This has also been my experience with Vater sticks. I have a still new backup pair on my bass drum, and the pair in use which just keeps going and going and....Well, for years using primarily VF sticks, the wood tips would typically go well before the body of the stick was excessively worn. Once the tip was split, the stick would get tossed. I switched to Vater 5Bs 5-6 months ago, and am still on the first pair. Lots of home practice, multiple band rehearsals, and 1 gig. The tips are 100% intact; I am shocked. I don’t kill my drums but I do play a fair amount of rimshots. The shaft is just starting to splinter, so these will be going in the fire pit in the near future. Astounded at the durability of the wood tips on these Vater 5Bs; I sure hope this is the norm!
And that "significant reduction in mass" affects not only playability but also shock absorption. As mass decreases, your hands are vulnerable to greater forces on impact. Even with a loose grip, persistent exposure can take its toll.When I compared the retired sticks to the "new" sticks, I discovered a significant reduction in mass around the stick shoulder. I'll probably retire the sticks sooner next time . . .
I recently retired a pair of Jojos that lasted me a year. When I picked up a new pair that I'd bought years ago, the white paint already turning yellow from just sitting around waiting its turn, the weight and feel of the stick were off. When I compared the retired sticks to the "new" sticks, I discovered a significant reduction in mass around the stick shoulder. I'll probably retire the sticks sooner next time, rather than sanding off the splinters.
When I was playing jazz, the Peter Erskine's lasted past the no-tip all the way to the shaft break. No guilt in replacing a stick there.
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I don't actually throw mine away. Maybe I think I'll be famous one day. But I'm starting to wonder if the ones on the left, which are considerably lighter, could be repurposed as jazz sticks. What could be used to seal the splinters after a mild sanding? I've already fixed cracked sticks with wood glue.This is a great photo comparison. I toss the sticks when they look like the ones all the way on the left.