August 22, 2011
Alt Crafting Effort No. 2 this summer involved lacrosse.
During my stirring three-day stand at the NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore with 12-year-old son Clif, it became clear to me that the lax bros put on a good show of being studly and cool and pretty much above it all–but I knew their dark secret.
They are all seriously into macrame.
And now, thanks to Clif’s obsession, so am I.
To review: lacrosse used to use bentwood sticks like these:
These are the equivalent of wooden tennis rackets. Most players today use metal and plastic sticks. However, some lacrosse practitioners like this old school stringing, rather than the uninspired machine-made mesh that is most common.
Clif is old school in just about every way, so it is highly predictable that he would get wind of traditional lacrosse stringing.
Clif art directed; I was just an apprentice stringer.
His first effort was to dye a white lacrosse stick head in a pot of maroon dye for three days. In the middle of my kitchen. The stripes were hot-glued before dyeing, then peeled off all over the kitchen floor, leaving pristine white squirgles on the head.
We then spent a lot of time with a YouTube bro from Colorado who explained how to string a lacrosse head in the traditional style. If the guy would HOLD THE STICK IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA, it might help. My nominee, truly, for Worst Crafting YouTube/Sports Equipment Category.
The second head was the more challenging “Pita Pocket” traditional head. We found a tutorial with murky, postage-stamp-sized photos; winged it when the going got tough; and concluded that it would not be hard to surpass current online lacrosse-stick-stringing tutorials.
I think they call this one a PITA because it is, in fact, a pain in the ass.
This is actually a fun thing to do. There are zillions of ways to string lacrosse heads.
Any minute, Clif is going to want to start bending wood to make a 100% traditional stick. I am ready.