Editor’s Note: I met Eric Force in Prague while playing box lacrosse in the Ales Hrebesky Memorial, and during my trip, traditional was a big topic of conversation. Usually we were talking about technique, break-in time, and whether or not it was worth it for box lacrosse, but we also covered the extremely elusive “goalie traditional”, and many lamented the disappearance of goalies with traditional pockets.
However, Eric decided to take matters into his own hands and he strung up a new traditional goalie head for us all to check out. He also included step by step instructions and some tips to help YOU join the traditional team!
I’ve seen traditional lacrosse goalie heads in the past, and I have always wanted a one for myself. All of the recent All-Traditional team posts (Pro team, College team) got me so hyped up, I just had to try a keeper traddy myself.
- For this job I used a Warrior Zoo head.
- 345 total inches of lace… Roughly 46 inches per leather, and the lace used for a goalie stick should be thicker than normal cross lace).
- And there were 7 leathers
The Basic Instructions:
1) Start with the sidewall strings. Lace them like you would a normal stick, and keep them tight to the head.
2) Run the leathers to the handle like you would a regular head:
- Create a design plan to get your spacing correct. Don’t go in haphazardly.
- Keep the leathers tight and keep them spread evenly.
- You can also tape the leathers to a metal bar like I did. This will help with spacing and keeping the leather tight as you string the head.
3) Start your cross lace from the top of the head, and attack the first leather to the sidewall.
4) Begin to work the crosslace as you would if you were stringing a regular head, keeping the following in mind:
- All strings should be pretty tight throughout this whole process.
- If you have never strung traditional Before, download a stringing manual. It’s actually easier than it may look.
5) After all of the crosslace is strung, and tight, tie off the remaining lace.
6) Run leathers through the holes at the throat of the head:
- If your stick is like mine, you have 7 leathers… but most heads have only 4 bottom holes. I had to drill a hole for the middle leather, and just wrap the outside leathers to the front of the head.
7) Weave or wrap shooting strings however you like/need them.
8) Pound out a pocket channel:
- I always focus on the middle 3 leathers! Keep the rest pretty tight!
Notes On Traditional Goalie Heads:
I intend for this head to be a box lacrosse stick. I do not like a really deep pocket, but if YOU want a deeper pocket you may need to loosen the leathers more and take some spare lace and “web-up” any holes near the throat. The reason I taped the leathers to the metal bar was to try to keep good spacing on the leathers. I ended up just taping two at a time, and this helped me keep each section of cross lace relatively even.
The lacrosse goalie traditional takes time, and a LOT of material, but it’s a fun way to connect to the roots of the game, impress some older players, and in the end, you get a pocket that is truly fantastic and 100% unique.
Just wait until next week, when I unload my Trad-ish Goalie Pocket on you guys. It’s a conglomeration of style and function, and it’s sure to get you stringing gurus out there excited and talking. Thanks for checking out my work!
Want more on traditional stringing? Check out the Traditional Tag on LaxAllStars.com! More weaving and knots than we know what to do with!