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All About Mallets

One of the most important pieces of equipment you will ever buy is the polo mallet.This is because each mallet has different specifications suited to the rider that will help you hit the ball more accurately. The type of mallet you buy will depend on your own strength & the height of the pony you will be riding.

It is a great idea to speak to a professional before buying a mallet. Questions they might ask you will include: What is your height/build? How tall is your pony? How strong are you? What is your glove size? The answers to these questions will indicate what weight & length mallet you need, as well as the handle size.

HOT TIP: The best thing to do before purchasing, is try as many mallets as you can. Ask your polo school or some of the players at your club if you can try their mallets. Mallets are definitely not one size fits all. What's good for other players might not be suitable for you. It really is trial and error. Try different brands, weights, and handle sizes if you can.

The Technical Stuff....

Mallet specifications:

Length: Most mallets come in 3 sizes… 51”, 52” 53”. The 52” is the most popular as it will suit most ponies. If you have a taller pony, say approximately 15.3hh and above, you will want the 53” mallet.

You can also request longer or shorter mallets to be custom made. For example if you have a taller 16hh pony, you may want to try a 54". Mallets can also be made shorter for children.

Head weight: Most mallets start from 160g and go up to 240g (these weights may vary slightly between brands). It is important to get a weight suited to the player. If the mallet is too heavy, this will greatly affect your shot. You will run out of strength and can also hurt your wrist. The lighter weights are suited to players with less strength. If you have a mallet that is too light, this may also throw your shot out. That's why its best to trial as many as you can to see what works for you.

The Shaft: The shaft of the mallet can also add weight. You can find mallets that have a very thick shaft (as seen on the left in the picture below) which is a lot heavier, and also thinner/lighter ones (as seen on the right). This will affect the total weight of the mallet. So don't forget to consider this when gauging the weight of a mallet.

Tip for the ladies: Start off light. If the weight of your mallet is too heavy, it can make it impossible to hit the ball properly and cause injury to your wrist. There is nothing worse than lugging a big heavy mallet around and running out of steam half way through your lesson or chukka.

Handle size: Small, medium and large. This usually depends on the size of your hand. If the handle is too small it has a tendency to turn in your hand as you’re taking the shot. Again, try a few sizes before you buy your mallet to see what's best for you.

Stiffness: There are 3 categories. Stiff, medium stiff and whippy. This is personal preference. Some players love stiff mallets, and some hate them. Our preference is stiffer towards the top half of the mallet, and flexible/bendy from the middle downwards. In our experience, If you have a mallet that is too stiff, it can hurt your elbow later down the track.

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