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Croquet Mallets

Selecting croquet mallets for the game is best approached with an expert’s help. The reasons are fairly obvious. Since your croquet mallet is your primary accessory, selecting the correct one is key in playing your best game and winning. A professional can advise you on which croquet mallets are probably most appropriate for your skill level, age and physique (which go hand in hand) and ease of play. Several of the croquet mallet’s attributes should be considered in this quest.

Level of play
If you are a beginner or if selecting croquet mallets for your children, the type and size of croquet mallets will vary markedly from those of an adult, especially if he or she is a seasoned pro or competitor. Using quality equipment and accessories is key, of course, to keep it useful for years. Since croquet-playing, like croquet mallets and sets, are quite often handed down from elders to kids for several generations in a family, it’s worth the money to get quality croquet mallets that will stand the test of time.

As you’ll likely be playing croquet for years - most people and their kids get rather hooked on it after a short try - it’s recommended to avoid “cheapie” croquet mallets, as they are probably not going to hold up to play for very long. Good hardwood mallets, handmade to the highest specifications, are the most frequent choice of professionals, although some select metallic composite and other materials.
The requirements considered for buying croquet mallets for beginners are different, and you need not select from quite as involved a selection, as younger players often want to get their own personal mallet, eventually. More simple croquet mallets - such as the ones in the Jaques of London Playmate Croquet Set or their Holmwood Croquet Set - will be a bit more simple in design, lighter in weight and narrower in head size, and they’ll have shorter shafts to match younger players’ arm lengths.

Serious players’ mallets
Competition croquet mallets, on the other hand, such as those found in the Jaques Association Croquet Set or their Sandringham or Balmoral versions, are made to withstand the harder shooting of serious long-time players. Serious or competitive playing often involves more “roquet” shots hitting other players’ balls, and tighter playing of balls can occasionally mean a mallet strikes the wickets or hoops through which balls are struck to gain points.
More frequent playing, of course, takes its toll on equipment, and top-tier players are at the game constantly, even touring the world for various competitions. Croquet mallets for these dedicated, constant players will often have metal rings around them for reinforcement, serious mallet head surfaces with concentric circles for more accurate shooting at distance, and a variety of shaft options as well as grip materials.

Manufacturers of distinction
There are many companies that make croquet mallets, but not all have been at it for over 200 years, as has Jaques of London. Jaques is known for their wide selection of quality croquet mallets, croquet sets and accessories. This has been the case since John Jaques introduced croquet at the 1851 Great Exhibition in England, making the game an instant European and worldwide hit. Being the first game that allowed men and women to play together openly, especially unusual during Victorian times, helped popularise the game of croquet.
With croquet now being played in countries around the world, players are wise to rely on professionals who have been producing superior croquet mallets the old-fashioned way, with handmade, artisan expertise. Using durable hardwoods such as English Sports Ash, known for its strength and durability, is a Jaques standards for many of their mallets. Lignum Vitae, another premier wood, is employed for other croquet mallets. In addition, many of Jaques of London’s premier croquet mallets feature Tuftex faces, for even longer life and resistance to the wear of constant play.

Mallet Shaft and Head
While croquet mallet shaft (or ”handle”) length is a personal choice, don’t “buy short,” as you cannot lengthen a shaft; getting a slightly too long shaft allows you to cut it down a bit, if needed. If you can’t get to a croquet club to sample several different length shafts, gauge your length by adding about an inch to the height from the ground of your hanging wrist, while standing.
Be aware that the above rule includes the depth of the croquet mallet’s head, not just the distance to it. The longer the shaft length, the more manipulation you’ll have for many shots. A rather short shaft will limit double-handed minor shifts in shooting that might hamper your better shooting, especially for fast-lawn or long shots.

Croquet mallets come with heads in either cylindrical shapes or square ones. Again, it’s a personal taste, and trying several out will help. Since a square head can offer more pliancy with some shots, it’s often the favorite pick of serious players, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Most beginner sets include croquet mallets with cylindrical heads, while top-notch collector’s deluxe sets such as the Jaques Great Exhibition set, a luxurious collection of mallets and accessories, offers a selection of square-shaped faces and cylindrical ones, for better and intermediate players to join in together.

Mallet handles and grips
Choose croquet mallets that are made with grip materials that allow for easy hand movements for delicate, but will not slip out of your hand for harder, long shots which require more power and thrust. Takair grips are popular for their durability, great ease of gripping and comfort over long games.
Corrugated croquet mallet handle provide a gentle grip, allowing for gentle handling, so many leisure players use it. Corrigrip handles, particularly, offer this kind of comfortable hold onto the shaft. Another popular design is the octagonally cut handle, which can give a player more dexterity for deft twisting when shooting around closely gathered balls of opponents.
Selection abounds if you choose to buy your croquet mallets from a trusted maker that has a wide selection, such as Jaques of London. If you’re buying gifts for your kids or those of friends and relatives, or need to replace some family favorites, remember that Jaques of London also produces innumerable outdoor games such as Badminton, Family Backyard Quoits and others, as well as countless best-loved indoor games, including Ping Pong, Chess, Mancala, Checkers, Cribbage and Classic 3D Tic tac Toe.

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