With the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5, the Korean table tennis brand Xiom released a rubber that I would not have anticipated. Clearly, I had expected hybrid rubbers with the V47.5 and V52.5, the harder rubber version. After all, the rubbers were advertised as combining the advantages of two different concepts.
Following some investigation, it was clear on the one hand that Xiom actually releases hybrid versions of the Jekyll & Hyde rubber series. It is just that once again Xiom does not bring them to the market in Europe. I would like to thank Xiom, who have provided me with the Jekyll & Hyde rubbers, as well as two blades, the Xiom 36.5 ALXi and the Xiom TMXi An JaeHyun.
Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 – True competition for the TOP rubbers?
In the past, Xiom has already released very good table tennis rubbers, which are very popular with many table tennis players and provide powerful competition to the other top dogs on the market. Think of the Xiom Vega Pro, which was (or still is) considered by many as the best Tenergy 05 alternative for a long time, partly due to the outstanding price-performance ratio.
Another very convincing product is the Xiom Vega X, a modern update of the Vega Pro and a real bestseller. Besides that, rubbers like the Xiom Omega V Tour or the Xiom Omega VII Pro are other interesting alternatives for the modern attacking game. I myself have been playing the Xiom Omega V Euro for some time. It almost matches the performance of harder rubbers, but at the same time is very variable in terms of playability.
But where does a Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 fit in? At this point, I have to spoiler a little bit and would like to clearly say that the rubber fills a rather unoccupied niche in terms of concept and demands alone, instead of being expected to be a great revolution.
It’s also difficult to stand out in the abundance of table tennis rubbers and meet mainstream demands on the other hand. I don’t think Xiom is seeking to challenge its current TOP products, but instead provide another option for playing successful table tennis.
In the process of my review, I will and have to look at a number of comparisons to other rubbers. Is there already a rubber like the Jekyll & Hyde V47.5? Or is the rubber unique and offers something completely new? And more importantly, is there a need for this rubber at all?
Technical features of the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5
First of all, as already indicated above, I was pretty baffled when I did not hold a hybrid rubber with sticky top sheet in my hands. Perhaps you know this yourself. You expect something very specific. And then when you get something completely different, the astonishment is great.
When looking at the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 nothing remarkable is noticeable at first glance. A standard ESN tensor rubber, as I have already had it in front of my eyes hundreds of times. The black Xiom sponge has fine pores and seems to be exactly in the indicated range in terms of hardness.
However, I noticed something unusual with the pimple structure. The pimples are quite long, but also designed relatively wide. This makes the top sheet look quite compact, whereas it would have to be softer with this pimple length. This concept is probably the secret of the rubber.
Unfortunately, the wide and long pimple structure possibly also causes the comparatively high weight. My review sample (red Max.) weighed in at 107.15g with packaging. The uncut rubber weighed 72.39g. Cut onto the Xiom TMXi An JaeHyun remains 51.26g on the racket.
Playing characteristics of the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5
The Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 is much more compact than expected when warming up. I was able to place the counter shots directly and without problems. The basic speed of the rubber is high, but quite manageable even in lower classes, combined with an appropriate blade.
Topspin, spin dynamics & half-distance
The first topspins look quite promising with the rubber. I can produce a good spin onto the plate and intuitively determine the pace of the stroke. I particularly like the topspin opening with the Jekyll & Hyde V47.5. The ball is nicely carried along, which facilitates a safe topspin.
The ball trajectory is not as high as with the spin-strongest rubbers. I think a good average was reached in this case. At increases in speed the rubber reacts unexpectedly dynamically, although it does not explode particularly. You can build up the speed perfectly.
However, an extraordinary portion of your own power must be put into the stroke so that the full potential unfolds. At ball striking point, you can do a lot of work with the ball, which will eventually bring out what was put in.
From the half distance a dominant game can be brought up. The Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 contributes a good mix of spin and speed. Long ralleys are no problem. The initiative can be taken at any time, which puts the opponents under pressure.
Comparisons to the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5
When comparing to the other rubbers I first want to specify the peculiarities of the V47.5. Unlike most dynamic rubbers the top sheet of the rubber reacts quite sluggishly and rather like that of a rubber designed for rotation with little catapult.
This leads to a strange phenomenon that although a enormous power and speed comes out of the rubber, but somehow does not arrive in the feeling as feedback. I blame this on the pimple structure of the top sheet, although the sponge also plays a role, of course.
Due to its unique characteristics, you can loop very well on backspin without experiencing the spin and trajectory of spin-strong rubbers like the Xiom Vega X, Butterfly Tenergy 05 or Nittaku Fastarc G-1. At the same time, the rubber is quite precise, but not really sensitive to spin, as well as dynamic, but not explosive or extremely reactive.
So are there any comparable rubbers to the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 at all? Apart from the ball impact and the extremely unusual feel, the rubber joins the ranks of rubbers that have a good ratio of spin and speed, but do not really dominate any of the characteristics.
The classic example is a Butterfly Tenergy 80 or the Nittaku Fastarc P-1. What is definitely different, however, is the dynamic development at the performance limits. To be blunt, the Jekyll & Hyde is extremely good in the shooting game. This reminds me of rubbers that have similar direct strengths at the table. The Tibhar Quantum X Pro immediately comes to my mind.
However, I can’t name a genuinely good comparison rubber. The V47.5 is really something special. Whether that is always good, I will examine in more detail within the conclusion.
Service & Return
When serving, I was able to generate good spin with the Jekyll & Hyde V47.5. I liked the fact that the rubber reacted very directly and could be controlled precisely. On returns, I was able to place the balls short without any problems. For active flips, a direct hitting spot is preferable.
In contrast, banana flips are quite safe playable, but noticeably harmless when I compare this with other rubbers. I would like to emphasize the spin stroke above the table. As soon as the ball is somehow attackable, you can put a lot of pressure onto the table without making many mistakes. Half-long serves can be killed off score-wise.
Blocking, shooting & high defense
When it comes to blocking, the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde is pleasantly less sensitive to spin. Even late, passive blocks fly over the net almost automatically at a flat angle. With direct blocks, good pressure can be brought to the table. Dangerous are fast counterstrokes along the line. As a typical topspin player, I have rarely blocked out or countered away so many opponents.
In shooting, the rubber develops enormous power. As soon as the balls are dominant strikeable, the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 owns a built-in hitting window for killing strokes. Awesome is the precise, controllable catapult behavior, whereby hardly a finishing stroke goes beyond the table.
Out of the high defense away from the table the rubber can be controlled well. There are rubbers with which I could operate more safely, but hardly any which has such good counterattacks up their sleeve. Even far away from the table the rubber generates enough power to pressure an opponent into passive defense.
Conclusion on Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5
My evaluation of the Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 tends to be positive, although I myself am divided in some situations during gameplay. First of all, Xiom has really developed a peculiar, two-faced rubber, which has many strengths, but at the same time makes its weaknesses very evident.
In dominant attacking play and direct strokes the rubber is absolutely brilliant. Among the dynamic, fast rubbers, there is hardly one that can be so precisely guided and at the same time has a dynamic that can be controlled according to the own movement of the arm.
However, I miss sometimes a little feel and explosiveness, what I am simply used to from other tensor rubbers. Also, I couldn’t deliver my maximum amount of spin to the table. Personally, I’m already extremely confident when opening the topspin play, which is why the rubber slows me down a bit.
Ultimately, the mix of two approaches always leads to a certain trade-off, meaning drops in performance. Nevertheless, I consider the Xiom Jekyll & Hyde V47.5 well realized, if simply a different feeling should be in the foreground.
I recommend this rubber for players who like to play directly close to the table with a safe opening topspins, as well as from half-distance without sacrificing speed and dynamics. In addition, a high impact on strokes and fast arm movement is a fundamental requirement, in order to develop the real strengths of the Jekyll & Hyde V47.5.
I discovered the best blade-rubber combination at the beginning of my testing by using the Xiom TMXi An Jaehyun. With an all-wooden blade, not enough power came out, although a better touch didn’t hurt. With an Outer Layer Carbon blade, the rubber is much harder to control, although finishing strokes have a lot of power.
The rubber, which wants to combine two strengths, thus plays best with an Inner Layer Carbonholz, which combines two strengths. How suitable 😉