Although it wasn't until 1991 that Vater became their brand name, the company has been manufacturing drumsticks since 1956. I started noticing ads in Modern Drummer Magazine around that time, and the company established a presence very quickly around the world.
Since I was young, like most drummers, I experimented with as many different sticks as I could get my hands on, including a bunch of Vaters. I'd base my opinion mostly on what I knew so-and-so played at the time. Being a fan of so many great players, I trialled a ton of different sticks, but I could never really find 'my' stick, and so I thought that endorsing one particular manufacturer, let alone one kind of stick, seemed way out of the question.
In 2009, I started playing on Bosphorus cymbals, and I noticed a completely different kind of relationship building between me and those cymbals than I'd noticed with the cymbals I played on previously. Particularly with the first two rides I bought (both 22" Master Vintage), I noticed that just about any stick sounded good on them, and this changed my bearing on drumsticks. This started me seeing importance in the size of the stick as necessarily being in relation to the size of my hand. I'm sure many drummers knew this much earlier than me, but this was a new thought that occurred for the first time at that time. Whereas previously I thought about the ways that stick sizes affected the timbre of the drums and cymbals, it had become simply a matter of finding what felt right with my technique across a range of dynamics and tempi. This meant, for the first time, deciding to settle on only one timbre.
So I went to the drum shop, and I spent several hours going through every stick in stock until I found the model that I kept returning to. Actually, I found two: the Vater Session sticks with a small acorn tip, and the Vater Fusion sticks with a ball tip, which are similar in size, weight and proportions to the 5A. It's interesting to note that, apart from the different-shaped tips, the Fusions are only 0.01" larger than the Sessions in diameter. I bought several pairs of each, and went home very happy that day.
I haven't felt the need to change my stick sizes since then, and the fact that I've been using the Sessions exclusively since 2009 is what led to now being an endorser of Vater sticks. Not that I'm looking for a different model, but I noticed that the company just launched version of the 5A and Fusion models with an acorn tip, and so I'm interested to look into those in a little while too.
Vater cure and finish their woods in ways that feel great in my hands, and they last a very long time before they need replacing, even under heavy playing conditions. They have a wide range of sizes and shapes, and so perhaps you'll #SwitchToVater and delight in the choice you've made as indeed have I.
Click on the image below to find out more about the rest of my setup that I've integrated my Vater sticks into: