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Clash of the bamboo? Clare company develops sustainable alternative to ash hurls

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Clare star Seadna Morey is pictured launching the new Torpey Bambú hurl

Clare star Seadna Morey is pictured launching the new Torpey Bambú hurl

Clare star Seadna Morey is pictured launching the new Torpey Bambú hurl

Everyone has heard the famous clash of the ash coming from GAA grounds the length and breadth of the country but could they soon be hearing the clash of the bamboo?

Several attempts have been made to create an ash substitute and the latest innovation has seen renowned hurley makers Seán and John Torpey develop hurls made from bamboo which they believe to be "genuine natural alternatives" to the norm.

The Clare hurley makers have spent six years creating Torpey Bambú having examined materials from around the world with Loughborough University in England's East Midlands providing valuable input to the unique project.

Scientific and material testing was undertaken at the prestigious UK sports university and the Clare natives are delighted to "produce a hurley of the highest quality from a performance and sustainability perspective".

With dwindling quantities of ash in Ireland and the bulk of hurley makers importing from countries like Poland, a natural replacement was sought and the Torpeys have received glowing praise from several top inter-county hurlers.

Clare stars David Reidy, David Fitzgerald and Seadna Morey insist that they will make a permanent change to ensure that the Torpey Bambú is their number one stick when games resume with Reidy particularly happy having initially been sceptical given ash'slong and storied hurling history.

"When I saw the new Bambú hurley first, I was apprehensive. I had questions straight away. It was not ash. Will the striking be okay? Will my touch be the same? Will the balance of the hurley be the same?" Reidy said.

"After a couple of trainings sessions, all my questions were answered. It is next to impossible to tell the difference between an ash hurley and the new Bambú hurleys. If anything, my striking is smoother, my touch is the same and the balance is superior.

"It is easy to make the new Bambú hurley to your liking, the exact thickness, the exact weight you want and a second hurley the exact same as your number one hurley. Club championship is a matter of weeks away and you will see me using the new Bambú hurleyfrom the first minute.”

Clare captain John Conlon also makes favourable comparisons between Bambú and ash hurls with their strength and durability impressing him as he continues his recovery from cruciate knee ligament surgery.

"I have been using it for a number of months and found the strike, touch and balance of the hurley to be very similar to ash hurleys. One thing that really impressed me was the durability of the hurley!!" Conlon said.

Torpeys are not the first to develop an alternative to ash with former Dublin hurling star Ryan O'Dwyer using a Cultec hurl, made from fibreglass by an Offaly-based company, throughout his career in the capital.

Former Waterford star Tom Devine also made the switch to a composite hurley – made from synthetic material by Mycro – when lining out for the Déise in the Munster SHC two years ago.

Torpey hope that their creation can "allow players to take their performance to the next level" with pre-orders for Torpey Bambú taken through their workshop in Sixmilebridge as well as online at torpeyhurleys.com/shop/bambu

Online Editors