Ever the innovators, Vic Firth has come out with new sticks - the Freestyle series!
We first found the Freestyle sticks in a new VF catalog, looking for new items to order. There's nothing like expanding variety, and we all appreciate something new. The specs on the Freestyle sticks really caught my eye- they're 17" long! That's a half-inch longer than the Extremes. Only a few combo sticks that Vic makes are that long, as most of them lie in the Marching and Symphonic category.
Looking further into the drumsticks, I found that the name Freestyle is in reference to.....longboards? Now, I know what you're thinking, but I'm not talking about DW 9000's or Axis pedals. I'm talking long skateboards, and as someone who uses a long skateboard, longboard, this made me pretty skeptical. Here's how they put it:
Sure, I get it. The length gives you the ability to expand your movement. The "sweet spot" most sticks have is a lot longer than normal. This comes from the extra-long tapers.
We all enjoyed playing the Freestyle sticks. What I like about the Freestyle sticks is it's not a one-off model number. They make 5A, 5B, 55A, 7A and 85A. I'm pretty boring, as my favorite stick still is a Vic Firth 5A Classic! When I played the Freestyle 5A, my first thought was Maple, though it's Hickory. The stick feels lighter....but it's not. It really is that expanded fulcrum, and the supreme balance of the stick makes it feel "lighter" in your hand. The length adds to the controlled feel. Going back to normal 5A's, I felt encroached by the small sweet spot and stubby length.
Here's the length and taper difference between the 5A and Freestyle 5A. Also check out the Hybrid Tip (Freestyle) vs. the standard Tear Drop (5A)
I think that Freestyle sticks could be used in just about any setting, unless you need nylon tips. The tip is Vic Firth's "Hybrid" tip, which focuses on versatility. The feeling of control would benefit fast changes and improvisation.
If you want to buy a pair to check them out, please contact us! We've been stocking the 5A and 7A versions, but we can order the other three easily.
Stay Safe and Healthy.