We get a number of questions about the different hurley cuts and why they are different as much as how they are different. Here is our brief take on the matter:
The Maher Wexford Cut is the most balanced, “Middle-of-the-Road” option of the 3 profiles when comparing how pronounced the heel and toe are. The Wexford Cut also features the smallest overall bas profile in terms of surface area, allowing for quicker stick maneuvering but slightly less surface area for soloing.
The Maher Cork Cut provides the most pronounced heel and least pronounced toe of the 3 profiles. The more pronounced heel is more conducive to ground-striking and sideline cuts due to the typical nature and mechanics of those strikes. The Cork Cut also features the roundest overall shape.
The Maher Kilkenny Cut provides the most pronounced toe, along with the widest neck of the sticks. The profile is more conducive to blocking and lifts with the manner in which it widely swoops and fans out towards the toe. The slightly wider toe and more forward placement also make it slightly easier to jab lift on the run.
All sticks are roughly the same thickness and all beveled edges leading towards the toe of the bas begin at roughly the same position. There has been no small amount of misinformation on this topic with some persons going so far as to decry a particular cut as deficient and fragile.
This is absurd and defies common sense. If a hurley craftsman were to make a hurley as described, so thin it was prone to break and so on, they would very quickly not be selling much of anything. Let's take a quick look at a random selection of 34" sticks:
First we'll look at the Cork cut:
Clocking in at 0.758" just a bit over 3/4 of an inch. Pretty sturdy. Now the Wexford cut:
The Wexford measures 0.765" or a whopping 7 thousandths thicker. That's about 2 sheets of paper thicker than the Cork. Finally, the Kilkenny cut:
The Kilkenny cut actually is thicker still at 0.808" which is about 5 hundredths of an inch thicker than the Cork, or about 11 sheets of paper.
The ash hurley consumer needs to additionally consider that the product is made of natural materials and shaped according to a specific performance metric. There will be variation. None of which implies either a superior or inferior product simply due to measurement.
That being said, Paul Maher is one of exceedingly few craftsmen part of the Irish Guild of Ash Hurley Makers, subject of a highly viewed documentary series, and and absolute subject matter expert. Do you know where your hurley really comes from? We do.
*All statements regarding bas profiles are the opinion of the U.S. Hurling & Supply Co. staff based on consultation, playing experience, extensive field testing, lab examination, common sense, and deductive reasoning.