I love the sound and feel of dowel drumsticks. From the standard dowel size to the thunder rods, I prefer the weight and feel of these. The problem is I wear them out so quickly and when I pick up a regular pair of hickory sticks, my playing quality seems to go down. The hickory sticks feel so heavy and my playing gets sloppy. I was wondering if the dowel sticks were compensating for my beginner playing ability or should I always play solid drumsticks to get better with them? It is really night and day for me though. With dowel sticks, I am less sloppy, faster around the kit, less mis-hits, etc. I have tried the sold Bamboo Boso sticks and they are lighter. I prefer them over hickory, but still not as much as dowels. I also like the hex grip feel that dowel sticks have vs. round. I have also played the Acoustiks which are plastic over dowels. I did not like the feel and sound of these. I prefer all wood with no plastic. Any suggestions on solid sticks that would incorporate what I like about dowel ones. Hex grip, very light and durable? That would be great for me, I think. Thanks!