Spray Tacky May Be Limiting Your Hammer Marks

Spray Tacky May Be Limiting Your Hammer Marks

When it comes to the highland games, there are many ways to skin a cat; so many different events with different techniques, there’s plenty of ways to make a big throw. Yet, in the hammer, what is best when it comes to tacky? That’s right; let’s address, in my mind, a growing concern of mine in the games today. The great debate – spray tacky vs solid tacky.

Now, don’t get me wrong, spray tacky has its place in my bag (great for caber), but your very greatest hindrance in the hammers may be the tacky you are using. I’ve been telling throwers for a while now not to use spray tacky on the hammers, giving them a myriad of reasons why it’s bad, so I thought I’d jot them down and share them. You know, from the old thrower in his rocking chair, about to ride off into the sunset.

In my recollection, there are only two men who have used spray tacky and thrown really far with it (more on that 120’/145’ heavy hammer and light hammer club coming in a future article). Nathan Burchett (119’ and 145’) and Eric Frasure (123’ and 147’?). I know both of these men personally and have thrown with them for years, and well, they’re freaks. We cannot try to do what they do! They are the only two I’ve seen, or know of, to hit the 120’/145’ club (or close) using spray tacky.

The tangible reasons why, I believe, you shouldn’t use spray tacky over old school (solid) tacky.
        1. Inferior Grip. Simply put, you cannot get the same strength of grip with the spray tacky. The old school rock rosin and turpentine mix is vastly stronger than the spray stuff you get for cheap at the hardware store. Don’t think grip is important? It is. The better your tacky sticks, the longer and more relaxed you can keep your arms and the faster you can go. I’m no physics professor, but longer arms + speed = greater distance.
        2. Gummy Handles. One of the most frustrating things about spray tacky is how gummy it leaves the handles. Guys start spraying the handle up and down and after a couple of throwers, that handle is a rubber, gummy mess. This, in turn, not only makes it slick for you when you throw, but everyone! And, let me tell you, the solid tacky guys hate it.
        3. Airline Problems. Two years ago, I received a letter from TSA telling me that since they had found my caber spray tacky more than a few times and confiscated it, I was on a “watch list” of sorts. Turns out, they don’t like you to fly with it, but they’ll leave your maple syrup looking solid tacky alone.
        4. Cheap purchase, cheap product. Now, this is where things make more sense. You see, we are a society of convenience and speed, so, it’s much easier to get some spray from Lowe’s or Home Depot than to either make your own tacky or buy it online (which I recommend). I’ve been buying my tacky from Brent Abbot for years, and I love his stuff. There are multiple other resources out there online for tacky, folks, and solid tacky is well worth the wait and investment.
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**Need more technical insight? Get my book here**

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