Length and weight of hurley have a tremendous effect on the user. The traditional method of gauging the length of the hurley by matching it to a player’s hip has proved inaccurate and unsuitable. Two players of the same height can have a difference of 4″ or 10 centimetres in hip height.Children and beginners are inclined to go for a longer hurley, the perception being that “the longer the hurley the longer the puck.” The truth is quite the opposite “long hurleys equals no puck” Correct length and weight are more important than previously thought. Top players are now using hurleys 3 inches shorter than their counterparts of the 1960s and 1970s. Time and space are very much reduced, tackling skills are improved; opportunities are lost in a split second if the hurley is not completely manoeuvrable. The game is faster; there are less man to man contests of strength. The hurley that suited those clashes has no bearing on today’s game.
Young children’s wrists and arms are light and fragile. They can only use hurleys that are light and short.
To assess the correct length, a child should stand straight, shoulders square, with hands held loosely by the side. Place the hurley (bas on the ground) by the child’s side. Place your finger horizontally just underneath the grip as shown in the picture. With the correct size hurley, your finger should align with/touch the child’s wrist bone.
If the child can use the hurley like a sword with one hand, it is about the right weight.
Once you have got the size correct, try and go to a specialist hurley shop/supplier and choose from the the lightest hurleys in stock.
Synthetic hurleys from www.cultec.ie are also a good option for younger children. They are light weight with a small grip particularly suited to small hands. They also come in a range of colours!