TREATMENT OF HURLEYS
Hurley sticks are very sensitive to atmospheric conditions. We advise you not to play with an untreated hurley in wet conditions. Untreated hurleys will draw in moisture and when this happens the hurley can become weakened and susceptible to splitting, especially around the toe where the hurley is narrower.
Superficial cracks to the edges and toe are to be expected and can be treated at home by rubbing down with fine sandpaper and applying a light coat of linseed oil to the area.
After a seasons use, it is all to easy to put your hurley in the attic or the garage and forget about them for a few months but please be aware of the potential problems associated with this practice.
If the hurleys are exposed to cold-damp conditions the moisture in the atmosphere will be soaked up by the timber and the hurley can become heavier, the shaft weakened and the hurley stick more prone to breaking.
Conversely, if the hurleys are kept in very dry warm conditions, there is a chance they may dry out diminishing strike ability and leaving them weak and brittle.
The answer is to store them in the house away from radiators or fires, under the stairs is perfect. Put them in a plastic bag, this will keep the surrounding atmosphere constant for the winter period. A bin liner is ideal, it doesn’t look great but it does the job.
A smallish coat of linseed oil just before you put them away will keep the wood fibres moist enough and ensure the hurleys are ready to do the business again come the spring.
A service is a good idea, to prolong the life of your hurley a good clean up is recommended. Sanding the faces of the bas, the heel and toe edges and the shaft, then re-applying linseed oil will not only leave the hurley looking good but will also stop it drying out.