adults. I think the Omega V Pro appeals to an even greater audience as a backhand rubber. The V Pro works best from mid-distance and would pair particularly well with all-wood blades in the ALL to OFF-/OFF range.  

Serve: 7.5/10 
Serve receives and short game: 7/10
Looping: 8.5/10
Flat hitting: 7.5/10
Blocking: 9/10

Recommended player type: Attackers, especially developing players, with soft hands and good touch, who let the rubber work for them. 

 

Xiom Omega V Euro (black, max) – The Slightly Spinnier Twin of The Pro Version?

The last rubber in the Xiom Omega V series, i.e., the Euro version, feels as hard as the Omega V Pro and a pinch harder than Andro’s Rasant Grip (~45 on the European scale). However, I am guessing that V Euro’s sponge and topsheet are softer and harder, respectively than those of V Pro, but I have no way of proving this. The sheet weighed 49 grams when cut to my 157 mm x 150 mm blade, which places it between Tibhar’s MX-P and Stiga’s Airoc Astro M.

Unboxing Video

Playing Impressions

Let me foreshadow this review: in my opinion, the Omega V Euro and Omega V Pro play remarkably similar, with the V Euro being a little bit spinnier and bouncier. Accordingly, I made similar observations. FH flat hits had a tendency to go long. Properly executed FH loops resulted in a nice crisp sound and beautiful arc over the net. Soft, touch-based loops from mid-distance are encouraged over hard loop drives. Opening loops against backspin are easy due to the high throw but it is hard to generate high speed, which makes it possible for the opponent to get into position and attack the slow loop. This rubber is great for BH loops, which are spinny and have a lot of margin over the net. Like the rest of the Omega V range, the topsheet is not particularly sensitive to spin, which is an advantage for blocking. However, Omega V Euro’s catapult resulted in some blocks going long. Just like with the Omega V Pro, serve returns are challenging due to the rubber’s bouncy nature. I found it to be a better strategy to attack serves with soft flips or loops than to push short. My serves felt a little bit spinnier with the V Euro as compared to the V Pro, probably because the topsheet is softer, allowing the ball to better sink in.

Conclusion

Just like the Omega V Pro, the Xiom Omega V Euro will suit loopers who play with a soft hand and have good touch rather than hard hitters and power loopers, at least when used as a FH rubber. I think the V Euro has a lot of potential as a BH rubber. The Omega V Euro is a mid-distance rubber that should pair with all-wood blades in the ALL to OFF- range. I think combining it with a composite blade results in a setup that is too bouncy.  

Serve: 8/10 
Serve receives and short game: 7/10
Looping: 8.5/10
Flat hitting: 7.5/10
Blocking: 9/10

Recommended player type: Similar as for the Omega V Pro, i.e., attackers with soft hands and good touch, who will not overpower this rubber and who want a rubber that works for them. 

 

Have any questions or comments about the Xiom Omega V series rubbers? Let us know in the comments section below! 

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The OVA has been being described as a hybrid between European and Chinese rubbers. In terms of physical characteristics, OVA has more in common with other hard European rubbers like the Andro Rasant Powergrip or Tibhar’s Evolution MX-S rubber than DHS’ Hurricane H3 Neo or H8 rubbers. The signature black carbo sponge has large pores, yet is very firm. However, it feels significantly softer than DHS’ H3 Neo or H8, I’d say around 47-48 degrees on the hardness scale that is used to describe European rubbers (for an useful discussion regarding sponge hardness and conversion between ESN and DHS hardness scales, see: http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=23663). The OVA weighed 51 grams when cut to my 157 mm x 150 mm blade, which puts it in the same range as Tibhar’s MX-P and Gewo’s Nanoflex 48.

Playing impressions: The test setup gave a wonderful direct sensation during topspins, flat hits, and blocks, making it really delightful to play with. In fact, the OVA might be the best blocking rubber that I have tried. I would characterize the throw angle as medium – plenty of safety over the net when looping, and not too high allowing excellent flat hitting. The presence of a small catapult meant that I did not have to use as much effort in my strokes as with Chinese rubbers, but more than with the OVT or Tibhar’s MX-P. The OVA is ~5-7% slower than the MX-P, but also significantly less bouncy, which, together with the rubber’s linearity, gave me great control and confidence on my attacking strokes. For the same reason, serve returns are a breeze with the OVA, especially since the rubber is quite insensitive to spin. The linearity of the runner also helps to keep pushes short and low. It is easy to control the placement and angle of serves with the OVA, but expecting a spin monster, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of spin that I was able to apply on my serves. Yes, the ball bites well into the rubber, but the resulting spin is still ~3-4% below that of MX-P and ~5-7% below rubbers like DHS Hurricane 8. The harder sponge and non-tacky topsheet also mean that loops against backspin require a slightly more open angle than usual. However, it is easy to make appropriate adjustments.

Conclusion: The Xiom Omega V Asia is an excellent rubber, which has a very favorable speed/control ratio, making it a delight to play with. It excels in all aspects of close and mid-distance play. I would suggest pairing the OVA with a blade in the OFF- or OFF+ range that has a harder outer ply and/or internal composite layers to get an extra kick. It will be interesting to see Xiom launch an updated version of the OVA with 5% more spin from a tackier topsheet. Such a rubber would have the potential to be a true game changer.   

 

Serves: 8/10 
Serve receives and short game: 9/10
Looping: 9/10
Flat hitting: 9/10
Blocking: 10/10

Recommended player type: Attackers playing with a lot of power on their FH shots and emphasizing hard loop drives and flat hits, who still want to be able to play a very tight short game.