Gear Traditional

Traditional Thursdays: A Tribute

Sideways shot of the pocket

I love my mom. She started her journey to be cancer-free yesterday. “I’m not sick,” she was saying when she broke the news initially. “I’ll be fine.” Calm. Confident. Like a rock.

You feel helpless when a family member breaks news like this and you’re hundreds of miles away. You want to react, but to what exactly? Ah, I know… I’ll string something that will serve as a visual reminder to remain calm in the face of whatever adversity the coming day sees fit to bring. Mom keeps the family together; coach keeps the team together. Mom knits and makes baskets; I string lacrosse sticks. Get a pink stick, string a traditional pink pocket. Show your support. Redneck logic at its finest, right? Q.E.D., y’all.

This one’s for you, mom… and for all the other women fighting breast cancer both past, present, and future tense.

Profile shot of the pocket's contours


For my personal traditionals, I prefer to string a loose seven-diamond mid-pocket. I start my sidewalls the way that the Brine instructions said to do it a million years ago.

Sideways shot of the pocket


I prefer the topmost shooter is nylon cord in similar throwback fashion (uphill both ways in the snow, right?) and I also prefer it is anchored to the head. The double shooter is a borrowing from my mom’s basket weaving, and it prevents shifting issues that a single nylon might have (some might call it artificial lip, but to each their own, right?).

Backside of the pocket


I’ve started bringing the topmost end of the crosslace back across all four leathers, which is an idea I borrowed from some Patterson women’s sticks and Etienne boxla woodies in my collection). It really seems to improve the tension at the top of the pocket.

Face shot of the pocket


It was fitting (no pun intended) that of all the wooden shafts in my collection, this fine piece of hickory was the only one that fit the Superpower well. When you’re coaching, the heavier weight of wood is the superior tradeoff over metal’s thermodynamic tendency to feel cold as hell in your bare hands.

Hickory lacrosse shaft by

Tough like that

Nerd humor from your LAS server wrangler emeritus. When the going gets tough, the tough get weird.

There's no place like home

There’s no place like home

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About the author


Dan Willson grew up playing lax in Northern Virginia for VYI and TJHSST back when heads were wide, sidewalls were solid, and spoons came from the factory with traditional pockets. When he's not beating computers like they owe him money, Dan coaches lacrosse for the GBYLA and Homewood High School in Birmingham, Alabama.

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