Xiom Vega Pro was released back in 2009 and it gained quickly worldwide popularity of a good performance rubber for a very good price. Im glad to say its still going strong today and is still a very popular rubber not only for its relatively cheap price compared to most other offers but also its label as being one of the best alternatives for Tenergy.
Vega pro is a Medium/Hard rubber with a 47.5deg sponge with small pores and a low level of tuning (thumbs up from me). Like all Xiom rubbers it comes with a black sponge (very cool) and the topsheet is medium/hard elasticity. It comes from the same era of rubbers as Tibhar Genius, Andro Hexer and the Butterfly Tenergies.
Xiom Vega Pro was introduced at the end of 2009, breaking into the new decade and setting a precedence of Xiom’s ability to produce quality rubber. At this point in time, there were next to no options that could compete with with the recent releases of a certain well known Japanese company. Vega Pro was among the first tensor rubbers that was truly able to compete with the best. Featuring a high arc, high spin, and high power; Vega Pro is a great choice for anyone looking for a consistent offensive rubber with durability to last.
Xiom Vega pro is a spin orientated rubber designed for looping, it is very good at grabbing the ball and it is excellent at playing slow brushy loop shots. However, I cant say it can compete with any modern rubbers in terms of pure spin generation. Id say it generates about 85-90% the spin of a Tenergy 05 and not quite as much as an Tibhar Evolution MXP. The weird thing is when your playing it doesnt feel this way, its got this superb smooth grabby feeling which I can only say resembles the Tenergy feeling, it really is a joy to play with. But you can also see it is less potent when playing big shots there just isnt the same spin generation.
In terms of feel Vega pro belongs in the same category as medium speed spin focused rubbers, I would put it in the same category as Evolution MXS and Nittaku Fastarc G-1, less spin than MX-S but I would say ever so slightly more than Fastarc G-1
The Topsheet on the Vega pro is what I would class as an old school topsheet, its quite thick, not overly elastic and doesnt have the modern grainy surface of newer rubbers. It still grips the ball extremely well but when you try an angle too acute then it does slip and you get the old school squeak of a rubber failing to grip the ball. It was a great topsheet for its time but newer rubbers have much better topsheets. In the grand scheme of things though, its still a grippy rubber, you can still load it up at extreme angles, but you can have slippages occasionally.
On a personal rather nerdy note I really like the topsheet of Vega pro, its not too hard not too soft, feels high quality and really smooth and very durable, if it was just a bit thinner and bit more grainy it would be perfect.
The arc is pretty high, not Tenergy 05 high but its certaily very close, its one of the highest arcing rubbers ESN have ever produced and it really helps with the safety of shots, very Tenergy like.
I would class Vega Pro as more of a medium speed rubber, in the ALL+/OFF- category. Rubbers today are getting faster and faster and this is a happy medium, its still pretty quick when you go for it but it cant compete with the big boys in speed. Its very similar speed to Nittaku Fastarc G1, but again id say like 85-90% speed of Tenergy 05.
In terms of catapult its got very little, its a very linear rubber especially in the low gears, very good touch but it can get a bit jumpy in the high gears. Its still considered very linear to most Euro/Jap rubbers on the market.
This is where Xiom Vega Pro makes a lot more sense compared to something like Tenergy 05. Vega Pro has lots of control as you would expect from a medium speed rubber and much more control than Tenergy 05. Its got great feel, its very linear in speed delivery and has a very consistent and stable bounce from the topsheet. Touch shots can be played precisely and even high power shots have a great level of precision too. Honestly this rubber is so stable! Plenty of safety in shots especially combined with the high arc of Vega Pro, it really is good in the control department.
The best way to describe this rubber is a much more controlled version of Tenergy 05 – Baby Tenergy if you will. Its not as potent but it has a lot more control whilst still playing like Tenergy 05 in its playing characteristics. For someone who cant quite handle Tenergy or an intermediate player thats wants to try something like Tenergy this is a fantastic option.
Feel & Hardness
The sponge hardness is 47.5deg and I gotta say the overall hardness of the rubber feels about that. the topsheet hardness is about medium- medium/hard and it matches well with the sponge to give a good balance
The feeling of Xiom Vega Pro is just superb, I really like it, when you play attacking shots you can really feel the rubber bite the ball and the sponge is great too, not too dead but not too lively, not too hard but not too soft, a perfect middle ground. It feels really crisp in shots too crisper than Tenergy 05. I cannot tell you how much I like the feeling of this rubber, its really enjoyable to play with – its one of my favorites.
Serve – 8.5/10: Placement is very good, you can be very precise and accurate and the Pro certainly grabs the ball well but it terms of spin generation it was ok but there are many other rubbers that can produce a lot more on serves.
Slow looping (Brush) – 8.5/10: Slow looping is good you can play really slow precise loops and really load up the spin without having to swing hard, iv mentioned it a lot but the topsheet really does bite the ball well. However the topsheet isnt the grippiest mechanically as it is a bit old school so occasionally you will get some slippage but its rare. engaging the sponge a little more solves this problem.
Fast looping – 9.0/10: This is what Vega Pro is designed for, its great at mid distance fast looping, engage the sponge and this rubber is just a dream to loop with, so smooth, easy and stable, great feeling. I cant give it full marks in this department because the spin and speed are just not quite there compared to other rubbers but for control, stability and safety in the looping game its just incredible.
Drive: – 8.5/10: it feels pretty nice but it does lack some penetration when trying to kill off points.
Blocks & Flat hits – 8.0/10: You gain a lot of control in the blocking department and it does block well but its certainly more at home looping. Flat hits are ok, not terrible but not something to write home about either.
Flicks – 7.5/10: Pretty average if im honest, Vega pro does grip the ball well but there is not much penetration or speed in flicks and you have to be sure to engage a little bit of sponge as the topsheet isnt that elastic.
Smashes – 7.0/10: Probably the weakest part of the Vega Pros game. Smashes are not that fast and can be a bit too safe at times.
Counters – 8.0/10: Very good at absorbing pace and redirecting, the added level of control with this rubber really helps you keep the ball on the table whilst being attacked.
Chopping – 8.0: again Very good control so chopping can be effective however doesnt generate as much spin as other rubbers and the topsheet isnt that elastic so you have to have a bigger chopping swing to pull off good chops with Vega pro
Xiom Vega Pro VS Nittaku FastArc G1
let me start off by saying these rubbers are very very similar, same age, same category, same speed etc but was does differentiate them is the overall feel and playing characteristics.
To me Xiom Vega Pro just felt like a higher quality product that was the complete package, I cant really say it generated more spin or speed but it just felt better to me. I had more confidence in the consistency of the shots I hit with Vega over fastarc. I think the topsheet is a big part of this, the Vega Pro Topsheet feels much higher quality, its a lot smoother and a more natural feel to it. The Fastarc G1 topsheet felt very plasticy and stiff to me and it resulted in this complete different feeling in low power shots and high power shots, it reacted too differently to different shots and was hard to gauge. The Vega pro transitioned through the gears much more smoothly and predictably. The Vega was a little less predictable at higher speeds and a bit jumpy but only at very top end.
I also felt that I had more grip when brush looping the ball with Vega pro, especially in fine brushes. Fastarc G1 always needed a thicker contact and then you could produce a good amount of spin.
For me and my style (Two Winged Brush Looper) it was a no brainer I definitely preferred the Xiom Vega Pro.
Who Does This Rubber Suit / Playing Style
Xiom Vega Pro is what I would consider a controlled looping rubber. It suits intermediate level players with a controlled loop attacking style who primarily wants to play loop shots as soon as they can. Players who value control and precision looping to vary spin and placement with a medium speed level. It best suits attackers who play from mid-distance and like to take the ball medium/late.
Quality & Durability (6 Months + )
I found the quality of Vega Pro to be absolutely top notch, which I did not expect for its price, I found the topsheet and sponge to be of very high quality – particularly the topsheet. I can only say Butterfly Tenergy rubbers beat the Vega pro in the quality department.
I also like that fact that there is not much booster that comes on a new sheet. This means it stays consistent for its entire life without dropping off in speed and when you take the rubber off your bat it will not shrink! Handy for someone who changes all the time…
Now to durability….. This is one of the best if not the best ESN rubber I have tested for durability, its incredible, if you wanted it to the rubber could last a whole season it probably could. There is very little degradation of the topsheet, after 3 months my sheet still looked new, no blemishes at all and still all of its grip. So impressed. It can last as long as Tenergy rubbers and for the price its just excellent. I would say nearly 6 Months (playing 2-3 times a week) at top performances, after that the topsheet degrades a little but really not much!
Price / Performance
This is without doubt the best advantage of Vega Pro, for something that plays 85-90% the performance of Tenergy but to cost half price is just plain value for money! I honestly cant think of another European/Japanese rubber thats better value for money that Vega Pro its just cheap!
In the UK you can pick this rubber up for as little at £30.00
In the US you can pick it up for as little as $32.60!!!
Incredible performance for a great great price. Xiom has produced an superb value for money rubber and that is why its still a best seller over 10 years on. Baby Tenergy 05 for half the price.
Xiom Vega Pro very quickly became one of my favorite rubbers. Its the whole package of this rubber that really makes it feel good. Good – spin, speed, control, arc, feel, quality, price… it just ticks every box and that’s very rare, its such a good all-rounder it really is. Its the Porsche 911 of the Table Tennis world.
Would top top players use this? Probably not, the rubber world has moved on and you can get more performance from other rubbers (Tenergies, Evolutions, Rasanters etc) – if you have the skill but for intermediates or someone just looking for a controlled looping rubber this is a brilliant option.
I personally really like it for my backhand, I really benefit from the safety and control of the rubber whilst ripping spinny arcing dangerous shots. I dont use it at the moment because there are rubbers that I just get more out of that I can just about handle but sometimes I do miss the stability and safetly of Vega Pro so im always threatening to go back. Gladly though Xiom has just released the New Xiom Vega X which is supposed to be an upgraded Vega Pro again for a great price point so I will be trying out that in the future for sure!
Best description I can give for Vega Pro is that it is like baby Tenergy. A Tenergy 05 thats slower, less spin, more linear, much more controlled but still plays like Tenergy 05. Its honestly the closest rubber to play like Tenergy 05 that I have tried but for half the price!
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