Players and ponies are not the only important ones when playing on the field—the gear you use plays a significant role in your performance. As such, scouring for the best items that fit a player’s body and function is a priority and shouldn’t be settled for less.
For instance, a polo player’s mallet. As Aubone Polo Mallets’ owner Tomas Aubone says, this tool plays a crucial role in one’s overall effectiveness. “There would be no polo without the mallet,” he adds, pointing out its role as a true extension of the player’s arm.
The mallet expert further explains how several elements take into account when in a game, like your position, the horses, the opposing team, and the basic strategy. Thus, his company’s goal is to eliminate the mallet from that equation, so that a player can focus on the game and their performance without distraction.
To shed light on the matter, POLO LADY asked Tomas for his thoughts on finding the perfect mallet as well as its proper care and usage. If you’re struggling to obtain the right-fitting mallet or just on the lookout for the next stick to swing for an upcoming tournament, read on for some helpful advice from the trade master himself.
Go for what feels right
“When choosing a polo mallet, there are certain criteria that must be taken into account—the weight of the mallet that’s usually determined by a player’s size and strength, the flexibility of the cane, and finding the correct handle size. But it’s simply a matter of what feels most comfortable in their hand. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.”
Test the mallet
“Finding the perfect mallet is a matter of trial and error. It is an endeavor that each player must make on their own. Through experience, one will get an understanding of personal preference based on what works best for them. This is why players often experiment with different variables in an attempt to enhance their performance.”
Keep it in tip-top shape
“Taking care of polo mallets is simple; they must be kept in a mild and dry climate. The heat and humidity can warp the cane and dry them out, making it difficult to hit the ball and putting them at greater risk of breaking. The best way to store a polo mallet is by hanging it by its head, so the initials are facing you.”
Always do a mallet check
“Polo is an intense and sometimes even rough sport. Like any rough sport, a player’s gear will suffer from wear and tear. The polo mallet is no exception. It is very common for a cane to split or break, but luckily, almost every element of the mallet can be replaced or repaired. The best way to know if a mallet should be replaced, repaired, or discarded is by evaluating its contribution to the overall performance. After all, it is a tool—and if that tool no longer serves its purpose or doesn’t serve as well as it should, then it may be time to look for a replacement.”
Get to know your mallet better
“Not only do we make mallets, but we use them. The only way to truly understand the importance of the mallet and its function is by using it in a game.”
Photos courtesy of Aubone Polo Mallets
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.