For at least the last decade, Butterfly Viscaria (VIS for short) has been known as the “GOD BLADE” of table tennis equipment. In the 2012 London Olympics, Zhang Jike won the men’s singles title, the fastest Grand Slam, and he was using the Vis blade.
Rather than people finally discovering the light of Vis blade, Viscaria just fits the development of the times, and Zhang Jike is the pioneer. Before that, Vis was not much perfect, but Zhang Jike defined Vis’ playing style and pioneered Vis’ way to the top. Thus, “GOD BLADE” was forged.
What is so good about Vis? It is linear and faithful under small and medium power; sharp backhand and strong overall support; attackable and defensible; stable, rigid and flexible. The Vis external aromatic carbon has the following characteristics:
- Faster speed (one speed)
- Quicker recovery from deformation
- Less vibration
- Overall transparency and control
- Good hitting effect than the built-in aromatic carbon
So, when Butterfly launched the first base plate with SUPER ALC on March 1: VISCARIA SUPER ALC, directly defined as the more powerful VISCARIA, we have to ask: is VISCARIA SUPER ALC ready to surpass Vis?
Super Vis, this is the current “easy” way to say it. Zhang Jike’s SUPER ZLC (Super Zhang Jike) was previously called simply “Super Zhang”.
Indeed, the Super Vis is derived from the Vis. The same koto surface, external ALC fiber and tung wood core. The main difference is that the Arylate Carbon is thickened and encrypted. You can see that the ALC fiber layer is darker and thicker. And in fact, the fiber density of Super Vis has been increased, and the fibers’ spacing is more minor than Vis. But it may be that the proportion of ALC has been adjusted upwards, so it doesn’t seem rawer in hand.
The thickening of the carbon layer and the encryption of the fibers are “enhanced flexibility”. The treatment of the wood and the adjustment of the ALC ratio can make it softer.
Vis: rebound characteristics – 11.8; vibration characteristics: FL – 10.3, CS – 10.6; thickness – 5.8 mm
VISCARIA SUPER ALC Bounce characteristic – 12.1, Vibration characteristic: FL – 10.1, CS – 10.4, Thickness – 5.7mm
Interpretation: Super Vis is more bouncy than Vis, and slightly vibrating. (The higher the vibration characteristics, the less it shakes the hand.) We know that the thinner the board, the easier it is to produce deformation, and the better it is to eat the ball.
Comparing my Vis with the Super Vis, the Vis is 5.78mm thick and the Super Vis is 5.65mm. Both the Vis and Super Vis are about 92g.
The front part of the handle is slightly fuller for the Vis and slightly flatter for the Super Vis. The difference is small but noticeable. The Super Vis is closer to the head than the Vis in terms of center of gravity.
VISCARIA SUPER ALC vs Viscaria
Super Viscaria is softer, more flexible, transparent, and has a better touch than regular Viscaria
The most obvious thing is that Super Viscaria has a more transparent forehand, better touch than Vis, and longer dwell time. The backhand flick and loop are sharper. Yes, some flavors are like Gold Viscaria and BOLL ALC 70th Anniversary Limited Edition. Anyway, it is more elastic and more permeable. You can get up backspin more freely.
But at the same time, the crispness is slightly less than Vis. The backhand is not as explosive as Vis under big power.
The Super Viscaria is faster and has a longer arc
The stronger elasticity makes Super Vis faster. Especially backhand loops and flicks, it is obvious that the speed is sharper than Vis, and the directionality is very good. It is more elastic and has a longer arc.
Slightly less defensive and control ability than regular Viscaria
The more flexible Super Vis is stable in defense, but especially in the forehand block, you need to control the height of the arc. Because the normal Vis is wooden, the defense is more linear and stable.
For a ping pong blade to be “more powerful”, the flexibility and speed are often increased, making it more difficult to control.
The Super Vis is more bouncy and faster than the Vis, so control and defense are naturally less faithful and controllable.
So, switching from Vis to Super Vis, you need time to adapt and get used to its elasticity and high speed. To some extent, Super Vis may be more suitable for players with high skill level.
Which Is Better for You?
Super Vis eats the ball better and builds arcs easier because of the Super ALC fiber, which can accelerate and add power faster. But at the same time, it doesn’t have as faithful power feedback as the regular Viscaria.
Regular Viscaria is more suitable for defenders
The hard, solid feel of the regular Viscaria will give clearer feedback and a more consistent block when hitting the ball. Or if you are an older player and don’t want to attack by yourself all the time, but more of a defender or blocker, then the regular Viscaria is still a more rational choice.
Attackers may prefer Super Viscaria
The Super Vis is more suitable for “those who want to attack”. Because it does have better offensive power than the regular Vis. It eats the ball better, and it’s faster.
VISCARIA SUPER ALC vs Lin Gaoyuan ALC
When the Lin Gaoyuan ALC blade was first released, I reviewed it and described it as an agile, stable racket with a natural sense of curves. It was predicted to have a broad market prospect. Because it is stable enough, it is like a built-in ALC-like ball-eating feeling, which makes you can do your best to show your skills when you use it.
Super Vis is not as linear and natural as Lin Gao Yuan ALC, although it still holds the ball well because it has amplified power! It’s more bouncy and faster than Lin Gao Yuan ALC, so you can’t be too steady. Lin Gao Yuan ALC is stable enough because it is soft, while the elasticity, speed, and power ceiling are not as high as Super Vis.
Do you want a sharper attack, or would you rather sacrifice some power for stability? The decision is whether you choose Super Vis or Lin Gao Yuan ALC.
The Super Vis has more center of gravity on the racket head than the regular Vis and Lin Gaoyuan ALC, meaning a more powerful attack. However, more reliance on the regular Vis and Lin A handle means “more stable ball control”.
In terms of rubber matching, Lin Gaoyuan ALC with DHS Hurricane 3 is a bit dull unless it is oiled more. However, Lin Gaoyuan ALC is more stable than Lin Gaoyuan ALC, but Lin Gaoyuan ALC has a better sense of arc when paired with cake sponge rubbers.
Compare with Zhang Jike Super ZLC
Compared to Zhangjike Super ZLC, VISCARIA SUPER ALC is softer. Super ALC fiber still has more stopping power and better control when touching the ball than Super ZLC fiber. ALC has better ball holding and a higher power ceiling, while ZLC is more direct, elastic, and faster in hitting and defense.
Compare to Boll ALC 70th Anniversary Limited
VISCARIA SUPER ALC has a slightly stiffer feel. At the same time, the BOLL 70th anniversary version is almost automatic in terms of ball-striking, but with little power or no power, it is good on the table but not aggressive. The support feedback of VISCARIA SUPER ALC is between BOLL 70th anniversary version and regular Vis.
Viscaria Super ALC does not surpass the regular Vis or Lin Gaoyuan ALC in terms of style and performance, it is an evolution of the different styles of the Butterfly ALC blade.
But at the same time, it is worthy of the description “More Powerful Viscaria” because it holds the ball better and has better flexibility, faster acceleration, and more sharpness.
The regular Viscaria is still “GOD BLADE”, but you have a different option. Even if you choose the Super Vis, you can still say: I haven’t changed my mind.
My name is Cosmos Boll and I’m 26 years old. I’m Chinese and live in Shanghai.
I am a table tennis enthusiast and a professional table tennis coach.
My idol is Timo Boll who is the greatest player in the world.