Gone are the days when you had to install a cap if you wanted a closed end on your mallet head.
Chris at Arena Bike Polo originally sold a white UHMW head on which he installed a cap for you. It was convenient, but it quickly became archaic as naturally-capped heads burst into the market. When Chris first told us about his design for a naturally-capped head, I didn’t think much of it. I’d bought Fixcraft Unibody heads and been super pleased with their performance. But then Chris told us the Alchemy already came cut at 5 inches. And it had pilot holes for two rotations. And it satisfied my personal criterion of being black.
I just had to try out this 90-gram delight. It did not disappoint. Like I said, much of the work is done for you. I didn’t have to get out a miter box and fail as I usually do at cutting a clean, crisp edge to the open-ended side. I didn’t have to get angry that I don’t own a drill press and then try to line up holes so the head is at a perfect 90-degree angle to the shaft. I just had to use my drill to open up the pilot holes a bit.
Call me lazy, but I am a consumer. For convenience, I’ll shell out a few more bucks. Speaking of which, the Alchemy led me to another purchase. When I first tried to mount the Alchemy with the drop nut system, it started to bubble after a 30-minute practice session. As you can see in the cross-section, the wall of the head is super thin. So I bought a Milwaukee shaft and King’s Crown to avoid the bubble.
The Alchemy secured to the MKE shaft made for a superbly lightweight mallet. Despite having a thin wall, the Alchemy tolerates “weight holes” being drilled into it. This is yet another plus. My Alchemy has not lost any rigidity or shape because of the holes I’ve drilled. There’s something to be said about using recycled UHMW to make the Alchemy, too. It’s not something I deem necessary for my polo gear, but it’s cool that Chris found a viable way to reuse UHMW. He said you might be able to see gray specks in your head and that’s fine with me.
I’d like to add more Alchemy heads to my arsenal. They play just as well as they look.
Apparently, cylinders are no longer good enough for the polo mallet head. First Modifide came out with the Arc and now Northern Standard released their own head with lady lumps. Many feel these new heads are America’s version of the Euro Cheater mallet, but we, for one, are still interested in seeing how they play!
The Northern Standard hourglass head weighs in at 96g with a length of 5″. It has an outer diameter of 2.5″ with an inner diameter of 2.125″, and it can be yours for only $28 CAD plus shipping. The more you order the cheaper the heads are and the less shipping will cost. Hit up the Northern Standard website and pick one up to try out!
In case you missed the news, Fixcraft and Dgel have teamed up to bring us newer and better polo balls for the 2013 season. Currently with three different options, they will be able to suit any weather conditions you may endure this season.
For those of you still stuck in cold winter weather, they have a Blue Cold Weather Ball. This ball weighs in at 70 gram and has a 75a +/- durometer that has good results in weather ranging from around 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a more moderate climate, then the new Pink Cool Weather Ball is right up your crease. Coming in at 70 grams, this pink ball has an 85a +/- durometer that yields best results in weather ranging from around 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the southern and midwestern folks with heat, the Classic Canadian Orange will be best for you. Made out of a top secret plastic formula, this ball can take on more heat than any other ball on the market, without getting sticky or mushy. Also coming in at 70 grams, the Classic Canadian Orange has a 91a +/- durometer and is best in weather that is 60 degrees Fahrenheit and beyond.
Do you live somewhere so hat that the Classic Canadian just melts upon touching your court? Well coming this spring, Fixcraft and Dgel will be release a fourth ball with a 100a +/- durometer for super hot weather. This will be the official 2013 NAH tournament ball and it will stop most complaints about sticky balls during games. We can’t wait to get our hands on these balls!
With bike polo companies sponsoring teams, we are seeing more and more team swag for sale outside of tournaments. Fixcraft is leading the way in sponsored team gear, bringing us swag from Guardians and The Means (hopefully we will be seeing items from The Breaknecks and The Assassins soon). In their web store, you can not only find shirts from both teams, but coffee mugs as well. Putting the teams ahead of their company, Fixcraft is giving the profits from the swag to the teams. So pick something up and help these world class polo teams travel to tournaments this year!
Pick up something from the Guardians here: COFFEE! SHIRTS!
Pick up something from The Means here: COFFEE! SHIRTS!
Modifide Bike Polo Equipment just introduced their newest head simply called Arc. The name is derived from the heads concave sides that allow for more ball control. In form with the self standardization of heads, the head is 130mm long and has a 57mm opening on the uncapped side. The walls on the Arc are 3mm thick except in the center where it has a 6mm thick wall for shaft mounting. To give these new heads a try, hit up Modifide Bike Polo Equipment HERE!