Reader Tips I / Reader Tips II / Reader Tips III / Reader Tips IV / Reader Tips V
Reader Tips VI / Reader Tips VII / Reader Tips VIII / Reader Tips IX / Stick Tech
We picked ten reader tips for publication this month! And we're giving the authors E-Lacrosse "Surf the Game" T-Shirts!

WARNING: Ovens, lighters, matches, knives, and other tools called for in this tips section can be dangerous when not properly used. If you intend on trying any of these tips at home, you must tell your parents exactly what your plans are before proceding. Improper use of some of the tools suggested can result in cutting, burning or staining yourself or your family's property. So ask FIRST, and be careful!

(in no particular order)

Submitted by Dave Hewit

I developed a new dyeing method. I put the stick in a large bucket of water and freeze it. When the water is all frozen I take it outside and pour boiling water mixed with dye in it over the ice. The effect is a lighting pattern with many bolts at the top and fewer at the bottom.

Submitted by Jeff Ahern of Andover, Massachussetts

I have a tip for players who want to build up strength in their arms for harder shots and cradling. Instead of filling up your shaft with sand which throws off the balance of your stick, you can just use a tennis ball. What you need is a tennis ball, a sharp knife, and a handful of pennies and a roll of duct tape. First, you need to slice open the tennis ball just enough to slide the pennies in. Next, slide as many pennies in the ball as possible. (remember to keep the tennis ball round and don't misshape it by stuffing too many pennies in.) Then all you have to do is cover the hole with duct tape and wrap the ball totally with the tape. Now you're done. With a heavier ball and not a filled shaft the balance won't be thrown off as much and you will build up more strength while shooting and cradling.

Submitted by Mike of Connecticut

When cutting the leathers, instead of using a knife and taking the risk of cutting all the way through the leather, use a flat head screw driver and a hammer. Using the screwdriver like a chisel, just tap the screwdriver with the hammer until its gone through the leather. It will create a nice, wide hole that is better than if you used a knife.

Submitted by Dave Buckley

I have been dying my sticks for quite some time now. I have a quick tip for disposing of the dye so its not so messy. When you pour the dye down the sink if often splatters and if you don't spray it off with water in time it could stain. So, my tip is before you pour the dye down the drain you should coat the sink with some dishwashing soap like Dawn. This creates somewhat of a film so the dye won't stain the sink.

Submitted by Jordan Raphel

I have found a way to make dying fades easier. I propped the head up on the side of the pan. Instead of slowly pulling the head out of the dye, I started slowly scooping dye out of the pan. By slowly taking dye out I never had to touch the head. It also creates a very good fade.

Submitted by Craig Wilson

I've played lacrosse for about five years now, I've always been interested in stringing sticks and all that stuff. I have a tip for baking a head. First thing, take a shoe lace amd string it through the sidewalls, like stringing a shoe, zig-zagging between holes. When you get to the two top shoooting string holes pull the string as tight as you want until you get the stick narrow enough. Then I put the head in the clothes dryer for ten minutes. When you take the stick out it will be fairly warm still. Let the head cool off. Then put it in the dryer for another ten mins. After the stick is cooled, remove the string and the stick will be pinched the way you want it.

Submitted by Andy Duncan of Powell, Ohio

When dyeing your brand new $80 head... experiment first... go to the store buy a couple boxes of dye and some white PLASTIC plates... go home and do some experimenting first... find out what works and what you want... THEN dye your head. It cuts down on screw ups and if you badly mess up on the plates... you can work it out instead of messing your head up.

Submitted by Mike Morgan of Terrace Park, Ohio

When stringing a triditional pocket, or any other pocket that would normaly use leather I use rope that is 1/4 of an inch thick, like used in the brine warp pockets, it has all the adventages of regular triditional yet it is completely water proof and is verry light weight

The Brine Warp's fat nylon "leathers"

Submitted by Jesse Simmons

I have read most of your reader tips and everyone says that baking the stick is the best way to pinch it. But the bad part about baking your stick is that the oven evaporates the moisture content in your stick which will leave it much more vulnerable to break in cold weather. The method I use to pinch my sticks is to heat a pot of water until it is steaming but not boiling. Then I place my stick on top of the pot so it is just above the water and the steam will heat your stick with out evaporating the moisture. After fifteen minutes of heating the stick, take a string and tie it around the head so that the head is shaped as you want it. Put the stick back on top of the pot for like 7 more minutes and then without untying the string put your stick in the fridge for 20 minutes. Take off the string and it should be done.

Submitted by Andrew Rebl of Buffalo, New York

I'd like to say your site is phat and its hepled me out. Everyone is talking about the "V" strings and how to make them perfect, but I found the way to do it. When I first put a V in my excalibur it was always lopsided and i could never tune it right, so instead of using one long hockey lace use two slightly shorter ones and tie em at one end, now string your v and when your done u can easily tune both sides.

Thanks to all for participating. Keep sending your tips and we'll pick another ten in a few months! Send them to!