Reader Questions Answered
DECEMBER, 2003
WARNING: Ovens, lighters, matches, knives, and other tools called for in the E-Lacrosse Stick Tech 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!
I am a sophomore in high school from Massachusetts and a lacrosse fanatic. I love your website and thank you for doing so much for the sport. I have a question I think you guys could answer for me. During the semi-final game between Maryland and Virginia I saw Chris Rotelli using a very interesting traditional pocket. Is it one of yours or something new that we haven't seen? If you could please help me, it would be appreciated so much. - J

Hello J,

We just spoke to Chris up in Boston. He loves that pocket but said the only really special thing about it was that it's the first time he's used one pocket and head for a whole season without having some trouble or just switching up. It's a Brine Nitrous with a traditional 7 diamond stringing by Sam Flieschner who's done pockets for Rotelli since high school.





E-Larosse is brilliant. Every lacrosse player over here is a fan of the site but we don't seem to have RIT dye. Is there anywhere online that I can buy the dye for sticks and how many colors are there? - Rob from England

Rob,

You can buy RIT dye online a few places now. The first, but not the cheapest we found was at the RIT site for $2.29. The cheapest is Crafts Etc. at $1.48 . And there are 33 colors but you can create your own RIT custom colors using the chart below and your creativity.  Each color recipe is supposed to be for one pound of white material, dry weight, using three gallons (or the low-level water setting on your washing machine) of hot water. Just combine the colors as listed in the recipe with 1 gallon of boiling water when doing sticks, following the timing and dyeing instructions on E-Lacrosse StickTech.


Color

Recipe

Color

Recipe

Color

Recipe

Amethyst

1 pkg Purple
1 Tbsp Wine

Eggshell

1 tsp Tan
1 tsp Yellow

Paprika

1 pkg Golden Yellow
1 Tbsp Scarlet

Apricot

1Tbsp Rose Pink
1 tsp Tangerine

Flesh

1 tsp Tan
1 tsp Peach

Peacock Blue

1/2 cup Royal Blue
1 Tbsp Kelly Green

Aqua

1 pkg Royal Blue
1 Tbsp Kelly Green

Forest Green

2 pkg Dark Green
1 pkg Yellow

Pink

1 1/2 tsp Rose Pink
1/2 tsp Yellow

Aquamarine

1 Tbsp Mint Green
1 1/2 tsp Teal

Gold

1 pkg Golden Yellow
1 1/2 tsp Tan

Plum

1 pkg Navy
1 Tbsp Wine

Avocado

1 pkg Dark Green
1 pkg Golden Yellow

Grape

1 Tbsp Wine
1 Tbsp Purple

Rust

1 pkg Tangerine
1 Tbsp Cocoa Brown

Beige

1 Tbsp Tan
1 tsp Yellow

Hunter Green

1 pkg Royal Blue
1 pkg Kelly Green

Sage Green

1 pkg Pearl Grey
1 Tbsp Sea Foam Green

Bittersweet

1 pkg Golden Yellow
1 Tbsp Scarlet

Ivory

1/2 tsp Tan
1/2 tsp Yellow

Sea Coral

1 pkg Rose Pink
1 1/2 tsp Tangerine
-or-
1 pkg Yellow

Blue Spruce

1 pkg Royal Blue
1 Tbsp Dark Green

Khaki Green

1 pkg Tan
1/4 tsp Dark Green

Shocking Pink

1 pkg Rose Pink
1 1/2 tsp Fuchsia

Bone

1/2 tsp Tan
1/2 tsp
Pearl Grey

Khaki Tan

1 pkg Tan
2 tsp Pearl Grey

Shrimp Pink

1 pkg Rose Pink
1 tsp Tangerine

Bright Navy

1 pkg Royal Blue
1 pkg Navy Blue

Lilac

1 tsp Purple
1 Tbsp Mauve

Soft Rasberry

2 Tbsp Cardinal
1 Tbsp Fuchsia

Burgundy

1 pkg Wine
1 pkg Cardinal Red

Lt Blue

1 Tbsp Evening Blue

Spice Brown

1 pkg Cocoa Brown
1 Tbsp Tangerine

Burnt Orange

1 Tbsp Tangerine
1 Tbsp Tan

Lt Turquoise

2 tsp Royal Blue
2 tsp Kelly Green

Teal Blue

1 pkg Royal Blue
1 1/2 tsp Kelly Green

Camel

1 Tbsp Yellow
1/4 tsp Cocoa Brown

Lime Green

2 pkg Yellow
1 pkg Kelly Green

Teal Green

1 1/2 pkg Kelly Green
1 TbspRoyal Blue

Caramel

2 pkg Golden Yellow
1 1/2 tsp Cocoa Brown

Light Green

2 tsp Kelly Green

Tiger Lily

1 pkg Tangerine
1 Tbsp Rose Pink

Celery

1 tsp Yellow
1/4 tsp Kelly Green

Magenta

1 pkg Fuchsia
2 tsp Wine

Violet

1/4 cup Purple
2 Tbsp Fuchsia

Charcoal Grey

1 1/2 tsp Royal Blue
1 1/2 tsp Black

Marine Blue

1 pkg Royal Blue
1 tsp Purple

Want a special color?

Write to RIT and send a sample of the color you want to match.  Lie to them about the article and type of fabric you plan to dye.  Tell them it’s a Rayon shirt. Otherwise they’ll say it’s not for dying plastics – Whadda they know?  

RIT Consumer Affairs Department
P.O. Box 21070
Indianapolis, IN 46221


(317) 231-8044

 

Chartreuse

1 pkg Yellow
1 tsp Kelly Green

Maroon

2 pkg Wine
2 tsp Dark Brown

Cherry Red

1 pkg Fuchsia
1 Tbsp Scarlet

Misty Lavender

1 pkg Evening Blue
1 Tbsp Mauve

Chestnut Brown

2 pkg Cocoa Brown
2 pkg Tangerine

Moss Green

1 pkg Golden Yellow
1 Tbsp Dark Green
2 tsp Tangerine

Coral

1 pkg Rose Pink
2 tsp Tangerine

Mustard

2 pkg Golden Yellow
1 pkg Tan

Cranberry Red

1 pkg Scarlet
1 Tbsp Wine

Old Ecru

1 Tbsp Yellow
1 1/2 tsp Tan
1 1/2 tsp Peach

Dark Denim

2 pkgs Navy Blue
1 Tbsp Black

Olive Drab

1 pkg Dark Green
1 Tbsp Dark Brown

Dusty Rose

1 Tbsp Mauve
1 tsp Tan

Orange

1 pkg Golden Yellow
2 tsp Scarlet






I am having extreme difficulty finding any info on these sticks that my grandfather acquired when he was very young (between 1884 and 1896) while attending a game (or more of a fight) in Idaho. He was born on a reservation near a place that was called Market Lake. I'm not sure which tribes were in this area at the time, my guess is the Shoshone. Any info will be greatly appreciated. - Tedd











Tedd,

This game is called Toli by the natives of South Dakota, North Carolina and Mississippi and is still played believe it or not. It is a Cherokee version of the game of lacrosse and may have been played by other tribes as well. You can find a lot more on the game by searching for the word toli on yahoo. They still play at some schools in Mississippi and you can buy new and used equipment at pawn shops and gun shops all around Philadelphia, Mississippi.



I have noticed that many companies have a version of UnderArmour-like apparel now. Is UnderArmour much better? It is much more expensive than most of the others. Who makes UnderArmour? - Craig from Charlottesville
Craig,

First, UnderArmour is made by UnderArmour, but more on that later. The reason UnderArmour is more expensive is that more people want it. It's supply and demand. We carried both the UnderArmour product and the competing Warrior product as a lacrosse retailer and the difference in sales was astronomical. I recently interviewed retailers in Maryland and Virginia who said that UnderArmour is so popular that the line represents a significant portion of their sales and that many people come to the store just to buy UnderArmour. It's a "destination product". That said, we decided to look deeper into UnderArmour and the whole performance apparel scene.



Like Gatorade, which was created at the University of Florida, UnderArmour was born on campus. A football player at the University of Maryland, Kevin Plank, who also played lacrosse in high school, began using different moisture wicking materials instead of the absorbent cotton for under jersey wear and it caught on. He was smart enough not to name it TerpWear and the rest is history. And it is historic. After making the Fast Company Fast 50 for 2002 and starring in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, UnderArmour, with growth of 12,753% over 4 years, ranked 2nd in the 2003 Inc. 500. Inc. Magazine says that the Baltimore based private company made $50.7 million in 2002 and now has 180 employees. Ironically, this is the same company that approached some Lacrosse companies early on for help and were booted to the curb like Elvis was by record companies so many times before he became the King. The UA logo is now the crown of sports industry royalty and they don't even need lacrosse anymore with a dominance in football, new deals with Major League Baseball and the US Ski Team and a brand building TV show on ESPN that's actual pretty good.



Hoover's analyzes companies for the financial markets and they sum up UnderArmour's position pretty well, "So far, UnderArmour Performance Apparel has yet to show a chink. Since its foray into the sporting goods market in 1995, the maker of performance athletic undies and apparel has been grappling its way through the industry pack, grabbing 93% of the compression shirts market share. Specializing in sport-specific garments, Under Armour dresses its consumers literally from head (Cold Weather Hood) to toe (Team Sock). UnderArmour apparel is sold via the Internet, catalogs, and by about 3, 000 sporting goods stores in the US. Founder Kevin Plank and two other officers own UnderArmour." One of the "two other officers" is Baltimore Bayhawks star Kip Fulks.


UnderArmour POP or Point of Purchse merchandising is excellent

"The sailor makes the boat but the gear makes the sailor" is an old adage in New England but is the angle from which UnderArmour has attacked its target audiences. Mike Ryan of Ryan Consulting worked in the lacrosse and apparel industries and watched as UnderArmour invented the Sports Apparel industry. "Kevin at least helped define the market. And then he advanced it to where fashion meets function. Dri FIT® and other materials existed before, but UnderArmour orchestrated a paradigm shift in people's thinking," Explains Ryan. "People started thinking of the product as equipment rather than clothing. They needed it. It is now a necessity as opposed to a luxury. And that's great marketing. Kevin's genius is marketing."


NFL Equipment and UnderArmour ar a "Big Box" store

So UA put Performance Apparel on the map. But soon, there were many competitors. Even their partners were producing the stuff as the NFL created their own version with the help of Reebok under the NFL Equipment brand. Many others followed as we'll discuss later but the market expanded quickly. Even a magazine about performance apparel is now put out by a British firm called Textile Intelligence. Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets "provides subscribers with business and market analysis of worldwide trends in high performance activewear."


New Balance is a sponsor of the MLL. Will Players wear
NB or Warrior performance apparel?

So, what's in performance apparel that makes it perform for you? Every manufacturer has its secret ingredient or system for wicking moisture, whether its PERFORM® by New Balance, Dri FIT® by Nike or UnderArmour's Moisture Transfer System®. But the property common in most of the products in the performance apparel category is elasticity. Most of these moisture moving materials can achieve different levels of stretch and recovery based on the percentage of Lycra® used in producing them. Lycra® is produced by Dupont. Dupont and its scientists are the true inventors of performance apparel or at least performance materials. They also make Antron®, Coolmax®, Cordura®, Dacron® Polyester, Hollofil®, Micromattique™, SolarMax®, Sorona®, Supplex®, TACTEL® and Thermolite®, all used in the production of sporting industry textile goods. In fact most lacrosse heads and plastic sporting goods for that matter are made from Dupont plastic beads which can be molded anywhere in the world into almost anything.


UA has expanded into most sports and even law enforcement undergear

Ryan says its not just which material used that determines value, but the weight and quality of the workmanship and then ultimately the price. He also says that UnderArmour is using much more expensive materials in their products than most competitors, "Nike uses great materials too, but most of the knock-offs that are cheaper in retail cost are of lesser quality too. Nike's making a push at UnderArmour's primary market with the 'Gridiron Series'. They hired Michael Vick, Terrell Owens and other NFL stars to market the line." And Fibre2Fashion reports that Nike's new global advertising campaign and budget focuses in on performance apparel specifically. Multiple medium campaigns are driving it's new Pro Vent® Compression, Nike Sphere® with a climate control system, and Dri FIT® brands. I know E-Lacrosse would love some of that advertising, but you likely won't see Nike or anyone other than Baltimore's UnderArmour and Warrior, who is a lacrosse company spending money in our game to sell shirts.

There are also smaller or lesser known companies that may have like or better product at like or better prices. Sports Active Wear sells loose and tight Naturexx products which is 82% nylon, 18% Lycra® and styles are similar to the popular UA wear. There are claims on the website that the products are "less expensive than UnderArmour's and do not sacrifice quality." And there are new competitors popping up like InSport, Hot Chilly's, KAOS Performance Apparel who claims to release the heat faster with their patent pending Coolvent™ System which uses Dupont's TACTEL® material drawing sweat away from the body and drying 50% faster than cotton and Sweat It Out who uses the Dupont patented materials Lycra and Coolmax. Their line runs a bit higher in price than the UnderArmour line, claiming a higher quality too.


Nike markets performance apparel to women via NikeGoddess.com

Funny as it seems, UnderArmour's largest competitor is not Nike or Reebok. Especially with the introduction of the Performance Grey® T-Shirt, they're really taking on the mega industry conglomerate Cotton, Inc. which is known for its "Seal of Cotton" logo and "The fabric of our lives" advertising jingle and spends more on advertising yearly than UnderArmour earns. Cotton Inc. will be difficult to unseat as it is funded by most US cotton growers and importers and is overseen by the US Department of Agriculture as basically a national monopolistic company beholden to special interest power. There are no synthetic growers, unions, or government agencies tied to the success of the homegrown Baltimore private company but it would only take the release of a line of 100% cotton UnderArmour underwear to make friends again. There is another adage popular in the south and tied to their economy, "Cotton is King."



UnderArmour is fully aware that the world is against them. Their latest TV ad features football players chanting "We will protect this house!" in an effort to pump them up for a home game. But, everyone got the underlying point. UnderArmour is claiming commercial turf. We'll see if they can keep the turf they've gained and maybe even grow. Gaining another 1200 percent over the next four years would make them one of the largest companies in the world, but just staying ahead of major players Nike, Reebok and New Balance will be enough to impress us.

An interview with UA's Kevin Plank


Can you use Elmer's glue instead of a hot glue gun? - hanjoon
Han,

You can and it might have an interesting effect but it WILL NOT protect the surface like the hot glue will.


I love E-Lacrosse and read StickTech over and over. At two camps this summer some counselors that played at colleges had the STX Fuse without the rubber on it. Is that a new model? -Tim from Rochester
Tim,

It could be a proton that looks similar, but it was likely just a Fuse that the players had "customized" to make lighter by ripping off the rubber parts. Remember these guys can usually just get another stick free when theirs breaks so removing part of the structure of your very expensive Fuse is not recommended. In fact if you like an all plastic Fuse, buy a Proton. We experimented with one of the Fuses STX sent us last year by removing the rubber and the loss of weight was .9 oz. You'll see more of this head below as we use it for a stringing example.









Last summer I met a guy with a different kind of mesh. He said it was Canadian mesh and after throwing around with his stick I started to like it a lot. I've been trying to find in on the internet but I can't seem to. Do you know anything about this "thicker" mesh? - Lucas
Lucas,

Canadian mesh is just that, a thicker braid of mesh. Coincidentally we just got some in stock and have it in our online catalog. We don't have pictures from the warehouse yet but we will soon and will post them here. Speaking of new mesh on the market, we will also be carrying the new STX Tracker Mesh. We got some preview pieces of the mesh and strung up that "ripped" Fuse with it. Take a look!
















More Photographs

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!