We picked 9 reader tips for publication this month! And we're giving the authors e-Lacrosse Rage II Videos!
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!
Submitted by Malcolm
I have enjoyed your tips and have used them to help improve my stick. I have found that when dying and head, you can create awesome design by layering on a crayon or other thick wax substance in the places you don't want dye. This creates a wax resist like you learn in art class.
Elements of a Pocket and Sidewall Help Submitted by LaxMaster
I've read dozens of suggestions about shooting strings. While it's true that you can use many different arrangements to add or remove whip in a pocket, three factors actually determine how a stick will throw. Basically, shooting strings are for subtle changes and personal preference.
The first true determinant of how a stick will throw is the material and depth of the pocket. A deep soft mesh pocket will throw lower than a shallow hard mesh pocket, every time. No number of shooting strings will change this basic fact. When a stick is properly strung, the material will have a major effect on the stick's performance.
The second determinant is the placement of the pocket. This is especially true for mega mesh and traditional pockets. If you string the pocket so that the ball lies close to the shooting strings, it will throw lower.
The third (and most often overlooked) aspect of a pocket's throwing style is the sidewalls. Most often with mesh, players never think of the sidewalls after the stick is strung. This is an enormous oversight, especially when a stick begins to throw poorly (or does so from the start).
There are three main options for sidewalls in mesh, and two in traditional. For traditional, the sidewalls can be strung on the inside or outside of the head. Equally important is the connection of the pocket lacing to the sidewalls- if too many loops are close to the scoop, the pocket will naturally bag under the shooting strings (see point two).
For mesh, there are three options. I call them "old style" "straight up" and "locked down" for descriptive purposes.
"Old style" uses a string through
the mesh, and a second string connecting the plastic to the reinforced mesh.
This is basically only seen on goalie sticks today.
"Straight up" sidewalls are when you just send the sidewall string through a
loop (or loops, though I recommend never using more than two loops to a
section of sidewall) of mesh between holes in the plastic. It's the simplest
method, and allows the mesh to move somewhat.
"Locked down" sidewalls are most important in mega (big holes) mesh. In some
sticks, such as the bionic, I believe every loop should be locked down. It's
a matter of hole placement in the head itself, and personal preference. To
lock down a loop, go from the previous hole to the next, without going
through the mesh. Pull the sidewall string through from the outside in, and
then through the loop of mesh. Then slide the string under the straight
sidewall on the outside, and pull tight. This pulls the mesh very tightly,
and can be used to have a nice tight top to your stick. Note- most sticks do
not have pockets at all when all holes are locked down. A mixture of "locked
down" at the top, and "straight up" at the bottom generally make the best
pocket. Be sure to have your stick symmetrical with your sidewall choices,
and NEVER skip holes when using the locked down sidewall. This will make
your stick suck.
When you can't get the whip out of your stick, consider these points,
especially if you're using more than three or four shooting strings.
Coils Evolving Submitted by Wyatt
I was at camp a few weeks ago and I strung up my Vapor. I based it on Van's awesome coil sidewalls. Surprisingly enough, it came out to be almost the same as the puzzle, with a few variations, like the center channel tie-offs, and the top of the stick. This worked out for me great at camp, and I would be honored if you put in on your website.
& Submitted by Andy
My friend and I came up with the "Spartan Pocket" It uses half mesh and half spiral wrap sides. We tried stringing your "Who" pocket and being mesh junkies we just couldn't get the shooting strings in there right. So we made a "T" shape out of mesh and used the top of it to string the shooting strings like we would in mesh but have the cool spiral sides like the Who pocket. LOVE THE SITE!
Looser Leathers Submitted by Steve
While this site does have excellent stringing instructions, I believe one thing
needs to be made more clear. The readers need to know that they have to let
the leathers ( on traditonal variation pockets) be a little loose to be able
to form a pocket. The first couple pockets I strung were about as deep as
tennis racquets because I had the leathers pulled as tight as possible
because I was led to believe by the instructions they were supposed to be
that tight. I hope this helps new stringers.
The Mesh Salon Submitted by Henry from Livingston, NJ
To break in and soften any mesh except soft, first string the whole stick as tight as you can. Don't add in the shooters until you're done with this process. When you do that you wet the pocket with warm water and put in conditioner. Yes, that's right, conditioner. It'll make the mesh softer, just like your hair. You should just really treat the mesh like hair. Lather, scrub, rub, anything to get the conditioner in the mesh. After you're done with that rinse off all of the lather and then put the water settings at the hottest the sink/shower can go to give it a final softening and rinsing. Then take it out and just keep pounding the pocket in. Make the pocket a little deeper than you want, because as it dries the pocket will shrink. Putting the head facedown will not make the pocket lopsided and uneven like what would happen if you laid it back first. I've done this countless times and it has worked wonders every time! Thanks for making this site the BEST EVER!
Monster Mesh Stretching
Submitted by Paul from Pittsburgh PA
Here's a tip for stretching hard or monster mesh out before you start stringing a head: in your car (or someone else's car), take the headrests out and stretch the mesh between them. Put the headrests back in so the mesh stays in place, leave it there overnight, and it should be ready to go. You can also fold the mesh over and stretch out the whole piece at once. Running the meseh under hot water before you start couldn't hurt. Also, thanks for all the tips on your website and keep up the good work.
Top Tightness Technique
Submitted by Peter
I've strung a few mesh sticks now so I would like to pass down a few things that I picked up while stringing. First, when your stringing the top cross lace make sure you us nylon and string it extra tight. A loose cross lace could create a horrible lip or whip within your stick so make sure it is extra tight. Second, when stringing the sidewalls, make sure that not only are they symmetrical, but tight at the top and that they have the "stair step" effect like shooters. This may seem kinda weird, but if you over tighten on some holes you might have a misshaped pocket that throws at the ground. Also, what I like to do is hold the bottom of the mesh while stringing. I pull it tight towards the throat when starting at the top of the sidewalls to make sure the mesh is really tight at the top. Then, when I move to the part where I want the ball to rest, I slowly relax the pulling on the mesh piece. This makes the stick throw really well and also makes stringing mesh easier. Well until next time, Peace and keep stringing.
Submitted by Unknown
I discovered the easiest way to ease the whip on a stick. Many people overlook this little thing because it is soooo simple. All you have to do is tighten the sidewall strings. This will not completely fix your whip, but if your strings are so bad to the point that the ball is going straight down (like mine was) it will do a whole lotta good. This may disrupt your pocket shape a bit too but not too much. Also when this is done you can leave your stick for 3 - 4 days maybe adding a bit of water to stiffen up the strings which will flatten your pocket and allow you to create a new one without the whip.
Thanks to all for participating. Keep sending your tips and we'll pick some more in a few months! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!