© Robert Fenwick Elliott 2005-2006
It is annoying to have a mallet fail, not only because of the need for replacement, but also because players get used to a particular rig, and any change runs the risk of disturbing ones playing technique. But all design advance carries with it some element of stepping into the unknown, and it will be many years before we can be sure that a new design will last for many years. People who use Fenwick Elliott Mallets are, we hope and believe, gaining a head start on those who stick to traditional models - hopefully they will feel comfortable to run the durability risks associated with new designs.
There have been a couple of Series 4 prototype heads that have been used hard for some months before production started. No durability problems have manifested themselves.
In May/June 2006, we had our R&D house make a short run of
series 4 heads: this run had a problem with the fill composite - see note. The heads that have had the suspect fill replaced with the new spec filament fill have experienced no problem - see news.
Trundling with a Series 4
Don't. If you use the side of a Series 4 mallet to hit the ball, the varnish & paint finish is likely to chip. If you use it to hammer in hoops, you might even crack the composite structure.
Our Series 3 heads are certainly less robust than a solid block of timber; the technique of drilling out large lightening holes in the central section and the recesses for the tungsten or steel weights means that there is less mass of wood to sustain repeated impact. Depending on how hard you hit, it is possible that you might start to experience some cracking after a while. If the cracking manifests itself between the metal weights and the faces, this may manifest itself in a loosening of one or more of the weights. Most Series 3 mallets have been in use for a long time, and seem fine; a few others have cracked after a while.
For most people, we believe that the optimum durability will be achieved via the new composite Series 4 heads. For those wedded to the timber Series 3 heads, the 31 Series bolting system should help, and maybe also the composite stretcher system.
There are a few players we have been unable to wean off the Series 3, but we believe that the Series 4 is a better and more durable mallet than the Series 3, and we will thus now only supply the Series 3 by special arrangement.
No durablity isses have arisen with the Series 4 shafts. The worst is that players who whack the shaft into the crowns of hoops may loose a bit of paint off their shaft. That is patina.
If any part of a mallet fails within 12 months of normal use, we will replace it without charge. We reserve the right to supply a later series.