Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 is a long-awaited addition to the popular Evolution rubber series. But that it would be a harder version of the best-selling rubber version Tibhar Evolution MX-P came as a little surprise to me. With MX-P, MX-S and EL-S, Tibhar already covers the demands of modern offenisive players.
MX-P is a true powerhouse among the table tennis rubbers and extremely fast. Although the playing characteristics differ greatly, the MX-P can keep up with the Tenergys from Butterfly when it comes to performance limits.
The same applies to Tibhar Evolution MX-S. You have to bring in more arm speed and body movement to activate this rubber. But then you will be rewarded by an extreme spin and an extraordinary precision in the attacking play.
Then why bring out an MX-P50? The answer is likely to be found when looking around the competition of the Tibhar brand.
Butterfly has recently launched Dignics 05, a harder successor to the bestseller Tenergy 05, which will bring more power for the plastic ball into the game with its 50° sponge. Before that, the Tenergy 05 received a hard version with a completely new playing style (54°).
With BlueGrip R1 and BlueGrip V1, both rubbers have a sticky topsheet, Donic provides another rubber series hitting the 50° sponge hardness mark. And Xiom has with Omega VII Asia and Omega VII Tour (->55°!!!) two absolute crowbars on offer.
The comparison with the new Tibhar Hybrid K1 should also be an interesting internally battle for the crown of hard table tennis rubbers.
Basic question on the subject: Are hard tensor rubbers with 50°+ sponge hardness the right way?
But who’s gonna play these hard rubbers? Until now, tt-rubbers with a hardness of 50°+ were found almost exclusively among Chinese manufacturers. Exceptions can be found with 50 degree rubbers, such as JOOLA Rhyzer Pro 50 or andro Rasanter R50, which work with thinner and softer topsheets.
The Chinese rubbers, as well as JOOLA Golden Tango, Golden Tango PS or Xiom Vega China, are hard, but at the same time low catapult rubbers with a good amount of controll. That’s why it doesn’t matter too much when you’re hitting the ball with a bad timing.
But tensor rubbers that forgive absolutely no mistakes and are also brute hard are not exactly solutions for the average table tennis player. Okay, okay- Some of you use boosters for tuning, which makes the rubbers softer and more elastic. I can well imagine that harder rubbers make more sense doing that. But otherwise?
I don’t want to open a debate about whether or who should play such hard rubbers at all. I’ll probably do my own article on it. But I am trying to understand why this is the answer to the plastic ball? Not long ago manufacturers have thrown softer blades and catapult stronger rubbers onto the market. Are they not good enough?
I suppose one does it and everyone else will follow the same approach. All right, enough with this basic issue. For now. After all, my attention is about testing Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 ?
Technical features of the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50
|Reviewed rubber||Red 2.1-2.2mm|
|Sponge||Small-sized pores 50° Shores (EUR) Hard|
Playing characteristics of the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50
Since it has the same top-sheet as MX-P, connected with a very hard and fine-pored sponge, it is not surprising that the feeling is much harder in comparison to each other. Due to the smaller pores, the sponge also does not appear particularly flexible, which pushes the felt hardness upwards.
Basic speed and characteristics
Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 has a very high basic speed and a hard, direct ball stroke feeling, which turns out to be very precise when playing with it. By that I don’t mean that all my counter strokes landed on the table. On the contrary. The rubber hardly forgives a wrong angle or a late stroke. But also rewards a correct technique.
I had to concentrate completely when I played. On the one hand you are not allowed to passively approach your strokes, and on the other, you have to hit the ball perfectly in terms of timing. Otherwise the ball sails into the net or over the table.
But if I paid attention to the details and perfect execution, I could play with pinpoint accuracy.
The speed of the rubber is enormous. If you stand correctly and open with a full arm movement, you will get fast, flat and precise topspins. If something is wrong, the ball lands in the net or some power is missing.
Unlike the normal MX-P, the MX-P50 isn’t particularly catapult-friendly in passive play. In addition MX-P50 has a lot of catapult and dynamics, but only during active movements and when the rubber is fully activated.
In comparison, the MX-P has a controlled and forgiving effect. That says it all ?
Opening topspin, counter loops and rotation level
I had problems with opening topspins on underspin. I like a very spinny first ball or I am very variable. But the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 knows only one direction. And that goes fast and hard forward. End strokes, and actually every stroke is an end stroke, go wonderfully with the rubber. Opponents blocks can be simply overpowered. He has no chance when playing passively.
With counter loops it is possible to hit hard and precise. In general, similar to Dignics 05, the rubber has the ability to give back the energy of the opponent’s attack almost 1 to 1 with even more power of its own. So if you’re attack blatantly everything that moves, the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 makes a lot of fun.
Unfortunately there is no variability for slower strokes or controlled placement in the attacking game. The rubber is designed to finish the point quickly. Otherwise, you make too many easy mistakes.
There’s not even that much spin to find. For example Dignics 05 is more spin-friendly. Also in comparison to Tibhar Evolution MX-P, the spin elasticity is missing to generate rotation without perfectly executed strokes. In general, the spin level is in the upper range, but not in the range of the top rubber as far as spin is concerned.
Service game and returns
In the service game, I had problems getting around the ball and creating spin. It feels like the ball is already bouncing away before the stroke movement is finished. Better said, the ball doesn’t dip deep enough into the surface. Furthermore, the topsheet is not spinny enough to compensate the hardness. So it can be that I’m just not good enough techniquewise or the combination doesn’t provide the desired amount of spin.
The ball placement works without any problems. I was also able to keep the ball very flat, which is especially with the plastic ball more important to me than lots of spin with my service.
Returns succeed passively or actively, outstandingly. I like it when a rubber reacts passively with low catapult and precision. The opponents serve can then be played very flat and short. Although the MX-P50 reacts to large portion of rotation, the spin susceptibility only comes into its own when playing faster.
Active flips can be executed almost blindly. The ball hits the opponent’s baseline fast with good timing. I didn’t like banana flips, because the rubber doesn’t give the ball much arc.
Blocking and shooting game
A lot of own initiative can be actively taken in the blocking game. I was able to launch my counterattacks at any time. In the case of passive blocks, it is not advisable to simply wait. At least a suitable racket angle and some pressure must be applied to the ball. Otherwise, the balls sail all over the place.
The Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 is a force in the shooting game. Hard, fast, precise. That’s all I have to say. The rubber does not feel comfortable in the defence away the table. There is simply a lack of flexibility. Besides that, you’re almost forced to launch counterattacks. That’s what the DNA of the MX-P50 requires.
Conclusion on the Tibhar Evolution MX-P50
Tibhar Evolution MX-P50 is an uncompromising, fast attacking rubber that does not allow any mistakes. Counter-topspins and shots are the biggest strength. However, the flat arc and the extreme dynamics pay tribute in terms of control and flexibility. If I consider the normal MX-P to be forgiving in comparison, something can must wrong ?
I already had problems deciding on rubbers like D05 or T05 Hard for whom such a hard, dynamic rubber is suitable. Unfortunately, I came only across with players using boosters and others with a very high playing level.
Otherwise, when I look at the strengths and weaknesses of MX-P50, I don’t see many advantages for underclass players like me or versatile player types. I think I have to be realistic about that.
Ok, sure. I tested the rubber with 2.1-2.2mm. But let’s face it. What are you gonna do with a thin brick stone on your racket? Without a sticky top sheet? Without the intended dynamics of the thick power sponge? I don’t know, either. Still, it’s a possibility, of course. There are players among you who simply prefer hard rubbers and don’t want to play a soft catapult monster.
By the way, Tibhar also recognized this with the normal MX-P and released a 1.5mm version. In the end, however, I see better alternatives than a high-end rubber with an extremely thin sponge.
Soon you’ll hear about the MX-P50 again. And that as soon as I update the comparison test for all Evolution rubbers and also make a comparison between the new hard 50°-55° high-end rubbers. Let’s see if I know by then who I can recommend such a hard table tennis rubber. To Ma Long maybe ?