From the Crease
By Kyle Prussing, Manager, ComLax Franklin, MA
For many of us folks here on the east coast, February vacation week has come to an end. As Spring nears, many of us players and coaches will soon be taking the field. For goalies, this is the time to be taking inventory of your equipment and one of the most important items to consider is your STICK. Come April, the excuse of "coach, my stick is not throwing properly" or "my stick is too short/long" doesnt go over so well. Trust me, I'm a coach. Listed below are a few tips and suggestions I strongly reccommend you consider.
- A complete lacrosse goalie stick (including head and shaft) is approx 60" in length. The shaft/handle is generally 42" in length. Goalie Heads are approx 17-18" in length. In my opinion, the length of stick can be slighly reduced without jeopardizing performance.
- For boys playing lacrosse at the college or high school level, a length beetween 49"-53" is ideal. This still allows one to have control of stick while clearing on outlets or playing defense and knocking down or intercepting passes.
- For Girls in college or high school, the stick can be no LESS than 35 1/2 " in length and no longer than 48". The ideal length for this age group is 39"-46".
- For Youth levels of play (boys and girls), 37"-44" is ideal.
- Many of todays lacrosse shafts are made from some type of high grade Aluminum or Titanium. Please use caution when cutting and always remember that you can cut off more if needed- any table saw or hacksaw will suffice.
- In todays market, you are given many different options when selecting a stick. Listed below are my top picks for 2012.
TOP HEADS: STX ECLIPSE, WARRIOR NEMESIS LYTE, WARRIOR NEMESIS
TOP SHAFTS: WARRIOR KRYPTO PRO DIAMOND, STX SCANDIUM PRO, WARRIOR KRYPTOLYTE
BEST COMPLETE STICK: BRINE MONEY COMPLETE
Have questions? No problem! Contact your local ComLax location with any questions. Until next time. BREAK!
Mirrored Off The Masters
Today's post features College and Professional Lacrosse players’ stick setups and stringing preferences.
First up is former UVA standout and LXM Pro athlete Rhamel Bratton. Unfortunately, Rhamel ended his 2011 senior campaign earlier than we would have liked due to a team-issued suspension, but he played a vital role in paving UVA’s road to the national championship. Now, Rhamel participates in the LXM Pro Tour, which is a professional lacrosse tour run by Kyle Harrison.
Today, I’m mirroring Rhamel’s setup he used when he played for UVA. There is a story behind this setup. The manager of our Franklin ComLax store, Kyle Prussing and a couple other ComLax managers were at the Final Four at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA a few years back. Rhamel threw his stick up into the crowd and they caught it. Considering some pictures I found on the internet and Kyle’s description, I came up with this mirrored setup.
Throughout college, Rhamel rocked the Evo X head on a Gait handle. At the time Kyle and company got their hands on his setup, his shaft’s graphics were pretty worn. It is safe to assume however, that Rhamel used one of Gait’s top shafts because UVA has always been sponsored by Gait. Therefore I decided to throw a Gait DB803 on the head.
To mirror Rhamel’s setup, I started off by marinating the white Jimalax hard mesh in some lukewarm water just as Kyle and Kyle demonstrate in our YouTube Stringing Tutorial. I then laced up the California Dream Top String (Triangle Top String). Then I strung the sidewalls with the goal of forming a mid pocket with a tight channel (1,1,1,1,2i,1,1,1,1). One cool thing I liked about this stringing pattern was the crispy mesh curl - once I threw in a bottom string. After I pounded in the mid-pocket, I put in one U shooting string, 3 diamonds wide and then another one 5 diamonds wide. A unique thing Rhamel does with his stick is he puts two nylons above his shooting strings. Most players use one nylon, but Rhamel places his on consecutive rows of diamonds and makes them fairly tight. This gives the head a good amount of whip and a very smooth release. Rhamel’s distinct passing and shooting style/technique can be attributed to this unique shooting string pattern.
Once the strings were all tight, I screwed the Evo X on the Gait DB803 Handle. Based on the photos I found online, Rhamel made a thick butt end on his shaft and also taped about a 1/4 of the way up. In addition to this, Rhamel had three thin strips of tape that sat right where his top hand sits when he passes and shoots.
I would recommend this stick for any mid-level to experienced players who hit the weight room. This setup isn’t for those who pass or shoot lightly. You need to get some muscle behind this stick for it to be effective. So, anyone who can bring the high heat and dish quickly will standout with this setup.
Game Time Review - Nike CEO & JimaWAX Mesh
By Chris Tomaselli, Commonwealth Lacrosse (Franklin, MA)
It is a well-known fact that lacrosse is the fastest growing game on two feet. Along with the publicity has come a flurry of trends and fads in style and gear. The newest up-and-coming gear trend is the use of waxed mesh. While waxed mesh has been available to the public for quite some time, it has only recently become a bit more popular.
Waxed mesh was initially used in indoor lacrosse; rather than use the mesh for its water resistant qualities, players used the wax grip to make up for the humidity lost from the outdoor game. As more and more players indoors began using it, it began to catch on in the MLL. Players of every position --even goalies-- began giving waxed mesh a whirl. Fast forward to today, and waxed mesh is the new thing a few stores out there are carrying. At the moment, ComLax carries all Jimalax mesh, but not JimaWAX mesh. We are looking at and evaluating the potential for carrying it, but we'd love to hear how feel about it first.
I was able to get my hands on a sample and I can tell you a little bit about it here.
I had the opportunity to sample a piece of Carolina Blue JimaWAX mesh on the CEO, Nike's top-of-the-line head. To be honest, I was really excited to test out both the mesh and the head. Waxed mesh is something I’ve never been able to get my hands on and the CEO is one of the top heads on the market designed for attackmen.
My first impressions of the mesh were its smell and texture. It smelled like wax; no chemicals, no dye, no fresheners....just wax. The JimaWAX mesh was also interesting because I expected it to be really stiff and hard to stretch out. It was actually the opposite - it took me three easy pulls for the mesh to be as stretched as I needed it to be to string. The only annoying part about stretching the mesh was the waxed flakes that fell onto my lap, but you have to give a little to get a little, so I can’t complain. I simply put a towel on my lap while I was stringing to avoid being covered in little pieces of wax.
With the technical stringing of the CEO, the head has unusual top string holes. There are eight holes total split in half by the part of the scoop displaying the Nike symbol. I strung up a regular 10D top string, but instead of stringing every other hole on the scoop, I had to do the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th holes due to their spacing. I also started the top string on the 2nd hole down on the sidewall in order to pull down the mesh. I started the sidewall stringing on the 3rd hole down, skipped a hole, and then double interlocked. This creates a good channel so that the ball releases out of the head on a straight route. The channel also affects the hold and whip of your head, so it is important to create a channel that suits your game. From the double interlock, I doubled up on the mesh once and then strung every other hole on the head until the 14th hole. From there I strung every hole the rest of the way down. I put in a tight bottom string and ended up with a mid pocket, perfect for a feeder from X.
At this point, you see where the JimaWAX mesh plays its part. The wax coated mesh has the distinct ability to memorize where you hold the ball in your stick and how you throw and shoot. Because of this, the pocket will reform and hold every time you get the ball in your stick. JimaWAX is also significantly lighter than any other weather resistant mesh. Waxed mesh is not fool proof, however. It does have the tendency of “bagging out.” This means that you need to make sure you keep your sidewalls and bottom string tight and shooters loose so that the mesh does not get too whippy. Since I chose to make a tight channel, I decided not to install a U or a V because the ball would get caught up before releasing. Instead, two straight shooters were put in just above where the ball sits in the pocket. To add on an extra lip when the ball releases from the head, I wove a nylon above the straighties.
Overall, this setup is ideal for an attackman who specializes in feeding. Lots of hold, smooth release, a fairly stiff head with a long throat, and very durable mesh are perfect for the position. In addition, I would recommend the JimaWAX mesh is perfect for any player of any skill or position from the cage to X. Its weather resistance and durability put it a notch ahead of any other type of mesh. JimaWAX gives you the grip and feel of traditional stringing, but also the same old reliability and hold of a mesh pocket.
...but what do YOU think? Have you used this stuff? What are your thoughts? Let's hear it!
What's In My Lacrosse Bag?
By Chris Tomaselli, ComLax Franklin, MA
My game day stick is an STX Professor in white, strung with white 10D Jimalax hard mesh and black striker shooters on a black Nike Sprint SC Shaft. I dig this setup because of the shape of the Professor. Its long throat gives me the ability to have a long pocket, which is perfect for attack because I can cradle the ball up against the shooters when shooting or down in the throat when dodging. The Nike Sprint SC Shaft is one of my all-time favorite shafts. It has a very unique shape with smooth edges, while still feeling angular. The grip is very comparable to a Warrior Krypto Pro Diamond. I’ve been using it for almost a year and it really doesn’t dent. That’s legit considering the hacks I give and take in practices and games.
My backup set up is an STX Proton Power in black with white 10D Jimalax hard mesh on a silver STX Scandium Pro shaft. You really can’t go wrong with this head or shaft. Both great, aggressive products that have proven durable when filling in for my game day set up.
For For shoulder pads, I wear the Maverik Empire Speed. Like most older players, I altered them a bit. To get rid of the little bit of bulk, I cut off the shoulder caps. It hasn’t sacrificed much protection and it gives me lighter shoulder pads. I really like the shape of the Empires on my body. It gives me lots of protection without the bulk. This year, I’m rocking home and away elbow pads. For home games, I’ve got STX K18 II Arm Guards in red. These are hands down my favorite elbow pads for an attack man. Super comfortable, flexible, and protective, I got a year and a half out of heavy use out of my first pair before they finally ripped, so naturally, I got another pair. For away games, I’m, wearing the Nike Vapor Elite Arm Guards in white. The Vapor Elites are very, very light, but don’t sacrifice much protection.
For gloves, my school ordered custom school Brine Messiahs in red, white and black. I got #22 on the cuff along with our school logo. So far, I love these gloves, as they are really light and comfortable. We’ll see how protective they are when tryouts start later this month. My lid is a Cascade Pro7 in red with my school’s decals. Plenty of tilt to go around folks!
On my feet, I’ve got the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon LX in white and black. If you turn on ESPNU this Saturday and when they zoom in on the players look at their feet. The Vapor Carbon LXs are what all the college kids are wearing and for good reason. They are extremely light, but are also surprisingly supportive during your cuts and dodges.
After digging out all of my gear, I found an UnderArmour jock, a cup, a Top Gun CELL pinny, and an ankle brace.
Game Time Review: Maverik Spider Lacrosse Head
Arachnophobics have no fear! The Maverik Spider doesn’t bite, that is unless it’s the back of the net.
What sets the Maverik Spider head apart from any other on the market right now is its design. Inspired by the combination of robotic spiders and the architecture of NYC’s famous bridges, the Maverik Spider merges the unique and intriguing anatomy of spiders with human technology. Maverik took a different approach to designing the Spider by adding support on the specific areas of the head that receive the most stress while in play. The cool thing about the Spider is its weight, which is surprisingly light when considering the amount of strength it has. When I first picked this head up, I was really surprised by its light weight. The Maverik Spider’s rail structure and specifically placed holes give it the unmatched weight and strength of a spider web.
After I had my first look at the head, I went on to stringing it. The unique feature on this head is the design of the sidewall holes. When you string a stick, the sidewall string is what pulls the mesh to the head and forms your pocket. The Spider essentially has slits placed in cooperation with its sidewall holes. This makes it easy to lock your sidewall into place and guarantee an even tightness on each side of the head.
For stringing, I used grey 10D Jimalax hard mesh. The grey hard mesh by Jimalax is pretty different than most other hard mesh. It is softer, which makes it easier to break in your pocket. I strung the mesh up with Jimalax Snow Camouflage sidewall string. I felt like the grey and camo together would truly give the head the look of a spider. After I was done stringing, I ended up with a surprisingly nice channel. Usually it is difficult to get a good channel with rounded heads with wide throats, but not with the Maverik Spider. I decided to put in a V for a shooter instead of a U in order to get optimal precision when throwing. Then I put in one straight shooter and a Snow Camo nylon, which really lets you feel the ball come out when you throw.
I’d recommend the Maverik Spider head to the offensive minded player. Whether you’re an attackman, middie, or pole who is a scoring threat, this head is great for putting the biscuit in the basket. I was sniping with this in the side yard and I was ripping holes in my net! The Spider is a great head engineered by some creative minds over at Maverik Lacrosse. Pics below - and you can get your own by clicking right here: