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Stringing The Statement

Five years ago, I found two retro things in storage. The first one being an original Brine Edge lacrosse head, and the other an old traditional leather stringing kit. I always stared at it thinking that I was going to ‘string it up’ at some point, but after a five year waiting period it was finally done on a recent weekend. It was also my first time I strung a traditional stick in almost 10 years. I never liked things going to waste. I was always was a frugal person growing up, I still am. Heck, I have many stories about ‘bootstrapping’ techniques building The Art of Lax™, which are proof of my frugal mentality. It will always be part of my DNA, sort-of-speak. The Brine edge that I found was the first off-set head in the market which I bought back in 1995. Somewhere in 2012, I also purchased that leather stringing kit, which I never used. And since finding those things, I felt that I was doing what I didn’t like to do – letting them go to waste. I reserved one Saturday back in November for a few hours putting these old things into use.

Instead of chopsticks or a butter knife, I used a TradiTree for the very first time. The TradiTree was given to me by the founders of the product whom I met at the Lake Placid Lacrosse Tournament a few years ago. Having heard of this product, I was excited to see how it worked for the complex and personal craft of traditional stringing.

Once the cross-lace was put in, the stringing technique was bringing me back to some great high school memories when I was considered the team ‘stick doctor’.

But that old pocket pounder, though? Yup, I still had one of those! :o)

I found an old aluminum shaft lying around, which I used to attach the newly strung head. The aluminum shaft, while a bit heavy compared to the modern alloys and other lightweight, metal combinations, was like being limited to that old school material, all over again.

I couldn’t wait to use it, more like throw with it, first – some wall ball. It was great! There’s no better hold than traditional, and I was quickly reminded of that. I also felt a bit old because of the outdated components that made up the complete stick in my hands. Recently, I took it to show if off to the kids where I coach at the Keio Academy of New York in Purchase, NY. They were perplexed because for them, it was something rare.

It was also very cumbersome for them to use due to the common, mesh pockets of today.

I named the title of this article ‘Stringing The Statement’ because I wanted to make a personal statement by doing this overdue project. That ‘statement’ was made in a few ways:

  1. Every lacrosse player should eventually learn to string their own sticks. Whether it’s routine pocket maintenance, a minor adjustment or a complete and complex redo, stringing your stick is the BEST thing you can do for your lacrosse game while sitting on your butt.
  2. I plan to use this stick a lot just to make another statement that you do not need to spend a huge amount of dollars to have something work for you. The Brine Edge was $60, I think, back then? The stringing kit, maybe around $18. The standard, old aluminum shaft, probably $15 at the very most. Total is under $100. Remember my frugal mentality??

My only hope is that I don’t break the good, old stick. Then my statement would be gone. But, I did just find an original STX Excalibur in storage, too! And that’s another story to write and string about.

@TheArtofLax

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