Down through the years there has been plenty of discussion and debate about which hurley manufacturer is the best around.
Although the majority of opinion is based entirely on the person’s own specific taste, we have created a list of what we believe are the best hurleys in Ireland.
No doubt this debate will continue for some time yet…
6. Cultec Hurleys
Almost everyone has had a ‘go’ of a Cultec fibreglass hurl at some stage. The synthetic hurley is considered to be the next generation hurley with the company noticing a gap in the market, as prices for ash and other imports continue to rise. Cultec hurleys rarely break, and are perfect for kids starting out. Dublin’s Ryan O’Dwyer is the most well-known player to use one. However, they’re not for everyone, as some people still prefer the traditional ‘clash of the ash’.
5. Pat O’Kane Hurls
Based in Derry, Pat O’Kane is undoubtedly one of the best hurley makers around and is deserving of his place at number five. Even though the county of Derry wouldn’t be well-known as a hurling stronghold, they still do supply some top sticks. His set up is great, and he’s a pure gentleman that would have no problem creating any style of hurley you’d like.
4. Brian Walsh Hurleys
Based in Enniscorthy in Wexford, Brian Walsh has to be on this list. Similar to the Kilkenny style, Brian’s hurleys seem to be a very popular hit in Wexford and neighbouring counties. Below is a picture of Wexford GAA star Conor McDonald collecting his bunch of new hurls. Brian often ships in bulk to clubs, far and near, across Ireland.
3. Duggan Hurleys
The Cork-style hurley was inevitably due a mention on this list. The Duggan hurley showcases the unorthodox curve on the bás of the hurl unlike many. Simply, you either love it or you hate it..
2. Torpey Hurleys
The Torpey hurley has been going around a long time but a new and exciting style surfaced on hurling pitches around Tipperary and Munster in 2015. One of the most popular hurley picks in Munster, it’s used by players such as David McInerney, Jamie Barron and Iarla Tannian. Without doubt, the Torpey is a very popular hit amongst many senior inter-county hurlers and would count itself unlucky not to gain the number one spot.
1. Dowling’s (All-Star) Hurleys
Predictably, the Dowling hurley is based in Kilkenny. Often regarded as ‘the star’ hurley, it is without doubt the best hurley in the country. It has a big bás and light handle and since it’s time on the scene, there have been many hurley manufacturers throughout Ireland attempting to replicate its style. These hurleys were used by players such as Henry Shefflin and DJ Carey back in the day, and are still being used by the top hurlers around such as Richie Hogan and Eoin Larkin.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena