SHOOTING STRINGS EXPLAINED
We get so many e-mails about shooting strings that we're devoting the whole October edition of StickTech Workshop to shooters!


A Short History of Shooting strings

Indian crafted wooden sticks often have only one or two shooting strings. Most wooden sticks used in college lacrosse before 1970 had shallow pockets by today's standards so even one shooting string would work just fine. This modern wooden box stick has one and it throws and shoots very well with a pretty deep pocket.



This Brine PL66 from the early 70's has the standard shooting strings of the day. Single woven heavy nylon cord was used. The cord was probably filled with a rubbery inner cord that gave it some thickness. This stick was strung very tightly to create a channel with no whip. The shooting strings are very tight.



Today's sticks like this Brine Edge Aero are usually strung with two or three hockey laces. They are graduated in tightness so that the pocket can be deep. The shooters will act like slight steps as the ball travels out of the stick providing a smooth but tactile exit on shots and throws. This stick features the third shooter in a V formation, which was marketed recently as the Powell pocket, but has been around for ages. We'll show you how to string both types of shooters.




What you need:

Nylon Strings or


Fat Laces (this one is dyed) or


Fat Laces "stuffed" with a nylon string for extra shooting string presence.






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This Proton (left) is a great model to look at for a general understanding of the graduated shooting strings. The top string is tight and the bottom is very loose. These shooting strings are alternated. Some say it evens the weight of the head.


Step-by-Step Instructions:
CLICK ON THE NUMBERED PICTURES FOR CLOSE-UPS!



  1. Lay your string out across the back and wrap it around the sidewall. The portion you will weave through should be longer than the part that is laid across the pocket.

  2. Loop through as shown and pull semi tight. You're first weave is done!

  3. Continue along the head weaving through the traditional and always around the portion of the shooter that is laying acrosse the pocket.

  4. Wrap around the sidewall and pull the strings to your preferred tension.

  5. Tie the ends off. Some folks tie on both ends to the plastic. Your choice.











V Pocket Instructions:












The V string is not very effective or easy to string in a traditional pocket. It is a nice third shooter in a mesh or hard mesh pocket on almost any head. The Brine Edge is a wide pocket so the V string gives the pocket a channel structure while maintaining the free cradling allowed by the soft mesh.
  1. Instead of Laying your string out across the back straight like we did with the shooters above, weave the first half in like the picture on the left. When you reach the high and mid-point start coming back down and wrap around the hole in the mesh on the same horizontal row as the one you began on. The portion you will weave through again with should be longer than the part that is left at the beginning to tie off.

  2. Loop through as shown and pull semi tight. You're first weave is done!

  3. Continue along the head weaving through the mesh as shown. Once you have one side finished and turn the corner, just mimic the completed side. The key to this shooting string is symmetry.

  4. When you reach the end, pull to your preferred tension and tie off.

  5. Adjust as needed.
Most stringers put this string one full row below the second shooter. if you put it lower, it has some holding powers while cradling but becomes less effective when shooting.

Results:

Popular pockets today look more like the one on the right than the 1970's model on the left. Everyone's looking for enough whip to hold the ball when dodging but not so much that it messes up their shot.


The baked Shockwave on the left has an extremely gradual progression to the mouth of the head. A deep pocket at the base but very shallow at the mouth mean the ball will come out fast but go high with no whip. The V provides a nice shooting channel for such a fast pocket. The X2 in the middle has a deep pocket with a very gradual progression of shooting strings and very little whip. See how the ball just sits on the ridge of the third shooter. You'll feel the ball hit each shooter on the way out but they will not slow it down or alter it's direction. The SL2 on the right has a deep pocket with a steeper progression of shooters. The hold on fakes is unreal and cradling is easy but shots and passes have a little whip.










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