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.
- Hard to remove
- One time use
- little to no shock absorption
- Recycling (no cost to buy, as you already have it
- long lasting
- amazing shock absorption
- easy to remove
- kinda hard to work with
- needs secondary attachment system (tape or zip ties or sumfin.)
- no variety of color
Field Hockey Tape
- Easy to work with
- Multiple use (with caveats)
- variety of colors
- ultra soft
- moderate impact absorption
- 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
- Leather can tear
- Rubber variety can change color
- Expensive compared to others
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?