I’m not going to say I had anything to do with the development of the new Modifide ARC 4 mallet head, but…
Okay, I had absolutely nothing to do with it–though I’m pretty sure it addresses my concerns with the original Modifide ARC, and let me tell you why.
The original ARC was fantastic out-of-the-box, as you can tell from this review I did initially on it. The mallet head had a great flat surface for striking, the hourglass design held in the ball and made ball movement feel more intuitive, and it made me want to say things like I was a Viking (really this just made me sound like the Swedish Chef, but whatever).
My month later review was a bit more reserved. The mallet head had “egged” on the open end (meaning it lost it’s shape and began collapsing), and it was getting frustrated with the hourglass shape sometimes ramping the ball up and away instead of capturing it on particularly wild passes. I assumed that the shape of the ARC put additional pressure on the ends when putting pressure on the head, resulting in a collapse of the open end and, overall, a poor design.
My final suggestion was this: wait for a newer version.
Well, lemme tell you: a lot of people came after me after that point. A good amount explained how every mallet head “eggs” after a period of time, how the design was well though-out, and how much they loved their own ARCs. I saw a number of them being used at tourneys and when we visited other clubs for pickup, and I reconsidered my position. I put the ARC head back on my mallet and used it a bit more, and yes, even though it had partially collapsed on the side, it was still fun to use. I found myself steering away from it again, however, as I had grown so used to using the Unibody from Fixcraft
And then I met Steve (of Modifide) at Worlds, and he had a few of the ARC 4s for sale, and my own desire for cool shit won me over. so I bought one.
The ARC 4 is a stout little fellow, coming in at 4 inches (as the name would imply) but weighing in just under a full sized 90 grams. I resisted the temptation to drill it out, as I was concerned with such a small space to do so (between the middle ridge inside and the built-up walls along the outside). So I didn’t drill, and honestly I don’t think you need to. It’s heavier than my drilled out Fixcraft Unibody head/shaft, but not so much that I’m hurting my wrist.
Visually, the ARC 4 looks well constructed and beefy. It barely squishes when pressure is applied, and seems like it could easily be used for home repair if not for the bike polo court.
Whatever my criticisms were of the ARC, they haven’t re-appeared with the ARC 4. All the weight that it carries (the same as a full size mallet head) has been transferred to a thicker body on the ARC 4, meaning that the open end isn’t showing any sign of collapse even after 3 weeks of play, the rigid nature of the head gives a great transfer of power to the ball (I am getting a lot more air balls on shots than I did before), and the scooping. My God the scooping.
I wasn’t able to scoop before (I’m not ashamed. I hold my head high), but this thing makes scooping dumb-easy. I do it by accident, sometimes. It makes me feel like what I imagine a corgi feels when it manages to make a big jump for a Frisbee–or what I feel like when I manage to make a big jump to get the beans from the top shelf of a grocery store.
The weight is there, and occasionally I try to decide weather I want to drill some holes or not. But I’m kinda scared of losing that power-shot, and I also don’t want to damage the integrity of the little guy–has anyone out there drilled their ARC 4? What do you think of it?
The ARC 4 is sold for the same cost as the Modifide ARC (at 28 bucks w/o shipping), and that puts it at the high end of cost. I won’t say whether I think this is too much or just right, as I still need to do my “months later” review, and I’ll have a better idea of it then.
Even so, it doesn’t appear to be up for sale on the Modifide website, so I don’t have a place to point you for buying one just yet. I am quite sure, however, that they will be up for sale again soon, as the stock Steve had during Worlds went very quickly.
Editor’s note: It’s been pointed out to me that you can buy the ARC 4 right here: http://www.modifidebikepolo.bigcartel.com/product/the-arc-4-inch
If you liked the ARC, buy this one. If you didn’t like the ARC but are on the fence about this one, buy it. If you think that the hourglass design is just a fad and it will go away, you’re probably wrong, but don’t buy this.
Really, I’m glad I picked one of these up. It’s fun to use, seems built to last, and is little and stocky like I am, which endears it to me. While I’m not going to give you the ol’ Crusher OKAY on this one quite yet, I am willing to say that I haven’t seen anything that worries me about this head in the 3 weeks I’ve been using it, and it’s easily become my go-to mallet head.