What do you use for mallet grip?

get a grip

When I first started playing bike polo, My mallet was made by none other than Karl (the Godfather of Lancaster Polo). It was dinged up to hell, had a yellow gas pipe head, and stickers all up and down. The grip, if I remember correctly, was a type of rubbery cloth that held up surprisingly well.

With the building of my own first few mallets, I used lacrosse tape (or hockey tape, if that visual helps more) and enjoyed being able to make my own gripping surfaces by twisting the tape and covering it. Didn’t do a lot for comfort, but certainly did the trick when it came to stopping someone from stealing the mallet.

Next came the experimental phase in my mallet grip career, where I used field hockey tape (easy to tear but so soft and squishy), Bat tape (both of the leather and “shock absorbing” variety), and torn tire tubes (which, to me, feels great but gets so bloody heavy).

I know this all comes down to preference, but for the sake of making it a bit more visible, let’s break down the pros and cons of each system.

Hockey Tape

Pros

  • hockey tapeCheap
  • Easy to apply
  • Variety of colors
  • “thin” (if you don’t like a thick mallet)

Cons

  • Hard to remove
  • One time use
  • little to no shock absorption

 

Tire Tube

Pros

  • rubber grip malletRecycling (no cost to buy, as you already have it
  • long lasting
  • amazing shock absorption
  • easy to remove

Cons

  • Heavy
  • kinda hard to work with
  • needs secondary attachment system (tape or zip ties or sumfin.)
  • no variety of color

 

Field Hockey Tape

Pros

  • field hockey tapeEasy to work with
  • Multiple use (with caveats)
  • variety of colors
  • ultra soft
  • moderate impact absorption

Cons

  • tears easy with use
  • can “roll” (with movement of gripped hand on shaft, tape can roll up/down)
  • material absorbs water/dirt
  • expensive compared to others

 

Baseball Bat Tape

Pros

  • baseball bat tapeEasy to work with
  • Multiple use
  • Durable
  • Good shock absorption (depending on leather or rubber)

Cons

  • Leather can tear
  • Rubber variety can change color
  • Expensive compared to others

 

My Vote: 

I’ve been rocking the baseball bat tape grip for the past few months, and I really enjoy it. It feels good on the hands, looks sharp, and you can get at least two wrapped mallets with one length of tape.

So – what do you use?

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5 comments

  1. Jeff from Winston Salem says:

    Been using old/scraps of bar tape and its got my vote. Cheap or free, sticky on one side, cushion on how thick you wrap, and many colors! Visit your favorite LBS and ask for scraps!

    • Crusher says:

      I think Horse used old bar tape for a while and liked it, too. That’s a great way to go the “already had it” route.

  2. I used hockey tape for a long while, but I’ve stopped because it wore my gloves out. It was nice and grippy, but the tackiness caused my gloves to erode significantly faster.
    I’m with you on the baseball-type tape. I use tennis racket tape. It’s basically the same thing. Slightly cushy, faux leather, reusable, soft, doesn’t wear my gloves out and depending on how you wrap it, nice ergo finger grooves.

  3. Dan Supertramp says:

    I’ve used both colored hockey tape and tennis tape – I dig the colors of hockey tape and twisting it around the handle to give the grip more texture. Only problem is how “tacky” hockey tape feels in the hands. I do two helical strips around the handle, cover it over with more tape, and then I’d finalize it with some tennis tape over it. I get tennis tape at a local tennis shop. I used HEAD tape this last time and enjoy the spongy softness of it. Helps keep the mallet in my hands. So, the hockey tape gives the underlying ridges, but the tennis tape makes it soft and grippy. Only problem is my NEON yellow tennis tape is getting dirty quick. Another thing I think is a good idea is putting a chop stick or something similar along the handle before wrapping it with tape so that you create a thicker handle and you can tell just by feeling the grip which way the mallet is pointing.

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