The Hydra AL Sport begleri from Aroundsquare are precision machined from aluminium. They feature the same bead size and reconfigurable multi-bead design as their titanium brothers, but with a substantially lighter bead weight. This set includes six natural aluminium beads, clear anodised to provide a slightly hardened surface.
Aroundsquare's Hydra Begleri are a fun yet highly adept modern adaptation of the traditional Greek multi-bead Begleri. All of the Hydra sets have multiple interchangeable beads, allowing for interesting colour combinations, and some customisation of weight.
This aluminium version comes with six beads, weighing in at around 4g per bead, for a total of around 25g per six bead set, or 17g per 4 bead set. The beads themselves are 16mm in diameter and 8mm thick, making for 3-bead stacks of 24x16mm, and 2-bead stacks of 16x16mm. The four-bead configuration plays very fast and light, and is extremely nimble. The small profile makes this configuration suitable for all tricks, including gap transfers. However, the limited mass at each end means relatively little momentum and tactile feedback. The six-bead configuration plays much slower, and feels substantial in the hand. The elongated shape generates lots of momentum, which is great for rolls, transfers, aerials, and two handed play, but can jam up a bit in gap transfers and similar technical tricks. The Hydra AL Sport beads much quieter than heavier single-bead designs, and the multiple beads add a nice "fiddle factor" to each set. The slight rounding of all edges on the beads adds the overall feel.
Because aluminium is a much softer metal than titanium, the surface of these will get dinged and scratched, and over time, the anodised surface will wear away, and the raw aluminium will show through. This ageing process gives them a great texture which helps with grip and bead control.
The Hydra AL Sport series come with a couple of extra strings, a couple of stickers, a canvas carry bag, and an info card to introduce new players to begleri. stickers, bag, and cord colours may not be as shown, since these change with availability.