I was doing some electrical wiring at the time and had plenty of thin-wall conduit (see upper image below) around. It came in convenient 10 foot long sections; was reasonably inexpensive (and still is) and gets advertised as “easy bending, cutting and joining while resisting flattening, kinking and splitting.” A couple decent whacks was enough to both bend and flatten an empty piece. I was not happy with the feel either, so I added a section of 1/2″ rebar (see lower image below). This helped with the weight but not much else, and inspired an annoying rattle. There was a brief workout with a piece of long-handled pool cleaning equipment.