The idea for this week’s article dates back to this summer during a post-game conversation. I was handed an amazingly strung wooden box stick from Chris Rieley and the idea dawned on me. Chris and I should team up to string an open gut sidewall on a current head. I dyed a True Key to look like a living edge Woodie and took my True Prowess and cut off a section of the sidewall with a hacksaw. I then gave it to Chris to string up.
Chris strung up the Key with some sidewall that I then used polyurethane on to lock the gut in place and provide the needed rigidity to the sidewall. For the Prowess, we used Bison Hide. I wanted to see if one of these would work better than the other. Let’s find out.
Chris Rieley Collaboration: #TheGopherProject
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As you can see from the video, the heads softened and warped too much to be able to use. Cutting the sidewall ruined the structural integrity of the head and even with the polyurethane and gorilla glue, they are not able to be used for play. Out of the two options, I think the sidewall/poly method would work better since you can adjust the tension easier. The Bison Hide and leather may work if it was longer and anchored lower to the head than the ball stop area.
For the stringing, I used Lax Trader’s hemp cross lace which is tricky to string at first but even more so when the heads are constantly changing shape. I was able to lock the leathers in place but had to string the interlocks on the gut side a little loose in order to not torque the head too much. I rounded them out with hemp shooters. As always, I used my Gopher Leathers.
So, was this the smash-hit I had hoped? No, but that doesn’t mean this was a miss. I can guarantee you’ll see another team up with Chris on a lacrosse head in the future. Will it have a gut sidewall? You bet. I’ve already started mapping out ideas on how to keep the structural integrity of the head in check.
Thank you all for reading, we’re going be taking a break until LaxCon. Have a Happy Holidays and see you at LaxCon!