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Good Head For Traditional
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What Is A Good Head For Traditional?

What is a good head for traditional lacrosse stringing? We’re talking solid frames for the leather and crosslace.

The easy answer is ANY head is good for traditional, but that’s a total cop out. All heads were not created equal when it comes to string-ability. So which heads are best for traditional lacrosse stringing? Let’s dive right in…

The first thing I’m looking for are the bottom holes. This seems like a bizarre place to start, but it can be a deal breaker, so starting here is as good a place as any. It knocks a couple of options off the table for us, and that helps to narrow things down.

good head for traditional

You’re going to want 4 bottom, at least. If a head has 6 (a few do), that’s fine too. Now that you’ve knocked out heads with two bottom holes only (you can still use them, they just aren’t ideal), you should look at the size and shape of the bottom holes. Really small holes can be tough to get leathers through without damaging them. Really big holes can allow the leathers to slip. Again, there are ways around either problem, but we’re talking ideal here. You want holes where the leathers sit snugly, but aren’t totally stripped when they get pulled through. It’s a fine balance.

I also like to pick heads that have their bottom holes evenly spaced, so that the four leathers all enter the throat approximately equidistant from the other next to it. I find this allows for well spaced pocket and channel.

The next place to look is up top at the scoop, because again, there are certain key criteria at play. Ideally, you probably want to find a head that has 4 leathers holes in the scoop (or six, or more), and that each holes is about an inch to an inch and a half apart. Different heads have different widths, so the important thing is that the scoop holes are evenly spaced. All three gaps should be about the same size.

good head for traditional

Then we get to the sidewall, and the fun begins.

I like a sidewall with holes that go all the way up to the top, and all the way down to the bottom. Some heads cut it a bit short at one end or the other, and while this usually works just fine for mesh, it’s not ideal for traditional. Can you make heads like that work? Sure, they just aren’t ideal.

The holes up top and at the bottom also shouldn’t be too big. When you’re feeding crosslace through the hole, a double knot should be sufficient to keep the string in place. With some really big top sidewall holes you need to wrap the crosslace around the sidewall to get it to stay. Smaller holes, but many of them, are ideal at the top and bottom of the sidewalls.

good head for traditional

good head for traditional

In the middle of the sidewalls you want evenly spaced gaps between holes on the sidewall. If possible, it’s nice to have twice as many sidewall holes as you need, so that you can string an asymetrical sidewall on a one string traditional pocket. If these holes are evenly staggered, even better!

good head for traditional

Some Good Heads For Traditional

Good Head For Traditional

In addition to the Thompson Lacrosse i6 used for the photos in this post, there are many other good heads for traditional.

In the photo above, you can see six different heads that all meet most of the criteria above, if not all of them. From left to right we have the Traditional Head by TLAX, Warrior Evo4, Maverik Metrik, Epoch Hawk, Nike Lakota, Gait Recon XLU. All of these heads are easy to string with traditional, so look for things similar to that and you should be fine.

BONUS Good Head For Traditional FEATURE

I also like a head that has an area around the throat where I can wrap the leathers. Certain heads have cutaway areas that you can run the leathers through, and I like how this holds them in place. It also allows you to easily wrap the leathers back around to the rear of the head and place your knots there. Then you never have to worry about the end of a leather going into your pocket, even if you leave them long.

good head for traditional

That’s not a deal breaker… just something of an added bonus!

Now I want to hear from YOU. What’s your favorite head to string up with a traditional pocket?