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Review: Omega VII Guang China

13 October 2021  | Posted in: Table Tennis Reviews

Xiom Omega VII Guang China

     The switch to the slower 40+ ball has resulted in the development of hybrid rubbers with hard yet lively sponges and tacky topsheets as alternatives to traditional sticky Chinese rubbers like Hurricane 3. I have reviewed numerous hybrid rubbers, including the Yasaka Rakza Z Extra Hard, Donic BlueGrip C1, Donic BlueGrip C2, Tibhar Hybrid K1 European Version, and Nittaku Hurricane 3 Pro Turbo Blue rubbers to name but a few. Here, I had the opportunity to try out the new Xiom Omega VII Guang China (O7GC) rubber. According to Xiom, the O7GC rubber has the ball control and spin of traditional Chinese rubbers and the speed of tensor rubbers, rendering it suitable for players of all levels looking to change from speedy to sticky rubbers.

     The German-made O7GC rubber comes in a stunningly beautiful glitzy silver-on-yellow cardboard wrapper. The wrapper provides a wealth of technical information. Upon opening the wrapper, a series of graphs are revealed, which list the velocity and arc height of Xiom rubbers using the “Elasto Futura Cycloid” technology, vis-à-vis the older “Hyper Elasto IMB” technology. The graphs suggest that fast topspin shots can be executed with a medium to high arc, irrespective of if it is against topspin, backspin, or blocks. Xiom states that blocks will be fast, whereas flicks will be moderately fast. Xiom’s assessment of the rubber’s catapult effect, click, speed, spin, and precision is listed on the back of the wrapper (9.5/9.75/9.0/9.0/9.5 out of 10, respectively), along with a detailed description of the “Max At 4”, “Cycloid”, and “Carbo Sponge” technologies that are used in the production of rubber. This information seems to suggest that the O7GC rubber is manufactured without using factory boosting.

      The topsheet is matte, ever so slightly tacky, very grippy, and softer to the touch than I expected. The pimples are very faintly visible below the surface. The black sponge, which has a high density of truly tiny pores, feels hard to the touch, as expected for a 55-degree sponge. Overall, the sheet is quite firm, does not curl, and has a sweet rubbery smell, which – irrespective of what Xiom claims – suggests that it is factory boosted. The O7GC weighs 73 g uncut (height x width, 169 x 169 mm) and 52 g when cut to the 158 x 151 mm Tibhar Bernadette Szocs Signature 1 test blade, which renders it significantly lighter than the Yasaka Rakza Z Extra Hard (56 g), Donic BlueGrip C1 (61 g) and Nittaku Hurricane 3 Pro Turbo Blue (59-62 g) rubbers, and in the weight class as the Donic BlueGrip C2 (53 g) and Tibhar Hybrid K1 European Version (51 g).

Playing Impressions


      The first thing I noticed is the loud click that the O7GC produces on virtually any offensive stroke, including drives. As a former speed-gluer, I am a big fan of auditory input. However, in my opinion, the noise level is not commensurate with the rubber’s speed level. The sharp metallic click gave me the expectation of very fast and deep FH drives. To my surprise, however, FH drives played with a relatively flat bat angle were quite short, barely making it past the halfway point on my hitting partner’s side. This changed once I used a more closed bat angle, as a catapult effect was activated, resulting in longer trajectories. Accordingly, it is not easy to give a velocity characterization for the O7GC. I enjoyed good consistency on FH drives, especially when using a flatter bat angle.  


     I was able to produce reasonably fast shots when FH looping against blocks, but judging by my practice partner’s blocks, spin levels were only average, unless I hit the ball late in its trajectory with exaggerated upward stroke mechanics. FH looping is crisp and aided by the loud click, but the shots are not as dangerous as with traditional Chinese rubbers. Moreover, I missed the sidelines more often than with my usual rubbers, especially on third ball attacks against backspin, presumably because the combination of the hard sponge and a prominent catapult effect reduces the margin for error. Again, counter to Xiom’s description, I found the throw angle to be medium-low, with several shots getting caught in the net, especially when looping down the line. Occasionally, I grew a little frustrated by the inadequate top-end speed of my FH topspins (high OFF-) and started to force the shots, which led me to miss the end of the table. The O7GC allows for consistent FH loops in topspin-to-topspin rallies, but the shots are not truly dangerous since only average spin levels are produced. 


     The O7GC responds well on passive blocks as the rubber absorbs the incoming energy and redirects it into stable blocks. Active blocks are one of the highlights of the O7GC as the resulting shots are incredibly fast. However, given the catapult effect, it is easy to overshoot the table. 


    The O7GCs catapult is fully activated when using a flat bat angle. Accordingly, it is possible to produce deadly smashes.  


     Initially, I was surprised how little the topsheet assisted me when executing FH flicks. Thus, most of the flicks ended in the net whenever I used a mini-loop stroke. I found it to be far more productive to pancake flick the ball in its zenith, especially since the rubber is insensitive to incoming spin. The 07GC’s moderate speed on these low-impact shots afforded me excellent consistency.  


     To my surprise, long pushes proved to be one of O7GC’s strongest suits. I enjoyed excellent control and attribute this to a clearly felt contact point, a grippy topsheet, and the rubber’s moderate speed. In any event, long pushes were loaded with backspin, which, in turn, gave my hitting partner all sorts of trouble when looping. The O7GC also works rather well for short pushes, which can be played short and low, though I found it more challenging to impart high spin levels on these shots. 


      Initially, when doing FH backspin serves, many of my serves were too short since the rubber is slow on low-impact shots. Using a more active stroke, the serves became more spinny, dangerous, and consistent. The O7GC allows for the generation of fast topspin/sidespin serves, but the spin levels are only average, thus limiting their dangerousness.   


     The Xiom Omega 7 Guang China is an interesting hybrid rubber. It is relatively slow on low to medium impact shots,like pushes and warm-up drives, medium-fast (high OFF-/low OFF) on topspin shots from distance or against blocks, and very fast (high OFF) on high impact shots played with flat bat angles (blocks and smashes). It is faster than a traditional Hurricane 3 on active strokes, especially when flatter bat angles are used, but produces lower topspin levels and flatter trajectories when looping. In my opinion, this rubber caters to relatively high-level players who want to have Hurricane-like stability in the short game but better flat hitting characteristics, yet do not want to fully commit to a switch since the Hurricane-like rubbers are more physically demanding. The O7GC lies in the middle of the road with respect to being more traditional European-like vs more traditional Chinese-like: Tibhar Hybrid K1 European Version < Yasaka Rakza Z Extra Hard < O7GC < Donic BlueGrip C2 < Donic BlueGrip C1 < Nittaku Hurricane 3 Pro Turbo Blue.

Testing Procedure

     I evaluated the Xiom Omega VII Guang China rubber (black, max) using the Tibhar Szocs Signature 1 7-ply all-wood blade and Spinlord Waran II short pips in my BH. I attached the brand-new rubber to the blade as received using 2-3 layers of the Revolution 3 normal viscosity glue. I tested the set-up over 3-4 sessions, playing a mix of regular and match-like drills against my regular high-level practice partner (two-winged looper). Neottec Neoplast Pro 40+ training balls were used throughout this test.







About the Reviewer

     Patrick 'Pong Professor' Hrdlicka is a table tennis enthusiast with a Ph.D. in chemistry who combines his analytical and experimental skills with his love of table tennis in order to test and review a wide range of table tennis equipment.