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Stick Tech Workshop - ReADeR TIPS!

Reader Questions Answered

I have a Warrior head and an STX shaft, but they don't fit. What can I do? -Niklas Kukat, Germany
Many shafts today will fit heads from other makers but you might have to drill a new hole. Most shafts come with self-starting screws that will drill the hole for you in you put some serious elbow grease into it or use an electric screwdriver. Be careful that you don't exceed or fall short of the length requirements by mixing and matching different makers' equipment. Some pieces will just not fit together. If you have a shaft that simply won't fit your head, it's decision time. You're going to have to buy a new shaft or head to use either. Pick the component you like best and sell the other in the E-Lacrosse free classifieds.

I have been getting frustrated recently seeing so many different shafts that claim to be the lightest and the strongest. Is there any way that you could make some sort of ranking for both the weight and strength of the high-end shafts available? -A reader
We may try to get that technical at some point with an extensive review of all popular shafts. There are many great shafts on the market and more coming soon. We've visited some of the manufacturers and have seen some of the 2000 concepts and there's much to be excited about. Prices seem to be coming down on quality shafts as well, although you can still expect to pay 100 bucks for the best attack shaft and more for Defense.

I have a mesh net and I was wondering if you dyed the stick with the net in it, would you ruin or harm the net. Also if it didn't do anything to the net, how could I make it different colors? -Jonathan Hansen
A mesh will stiffen when dyed. Traditional stringing, when dyed draws mixed reviews from our readers. Some warn that the leathers get ruined. In any case, be careful when dying a strung stick multiple colors because the rules forbid multicolored pockets.

In your review of the proton I found the term "ball rattle." I asked my coaches and teammates what it was and no one knew. I was wondering what it is, or what it refers to. -A reader
We asked STX this ourselves and were told that ball rattle is the ball bouncing against the sidewalls while cradling. The Proton, by the way, had very little. A wooden box stick, has much more, if that illustrates the point better. We haven't specifically tested any other sticks for it, but notice now when a stick has an obvious rattle.

I was wondering what the small row of teeth on the sides of the Edge and the Oz are for on the Brine sticks? Some one tried to tell me they are to hold the ball in? I really appreciate your knowledge. -Ben R. White
We have even heard that the NCAA might think these tiny jagged edges give some advantage to players. How silly. They are entirely cosmetic and are no reason to buy or ban a stick.

I am interested in becoming a stick stringer. I was wondering if there is a book that explains how to string all types of different pockets (trad, mesh, custom), and if there isn't, why doesn't somebody make one? -Laxer
There is not a book, but it's not a bad idea? E-Lacrosse can attest to the fact that stick stringing is becoming more and more popular with today's lacrosse players.

Your column is just what I've been looking for. Are there any workshops in the Philadelphia-Washington, DC area that can help get me started. -Greg
We get this question quite a bit. We have thought of hosting a stringing workshop or two. If you would be interested in attending an E-Lacrosse Stick Tech Workshop in your town (cost approximately $30.00), send us an e-mail and include your name, e-mail address, age and town. If we get enough responses from your area we'll try to set one up and let you know when and where.

I would just like to know what the advantages of having the Powell pocket or upside-down V in a mesh pocket are? And also, what would give me a faster shot, wide traditional or Double traditional? -Jay
The V acts just like a lower shooting string sending the ball smoothly up to the top shooters before release. But the V shape directs the ball slightly toward the middle as this occurs. It improves accuracy but only a very little. It is nowhere near as valuable to Casey Powell as the years of intense practice with his brother in the yard or his obvious natural talent and athleticism. It does look cool though and it was Casey's stringing of choice before it took on such a commercial value at Warrior. It's easy to string into any stick and has been done for years. We'll show you how in an upcoming StickTech Workshop. To answer your second question, the wider the holes in your pocket, the more cradling control you will have along with a slower release and thus, a slower shot. If you have a tight pocket with little give, and the stringing is almost hard, your cradling could be affected but your shot will be harder.

I'm playing summer league on a turf field and I need to get a new head. What should I get? Is mesh better on turf than traditional or is it just personal preference? -Jedd Askew
It is just personal preference. Shoes should be purchased based on playing surface but not sicks.

Where is a common place to buy the RIT dye. I tried home depot and they didn't have it. - Kenny
It is more commonly found in grocery stores and drug stores than hardware stores. Give them a try. Ask the kid at school who wears homemade tie-dyed T-shirts. He probably knows. RIT has a pretty bad web site that only talks about availability in Australia, but I've seen it in every grocery store I've ever been in. There is a basket dying site that has a very useful RIT Dye Color Chart. Check it out for creating some wild colors.

I have been having trouble with the dye getting under the tape when dying heads. I have tried heating the tape with the lighter and holding it over the stove but the dye still finds its way into a seam. I am very careful to cover all areas, pushing the tape into corners so there is total coverage but to no avail. Any hints? -Gerry Boston
Even the best dye jobs have some small glitches. This is not an exact science, obviously. The guys who have the least mistakes are the guys who've done it many times. You are doing it right but just not expertly yet. Press the tape hard and do not stretch it while you apply it. The lighter trick works too, but it's hard to ensure air tight seams everywhere. It can get expensive getting good at it. But there's nothing wrong with a little glitch in a dye job done at home and it's way more fun than just buying one already done.

Is there a way to put a v string in a traditional pocket? -Martin C. Bond
I have seen rounded V shooting strings in traditional pockets. They take about five minutes to string up. The best way to learn shooting string placement on any pocket is just to try it a bunch of times until you get what you like.

I have a traditional sniper head and I can't seem to make a good pocket in it. I want a deep pocket, do you have any tips on how I could do this? -Evan Sprenger
You can either loosen strings or use the old pounding-the-pocket-in method. If you loosen the sidewall strings and the leathers, both at the bottom, the pocket is going to get deeper. You don't have to actually unstring anything. Just loosen both sidewalls and the leathers and distribute the new slack in the string all the way up the side of the head. Doing this may require you to add a third shooting string below the others to avoid getting a "whip" in your pocket. Adjust things gradually so you find the perfect combination for you. Making these small adjustments to your stick will give you a basic understanding of how the stick is strung so you can make emergency fixes if it ever feels to deep or shallow in a game. Remember that the rules define too deep, as well. You should not see space between the top of the ball and the bottom of the sidewall when placing the ball in your pocket and looking from the side. If you've never seen a referee check a player's pocket depth in a game, ask your coach to check it for you and show you how.

If I dye my Edge Ice will it still be transparent? -Steve
This is a great question and we are going to find out! My guess is that a translucent color will result, much like the Imac computer cases, but darker. We have some Edge Ice heads being shipped to us for some extensive testing. Look for our findings in a future StichTech Workshop.

Thanks for all your questions? Keep them coming and we'll do a Q&A session every few months! Send them to john@tonabricks.com!

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