There are a thousand ways to build a polo mallet (and, if you believe that enormous hyperbole, bully on you), but that doesn’t mean there are a thousand good ways to do it. While at the Carolina Classic Polo Hoedown Throwdown Showdown Clown Frown Charlie Brown II tourney, we Eastside kids noticed the Southeast crew rocking a rather unusual mallet shape. A mallet shape that you might very well attribute to a small group of ragtag vagabonds in the 13th century trying to defend their lands or a post-apocalyptic zombie killing apparatus:
I’m all for inventiveness in the sport. Furthermore, I’m all for creating goofy things just for the sake of creating them and seeing how they work. How else are we to breed innovation and the next level of blah blah blah.
I also want to specify here that I’m not pulling the guy who made this mallet over the carpet. He saw a problem and tried to solve it – and I appreciate that kinda mindset.
But – there are some dogs that just won’t hunt, and I count the vampire slayer (my name, not theirs) as one of them. I’m not going to get into the particulars of why foam is a bad idea in a mallet – I think that’s a different conversation all together.
The reason behind the design, from what I can gather, is that it helps provide a bit of lift/scoop when you shoot and pass. While I suppose could be true – hell, probably is – there are a few factors that negate any advantage by giving your mallet an underbite.
The biggest and most important element: you’ll hurt more people. You’ve essentially made a sharp end, and unless you’re playing against the nosferatu, there really isn’t a good reason for that. You’re also hampering your own ability to use the mallet to move the ball/shoot/learn to scoop without the assistance of the particularly shaped mallet.
You’re also creating a tricky business with catching the court before catching the ball – especially if you’re starting the shot from “behind” you.
All in all, I can’t condone this particular style of mallet head. I think it’s dangerous, ineffective, and ugly. It’s much more advantageous to learn how to scoop the ball in a week or two than it is to create a dangerous piece of equipment to help that process along.
So there’s your PSA for the day: don’t make the stake mallet. Think of the children and the children’s faces.