Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's time for ESPI 7 in DC!

Packing my camping gear and getting ready to roll. See y'all in DC!

But first...

Hands down the funniest polo video i've ever seen!

Well done Lancaster polo! Can't wait to finally meet you guys.

-W.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Congrats to the Guardians- Cascadia Regional Champs!

Here's video of the final goal courtesy of Bob from East Van. Cody, Dustin, and Julian are amazing players and very nice guys, congrats!

The entire top sixteen at the qualifier looked really strong, comparable to (maybe even better?) than the midwest regional. Next week i'll be in DC to play the Eastside Qualifier, so expect a report back with how that region stacks up against the two powerhouses.

Also, HERE is a link to some really awesome photos from the tourney by "Tippi" from East Van. Not really sure who these photographers are but i love their work!

-W.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review in process- DZR + Time Atac

I'm finally making (or attempting) to make the transition to playing clipped in. Got myself some DZR Minna's and some Time Atac Alium pedals to match. Interestingly Quinn also got the exact same setup at the same time! (that's her feet pictured above) She already loves em. I'm withholding judgement til i play in them more, but after one night i've already learned that (1) the power transfer from yr legs to pedals almost doubles when you're clipped in and (2) i need more and better pads.

I will say the DZR's are really well made, with a stiff sole and a thick exterior that should last for years. My only concern so far is that on the right sole the plate seems to be a little "off" compared to the left shoe. The left is perfectly flat and super comfortable. On the right the plate is angled slightly up and hella hurts my foot when walking around. I don't notice it as much in the saddle, but come on i gotta walk on these things too... the Cardinal recommended doubling up on the insoles, and since i added a set a Dr.Scholl's to the mix i haven't really noticed the bump.. hopefully it stays that way.

More to come! Prolly including pictures of the new bruises i'm already starting to accumulate!

-W.

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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stanislav (Fort Wayne)'s custom Marino








Note the extreme amount of seattube offset where it meets the bottom bracket! This bike has what i would almost call a "negative turning radius", meaning it can turn circles so small that you'll prolly fall off before the bike gives out! It sits back nicely because of the offset, also allowing Stas to keep a shorter reach on the bike (though in my opinion a little too short). Even with all the custom Marino's out there lately this is still a pretty unique design. Luckily Stas was happy to share the geometry with the rest of the poloverse!

TopTube 544mm
SeatTube 500mm (Center of BB-Center of Top Tube&Seat Tube)
HeadTube 140mm
ChainStays 363mm
Standover Height 784mm
BB Height 285mm
WheelBase 943mm
Weight 25.6LBS

Thanks for sharing dude! Glad you let me photograph this beautiful bike! Perhaps you'll give us all an update some time down the road?

-W.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beaver Boys three-peat at Midwests!


Dynasty. What else can i say? Kremin, Dillman, and Burge three-peat as Midwest Champions, and that's not even including their win from Dayton (so four titles total)! You guys are true slayers and are constantly raising the bar!

It was an excellent weekend all around. Many thanks to Madison for putting on a great tourney! Big love to my boys Travis and Evan- we're about to break that glass ceiling! Mitten boys i love you guys glad we got to play. Nick Dellwo you stepped up to the big leagues! I know they didn't give a MVP out but we all know it was Nick! Bourbonic + Ben if anyone was gonna knock us out i'm glad it was you guys! Great seeing you Alex and Matt glad we could sit down and be lazy on saturday. Quinn a pleasure as always. Pierre you're the fucking man! Joe Mankato good meeting you in person. Jeremy it was awesome to see you step it up with Sven and Ramon. Lafayette you were so close!! Dustin and John let's bring the big show to NA's! Thanks again to Jonny and Sam for all the heavy lifting to make this tourney happen! So many good times with good people that i'm sure i'm forgetting someone but y'all know i love you!




















I'll get some more pics up later but first i gotta spend a few days recovering...

Midwest really is the best!

-W.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Poster for the 2012 World Championship in Geneva

I love it! The swiss do everything right...

And on the topic of aesthetically pleasing artwork...
Jinxy's classy painting of Tornado Nik at LA4!

Now to start packing for Midwests 10.

See y'all tomorrow night!

-W.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Results from Indiana League Day #1

I still can't believe the only thing we had to write on was a beer box... oh well it worked!

HERE is the link to the google spreadsheet. Scroll down for results...

Let's make Day #2 happen sometime soon! And don't forget, if you still have round 1 matches to play and the two teams are from the same city, go ahead and play that match at pickup. Just let me know the results so i can add them to the spreadsheet.

How about for prizes we keep this simple? Good whiskey for first place, bad whiskey for last place :)

-W.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Final match from South-East regional qualifer

Wow... so that was a short video. Ya know when i looked at the results on Podium i thought "who the hell are all these people?" The ATX crew basically cleaned up, and obviously chris and eric are awesome, but i was expecting to see a few more slayers in the mix.. i don't know, i probably just don't travel south often enough. Or maybe that's why Chris Hammersly already moved to Lexington?

Either way, the real polo will be happening this weekend in Madison! Will the MKE continue their dynasty? Will Shultz's addition to Bourbonic Plague be enough to unseat the Beavers? Will Ann Arbor yet again prove why they are a true midwestern powerhouse? All that and more this weekend! So excited.

-W.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Long video from EHBPC 2011

Nicely done (and long!) video from last year's European championships.

..and yes, indiana people, i'm tallying league results right now.

-W.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Livestreaming NA's w/Mr.Do and Machine

Sorry i haven't been posting the past few days but work and not-work have kept me occupied this week. Lots of great things happening in the poloverse though... here's a sneak peak of one of em!

There's a small group of us (polo nerds) who are trying to make the livestream of NA's bigger and better than ever. So far there's only been a handful of live tournaments, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The goal this time is to combine forces and take "polo tv" to the next level. If you know of any sponsors who wanna help make this happen then point them in the direction of our indie gogo fundraiser page (it's like kinda like kickstarter).

This is gonna be some next level shit!

-W.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cool wheel covers from LA4

Sean from Fixcraft has a pair of the most beautiful wheelcovers i've ever seen! Points for style, but the real magic is in the function- these aren't your normal chloroplast, rather they're thin sheets of HDPE. Less weight, more durability. More on those later...

Now that's what i'm talkin' about! Leave it to the japanese to have the perfect blend of sex and violence.









Here's a few of the prototype wheelcovers Sean hooked me up with. They're pretty tight, but i'll save my words for the upcoming review. You gotta love how Fixcraft keeps pushing the envelope and developing new products for polo. Just a couple years ago we were still using ski poles and stolen yard signs... thanks again Sean!

-W.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Elena (Geneva)'s Mazza polo conversion


While polo specific bikes are nice and can vastly improve your game, it's the player- not the bike- that's scoring the goals. Elena from Geneva is a perfect example of this. I had the pleasure of having my ass kicked by her over and over in pickup. She absolutely slayed at Ladies Army- even breaking her collarbone and still scoring before finally being taken to the hospital. Her final instructions as we ushered her away was "i want Quinn to play for me"- and boy did she! Quinn's baby birds had already fallen in double elimination, but Elena's pain inspired Quinn to come out in full force! If Elena would've kept playing she easily would've won MVP- though appropriately she won best crash and a custom Marino!!

So while this old (and tiny) italian roadbike has worked for her so far, it looks like she'll be saddling up on a custom frame sometime soon. Though i'm sure no matter what she's riding she'll be slaying!


Again great job in lexington Elena! It was great to meet you and i hope you heal up soon!

-W.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rob G (Chicago)'s special new Joust

The Joust is an amazing polo bike. Light, quick, and tight turning. On a few occasions though we've seen seatmasts cracking due to the lateral stresses of polo. All that hopping and t-bones start to take their toll after a while. Well Rob G owned one of the older Jousts still in use, and recently his seatmast sheered right off!

The solution was creative yet simple- use a larger seattube. Instead of the 27.2 used on most Jousts, this bike uses a much beefier 31.8 as seen below...

Rob is happy with it and the extra steel and welds it should be a vast improvement. Of course he had to look at a different selection of seatposts, but i like what he ended up with. The whole bike just looks better too!

Also of note is Rob's dual/independent braking system. It's not for everyone (myself included) but he loves it. He can choose to put all the braking power on the front or the back, or just lock down both.


It's a pretty bike, and probably the most advanced Joust to date. I love these bikes and can't wait to see how Tucker keeps on improving them!

Thanks Rob!

-W.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Missouri FUNdraiser tourney - June 9th

Hell yeah a tournament in St.Louis?!?! I'd come out for that alone, but especially since all the proceeds are going to help send our boys Charlie Hill, Nick Kruse, and Ben Simon to Geneva for Worlds! They represent both the fun and serious sides of midwestern polo, and i know that if we can just get them across the pond they'll show the whole world why MIDWEST IS BEST!

See y'all there!

-W.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Photos from Ladies Army 4



























































These are just a few of my favorites- check out the full album here.

My camera was giving me all sorts of problems thanks to a broken lens, but i think a these turned out pretty decent! Of course it's easy to shoot good photos when you have so many awesome people doing awesome things!

Thanks again to Tiff, James, Quinn, Elena, Adam, Henry, Pat, Mo, and of course the lovely london ladies Joanne Erin and Nik!! Hope to see y'all soon!

-W.