We are not sure how they got wind of the tournament, but a reporter for National Public Radio (NPR) made it out to the second day of the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship. She spent several hours taking in the sport that was so unfamiliar to her, by watching games and interviewing players and organizers, with the help of Jerod Walz. Her interviews with Ben Schultz, Jenn Gallup, and Chris Williams made it into the article. To check out the interviews and the full article, head over to the NPR website HERE!
3-2-1 Polo! will now be brought to you from the beautiful Northwest. Now split between Portland and Seattle, we may be out of the Midwest but the only thing that will change is our address. We will still be working to bring you the latest in all of bike polo’s happens.
Thanks for all of your support and tune in daily for bike polo news!
One of my favorite characteristics of Sean Ingram, the owner of Fixcraft, is the way he often puts the sport above himself. He puts himself and the company on the line, not to weigh down his pockets but purely to help advance the sport. He has donated loads of money this season to help make live streamed bike polo a standard at major tournaments. He has joined forces with other companies to help bring you the best products, instead of two competing inferior products. Instead of competing with D-Gel for the best bike polo ball, the two companies joined forces to bring us the best bike polo balls we have ever seen. When Fixcraft and Northern Standard were prototyping their polo specific gloves, there was a rumor going around of them joining forces instead of competing against each other; sadly, this never happened. When Sean and Fixcraft wanted to put out a polo specific bike, they joined forces with the most innovative company in the BMX world, Tree. Working together they have been designing the Mutt polo frame, as well as the fork that we saw featured in this month’s Fixcraft Friday deal.
With Sean’s eagerness to work with companies, it was no wonder he was so willing to collaborate Magic Bike Polo. John Hayes, one of the owners of Magic Bike Polo, said he hit up Sean only six weeks ago about a cost effective way to bring the Connect to Europe. For the Connect’s European distribution, they re-branded the Fixcraft Connect as the Magic Connect. The only difference in the European version is that it comes in the patented Magic purple.
John Hayes tells us that with the addition of the Magic Connect to their catalog, they plan to bring back heads similar to their version one Emerald. This means that they will lose the inner mounting lip as it is unnecessary with the Connect system. For those unwilling to pick up a Magic Connect, Hayes says they will keep an Emerald model with the mounting lip. The same can not be said for the Black Magic head; those models are made to be light so they will most likely not run any models with a mounting lip.
We love to see bike polo companies working together and we hope to see more collaborations in the future! We are also happy to see these hitting the European shelves; if you are as well, head over to the Magic Bike Polo store and pick some up.
This article was originally posted on The Assassins’ Bike Polo blog.
The crew at FBM put the hammer down to get us some new polo bike prototypes a few days before the Cascadia Qualifier. We wanted to get as much time in on them before the tournament so we got the frames built up as soon as they arrived. This is the best polo frame and fork that I’ve ridden. As soon as I jumped on the Ballista I was instantly comfortable and my game changed for the better. Mike at the FBM frame shop got in touch with us to ask what we would be interested in having on a polo specific frame set. We gave him some input and they really delivered. Mike and the rest of the guys at FBM have lot of years of experience in frame design and production, it shows in the quality and craftsmanship. FBM is an invested bike company with over a decade of success in BMX. All of their frames are hand made in Johnson City, NY by real people that ride bikes. They are awesome dudes and we are very excited to be representing them in bike polo. It was a great experience to work with Mike and everyone at FBM to develop one of the best frames in bike polo.
The Ballista is tig welded with 4130 chromoly steel tubes. There will be a few sizes depending on general interest, available through a preorder. The production frames will have custom head badges, new decal designs, and will be available in 2-3 colors.
The Ballista feels really stable at speed, there is no shimmying or speed wobbles. Cornering is smooth and predictable, I’ve had no trouble with diving or jack knifing. The slightly longer wheelbase provides no toe overlap and a firm footing for going shoulder to shoulder. We’ve been giving feedback to FBM to make improvements that may be needed. But what you see here is pretty close to what the finished product will be, possibly a few modifications. The Ballista will go into production sometime this coming winter.
And finally, a few shots of the fork…
The World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship is only three months away! With the tournament just around the corner, NAH and Florida Bike Polo are putting the finishing touches on the tournament preparations. This past weekend the tournament’s country allotments were announced. After four different revisions posted on the World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship’s Facebook page, here is the final breakdown of the allotted spots:
- North America – 20 (based on finish at North American Championships)
- Europe – 20 (based on finish at European Championships)
- South America – 3 (based on finish at South American Championships)
- Mexico/Central America/Caribbean – 3
- Australasia – 6 (based on finish at Australasian Championships)
- Japan – 3
- Taiwan– 1
- Florida – 2
They announced that the wildcard tournament will be a 32 team one day tournament. The top six teams from the wildcard will advance to the World Championship. It has not be announced how the 32 spots will be splits among the countries but I’m sure NAH is on top of figuring it out.
We really hope that each continental region fills their spots this year so that we can have a true World Hardcourt Bike Polo Championship. See you all at the beach!