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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 20:33 
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:20
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Blade: Xiom Offensive S
FH: Tibhar MXP max
BH: TSP Regalis max
LordCope wrote:
I've seen about half a dozen posts extolling players to use "Mark V" as a "control rubber". Really?

I'm not convinced of the value. We don't recommend people learning to drive get into a twenty year old car with four gears, a manual choke, no power steering, no ABS, because it's a good way to learn, and then develop to a more modern car.

Mark V is a rubber for two generations of ball ago, in a world where speed glue was king, and people looped with huge Swedish actions, à la Waldner and Persson.

Someone coming to the game today should start with current generation rubbers, and build their technique, feeling, and spin reading around how they behave. They will need to make an adjustment if they 'graduate' to modern rubbers, so why not learn to use them from scratch?


I'm one of those who believe in the value of the likes of MK V, Sriver etc as an ideal starting control rubber, so here's another perspective.

'Back in the day' MK V was about the fastest rubber on offer, Sriver a little slower. In the thicker sponges these were the 'go to' offensive rubbers. As pointed out the was 38mm ball, both before and during the speed glue era - they were very successful even before speed glue was used. Sriver was released in 1967, speed glue usage not for more than a decade after that. At this stage blades for mainstream players also tended to be more of an all round variety.... Stiga AR, hans alsers (mainly AR) and Butterfly Kennys are what I mostly recall, and only a few carbons. For all round players there were tamer rubbers....e.g. tackiness drive. A tackiness D/C combo was not at all uncommon, with D on the stronger wing. Also, use of thinner than max sponges was common.

This of course goes to show how much quicker and spinner the 38mm ball was. I recall the same experience as Darucla in trying mk v on a Stiga ARC, finding it too bouncy and changing.

Fast forward to where we are now.

40+ ball requiring faster rubbers to play a truly offensive game. This market well and truly serviced by the tenergy/tensor etc offerings.

40+ ball requiring faster blade to play a truly offensive game. Again, a market more than adequately serviced!

Speed glue banned so generally (ignore the pros and top amateur levels here) rubbers not being speedglued/boosted (my experience).

So of course, MK V and Sriver will not appeal to the same market segment as they did in the 70s 80s 90s.

I would argue that they have moved down the speed and styles spectrum and now and suit the genuine all round player, or for a weaker wing, up to quite a decent level.

The quality control on these rubbers is excellent. You will simply not get a bad sheet. And I don't agree with the 'it is old therefore it is no good' argument at all! That just makes us fodder for the marketing people to sell the next great thing! Mk v / sriver can generate really decent spin and speed, full stop! There is a reason it continues to be made.....it sells adequately because it is good.

So many players I see have setups that are too fast for them, ofter far too fast. What needs consideration is that the fastest kit available commercially is basically what the pros use. These pros train how many hours a week? 30+? How many hours do us mere mortals train/play? Maybe 5 for me.

I'd challenge Lord cope's car analogy! As I think the comparison is wrong- rubber tech hasn't changed as much as automotive, so I think the comparison would be between a learner driving a small hatchback or a supercar that requires years of experience to handle! Or for a motorsport analogy, you wouldn't stick a new driver in an F1 car (or nascar), there would be lots of classes to work through.

I practice what I preach! I am presently using 2.1mm sriver of my backhand, on a Tim Boll ALC. Forehand is Tibhar Evolution MXP max. The Sriver is just right for what I want of it....my control wing, with a little bit of everything played, and really good for serve returns with enough power to open up when required. The MXP is on my stronger wing where a genuinely offensive style is played.

Finally, I would add that it does take a while to appreciate the strengths of these rubbers. If you just stick them on and start knocking up, they feel a bit slow and dead. You have to work a bit harder for a quality stroke. If just doing fh to fh or bh to bh and the opponent knows where it's going then you will want more power and dismiss them as dead. In game play however you will make less errors and land more balls, and your opponent doesn't know where you are going to put it.

For perspective my previous BH rubber was Tibhar evolution mxs in 1.7. So the softest variant of that range of tensors, in the thinnest available sponge. The Sriver (even in 2.1) is far more controllable (due to the absence of 'catapult effect'), without an insurmountable loss of spin and speed...

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Timo Boll ALC ST
FH Tibhar Evolution MX-P Max
BH Butterfly Sriver L 2.1
185g


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