Rugby has come a long way since players would take a lump of sand out a of bucket, and shove a ball on top of it! A piece of equipment that has become increasingly important in recent years is the rugby kicking tees.
One of the most important skills in rugby is kicking, and to perform a successful kick, players need the right equipment. Tees are now created to suit different kicking techniques.
To become a successful rugby team, it is vital that your team boasts a successful place-kicker. All the best teams in the world all have one. For England, there's Owen Farrell, Scotland have Finn Russell and the legendary Jonny Sexton slots them over for Ireland.
Here at Rugbystuff.com, we are often asked which is the best kicking tee to choose from the different tees we stock, including the ever-popular Dan Carter Supertee, so here we will analyse them, allowing you to decide which type of kicker you are before you next take to the field.
Dan Carter Supertee Designed and used by the legendary All Blacks no. 10 throughout his career, 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.
If you're looking for a bit more range, then the Supertee Extra is well worth looking at. The extra height should result in the ball travelling further in the air.
The Dan Carter collection of kicking tees has now grown to a massive 11 different variants at rugbystuff.com. The latest release from them is the Elite which comes in three different heights; 75mm, 95mm and 120mm. A recent change to the Supertee range has seen the addition of Ground Teeth. These are designed to be wiggled a little into the grass for a firm and stable base to kick from.
Gilbert 320 & 450 Precision Tee Used by the likes of Jonny Sexton & Finn Russell, and formerly legends such as Chris Paterson & Jonny Wilkinson, Gilbert kicking tees are very similar to the 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.
Rhino 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 screw-in tee allows you to dictate 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!
Overall, there's no hard and fast rule for the perfect kicking tee, but once you find one that works for you, we'd recommend sticking with it.
In the meantime, check out the video below for some long range kicking inspiration. As you'll see, playing rugby at altitude in South Africa results in the ball travelling some phenomenal distances!