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Reviews for Victas ZX-Gear In (2)

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I would call this a control looping blade. I have power only when I want it. The speed and spin are there when looping but otherwise the bounce is toned down and controlled. Granted, you have to swing, so it is suited for loopers.

This is a flexible composite blade. Two limba layers, then a zylon/carbon weave "Zexion" layer next to the core, hence the "IN". The finish quality is very high. There are no asymmetries, all the layers have even thickness all throughout. The FL handle has a nice shape, slightly bigger and more squared than HL5. It is on the heavier side, mine weighing 90g. The bounce has a sturdy, muted, woody sound. Overall it feels hefty and sturdy when I hold it, like a good tool.

I currently use a lightly boosted h3 on fh, and rakza7 on bh. It has high throw angle, consistent large sweet spot, and wooden feel. If the ball bounces farther from the center, you can feel the difference, but the bounce remains consistent. You get a LOT of Speed + Spin by looping. Smashes are not very fast. It seems like the zylon/carbon layer only activates parallel to the blade (spin/brush) and not very much perpendicularly (smash/hit). This gives "power only when needed" kind of control. With correct form, you can simply "unleash" on the ball and it will 100% go in, great for when you start to move away from the table. Great at blocking and counter looping because the perpendicular component of the incoming ball is absorbed (like in the smashes). I can really hit over the top of the ball without it going into the net. You can even attack against underspin this way too, so over the table shots are much easier, including fh. Also, it's easy to keep pushes short, low, and spinny.

My friend who uses HL5 says they are similar. He felt ZX-in had not as much speed when he got farther from the table. Compared to Yasaka Ma Lin Carbon, yet another "inner" carbon blade, ZX-in has more dwell and higher throw angle. I'm able to hit more over the top of the ball.
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Victas have some of the most well made blades I've ever seen, and the ZX-Gear In (ZXGi) is no exception. Every inch of its surface is sanded silky smooth, including the handle and the wings. I suspect the top plies have been coated with some kind of varnish, giving them an unnatural smoothness and shine.
I'm happy to say that ZXGi has great synergy with Chinese tacky rubbers, unlike the other Victas blades I've tried. I used a boosted 40 degrees commercial H3 on FH and the result is quite amazing. The last inner structure composite bladed I used was Hurricane Long 5x, but HL5x was way to fast for me. I couldn't quite control the prominent catapult effect of HL5x, especially when it comes to blocking more powerful shots. ZXGi is much slower compared to HL5x, and its catapult effect is much more manageable. The blade makes blocking precise and consistent. I have to mention ZXGi's obscene amount of dwell time, and it allows you to easily load up massive spin on each shot. Coupled with a high throw angle, you have plenty of safety over the net when playing over the table or opening attacks against backspin. ZXGi has very decent top gear speed as well, which shows up readily when you put in more power. I'm still surprised that a blade with such good control and soft feeling could rally so easily away from table.
Because ZXGi is a softer blade, compared to outer structure composite blades like Ovtcharov true carbon or Viscaria, drives and smashes are slower and less deadly. Instead, ZXGi makes your shots more spinny, with higher arcs. So you trade a bit of speed for more spin and consistency, which IMO is well worth it.
In summary, ZXGi is a looper's dream blade. If you find HL5x a bit too fast for you, then I recommend you try ZXGi. It pairs well with both Chinese tacky rubbers and tensor rubbers (I use Vega Pro on BH).
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