The best way to learn how to string traditional sticks is by trying it yourself. However, without any resources to get you started, traditional lacrosse pockets can certainly seem like an overwhelmingly daunting task. Today, we are giving you everything you need to get started, and well on your way to becoming a master of the traditional arts.
First off, let’s set some expectations, and get our collective mentality right:
– If you are getting started, or plan on stringing more than one traditional head ever, do NOT buy traditional stringing kits. The cross lace is often short, the leather quality is often suspect, and if you make a mistake, you’re in a tough spot. A stringing kit leaves little room for error, so don’t go that route.
– Buy bulk stringing supplies instead. A spool of cross lace, 24 leathers, sidewall, and shooting strings will run you around the same amount of cash as three kits, and will allow you to string up 5 or side heads. It also allows you to select the best leathers, and if one breaks, you will have back ups. Traditional is not a “one off” type of thing. So if you’re going to do it, commit to it.
– Your first effort will most likely be awful. Mine was. Traditional is not something you learn overnight. It takes time and practice, and as you string more, you will improve exponentially.
– It is easy to get frustrated. Take your time and do it right. If something looks off, go back and fix it. Also, be prepared to find your own style of stringing, and do not be afraid to try new things. There is no ONE way to string sticks. There are many ways, and the best path to knowledge here is through experimentation.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the genesis of this Photo Tutorial:
I put together two heads for Tim O’Connor, a fine box lacrosse playing fellow from Philly. We met in Prague playing in the Ales Hrebesky Memorial and Tim was such a game grower, I had to string him up a couple of heads. A local kid has just bought a piece of mesh, and he was super excited. I gave him a shaft, and then Tim, out of nowhere, gives the kid a brand new head. We strung up the stick for him and another super dedicated Czech lacrosse player was born.
Tim wanted traditional sticks with MORE diamonds as opposed to less, so I put an 8-diamond traditional in his Brine E3, and an 11-diamond in his orange Gait Torque. And FINALLY, it’s Tutorial Time!
Click through the photos for a tutorial on how it all works, and each photo’s caption explains what is going on. Drop questions in the comments section and our stick stringers will try their best to answer them!
Now that you’ve looked through the photos, let me know if you have questions, and check out a couple more notes below:
– After I “finished” stringing these heads, my work was far from over. I needed to go through and take any slack out of the strings, and tighten up the knots. I also needed to let the leathers out a bit more, and pound the pocket with a ball. I will continue to tweak these heads over the next day or two, and may even spray them with water before pounding the pocket some more.
Like stringing traditional, breaking in traditional takes time and patience. Small adjustments can make a world of difference, and while anyone can tinker with a traditional, if you string them yourself, I can guarantee you will be better prepared for all the required maintenance.