The Xiom Vega Europe is one of the most popular rubbers currently in the market. According to Revspin.com, it ranks sixth among the most used rubbers.
Throughout my testing, I started to really understand why so many people love it. It is an incredibly easy-to-use rubber. I found it to be a perfectly balanced rubber with which you can execute every stroke in the game.
Above all, it is a very stable and controllable rubber. We recommend it for players of all levels, especially beginners and intermediates, who value consistency over speed.
Perfect for: All-round offensive players who value control over speed. Beginners will also make good use of this rubber. 0-6 years of playing.
Alvaro brings 7+ years of playing experience. He’s tested 20+ rubbers for Racket Insight and his style is The Controller.
Blade Used: Stratus Power Wood
Rubber Thickness: MAX
Hours Tested: 10+
We recommend the Andro Rasanter R47 to players who want to attack and counterattack their opponents with fast direct shots.
Design of the Xiom Vega Europe
Xiom is a Korean Table Tennis brand, and they are famous for offering high quality Table Tennis equipment at reasonable price points. The Xiom Vega Europe is one of the more affordable products in their range, priced well below the average European rubber.
The Xiom Vega Europe was launched in 2010, so its technology is outdated compared to new tensor rubbers. This doesn’t necessarily mean the Vega Europe is worse than newer rubbers, though. What this rubber lacks in performance, it makes up with outstanding control and feeling.
Its design consists of a grippy topsheet and a soft sponge. There are no obvious signs of factory boosting and the rubber itself does not have a significant rebound effect.
The Xiom Vega Europe has no tackiness whatsoever, it is purely grippy. In my opinion, it has the perfect level of grip for the purpose of the rubber.
It doesn’t have as much grip as top-of-the-line offensive rubbers which means that you can’t generate as much spin, but this has an upside. The Vega Europe doesn’t absorb nearly as much spin as newer rubbers while maintaining more than enough grip to play offensive shots.
This rubber has around 20-30% less spin than newer tensor rubbers such as the Tibhar MX-P (read our review), but it’s a lot easier to use and control. Between these two, I’d argue that the Vega Europe is the better choice for most players, at least on their backhand side.
The sponge is very soft, which increases the dwell time. It makes the rubber not have as many gears, with the lack of top gears being especially noticeable.
I had no problems with my backhand stroke, but I wouldn’t use it on the forehand side since it lacks power to produce fast loop kills.
The throw of the rubber is medium or even medium-low, but backhand loops and drives cleared the net just fine. This rubber’s throw helps a lot with blocks and pushes, which stayed low to the net.
The Xiom Vega Europe, cut for my Tibhar Stratus Power Wood, weighs 46 grams in max thickness. It is a very light rubber, so if you’re looking to decrease the weight of your racket, this is a good choice.
A bounce test reveals that the rubber feels very soft and the bounce is not high, a sign of its average speed. I would say the speed is a little slower than the Rakza 7 soft but somewhat faster than the Hurricane 3 NEO.
I glued the Xiom Vega Europe on the backhand side of my Tibhar Stratus Power Wood, as it’s a soft rubber.
I also tried it briefly on my forehand side, but I didn’t like it. It lacks speed and spin to close out points, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a capable forehand. If you’re a beginner, however, this rubber could definitely work on the forehand side.
If you’re looking for a harder alternative to the Vega Europe to use as your forehand rubber, take a look at our Xiom Vega Pro review or the Yasaka Rakza 7 review. These two are similar rubbers in the sense that they are very spinny and controllable, but they pack more punch than the Vega Europe.
This review is based on 10 hours of playing matches and drilling with players ranging from early intermediate to advanced levels.
The videos in this review were taken from a training session with an advanced offensive player.
Driving and looping
The main feature of this rubber is stability. This rubber is not very explosive, so it is difficult to surprise opponents with fast shots, but it is very consistent.
Talking about drives, they fly low to the net with a high degree of safety. Although they were not very fast, backhand drives were very consistent and easy to play. It is very easy to aim with this rubber due to its high control and dwell time.
I did not like punch shots with this rubber, as it is very soft and lacks speed for this stroke. Punching did not give me good results.
Looping was a similar story. Backhand loops had good spin, but they were not dangerous enough to generate points on their own.
With this rubber, you can’t rip balls past your opponent. The most effective shots with the Vega Europe were those with good spin aimed to the opponent’s elbow or to the wide backhand.
As this rubber has a high degree of safety, it is easy to set up plays. This rubber enabled my forehand very well since I could place the ball in an uncomfortable place for my opponent and then step around for a forehand winner.
What I really liked about this rubber was performing open-ups against backspin. The medium throw of this rubber, the medium speed, and the stability it has allow it to perform open-ups with total safety and good spin.
I was performing a drill in which I had to open up against backspin and keep attacking with my backhand.
At one point, my coach says “they’re practically all going in, aren’t they?”. When I use my regular backhand rubber, the Rakza 7 soft, I miss many more open ups than with the Vega Europe because of the extra speed and higher throw.
The Xiom Vega Europe is completely predictable when performing open ups, and they travel with great spin. Even though this rubber doesn’t have that much grip, it does produce good spin on open ups when you have to really brush the ball to get the lift over the net.
In conclusion, the offensive game is controllable and with relatively good spin, but it is very difficult to pass opponents with speed.
What I ended up doing with this rubber is opening up with lots of spin and placing the ball in uncomfortable places for the opponent, then stepping around and finishing points with my forehand.
Serve and receive
Returning serves with this rubber was excellent. The rubber does not have as much grip, nor is it fast, so it’s a lot simpler to return serves. Because of its comparative lack of grip, however, it was also difficult for me to trouble the opponent with my own serves.
Pushes with the Vega Europe stayed low to the net and with a high sense of control. It was very easy to return any kind of serve.
Backhand flicks were also good, but I feel that a higher throw and a more reactive sponge would have helped a lot more when lifting heavy backspin serves. I find it much easier to attack these types of serves with the Rakza 7 soft that I use normally.
My serves stayed low over the net and it was easy to keep them short because the Vega Europe is not bouncy at all. However, I never felt that my serves carried significant spin, so I forced fewer errors from my opponents than usual.
Blocking and chopping
Besides open ups and serve receive, the third and last aspect of this rubber that I found truly remarkable is blocking. This rubber soaks up energy like no other European rubber I’ve tried.
It is very easy to absorb powerful loops because it is not a fast rubber, the throw is medium, and it doesn’t have that much grip. I just had to put my racket behind the ball and the rubber did the rest. I didn’t have to make many angle adjustments for it to go in.
This strength when blocking helped me to move my opponents around and get chances to attack.
Chopping was good. Chops were controllable and flew low to the net. However, when the opponent attacked with more speed and spin, chops started to rise and were harder to control.
It was what I expected for a rubber of these characteristics. It is not made for chops but it can be a viable option every once in a while if you’re in a difficult situation.
Alternatives to the Xiom Vega Europe
The Yasaka Rakza 7 Soft is a slightly spinnier, faster and higher throwing version of the Xiom Vega Europe.
The Andro Rasanter R42 is a harder, faster, spinnier rubber than the Vega Europe, but it still retains great control and touch.
The Ventus Limber is a very similar rubber to the Vega Europe. It’s a bit spinnier and higher throwing.
In conclusion, the Xiom Vega Europe is a very good allround/offensive rubber. It is difficult to beat your opponents with sheer speed, but if you are looking to control the ball and play longer rallies, it is an excellent rubber.
The things that stand out the most about this rubber are its excellent open-ups against backspin, its service reception, its blocks, and the general control of the game. I felt very confident playing with this rubber as soon as I picked it up.
I recommend it for players who like to play long rallies instead of third ball attacks. If you like outplaying your opponent with tactics, smart placement, and shot variations, this is the rubber for you.
If you are a beginner, I also recommend the Vega Europe as it’s an excellent rubber to perfect your techniques and you will have no problem controlling it.
Alvaro’s been playing Table Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked within the top 100 in his native Argentina. He loves to compete in provincial tournaments and is always looking for ways to improve. Alvaro made his favourite memories with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight team to share his passion with other players!