Tibhar Evolution MX-P Review: A Wildly Popular Rubber

Tibhar Evolution is a wildly popular rubber series that is often compared with the Tenergy line produced by Butterfly.

They both occupy the same rubber niche, therefore Evolution is largely considered Tibhar’s Tenergy equivalent.

Where Tenergy 05 (TO5) shines in the Tenergy series, Tibhar Evolution MX-P is the standout for Evolution. Its characteristics are similar to T05 in some respects, but not so much in others.

The design packaging that comes with Evolution MX-P

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Specifications

  • Speed – 9.5
  • Spin – 9.3
  • Control – 7
  • Hardness – Medium-hard
  • ITTF Approved? – Yes
  • Price – $$
  • Our rating  – 9.3

Construction

Marketed as the fastest and most dynamic rubber in the Evolution series upon its release, Tibhar’s MX-P sports a Pro-Tension top sheet for potent spin. Its speed is largely credited to its pimple geometry, which allows for a more efficient transfer of energy when striking the ball.

The underlying power sponge is a dazzling red of medium hardness. It is porous and versatile.

A look at the top sheet of MX-P

What Table Tennis Pros Use the Tibhar Evolution MX-P?

A number of high-ranking players have selected Tibhar MX-P as their rubber of choice. The current top-rated player is Bernadette Szochs from Romania. Ranked 27th in the world at the time of writing, she uses MX-P on her forehand.

The next highest player is Jorgic Darko of Slovenia. Aged just 23, he uses MX-P on both his forehand and backhand.

Other notable players include Paul Drinkhall who places 58th in the world, and the legendary Vladimir Samsonov. Vladimir used to use MX-P on both forehand and backhand. More recently he switched to MX-P50 on his forehand – a newer version adapted for the introduction of plastic balls. He recently announced his retirement after a long and successful career!

Tibhar Evolution MX-P in action

Vladimir Samsonov in action

The Positives

For those seeking an offensive rubber to complement their game, MX-P is a match made in heaven. It generates killer speed without sacrificing spin which is pivotal for most players.

It requires minimal effort to achieve a catapult effect. And when you start to enter power loop territory, the lethality of your shots is truly a sight to behold. For anyone transitioning from a more muted rubber, it can take a few sessions to adapt your strokes.

MX-P uses a lower throw angle than many rubbers. So it’s easy for 3rd and 5th ball attacks to drift just over the edge of the table. Yet once you make this adjustment you reap the benefits of a charged rubber capable of incredible power.  

To no one’s surprise, Tibhar’s MX-P excels for smashing as well. I witnessed this first-hand whilst at university. One of my main training partners made the switch from Bluefire M3 to MX-P on his forehand. And as a smashing specialist, it served him well. Half of the time I could barely see his smashes let alone react to them – let’s just say I heavily pinned him on his backhand when we played matches!

Countering is another area MX-P does well. Punching the ball requires minimal effort. You just need to focus on containing the power to keep the ball on the table. The most difficult area in this respect are loop kills on slow, spinny, openers. It takes some time to get this shot right.

A surprisingly forgiving attribute of MX-P is its sensitivity. Despite its spinny top sheet, it doesn’t react too harshly to incoming spin and its pace doesn’t kick in until you put in a bit of effort. This means you do not really surfer in the blocking and pushing department as much as you would expect to.

The Negatives

With ungodly power come drawbacks in the control department. MX-P is a beast that has to be tamed and this will only come with practice. It is certainly a rubber tailored for advanced players, and should not be used by anyone who is not at that level as it will hinder their training. Also, if you do not play a very aggressive style it would be more fitting to go for a slower rubber.

Slow, spinny loop openers are one of the tougher shots to perform with MX-P. They take a little bit of refining to get right as they are notably harder than for most rubbers. However, once perfected, they work a treat.

The main area Tibhar MX-P suffers is in terms of durability. A lot of MX-P’s pace is due to its factory boost which begins to fade after around a month of use.

Unfortunately, the re-application of boost outside of the factory is heavily insinuated to be illegal under the ITTF rules (despite not being explicitly stated). Therefore, there are no hopes to revive the rubber to its former glory once it begins to decline.  

On the other hand, Evolution does have price in its favor. Priced at $49.95, it is cheaper than the likes of Tenergy05 which comes in at $79.99. Depending on how fixated you are on your rubbers, most serious players swap to a new set around every 3 to 4 months (if they play regularly). Evolution perhaps comes out on the earlier end of this range. But given its far cheaper price tag and the explosive power it brings, I would say that its durability is not much of an issue. Especially when compared with the Tenergy series, its main rival.

About Tibhar

Founded by Tibor Harangozo in 1969, a world-class player and coach of his time. Tibor named the company by taking the first 3 letters of his first and last name. Originally, Tibhar only focused on producing rubbers for the players they sponsored. Shortly thereafter, Tibhar began to cater to all levels of play and soon became a widely recognized brand.

Following Tibor’s death, his partner Erwin Berg assumed leadership of the company, being a former player himself. Tibhar works closely with coaches and players to facilitate the creation of their products using the latest technology.

Tibhar Evolution MX-P Alternatives

Although MX-P is largely considered to be the greatest rubber of the Tibhar Evolution series, others from the selection may be more up your street.

MX-S offers a little more spin whilst FX-P and EL-P are softer and slower. These could be great options for your backhand.

Alternatively, the newer MX-P50 may look more appealing. It adds a step above in terms of explosiveness, which is hard to imagine!

On the other hand, if you are struggling to break free from your Tenergy ties, perhaps try Tenergy 64 or Tenergy 80. Both offer a little more pace than Tenergy05 which closer aligns with MX-P.  

 

All of the Tibhar Evolution rubbers available for purchase

 

If you want to swap and change to see which you prefer, this guide to replacing your rubbers may prove useful.

Conclusion

Tibhar Evolution MX-P is a killer rubber suited for players sporting aggressive styles of play. Loops and smashes are deadly, but adapting to its sheer pace can take a bit of practice. This is why MX-P should only be used by advanced players who understand how to make the necessary adjustments to their strokes.

According to revspin.net, Evolution MX-P places second by rubber speed, and sixth in popularity making it easy to recommend. In my opinion, Tibhar has delivered a superior line to the Tenergy series at a cheaper price tag. Players rejoice!  

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Alex Horscroft
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Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.

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