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Butterfly Viscaria review – one of the best blade

Review of my blade, Butterfly Viscaria. Powerful when needed, but also controlled and forgiving. This is my favorite blade.

The best ALC blade ever made. No match for this legendary blade. All strokes are very crisp, with a medium-hard feel. With each topspin, the ball trajectory is precise with a lot of spins. Longer dwell time than the Zhang Jike Super ZLC. It’s a medium-high throw, so it will fit very well with tacky Chinese (DHS Hurricane) rubber on the forehand.


Why does Butterfly focus on Viscaria?

Viscaria means “sticky” in Latin and alludes to the stem’s stickiness below the leaf joints. It has the same name in English. Viscaria is well-known for its feeling and clear vibration.

Andrej Gacina (pro player) is using Viscaria FL blade +Tenergy 05 both sides
Andrej Gacina (pro player) is using Viscaria FL blade +Tenergy 05 both sides


The popularity of Butterfly Viscaria

Butterfly Viscaria is one of the best table tennis blades. This Viscaria blade’s relatively small size (157 mm head size) allows for quick looping and attacking. One of the best products on the market now.

Zhang Jike's viscaria with custom handle
Zhang Jike’s viscaria with a custom handle

Because of the small size, it’s very easy to backhand flick or attack the ball on the table. The ALC layer is put near the outer layer, so Viscaria is a very responsive, and fast blade.

Viscaria
Viscaria


The most famous player with Viscaria

The Butterfly Viscaria is great table tennis equipment. It gained fame after Zhang Jike won the Grand Slam in 445 days. This marked him the fastest Grand Slam winner ever. Zhang Jike is the most famous player who was using Viscaria as his main racket.

Zhang Jike's personal equipment
Zhang Jike’s personal equipment

Famous players like Fan Zhendong were seen using it (Viscaria Golden). Fan Zhendong, one of the best Chinese professional table tennis players, uses a Butterfly Viscaria blade with a Stiga Infinity VPS handle. However, recently Fan Zhendong is sponsored by Butterfly. He is using the Viscaria blade with a Golden tag on it.


Butterfly Viscaria overview

The table below lists Viscaria’s properties:

  • Weight 90g
  • Thickness 5.8mm
  • Plies 5W+2ALC
  • Reaction 11.8
  • Vibration 10.5
  • Head Dimensions 157x150mm
  • Made in Japan
  • Composition: 5 ply wood + 2 ply Arylate Carbon (Koto, ALC, Limba, KIRI, Limba, ALC, Koto)

Check the price of the Butterfly Viscaria (Japanese version) (check price 1/ check price 2/ check price 3)

Composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan - Tabletennisdaily)
Composition of Viscaria blade (by Dan – Tabletennisdaily)

So, Viscaria is a small-head blade, which is very good for the backhand quick attack. It’s rather heavy 90g. The Koto outer ply is at the highest quality, which transfers the best frequency to your hand.



You should choose the heaviest Viscaria as possible. Because the heavy blade will give you more power.

Pro players use 90g Viscaria, with Hurricane 3, the total racket weight is 199g
Pro players use 90g Viscaria, with Hurricane 3, the total racket weight is 199g


Viscaria is for intermediate players

Viscaria is not for beginners. It’s rather bouncy and stiff. The dwell-time is very small, due to the 2 ALC layers. It costs about 130 Euro. So an Arylate Carbon blade (Viscaria) is not suitable for beginners. Developing a solid stroke technique with a 5ply all-wood blade should be a better choice for the beginner.

Chen Meng used Viscaria 2020 China super league
Chen Meng used Viscaria 2020 China super league

Read my guide – best racket for beginners.


Viscaria review

TableTennisDaily review on the Butterfly Viscaria blade with Dan Ives and Butterfly player Liam Pitchford. It’s a very good blade!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6X0bHFXhr4

Feeling:

It’s designed to fit your hand and has a perfect handle. The paddle’s grip allows you to swing quickly and forcefully. You should choose the Flared (FL) handle version, it’s rather thin and comfortable.

Playing style and Stability:

This Butterfly blade is ideal for counter-attacking and mid-range play. The Butterfly Viscaria is the best quality blade of the ALC series. Its medium head shape size makes it easy to control.

Speed

The Butterfly Viscaria’s blade allows for quick and aggressive attacks. The 5 plies wood and ALC combination give it a larger sweet spot and a nice sound. It can hit powerful targets with ease.

Serve

The serve is also powerful and very spinny due to the ALC layer. This is the main strength of this blade. The pro players serve a small impact force, but the ball is very spinny because the carbon (ALC) layer is put near the outer layer of the blade.

Forehand

The blade is perfect for close-range shots. It requires little power to play a shot, making it ideal for forehands. This butterfly blade is perfect for forehand topspin, push, and loop.

Viscaria handle
Viscaria handle

Backhand

Players who want to make a compact stroke like a flick, backhand drive, or backhand quick attack should use the Butterfly Viscaria. The blade generates enough power. Your shot would require only medium power, you can use a lot of wrist for your backhand.


Best rubbers for Viscaria

You should choose a medium-hard to hard sponge for Viscaria. Don’t choose a too-soft sponge for Viscaria, because Viscaria has a stiff outer layer.

Choosing the correct rubber for this Butterfly Viscaria blade is all about control and spin. You should also choose MAX thickness to profit the quality of the KOTO and ALC layer of the blade.

I suggest the Butterfly Tenergy 05 and Dignics 09c for the forehand rubbers on Viscaria. Read the list of the best forehand rubbers here.

For the backhand rubber, you should use Tenergy 64 or Dignics 64 are good choices.

Butterfly Dignics 05 rubbers - modern attack rubber
Butterfly Dignics 05 rubbers – modern attack rubber

Don’t use the Butterfly Rozena. It is slower than the Tenergy and Dignics series and also gives you less spin.


Is Viscaria good for Chinese rubbers?

Yes, Viscaria can be combined with the tacky Chinese rubber, like DHS Hurricane 3. Many top Chinese players use Viscaria with DHS Hurricane 3 rubbers.

The best rubber to put on the backhand side is the Tenergy 05, or Tenergy 64 rubbers.

Zhang Jike personal blade with Viscaria Silver Tag
Zhang Jike personal blade with Viscaria Silver Tag
Again, Viscaria and Hurricane 3 (Blue Sponge), a classic combo for Chinese player.
Again, Viscaria and Hurricane 3 (Blue Sponge), are a classic combo for Chinese players.


How to verify if it’s fake or not?

Butterfly table tennis equipment is, like any other athletic product, widely counterfeited. The Butterfly Viscaria paddle can be purchased online from Japan, the Butterfly original website. If you merely look at the logo, it can be difficult to tell the imitation from the authentic.

I have made a series of articles, that help you identify fake Butterfly products.

Fake Viscaria versus real viscaria - Focus on the layer and the logo
Fake Viscaria versus real viscaria – Focus on the layer and the logo

The serial number is the only way to verify ownership. Serial number’s initial letter indicates fabrication year. Look for the product’s tag as well, as older Butterfly items have black tags while newer ones have silver tags.

Fake Viscaria with Fake Silver Tag
Fake Viscaria with Fake Silver Tag


Viscaria vs Zhang Jike Super ZLC vs Timo Boll ALC

Let’s compare Viscaria with the blades of similar compositions.

blade namespeedcontrolhardness (outer-layer)stiffness (core-power)thickness
Butterfly Zhang Jike ALC996.76.65.8
Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit9.29.26.56.75.8
Butterfly Timo Boll ALC9976.45.9
Butterfly Viscaria9.196.86.55.8

Both are made of ALC fibers, which have identical structures.

Viscaria has a more reliable backhand than Boll ALC, making it a better choice for blocking.

Viscaria speed
Viscaria speed

Timo Boll ALC is better suited for the Butterfly Tenergy and Dignics series, whereas Viscaria is better suited for DHS Hurricane 3 on the forehand side.

Timo Boll ALC speed
Timo Boll ALC speed

It’s best to use Viscaria if you stay closer to the table. However, if your power is rather low, Timo Boll ALC is the best choice.

Viscaria
Viscaria

Timo Boll ALC’s handle is more pleasant than Viscaria’s, which has a thinner grip. Viscaria’s forehand is noticeably more spin than the Timo Boll ALC, which has more bounce and is crisper.


Viscaria vs Viscaria Super ALC

Viscaria Super ALC is a faster version of Viscaria. Here is the information about Viscaria Super ALC.

If you feel a lack of power then you should use Viscaria Super ALC (check price 1).

Viscaria Super ALC vs Viscaria
 Viscaria Super ALCViscaria
Blade structure5-ply wood
+ 2 Super Arylate-Carbon
5-ply wood
+ 2 Arylate-Carbon
Reaction (Speed)12.111.8
Vibration (Feeling)10.110.3
Blade size157×150 mm157×150 mm
Blade thickness5.7 mm5.8 mm
Handle sizeFL: 100×25×34 mm
ST: 100×23×28 mm
FL: 100×25×34 mm
ST: 100×23×28 mm
Chinese penholdCpen: 82×22×31.5 mmCpen: 82×22×31.5 mm

Viscaria Super ALC

Viscaria Super ALC (check price) is an upgraded version of Butterfly Viscaria ALC. It’s faster and less vibrating.

Tenergy 05 and Dignics 05 (check price 1/ check price 2) are recommended rubbers for this blade. Butterfly Dignics 09C (check price 1) offers even more dynamic spin play. The new technology uses a tacky top sheet and a harder version of Butterfly Spring Sponge X to generate incredible spin.

Soft Grip Tape can be used to improve the grip and comfort of the racket handle. Add side tape to the blade to protect the wood from being hit on the table.

Butterfly Viscaria Super ALC fits very well with Butterfly Dignics 09c
Butterfly Viscaria Super ALC fits very well with Butterfly Dignics 09c
  • Ply: 5W+2SALC
  • Blade Thickness: 5.7 mm
  • Blade Size:157×150 mm
  • Reaction (Bouncy): 12.1
  • Vibration (Feeling): 10.1
  • Weight: 89-93g

Viscaria ALC

The Viscaria ALC (check price) blade combines the advantages of arylate and carbon fibers: lightness, flexibility, and shock absorption. Viscaria’s small head size allows for quick counter-attack and backhand flick on the table.

  • Plies: 5W+2ALC
  • Thickness: 5.8mm
  • Head Size: 157x150mm
  • Reaction: 11.8
  • Vibration: 10.3
  • Weight: 87-91g

Viscaria Super ALC is more rigid and has less vibration than Viscaria ALC. Viscaria Super ALC is also faster than the classic version of Viscaria.

the handle of Cybershape versus the handle size of Viscaria
the handle of Cybershape versus the handle size of Viscaria


Conclusion

The Butterfly Viscaria is ideal for intermediates. It’s softer, more flexible than the Zhang Jike Super ZLC, and allows for more spins. The Viscaria blade is essential for playing spinny attack at mid-distance.

The weakness of Viscaria is the lack of power when you attack far from the table. The better choice for the forehand dominant player is the DHS Hurricane Long 5.

This blade is rather expensive (around 130 USD). However, the Butterfly blades are dependable and composed of high-quality materials. That’s why pros use them. The Butterfly Timo Boll ALC or Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit is a good substitute for the Butterfly Viscaria.


User-submitted review

You can submit your review of this blade here.

User Review of Butterfly Viscaria

Review of Butterfly Viscaria

one of the best ALC blade

Rated 5 out of 5
February 8, 2022

I upgraded to a Butterfly Viscaria Arylate Carbon blade. To focus on the blade, I took the rubber sheets from my old blade and placed them on the new blade. Using new rubber sheets would have skewed my analysis.

I believed the wood had an effect on my performance. My offensive shots usually come after a mistake by the other player or as a counterattack using their force against me.

It was also simpler to maintain a hard underspin serve short on the second bounce when the ball bent a little more than normal. It’s a best blade if you have a spinny serve.

Playing topspin balls felt very amazing. As a result, I was able to quickly lift a ball over the net with the short arch, allowing it to drop on the opponent’s side.

The flat hits were softer than I expected. That doesn’t mean the shot didn’t work, but there was more vibration and a hollow sound when the ball went through the rubber/sponge and directly into the wood. It will take some repetition to relearn the proper release angle so those reaction shots land and I regain those points).

Avatar for ERT
ERT

Overall, I am pleased

Rated 5 out of 5
February 8, 2022

Overall, I am pleased. With the outstanding feel and the potential to add extra spin, this blade is ideal for aggressive or away from the table play. The extra spin allows the user to play short balls, angled balls, or be creative. Butterfly Viscaria provides extra flexibility and control while preserving the capacity to “attack” as needed.

Avatar for coach ERT
coach ERT


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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