Reviewer: Bob Hubbard
Item Reviewed: 26” length, 1” thickness
Where to Buy: http://www.durattan.com/
Cost as Reviewed: $23 US + S/H
Durattan is a synthetic rattan substitute. Made from a high tech plastic,
the intent of it’s creators is to offer the Filipino martial artist
an affordable and durable training tool that can take the abuse that
we “stick jocks” inflict on our gear, thereby saving our
good rattan sticks for special occasions. I received a pair of these
stick replacements and put them through their paces for 2 weeks.
The weight of each stick was a little heavier than my regular sticks.
After doing some informal weight checks (ie balancing them in each hand)
against both my own sticks and several different hardwoods, I came to
the conclusion that the Durattan stick is a comfortable middleweight.
A little heavier than the same size rattan, a little lighter than the
same size hard wood. Over all, the weight was comfortable.
Balance was excellent. The symmetry of the product allows for a more
consistent balance compared to similar rattan, and again was on par
with good hardwoods. Twirling and swinging felt comparable to rattan.
If anything, it felt a hair better, due to the symmetry in weight and
length of the Durattan unlike real rattan which has sometimes noticeable
variations between the 2 sticks being used.
The surface is a fairly smooth semi-gloss.
The feel was quite comfortable. Due to its plastic nature, those with
sweaty hands might want to wrap some athletic grip tape around the end
they will hold it by. Other than that, it felt quite proper in my hand.
One of the big pluses of rattan is the good impact dampening effect
it has on strikes. Where as a hard wood can allow a lot of the force
of a strike to travel into the body, rattan absorbs it and softens it.
Durattan doesn’t quite have the impact absorption properties of
real rattan, but it does absorb better than hardwoods. I’d qualify
it as being about in the middle, maybe a little closer to rattan than
hardwood. I tested this by doing repeated strikes against a body dummy
and numerous striking drills against rattan, hardwood and another Durattan
stick. I compared my findings with my partner and we were in agreement
on how each felt compared to the others.
Overall Product Appearance:
Durattan currently only comes in white. The sticks are reasonable smooth
(semi gloss), and mostly straight. The pair I received had some minor
warping which I didn’t expect in a synthetic. It didn’t
affect their balance or functionality. On the pair that I received,
there was a minor angle on the end cuts (not perfectly square). I notified
the company about this and the distortion. They replied that the off
cuts were due to an earlier cutting process and had since been solved.
The warping/distortion is due to the nature of the material they are
made of. It allows a little flexibility in the material in exchange
for more durability and shock absorption qualities.
After 2 weeks of normal class use, as well as some side drills on my
own, I’ve noticed no damage to them. During heavy hard use, the
sticks tend to distort a little bit. They can easily be straightened
by hand with a little eyeballing. Having used real rattan for the last
few years, the amount of ‘warp’ experienced by Durattan
during use is minimal by comparison.
The delivery of my sticks was prompt. Emails about my initial questions
and concerns were answered promptly and positively.
Durattan offers an affordable and durable rattan substitute for every
day training. While some minor distortions occur during hard use, they
are easily fixed by the practitioner. While initially skeptical, I’ve
come to like the feel of the sticks, and will be using them regularly
in my future classes. If you are looking for a well balanced, durable
and affordable everyday workhorse stick, I recommend giving Durattan
Bob Hubbard is an administrator of the popular martial arts portal
site MartialTalk.com and president
of SilverStar WebDesigns inc.,
a web site design and hosting company specializing in affordable solutions
for martial artists. A student of all the arts, he is currently studying
Bob can be reached at email@example.com.
More of Bob's articles can be found at rustaz.net.
Please contact Bob if you would like him to review your martial arts