The box lacrosse stick, from a stick making perspective, is the only stick you are likely to be judged on. It is the cross that other box lacrosse stick makers would inspect and scrutinize. It isn’t that any other frame is less difficult, quite the opposite in fact. The reason that the box lacrosse stick is the standard, is because it is the modern-day wooden stick. It is, quite simply, the only stick that a player is allowed to use in the contemporary version of our game, and therefore, it is the only one that can be tested, tried, and proven.
I’ve made two dozen box lacrosse sticks since I began this project nearly seven years ago. I had tried various shapes, styles and designs, and I came to the conclusion that I wanted my sticks to be playable at the highest level. With that in mind, I decided on a slightly thicker wooden sidewall. This will allow it to sustain the abuse. Additionally, I shaped the head in such a way that the thicker sidewall would not affect the balance of the stick, which was tricky. It was the decision to make this stick with the professional player in mind that lead me to name it the Box Pro.
The head shape was my first decision, and it was the only really hard one to make. I always knew how I wanted the rest of my frame to be. I tapered the handle as to allow for proper handling and to increase the player’s ability to recognize their hand placement. I also dropped the center of gravity by offsetting the head. This, combined with a well channeled pocket, makes allows the player to cradle with the same competency that they would enjoy in a modern plastic head. The beauty of all of this is that it is not a flimsy piece of plastic, it is an absolute monster!
My plan has always been to make every stick that has ever existed. So, it would be fair to ask, since I have already explained that the box stick is the modern standard, why I did not begin by making my signature box sticks rather than my field models. The answer is a personal one. I would never have gone back to make a field stick if I had already began producing my box frames. I know myself too well, and I would have held too little value in the process of making the field models.
Field sticks (circa 1960 standards and rules) are no longer used in any way. The bends needed to produce a 1960 style field stick are significantly harder to perform than those needed to produce a box stick. It may surprise many people to know that there is little to no value in that in terms of stick maker’s clout, so I would have been left with the un-motivating task of teaching myself to build a useless stick that takes more work. That is not something I would be likely to follow through with.
Wood bending is a ridiculous undertaking when you consider the difficulty. I believe that I understand the limits of the North American Hickory Tree far better by mastering the field bends, and I think the box lacrosse sticks are better for me having done so. I have released the first editions of the Box Pro, and I already know what stick I have planned next. I cannot wait to share the journey with you all. Special thank you to all master stick makers since the beginning. Without your dedication to keeping this craft alive I would never have been fortunate enough to have realize one of the great joys in my life.
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