Meet The Alula
It’s no secret that we love building sticks. We find an incredible amount of joy in the process of bringing a stick to life and seeing it in the hands of players all over the world. There’s nothing more fun for us than watching an idea, one that started as a napkin sketch, go on and score the game winning goal under the lights. The finest sticks in the world focus on every single step of the process and dive deep into the details. From our experience, growing up with the game, we’ve found that magic lives inside those small design decisions that are made along the way.
From the tip of the scoop to the base of the end cap, everything little thing matters - EVERYTHING. We have a saying around here, “the big is in the little.” We celebrate each and every microscopic element of a stick build and believe that this way of thinking produces a better end product. This ethos speaks to an attitude that refuses to settle for satisfactory and instead aims at extraordinary.
When it came to the design of our very first women’s stick we focused heavily on what players were in search of. We went through several rounds of meetings with focus groups and held on-field brain pickin’ sessions with some of the top players in the world. This felt like the best and only place to start. Understanding function goals and performance details is the correct way to begin a build.
After this heavy research period it was finally time to meet with the engineering team. It was here, in these meetings, that we made the decision to aim at bringing a women’s stick to market that is an all-purpose machine. A stick that can do it all and fit every players needs, regardless of position and playing style. All function and no fluff.
We started with the importance of ball control, balance and release. So much performance enhancement comes from the scoop angle and finding the sweet spot that gives the player the ultimate hold and the quickest release. For this we looked to the greatest artist and designer of all time - mother nature. This is where things got interesting and fun!
Our research led us to investigate the art of flight, modern birds and wing construction in particular. Every feather plays a role in a birds ability to maneuver in the air and much of the manipulation comes from their natural ability to adjust angle.
We looked at some of the most nimble and fastest fliers in the world like the peregrine falcon who can reach speeds up to 247 miles per hour. How do birds that can fly this fast remain in control? What part of the wing is responsible for accuracy of attack, landing and lift? This is really when the women’s head came into view and when it’s name was born.
Along the top edge of most birds wings there is freely moving digit called the “alula” that usually has 3 to 5 feathers depending upon the species. The alula acts similar to a vortex generator that holds air close against the wing that aids in flight control, angle of attack and landing. Most modern day planes have mimicked the work of the alula with a component they call the “leading edge slot” that serves a similar function.
When you look at the Alula head from the side you will see our inspiration clearly. Reviewing wing angle in photographs of birds approaching an attack we noticed a common theme. A steep angle and the pronounced alula along the anterior edge. Our women’s head applies those two elements and we’ve found it to serve multiple functions when it comes to how a stick is balanced and how it functions in real game play. The pronounced sections along the bottom rail act as “draw claws” that aid in control on draws for those players that like to dig in, push and pull.
Aside from the angle we thinned out the head just above the scoop angle to improve shot speed, allow for greater pocket depth and create a quicker release. After working with our stringing specialists it was apparent that we needed to place the stringing holes in the perfect location so that the ball would naturally rest just above that angle and create maximum torque on shots.
On an aesthetic level the Alula carries over some design elements of her older brother, the Pioneer. The Alula is just a bit more of a wild child with a more aggressive and faster looking strut design. Recessed interior stringing cavities improve string life and of course our signature jewels and ball stops bring a pop to the throat. Right now, at the time of launch, we offer the Alula is five different head colors that allow for self expression and wide customization.
Finally, we’ve collaborated with a new company just south of our HQ, Armor Mesh, to develop a pocket specifically designed for the Alula. Every piece of Armor Mesh is hand laced, which for us is something that is very important. Every stick that leaves our HQ has been handled by several different craftsman and artists throughout the process to ensure they arrive at your door ready to perform.
We couldn’t be happier to enter the women’s game at this exciting moment in time. The women’s game is absolutely exploding in popularity - and for good reason. It’s fast, exciting and the stick work is unmatched. The game in many ways is like that peregrine falcon, with wings tight to the body, ripping through the air at an incredible rate of speed.
Please feel free to shop around and take a look at the Alula in all of its colors and variations.