Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: 26" Plain Crop

While I've played with other kinds of impact toys, this crop was a first for me. A first that took a while to grow on me, but has come to be a favorite.

The design is simple, but well executed. There are no bells and whistles, but honestly? A good crop doesn't need them. The handle is narrow, about half an inch wide with a slightly flared back end. It's molded of a rubbery material with a slight texture, like it was pressed against sand. Most of the length is covered in ridges, and it compresses slightly with pressure. The end result is a handle that is comfortable to hold for extended periods, but won't go flying at inopportune times.

The shaft has a bit of flex and is rather springy. After wielding it a few separate times, my boyfriend said that the ~15 degrees of flex were great for getting a nice springing snap going without wearing out his wrist. The entire shaft is wrapped in a herringbone-like weave with a black synthetic thread. After banging around for a while, there are a few black fuzzies showing, but otherwise it looks pristine.

The leather tip is whipped onto the shaft for about two inches with what appears to be button cord (nice and strong). There is some kind of glue or epoxy between the leather and the cord to secure it, which dried to a hard and glossy finish. The end result is that I wouldn't be able to remove that tip without cutting the leather off, or trying to cut the shaft itself. The leather tip is stitched down around the very end of the shaft. This stitching may be too tight or too flush to the shaft, as there are a few spots where the leather looks like it may begin to rip around the thread.

The tip itself is made of a nice leather. The dye is not struck through, so while the outsides are black, the suede inside is a medium gray. Unlike many crops I've seen, this tip is two pieces of leather open at the end, instead of a single piece folded over, looped end out.

The edges are rounded, so the sensation is almost purely the slap of the leather instead of the bite of corners. Aimed correctly, (which is harder than it looks for a beginner like me) it gives a powerful stinging slap felt mostly at the skin surface, then blooming downward. I also found out the hard way that if you are not a fan of canes, you want to avoid accidentally hitting with the shaft end with great care - it seriously hurts, and at the speeds crops are often used it could cause some serious damage. That said, the shaft itself could be used as a decent slightly-springy cane in a pinch.

I have one complaint, and one complaint only about this crop: I wish it had a hanging loop. I prefer to store it with my other impact toys, and I store them all on a series of hooks. It's not the end of the world, though - some cord and a quick larkshead knot around one of the grooves of the handle lets me hang it just fine.

This was a great introduction to crops for us - it's inexpensive yet well made, and there's nothing fancy like rose tips or funny shapes to make it harder to learn to use consistently. Thanks for a great toy, Fascinations!

This product was provided to me free of charge by Fascinations in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

1 comment:

  1. It's kind of funny to me, because I've owned a crop for quite sometime and never thought about it's use as an impact toy until I started blogging. I got it a few years back when I was doing a lot of horseback riding.