retailer vs custom lacrosse stringing compare

Buyer Beware: Not All Lacrosse Pockets Are Created Equal

16 - Published March 30, 2012 by in Stick Tech, String Jobs

One of the kids I coach just got a new stick from a major retailer.  The head was dyed, and custom neon green string was used, so we KNOW the pocket was done by the retailer.  The problem here is that the pocket in the head was faulty right away.  I won’t get in to WHO the retailer is, because this is such a widespread issue, but I will show you what the problem is, and how YOU can fix it yourself.

A good pocket is key to consistency and skill development.  So make sure your kids are able to learn the game the right way!

At first glance, the retailer installed pocket doesn’t look all that bad.  But first appearances can be deceiving…

retailer lacrosse stringing

It doesn't look all that bad... or does it?

But once we remove the shooting strings, the problem becomes immediately apparent.

retailer lacrosse stringing

The red ovals show you where to focus your attention

The mesh is not tied down, but rather it sits loose in the sidewall.  This is fine at the bottom of the stick, near the throat, but at the top of the pocket, it is a big problem.  By allowing the mesh to stay loose, the pocket can bunch up top, and eventually it will lead to the stick throwing off the plastic.  Don’t believe me that the mesh will bunch up eventually?  Here is a side view shot of the sticks without shooters:

retailer lacrosse stringing

Can you see the bulge there near the scoop?

retailer lacrosse stringing

The mesh should not be slack and bunched like that

So now that you can see the problem, and know WHY it is a problem, you are ready to fix it.

This is a compare and contrast photo.  On one side, you can see the slack retailer sidewall.  On the other side you can see the new sidewall I put in, where the mesh is pulled tightly to the sidewall.

retailer vs custom lacrosse stringing compare

Left side good. Right side bad.

Can you see the difference in the two sidewalls?  The knots used are quite similar, but on the right, the mesh is not tied INSIDE the knot, instead it floats loose on the string between knots.

In order to do what I did on the left, the string goes through the mesh from the back to the front.  Then the string is fed through the plastic sidewall hole from the inside out.  Then you thread the sidewall string through itself ABOVE where it enters the mesh.  If you create your knot UNDER the mesh, you get the sidewall on the right.  If you make your knot ABOVE the mesh, the mesh is held inside the knot.

The other thing to pay attention to is pulling the mesh DOWN tight.  The sidewall on the right is loose, and does not pull the mesh hole DOWN towards the throat.  The mesh at the top should be pulled tight across, AND down.  That is key to keeping the mesh tight. As you can see above, the holes on the left are lower than their corresponding row holes on the right.

And here are some finished product photos so you know what to shoot for:

restrung lacrosse head

MUCH better

restrung lacrosse head

I like the top shooter to go through a sidewall hole as well

restrung lacrosse head

Ready to rock

Note that after 4 sidewall holes, I begin to float the mesh on the sidewall like the retailer did on the entire head originally.  You can tie down one row of mesh, 2, 3, 4 or even ALL of them if you want.  It is individual preference.  But you don’t want the mesh to be loose near the scoop no matter what you do.  Unless you like throwing off the plastic.  If that’s the case, good luck!

Got stringing questions?  Hit us up in the Comments Section!