There is a serious problem with the production and supply of ash at the moment…
For years, people have heard about the difficulty that Irish hurley manufacturers are having when trying to get ash. It became increasingly difficult to obtain. When it did arrive, the additional costs were transferred onto the buyer, leading to the cost of the hurley increasing.
It came as a shock to many when Canning Hurley’s in Galway were forced to stop production due to the issue. They were forced to “close business” which was a “very difficult decision to make” after eleven years in business.
This move was followed by Maher hurleys in Tipperary but even though Maher hurleys insisted that this was just a “temporary measure”, it does further highlight the problems that currently exist for Irish hurley manufacturers.
One hurley manufacturer in Wexford, Junior’s Hurleys, may have found an answer to the major ash problem facing Irish hurley manufacturers right now.
Junior, who is based in the Davidstown area of Wexford, has created the EVO21.
Although he insists that he is just a one-man band, he did have the foresight to test alternative methods. We asked him if he was expecting this to happen as soon as it did:
“I have being testing all sorts of different types of hurls for 2.5 years so I was expecting it to be honest. The problems came sooner than I thought, but luckily I was ready” he said, speaking to Wexford Weekly.
Junior arrived at the “finished product” of EVO21 just yesterday, but it was not all smooth sailing:
“It was all trial and error. Keep innovating to improve every time a problem showed up. I couldn’t have got there without the honest opinions of the lads that tried them. There’s only one way to test them and that’s in a game and during training,” he said.
Despite the issue with ash, the main ingredient in EVO21 is still wood. It is not a plastic hurl, nor is it a composite, and Junior Hurleys states that the “secret ingredients” in them, which are now “patent-protected”, will encourage people to purchase them.
Sales for the new hurleys are going “better than expected,” he said. “I thought that when still ash around lads would be unwilling to try something new,” but that has not deterred people and the feedback he is getting is positive.
“The strike is better than ash. This aids in making the game easier especially when striking on the run. Likewise, control is better than ash because of the coating. It has improved hurling and camogie players strike; that’s the feedback I’m getting,” he told Wexford Weekly.
They’re currently on sale from Davidstown, Wexford.
“Anything up to 28 is €35 including grip and band if needed. The Senior hurls are €40 including grip and band, while goalies are +€5,” he said.
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