The 6 x 6 is basically a six diamond stick that we've given more pocket control by adding two more rows of diamonds on either side. This stick still has the looser throwing feel of the six diamond stick due to the greater distance between knots. The extra row of diamonds on either side of the four leathers helps to channel the ball and helps to give a little more shape and control to the stick.
two shooting strings cut to the length of the leathers
two short pieces of nylon
one long piece of nylon
2 sidewall strings
shooting strings (your preference) in addition to other two shooting strings
To begin the 6 x 6 the leathers must be installed just as they were in the six and eight diamond sticks in September edition. String the sidewalls and the four leathers tightly and tape down the four leathers.
The next step is to add in the two shooting strings, which will double as the 5th and 6th outside leathers. There are two ways to go about this.
The first way to incorporate the strings into the stick is to run them through the bottom two sidewall holes in the stick and up to a piece of nylon strung from one shooting string hole, through the loops at the top of each piece of leather and tied off through the other shooting string hole.
The other option is to simply tie the shooting string off through the shooting string hole at the top of the stick instead of tying it to a piece of nylon strung across the top. Christian Pfor's stick on the right is strung this way.
Now that our four leathers, two shooting strings acting as leathers, and sidewalls strings are in place, it is time to move on to the guts of the stick. The nylons of the stick are strung into place the same way that the nylons are put into the six diamond stick, with a few exceptions. The stringer has a few more options as far as what string to use and what to do with it.
The easiest way to proceed is to string in nylon between the sidewall strings and the shooting string leathers on the outer sides of the stick. Use a short piece of nylon and tie it off at both the top and bottom of the stick. You can also use sidewall string in place of the nylon. This will create a stiffer feel to the pocket than the nylon provides. Depending on how much you want the extra rows of diamonds to play a part in the stick you can string this part tighter or as loose as the rest of the stick. The tighter that you make these rows the more the middle of the stick will feel like the six diamond stick. The Blue edge is strung tightly and with sidewall string as we discussed above. Iyou string the two outside rows like the rest of the stick the four leathers will stay closer together and create more of an eight diamond feeling to the stick. The white Octane is strung with wider outside rows.
Now that the two outside rows are strung, the next step is to do the middle of the stick. This part is not too difficult because it is strung the same way as the inside of the six diamond stick. The only difference is that instead of looping the nylons around just any spot on the sidewall strings, you now have to complete a knot along the shooting string leathers matching up the diamonds in the middle of the stick with those in the outer two rows.
The next step is to put into place the shooting strings. I prefer to use at least one normal shooting string at the top of the stick first because it keeps the top of the stick tight. But any variation of string can work depending on how you like your traditional stick strung. If you like the soft release of the hockey laces those will work just fine. The blue Edge is strung with two shooting strings at the top and then two angled hockey laces creating a nice crisp release but still having the soft feel of the hockey laces, a favorite personal combination.
The break-in - Loosen the leathers up a bit at the bottom along with the sidewall strings and beat the pocket in. Remember, the tighter that you keep those two outside rows of diamonds the more the middle of the stick will feel like a channeled version of the six diamond stick.
The last step is to go play and fine tune as needed.
Why is this called the 6x6 stick? It is called the 6x6 because by adding to more shooting strings that act as leathers there are now 6 leathers down and the two rows of diamonds that are created make 6 diamonds across. Not to mention that this stick should give you a more accurate shot at hitting that 6x6 foot goal!!
For the record - The white edge pictured will be used this season by All-American midfielder and fellow stick doctor Matt O' Kelly #26. The blue edge is currently used by Hopkins attackman Christian Pfor #18.
EASY - This refers mainly to mesh pockets and those for the novice
and first time stringer.
MEDIUM - This refers to sticks such as the six and eight
diamond stringings from August. The designs aren't too tough,
but require some concentration and time.
DIFFICULT - This refers to sticks like THE "Dog Track" in September. These sticks are usually variations from the basic traditional pocket.
ADVANCED - This refers to sticks that take more time and careful attention to string properly. Overall stringing capability and ability to tie more complicated knots are usually needed to string a pocket reading 4 on the String-O-Meter.