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Tibhar Hybrid MK

Tibhar Hybrid MK

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The Tibhar Hybrid MK is spin-strong tensor hybrid rubber, which presents its full strengths close to the table and when following up. Due to the linear catapult effect and the perfect ball contact, precise, spinny and dangerous attacking strokes can be executed. In comparison, the Hybrid MK can be seen as little brother of the Tibhar Hybrid K3.
Tibhar Hybrid MK Review
Rating
Playing characteristics
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Durability
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Weight
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Overall impression
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TT-SPIN SCORE
9.1/10
Playing styleOFF- / OFF
BrandTibhar
Rubber coloursRed / Black
Rubber technologyTensor
Sponge thickness2.0 mm / Max.
Sponge attributesSmall-sized pores; about 48.0° (EUR) Medium-Hard
Reviewed rubberRed Max.
Package Weight108.74 g
Uncut66.92 g
Cut46.41 g
Hours tested10 – 12 h
Release year2022
Languages
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Tibhar Hybrid MK Review

The Tibhar Hybrid MK represents the third and softest rubber version of the Tibhar Hybrid rubber series. Starting with the Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro, which was equipped with a 50° hard sponge and a typically sticky top sheet, Tibhar subsequently released the Hybrid K3, a hybrid with a relatively hard sponge (approx. 53°) in combination with a less sticky top sheet.

The differences in playing characteristics are very clear between the first two hybrid rubbers of the series. While you obtain a direct, uncompromising table tennis rubber with the K1 Euro, which has a good performance potential, but at the same time is only played one-dimensionally and with a relatively flat ball trajectory, the hybrid K3 can shine with more spin potential and a high arc.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Racket

Technological progress & softer sponges

The example between K1 Euro and K3 clearly shows that the development of hybrid rubbers is heading away from the traditional Chinese feel of hardness, directness and stickiness. Instead, the advantages of a sticky top sheet are to be transferred to the tensor characteristics.

I think this was necessary after the transition to the plastic ball. Many table tennis players bemoan the loss of spin in their game, but at the same time can’t handle harder rubbers.

There are reasons why the sticky top sheets could not be combined with sponges below 50° hardness. On the one hand, due to the strong tension of the robust sticky top sheet. Secondly, a soft sponge does not provide enough break-through power to be effectively playable with such a top sheet.

The solution to the fundamental problem was solved by top sheets that have less stickiness and tenacity, but are nevertheless more than just grippy. On this basis, rubbers like the Tibhar Hybrid K3, the Donic BlueGrip S2 (with a medium-soft 42.5° sponge) and the Butterfly Glayzer 09C, which is not a tensor rubber but was developed according to the same principle with less stickiness, could convince me quite well. I will publish the review of the Donic BlueGrip S1 shortly after this article.

The first hybrid generation says goodbye

After I have known about the discontinuation of the Donic BlueGrip rubbers R1 and V1 for quite some time, I have noticed that other Tensor hybrids from the first generation will be discontinued. This concerns on the one hand the JOOLA Golden Tango, which was, after the Xiom Vega China, the second Tensor hybrid rubber on the market.

On the other hand, the Nittaku Sieger PK50 will be discontinued, although I am not sure if the rubber will only be discontinued in German table tennis stores or if it will be discontinued altogether.

I can well imagine that other hybrids will follow. Maybe you should already look for alternatives to a Yasaka Rakza Z, Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro or JOOLA Golden Tango PS.

The reasons for this are various and understandable. There is simply such a large offer of cheaper Chinese rubbers, which, more or less, can offer the same playing characteristics. In addition, I think that the manufacturers want to get rid of their less profitable products, to which I would include the first hybrid generation.

Another reason is the colored rubbers. The table tennis brands prefer to sell a blue or pink bestseller as additional versions rather than a non-seller. Another victim of this trend are also the thin sponge thicknesses 1.7 or 1.8 mm. I don’t know of any new product that will still be offered with these sponge thicknesses.

In addition to this, the thin sponges are vanishing from some well-established rubbers. The manufacturer ESN, which produces the tensors for all table tennis brands, allegedly wants to stop the production of the thinner sponges (rumor!). But that makes sense, after all, production expenses can play a role. The number of variants would also be limited with the discontinuation of the thin sponges, despite the new colored top sheets.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Topsheet

Expectations on the Tibhar Hybrid MK

Simply out of interest, I like to read through the, not always useful, manufacturer’s descriptions of the rubbers. Quite concretely, Tibhar describes in it that the experiences from the development of the Tibhar Hybrid K3 were transferred to the Hybrid MK.

I liked the Hybrid K3 very much. But ultimately it is also very demanding to play due to its hardness. I would be happy to see a rubber that has similar strengths while being softer and easier to control.

I am even more interested in whether the Tibhar Hybrid MK is an alternative to the hybrid rubbers I mentioned earlier. Because while I say I don’t have much hope for the continuation of this generation of rubbers, I would at least prefer to be able to provide better alternatives.

What are the advantages of the Tibhar Hybrid MK? Are the disadvantages manageable? Which type of player should buy this rubber? Or are there already better alternatives? With the answers to these and more questions, I will shape my evaluation.

Technical characteristics of the Tibhar Hybrid MK

Looking at the Tibhar Hybrid MK, it is noticeable that the top sheet has a very short pimple structure. The pimples itself are also quite narrow, as well as closely arranged. The rubber’s surface appears to be highly grippy to slightly sticky. Overall, the top sheet is medium-hard to medium-elastic.

The sponge has fine pores. The hardness of the specified 48° EUR is exactly right. While letting the ball fall onto my racket, a minimal deceleration of the ball is noticeable. However, this is no longer noticeable during active strokes.

When weighing the Tibhar Hybrid MK, my reviewed rubber (red max.) reaches 108.74 g including packaging. Unpacked, 66.92 g remain on the scales. Cut to a Tibhar Offensive Premium, 46.41 g remain on the racket.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Sponge

Playing characteristics of the Tibhar Hybrid MK

When countering, the Tibhar Hybrid MK shows itself to be a controllable offensive rubber, which has little catapult of its own. The basic pace is medium to fast. In addition, the tibhar rubber can be controlled with immense precision.

Furthermore, the Hybrid MK does not feel dead, but possesses an evenly distributed dynamic, which is activated during faster play. The highly grippy and slightly sticky top sheet makes it easy to guide the ball and direct the incoming spin in the direction of your stroke.

Topspin game

The first topspins are very promising. Equipped with a strong rotation and high ball trajectory, all topspin strokes can be applied skillfully. Rarely have I experienced a rubber that makes it so easy to guide the ball in both long and short stroke movements.

The combination of medium-hard, low-catapult sponge with the slightly sticky top sheet, which due to the short pimples acts very directly on the influence of the sponge, produces enormous precision and accuracy on active attacking strokes.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Sponge Rubber

Follow up, counter looping & half distance

A great strength is the fast follow up at the table. The Tibhar Hybrid MK develops a strong dynamic, which can be built up further and further during rallies. The rubber is also spin-friendly, dynamic and precise when counter looping.

From half-distance, very spinny topspins can be created, which are noticeably slower than with many tensor rubbers of the latest generation. The rubber outshines many rubbers from the first Tensor generation, which were played after the speedglue ban.

Due to the large stroke window and the perfect ball contact, long rallies with different spin and speed variations are another strength of the rubber. The Hybrid MK accepts a lot of spin, but can be controlled well on emergency strokes and has a rather forgiving feel on a wrong stance towards the ball.

Compared to the harder hybrid tensors, it lacks some break-through power, but this is compensated for by more control, better touch and variability.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Pimple Structure

Serve & return

When serving, the Tibhar Hybrid MK can impress with a strong rotation and perfect precision. All spin variations succeed dangerously and well. In short-short, I can operate accurately and flat without feeling a disturbing catapult effect. Long pushes close to the baseline are absolutely lethal for the opponents.

With active returns, pressure can be built up well onto the opponents. Fast flips have a direct feel. This allows me to establish a understandable point of attack. With banana flips a dangerous spin is possible. Whereby I was able to apply this mostly as a preparation for my next attacking strokes.

The rubber is also convincing when it comes to the passive return game. I could receive all serves well and return them safely. The rubber is not really vulnerable to the incoming spin, because intuitively a great ball security is created by the accurate performance.

That surprised me, since the rubber accepts a lot of spin mechanically. I think the combination of all characteristics and the comparison to other hybrids leads to this observation. It is also positive that there is no interfering catapult effect, but you obtain an honest, direct and unconstrained feedback.

In the opening game directly at and above the table, the Hybrid MK is really good. All balls can be perfectly carried along even when hitting very flat, which makes it possible to utilize slightly too high serves or short pushes from the opponent well. There is enough power on the shots and final strokes, although there are faster rubbers that produce more direct points.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Pimples Sponge

Blocking, counterattacking and shooting

The Tibhar Hybrid MK looks good when it comes to blocking. Active blocks are another strength, because it can be played directly, without making any big mistakes. The transition from the active block, to the counter shot, to the topspin or final stroke is smooth.

Passive blocking offered me a good feel for the ball. With a direct, but not too hard response along with the medium speed, all blocks can be applied safely. However, due to the decent spin acceptance, the balls also bounce out with a small arc when holding the racquet loosely. This allows good attacking opportunities for opponents when blocking too passively.

Good break-through power can be achieved when shooting down high balls. The Hybrid MK is not a killer, but hard enough to create plenty of pressure on the opponent. In the high defense, all balls can be precisely wrapped around and skillfully placed. A little counter pressure doesn’t hurt, though. Counterattacks are more playable with spin than power.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Racket2

Alternatives to the Tibhar Hybrid MK

When searching for alternatives to the Tibhar Hybrid MK, I would first like to compare the rubber within its rubber series. In terms of play, the MK is noticeably similar to the Tibhar Hybrid K3. This one is of course harder in comparison.

Tibhar Hybrid K3

During spin play, more rotation can be squeezed out of the K3. In addition, it is faster, has more power, a slightly higher ball bounce and, as a result, a wider and higher arc. With the first topspin, the differences are not as clear as when playing faster or from half distance.

However, the advantage over the K3 is the much higher control. I think more table tennis players, including myself, do better with the Hybrid MK. Simply because of the overall hardness. The biggest strength, the precise guiding of the ball while looping, works effectively with the softer sponge, even on slower strokes.

Tibhar Hybrid K1 Euro

Compared to the Hybrid K1 Euro, I don’t even know where to start. What both rubbers have in common is that the game close to the table should be preferred. But for different reasons. With the K1 Euro, the ball trajectory is much flatter and more forward. Endstrokes can be hit dangerously close to the table.

On the other hand, more spin and a higher arc can be achieved with the Hybrid MK. As a pure topspin player, I obviously prefer such characteristics. However, if you are a straightforward and uncompromising player and also want a feel that is more like a typical hybrid rubber, you will be better off with the K1 Euro.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Racket3

Donic BlueGrip S1

Excitedly, I tested both the BlueGrip S1 and the Hybrid MK, simultaneously on the same blades. I wanted to see which of these two rubbers realized the new rubber concept better. For my taste, this is clearly the Hybrid MK.

Unfortunately, the BlueGrip S1 has less spin, a much flatter ball trajectory and noticeably more catapult. This means that the, from my point of view, desired advantages no longer come across so well. Especially in combination with a all-wood blade, I experienced the BGS1 as less accurate. In combination with a carbon blade, however, the stronger catapult helped me in some playing situations, but this cannot compensate for the advantages of the MK.

Butterfly Glayzer 09C

I think a comparison to the Butterfly Glayzer 09C makes sense, although I see the rubber as a rather less suitable alternative to the Hybrid MK. The G09C is a bit slower and more focused on pure spin. During topspin play, the MK is more spin-dynamic, which is why more spin and speed reach the table.

But when it comes to defensive and safe backspin play, I see the Glayzer 09C as having the advantage. Therefore, I think a switch from the G09C to the Hybrid MK is possible if a faster and more offensively designed rubber is sought, but with similar security during controlled attacks.

Butterfly Tenergy 05, Nittaku Fastarc G1, Tibhar Genius & Co.

I think that the Tibhar Hybrid MK is a real alternative to the spin-strong and low-catapult tensor rubbers from the rubber generation around Tenergy 05, Vega Pro, andro Hexer, Tibhar Genius, Donic Baracuda or Nittaku Fastarc G1.

When table tennis switched to the plastic ball, the spin game lost rotation. In addition, with these rubbers I was able to guide a celluloid ball almost perfectly during my topspins, which has become more difficult with all rubbers.

Now, for the first time, I was able to do that again when testing the Hybrid MK. I also felt the first signs of this with several hybrid rubbers, but in the end, due to the hardness of the rubbers, I did not fully find it within the play feeling.

When I dragged my first topspin during testing from the deep forehand exactly following my stroke movement to the back corner of the table, I was smilinng. When I could repeat this several times later, my astonishment was pretty good. This made me seriously think about playing on the forehand with the Hybrid MK in the future.

Currently, a personal review fails because I would probably have to move on from the Viscaria again. On the other hand, I get along very well with all-wood blades like the old Japan Primo or the Tibhar Offensive Premium. Again a dilemma, which I will solve during the summer break 😉

Further comparisons

Basically, it can be said in general that the Tibhar Hybrid MK has come closer to the normal tensors. The rubber is playable for a broad audience of table tennis players due to the hardness of 48° EUR.

The feel is moving away from the many hybrids within the 50-52° range that have appeared in recent years. And I think that rubbers with the same style are likely to establish themselves. As I look around the rubber market, comparisons to the andro Rasanter C48 or Donic Bluestar A2/A3 will probably be interesting in order to find an alternative. Let’s see when I will be testing these rubbers.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Comparison Alternatives

Ideal blade-rubber combinations with the Tibhar Hybrid MK

Basically, the Tibhar Hybrid MK is playable well on all types of blades. With a all-wood blade like the OFF-/OFF blade Tibhar Offensive Premium, I was able to create a very variable, spinny topspin game. The advantages are the nice arc and the feel of the blade.

With an outer layer carbon blade like the Butterfly Viscaria, more power can be brought into play. In addition, the half-distance game comes with a nice dynamic. It just depends on the overall hardness you are willing to play. To me, carbon blades combined with a medium-hard rubber are only suitable if I position myself well to the ball (which is never the case ^^).

Since the Hybrid MK ranges already from the basic speed within the lower offensive range, the played blade should not be too slow. With an allround blade a very safe topspin game can be possible. But to finish a rally, a little power is probably missing. But that’s just my assumption.

Tibhar Hybrid MK Rubber

Conclusion on the Tibhar Hybrid MK

My review on the Tibhar Hybrid MK was very enjoyable. I like spin-strong table tennis rubbers in general, which support the topspin game. So, with the MK, it is possible to attack variably and dangerously, especially close to the table.

The absolute strength of the rubber is the precise guiding of the ball. I was able to deliver every topspin exactly where it was supposed to go. The safety of the rubber comes from the fact that it is not as hard as other hybrids, but has retained their advantages of low-catapult play and linear dynamics.

In comparison, however, trade-offs must also be considered. A harder hybrid rubber like the K3 has even more spin potential. Others have more break-through power. However, in playing situations at a non-professional level, this hardly matters.

Probably the only real weakness of the rubber is its lack of power from half-distance. If you’re used to a modern tensor, you’ll have to sacrifice some steam and use your own stroke acceleration to create the necessary speed. This depends immensely on the blade chosen, however.

I recommend the Tibhar Hybrid MK for topspin players who want to operate close to the table, expect a high ball trajectory and dominate rallies with spin variations. Especially players who appreciate the strengths of low-catapult topspin rubbers, but don’t bring the same danger to the table with the plastic ball, should take a closer look at the Hybrid MK.

Also, transitioners to sticky hybrids may do better with an MK than with the many other competitors on the market. In any case, I can highly recommend the rubber and will dedicate some more testing hours to the Tibhar Hybrid MK myself.

Tibhar Hybrid MK
Tibhar Hybrid MK Review
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About me
Marcel Arnold (tt89player)
Marcel Arnold (tt89player)

Since 2014 I'm blogging about my most favorite sport, table tennis. On my german blog TT-SPIN.de, I have already covered all the different topics about table tennis. Now with TT-SPIN.com, my main focus stays on testing table tennis equipment. I've tested countless rubbers, blades, rackets and all other equipment. With my reiviews and equipment consultation experience, I've helped many table tennis players to find their new table tennis goods.

Marcel Arnold (tt89player)
Marcel Arnold (tt89player)

Since 2014 I'm blogging about my most favorite sport, table tennis. On my german blog TT-SPIN.de, I have already covered all the different topics about table tennis. Now with TT-SPIN.com, my main focus stays on testing table tennis equipment. I've tested countless rubbers, blades, rackets and all other equipment. With my reiviews and equipment consultation experience, I've helped many table tennis players to find their new table tennis goods.

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