I was once at a conference where one of the speakers said, “Look how much music delivery has changed. Vinyl was replaced with 8 tracks, 8 tracks with tapes, tapes with CD’s and CD’s with MP3’s.” He still had me at that point. He went on to say, “There won’t be any more advances and MP3’s are here to stay.” I did not agree with that point whatsoever because quite simply, there is ALWAYS something new coming down the pipeline. And that statement holds true in lacrosse just as much as it does in the music industry.
So while 2011 will be the year of chrome (due to manufacturing and ordering schedules, this is pretty much already set in stone), that doesn’t mean it’s the end-all be-all of custom lax gear. Sure, there will be lots of chrome – colored chrome and 2- or 3-color chrome fade heads. There will be chrome helmets and faded chrome helmets. Hell, we’ll probably even see a company come out with chrome cups. This is just inevitable. Chrome. If I never write that again it will be a miracle.
To see some of the aforementioned shiny stuff along with some great actual lacrosse action, peep the Hawaii Invitational Championship highlights.
The overabundance of C-word merchandise that has been, and will continue to be, released is not the end of the line. Far from it. To help the manufacturers and custom gear designers hop outside the chrome thinking box, I’m offering up some ideas for custom gear that either hasn’t been done or has only been attempted once or twice.
New trends often come off the backs of existing ideas and they often flow in an opposite direction. We’ve seen so much synthetic material lately that I think we’ll start to see a backlash. The new Reebok 10K gloves have an all-natural leather palm and the feel is unreal. I hope to see more of this, but it doesn’t have to be limited to the palm of the glove. Think bigger.
Leather To Match My Jacket
Think all leather. Tan, brown and even gray leather. Use goats. They yield tough and amazingly smooth leather. We’ve got STX Assault gloves and Maverik Maybachs to help you wrap your mind around the idea. These would be modern versions of the *MUCH* older all-leather gloves of yesteryear. Same flexibility as a modern glove, but a very old school look. Matching your uniform is overrated. Looking classy as hell is priceless.
This leather might be tough to use for arm pads, but the leather coloration concept could easily be pulled over to protective gear and I’m sure Headwrapz could create a helmet that looks like it’s made out of leather, although that might take things a little too far.
The next idea also works best on gloves and arm pads. I have only seen this attempted once and it was done by Warrior back in the early 2000’s. Mikey Powell was playing for the Gait Brothers LC up at Lake Placid and he had on these gloves that were a patchwork of random colors. (I couldn’t find a picture though. Shame.) They were like Madras shorts on your hands. So sick and great for any laxer out of college, well into his club years. After all, they’ll work with any team’s uniforms!
The Madras concept also allows for manufacturers of gear to “recycle” unused materials and create a “green” line of gear. This could easily be done by a company like StrikerDanger as well. They could take scraps from great short designs and come up with real Madras lacrosse shorts. Again, this concept could easily be pulled onto arm pads too. It could also be done on cleats pretty easily. Headwrapz already has a multicolored helmet so that is a done deal.
The last next big thing could be the use of clear plastic/synthetic in place of opaque synthetics. This could easily be done on gloves, arm pads and shoes. It would be pretty cool to look at a pair of arm pads and actually see all the padding exposed visually. Plus it allows manufacturers to get as gimmicky as they want, so that’s something!
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!!