The Thwack is made of two pieces of smooth silicone, joined together with flawless precision, with nary a gap nor a mismatched edge to be found. Only a subtle visible line around the outer edge gives it away as not being one solid piece, and it's doubtful that it will ever come apart. If you have multiple partners, you may find that one of the best things about this paddle is that, unlike leather or wood, silicone can be fully sanitized between uses, so you need not worry about what might get on it.
Looking at it from the side, there is a taper where the handle meets the striking surface, so the 1/4" business end flares up to a 1/2" thick handle. There is a hole in the end of the handle where you can add a strap if you want to. Due to its lack of rounded edges, the handle might not be entirely comfortable for all users to grip after an extended time of use, particularly for those with smaller hands.
From a straight-on view, the 5.5" long handle is contoured from 1.75" to 1.25" wide, while the striking surface is simply a 3" x 6.25" rectangle with rounded corners. People with large hands will have no trouble getting a firm hold on the generous length of the handle, and those with small hands can simply shift their grip up toward the narrower part for more stability.
Overall, the paddle is just under 12" long, so it wouldn't be difficult to find a place to store it or hide it.
Like the belt comparison we used in the Summary above, the Thwack is floppy. Ok, maybe not as floppy as a belt, but here... pictures are worth more than words:
A benefit of this flexibility, assuming that pain is the goal, is that the person wielding the paddle doesn't have to wear themselves out trying to swing hard enough to make it really sting. The downside to it is if said wielder gets too vigorous, the paddle can flap the other way on the backswing and sting his or her arm in return. This might be useful if the receiver likes to hear an occasional echo of their cries, but to minimize this effect you can shift your grip up toward the paddle more. And speaking of noise, the Thwack is virtually silent on the swing, but does produce a pretty audible THWACK once it hits the target.
It's difficult to describe the exact sensation this paddle gives. Most definitely it stings, potentially far more than hand spanking does, but there’s also an underlying thunk factor capable of leaving bruises. With the lack of a hard core, it's highly unlikely you'll ever manage to break any bones with this paddle, but it can and will leave marks and that deep-down lasting ache that some people crave.
In terms of care and cleaning, the Thwack is as trouble-free as an impact toy can be. For general purposes, you can wash it with antibacterial soap and water or a commercial toy cleaner. For serious sanitizing, you can go on to wipe it down with a 10% bleach solution, or place it in the top rack of a dishwasher. You can also boil it for 3-5 minutes.
This paddle isn't much of a lint magnet (as some silicones tend to be), so it can be stored just about anywhere you can think of. The only major caveats: don't let it come in contact with silicone lubricants or harsh chemicals, and don't store it up against sex toys of lesser materials.
In its favor, this is a typical Tantus toy in terms of the high quality materials and construction. I can foresee this paddle lasting a long time under any circumstances. But from a purely personal viewpoint, circumstances in our lair aren’t going to involve Thwack and my backside very often. It's a deceptively soft little bugger when your partner is brushing it over your buttocks, but even a couple of minutes of quasi-gentle spanks with it will bring on the sting. In the interest of giving a fair review, I let her whap me a few good ones with it. It's worse than a hand, leather paddle, or suede flogger, and I can officially say that a certain level of pain does not give me a boner.
I'm impressed with the whole concept of this toy. I like how low-maintenance it is, and that it's more discreet/portable than most paddles (it's comfortable to carry tucked into the waistband of jeans, under a shirt.) The only things I didn't like about it were the handle and the floppiness. I have very small hands, and after a while the handle's edge was literally chafing the web area between thumb and pointer finger. Tantus really needs to consider rounding it off, although Alan didn't have that problem when he was playing around with it, so maybe it's just a small-hand thing. As for the flopping, I got that rebound smack effect that we mentioned on my arm, and fuck yeah - it does sting. Alan did experience a little of that too, but not as much as I did, so I think the trick is to experiment with different holds.