To become a successful rugby team, it is vital that your team boasts a successful place-kicker. The best teams in the world all have one. For the All Blacks, it’s Dan Carter, Wales have Leigh Halfpenny and for Ireland, it’s Jonny Sexton. In terms of kicking tees
, rugby has come a long way since players would take a lump of sand out a bucket, and shove a ball on top of it. Tees are now created to suit different kicking techniques. Here at Rugbystuff.com, we are often asked which is the best kicking tee to choose from the multitude of different tees we stock, including the Dan Carter Supertee
range, so here we will analyse all of them, allowing you to decide which type of kicker you are before the new season kicks off.
Dan Carter Supertee & Xtra
Designed and used by the legendary New Zealand no. 10 as well as Berrick Barnes amongst others, the soft rubber in this tee allows for a more powerful kick, whilst the design means the ball placement is flexible, and the area in which you kick the ball can be manipulated. The Xtra is identical, other than the fact it is slightly raised, for those who prefer a higher kick. It might even make you as good as the man himself!
Just like the Supertee Xtra, the Extreme is very durable, and also light, allowing your foot to follow right through the kick. The tapered ‘teeth’ design creates options for ball placement, whilst the raised base, again, probably suits kickers who opt for a much higher kicking style.
The Supertee King is for the eccentric player, and is ideal for those who use the ‘torpedo’ style when kicking. As well as passing for something which could be used in the Saw films, it has zero friction, and the higher stand means the player can get a full look at where he can hit the ball, so that sweet-spot can be struck accurately.
Gilbert 320 & 450 Precision Tee
Used by the likes of Jonny Sexton, Morne Steyn, and formerly Chris Paterson & Jonny Wilkinson, the Gilbert 320 & 450 are very similar to the lower Supertee, in that the design allows players to place the ball in various positions. The moulded rubber is also very useful - slightly heavier than the Dan Carter range, making it ideal for those classic British miserable days, when the tee could easily be blown away with the wind. The low set design of the 320 tee can be a challenge for some novice kickers to get right, but as long as you strike a little way up from the bottom point of the ball to clear the ground with your kicking foot, you won't have any problems.
Gilbert Spot On Tee
The Gilbert Spot On Tees take into account the obstacles that may infuriate or disrupt a place-kickers routine. The jagged base is designed for perfect stability, even in those pitches that look like no-mans land! The grippers on the back stands keep the ball secure in any condition, whilst the directional arrow in the middle gives you a chance to line up the tee and the posts for greater accuracy. Almost as accurate as Dan Parks’ laser
Gilbert Adjustable Tee
We’ve all played in those matches when it seems like there has been four seasons in one day, from rain to hail then sunshine to sleet. The adjustable tee allows you to dictate at what height you would like to kick the ball at. Obviously in those windy days, you might want a lower trajectory to keep the ball as straight as possible, whilst in perfect conditions; you can adjust the tee to a higher stand. As a general rule, the younger you are the higher the tee should be, making this perfect for children of all ages.
But remember, as important as it is to have the correct kicking tee, it's even more vital that you have the correct footwear for the conditions, or that ball is going nowhere near the target, just ask Kurtley Beale!