As the summer winds to its end and the fall season is upon us, I figured I would string up something special for fall ball.
For me, fall ball sticks are about two things. First, the newest and coolest tech. Secondly, doing something fun and a little out of my comfort zone. So, with that in mind, I decided to take the newest release from Epoch Lacrosse, The Hawk Prequel, and step out of my comfort zone by dying it up with some bright colors. I am pretty new to dying, so I thought this was a great project for me to put some things I have been learning to the test.
I chose The Prequel for this project because it utilizes some of the newest tech on the market. The composite injected polymer provides optimal strength and durability as well as maximum energy transfer for improved velocity. The curved profile takes the traditional shape most players are used to and incorporates Epoch’s “Laid Back Technology” producing a hybrid design. And its specifically engineered Lie and Sweet Spot have created a shorter pocket travel and thus, a quicker release.
I am not really sure why, but, after watching some of the trailers for “Suicide Squad” I had the idea of doing a “Toxic” head. In my head, I saw a bright neon yellow head with a marble purple throat fade.
So the first step was to take the head, clean it with rubbing alcohol, and dye it with the neon yellow dye. Since the neon yellow would cover the entire head, this part was simple. Boil the water, add the dye, stir, and place head in dye for 15 minutes. That being said, I did have to repeat this step a few times and even added more dye in order to get a neon yellow that I liked. Once I got a color I was happy with, I rinsed the excess dye off and put the head in the fridge for 10 minutes to shock the plastic back to its normal rigidity.
Once out of the fridge, it was time to create the marble effect. For this I used Krylon Marbleizing Spray. This can be found at most crafts stores, as well as online at places like Amazon. To apply the marbleizing spray, hold the can 6-8 inches from the head and spray using smooth and consistent sweeping motion.
With the Marbleizing Spray applied, it was time for the purple. I boiled the water, added the dye and stirred until I felt it was mixed completely. Then I put the head in vertically, throat first. I put the head in all the way up to the point I wanted to be the highest point of the fade and then pulled it back up. I repeated this as a continuous motion for 8 minutes to get a nice even fade effect. Then I pulled the head out, rinsed off the excess dye and stuck the head in the fridge for another 10 minutes to shock the head back into rigidity.
After the 10 minutes in the fridge, the head was ready to be cleaned up and strung.
First, I used acetone to help break up the Marbleizing Spray and get it cleaned off the head. One thing I have found extremely helpful during this stage is a toothpick. Modern heads have all kinds of textures and small cutouts that are difficult to get into, so having a toothpick to get into those spots is a necessity. Once I had all of the Marbleizing Spray cleaned off the head, I used rubbing alcohol and cotton balls to clean any excess dirt, dye and grime off the head and really let the colors shine.
Once it was completely cleaned, I noticed that the Marbleizing Spray had bled at the edges causing the yellow and purple to, somehow, create a neon green color. It was a mistake, but one I actually liked even better than my original idea. This is another reason I try to step outside of my comfort zone. Even when you mess things up, you learn and very often you create something cool by mistake.
Just like the summer season, fall ball is a great time to try new sticks and new stringing patterns to make sure you have the absolute best stick for your upcoming season. For inspiration on different stringing techniques check out the LACROSSE.COM Stringer Stories then browse through the selection of heads and stringing supplies to start your own project.