Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition

4 out of 5 rating for Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition

My review of the Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition

Weight: 89 grams
Plies: 7 (limba-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-ayous-limba)
Blade Head Size: 150x156mm
Hardness: Slightly Stiff
Thickness: 6.7-6.8mm (approx.)
Speed: OFF
Test Rubbers: Tenzone Ultra SF, Globe 999 National, Tenergy 05fx

I waited for about 6 months in order to get my hands on this blade! The Force Pro Black Edition (let's call it the FPBE) is indeed a great improvement over the previous Force Pro blade with the blue handle design that came out 2 years ago. The handle which is flared is bigger than most Tibhar flared or concave handles and is comfortable to my large hand. It is surprisingly comfortable to hold unlike those blades that are too squarish in shape. The FPBE also has a large handle. Compared to the Stratus Powerwood, the FPBE has a cross sectional size of 36x26mm compared to the SPW's 34x24mm

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Speed

The Force Pro Black Ed. is convincingly faster than its predecessor Force Pro. The original Force pro is rated between OFF- to OFF. Sometimes in some shots it is quite slower than the FPBE. Among other brands, the FPBE is faster than a regular Clipper wood but slower compared to the Clipper CC or an Adidas Challenge speed blade. The FPBE is a good counter hitting or smashing blade. This is good until middle distance. Far from the table it seems have lesser speed and power in shots. The optimal distance is close to the table and middle distance.

Spinning

The FPBE can spin good but the original Force Pro seem to be easier to do spin especially on loops and spin drives because you could brush or graze the ball easier with the Force Pro. Middle distance, the FPBE seem to shine better when counter spinning the ball. The Globe 999 national version was equally good on both blades on looping with the favoring heaving slow top spins on the original Force Pro. The FPBE however spins better when you need more power and speed. The FPBE gives a medium to high arc on slow loops when using the Globe 999 national and T05 fx.

Feel

The FPBE feels a little bit harder compared to the original FP blade. The regular FP is almost similar to the stiffness of the regular Clipper but the FPBE feels harder and gives a more solid feeling when flat hitting the ball.

Control

There are times the FPBE behaves like a an OFF+ blade and so does its control. The original Force Pro is more controllable than the FPBE but I wouldn't say that the FPBE lacks it.

Overall:

The Force Pro Black Ed. is a great improvement over the original Force Pro. People need a little bit of adjustment when playing with this great blade. I would not recommend this to a beginner unless they choose a thinner rubber because the bounciness can be quite uncontrollable. Playing chinese rubbers are highly recommended because it pairs very well with a hurricane 3 or globe 999 national provided you can tolerate an increase in its weight. Also, the only draw back i can think of this blade is that you need to seal the blade surface especially if you change rubbers or reglue your rubbers frequently. I notice sort of very thin, hairlike splinters even with the use of a rubber cement glue but this is not a problem as long as you seal the blade when a thin layer of sealant.
 
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5 out of 5 rating for Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition

The FPBE blade is a very interesting blade, I promised myself that I would only EJ after my competitions and here I am lol. I am fan of Vladi so I really wanted to test this blade wondering if I can emulate his superb control and blocking and I was right (psychologically) :)

I used MXP on fh and Tenergy on backhand in the first sesh but had a change of heart afterwards and glued a Hurricane 3 commercial rubber and Rakza 7 on the bh side. The flared handle feels very nice to hold and the blade is really balanced. There are no sharp edges as it is sanded for comfort.

At the first hit of the ball one thing struck me, the blade feels soft or maybe a carryover effect from using carbon but nah the last blade I used was the Apolonia. The blade feels direct so I can place the ball anywhere I want with ease. The control and feel is fantastic cause I feel like Vladi at times lol. The proper term to use for it is not feel but sensation, as if the racket was part of my hand and there are rubbers glued on it haha
Once I started spinning, the blade flexes at hard impact making it easier to impart heavy spin and direct the ball. The blade feels stiff at light brushes and blocks. Blocking is one thing I liked with this blade the feel is so superb that blocking was made easy, block like Vladi. The only thing I don't like about the blade and Apolonia cause they share the same characteristics which is difficulty of using a hard rubber on the backhand. It is not a gluing problem but 05 or MXP feels really dead or just preference to softer rubbers caused I changed from 05 to Rakza 7 and Rakza feels softer than 05.

During matchplay I had a lot of confidence in using the blade cause the ball goes where I want it. I can continually attack the opponent and vary the placement with ease (something Vladi would do). My consistency went up after using the blade due to the sensation of the blade, every contact is felt and "sensed".

This blade is best suited for players who really likes to:
- Attack with a lot of placement
- Humiliate the attack of an opponent with a punch block
- Block around
- Feel each ball
- be like Vladi

P.S. In the future I would like to us the Force Pro: Light side edition too hehe
 
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5 out of 5 rating for Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition

This is an excellent blade that allows for a balanced game style with equal parts looping, hitting, and blocking, while still providing excellent feeling and control for serves and touch play. It is suitable for play close to the table as well as mid-distance. The use of a European or Japanese rubber in the FH will result in a lightning fast set-up that will require skills to handle. This is a blade for intermediate players and upwards, including those who want a blade with more power than regular 5-ply all-wood blades, and more control and woody feeling than modern composite blades. See our full review here.
 
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