Review by BeaverMD (published
Out of the package, the LKT Rapid Soft looks
pretty nice. It does feel soft to the touch. I had the 2.2mm black and used it
on the forehand. Itís tacky enough where you can put the plastic film after
each session but mine did not pick up the ball for any extended period, maybe a
fraction of a second. I certainly wouldnít call it sticky like the classic 729
or Globe 999. But itís pretty nice.
Short game: pushes, flips and serves
For pushes and flips, itís quite excellent like
most Chinese rubbers. When a ball is dropped short to my forehand and Iím using
a Japanese rubber, if I do flip it, I usually just focus on putting enough
spin. But with Rapid Soft, I can really flip kill it. This goes the same for
Torrent. Theyíre both very excellent for the short game. On serves, itís not
quite as spinny as the classic sticky top sheet with hard sponge ex. Globe 999
but itís still pretty good.
Ok, this is what you really want, yes? I have
to say that LKT Rapid Soft has a very distinct sound when looping. Itís a very
faint speed glue sound. I used it on a few blades: a 5-ply Hinoki blade,
Primorac Carbon and Korbel. For the Korbel, itís way too slow in my opinion.
With PC, not bad but Iím not used to carbon blades so I didnít like the carbon
sound. Also, it affected the dwell time quite a bit. But if youíre used to
composite blades, I donít see a problem. With my Hinoki, it was pretty nice
though. Close to the table, the loops are powerful. Mid-court, you have to
swing a little harder but still very good. From the back court (more than 6
feet back) I had some problems generating power. One thing I like to do is fish
from the back court and if thereís an opportunity, I do a forehand loop. Well,
I dumped a few in the net. I wish I had a 1-ply Hinoki blade to test it with
because I think the extra kick would really feel nice.
For power looping where youíre out to destroy
somebody, I was fine as long as I was fairly close to the table. However, a
friend of mine who had it on a Yasaka Extra 7 was blasting lots of people from
farther. He was transitioning from a speed-glued LKT XP/XT. Chinese looping (Hao
Shuai looking strokes) are no problem. This is preferable actually with the LKT
Rapid Soft. But if you have a Euro loop (salute action), it was no problem
The LKT Rapid Soft flat hits pretty nicely. If
youíre a close to the table flat hitter, maybe with short pips on the backhand
or even reverse like Li Jia Wei style, I think this would be a good rubber.
However, it wonít give that really nasty flat block like the classic 729 or hard
sponge Globe 999. The tradeoff is that you get a bit more mid-court power if in
fact you were forced back from the table.
Defense Ė blocks, fishing, lobbing
Blocking is excellent. Like I wrote, itís not
going to be a dead block like classic Chinese rubbers (hard sponge, sticky
tops). I blocked with the backhand too. If you like blocking one or two shots,
then backhand loop off the bounce sort of like Liu Guozheng, itís pretty nice.
Fishing and lobbing, itís pretty nice too. The sponge is bouncy enough that it
wonít give you a ďweirdĒ feeling. When I say weird, I mean switching from a
Euro/Japanese rubber and letís say going to hard Globe 999. The ball will just
drop dead unless you swing hard, right? This didnít give me that feeling.
Again, if you fish and lob from afar and wait
to counter with your loop, I had difficulties. Maybe I should swing harder or
use a bouncier blade.
I should say that my main equipment is Japanese
stuff for many years. So using Chinese stuff is not something I would just do
very easily and take lightly. Iíve used LKT XT/XP, Torrent and now Rapid Soft
and I feel that the LKT products really offer me the easiest transition. I find
that at least for me, it was easier to transition to LKT than Dawei Inspirit
(including Quattro) or even Palio CJ8000 (sorry Cole!). Those two are very
close to Japanese/Euro quality though and I think they would suit anybody who
wants to transition from expensive Japanese/Euro stuff to the more economical
Chinese stuff. The LKT is just a personal preference for me.
I also want to note that I used two coats
regular rubber cement, one on the blade, and then aired it out for a day or two
before playing so I would consider the racket pretty legal. I didnít use it
with speed glue or tuner.
So the bottom line is I would use it with a
bouncy blade like a one-ply Hinoki or a 7-ply Yasaka Extra Seven like my club
mate. I am considering using it with a Galaxy blade for a back up.