Hammer Review: Ziolkowski Premium Hammer

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I like to make even my smallest competitions a little special. The routine of putting on my uniform and picking up my competition hammer lets my body know that it is time to step it up. Part of this is saving my nicest, best hammer for use in competitions only. It is a treaty to be able to throw it. Once it gets in my hands I feel like I can do anything with it.

The Premium Szymon Ziolkowski Line hammers from Polanik.

This year Polanik gave me one of their Premium Szymon Ziolkowski Line hammers to throw. I wanted to make sure I had thrown it enough before giving my feedback, but after one season and a dozen competitions I feel like I can finally give a good assessment of it.

Let’s start with the look: the all black hammer is just plain sexy. The wire, the handle, and the ball are coated with a matte black paint that holds up well under the stress of throwing.

The feel of the hammer is also great, with the handle being my favorite handle I’ve ever used. One of my pet peeves are handles that are coated in paint that is so slick that it is hard to hold on to. I often use coarse sandpaper to make them grippable. The new Polanik handels have a texture on them that make them easy to hold. The angles are also gradual enough that your fingers won’t get pinched.

The ball itself feels special, which is the point. Polanik is pretty guarded about their process for making the hammer, but product manager Pawel Ciechanowski told me that the main advantage of this hammer is the production technology: “Each Ziolkowski Hammer is a unique combination of: a hammer wire, a handle and a head. Each of the elements is carefully manually selected from the production batches, so that the elements together will form a perfect hammer.” The hammer is also made with a maximum 6mm bias, meaning that the weight is as far out as allowed under IAAF rules. According to noted hammer biomechanist Jesus Dapena, the physics of this change could add one or two feet to a thrower at my level. The one thing I don’t like is that the hammer is a little larger in diameter than is allowed under the rules. But at 115mm in diameter, this makes only a negligible affect on distance and the important thing is that the hammer stil feels light and small in your hands.

If you are looking for a new competition that will stand out and be a little more special than the typical stainless steel hammer, give it a try. While pricey, the hammer is also a fraction of the cost of the Nishi or the other premium hammers out there.

5 replies
  1. JL
    JL says:

    I believe the extra 2.5mm in radius is necessary to accommodate the shift in COG because of the density of the materials being used. The structural integrity of the outer ball becomes insufficient as the dense inner core moves away from the handle. The added material most likely increases durability without really sacrificing mechanical advantage.

  2. Gareth Moffett
    Gareth Moffett says:

    Szymon was across in Ireland this weekend and the local Polanik agent had three hammers out on display. I’m in full agreement with Martin that the black hammer is plain sexy; it looks good, feels good and is just that bit special. The paint finish is nice – not just matte black but looks as if it has been shotblasted. The handle is just the same and although I didn’t get a chance to throw it you do get the impression it will stay where you set it in your glove.

    The COG is at it’s IAAF limit which Szymon reckons could get you the extra 10cm which Martin mentions above. Could be all the difference in a competition!

    Szymon said it’s his favourite & didn’t throw anything else, even in the drills inside & outside used the same hammer.

  3. Nathan G
    Nathan G says:


    Do you know much is this new comp hammer is U.S. dollars. I was trying to find it on the Polanik website and could not find it.


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