Cane Polo Mallets
Despite the advances of modern technology, many polo players still prefer the feel of cane polo mallets as opposed to composite mallets.
As the saying goes, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. The selection of raw materials is critical to the performance of what we firmly believe to be the best cane polo mallets in the world.
We're dedicated to sourcing only the best materials available. Our stringent selection process rejects over 97% of the canes that are cut from the jungles.
One of the most important stages of manufacturing a cane mallet is seasoning the canes to reduce the moisture content and temper the shaft so that it reaches its optimum tension while retaining its ‘memory’. This is done over a long period of time using a low temperature oven and regular straightening. After cutting to the required lengths the handles are fitted and an epoxy resin binding is applied to the shaft just above where the head is fitted. This is allowed to set before being ground smooth and the traditional cotton tape binding is applied over the top. Although this takes considerable time and expense, it adds tremendous extra strength to the mallets most vulnerable area, almost eliminating ‘wringers’. Just another example of the extra lengths we go to guarantee performance.
Semi processed root canes
In the past, the majority of mallet makers simply ordered their canes from cane merchants in Asia although most of these suppliers have ceased trading. Some atrocious quality canes have and are, being sold as "selected polo canes". Of course payment must be made in advance and there are no refunds given. It can be a very costly exercise. Over the past few years the supply of root manau cane has virtually become non existent although there is an alternative species called Batu which makes some good mallets as long as the cane is dense enough. Batu canes tend to have more knots and a faster taper rate but a high proportion of them are quite porous and not very strong. This is where a strict cane selection process is critical. The quality of cane mallets being produced around the world has decreased dramatically over the past few years. Really "good" canes are few and far between.
Wood Mallets formed a joint venture factory in Jakarta in 1990 to process polo canes for export. Since then a large proportion of the factory's revenue has come from the manufacture of cricket bat handles which have been made from the excess root cane. As we use only 3% of the root canes for polo mallets, it's crucial that we have a use for the left over canes. Over the years, our Indonesian partners have scoured the whole of Indonesia for the most suitable canes available and they've built up a large network of suppliers. Quality control is imperative. The selection process is always done by myself. We supply a growing number of polo mallet makers around the world with good quality canes in a semi processed form.
To discuss your requirements email George.
The most preferred timber for mallet heads is Argentine Tipa. Each year we purchase some 5,000 blocks/cigars from Argentina prior to manufacture in New Zealand. Heads are made to a cigar pattern in weights of 185 grams and upwards, For head weights of less than 185 grams we can also laminate tipa on the hitting surfaces and use a cross laminated central core which allows for a large diameter, strong head with weights as light as 170 grams. The most popular head weight used is around 195-200 grams. For further information regarding heads click here.
Every aspect of the mallet may be custom made exactly to the customer's requirements at no extra charge. The handles are available in a range of sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. Unless specified, the slings are kept at 19 1/2" long. Imported Argentine material is used for the grip.
The art of a mallet maker is to match the tension and weight of each cane to exactly the right weight head to produce the perfect balance that makes the mallet feel like a natural extension of the arm. Having played 38 seasons of polo, I am well aware of this requirement.
Gold Bands - Private bin.
For true connoisseurs, we have a "private bin" of mallets which are selected from the top 10-20% of our canes. Each cane must display the exceptional qualities normally only reserved for a privileged few. I personally guarantee that the quality of these mallets is as high as can be found anywhere in the world. Known as "Gold Bands" they're priced accordingly at NZ$180.00 each plus shipping. Below is an image of a typical selection of the canes we have in stock.