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Hector A.

Joined: 22 Dec 2013

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Sat 17 May, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject: [Review] Rawlings Xtreme Sparring Long Sword.         Reply with quote

Got myself 2 from knights shop and here is a review to help others if they are considering buying a pair or just curious:


Full Plastic:

778 g total weight

Pob 15cm from guard

overall feel: far to light, and the plastic guard does not feel safe, or defend all that well from the other blade, it will bend and let the blade hit your hand...

Full Metal:

1453g total weight

Pob is really hard to tell because i don't know what a "negative" pob is, as in the weight is behind or on top of the guard.

overall feel: weight is excellent on this combination just like a real 2 handed late renaissance long sword, the kind used by meyer and mair, however the balance is funky, all the weight is extremely concentrated on the grip, the pob this low does not give any benefit to the handling just makes you tired faster and the blade extremely over-responsive which in the end makes it less controllable.

Metal Guard, Plastic Pommel (what i will be using from now on):

1091g total weight

Pob 11cm from guard

overall feel: its the best combination, u use the strong metal guard, that not only increases the weight, makes the pob perfect but also provides much better protection than the plastic one. The blade is obviously light, but not so much that it is weird or un-realistic, in reality i think it makes for a excellent training tool in this configuration, the blade has presence, the pob is right, your hands are protected, and you can train for reaction speed with a lighter sword.

Other global stats:

Overall length of sword: 125cm
Effective Blade length (starting at guard): 96cm
Total Grip Length(grip and pommel): 26cm
Effective total grip length (how much u can grip before slipping the pommel): 24cm
Rubber grip length: 19,5cm

Review: The swords are long, resistant, not to flexible other than the tip, and that is a good thing to be able to thrust. With the right configuration you end up with a strong sword, correct Pob, and a light sword that is not un-realistic compared to a real one.
In terms of actual use without any protection other than a t-shirt and shorts, the blade hurt, but does not bruiser, except for thrusts, those are dangerous and ofc, avoid head shots in any case those will be dangerous without protection. Imo with gloves, gambeson and helmet you could go full force without ever having to worry. That is definitely a +.

Negative aspects of the sword: the fittings are hard to assemble.
The grip is made of a disgusting and very un-comfortable "recycled rubber", truly disgusting bare-hand and sticky...
Everything is tightly assembled except for this rubber grip that is never secure on the handle.

Other comments: the swords give a realistic enough feel, only falling short in the feel of the bind! I read a lot of comments saying they didn't bind at all, and this is false, they bind very well, u don't however like on steel wasters FEEL the bind, if that makes any sense, as in the enemy swords movement and intention once in the bind.

I would give it a 7.5/10 a good safe tool for training, and very cheap.

Any more questions ask Wink.

Enjoy the review, excuse the mistakes :P i tend not to try when i'm on internet ^^.

PS: Yes i will write a Alexandria review soon, as soon as i get my last swords from Albion i will do a mega review comparing them. For those curious they are alexandria, brescia, svante and munich. So be patient. I test swords very extensively, from sword on sword to sword vs different protection, different mediums etc...
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Marik C.S.

Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sat 17 May, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love my Rawlings Backsword/Baskethilt, but the binding on all Rawlings Wasters is just bad. They bounce, they slip and slide and that's before you get into feeling the blade and having actual control over it (controlling the opponent is quite difficult due to the flex in the blade).

They are unbeaten as far as Wasters go, great for starting out or sparring for fun but they just feel wrong to me.

The Longswords - though this might have been remedied in later iterations of the product - also are quite whippy (mostly around the tip, as the steel-reinforcement-rod inside only reaches about half the blade) at high speeds. And a hit that hits the guard but due to it's flex bends around it is no fun.

Also keep in mind, these wasters were used at WWOC 2010 if I recall correctly and caused at least a couple of broken fingers there, despite heavy duty gloves used. This is obviously more a problem with control and using force in decent measure, but I have to assume that these very light, very, very fast blades also lend themselves to fighting in such a fashion.

Europe - Where the History comes from. - Eddie Izzard
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T. Kew

Location: London, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 214

PostPosted: Sat 17 May, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They can and will break hands on a Krumphau or similar - don't assume that the plastic means they're not capable of packing a wallop.

I personally use the plastic guard, and find they get too blade-light otherwise. Haven't had problems with the guard bending - as long as you use the strong of the guard it's fine, much like not parrying with the tip of the blade.
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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
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Posts: 8,272

PostPosted: Sun 18 May, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First of all, nice review.

I have two very early versions Rawlings, one of which doesn't have the handle stiffening and bends and feel mushy in hand.

They really don't work for me in the bind, and " FEELING IN THE BIND " is almost 50% or more of fencing with longswords.

Extreme lightness and no feedback in the bind encourages very fast whippy actions similar to people using foam swords for larping and detaching from the bind when doubling or other actions would be better if one is at least trying to use the learned techniques rather than win at all costs just randomly bashing away.

Hard to beat steel blunt to actually learn the tactile feel of techniques.

I can see using these for just having fun or when teaching a novice and using light pressure in co-operative drills where one can try to use the bind, and make it work, because one isn't using enough force for the very bendy blades of the first generation of Rawlings to actually bend.

Now I haven't tried the updated and improved versions with stiffer blades, at least up to the last third of the blades, so I might change my opinion about those.

Oh, and unless one is using lots of protective equipment, control should always be used in drills and friendly bouting if one is using minimal protection to face, hands and throat.

In my now, unfortunately disbanded longsword group, we used no protection at all except for light gloves when doing drills and only added fencing masks when doing duels or bouting ..... we would still control by stopping short of hitting and be very careful to pull back our strikes should there be contact to keep them light.

In 4 years of training with this group we had zero accidents or injuries.

Now non-contact, or very light contact training does create " artificial " artifacts in actual bouting that does distort to a degree the realisms of boutng compared to real fighting .... but then even in full armour protection there are other and different distortions of technique: One may be training as if one was fighting " Unarmoured " but there is a tendency to not notice or acknowledge hits that one hasn't felt.

Link to discussion about bouting artifacts:

Now fighting in protective armour as if one was really fighting in period armour with real swords and real intent is almost impossible to do since with full intent one would be using wrestling techniques that would include breaking arms and dislocations, aiming for groin and armpit, or deliberately going for the visor slits .... also one would be half swording most of the time.

Any training or duelling system or training weapons are going to involve compromises to safety unless one was really trying to kill one's training partners or bouting opponents: Realism can only go so far. Wink Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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