Editor’s Note: Justin Skaggs and I have talked about, compared, and share secrets when it comes to wooden lacrosse sticks. He appreciates these vestiges of our past as the part of our future that they are. When he told me about his new idea, I was excited, and I think he’s just the man for the job. Read more below, from Justin, on WoodLacrosseSticks.com!
My name is Justin Skaggs. I have worked in the lacrosse industry as a modern stick maker since I was 14 years old. I was stringing pockets long before I made my living from my art. Stylin’ Strings has been my home for the last 12 years. My career has allowed me to make nearly every pocket in every head, work with amazing artists, and I have been blessed to string for some of the best players and teams in the world. Being involved in the sport this long has also taught me the roots of the Creator’s Game. Furthermore, it has made me aware of the lack of understanding that many in the modern lacrosse community have when it comes to the origins of the game.
I love dyeing and stringing modern sticks. The likelihood that you will see me at age 80 with strings in my hands is very high. While there is always joy to be found in inventing new designs, I must admit that I am hungry for a challenge. Over the next few years I will be immersing myself in the production and techniques of traditional wooden lacrosse stick making and I will be documenting my journey. This part of my adventure started when I studied with Alfie Jacques at his studio located on the Onondaga Reservation in upstate New York. I sat with the legendary stick maker as he shared with me his knowledge in the art of hickory lacrosse stick making. He unknowingly set me on this path that you now find me on.
Studying with Alf gave me a thirst I have not yet been able to quench. My time with Alf brought me to the realization that I was only just scratching the surface of my craft and all I had to do was look backwards. That is what I plan to do with WoodLacrosseSticks.com. I aim to bring the roots of lacrosse stick making back to the new generation players and enthusiasts. I believe that people will be inclined to seek out the history of the game when they can hold it in their hands.
This project was developed as a way for me to develop my skills alongside the best artists in the world. I have been fortunate enough to learn from the master himself, befriend some of his students, such as Jack Johnson, and walk into this with over a decade of experience. That said, this will be a journey, and I can not express how excited I am to begin. I will be documenting the experience through social media outlets like Instagram and YouTube as well as written Blogs.
Skoogle, Inc. has begun making lacrosse sticks from hickory and quality materials. We are still a long way away from revealing our product and we hope to bring it to you sometime in 2015, but there are many talented people making these beautiful pieces. WoodLacrosseSticks.com aims to bring these artists to you in one easy to find place. As this community grows, we will be there to bring it to the masses. We are proud to begin by offering our repair and restringing services, as well as some fantastic sticks from Traditional Lacrosse, and we hope to offer many more artists in the near future.
Check out the Wood Lacrosse Sticks website to learn more!