By this point, you should know already that Northern Standard and Modifide shared information/planning on their mallet heads and shafts (explaining the similarity between the two companies’ designs). So I’m not going to go into that whole rigmarole about how similar this mallet head is to the Modifide ARC.
Point in fact, I think one of the few things they share is the hourglass design and the material used. Everything else seems pretty different, if you ask me.
Northern Standard sent me this mallet head (link here) to test out and give my honest feedback on, so I gave it to one of our local heavy hitters to get his opinion on the head and what makes it different. Irish (the heavy hitter in question) was more than happy to put this mallet together, having been impressed with the Modifide I was using and always excited to get something free that isn’t a potato.
Basics: look and feel
First, some of the details direct from Northern Standard:
- Weight: 96 grams
- Length: 5″ / 12.7cm
- Outside Diameter: 2.5″ / 6.35cm
- Inside Diameter: 2.125″ / 5.4cm
It struck me that, unlike the ARC, the NS head seemed more…how do I put this…mechanical than artsy? The ARC has a gradual curve to it that makes it seem like it was whittled down by some artisan craftsman named Hans or something. The NS looks like straight up science went into it. Maybe a better way to put it is this: the ARC looks like the entire head was built to “be” the curve, whereas the NS head looks like it started with the traditional shape and then changed the ends to fit the new design.
Maybe that isn’t a better way to explain it. Hell.
Anyway, it doesn’t make a noticeable difference, really. It comes down to preference on that point. Though, if I were more brushed up on my material science, I’d like to think that the more solid looking NS head would wear a little better against the extra pressure put on the hitting/scooping ends of the head.
When I asked Irish what he liked after a day of play, he said he liked how hard it hit, and how it just felt like a quality product. He also explained to me how he felt like he could look away from the ball a little more, as the hourglass figure allowed him to know where the ball would be (rather than the possibility of it just rolling off of his mallet).
He isn’t a scooper, but he says it is “adequate” at that. After four hours of play, wear was minimal and he felt confident it would last in the long run (something important to all players, as the price of this is $28 dollars pre-shipping).
I then asked Irish if he felt like the design of the head was making a noticeable difference in his play. To that he told me he wasn’t sure – it might just be that the design is “different”, and different is okay, kids. Different is healthy.
No red flags with the first-touch of this head from Northern Standard. I’ll ask Irish what he thinks in a few weeks after regular play, but I’m willing to say (as I generally say with NS products), that you won’t regret the purchase based on quality of build. We’ll see what Irish makes of his new hourglass figure in the coming weeks!