This is the first article on table tennis rubber on my blog. I selected Tibhar Evolution series as the first item. But, because Tibhar Evolution series is already very well-known rubber family, I will just write brief explanation on it.
Currently in 2017, the most important rubber family in Tibhar range is Evolution series. Tibhar is introducing Evolution series as ‘Pro Player Version’, and that explanation is printed on the rubber packaging. There are six models in Evolution series, and two top models among those six are Evolution MX-P and Evolution MX-S.
‘P’ means ‘power’ and ‘S’ means ‘spin’. So Evolution MX-P is ‘power’ version, and Evolution MX-S is ‘spin’ version. Both of Evolution MX-P and Evolution MX-S are equipped with hard sponge whose density is about 47.5 degree. Both of those have soft versions – Evolution FX-P and Evolution FX-S whose sponge density is about 42.5 degree. MX is the abbreviation of ‘maximum’, and FX is the abbreviation of ‘flexible’. Between MX and FX, there exists EL whose sponge density is about 45 degree. So there are Evolution EL-P and Evolution EL-S. EL is the abbreviation of ‘elastic’.
Above picture is showing the inside of the packaging of Evolution MX-S. Four versions of Evolution series including Evolution MX-S are printed on the inside of packaging. Evolution EL-S and Evolution FX-S don’t exist because those two were not on the road map of Tibhar Evolution series when three models of Evolution ‘Power’ models – MX-P, EL-P and FX-P – were launched in 2013. At the beginning Evolution MX-S was also just on the plan, although it was printed inside of packaging of ‘Power’ models. Evolution MX-S was launched two years later. And, in 2016 Evolution series has finally been completed by the launching of Evolution EL-S and Evolution FX-S. All the six models of Evolution series are printed inside the packaging of EL-S and FX-S.
The top sheet of Evolution MX-S looks similar to that of Evolution MX-P. The red color of Evolution MX-S is a bit different from that of Evolution MX-P. (I didn’t take the picture of red sheet of Evolution MX-S.) As far as I see the picture, the micro-structure of surface is also identical.
The pimple geometry of Evolution MX-S (with black top sheet) looks similar to that of Evolution MX-P (with red top sheet). The difference we can find in the picuture is just due to the difference of color. For both of those two, the height of pimple is 0.8mm, and the diameter of pimple is 1.6~1.7mm. Distance between adjacent pimples is about 2.2~2.3mm. The side of pimple is not slanted but straight. This pimple geometry is very similar to that of Butterfly Tenergy 05. So the physical geometry of Evolution MX-S is almost identical to that of Evolution MX-P and that of Tenergy 05. But, you may notice the difference between the pore size the sponge of MX-S and that of MX-P. Evolution MX-P has noticeably bigger pore. The pore of Evolution MX-S is relatively smaller. It is more apparent on following picture.
The super large pore of Evolution MX-P sometimes causes the difficult of attaching rubber on blade. The know-how of attaching Evolution MX-P on blade easily is to apply glue once again after the drying of first applied glue. But, we don’t need to do it when we attach Evolution MX-S on blade.
The sponge of Evolution MX-S looks more similar to that of Butterfly Tenergy 05 which is the most important rival of Tibhar Evolution series. But, none of of MX-P and MX-S is same as Tenergy 05. Both of MX-P and MX-S are harder than current Tenergy 05. Evolution MX-P is faster than Tenergy 05, and is more suitable for power hitters while Tenergy 05 fits for all-round players. Evolution MX-S provides the same level of spin capability as Tenergy 05, but its relatively harder feeling creates different characteristics. In my personal opinion, Tenergy 05 is safer and more comfortable than Evolution MX-S. Evolution MX-S reminds me of the early version of Tenergy 05 which is much harder than current Tenergy 05. For these six years Tenergy 05 becomes softer. But, at the beginning it was as hard as current Evolution MX-S. When I first tried new Evolution EL-S last year, I immediately felt that it is very similar to current Tenergy 05. So I always recommend Evolution EL-S as the replacement of Tenergy 05.
Although it looks complex at a glance, the naming system of Evolution series is very intuitive if we once understand it. The words MX (maximum), EL (elastic) and FX (flexible) are easy to remember, and we can easily divide six models into two groups – P (power) and S (spin). So in my opinion it is very well-arranged system that helps our selection. If I want power-oriented version but also want very soft feeling, FX-P will be the optimum solution. If I want spin-oriented version but also want hard feeling, MX-S will be the optimum solution. In my opinion, this ease of selection is very important advantage of Tibhar Evolution series. Not to mention the top performance.
Among six models of Evolution series, what I like most is the brand-new Evolution EL-S. I’m considering to write a more detailed review on it sooner or later.
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