Archive for Equipment

Help Bike Polo Journalism Stay Alive!

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I and my mortal enemy fellow polo blog writer, Aaron Hand, recently teamed up to figure out a way for the both of us to cover our operating costs while still giving the community we love something in return.

Taking hold of the Association of Bike Polo Journalists I came up with a little while ago (which is most strongly comprised of 321 POLO! and this site here), Aaron developed a great plan to make a great bike polo shirt that not only kept you looking…how do they say it…fly, I think…but also to help Aaron and I cover the not-small expense of running sites, writing articles, and keeping up to date with bike polo news.

Let me tell you, it’s not free, and it’s not quick. This work legitimately takes a large chunk of my life to do, and I’m sure that Aaron is in the exact same boat.

So we teamed up with One to One Print Shop and Paulette à Roulettes to put together this pretty fantastic tee shirt (and sweatshirt):

ABPJ-Shirt

Caro gave us the cool picture on the back (Luca of Call Me Daddy and Marc of Steel Magazine), and Lancaster’s own Lumberjack made the ABPJ graphic on the front. With One to One doing the printing, this is shaping up to be a pretty outstanding way to show your support for your humble bike polo journalists while having another cool bike polo shirt to show off to your cool friends in the cool days of bike polo.

We’re offering the “Heavy Hitters in Hardcourt News” design as a t-shirts for only $20 +shipping and as a crewneck sweatshirt for $35 +shipping. You can find both designs right here.

Speaking for both Aaron and I, it’d mean a whole lot if you’d buy one of these shirts/crew neck sweatshirts. Not only will it be nice to recover at least some of the costs we put into running these blogs for you (yes, also for us, but we love you so), but it’d be so heartwarming to see you guys at tournaments wearing them. I might just cry like a little crying hobbit.

Thanks!

VANDALrgz: Giving Bike Polo its Style

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VANDALrgz was first spotted, (in my case), at Worlds in 2013–and from that time to now the clothing company has sprouted up everywhere you look when it comes to bike polo tournaments and culture. I managed to pin down Malakai Edison and Spencer Sward for this interview regarding what VANDALrgz is, what it does, and what they hope it will be in the future.

Who are you, and what are you making/how did you get started?

We are Malakai Edison and Spencer Sward. We have been playing Bike Polo for 5 years and instantly fell in love with the game and the culture. We are thoroughly invested in the Bike Polo community, Bike Polo lifestyle, and see Bike Polo as an integral part of our identity. VANDALrgz began as a late night conversation after polo. (Malakai:) I told Spencer about these dreams that I had been having about starting a lifestyle brand that centered around Bike Polo. I wanted to join in the growth of Polo as a larger form of expression, much like skateboarding.

VANDALrgz_WE-1Spencer and I had both grown up as skaters and witnessed the the strength of the skateboarding scene. I explained my vision for what I saw was possible in the future and Spencer immediately said he wanted to be involved. We immediately began meeting regularly to go over designs I was working on. Themes began materializing including the Three Hearted Octopus, Watermelon, the 8 Pointed Star, and Vandalism. We both have Fine Arts degrees and Spencer was receptive to my insisting to really develop the theme, logo, and over all branding of the project. I kept drawing and getting more confident with the cohesive collection of imagery that I had been amassing.

In 2013 we had our soft launch of a few products and the creation of our online store and the VANDALrgz brand. We agreed that our brand wouldn’t be about making money, but instead fostering another part of the Bike Polo scene that was not only centered around equipment. Sean Ingram of Fixcraft was a huge supporter from the get go and encouraged us to do something all our own.

A big part of VANDALrgz is the “polo is life” mantra–how do you sustain that?

“i LIVE BIKE POLO” is as simple as it sounds, we see Bike Polo as an identity. Just like with our pasts in skateboarding, we identify as Bike Polo players. It is not only a sport, it is a style… a community… a culture… Bike Polo is one of those action sports just like skateboarding or surfing and has a whole culture that goes along with it. Bike Polo is often how we live. We approach BIKE POLO with the mediums of Art, Music, and Apparel.

What is the rgz of the VANDALrgz? I just want to know.

VANDALrgz can be pronounced VANDAL-ragz or vandal r-g-z. The rgz refers to ones style, fashion, or look. rgz could be synonymous with “colors” or flag or crest.

What separates your clothing from what I could buy in other places?

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We NEED a Polo Tourney Vuvuzela

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Last year’s [Nick N. just informed me that the world cup is held every 4 years, like the Olympics or the NYC Waffle racing tournament. SPORTS! ] World Cup held plenty of sports people doing sports, but nothing was quite so memorable as the Vuvuzela: something that apparently had a different name than what my mother referred to it when my father bought me one at a football game in my youth (she then called it the divorce maker, and it worked wonderfully well).

What occurs to me now–as I struggle to come up with an article topic–is that bike polo really doesn’t have some fun noise maker for our tourneys. Some bike races have cow bells, football has those air-filled sexual aids that people bang together as ineffectively as their own stare-down at those damned kids who won’t leave the pool table alone in the bar, but bike polo has what? Somebody with a broken mallet slamming it against the boards? Shouting? I saw a  guy (Perry, of course) who brought a baseball bat to watch the final games–that was pretty effective at making noise against the boards…

But none of these can really be called a sport’s noisemaker. They are all happenstance items. They are MacGyver’d things.

I propose that we take something that we’re already familiar with–the mallet and board noise making premise–and revolutionize it.

I present to you, the Polozullalalala:

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It’s simple to construct: one small piece of board, a wrapped handle made of pole or wood, and the top end of a mallet (with mallet head attached) on a simple hinge to allow for the paddling movement to create a banging noise, reminiscent of that annoying-as-piss drunk guy who just keeps doing it next to the goal even though nothing is happening at all.

While still in early development (and still awaiting NAH approval), I believe this will easily become the next big-item in bike polo. Yes, I’m waiting for Fixcraft to contact me about buying the idea.

 

 

DZR Marcos: Months Later Review

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You might recall my frustrated first touch on the DZR Marco.  Frustrated not because of anything the shoe did, but frustrated because I received the shoes smack in the middle of winter and basically couldn’t ride in them for weeks.  So instead, I told you how great they were at riding the bus, or walking around town. Well, its six months later, East Sides have just passed, and I’ve been doing my best to put these shoes to their task… But you’d be hard pressed to tell. DZR1These shoes have held up amazingly well.   They show very little wear, a little crank rub on the inside of the ankle support and some wear on the Velcro strap, but otherwise they’re still mint.   Even the laces are holding up great, which is a vast improvement over the Mamba. They’re still stiff, feel perfect on the pedal;  a perfect mixture of power transfer and pedal feel, without developing hotspots.   How they do this and still make a shoe that’s honestly comfortable, I have no idea.   I essentially wore these shoes from Friday afternoon until Sunday night hosting ESQ.   Playing, organizing, running around like a headless chicken… and they never once bothered my feet. DZR3Reinforcing my previous ‘first touch’ articles predictions; the wider toe box has been a huge improvement.  Where the Mamba tends to cram my toes into the nose of the shoe, the Marco gives me plenty of breathing room which really pays off in terms of comfort after a day of playing. Also, the ventilation holes are well placed, and keep my feet at a reasonable temperature (and scent) throughout the day. Finally, the lacing system is so drastically improved that it might be my single favorite thing that I don’t notice.   Gone are the cloth hidden loops, narrow Velcro straps, and flat cloth laces.   In are reinforced eyelets, a wide and sturdy Velcro strap for mid-foot support, and round blended laces that have proven much more durable. DZR2I got these shoes for free, to test them out and review them.   That being said, even had I paid full price I’d be super happy with them.   They are the quintessential polo shoe, protecting us where we need it, offering that mixture of performance and comfort that is all too elusive, and styled in a way that fits right in with our normal getup.  (because I’ll never get used to seeing cut off jean shorts and a $300 pair of Sidi’s) Well done DZR.   Well Done.

You can find them right here on the DZR site: http://www.dzrshoes.com/marcoblk

Hey Man, Nice Shirt: Interview with One to One Print Shop

One to One

I had the good fortune to convince Kelli and Johnathon of One to One Print Shop to answer a few questions I had about their newest venture. What initially stuck me about their business was just how focused in it was on providing bike polo players with something that was generally difficult to pull off: high quality, cheap-to-buy shirts for tourneys and clubs. It seems like Kelli and Johnanthan are filling that gap while doing so much more, too.

photo-mainWho are you?

Johnathon McDowell and Kelli (Jurewicz) McDowell. We are parents, polo players and co-owners of a screen printing business!

How did you decide to open up a screen printing business?

We have over 15 years of screen printing experience between the two of us. I co-owned and operated a screen printing company in Florida for 6 years, and Johnathon had been working in the screen printing industry for over a decade. It only took good timing, some cash saving, and a little nudge to get Johnathon away from working for the man to start One to One Print Shop together.

PhotoGrid_1397452721251Are you specifically set up for polo players, or anyone?

We are set up for anyone, really. So far we have worked with local eateries, family reunion-ers and other small businesses. We are more in tune with the “little guy”. We aren’t trying to make a million, we are trying to provide printing services for people like us, those who don’t have a gob of money to drop on shirts but could benefit from selling a few.

What do you specialize in (what are you known for)?

Fast and efficient service without sacrificing quality. We take pride in what we do and we want our final product to reflect that accordingly.

IMG_20140507_163828That $40 dollar deal for 3 shirts–that’s a pretty sweet price for bike polo players. Why the generosity?

We designed the $40 deal for bike polo players because with the increasing cost to enter and travel to a tournament, having matching shirts seems like the last of your worries but it is still very crucial on the court. Most big screen printing businesses would either laugh at the idea of printing only three shirts, or charge you as if they will be printing high fashion designer shirts. No. We know you are going to be getting dirt, sweat (not only yours), and all of the grime that is bike polo on the shirts. You will take it home, maybe even wash it, and be forever reminded of that tournament. Personally, we cherish all the shirts we have collected over the years from bike polo gatherings, and we were beyond excited to provide something so memorable. Did we mention how legit you will look?

PhotoGrid_1394121084474What’s the coolest design you’ve been asked to do?

Jenny Scott’s Beer Goggles team shirts were pretty rad, that gal is off of her rocker and we love it! I also enjoyed printing the REFFIN AIN’T EASY shirts for Alias/The Eastside Thaw because well, it’s just true.

What separates you from other screen printing businesses?

Honestly the biggest difference is that we truly give a shit. We want folks to be able to show off the shirts they designed and be happy with the money they spent. This comes from the fact that we aren’t just in it for the money, we genuinely love printing. Our product is our advertisement, simply put.

IMG_20140501_165052Where do you see One to One going in the future?

Our hope is to stay small and busy. Luckily, things are going in that direction. “We print t-shirts for the American Working Man/Woman, because that’s who we are and that’s who we care about.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lastly, we are announcing that after the first of July we will be ending our 3 for $40 special for the year, so if that is something you want to take advantage of, get at us soon. We will be offering a City/Club/Team bulk order special for the remainder of the year so be on the lookout for that at www.onetooneprintshop.com or find/like us on Facebook, One to One Print Shop. Instagram as well, onetooneprintshop.

Warhorse Overstock Sale!

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NOTE: THIS OVERSTOCK SALE IS OVER. All stock is now gone out to little polokins around the US of A and beyond.

Horse recently found a lost box of V1 Warhorse Disc Guards while cleaning his sex dungeon garage. These anodized black V1 guards are on sale now for the low, low price of $25.00 USD, including hardware and US shipping (overseas shipping should inquire via email at warhorsebikepolo@gmail.com). V1 is slightly less universal than V2: while it still fits about 90% of disc fork/caliper configurations, some fitments may require a slight modification to the guard. This easy modification can be done in minutes with a Dremel, grinder, or hand file. Fear not! See the image below for modifications needed for some bikes/brakes.

warhorse cuts


Inflatable Helmets: Are They Really That Great?

Guest Post by Nick Kruse

YES

First Touch: Mycro Xtra Lite Hurling Helmet

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There are some fine things that come out of Ireland. For one thing, it’s (most likely) the land of my one grandfather’s birth, and also the land where I have family from the other side of my gene pool. (I like to think of that side as the deep end).

It’s also the home to Guinness, shillelaghs and Tullamore Dew. And most recently out of all those, the Mycro Xtra Lite Hurling helmet.

Now, for those of you who aren’t aware of the proud Irish sport, hurling is a game wherein…uh…well look here’s a video, complete with horrible music:

And as you saw in the video, part of the equipment the folks who play hurling wear is a helmet; which brings us to a package I got from the county Cork. I know a few people who already play bike polo with hurling helmets here in the States, but I haven’t seen a review of them up on those other bike polo sites, so I thought I’d give my thoughts here.

Editor’s Note: Metriod Polo just pointed out that Poloakademia and GOALHOLE both did reviews on this helmet. Of course. Irregardlessly, here’s my take: 

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First Look: FBM Ballista

FBM Ballista (11)

Last year, custom polo bikes were all about the sudden and urgent shift to 26” wheels.   Polo specific frames were popping up left and right aimed at the smaller, slightly more agile wheel size, while the 700c crowd was left with a choice between the MKE Bruiser….and……the MKE Bruiser.

It (finally) feels like the steam from the 26” revolution has slightly cooled, and we’re finally starting to see support for those preferring the speed and familiarity of the larger wheel.   FBM stepped up to the plate early with their FGFS Sword frame, which was fairly well received as a workable polo frame, and then really got people excited with the release of their all new Ballista frame, a prototype of which was seen under the asses of Koyo Maeda and Evan George of Assassins fame.

A production pre-order happened, monies were exchanged ($750 to be exact), and quite a few people (our own Jon Kokus included) waited not so patiently by the door for the big brown van to arrive bearing gifts.

Well, for some east coasters, Yesterday was that day!

Here is your first look at the 2014 FBM Ballista polo frameset.

 

Introducing The Insta-Ref!

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Want to run an NAH tournament but don’t have the time or desire to learn the rule-set?

Can’t seem to find anyone willing to blow a whistle for a full day?

Tired of players attacking refs and ruining the joy of the game?

Well the future is NOW!

Introducing The Insta-Ref by Lancaster Polo!

The Insta-Ref™ is the automated, one-touch solution to all of your referee needs. Developed in the secret sanctum of the polo war room deep in the heart of Lancaster County, The Insta-Ref™ is your one-stop solution for any NAH Tournament.

Using the Insta-Ref is Easy!


All you need to do is:

1. Wait for a “potential-call” moment

2. Press the Insta-Ref™ button

3. Perform the action prescribed by the random selection of the Insta-Ref!

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Possible Actions Include:

  • Make Up A Rule
  • Distract With Animal Noises
  • Yell “I AM The Law!”
  • Blankly Stare At Players
  • Blow Whistle Louder
  • W.W.N.K.D (What Would Nick Kruse Do?)

Each of these possible solutions are specially formulated to simulate actual, real life reffing!

Order Now!

The Insta-Ref™ ref management system only exists in limited quantities (read: 1) so act now! The first order will also receive the Insta-Heckle 4000 AT ABSOLUTELY REGULAR PRICE!

INSTA-REF IS INSTA-AWESOME!