Tuesday, July 31, 2012

new "Magic" uhmw polo heads

The specs:
Length: 120mm, 4.75 inches
Weight:90g, 3.2oz
Outside Diameter: 63mm, 2.5 inches
Inside Diameter (at the open end): 51mm, 2 inches

John H and Max out of London are starting to produce these heads. At £15 a pop they look like a pretty good deal. Check out their site at magicbikepolo.com.

Ok. Well... i'm not sure where to start. I haven't used one of these yet or even seen more than this picture, so it's not like i can offer a "review" of the product, but that's never stopped me from opining before! It appears there's really nothing new to see here. Milwaukee Bike Co. has been selling UHMW heads for a couple years now. It's the same OD and ID as this Magic head, though the MKE one has a removable cap. It's also strikingly similiar to the MILK heads out of Geneva, though those heads have a slightly different sizing and more complex cnc'd internals. Then of course Fixcraft has recently saturated the market with their line of unibody heads after a long period of R&D. The Magic head differs from the Unibody in that it has a slight lip on the open side (like the MKE and MILK ones). Or hell, just combine all those features, paint it an obnoxious color and you have the Portland pink mallet!

It is reasonably priced, so that alone is reason enough to offer the product, but really there's nothing new going on here. I'm not hating on these heads, in fact i'd love to try one when i get the chance, but i bring this up more to highlight that we may be reaching a saturation point when it comes to mallet design.

Where else can we go from here? Injection molds? Eighth in tried that and totally failed, while Northern Standard has had one in the works that required redesign. Trial and error has seen mallets that are too short, too long, too wide, and too narrow- we're zooming in on the ideal sizes. Sure everyone will have a slightly different preference, but in the past few years i've noticed less variation in mallet design on the court, not more. And that's despite having more options to pick from. Remember when people would show up wielding 9 inch "goalie mallets"? Shafts made out of everything from bamboo to gold clubs to metal conduit? I used to see lots of offset heads and awkward hdpe sizes... this year at NA's i saw only a single offset mallet. I'm not saying things are getting worse- if anything they're getting better- but with each new product that "improvement gap" becomes smaller and smaller.

Take poles. Remember when you'd shit yourself with joy if you found a pair of Scotts at a thrift store? Knowing you had a Scott meant a more reliable mallet, which would in turn give you an advantage over the opposing player with a shitty old rental pole that's ready to fold. Then came the Milwaukee poles.. finally you could buy an new shaft with a long life ahead of it. Then came the Fixcraft LT, then Perro de Mal(let), then the Northern Standard, then the XT, finally the Creamy... oh yeah Eighth Inch made one too that was, of course, total shit (a straight gauge pole, really?). There are subtle differences and i love having a selection to choose from, but there's only so many ways to design a shaft.

Again, i'm not harping on anyone or trying to cause a ruckus about who did what first, i'm just pointing out what i see. In 2012 we've seen more new polo products than ever, but we've also seen more similarity among the products being offered. Do i think this trend will continue? Maybe, but more quality polo products ain't a bad thing! And trust me, there's interesting stuff out there on the horizon. And as always i'm excited to see where we'll go next!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Polo mallet patent from 1988

You can see the original patent here, which i found through a random search on Google scholar. Things have come a long way in a short time, eh?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Photos from the B-Bar Brawl in Louisville

Not too many photos this time around- i was too busy having fun!

Check out the rest HERE if interested.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Travis and Matt win the B-Bar Brawl!

Congrats to my boys Travis and Matt- "Bourbajuana"- two took out me and Tom- "50 shades of slay"- in the final match! I'll post some more tomorrow. Not a lot of goods ones this time around since, you know, we were all enjoying the libations. More tomorrow though.


Friday, July 20, 2012

B-Bar Brawl in Louisville + grass polo in Chicago

Something amazing is happening in Louisville this weekend! A unique event put on by a unique club. 2v2 with milk crate goals and a goalie (or anti-goalie?) crease to boot! Plus it's in a giant fucking cage behind a bar!

Suffice to say, this is gonna be awesome :)

Meanwhile Chicago is moving back in time and playing some grass polo! Another unique event put on by a unique club. Ain't the midwest great?

I'll report back monday. Expect blurry photos of mad max style debauchery!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Poly-carbonate mallet head

I finally got to play around with one this weekend. Not a fan.

It's too heavy and doesn't drill well. If you want an ultra light mallet you're better off with an ABS head. Sure the polycarb might last a little longer but in my opinion it ain't worth it. The polycarb has a stiff feel to it that makes soft traps and passes more difficult... it's kinda the opposite of the MILK mallet (which is very "soft" and responsive).

Of course, to each his own, so if you really want one grab it here.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photos from the Indy Criterium

Check out the full album HERE.

Thanks for a great day Indy!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First look at the Portland "Pink" mallets

...or are they orange? Depending on the light i could go either way... it's at least some sort of florescent pink/orange hybrid. Hideous if you ask me, but that's portland for ya! I bet the high visibility has some sort of advantage when aiming, but i'll never know til i try it out myself! The one below is Woadie's from NA's; i was gonna post about it this week, but looks like the Portland crew is already trying to get the word out!

Now if they would just let us know a price and date... eh who am i kidding, i'll buy one no matter what.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Indy Criterium + Polo Demo + Kids Clinic!

Tomorrow up in Indy will be all sorts of cycling fun! Watch some of the best roadies in the midwest race for cash and prizes (including our own Megan Burger!) while the polo crew will be having a demo and kids clinic nearby. Sun King is sponsoring the event so we'll be able to drink too! Fun for the whole family, hope to see y'all there tomorrow!

Head over to indycrit.com for more details.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photos from the 2012 North American Championship!

These ones above are the best (check them out in full size!) and here's the full album.

You know, even though the auto-focus motor in my lens is broken i think i got some pretty damn good shots! This tournament was bloody amazing and raised the bar yet again. Bike polo is doing some pretty amazing shit nowadays. and call me an optimist, but i'm pretty sure next year is gonna be even better!