The bike polo mallet head is a tube. A tube of some kind of plastic.
It’s tubular. Tube-tastic. Totally, bro.
It started this way (or at least became prevalent in this form) because gas pipe worked well and was plentiful. Naturally growing in the fields of power companies, gas pipe was harvested by our ancestors and used in the sport we know today.
But most of us have moved past the point of agrarian mallet harvesting and now either purchase pre-made heads specific for the application of polo or the raw materials from plastic supply companies to make our own. We aren’t hamstrung by the need to have one shape (TUBE) or style.
So why hasn’t there been more people offering up alternative mallet head designs?
Yes – I have seen a few examples from Japan (I think) and maybe a few in the states where someone made a solid slim body design, but none of those were created in earnest (as far as I could tell). So what’s holding us back? Is it just that we’re comfortable with the tube mallet head and it works well for the sport as a whole? Are we just lazy?
The answer to that last question is probably yes, and I know it.
I think it comes down to weighing the pros and cons. The difference between having a hollow mallet head and a solid mallet head might not me much, but if my own BS building brain is right, there might also be advantages to creating a more solid core mallet head.
Here’s my totally legitimate drawing of what that could look like:
I would call it the dumbbell, and it would be my legacy.
So what I see happening in my clearly doctor-of-physics-and-energy-transfer brain is this: because you have a solid mass behind the cap, you’re able to transfer more energy to the ball when you hit it. This means more power, and faster/cleaner shots.
Horse – is that a correct statement? If it isn’t, don’t say so.
This might also cause some trouble, though. NAH rules would have to adjust, perhaps, and there’d be a need to adjust play styles a bit. But in that adjustment there might also come opportunity, so who’s to say.
So have you guys seen or tried out variations of mallet heads? What worked and what didn’t?