Tibhar announced new rubbers for 2017 summer season. Two new rubbers are ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ to be launched in July 2017. Although those two rubbers are dealt as newest versions of Aurus series which is entry family of tension rubber range of Tibhar, ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ are equipped with the most advanced rubber technology.
The key factor of new technology is the reduction of the thickness of upper sheet. The top sheet of rubber consists of upper sheet and pimples. The thickness of conventional German tension rubbers is about 0.8mm. And, the height of pimple is also about 0.8mm. Then the thickness of top sheet becomes about 1.6mm. To make the thickness of racket covering including glue layer under 4.0mm which is the maximum thickness allowed by rule, total thickness of rubber can’t exceed 3.8mm because the thickness of glue layer can be thicker than 0.2mm. For that reason, the thickness of sponge can’t exceed 2.2mm.
However, the thickness of ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ is only 0.6mm. The reduction of thickness by 0.2mm makes the application of thicker sponge possible. One step thicker sponge than ‘2.1mm’ is available for ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’.
The advantage by new technology is :
- Better spin performance thanks to thicker sponge.
- Better feeling thanks to thinner upper sheet.
- Reduced weight.
‘Better spin performance’ is the main target of new technology. But, we can’t ignore the other effects – better feeling and reduced weight. That is because difference of feeling and relatively heavier weight have been the disadvantage of German rubbers when those have been compared with Butterfly Tenergy series. Even though Tenergy series is not the best performer, many skilled players have refused changing to German rubbers just because they had already been accustomed to the feeling of Tenergy. Some players have claimed the relatively heavier weight of German tension rubbers.
Regarding spin performance, the additional 0.2mm of sponge thickness means the improvement of maximum available spin theoretically by 5~10%. The improvement of spin by 5~10% is the same amount as the improvement of spin by the application of speed glue before the age of speed glue van. It is dramatic improvement, and as a result ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ may become game changer if Tibhar offers those two new rubbers with aggressive price as it is expected by the series name – Aurus.
The sponge density of ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ are 47.5 degree and 45.0 degree respectably. The difference between two is only 2.5 degree, and it means that the top sheet of Aurus Select is different from that of Aurus Prime. Probably the pimple geometry of ‘Aurus Prime’ is Type A, and that of ‘Aurus Select’ is Type A’. (Please refer to “Three typical pimple geometires of ‘New Generation’ tension rubbers” for more details of pimple geometries.) The smaller pimple of ‘Aurus Select’ will make the feeling of ‘Aurus Select’ much softer than we expect from sponge density.
The sponge color of ‘Aurus Prime’ is purple, and that of ‘Aurus Select’ is pink. It seems that Tibhar will not apply red on the rubbers except for ‘Evolution’ series. But, I expect that the sponges of ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ are the sponges of the same level as that of ‘Evolution’ series, or more improved sponges.
‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ will be launched in July 2017. But, I have had a chance to experience the samples of new rubbers. And, the result of testing has been very impressive. Especially I has been impressed by the feeling and power of ‘Aurus Prime’. ‘Aurus Prime’ is as soft as ‘Evolution EL-S’ whose sponge density is 44~45 degree. It is very is to drag up sinking ball that has continuously cause trouble after the introduction of poly ball. Also, ball with topspin from ‘Aurus Prime’ draws very dramatic arc, and strongly stretches after bounce. Although I haven’t fully accustomed to the soft feeling of ‘Aurus Prime’, I felt that ‘Aurus Prime’ may be the best rubber I has ever experienced. (Still I can’t tell it with confidence. I can’ just tell the possibility.) ‘Aurus Select’ is much softer than ‘Aurus Prime’ as I had expected. It is better for make speedy ball with linear trajectory although Tibhar explains that the speed of ‘Aurus Select’ is lower than that of ‘Aurus Prime’. With ‘Aurus Select’, flip and block is also very easy, and it makes ‘Aurus Select’ one of the most ideal rubber for backhand side, as far as I felt during the testing. (Again, I can’t tell it with confidence because the total testing time has been insufficient yet.)
I expect that I will be able to use ‘Aurus Prime’ on my forehand side, and ‘Aurus Select’ on my backhand side. I will post more detailed review after the launching of ‘Aurus Prime’ and ‘Aurus Select’ in this July.