We picked 10 reader tips for publication this month! And we're giving the authors e-Lacrosse Rage II DVDs! Winners contact us if we miss you. Some e-mails cannot be returned to the addresses given to us.
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!
Middle Man Submitted by Evan
My friend and I have been playing for several years, and we just really got into stringing traditional and mesh pockets. I'm sure this has been said before, but I haven't seen it so I just wanted to point it out. If you start your top string in the middle of the head and work from there, it's much easier to pull tight. You can mirror the sides or not, but this way makes it much tighter.
Overt Cop Submitted by Patrick of Arlington, Virgina
I've was looking at your site, and I saw that article "Covert Op", so I thought that would be a good stick to string. So I started but stopped half way and looked at it. It look nothing like what I was stringing. I then continued to string it into another pattern. The edges are traditional stringing and so is the inside. At the bottom I did a tight traditional string look, and at the top I made a "twirl X". With 3 shooting strings, the stick has excellent ball handling, and a smooth release.
Fresh Grazing Submitted by Matt from Chapel Hill, NC
First off, I love your site. I recently installed a new Brine Fresh Mesh into my Evo Pro. After weeks of trying to break it in, nothing worked. The plastic pocket kept shrinking back to its normal size even after pounding it. Then I did the pen-ball trick to hold it in place (putting a pen between the sidewall and lacrosse ball) and grabbed a lighter. VERY CAREFULLY I GRAZED the mesh from the back with the lighter. I took out the ball and the pocket stayed in place. The heat from the lighter reforms the mesh and stretches it a litte. It is INCREDIBLY important not to hold the lighter on the plastic mesh for too long or it WILL MELT and you will be out $20 for the mesh kit.
Fresh breath and a clean stick
Submitted by Bryan & Bryan
You know thoose annoying dirt stains on the inside of your head?
Well we found a way to get rid of them. We thought "hey toothpaste gets stains off your teeth, maybe it'll work for a lacrosse stick too." So we tried to put a little toothpaste on a brush with some water and rubbed it on the inner side wall of my stick. It took off all of the dirt stains.
Submitted by Andrew of Fall River, MA
I have been a huge fan of your site since I started playing lacrosse a few years ago. Since the beginning I have always been interested in dyeing and stringing sticks. I immediately became the 'stringer' for the entire team and got lots of practice from stringing others' sticks. I have also dyed a few sticks and I feel like I have a good grasp on that whole process.
This was a brand new Hype that I dyed and restrung. The pocket I used was the winning pocket from your Hype Stringing Contest. I hope you enjoy these pictures and they eventually help someone with their first dye.
Point: Hair Conditioner
Submitted by Fred
to make brand new hard mesh broken in, before stringing it dip the mesh in a bucket of water with a little hair conditioner. Take the mesh out and rinse it with fresh water and when it is dry string it. It looks new and smells good and feels broken in. E-lacrosse is awesome.
Counterpoint: Fabric Softener
Submitted by Jon from Baltimore
I've read a lot of reader tips and I hear a lot about putting conditioner in your hard mesh pocket to soften it and break it in faster. While this might work, another good method is to use fabric softener, the stuff that you put in your laundry. Just make sure that it is just only fabric softener, not detergent with fabric softener. Mix about a cup (or less depending on how soft you want your mesh) into a bucket of hot water. Either submerge your head with the pocket already strung, or you can do just the mesh to pre-soften it before you string it. It'll take probably no more than a minute to work, and you can rinse it out with clean water to stop the softening. You can get a large jug for about five bucks at any supermarket, and it's probably a lot more economical than using conditioner. Another plus is that it makes your pocket smell great. It will make your pocket feel broken in from the start, but not too soft, and it will keep its durability and most of the quickness of hard mesh.
SO WHO WAS RIGHT? WE TESTED BOTH AND...
And the result...
The hair conditioner (the strongest we could find) worked better and we discovered that a hard mini-mesh is VERY hard to soften at all. After soaking in the fabric softener for hours, we even dipped it in the hair conditioner solution overnight and hardly a change. All the heads smell great!
The McCallie Goalie
Submitted by Chase
Here are some pictures of a goalie stick I strung for my friend Henry. He wanted something different and this is what I came up with.
Use the Fridge Submitted by
Nick in New Jersey
I was looking back at the October 1998 post on "stick cooking or baking" and a person explained how to boil a stick. I have an alternate method of boiling and it works just as well. First, boil water in a large pot. Then turn the stove off and put the tied-up head into the boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. Pull it out and place it in the fridge. This is an alternate to running cold water over it, and actually seemed to work better for me than the cold water. Remember, when pinching a stick, tie the strings a little tighter than you would want it, because the head will spread back out a little. Hope this helps someone.
Dreamcatcher Submitted by Chris
I was just wondering how I can get my sticks on this site. I attached
3 pictures of a stick I recently strung. Thank you for taking the time to check it out.