I started playing croquet many years ago but only found the time to take it up properly since leaving full time employment in 2010. I soon found that my 25 year old New Zealand made mallet still worked but looked a bit dated compared to what everyone else was using, so I started to think about buying a new one- but what to buy? It then occurred to me, that since my other hobby, cabinet making, had filled the garage with woodworking equipment, I probably had to hand the tools and materials to have a go at making my own.
The first attempt was quite amusing as I rapidly came to discover that shaft material needed to be quite stiff if it was not to wobble like a jelly after hitting a ball. However since carbon fibre is now readily available courtesy of the sailing and fishing community, that problem was quickly overcome.
The next challenge I set myself was how to get the performance that was being achieved using fully synthetic materials and metal, but do it using wood. I settled on a hollow wooden structure which can weigh as little as 250g, with a design that adds weight back just behind the end cap. This maximizes the peripheral weighting, and hence the moment of inertial of the mallet around the shaft.
My early handles were also wood, but that inevitably added weight away from the “business end” of the mallet and so I sought a lighter substitute. I came across a solid foam that seems ideal and this I now use almost exclusively as it can be worked like wood, but weighs only a few grammes, and is most comfortable to hold in wet and dry conditions.
Inevitably other people asked if I could make one for them, and having now supplied quite a few to my own club members, I decided in 2015 to set up this web site and sell them further afield as a micro-business.