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Rock-It Ladder Pocket: #TheGopherProject

Alright, it’s time for another tutorial! This time we’re taking the concept of the Rock-It Pocket and combining that with the women’s ladder pocket. Now, the center channel of the Rock-It Pocket has always been one of my favorite traditional pockets. When done correctly, it gives you great hold and moves the ball quickly out of the pocket. It’s very similar to the ladder pocket middle but I think it’s sturdier and more consistent. I’ve always wanted to put an RP style pocket in a women’s stick. Now, I finally can. I ran the concept and earlier versions by three of the best stringers out there:

Liz Hogan

Liz Hogan Instagram

Robin Brown 

Robin Brown Instagram

Katie Facciola (Foss!)

Katie Facciola Instagram

After a few changes to the design from the ladies above, I was able to come up with something I think encompasses all the best parts from the two pockets.  Note, I did not do a traditional top coil and bottom saddle on this version. Why? I do not think their beneficial and wanted to reduce excess weight as much as possible.  It’s also why I swapped the outer leathers for paracord runners. Now, you may see a top coil tutorial sometime in the future….

Stringing Scale: I’ll rate the difficulty on stringing these pockets from 3 to 5.  1 being fairly easy and 5 being the most difficult. With all the double interlocks and tensioning, this may take you a few passes if you’ve never done one before.  

Rock-It Ladder Pocket Tutorial

Here is what you are going to need:

  1. A women’s head.  STX Crux 500 
  2. 2 Leathers.  Slate Gopher Leathers.
  3. 2 Paracord or Top Lace Runners (about 22 inches) 
  4. Crosslace.  1 center piece at 12 ft and 2 side pieces at 14 ft
  5. Sidewall.  2 Pieces (normal sidewall length)
  6. Shooters.  I used 2 Blue
  7. Needle Nose Pliers.  These are critical for getting the crosslace lace through the double interlocks.
  8. Ladies TradiTree (We did just spotlight Hank earlier this month)

rock-it ladder pocket #thegopherproject

Step 1:

Install your sidewall, outer runners, and leathers.  Remember to prestretch your leathers.  

Step 2:  

Install your TradiTree.  If you have never strung this pocket before, I suggest trying the Tradi out.  It requires a lot of knots and can be a hassle to fix tensioning after it’s done.  

Step 3:

Middle channel time!  Here we are running the crosslace from the top sidewall hole in the head bringing it through the runner and leather and tying a double interlock knot on the opposite leather.   Double interlocks can be tricky at first. Run the crosslace OVER the leather and behind and then OVER the leather again. Gently slide the knot tight and move to the leather to the right.  As you’ll see in the video, depending on the length of the head, you’ll either have 8 or 9 interlocks down each leather. Work your way down the pocket and tie off at the bottom. 

Step 4: 

Split your outer piece of crosslace in half at the top runner (tie of the left side so it doesn’t move).   Here we’re going to run down the head doing a double interlock on the leather and a single interlock on the runner.  You need to have the double interlock lay flat (not look wonky). In order to do this, you will go UNDER the leather and through the previous interlock and the over and UNDER the leather again.  It’s the exact opposite of what you did in the middle. The Single interlocks should lay on the runner in between the double interlock in the leather. Work your way down and tie off the crosslace.  

Step 5: 

You have 2 options here.  You can finish the left side or begin the inner right side.  For me, I’d suggest doing the inner right so you can keep the Rock-It Ladder pocket consistent as possible.  If you do one side and then the other, you will sometimes get a pocket that pulls to one side more.  

Remember due to the double interlock pattern, this pocket is asymmetrical, we fix this by placing the single interlocks are parallel to the other runner.  It will look odd at first but will keep all the diamonds uniform. Complete the inner side and then tie up both outer sides.  

Step 6: 

Review the interlocks to make sure all of them are lying flat and properly tensioned.  Remove the TradiTree and give the pocket another once over. Pound the pocket in (I used a bat to lock everything in place) and check to make sure it’s legal.

Step 7: 

Shooters….You’ll need them.  I highly suggest you hit the wall or rebounder before you finally cut all crosslace and sidewall to your preferred length.  

Step 8:

Feedback!  I want your input on this pocket.  Do you prefer the coil and saddle for this?  Do you want tutorials for those? Do you think the pocket is legal/illegal?  Do you think you can do a better take? I’d love to see what you all come up with.

Thanks for reading!  Use #thegopherproject on your string ups to earn a future spotlight or string up of the week!

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