Last week I had to return to Germany for a while and could test the Rasant (R) with my familiar practicing partners. I tested it in black, 1.9mm on an OFF- balsa blade (that's why I chose the 1.9 to not overpace it on such wood) with limba outer ply. Though I currently use the Tenergy 05 fx (T) with different thickness on a different blade, I did use it in approx. the same thickness on the same type of blade for a long time, so I can compare quite fairly.
The reason for me to give R a try were ambiguous claims in various boards regarding the ability of the rubber to produce spin. I soon found out that this is mainly a matter of individual technique, so I will look also at necessary skills here. Regarding my own skills: As a young man I played in the first league of an Asian country with a short shine-up in its national team. Now I assume my strength is around 2200 (USATT) or 1850 (TTR). My partners play at around the same level or a little below. However, since my level is to a significant extent due to my anti played on bh, whereas I used almost only fh for this review, my partners played at least at the same level in this test. They were three offenders, one defender with lp, and the latter also took my Timeless to block close to the table. So I could collect experiences against a variety of styles.
To start with service: This depends very much on personal skills: If you play mediocre services, with the R they will be much worse. If your service is good, you may get excellent ones with R. Your wrist action is decisive. If this is good, you can serve spinnier than with T and you have more gears: with little changes you can make them long of extremely short, fast of slow. Furthermore, you can make a winning point out of knowing the difference between good and mediocre services, surprising your opponent by interspersing a service with very poor spin.
A similar story with topspin: mediocre ones worsen, good ones may become excellent ones. This behavior is much more expressed than with the T, i.e. the excellent ones or better than T's! Especially one can make a lot of difference through wrist or ellbow motion, with small differences in speed changing spin significantly. This makes the R the best rubber I know for the Seemiller grip if it comes to spin generation - tremendous! - though this is paid by some increase in unforced errors, with a tendency of balls to get too long. However, for me this all only holds true for a topspin game close to the table, whereas in the mid-distance topspin rally the T is superior to the R. On the other hand, the R is excellent in blocking fast balls fast, but somewhat worse in variation to, e.g., intersperse a short ball in the middle of a rally. Another big advantage of the R is that opponents are used to the typical behavior of the T, whereas the R just behaves different; a lot of their errors are derived from this, I assume.
Long defense is not my game, and this might be the reason why I could not at all get along with the R in this respect, but it is OK for balloon defense.
To sum things up: the R is the first rubber I have ever tried to finish head-to-head, or maybe even a bit before T. The R is superior to the T in the game close to the table, in spin variation, and in control in these strokes/styles, whereas it lost against T the more the farther I played away from the table. Be aware that the throw of the R is a little higher than that of the T.
Equipment: 05fx max - On Elmstreet - Timeless 1.9