‘VS Unlimited’ is new top blade from Tibhar in 2017 season. ‘VS’ is the initial of Vladimir Samsonov who has been the representative player of Tibhar for long time.
Vladimir Samsonov is currently using VS Unlimited with Evolution MX-P on both sides. His signature is printed on the front side of blade head.
VS Unlimited is a fiber blade. Its construction is based on 5 ply wood. And, ‘Kevlar Carbon’ which is very similar to Butterfly’s ‘Arylate Carbon (= ALC)’ is placed directly under top layer. So VS Unlimited is classified as ‘Outer Fiber’ blade. The thickness of blade is about 6.0mm. (5.9~6.0mm) The wood material of top layers is Limba. Overall blade construction is very similar to that of Butterfly Marcos Freitas. However, Marcos Freitas is not the reference of VS Unlimited. VS Unlimited is based on Tibhar CCA Unlimited which was announced before the announce of Butterfly Marcos Freitas.
Right one in above picture is CCA Unlimited. ‘CCA’ is the initial of Chen Chian An who is the player of Taiwanese National Team. There are two models in ‘CCA’ series – CCA Unlimited which is a fiber blade and CCA 7 which is a 7-ply wood blade as its name expresses. Chen Chian An is using CCA 7. But, although ‘CCA Unlimited’ was also named after Chen Chian An, Vladimir Samsonov selected it. Afterward Tibhar modified the graphic design of CCA Unlimited a bit for Vladimir Samsonov. The result is VS Unlimited. That is the reason why VS Unlimited is so similar with CCA Unlimited. Yellow color was replaced by blue color while the overall design concept was kept.
And, we can’t observe any difference between two blade constructions from above picture.
The Aluminum plate on back side of handle was also changed. Chen’s signature was replaced by Samsonov’s signature. Tibhar is still selling CCA Unlimited because it was announced as the top model of CCA series. However, VS Unlimited will be more meaningful because it is actually used by Vladimir Samsonov. If you are interested in collecting top players’ blades those are actually used by top players, it will be solution that you buy VS Unlimited and CCA 7.
The size of head is 157mm (length) x 152mm (width). It is a bit wider than the regular head (157mm x 150mm) of Butterfly. But, you will not notice the difference of width until you measure the blades with a ruler or a vernier caliper.
Two handle shapes – FL (flared) and ST (straight) – are available. I haven’t checked the availability of AN (anatomic) handle yet.
The width of FL handle is 26.7~34.8mm. And, the height of FL handle is 22.4 mm at thumb, and 24.4mm at end. It is not an especially wide version of FL handle. But, it is a bit wider than many Butterfly blades in the market. It makes the grip feel quite firm.
The width of ST handle is 29.2mm. And, the height of ST handle is 22.9mm. It is noticeably wider than the ST handles of new Butterfly blades, and much wider than ST handles of Timo Boll series. The cross section is rounded. Even for the players with big hands, this thick & wide ST handle will provide very firm grip. However, ST handle of VS Unlimited may be too big for the players with small hands.
Instead of cheap plastic lens of normal size, very small Aluminum plate is inserted at the front side of handle. Because it is small, it doesn’t disturb player’s fifth finger at all unless the player plays with very shallow grip. On the front side of blade head, the name of blade, the signature of Vladimir Samsonov, ‘EXBO’ mark and ‘PRO TOOLS’ mark are printed. Except for the signature and ‘VS’ mark, the design of printing is identical to that for CCA series.
Also on the back side of handle, Aluminum plate is applied instead of plastic lens. Backside Aluminum plate is not as small as foreside plate. However, it is still quite small. The signature is written on backside Aluminum plate. (We have already seen the picture of backside plate above when we compare this blade with CCA Unlimited.)
Because the construction of VS Unlimited is very similar to that of Butterfly Freitas ALC, it will be interesting that I compare the mechanical characteristics of those two blades. I will measure VS Unlimited as soon as possible, and then write new post on the comparison of those two blades.
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