Thursday, May 24, 2012

First look: Fixcraft Unibody mallet heads

[click for large]

At Midwests 10 this past weekend i was able to check out one of the new Fixcraft "Unibody" mallet heads. The line features capped heads milled from solid rod of UHMW. This is to be contrasted with tubes of UHMW to which a cap is affixed by screws (like the MKE head) or lucky's old method of fusion welding the cap to the tube. If it reminds you of the Milk mallet made by the guys in Geneva that's because it's a similar method. While the Milks are CNC'd from solid rod the Fixcraft ones appear to be lathed. Also, the Fixcraft design is much more straight forward while the Milk is more complex and uses a propriety mounting method. Not pre-drilling and using the propriety mounting means you can chop, flop, and customize the shit out of your head when building up the mallet. Even though it's a pre-made product it still lends itself to the DIY ethic that makes bike polo so unique. So apples and oranges, but still great minds tend to think alike.

Here's the best part though- it's not just one style of head that Fixcraft is making, but multiple designs in multiple sizes! I personally have one of the traditionally sized white UHMW Unibody prototypes (review coming soon) and have been absolutely loving it! Even helped me score a few extra goals in Madison! Anyway, the model pictured above (model #2375 as the copy reads) is different in that it's thicker on the capped half. Remember how lucky had two models- thin walled "tournament" heads and thick walled "pickup" heads. Well imagine if you took the capped half of the pickup model and combined it with the open half of the tournament model- that's the 2375. Interestingly this is exactly the design i talked with lucky about year ago.. the advantage is that you have a heavier capped side (better for shooting) that can be drilled out more (losing weight while maintaining strength) and still be able to scoop for days! My white Unibody head has a consistent thickness all the way through, and since it's UHMW it'll last a long time anyway, but this 2375 model seems like it would last forever. Sadly when the time for the raffle came i was not a winner. Nor did any of the winner want to part with their prize, and rightly so!

I know i'm going on and on about these heads, but really i've just scratched the surface. Fixcraft is making multiple models in multiple sizes, and that's in addition to the standard HDPE heads they sell, the ABS they keep in stock, and even a ultra-light polycarbonate model they've been trying out! Sean is a stand up guy who's doing great things for this sport- things that we need to happen but don't happen cause most of us are too busy playing pickup and traveling about. So head over to fixcraft.net and throw those guys your business. You'll get quality gear and the money will stay within the polo community. Win-win if you ask me.

Did you actually read all this? That means you're probably as interested in gear as i am... and that you should probably get back to work instead of reading some rambling polo blog!

More info and photos of these heads coming soon!

-W.

8 comments:

  1. don't tell me what to do with my work days!

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  2. used my uhmw prototype capped head last night, after getting used to the smaller diameter from using Milks, i like it. Still feels like more mass than the Milk, but it does feel pretty good.

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