Get A grip, A Review of Promark's New Active Grip

Exclusive review of Promark’s
New Active Grip

This week we take a look behind the scenes and review something new straight out of NAMM 2016, Promarks new “Active Grip” drumsticks. Regardless of whatever drumstick company you choose to use, it’s great to see drumstick manufacturers pushing the envelope in efforts to make the playing experience of the user better. Drumsticks are arguably one of the most individualized pieces of drum gear we can use as drummers. After all, they are an extension of ourselves.

At this year’s NAMM show, Promark took it upon themselves to tackle an issue that has plagued drummers for ages. That being, “drumstick grip”. We’ve all been there before. You’re playing a show, the adrenaline is flowing, as a result  your hands start to sweat. Your grip starts to get slippery and you can’t wait for the song to be over so you can wipe your hands down on your thigh or towel. Conventional solutions have included wrapping the sticks, adding grip handles, or even using gloves which never seem to feel natural. With Promarks innovative “Active Grip” it seems like they have found a solution to the problem. I took it upon myself to try these out first hand to see how they respond in a real world application.

What is “Active Grip”?

Active grip refers to the black coating on the sticks. It’s heat activated and gets tackier as your hands heat up and begin to sweat, essentially eliminating the need for conventional solutions.

Promark Active Grip

My first Impressions:

Aesthetically the sticks look great! All black, accented with yellow coloring bearing Promarks recognizable trademark. I was intrigued by the idea of a heat activated grip, however I was a bit skeptical. My concerns before trying them was that the coating on the stick would potentially heat up and get so tackie that the stick would get stuck in my hands. I also assumed the coating on the stick would be too thick and would simply not feel “natural”. I also noticed that these sticks had an “acorn tip”, which was something new for Promark.

The Test Drive:

I was very Surprised! After picking up a pair of Promark’s Active Grip sticks for the first time I quickly realized that there wasn’t a big difference in the way the stick felt in my hand. The black active grip coating is so thin that it really was a non-issue for me. After trying them on a practice pad I also realized that the sticks weren’t overly tackie, which is something I was worried about. I could tell that I had a better grip on the stick, but wasn’t so over the top that it didn’t feel natural. I dug it!

On the Kit:

Everything I previously noticed about the sticks translated over to the kit nicely. The sticks didn’t change the way things felt on the kit. As I continued to play around the kit I noticed that I got additional grip and control from the stick. I also noticed I was able to relax my grip more than usual as there was a sense of security with the active grip. I tried both their forward balance and rebound versions and noticed no difference in the way the active grip responded.

The Verdict?

Promark definitely delivered. You have to try them! New gear comes out every year. Often times it’s a new spin on something old and even gimmicky. But I gotta tell you, Promarks innovative “active grip” is a game changer! They have eliminated the need to add grips or tape to your drumsticks which completely changes the weight and feel of the drumstick. It’s something that has been missing in the drumstick market forever. Promark will be releasing their “Active Grip” drum sticks in April 2016.Trust me when I tell you, you’ve got to try them and I cannot wait for them to be released to the public.

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13 Comments

  1. Dave White
    February 1, 2016 - Reply

    Hi guys,
    Sounds like a stick I’d like to try. Great review thanks. Informative and interesting.
    Cheers
    Dave

    • Joe
      February 1, 2016

      Thanks for reading Dave! Out of curiosity, what are you using now?

  2. John Kats
    February 1, 2016 - Reply

    I’d love to try em.
    Thanks for the review!

    • Joe
      February 1, 2016

      Thanks John! I will be doing more of these in the near future.

  3. Matt
    March 6, 2016 - Reply

    Promark sent me a pair of these to BETA test for them. This active grip is the real deal. It just gets tacky enough to solidify your grip. I also liked the slightly longer stick. It said 7A on the stick but was more a .535 diameter and 16″length. Great feeling , well balanced stick.

    • Joe
      March 7, 2016

      Thanks for reading Matt! It’s great to hear your experience with them has also gone well. I think a lot of people will be impressed with them when they become available for distribution. What sticks are you currently using?

  4. April 7, 2016 - Reply

    i really want to get my hands on these, ive been using progrip sticks for some time now and liked those but noticed after awhile the progrip wore off.. i think these will actually be far better!!

    • Joe
      April 11, 2016

      They should be out soon!

  5. Matt Nachtway
    April 25, 2016 - Reply

    Joe,
    Currently I use the 727 Japanese oak stick by promark. I was surprised by the strength of the hickory coupled with the active grip coating. The lighter weight of the stick along with the ability to use a looser grip is much easier on my wrists and forearms after 34 years of playing

  6. June 9, 2016 - Reply

    Really enjoyed this article. Will read on… Charlesworth

    • Joe
      June 10, 2016

      Thanks for reading William!

  7. July 5, 2016 - Reply

    Wow, great blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

  8. June 12, 2017 - Reply

    […] to the size or the tip, drumsticks remain relatively the same. Last year, Promark released their Active Grip drum sticks which took your preferred drumstick and coated it in a black grip finish that […]

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