Tag Archive for Northern Standard
There is, occasionally, a very #polowriterproblem when it comes to this blog – there is too much going on and only one of me to talk about it. So, to bring it all together, I’m writing a list of the things I’m excited about right now. Right now, baby.
1. Ladies Army this weekend: no, I couldn’t afford to go, but I’ll be following along on podium and watching live feed action (bikepolo.tv, for the win). That’s just as good, as I can legitimately get drunk in my writer’s aviary and feel like I’m there (in that I’m drunk and considering taking off my shirt).
2. Fixcraft’s new line of stuff: the upcoming cleat, the lifeline braking systems/accessories, the new colorful shafts. Sweet God there are just so many things coming out of that place. I’m going to pokemon the hell out of it. I was a touch worried when they missed the “beginning of the season” release of items, but now they are back on their game and showing the world what they can do.
3. Shaped Heads: Northern Standard and Modifide are pushing bike polo equipment forward with their new head designs. I’m planning to write up a bit more on this in the future, but what excites me the most is that there is something different. Not better, necessarily, but any experiments in our sport are great–I’m glad they refuse to sit on their haunches.
4. Mr. Do: OH MY GOD I JUST LOVE HIM. I’m happy that this site supported him, and I’m happy that you’re now going to go over to his page and donate money to him, to. You can do that right here and right now. 66 hours left. Hop to it.
5. Team Scrimmage: I have a team, and we are Scrimmage, and we are going to Flour City (at the very least). It makes me feel good to have two other guys who love the sport as much as I do (and don’t take competition too seriously).
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!
Things I can be guaranteed of when I open my polo bag:
- A variety of bike parts
- A can of Old Bay
- Tape that always gets stuck to my hands when I reach in there
- half of a tool set
- the wafting smell of my own sweaty mitts, preserved in my Enforcer Gloves.
And I can put up with everything but that smell. I mean, even now, in the dead of winter, it’s horrible.
So imagine my happiness when Ken Regehr of Northern Standard sent me a link explaining a few ways to get the stank out of my gloves. The advice comes from Wikihow, and while aimed at boxing gloves, it’s certainly pertinent to any sort of glove with any sort of horrible, mind altering smells.
Here’s the meat:
- Put your gloves in the freezer overnight (in a ziploc bag)
- Dry them completely after use (in the sun or with a fan)
- Spray them with anti-bacterial spray
- Avoid keeping them in your bag (this doesn’t seem likely for most polo players, but if you can, throw them in your car and/or just somewhere in your house next to your bag. You’ll forget them, yes
I think you can freeze your gloves and just avoid closing them in your bag as a first step – but if you notice that the smell isn’t leaving, maybe move over to anti-bacterial spray and what not.
So there you have it! Check out the article here and let me know your tips for keeping the smell out.
About a month ago Northern Standard sent me a set of their bike polo specific Northern Standard Gloves: The Enforcer.
Lemme cut to the chase: if you want gloves that are exactly what you dreamed of for the sport, go ahead and pick up a set of these.
Light, flexible, and cool on the hot days we’ve been experiencing here in PA, the Enforcers provide a great balance between the protection you’ll appreciate when someone take a swipe at your hand, and the dexterity needed to make goofy-handed shots.
Let’s start with the package: Yes, that’s a reusable little string tote bag. You’re winning already Northern Standard. From the back of the package:
“Ultra-tough stretch nylon exterior for maximum flexibility and durability covering a 3 layer pad sandwich of EVA foam and PE plastic.
Full grain leather palm with 2nd reinforcement layer held together by strategically placed double stitching and reinforced stitch zones.
Full leather wrapped fingertips for extra durability in one of the highest stress areas.”
Having moved from the standard stinky lacrosse glove, I was particularly interested in two points: the amount of protection on the top of the hand, and whether I’d experience any reduction or increase of movement. Read more
Between yesterday evening and this morning, both Fixcraft and Northern Standard announced the release of their new products: Fixcraft’s UHMW Unibody mallet heads and Northern Standard’s polo specific Gloves.
Both of these developments set my little wheel covered heart into fits, but I also have a kinda-weird feeling about it, too. Lemme get to brass tax.
The Northern Standard gloves, currently, cost 79 dollars (and that’s 1 away from $80!). I kinda am OK with that because they should be- though I haven’t laid a finger on a set yet – well made. Furthermore, leather gloves tend to last for longer than a year, and if that’s the case I can justify spreading out the cost: about 21 cents a day to own for a year.
I know a lot of folks aren’t going to get Northern Standard Gloves because of the price, but I’m definitely one of those guys who values something well made that will last – we’ll see what the gloves are actually like in play shortly, I hope.
But that brings me around to the Fixcraft Unibody. With the announcement yesterday also came the price: $25.99-$26.99 per head.
Ken Regehr of Northern Standard Bike Polo was kind enough to let me interview him about the new Northern Standard Bike Polo Gloves, his experiences in bike polo, and where he sees bike polo equipment going in the future. While Northern Standard is a relatively young company (who isn’t in bike polo), they’ve proven the ability to provide excellent quality products with the polo player in mind.
Tell me a little bit about your history with Bike Polo.
I began playing bike polo 5 years ago back when 1.5’’ ABS and 360 Dabs were the norm. We all used to ride Junkie bikes and we crashed into each other a lot. I knew from the first game I played that I loved bike polo but of course I had no idea what a big part of my life it would become. I’ve played in dozens of tournaments around North America and even a couple in Europe and had the good fortune of meeting so many good people.
What about your history with Northern Standard?
Max started the company on his own about a year and a half/ two years ago and about a year ago he asked me if I wanted help out. I could see he was serious about making polo specific products so I was like ‘let’s do this’.
What was the inspiration to make Polo specific gloves? What problem are you hoping to solve? Read more
I must admit, I didn’t expect it to go this way.
Before I bought this mallet pole I had heard how Northern Standard, while light as a feather, was prone to bending beyond the traditional bang-it-against-the-bars repair.
I am particularly…active…with my mallets, and I was suspecting perhaps only 3 games before I noodled my golden shaft of justice.
Well, it’s been much more than 3 games now, and she’s still workin. Read more
A review of the Fixcraft LT, Northern Standard Gold, and traditional ski pole Bike Polo mallet shafts.
I’ve been made aware that I say 10mm thickness for the Fixcraft LT pole (instead of 1mm thickness).
Guess who has two thumbs and isn’t going to change the video.