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Traditional Friday? Leather Pull Strings

Happy Traditional Thursday Friday! A day late, but still dropping knowledge. Today, I string up a non-traditional friendly Easton head and explore the infamous “floating leathers” made popular by Gary Gait, and mimicked by CW.

When you look at this lacrosse head I’ve strung up, you will notice that the bottom holes aren’t like any other lacrosse head. There are only 2 holes and the sidewall is so spaced out that you can’t really pull a leather through the last sidewall like you can with a STX Proton/Super Power. So I decided to use floating leathers in this pocket.


When I think about bottom strings, I think about how most people use it to place their pocket in a specific place and change the depth of the pocket. For example, a longer bottom string will force the pocket to have a higher pocket. When really, all you need the bottom string for is to just prevent the ball from slipping out underneath! It’s all in the sidewall but that’s another conversation for another day. Anyways, with bottom string adjustments affecting pocket depth greatly, it was inevitable that the cheater/pull string was born. Can this be translated into traditional?

Absolutely, but is it practical? Yes, but not always. Depending on the tension of one’s crosslace and shooters, sometimes a shallow pocket will mean more hold. But if you’re a box player, I don’t see why you should limit yourself when they’re virtually isn’t a pocket depth rule. I don’t condone cheating in anyway, but just because you can cheat with a mesh pocket, doesn’t mean you can’t cheat with a traditional. I’m not calling Gary Gait a cheater but he certainly was far ahead of his time!


Apparently the floating/cheating string is very controversial in womens lacrosse. Tedd Glynn from Wave Dog sports informed me that it has become so popular that now after a goal, players have to drop their crosses’ entirely.

Here is what Connor Wilson had to say about the floating leather/cheater string theory:

The “cheater pull string” in mesh pockets was definitely bad for the game! Kids had bag pockets, the ball couldn’t be dislodged, and cheating was rampant! I’m not a fan of the idea of people actually using this methodology, but I think it’s neat you’re experimenting with it using traditional!

At the end of the day, my concern comes from DEEP leather pockets. I feel like once you go past the point of legal depth, most pockets really whip hard, and become inconsistent. Making a good pass is more important than dodging through everyone and becoming the black hole of lacrosse. I’m curious to see if the pocket whips out when you let the bottom string out a lot.

Here is Greg Rose’s take on the concept:

The rule is almost a blessing in disguise. It makes it so the whole ball does not need to make it out of the pocket when using it. Since the ball is already on the ‘lip’ of the pocket when it is legal, it can be propelled from the stick easier. Any sort of reaction you’d liked to get against the ball can be done with the sidewalls and the tension they create instead of the depth of pocket.


Bonus Traditional Thursday:

Coming in hot from Poland.

Piotr Stalmach of strings up his first asymetrical traditional using our multi-string tutorial from Connor Wilson. Check it out for yourself, and learn to string today!