Tibhar ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is an orthodox 7-ply blade which was launched in 2014. For these two years it has become the representative 7-ply blade of Tibhar.
It is a 7-ply wood blade whose thickness is about 6.7mm. It can be classified as a thick blade, but not as thick as Stiga Clipper (or Clipper CR) whose thickness is about 7.0mm. With two layers dyed in red, the appearance of the plywood of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is very similar to that of Stiga Clipper. Then what is the characteristics of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’? And, what is the difference between ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ and Clipper? We can get the answer by comparing Performance Indices of those blades. We can also compare ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ with some famous 7-ply wood blades for further understanding.
For comparison with ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’, six 7-ply wood blade were selected. Four are ‘Clipper’ series or the ones whose blade construction are similar to that of ‘Clipper Wood’ or ‘Clipper CR’. The other two are with hardwood top layers and different blade constructions from that of ‘Clipper Wood’.
- Stiga ‘Clipper CR’ : CR version of ‘Clipper Wood WRB’. Not much different from original ‘Clipper Wood’.
- Stiga ‘Clipper CC’ : Thinner (6.7mm) and lighter version of ‘Clipper Wood’.
- Butterfly ‘Korbel SK7’ : Representative 7-ply wood blade of Butterfly.
- Nittaku ‘Adelie’ : Categorized as ‘Clipper type’. But, thickness is only 6.0mm.
- Stiga Ebenholz NCT VII : Very famous Hardwood blade from Stiga.
- Donic Ovcharov Senso V1 : Thinner than Clipper. Top layer is Walnut.
Because ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is a ‘Clipper Type’ blade, the comparison will be mainly done with ‘Clipper Type’ blades. Hardwood blades are just for reference.
Then let’s examine the Performance Indices. Concerning the detail of four performance indices, please refer to following articles in ‘Background’ section :
- Performance indices : the way to evaluate blade by measurement
- The example of comparison by performance indices
2. Comparison by Performance Indices
Fig.04 shows the comparison graph of Elasticity Indices.
Elasticity Indices of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ are :
- Ep (Primary Elasticity Index) = 1.77
- Ec (Central Elasticity Index) = 1.60
Ep is directly concerned with the rebound speed of blade, and the Ep of standard offensive 5-ply wood blade is about 1.50. So, ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is somewhat faster than standard offensive 5-ply wood blade such as Butterfly Korbel.
Ec of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is a bit lower than Ep. Ec/Ep is close to 0.9. This means that ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ tends to hold ball slightly when we hit ball hard. But, the tendency is not significant. So the rebound characteristics of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ doesn’t significantly change by impact force. (We can say that the rebound characteristics of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is ‘Mild Hold‘ which is in ‘linear’ range. It can be regarded as ‘linear’ if Ec/Ep is between 0.9 and 1.1. Near 0.9 is ‘Mild Hold’, and near 1.1 is ‘Mild Kick’.) Differently speaking we can always predict the result of our impact input easily and precisely.
Then we can compare ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ with six 7-ply wood blades. Examining Ec/Ep is very good way for the comparison of the tendency of elasticity. Fig.05 shows the relationship between Ec/Ep and Ep for easier comparison
Ec/Ep expresses the ‘tendency’ of the elasticity of blade. Among the blades being compared, ‘Clipper CR’, ‘Clipper CC’ and ‘Korbel SK7’ show very similar tendency to ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ although Ep of ‘Korbel SK7’ and ‘Clipper CR’ are different from that of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’.
‘Clipper CR’ is very speedy with high value of Ep (= 2.42). That value is 1 step or 2 steps higher than that of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’. Probably this is because ‘Clipper CR’ is thicker. The thickness of ‘Clipper CR’ is about 7.0mm. But, the thickness of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is 6.7mm.
On the contrary, ‘Clipper CC’ is very close to ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ on the graph. We may think that the characteristics of ‘Clipper CC’ is almost identical to that of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’, at lease we compare Elasticity Indices. Probably that is because the construction and thickness of those two blades are very similar.
The thickness of ‘Clipper CC’ is 6.7mm which is the same as that of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’, while the thickness of ‘Clipper CR’ is 7.0mm. The difference of thickness makes the difference of elasticity.
Both of ‘Clipper CC’ and ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ are newer than ‘Clipper CR’. Both of those two fit for modern topspin style while traditional ‘Clipper CR’ fits more for fast attack than modern topspin. Probably both of Tibhar and Stiga tried to adjust 7-ply blade of ‘Clipper’ type to the blade for modern topspin players. And, both of Tibhar and Stiga concluded that reduction the thickness by about 0.3mm is the optimum solution.
Butterfly ‘Korbel SK7’ is a bit thinner (6.6mm) than ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ or ‘Clipper CC’. It makes Ep of ‘Korbel SK7’ smaller than those of ‘Clipper CC’ or ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’. Ep of ‘Korbel SK7’ is 1.55. It is very close to that of Butterfly ‘Korbel’ which is a 5-ply wood offensive blade. (I estimate that Butterfly intentionally adjusted the speed of ‘Korbel SK7’ to make it close to Korbel.) Although ‘Korbel SK7’ is a bit slower than ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ or ‘Clipper CC’, the difference is not that significant.
‘Korbel SK7’ is the solution by Butterfly for modern topspin players. Probably we will be able to use ‘Korbel SK7’ for the same purpose as we use ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ or ‘Clipper CC’.
Nittaku ‘Adelie’ is also a 7-ply blade of ‘Clipper’ type. However, with its thickness of 6.0mm, it is much thinner than SBE. For that reason its Ep is very low. The Ep of ‘Adelie’ is only 11% higher than that of Stiga ‘Allround Classic’ whose indices are always 1.00. At lease we see Ep, ‘Adelie’ can be classified as an all-round blade. However, Ec/Ep of ‘Adelie’ is noticeably high thanks to its relatively high value of Ec. There will be clear ‘additional kick’ when we hit ball hard. It will compensate for its low base elasticity.
Hardwood blades tend to show high value of Ep due to their hard top layers. Instead, in general Ec of hardwood blade is significantly lower than Ep because Ec is not much influenced by the kind of top layer. As a result, the feeling of deep holding when we hit ball strongly is a general character of hardwood blades. We can observe it from Fig.05. Both of ‘Ebenholz NCT VII’ and ‘Ovcharov Senso V1’ are placed under the other blades on the graph. The blades with the characteristics of ‘Deep Hold‘ fit also for modern topspin but with more aggressive close-to-table strategy.
Then successively, let’s compare the Vibration Indices. Fig.10 shows the comparison graph of Vibration Indices.
Vibration Indices of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ are :
- Vp (Primary Vibration Index) = 1.22
- Vl (Lateral Vibration Index) = 1.25
Vibration Indices are concerned with feeling. Vp indicates primary feeling which is transferred to player’s palm. And Vl is the feeling at the wing of a blade. It is felt by player’s index finger or middle finger. Vp of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ (= 1.22) is somewhat higher value. And, it means that ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ can be classified as a hard blade although not as hard as some very fast carbon blades such as Butterfly ‘Primorac Carbon’. (So We can tell that ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is a ‘mild hard’ blade.) Vl of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is a bit higher than Vp. But, the difference between Vl and Vp is not significant, and we can regard that the feeling of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is almost uniform.
Then again we can compare ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ with six 7-ply wood blades. Examining Vl/Vp is very good way for the comparison of the tendency of feeling. Fig.11 shows the relationship between Vl/Vp and Vp for easier comparison.
It is interesting that six among seven blades on the graph are placed near one vertical line at Vp = 1.2. It means that those six blades feel similar at player’s palm. Only ‘Clipper CR’ is placed separately, and shows noticeably higher Vp (= 1.37). ‘Clipper CR’ is the thickest blade among seven blades under comparison, and it is also the hardest blade among seven. We may be able to tell that the optimum value of Vp for modern 7-ply wood blade is about 1.2 because the blades in this comparison except for ‘Clipper CR’ are the blades designed in latest days for modern topspin players.
While Vp is close to 1.2 for all blades on the graph except for ‘Clipper CR’, Vl/Vp shows wide variation. We can divide the seven blades into three groups by Vl/Vp.
At first, ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’, ‘Clipper CC’ and ‘Korbel SK7’ can be grouped as ‘uniform’ group. Vl/Vp of those three blades are close to 1.00. It means that the feeling at finger is not especially harder or softer than the feeling at palm. This uniform feeling lets a player adapt to blade very easily. Probably this is the solution of modern 7-ply blades by Tibhar, Stiga and Butterfly. When we compare Elasticity Indices above, those three blades were also in the same group.
‘Clipper CR’ and ‘Adelie’ can be grouped as ‘harder feeling at palm’ group. Regardless of original value of Vp, the feeling at palm is relatively harder. Differently speaking, the feeling is relatively more comfortable at finger. Please note that it differs by player. For example, some players will feel that ‘Adelie’ is very soft and very comfortable blade. But, the other players will feel that Adelie is much harder than they expected. That difference is due to the low value of Vl/Vp. Successively let’s examine ‘Clipper CR’. ‘Clipper CR’ is of course a very hard blade with very high Vp. However, some players will feel that ‘Clipper CR’ is comfortable. It means that they mainly feel the relatively lower value of Vl instead of relatively higher value of Vp.
Finally, ‘Ebenholz NCT VII’ and ‘Ovcharov Senso V1’ can be grouped as ‘sharper feeling at finger’ group. Those two blades feel similar as ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ at palm. But, much sharper at finger. Some players will feel that ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is relatively harder than those two blades at palm, although the actual feeling at palm is almost identical to ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ and those two.
The characteristics of Tibhar ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is :
- ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is a 7-ply blade which is similar to Stiga Clipper but thinner than Clipper by 0.3mm.
- The thickness of 6.7mm gives optimum rebound for modern topspin.
- The tendency of elasticity is ‘Mild Hold’ which can be regarded as linear : ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ hold ball slightly when we hit ball very strongly, and the tendency is still in ‘linear’ range. It doesn’t give additional kick. Player can precisely predict the result by impact input if the tendency of elasticity is linear.
- The feeling characteristics of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is uniform. It is mild hard at every place of blade.
The result of comparison can be summarized as :
- ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is slower than Stiga ‘Clipper CR’ which is thicker than ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’.
- ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ is very similar to Stiga ‘Clipper CC’ whose thickness is the same 6.7mm.
- Butterfly ‘Korbel SK7’ is a bit slower than ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ and ‘Clipper CC’. But, it can be grouped in the same group as ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ and ‘Clipper CC’ : 6.6~6.7mm thickness, ‘Mild Hold (regarded as linear)’ rebound characteristics and uniform feeling are the characteristics of this group. This group can be regarded as the standard (or the optimum) 7-ply wood blades for modern topspin.
- Hardwood 7-ply blades such as ‘Ebenholz NCT VII’ and ‘Ovcharov Senso V1’ are apparently different from ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’. Those two are faster. But, those two holds ball deep when player hits ball hard. This group fits also for modern topspin but with more aggressive close-to-table strategy.
When we try to select a blade for modern topspin style, we may be able to first check Vp. If the Vp of a blade is close to 1.2, that blade may be the optimum for modern topspin. The next step is finding the optimum Ep for the playing style of each person. The recommended range of Ep for modern topspin is 1.5~2.0. If we need more speed, the Ep close to 2.0 will be fine. If we need reduced speed for more control, the Ep close to 1.5 will be good. And, Ec/Ep provides us another guideline. If we want the blade that holds ball deep, we have to find a blade with low value of Ec/Ep. If we want to play also with smash, the blade with high Ec/Ep will be just fit because it gives strong additional kick when we smash. If we want to always deal with ball precisely, we have to find the blade whose Ec/Ep is close to 1.0. The ‘Performance Indices’ in this blog can be utilized in this way.
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Exceptional reviews , you are the first one that puts a little order in our world of ej-ing.
I have measured the face of the blade and it is not 156/150 but 158/151,5 . I might have been cheated by the seller , although it is Tibhar’s representative in Romania . I was wondering if you would compare SFPB with Yasaka Max Wood .They share the thickness and composition of layers and have similar sound when hit with poly ball .Max Wood is indeed smaller by blade face dimensions and also handle length , it seems like a scaled down brother with little less kick and force , but also with less control due to more compact head dimensions .
Thanks , looking forward to read more studies .
This is the most in depth review blog out there! I’m surprised there are not more comments. Of course, like me they’ll have to create a wordpress acct to comment. Thank you for the info! I bought a SFP blade. Good blade!
The dimensions of the head of Black Edition is 158mm x 152mm (maybe there will be deviation). That is also because this model was developed for competition with Stiga Clipper series whose head size is also 158mm x 152mm.
So probably the information on your Tibhar dealer is not a cheating but a mistake. In this kind of blade, small head is not an advantage because the representative model (= Clipper) doesn’t have small head.
Regarding Max Wood, I don’t have the data for comparison right now. If there will be a chance I will also measure Max Wood. However, I think that Max Wood is not the mainstream model of Yasaka. As far as I remember, Max Wood is as thick as Clipper CR, and it will provide you sufficient kick. The difference between Clipper CR and Max Wood will not be significant.
Thank you for comment!
The reason why there haven’t been many comments is just because I haven’t been understanding the comment system of WordPress. I noticed that I have to check new comments frequently and approve them by ‘Dashboard’ system that is provided by WordPress. I will change the setting if it is possible.
SFP Black Edition is really good blade. I think that it will be one of ‘Classic’ Tibhar blades.
Hi, thank you very much for the information that your forum gives us. I would like to know in terms of speed if tibhar samsonov force pro black edition is faster than tsp swat power ??
Thank you for reading my posting.
I haven’t measured TSP Swat Power yet. (I have samples of TSP Swat. But, I don’t have Swat Power.) But, I think that there will not be much difference in speed between Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition and Swat Power.
Firstly, love the blog. Would really have been a thorough 7-ply compariaon if you would have had an Avalix P700 (long-time standard in the 7-ply market). I believe it is thinner than Clipper CR. Possibly 6.7, but maybe nearer to Korbel SK7 or even Adelie.
Thank you for comment!
I don’t have a sample of Avalox P700 now. (I have had it but I lent it to somebody and it hasn’t been returned yet.) Unfortunately I hadn’t measured it before lending.
But, in my estimate, Ec/Ep of Avalox P700 is much lower than that of Clipper. Maybe it is similar to that of Korbel. But, its Ep will not be low.
You can change the moderation setting but best not to, otherwise you’ll start getting all kinds of spam. However, you should be getting an email message whenever someone comments and needs moderation. Great job!
Thank you. In fact there have already been many spam comments. 😉 I think that current setting is all right if I can check it frequently.
Hi, how SBE will be in comparison with first “blue version” of blade?
Could you possibly also review Donic Persson Powerplay? It would help me out a lot… I’m trying to find something faster with a similar feeling. Thanks for your great work!
Thank you for comment. Currently I have ‘Persson PowerPlay Senso V2’ and old original ‘Persson Powerplay’ with gray handle. In fact those two are different from each other. Original one is thinner, lighter and less elastic.
But, I think that your Persson PowerPlay is the same as or similar to Senso V2 version. Its data is as follows:
Ep = 1.64
Ec = 1.46 (Ec/Ep = 0.89)
Vp = 1.16
Vl = 1.30 (Vl/Vp = 1.12)
I hope that this data can help you.
Very extraordinary analysis! I have a SBE but I feel it is a little soft and less power. I pretty like the feeing it gives me , though. Based on your analysis, I think Stiga Clipper CR could be a better choice. How do you think? I saw your other analysis, and found Freitas ALC could also be a good choice. But I just bought Apolonia ZLC(which is said closed to InnerForce Layer ZLC), I wish I won’t regret.
I am pretty interesting about the Linear characteristic of Ec/Ep. I had tried Timo Boll ALC , pretty fast but less controllable when I want to hit ball hard or receive fast balls. While, SBE is pretty “controllable” when I receive fast balls or tried to hit balls hard. If you can give how you think the replacement of SBE among the blades you have analysis, I will be very very appreciated. Thanks. ( well I bought the Apolonia ZLC from Amazon so what if I can return without using it….just kidding)
Thank you for comment. Concerning Clipper CR, the data should be updated because recent Clipper CR is thinner, lighter and slower than the Clipper CR in this article. If you can buy one whose weight is about 90 gram or higher, it will be all right for you.
Regarding Ec/Ep, sometimes the blade with low Ec/Ep value isn’t good for precise ball placing. On the contrary the blade with high Ec/Ep is excellent for precise ball placing although the player may feel that the high rebound of that blade makes the control difficult in case the Ec of that blade is also high.
You may feel that Apolonia ZLC is not much different from SBE in speed and feeling (although it is a bit faster than SBE). But, anyway it will be more powerful. That is not because of the elasticity itself but because of the energy efficiency. (Some players notice it, and the other players can’t notice it.) That is the advantage of thin fiber blade when compared with thick 7-ply wood blade.
I was wondering if you’ve done any analysis of the Tibhar CCA 7. I’m curious to know in what ways, if at all, it’s different to the SFP Black Edition?
Can you review new 7 ply Wood blade of Yasaka: Falck W7. And compare with those blade? Thank you so much
I’m sorry that my reply has been delayed. CCA 7 is completely different from SFP Black Edition. Totally different.
It is somewhat different for me to get Yasaka blades. But, I will memorize that blade and try if there is a chance.
Thanks again for your expertise that you are making public here! Do you know the difference to the “normal”, “blue” Samsonov Force Pro? I play it with Vega X rubbers and I am very satisfied. However, I would be interested in how the data is compared to the Black Edition. I can only say that it is thinner in comparison ….
If you could describe the difference that would be wonderful. I stated that although the Ep of CCA 7 2.04 is relatively higher than that of SFPBE 1.77 Tibhar mentions that SFPBE is faster than CCA 7. Is this a marketing strategy or I’m just reading the numbers and correlations wrong. Thank you
Thank you for comment. The construction of Black Edition is different from that of normal (blue) version. But, that difference isn’t that big although there is a noticeable difference.
What is more important is the difference of shape. The head shape and the handle shape of Black Edition is totally different from those of normal version. The shape of the normal version of Samsonov Force Pro is very unique. But, those of Black Edition aren’t. Most of players will easily be accustomed to Black Edition, while they feel that normal version is strange.
I think that you don’t need to consider Black Edition if you are satisfied with normal version.
If we divide seven ply wood blades into some categories, SFPBE and CCA 7 are not in the same category.
SFPBE is defined as a ‘modern’ 7-ply wood blade whose thickness is reduced and whose feeling is softened.
But, CCA 7 is defined as a ‘classic’ 7-ply wood blade which is thick and hard.
Hello, a little bit off topic, but: I tested the normal (blue) edition today and found it a little bit too fast. But the handle … it is really good. I noticed you called it “special”. I was wondering, with your quite extensive know how of models, do you know any that is a little slower but has the same handle? Maybe the 5 ply Samsonov Premium Contact (I see there are also two versions of them now)?
A very similar feeling like the Samsonov blue handle I had on a BTY Primorac ESX. But BTY only manufactured that one very shortly.
And new BTYs seem to have a more oval handle, they gave up the almost square handle shape. At least on the Primorac.
I loved that square-ish type of handle …
Any help and suggestion greatly appreciated