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Review: Tony Hold Virus II PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shoebox9   
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Virus II , by Shoebox9

Source: Forum Thread:

I had a hit for half an hour this evening with a loaned sheet of Toni Hold Virus II OX on my Septear (Off/Off-)

The Virus is a soft long pip with extremely smooth tips and stems. The pip tips are very slightly rounded, rather than being cut off straight, giving them a silky smooth feel as you rub your fingers over them. I'm after a soft frictionless l/p so I can mess about with changing the spin a bit more, add a little side spin, etc.

Compared to Inferno, not nearly as nice. Inferno is much crisper, and I'm more accurate with it too. This could just be familarity, but the harder Inferno pips give a more direct response that seems wonderfully easy to control.

Spin Manipulation-

* The amount of side spin I could add surprised me, seeing there is no sponge. This is a huge boon because the original spin is still being reversed.

* Big "lift" strokes, where you perform a loop action but the ball still goes back with underspin (presuming the ball was looped to you) were quite easy (compared to Inferno- where this stroke seemed almost impossible). I thought the upward brush against the incoming top-spin would deliver no-spin balls, but so far balls that came with some speed were still going back with plenty of underspin. Maybe with more practice I could get no-spin, or maybe I'd need a little sponge..?

* Chopping close and away from the table, I was surprised by how little under-spin I could add. 955 could produce more. I was also sad to see that using this rubber didn't give me those magical ball flight paths that Paul Pinkewhich (and other good choppers) consistantly produce. OK, they've got great talent. It did seem a little easier to keep the ball lower than I'm used to (ie compared to 837 OX, 955 OX, Inferno OX (Yes, I've even tried to chop with Inferno Rolling Eyes ) but I'm still such a novice at this style of game that the difference is probably wasted on me at the moment.


When straight blocking, it didn't seem that quick, but as soon as I swiped the ball (ie brush stoke in any direction) the rubber came alive and I found it too fast for my current skills, close to the table. Even 3/4 chops close to the table were going long- a stoke I can do easily with my inverted. From memory Paul P uses this rubber on a Stiga Allround blade, and he still gets plenty of speed playing 2-2.5m back from the table.

Another note on speed: The rubber apparently comes with the logo on both it's end and it's side, so you can cut it to have the pip rows either vertically, or horizontally. The sheet I have has been cut with the pips horizontally as you hold the bat up. I presume this is the fast setting, as this makes the pips closer together when stroking the ball up or down during play.

Will I buy it?

This is the first soft frinctionless pip I've tried, and with no other free tests looming, probably. I really liked the ability to add some side spin, and do fake loop strokes. Also this pip allows chopping away from the table, something I want to get better at, so I have more chess moves I can pull out during games.

Other soft pips I'm interested in are TSP's Curl Combi, and Joola's Razor, but both are just as costly as Virus II, and even harder to actually buy.

If I do buy the Virus, I'll also need a slower blade. I'm thinking that on an "All" speed blade, with the pips cut the fast way, this rubber would also produce nice drop shots, when you do a straight block. Changing to a slower blade may take the sting out of my f/h, but that's a seperate issue. These were my initial impressions of the Virus.
Last Updated ( Friday, 19 October 2007 )
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