1. Evolution MX-P 50° – introduction
In spring 2019, Tibhar introduced its new top rubber – ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’. It is an addition to existing ‘Evolution’ series. The first model of Evolution series is ‘Evolution MX-P’ which was introduced in spring 2013, and softer variations – ‘Evolution EL-P’ and ‘Evolution FX-P’ were also introduced at the same time. Afterwards ‘Evolution EL-S’ was introduced in spring 2015, and ‘Evolution EL-S’ and ‘Evolution FX-S’ were introduces in autumn 2016. Regarding brief information of existing ‘Evolution’ series, please refer to article ‘Tibhar Evolution series – Overview‘.
‘Evolution MX-P’ is currently the best seller in the rubber range of Tibhar. It is one of the rivals of ‘Tenergy 05’ now, and many top players of Tibhar are using it. But, after the introduction of poly ball, the needs for harder and faster rubber has been gradually increased. For that reason Tibhar has supplied harder version of ‘Evolution MX-P’ to its players. ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is based on that special version.
The packaging of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is basically the one for existing ‘Evolution MX-P’, and ’50°’ sticker is attached on the front cover of packaging.
The information written on the backside of packaging is that for existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. There isn’t any specific information of this ’50°’ version of ‘Evolution MX-P’.
Further, the top sheet of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is same as that for existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. You will not be able to distinguish ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ from ‘Evolution MX-P’. For that reason you may think that ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is no more than a bit harder version of existing ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’. However, in fact ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is more than just a 2.5 degree harder version.
The sponge of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is not the variation of the sponge of ‘Evolution MX-P’. It is completely new sponge that is the result of technology which has been advanced during five years. It is the new sponge that can provide higher energy efficiency that result in better feeling and higher power. That new sponge makes ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ totally different from existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. I was able to feel the difference during court test.
2. Court Test
For testing of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ I selected Tibhar ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’. I could also test ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ with some other blades. But, I confined the testing to the combination with one blade – ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ – because the purpose of this court test is just seeing the difference between existing ‘Evolution MX-P’ and ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’. Tibhar ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’ makes very good combination with existing ‘Evolution MX-P’ even under the condition of using ABS ball, and I expected that it will also make good use of the ability of new ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’.
The feeling of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is astonishingly soft, especially when the ball is hit strongly by small angle for topspin. That is different from our possible expectation that harder value of sponge density will maker harder feeling. In fact, there is another factor than sponge density that decides the feeling. It is ‘damping’. The lower the value of damping, the softer the feeling when the ball is hit by very fast swing. That is the mechanism of so-called ‘tension effect’ or ‘speed glue effect’. The less the damping, the less the energy dissipation. That is also the reason why ‘energy’ is always mentioned when the tension effect is explained. Reduced energy dissipation by decreased damping makes more energy can be transferred to ball. (Therefore we can’t determine the tension effect by just pressing the rubber with our finger. Only when we hit the ball with sufficiently high ‘speed’, we can at last feel the effect of tension.)
The increased tension effect in new sponge makes the ball keeping better. Although it also makes the speed of ball higher, I couldn’t feel the reduction of control. At the beginning, I felt that the trajectory of ball is somewhat more linear than the trajectory of ball from existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. However, after some minutes of adjustment, I could easily catch the knack for the control of trajectory. That was possible especially because the response of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is very linear and precise. I could always predict the result of impact very easily. Although ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is basically the rubber for highly-skilled player, it seems that even beginner and intermediate players will be able to deal with it without much trouble, if they don’t hate the sponge whose density is higher than 45 degree. If you are a lover of rubbers with 47.5 degree sponge, you will also love ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’. You may feel that ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ provides better control than ‘Evolution MX-P’.
I couldn’t feel that it makes more rotation of ball than existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. However, it gives much better feeling of topspin to hand. Good feeling and precise control makes more aggressive topspin possible. Even it makes the speed of ball higher. Ball flies noticeable higher speed, and stretching after bounce is also better. Although the level of rotation is not higher, without doubt the ball from ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is more powerful than existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. Further, reduced mistake makes the playing style more aggressive. I can tell with confidence that ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is better than existing ‘Evolution MX-P’.
However, not everything of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is good. The weak point of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is its increased weight. On the head of ‘Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition’, ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is heavier than ‘Evolution MX-P’ by around 2 gram. The total weight increase in case backside rubber is same as foreside rubber is around 4 gram. The weight increase of 4 gram is not negligible. It can be significant burden for our wrist, and if our muscle is not sufficiently strong it may reduce the speed of our swing. Even though the rubber itself has the ability of making more powerful ball, we can’t make use of that ability if we can’t make sufficiently fast swing due to our insufficient muscular strength. We have to always consider our physical strength whenever we are interested in the rubber with harder sponge because the higher density of sponge makes the rubber weightier. The adjustment of the weight of blade will be one solution if we can’t improve our physical strength in short time.
During the testing, ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ reminds me the characteristics of Butterfly ‘Dignics 05’. Although there are still some differences, those two rubbers are astonishingly similar in concept. Both of those are equipped with harder sponges than existing rubbers (= ‘Evolution MX-P’ and ‘Tenergy 05’), and provides significantly enhanced speed while the rotation is not noticeably enhanced. Both of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ and ‘Dignics 05’ were introduced as the rubbers for ABS ball. Although the enhancement of speed will not be the only one solution for ABS ball, without doubt both of those will make the players who have suffered from reduced speed due to ABS ball very happy. The needs for lightweight blades may be increased if this kind of rubbers become the mainstream of future rubbers.
‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is newly added top model of ‘Evolution’ series. The advancement of sponge technology during 5 years are applied to the new sponge of ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’, and as a result ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ provides higher speed, better feeling and enhanced precision than existing ‘Evolution MX-P’. Although its top sheet is identical to that of existing ‘Evolution MX-P’, we’d better consider ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ as a completely new rubber which is different from any model in existing ‘Evolution’ series. Although it is introduced as the rubber for top players, it is also friendly to beginners or intermediate players because it is very controllable. The weak point of new ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is increased weight. To avoid the reduction of swing speed, players have to adjust the weight of blade in case their muscular strength is not sufficient to deal with that increased weight. Excluding that weak point, ‘Evolution MX-P 50°’ is an excellent rubber, especially for the players who want to recover the speed of ball that has been reduced due to ABS ball.
• Noticeably enhanced speed.
• Excellent feeling that is softer than expected from the value of density.
• High precision of control. Safety is also excellent.
• Heavier weight than existing ‘Evolution MX-P’.
• Enhancement of ball rotation is not noticeable. (This isn’t a problem because it can make very strong spin.)
• Powerful rubber that can recover the high speed of ball that has been decreased due to poly ball (especially ABS ball).
• Topspin players who requires higher speed.
• Modern all-round players who requires higher precision and better feeling.
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