Got some new polypropylene sticks from manventureoutpost.com (also available on Amazon.com
). I had a friend, Jeremy Michael Jones, who also practices Kali recommend I get them. They're 32" in length and 1" in diameter, manufactured by Cold Steel. I've taken some photos of them next to other weapons so you can compare visually. From the description:
Unlike rattan, it resists mildew, and won’t dry out, warp, crack splinter or shrink, and with the use of a saw, it can easily be modified to any length...
...it is easy to clean and is so resistant to impact stresses and the elements, that it is virtually unbreakable and practically indestructible.
- Heavy. Heavier than my rattan ones. Not surprising given that many natural woody materials have a very high strength-to-weight ratio. Even my 1 1/2" diameter rattan sticks are lighter than these and these new ones that are only 1" diameter. To me this is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
- Good quality. They feel solid, sturdy, etc. In the photo you may notice that they look like they're put together in sections, but they are one solid piece. I think the sections are for grip and visual purposes.
- Slightly flexible. They slightly more bendy than rattan. I've never used white wax wood, but from what I've seen of it in videos this seems pretty similar. If you're used to rattan they feel fine.
- Look great. Visually, out of the box, they look fantastic. Would probably be excellent for demos.
- Vibration normal. Feedback from stick-to-your-hand is about the same as rattan. I was worried about this when I bought them because I've used some materials that are very poor in this regard. I give these a thumbs up so far.
- not rattan. Bamboo tapers in and out at each 'seam', while rattan doesn't. it's not as significant as the bamboo taper though. Makes me think maybe the designer didn't know what rattan was, but I like the grip better. Bob Ross would call it a happy little mistake.
- Durable, but to what end? I'm very skeptical about this claim. I gave them a few hard whacks on each other as well as with another rattan stick. Obviously they won't splinter, but after a good hard hit there is (of course) noticeable wear. I would imagine you could wear these down to a much smaller diameter eventually, but it would probably take awhile, but certainly less than a lifetime. Whoever deemed these "practically indestructible" probably has not met a serious Kali practitioner. We'll see though, maybe I'm way off and they'll out-live me.
- Probably can't carve a handle into them.. although you probably wouldn't want to with 1" diameter.
- If you use larger sticks (over 1" diameter) for conditioning reasons you'll probably be fine with these. While they're easier to hold, they're certainly heavier.
- I hit my hands and limbs a bunch with them. They hurt more than rattan, but not by much.
- Cost-wise these need to last 50-300% (.5-3x) longer than a rattan stick to be worth it for training. While I question their "indestructibleness" I do think they'll probably last longer. They're about $16-20 each wherever you buy them online. I looked a lot of places and basically anywhere you buy them they come out to about $45/pair including shipping.
Editor's opinion: Highly Recommended.