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Xiom Omega VII Review: Pro and Euro

08 March 2018  | Posted in: Table Tennis Reviews

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About the Reviewer

George Latterman

Often considered an enigma, a myth, and to some a legend, George Latterman is a man who knows no bounds. George was born in New York with dual citizenship, sharing his nationality between the United States and Brazil. After becoming interested with high level table tennis when he was 18, he spent time practicing in both countries and is one of the top players in the capital region of New York.

Combining his degree in Communication with his passion for table tennis, he now offers a unique perspective on how an average to above average American club player feels about modern equipment in a modern world...

 

Introduction

Xiom is my favorite brand when it comes to rubbers so I was glad to have the opportunity to try Omega VII Pro and Omega VII Euro. I have always found Xiom to be consistent in producing quality rubbers ever since the original Vega rubbers broke in the new decade when they were released at the very end of 2009. Now, we sit here in 2018. This decade is rapidly reaching its conclusion and Xiom still continues to pump out rubbers at a rapid pace. So is their newest release of the two new Omega VII rubbers on par with the quality of their previous releases? Let's have a look.

 

I've always been a fan of Omega V (Asia in particular with a close 2nd to Tour). With the advent of the plastic ball and all of its “characteristics”, Xiom developed a new, grippier topsheet to help alleviate the problems that people were facing. The marketing geniuses at Xiom dubbed it “Dynamic Friction”. Even though it has a funny name, I felt that the rubber surface was indeed noticeably more grippy than their previous releases. It's probably why I didn't like Omega V Pro as much as the other three (Asia, Tour, and Euro) as Omega V Pro was the only one of the four to not incorporate this new technology. All of the Omega VII rubbers have this included.

 

Now, many of you may be wondering, “But George, where is your review of Omega VI?”. To which I respond that there is no Omega VI. I contacted Xiom and they had this to say:

 

“Omega VII is by far our greatest accomplishment in rubber. So we felt Omega VI was not the right name for it. We wanted to emphasize that this is a whole new rubber. It is a serious jump of technology and table tennis rubber in general.”

 

Omega VII was released soon after. Similar to Omega V and “Dynamic Friction”; Xiom came out with a lot more marketing terms like Cycloid and Elastosomething but I grow tired of these made up words because they don't mean anything to players. We just want to know how these rubbers play and feel. So I affixed my two sheets onto my Victas Koji Matsushita Defensive blade and began my journey to do exactly that.

 

Omega VII Euro

Omega VII Euro

Omega VII Euro features a somewhat medium topsheet hardness with a somewhat medium to medium hard sponge. Looking closely at the sponge, the way it reflects light is different than that of the Omega V sponges. When squeezing the sponge it also feels different than them too. V Euro had the softest sponge of the V rubbers but it still has a somewhat hard sponge. VII Euro is, therefore, softer than V Euro. The topsheet seems, from appearance, to be pretty much the same as any of the Omega Vs; grippy as always and with that familiar grain that becomes more visible when put under direct light.

 

 

After hitting the ball once, only one word came into my head... fast. The speed glue effect is very present in sound, feel, and speed. To me, it seemed like flat hitting didn't make any particular clicking sound. The speed and feel was still there, but the sound really came into play on closed angles when looping. The harder the loop, the louder the sound. The speed and sound on hard loops encourages a very aggressive play style. The more active and aggressive you are, the more of a reward this rubber provides you.

 

The throw angle of this rubber is quite high. The throw angle remains high on all strokes. Looping against all types of spin, flat hitting, blocking, driving, and anything else you can think of will clearly demonstrate its throw angle. During the entire duration of my testing it felt like I never hit a ball into the net. However, I definitely hit long many, many times as a result. I don't want to say that this makes the rubber more sensitive to spin relative to any other rubber, but I will say that it is sensitive to energy. This attribute is actually a double edged sword. By that I mean, being passive to an incoming ball, underspin or topspin, will result in this rubber turning its head and eating its unworthy user. However, with good timing, aggression, and technique, this rubber will combine all of your opponent's incoming energy with yours unleashing nearly unrivaled power. Though, with my limited ability as a player, I ended up getting bitten more than biting.

 

Serving with this rubber can yield very high spin, just like the Omega Vs, but keeping a serve short is very difficult with less room for error as this rubber is quite bouncy. Serving long is great but I had some trouble being able to place the ball close to the net. It's totally doable for a high level player, just not as easy.

 

This inevitably translates to difficulty with the short game. Flicking with this rubber is super powerful, it's pretty much a miniature loop/drive, but it's not easy to do consistently because of how bouncy it is. Pushing isn't particularly great either. If your opponent pushes heavy underspin you can definitely push back with equally heavy spin but expect it to go longer than what you might be used to. If you are trying to push light backspin or a dead ball... don't. Trying to push back a low spin ball almost always results in a high ball with low spin because it left your racket before it had time to grip and load up on spin. If your opponent sends you a low spin ball then attack it no matter what. Again, this is a rubber that rewards offense.

 

If you've been following along then I'm sure it will not come as a surprise when I say that this is not a chopper's rubber. This a fast and bouncy rubber so chops often went off the table and when they did land they were usually too high and low on spin making it easy for my opponent to kill the ball. In a pinch when you are late to the ball, you can still chop it to prevent the ball from hitting the ground but these desperation chops are the only ones you should ever be doing.

 

Blocking is ok. Since this is a high throw rubber, you definitely need a pretty closed angle. Blocking a loop with too open of an angle gives a ball that is either too high or just ends up going off the table. This also seems to apply to chopblocking. It makes a difficult stroke even harder so you need to have a very high level of touch to chopblock. The good part about all of this is that blocking flat hits into the net rarely happens so you can feel a little safer in that regard. The best aspect of blocking with this rubber is that blocks are really fast. A good block with this rubber can end up back on your opponent's side before they even realize it. If you really learn and get to know this rubber, it definitely can be used to block very effectively but there is a learning curve and even still there are better blocking rubbers out there.

 

Lobbing, lifting, and fishing are really great with this one. When executing these strokes, you're probably at a distance so you need speed, spin, and grip. This is exactly what Omega VII has. The qualities of this rubber give it the pop necessary to reach the table with quality. With my style, I try to avoid these strokes as much as possible but when the occasional inevitability occurs, I found this rubber to be very reliable. This is one of those situations where you are using your opponent's power against them and it does it well.

 

Driving is quite good. This rubber definitely has a preference for loopdriving though. Normal drives require significant adjustment and I often hit them off the table but I found adding more spin helped to stabilize the shot. Successful drives are blazing fast though. You just need to learn how to adjust to do them.

 

Looping... to put it simply, is outstanding. You can hear the loud speed glue effect the most during this stroke and that speed and sound seems to be present no matter how far you are from the table. On counterloops, the rubber plays a little softer than it does on other strokes. This softer feeling doesn't limit in any way however. Counterlooping is super powerful and with that high throw it will easily clear the net. Looping underspin works well on full commitment to your stroke but due to its bounciness, hesitation might cause you to dump a ball into the net. Play smart and that won't be an issue.

 

Omega VII Pro

Omega VII Pro

Omega VII Pro features a somewhat medium topsheet hardness with a hard sponge. Visually, the sponge of Pro is similar to Euro but when squeezing it, the hardness is apparent. The feeling is very pleasant, snappy, and crisp. This makes me curious how it will compare to the upcoming Omega VII Tour as I'm almost certain that sponge will be equally as hard or probably harder. Perhaps the difference will be in the topsheet. Time will tell.

 

Just like with Omega VII Euro, Pro is very fast. In fact it's a little faster. This makes it the fastest rubber I have ever tried. The speed glue effect is very present in sound, feel, and speed as well. Flat hits were noticeably faster than Euro. While not quite as loud as Euro, Pro still has a nice sound but is even more powerful due to the harder sponge.

 

The throw angle of this rubber is medium high. It's a bit lower than Euro but the difference is somewhat negligible. Like Euro, the throw angle remains high on all strokes. The mentality behind Pro is the same as Euro, perhaps even more so. When using Omega VII Pro, this powerhouse of a rubber is not prone to dumping balls into the net. Just like Euro, I definitely hit off the table quite often. While again, this is not a control rubber in anyway, I think the slightly lower throw angle relative to Euro might actually offer it a touch more control but again it's completely relative. With that in mind, Pro is even more of a rocket than Euro. This is a truly professional rubber.

 

Serving with Pro is very similar. It's difficult to keep serves short but I probably served the best long serves of my life with this rubber. It takes some getting used so that's not to say you can't serve short, only that it requires very precise touch.

 

The short game seems a bit better with Pro than with Euro. The hardness of Pro seems to make it slightly less bouncy. It's still very bouncy and isn't a short game rubber at all though. As I stated, I'm a huge fan of Omega V Asia especially because of it's short game. VII Pro sacrifices much of this for a huge increase in speed. Just be mindful that the only time Omega VII is meant to produce underspin is on serves. After serving, it's meant to only produce topspin balls for the rest of the point.

 

Similar to Euro, Pro is a poor choice for chopping. It has a little more control and spin than Euro but because of its tremendous speed, landing chops is a difficult task. Again, with Omega VII, topspin until the point is over. Save chopping for only the most desperate of situations.

 

Blocking is especially difficult with Pro for me. Pro is a hard rubber and I find harder rubbers more difficult to block with in general. Balls need to be taken early, with a very closed angle, and with loose hands. Otherwise, expect the ball to go long. Similar to Euro, blocking flat hits into the net rarely happens so you can feel a little safer in that regard.

 

Lobbing, lifting, and fishing are really excellent also. Euro was already great with these strokes but Pro seems to be even better. Take everything I said about Euro with these strokes and give it one extra notch. The increased speed and the extra snap that you can feel with Pro really help, especially when fishing.

 

Driving is noticeably better with Pro than Euro. Pro can execute drives very well but you still need to significantly adjust for the throw angle. If you manage to do that, real winners can be produced. Successful drives are often instant death for the point. You just need to learn how to adjust to do them.

 

If Omega VII Euro is outstanding at looping then Pro is near perfection if you have the ability to handle the speed. Let's start with looping underspin. If an opponent sends you deep and heavy underspin, this rubber will send it back with double the energy or more as long as you commit to a full stroke. Honestly though, even a stroke with only 75 percent follow through still put the ball on the other side of the table. I think the high throw angle is helping here. Proper commitment will help make underspin practically a non-issue. Though counterlooping is what it truly excels at. This is the primary use of the Omega VII rubbers. This rubber sucks up your opponent's energy, uses the energy in your stroke, then spits it back at your opponent with all of that combined force. The feeling is very comfortable and the spin is very high. Adding sidespin to your loop will cause it to curl and kick off the side of the table faster than anything I've used before. Counterloops from all distances remain fast and powerful.

 

Conclusion

Omega VII Pro and Euro

Before ever even trying these rubbers I sort of had an idea of how they were supposed to play. Actually having a chance to play with them, their feeling and characteristics were something better experienced than reading about them through a poor google translation of a German review. Both Omega VII Pro and Euro are truly phenomenal offensive rubbers. They were glued onto a Victas Koji Matsushita Defensive, the slowest blade I've ever used.

 

The idea here was to use something to experience the rubbers on a blade without letting any kind of quirks or carbon get in the way. Despite the slow blade, I can tell you that Omega VII Pro is the fastest rubber I have ever tried. It is faster than Tibhar Evolution MX-P, Stiga Mantra, or anything else I've ever hit with. Euro isn't far behind either. It really needs to be stressed that these rubbers are not meant to be used for pushing and chopping. Omega VII is designed to be a purely offensive weapon. For that purpose, it is a nuclear bomb. For offensive purposes, I believe that Omega VII Pro is the best counterlooping rubber available as of the time of this writing. I think there are better choices for driving, looping underspin, blocking, and pretty much any other stroke but when you are at mid to long distances and you need to send the ball back with oppressive force, Omega VII Pro is the finest rubber choice to do just that. Again, Euro isn't far behind in that regard. It's just that Euro is about half a notch below in performance compared to Pro. Euro's main purpose is its softer feeling which many people would prefer, understandably so.

 

Omega VII Tour and Asia are on the horizon. I'm curious to see the difference between VII Pro and VII Tour. I'm excited to see how VII Asia will play. Omega V Asia is currently my favorite rubber overall. If Omega VII Asia can combine the perfect close to the table play of V Asia with the perfect away from the table play of VII Pro... we might just have a rubber with the new it factor. I'll be sure to keep you all updated with reviews shortly after those rubbers come out.

 

If you've made it this far and are reading this, thank you so much for taking the time to read my review.

 

SEE ALSO:

The condensed version of this review!