Described by the manufacturer as “the ultimate weapon for the aggressive offensive player” Victas V>15 Extra starts off with a bold claim, which is obviously designed to sell the product to potential customers. Within the package, however, is a piece of paper acting as a rubber protector but which also has written upon it a more realistic claim.
The message inside the package starts, “We are not perfect, but our passion is peerless. Our vision is to be the innovator of the future.” So, an honest message from Victas to the buyer that whilst they haven’t reached perfection yet, they are striving to do so in the future. But, how are they doing right now and how far do they still have to go?
VICTAS V>15 EXTRA REVIEW
Currently on sale via Tabletennis11.com for €45.00, my initial inspection of the V>15 Extra seems promising.
Although the stats provided are hard to compare between manufacturers due to each using their own scales, V>15 Extra is rated at 47.5 degrees for sponge hardness – with only one Victas rubber being rated higher at 50.
The package describes the rubber as having a “spin optimised top rubber sheet” and it has to be said that the rubber looks and feels to be very grippy.The only thing left to do now is to get it glued on and test it out!
SPEED & SPIN VS CONTROL
Even just during the warm up, it’s easy to tell that these rubbers are designed for the aggressive player who enjoys fast attacking rallies.
When you start to play forehand topspin shots the ball leaves the rubber at a considerable pace and you can feel the rubber gripping the ball with ease, meaning the desired arch of a topspin shot is achieved easily and consistently. The exact same can be said for the backhand side.
As I played with the rubbers for a bit longer I soon realised that they are effective at pretty much any distance from the table, providing you are playing an attacking topspin shot.
As with most things in life, pros in some areas result in cons in others. The speed and spin of the rubbers mean that a decent technique is required on all shots to make sure the ball is controlled. A couple of times, being out of position or catching the ball slightly wrong resulted in the shot missing the intended target by quite a distance.
Also, as I stated previously, the rubbers are very effective at any distance as long as you’re playing an attacking shot. If you’re away from the table and attempting to lob or ‘fish’ the ball back the hardness of the sponge makes it quite a difficult shot to execute effectively or consistently. I found that the ball would travel much further than I had anticipated and missed the end of the table regularly.
Blocking also, especially on the backhand side, can be difficult to maintain consistency with. I found that a slight miscalculation resulted in the ball either travelling too far and off the end of the table, or too flat and entering the net. The rubbers are much more suited to re-looping the ball, which they do with ease due to the grip of the top sheet.
So, again, it comes back to the point that they are much more effective when attacking as opposed to looking to simply control the ball.
SERVES & SHORT-PLAY
Whilst the V>15 Extra may have a few shortfalls in the defensive/controlling area it returns to strengths in the service and short play area.
Due to the aforementioned high levels of grip of the V>15 Extra it’s possible to place a high amount of spin onto the ball when serving. This also results in the ball being kept low over the net easily. I found the V>15 Extra was equally adept at both keeping the serve short or serving long and fast.
Flicking is also a strength with the V>15 Extra when the serve and the amount of spin on the serve is judged correctly. Similar to the topspin area of play, the hardness of the sponge doesn’t provide much margin for error but when executed correctly the rubber helped me to produce some really strong flick returns.
Touch play was a little bit more varied although this was more down to my actions than the rubbers.
During touching short I discovered that if I tried to simply cushion the ball back then it was prone to sitting up high, allowing the opponent to attack easily. However, when I was more pro-active on the touch – and used my wrist to place backspin on the ball – it stayed low over the net and I kept it short easily. So the times the touch sat up high were really more my fault than the V>15.
Overall I am impressed with the V>15 Extra. It is a very effective attacking rubber suited to any player with a good technique that looks to attack early and strong.
Personally, I prefer a softer rubber on the backhand side as I like to have the option of changing the pace I play backhands with. However, since I always look to attack on the forehand side I would have absolutely no qualms about using the V>15 Extra and recommending it to other attack-minded players.
THANKS TO TABLETENNIS11.COM!
Once again, we would like to thank Tabletennis11.com for sponsoring this review and providing us with the rubbers to test.
Tabletennis11.com are one of our favourite online table tennis retailers. They have fantastic prices and offer free worldwide shipping on orders over €70. You also get an extra 25% off if your order is over €250!