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Category Winner


Torpey Bambú



Sean Torpey



Consumer Products

Product Design


John Torpey (Material Specialist)

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

The ash hurley is steeped in Irish GAA tradition. It is used due to high flexability, strength and a natural feel. The ash hurley aids player performance and has a rooted tradition in the sport of hurling.

Unfortunately ash has many problems including;

  • The inconsistent material in which customers demand consistent products.
  • Ash Dieback Disease has affected the quality and sustainability of ash hurleys.
  • Customer discrimination due to the lack of high quality, consistent ash production.
  • Ash trees take 35 years to grow for hurley production.
  • Improvements to player performance.

The challenge was to design a hurley to improve consistency, performance, sustaiability and aesthetics while keeping with the traditions of the game. The project aimed to explore;

  • Natural materials to enhance sustainability and players performance
  • Design/shape modifactions to improve player performance
  • Branding/aesthetics improvement to match worldwide sports
  • Manufacturing options to improve consistency of the product.
How the brief was fulfilled

Torpey Bambú incorporates a ‘Universal Design’ for every player offering the same level of performance for all players. Torpey Bambú combines player performance, engineering and sustainability to produce the optimum hurley for players. Torpey Bambú has been researched, developed and tested over 6 years, and has resulted in our new product. With Torpey Bambú players can achieve a greater Strike, Strength, Consistency and Sustainability in their hurley.

Bambú offers a greater strike and sweet spot compared to our ash collection. Scientific testing in Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute in the UK has shown the hurley to have a greater sweet spot for improved consistency. Players have experienced a sweeter strike with Bambú and claim it has a striking distance further than ash. Increased confidence and enjoyment is gained from the striking experience of Bambú.

A new patented material which incorporates millions of bamboo particles increases the strength of the Bambú hurley. The consistent material of Bamboo has been developed in conjuction with a specialised partner in the EU. Through scientific and player testing no sliotar has broken this construction, while it needs a severe collision to break in contact. The increased strength offers players confidence in tackling while providing security they can complete games with one hurley.

Future focused engineering technology has been implemented to manufacture a consistent Bambú hurley. Our engineering capabilities will ensure the same Bambú hurley is produced every single time. Weight and balance requirements can be guaranteed giving players the confidence to perform with their favourite hurley everytime they take to the field.

The hurley shape has been re-designed to increase handle comfort and stregth for players. Using mathematical analysis Torpey have redesigned the hurley to increase it’s strength in the handle while keeping the same comfort level for players.

Bambú is a Natural Fibre Composite (NFC) and a sustainable material. Bamboo can grow 3 feet a day and to maturity in 3-5 years, making the material highly sustainable. Torpey have sustainably sourced the material and the Bambú hurley is the new sustainable option for players, the future of hurling and the planet.


Torpey set out to overcome the problems of using Ash in the production of Hurls. Bambu from Torpey combines modern industrial processes, material science, ergonomics and performance science with tradition and craft. The end result is player-centric, enhancing consistency and performance while being sustainable



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