Shot Surfaces Simplified!
At first glance, some may think that all shots serve the same purpose. However, this isn't necessarily the case at all, as you'll soon find out later in this blog!
At Neuff, we sell shots from a variety of brands. Not only this, they all come in different sizes and surfaces too. It is vital to determine which shot you will find easiest to use when it comes to using your shot, especially where surface is concerned.
But why should it matter when it comes to figuring out which shot to buy? We'll give you a better idea of the reasons behind this by comparing some of the shots we sell online…
Finding the Right Shot Surface
Not everyone has the same preference where texture is concerned. At Neuff, we stock shots that can cater to everyone's needs and preferences.
Texture and surface is a factor that can certainly affect someone's personal preference, as some may prefer a rougher feel to their equipment. In contrast, others may enjoy smoother, more delicate surfaces instead.
Let's take a look at the surface texture of stainless steel shot, for example…
Stainless Steel Shot
The Nelco and ATE stainless steel shots are incredibly smooth and are great for those who aren't comfortable with the feel of more rugged shots. However, it's not easy to grip stainless steel compared to other shots we sell, so some athletes scuff them by rolling them down the pavement or such before the first use. Of course, after they have been put a few times, the surface will develop scratches naturally.
Polanik's stainless steel shot has somewhat of a different feel to other stainless steel shots. They have a more brushed surface, which has a texture far more similar to their powder-coated steel shot. You may prefer this surface if you prefer more feedback on your fingers, but want to stick with the stainless steel construction.
Another aspect of stainless steel shots worth mentioning is that stainless steel is much softer than other alloys used in shot. If they land on stonier surfaces, they're more likely to dent, and large dents can mean they won't be legal for competitions, so they are probably not the best choice if your training sector is particularly stony! This is even more true for brass shot, which is the softest kind and therefore not an option we offer as we don't believe they provide sufficient durability.
Painted Shot (Steel or Alloy Turned or Cast Shot)
Painted shot can be cast or turned to various sizes, and use different alloys inside, which is a crucial consideration for which type to choose. There are a few key differences between what's on offer…
- Cast shots are the cheapest and are essentially like a cannonball. As these are cast, not turned, they have a slightly rougher surface than other Neuff shots.
- Conquest and Classic shot are turned in a manner which gives them a smoother finish. The main difference between them is that Classic are turned to a specific diameter, whereas Conquest are standard sizes.
- Steel shots are turned from a denser alloy and can therefore be offered in smaller diameters. See our forthcoming blog on how to choose the size of your shot for more info!
However, if we focus here on the surface texture, the different manufacturers have very different paint finishes, so there is still a lot of choice between the different types.
ATE and Nelco shots have a very glossy look to them as you can see in the images above. Some types come in a wide range of colours, which can be useful if you want to identify your shot amongst the competition pool, or want to coordinate to your kit!
This glossy finish gives a very smooth surface, although the rougher surface of the cast implements does show through to a certain extent.
Remember though, that paint can unfortunately chip, especially with heavy usage, or when putting onto rough ground. Over time, if your shot is close to the minimum weight required for competitions and substantial amounts of paint chip off, there is a chance your shot could become underweight, so you would be unable to use the shot in competition. However, they are relatively easy to re-paint, and you can also top up the weight of turned shot - see our 'How to…' videos for instructions!
Polanik Steel Shot
The Polanik painted shot has an entirely different surface. It is powder-coated rather than painted, which gives a far more textured feel, despite still being smooth. You can see in the image that it has a matte rather than glossy finish. The manufacturing process also attaches the paint more securely to the surface of the shot, which makes it significantly more durable.
Old Style Options for Athletes
There are also other shots we stock that are VERY different when it comes to surface. One of these is the ATE Aspero…
Perhaps one of our most unique shots, the Aspero is essentially an "old style" product developed in response to customer demand. Similar to the Polanik Majewski Old School shot, it's favoured by athletes for its texture. Therefore, it is usable right out of the box and does not require pre-scuffing like a stainless steel implement, but it will still wear like any shot landing on hard ground. It gives good grip and feedback when using it in training or competitions.
As you can see, it's also very visually different. If appearance is important to you, this could do the trick in helping you stand out from the other athletes in your field!
What About Grip for Athletes?
There is a range of grip products available for shot (see our review), and you will need to experiment to find your ideal combination. You will probably find that you require less grip product for the rougher surfaces, and more for a shinier finish. Bear in mind that chalk grip, for example, will embed itself in all tiny scratches and crevices, providing a good grip on even the shiniest surfaces, whereas a Polanik implement or the Aspero is likely to need less.
What Shot Should You Choose? Stainless Steel, Painted, Nelco, ATE, Polanik... or Something Else?
Hopefully, after reading this blog, you should now have a better understanding of what each shot surface can provide you with!
So what are the main questions you should ask yourself?
- Do you like a smooth metal finish or do you prefer painted?
- How much texture do you like?
- What grip product will you use?
- What is the ground surface on your training sector?
Once you've found the answers to these questions, picking the right shot should be a breeze! However, if you would like further information about our shots, please get in touch with us at either firstname.lastname@example.org, or 01752 893742. We look forward to hearing from you!