e-Lacrosse.com
Blogs
LaxSpot

e-Lacrosse : news, games, videos, blogs, forums, store

Stick Tech Workshop - ReADeR TIPS!





By VAN O'BANION and DUSTIN DOHM
The Key Pocket, the ancient ancestor of the Xotic pocket, was first strung in 2000 in a Warrior Evolution by Van O'Banion and displayed as another wild pocket idea on e-lacrosse.com. It was one of the original Stylin' Strings Lacrosse Pockets displayed on e-lacrosse.

The Key Pocket went into final production only after critical evaluation which took over two years. It was first strung as a two-leather pocket with the inside leathers crossed in an X like pattern as to force the ball to the "sweet spot" center of the pocket. This idea alone is the basis on what StylinStrings was created on, pushing the envelope of creativity and functionality. The X was connected to the head by long coils that ran from the sidewall string to the leather. This is the main reason it was just a stab at a future production model. It looked sloppy and would not be consistent over the duration of play. Not to mention you couldn't sell one to a kid who doesn't know how to adjust his pocket or expect him to know where to start.

The inside of the X was connected by a very simple twist that runs down the center of the head to create a track for the ball to run along. The end result, the crossing of the leathers forced the ball to sit high in the pocket at all times, right where the leathers crossed. Also, the release was extremely quick due to the high hold resulting in less area for the ball to travel before release. However the outside single long coil gave the ball too much side-to-side lateral movement. This means the ball rolled side to side and hit the plastic head, resulting in tougher cradling and excessive ball movement within the pocket.

Back to the drawing board we went.

The 2nd generation Chaotic Pocket, another parent of the Xotic Pocket, was strung in a Brine Cyber by Van roughly 6 months to a year later. This time it was strung as a four-leather pocket to reduce the main problem which was ball movement. There are coils that run from the sidewall to the outside leathers. The center channel is a twist to coil combo. The coils in the center channel tighten from the top as they reach to (X) crossed leathers, and lengthen as they run from the (X) crossed leathers to the bottom of the channel.

Connecting the center channel to the coils is a twist to coil combo that has six coils and four twists all the way down the two outer channels. This time the pocket retained the same quick release and high ball hold. Also the 2nd gen. Chaotic used 4 leathers in which reduced the lateral movement of the ball, adding a quick shot release, and great hold for easy cradling. Still not totally happy with it we went back into the lab one more time.

The 3rd generation and final production model of the Xotic Pocket was strung in a Brine Matrix by Van roughly two years after the original Key pocket. This time the coils were tightened from the sidewall to the outer leather. The inner leathers are brown due to the softer feel and ease of break-in time. This was also a nice way to accentuate the X visually. The inner channel is a twist to coil perfectly twisted down the center keeping the crossed leathers tight. The outer channels are also a twist to coil combo that connect the outside coils to the brown crossed leather center channel.

This was it, the perfect crease Attackman pocket. Great for quick sticks on the crease, great hold for dodging from the X, as well as quick and accurate release for the feeding attackman. This is an advanced pocket and is recommended only for advanced players that have plenty of knowledge on breaking their pocket in and adjusting it thru all weather situations. We highly suggest you do not buy one on stylinstrings.com just because it looks cool if you are a young player or a beginner. Stay tuned every month for the return of Van, Dustin, and the Stylin Strings Crew.


Van O'Banion


Dustin Dohm


In its 9th year in the stringing business StylinStrings has evolved quite a bit, just as the pockets have. Customers can now purchase any StylinStrings custom products, or general lacrosse products directly thru their website www.stylinstrings.com and their LaxGear Custom Lacrosse Store in York, PA. You can even sign up for their monthly newsletter that keeps you connected to StylinStrings and all the great things that are going on there.

Their new product line includes Pockets To Go, a fully custom stringing kit in goalie, mesh, and traditional which allows you to choose any type and color options for all aspects of your basic lacrosse pocket. These can be viewed on their new site www.mcpockets.com. When it comes to dyeing heads they have branded themselves Handyezco, pronounced hand-dyes-co.

In addition to their clothing line StylinStrings has also launched a bi-monthly e-magazine called String Cheese on www.mocheesenews.com that you can sign up to receive for the year for only $5. They cover 5 topics every other month covering lacrosse pockets, dying and all related lacrosse topics. Sections of the e-mag include The Stick Van Dyke Show, Handyezco, Kirby Pocket, and Free-Lacrosse, a collaborative work with E-Lacrosse.




The Key Pocket



The Key Pocket



The Key Pocket



The Chaotic Pocket



The Chaotic Pocket



The Chaotic Pocket



The Xotic Pocket



The Xotic Pocket



The Xotic Pocket











e Lacrosse Store