What is up guys? Neil here from Cardinal Lacrosse.
As part of LACROSSE.COM’s Stringer’s Stories, we were asked to string up a few heads and talk about our process and why we chose to do what we did. The idea of these articles isn’t only about specific techniques or patterns (although I will include the pattern). I will also highlight why I strung a head the way that I did. Hopefully, this will help you begin to think critically about your stringing and how you can use stringing to fit your game, rather than fitting your game to your stringing.
I am starting off simple, stringing a stick exactly the way I would string it for myself. Later in the series I will push myself outside of my comfort zone and try some new things, but let’s start at the beginning.
I choose the Nike Lakota U for this project because I love the face shape. It has the perfect gradual sidewall taper for my style. With 17 large sidewall holes it also allows for a variety of pockets to be strung with ease. I was actually able to perfectly string this up in one attempt.
I used East Coast Dyes HeroMesh because over the last year it has been my favorite mesh in the game. I love that it has a consistent feel but also has some shift and softness while cradling. Since the Lakota was red, I thought it would be a great opportunity to string up some of East Coast Dye’s LE USA Hero Mesh and go all out with the USA theme.
I did a 9-diamond top string, attaching all 6 top holes to the mesh. Honestly, it might not actually do anything to the performance of the stick, but it feels like the mesh is more balanced and tight across the top. I tied off the top string on the second hole to make the mesh even more tight, and also to pull the mesh down the head to begin forming the channel.
On the third sidewall hole I wrapped the tie-off not once, but twice, on the first 10 diamond row. The extra wrap provides no additional performance boost for this head, I just think it looks cool (sticks are works of art AND performance). On heads with large or rectangular holes, the extra wraps can stop the knot from pulling through the hole without having to tie a bulky quadruple knot.
For the next 3 10-diamond mesh holes, I skipped a sidewall hole and used an SI to attach the mesh to the head. SI’s are a very simple knot that allows you to pull the mesh tight in any head. The SI is a great knot with tons of versatility. You can even string the entire head using only SI’s. This gives me plenty of options.
After the 3 SI’s, I used 5 knotted 1’s to create the pocket. Because I am a feed-first X attackman, I like to have a good mid-pocket to increase the speed of my release. But I also want it to be able to shift low for one handed cradling while dodging against long poles. For these reasons, I usually have a few 1’s in my patterns. 1’s are simple and shifty. The shift also adds a touch of whip while shooting, which has improved my shooting over the years.
I weaved the bottom string through the 9-diamond row immediately after last 10-diamond row used in the sidewall. This bunches the mesh under the ball causing it to sit in a mid position where I want it when I have two hands on the stick, but doesn’t interfere with the ball shifting low for one handed play.
My typical shooter setup is a double nylon, weaved through 4th 10-diamond row, a skipped row and then a hockey lace shooter. After playing for 15 years, I have really come to love the way this setup works for me. It provides just a hint of whip that is perfect for keeping my passes on a line and my shots from rising. But, the thing about shooters is that they are so simple and easy to change. So don’t be afraid to try new things out. Try your best friend’s shooter pattern. Try your favorite pro’s set up. Try something crazy. Ultimately, a player’s shooter set up is one of the most personal choices he can make in a stick. This works for me. What will work for you?
Pattern: skip, top string tie off, tie off, skip, SI, skip, SI, skip, SI, 1k, 1k, 1k, 1k, 1k, skip, tie off, skip, skip.
Get a new Nike Lakota as well as any stringing supplies you may need from LACROSSE.COM then stay tuned to see how George ties up his own Lakota. Feel free to reach out to Neil (@CardinalLacrosse) and let him know what you think of his tie up.