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Art, Culture, Product

Praise Thee Almighty Bike Polo

January 8, 2014

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I’m sure for most of the Poloverse, the name Pinch Flat Press means little to nothing, so let me do a little introduction for you. Pinch Flat Press is a screen printing company ran by polo players from Missoula, Montana; Jeremy Haas and Shannon Rose to be exact. With five years of hard labor put into professional screen printing, the two know how to make quality products. Just like all bike polo players, the sport never leaves their mind (especially while at work). For that reason, Pinch Flat Press used their skills to start The Great Bike Polo Revival.

This moniker has been plastered all over stickers and beer koozies for the past couple years so there is a good chance that you’ve seen some of them at a tournament. Looking to take The Great Bike Polo Revival a little more seriously, Pinch Flat Press added this amazing shirt, featuring their dog (and new mascot) Horace as a Pentecostal Holiness Church snake handler, to their brand (If you don’t know anything about this religious ritual, I recommend looking it up. Shit is crazy!).  Not only is this hand-drawn front design amazing, but the quote at the bottom is bone chilling: “Kiss the Snake, Drop the Hammer”. On top of all of this, the sleeve of the shirt has a hand-drawn print of an upside-down cross made of mallets and it reads “Praise Polo”. This shirt has so much awesomeness that it may explode off of your chest!

If you want to pick one of these bombs up, all you have to do is head over to the Pinch Flat Press Etsy page. Jeremy and Shannon are also throwing in a free Pinch Flat Press koozie for the first six order! Order soon and be sure to follow them on FACEBOOK, as Jeremy and Shannon promise growth from The Great Bike Polo Revival in 2014.

Also, if you’re looking to get some team shirts for this coming year, hit up Pinch Flat Press! Support bike polo by keeping your money in bike polo!

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Product, Reviews

2013 Product of the Year!

December 31, 2013

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2013 was a great year for bike polo products, especially mallet heads. We saw so many new mallet heads hit the market this year that it’s going to be hard to even name them all. While some companies (mostly PBJ, BOON, and arguably Arena and Portland Bike Polo) came out with heads this year and economically dabbed before gaining any real ground in the polo market, most of the big household polo brands produced heads that thrived this season.

This year Northern Standard busted out their first production run head with the Hourglass (although, I’m pretty sure they don’t officially call it the Hourglass). In the same vein, Modifide Bike Polo Equipment unleashed their Arc polo head, in it’s four and five inch versions. Following the two new heads in 2013 trend, Milwaukee Bicycle Co. dropped their Small and Large Mouth hammers to accompany their King’s Crown connection system (our favorite product of 2012). We saw small changes from companies like Fixcraft, who transformed their classic 2500 head into a light Tournament edition, to huge changes from Milk Bike Polo and Magic Bike Polo. Both companies dropped nearly 100% new lines for the 2013 season.

With so many new heads out this year, how could we choose just one to stand above the rest? All of the heads have an equal place of importance in the polo market; some are great for tournaments, some are pick-up perfect, some are meant for newbies looking to learn ball control, some are used, for good reason, by World Champions. That is why our product of the year isn’t a head at all. And while I was very tempted to grant the title to a clothing item (like Modifide’s sick 5-panel hat, Magic’s Mosquito baseball hat, or Fixcraft’s hard-to-keep-on-the-shelf Means hoodie), I felt it was best to give it to the only non-mallet head product that was 100% designed for bike polo. Not only that, I wanted to give it to the biggest game changer to come to the polo market since last years product of the year. And must like last years product of the year, it is also a mallet attachment system.

The Fixcraft Connect system is hands down the best product to hit the courts, ever. The whole Fixcraft team has spent years trying to perfect the mallet head mounting system (check out this Instagram photo for proof), and I think they’ve finally done it. Unlike last year’s product of the year, the Connect is non-proprietary system that can work with any shaft on the market (watch Fixcraft’s promo video for the Connect to see just how this is possible). Not only is it universal, but it’s light as hell too! The cleat weighs in at only 3.5 grams; add in a 1.5 gram aluminium bolt and you are ready to slay with only five added grams to the end of your mallet. If that’s too light for you, Fixcraft also includes a 4.3 gram steel bolt. Which ever bolt you choose, the complete Connect system weighs less than Milwaukee’s Kings Crown and won’t pull through the bottom of your mallet, like in the drop nut mallet head attachment method.

Us at 3-2-1 Polo! (and I’m sure the rest of the Poloverse as well) owe a huge “Thank You” to Sean, Jim, Sam and everyone else over at Fixcraft for using their time, money, and patience to bring such an amazing product to the Poloverse. You all are helping this hobby of ours actually become a sport, and we appreciate it. We can’t wait to see all of the great things that you come out with next year!

Editor’s Note: I want to point out that I excluded DZR’s Marco from this list because I was unable to try them out this year. So while they came out this year, I’ll add them to my “Products of 2014″ list.

Culture, Product

The First 3D Printed Head

December 16, 2013

Engineer, Educator, Genius Inventor, Polo Player. These are just a few words to describe Portland Bike Polo’s greatness known as Thomas Hudson. This past week Tom got the chance to combine his well crafted mind and his love for bike polo by using technology that we all wish we could play around with.

Give a polo playing the chance to 3D print something, and of course he is going to make some hardcourt gear. If that polo player happens to be an inventor, then chances are we are going to see layers upon layers of the something fresh and new. For Tom, the PLA layers ended up forming an engineered mallet head. Tom decided to kick the traditional cylindrical shape to the curb for something brand new; check it out!

The Process:

The Final Product:
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Weighing in at 100 grams, this head was a basically the 3D printed version of Thor’s hammer. Tom was smashing big shots from all over the court and his forechecking ability would even leave Sidney Crosby jealous.  It’s important to note that after a few games of pick up, the PLA head did not explode! It may have worn down faster than gas pipe, but it did a lot better than we all expected.

Product

Warm Your Head With Magic!

December 12, 2013

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Beanie, bobble hat, stocking hat, toque; whatever you want to call them, Magic Bike Polo has them in stock! Tightly knitted with their logo, you can get these warm winter hats in either pink poof ball or green poof ball form. Whichever you choose, this is going to be the perfect hat to keep your head warm if you’re looking to play polo during this countrywide freeze. This past weekend Portland hit record lows, so I know I’ll be picking one up; no more brain freezes for me! If you’re interested in getting one yourself, head on over to the Magic Bike Polo Website and have the crew send one your way. For only£10.00 you can keep your noggin warm and support your polo family so grab one!

Product

DZR Talks the Marco

December 5, 2013
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If you didn’t get enough of Brian Dillman’s pretty face going around yesterday, we have some more of him for you today! As DZR’s hardcourt representative, Dillman gives us some insight into their new bike polo specific shoe, the Marco (not to be confused with the Rustbelt’s bike polo specific frame of the same name). With the shoe due out tomorrow at 12pm PST, he wanted to tell us about the aspects of the shoe that are going to make it the best clipless shoe for our sport (just ask anyone on the Guardians or the Beavers). So before buying a pair, check out the video!