Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?
I used to go into Billy Hyde's and seek out the lightest drum sticks in the shop to compensate for the fact that I was trying to adjust to lounge and light jazz with rock klutz hands. I started with Vic Firth Kid Sticks - I actually managed to get used to them but not recommended for adults (though they were high quality for what they were).
I tried dozens of 7As and easily the best extra light 7A I've tried were the Zildjian Artist Series Bill Stewart signature 7As. Didn't see them in the shop for a year before it shut down. Not sure if they're still being made .... I probably should be writing to Zildjian about it.
In anticipation of my fave sticks being phased out (according to Murphy's Law) I'm currently acclimatising to Boso 7A bamboo sticks, which are so light that they require adjustment even after using the Bill Stewarts.
Apart from hoping to get set with a stick that won't get phased out 5 minutes after I form a bond with it, a good thing about bamboo is it's very hard and tough and the bead seems to be staying firm for longer than hickory. The downside is it doesn't draw some of the rich deeper tones from the drums and ride, so a better bet for sensible drummers (haha) would be the light Boso Strata 5As, which have a bit more weight behind them.
Not sure if the $14.50 is expensive for you. Even with the shipping costs to Oz they were a tad cheaper than the sticks in Hydes.