Powerful, flexible and light. This blade is the loopers' holy grail. In short, the blade, at 85 grams, is light, but it is also noticeably flexible and (most importantly) remarkably powerful (I would not say simply âfastâ because the response mechanism takes a few milliseconds more than, say, a stiffer blade).
As any TT blade expert would say, theÂ flexÂ is key for producing spin, for picking up the opponent's heavy and low underspin shots, and for carrying up the ball from below enveloped in a new spin. ItsÂ light-weightÂ allows the player to exert the highest level of physical activity for a longer time (looping is a true tiring activity), and move the blade faster afar from the table to a flip near the net.Â The blade's power is responsible, then, for sending the ball back to the other side of the net even when you are far from the table: without having to spend all your energy in a single shot, a powerful blade like this one will make it seem as magic.
This blade is the result of several years of research and experimentation. It has a super large sweet spot, and because of its hard yet flexible top veneer, it produces a control touch hard to emulate anywhere.
The Rapscallion's important yet uncommon characteristic is not only the interesting combination of core and veneers, but the order in which they are placed. Moving from the center, the layers advance from soft, harder and hardest, and perhaps, this may be the reason why this blade has a totally different feel of power and dwell than any other blade I have wielded (and I have wielded a broad diversity of them for the purpose of this review). As seen through the eyes of the Janka Ratings:
Masur (1200)- Mahogany (800) â Kiri (250)- Mahogany (800) - Masur (1200)
This progressive movement of force may account for the strange lack of an obvious catapult effect on a blade that absorbs hard hits and yet spits out balls at a unbelievable speed.
Ross Leidy handicrafts this blade and personalizes it with a number of handle-styles and handle-woods options. http://www.rossleidy.com/
rabanito on 12/16/2012
After many years of playing competitively and trying all sorts of high-end blades, I have settled for this one. I first tried it from a friend who had two custom-built, and after days of imploring for it, he sold it to me. So, keep in mind that this blade's availability is VERY limited. Ross can only make about one or two each week, and the waiting line is significantly long.
A few online reviews would explain the uniqueness of this blade with more depth. The consensus seems to be that the blade is certainly for looping (Caballero), and that those who may prefer a consistent short game (Ejmaster) may have to change their style. Here I would say that I find it addictive because it offers a rare blend of power and control. It is insanely easy to pick up the ball in a loop and position it with heavy spin on any spot of the table.
After experimenting with several rubbers, I find that this combination works best for my style with the Rapscallion:
backhand: non-tensor, hard and semi tacky (i.e., Spin Art, Nittaku [H3] Pro).
forehand: tensor (i.e., T64x, Addidas Tenzone, M2).
I would certainly recommend this blade for those emphasizing looping who would want to improve their game above the US 1600.
dennisrhidalgo on 9/18/2012
This is my favorite blade. It is very forgiving and powerful. Its many gears allows the player to control the game from afar and also from near the table. Driving and spiny loops are its best qualities. It produces an uncommonly powerful shot from far and mid distances without compromising control. In fact, the blade's flex allows the player to guide the ball as if it was on the hand's palm. So, as soon the player has adapted to the blade's gears and angles, blocking and chopping cease to be a looper's nightmare.
The spin is also unbelievable, and this allows for killer serves and spiny returns.
Those who like a fast and vigorous game with consistent loops and shots would love this blade. This is certainly not a blade for the very beginner or for a defensive player.