Stringing a lacrosse head, for most players, is a deeply personal matter. While there may not be a one-style-fits-all approach when it comes to stringing sticks, there are certain guidelines and tips that you’re best off following before trying to turn a pile of strings into a lacrosse pocket.
What We Cover:
Things You’ll Need
- Lacrosse Head
- Top Strings
- Sidewall Strings
- Nylon & Lace Shooting Strings
Folding the Mesh
The first step of stringing a lacrosse head starts with the basics, your mesh. Using your hands, pull the mesh at the top on both sides until its upper end is fully stretched. Now, fold the first three rows of the glossy side of your mesh over so that’s facing you. The diamonds in the mesh you’ve folded over should be aligned and have two bunny-like ears up top on the sides.
Using one of your top strings, tie a double knot (or anything bigger than the diameter of your sidewalls) about 4 inches from the end of your string. Lace the unknotted end of your string through the highest sidewall hole (depends on the head) until the knot is firmly in contact against the head. Next, weave your top string through the first folded diamond hole of your mesh, from front to back. Feed the remaining string through the same hole you’ve used in your sidewall. This should attach the corner of your mesh to your head. Now, run the remaining string back up through the same diamond mesh hole you used before and give it a quick pull so that no slack remains.
Tip: Tie a knot at the opposite sidewall hole in your head so that your shooting mesh is evenly dispersed across the top of the head. You’ll appreciate this when trying to tie the top strings.
To continue attaching your mesh to the top of your head’s scoop, feed your string up through the first large scoop hole located on the top of your head. Pull the string through the scoop hole and then up through the next diamond mesh hole. There should be a little slack leftover to create a loop; run your string up through the loop, and give it a firm pull.
Finally, run the same sidewall string down through the same mesh hole, leaving a loop, and up through the same scoop hole. Pull your string through the scoop hole and then down through the loop you’ve created with your slack.
Repeat the same process for the remaining four major holes, pushing your string through every other scoop hole one at a time and using the same fastening technique as before. When you get to the end of your head’s scoop section, use the same method you used at the very beginning to attach your mesh to the opposite sidewall. Once you feel like your top string is tightly and securely woven across the head, tie it off with a double knot.
Sidewall stringing is the true test of any avid stringer’s skill. While it may seem insignificant, a tightly woven sidewall job can go a long way in elevating your stick’s shot power, accuracy, and ball control. Ultimately, the tighter your sidewall is, the better.
To start off stringing your sidewall, tie a knot towards the end of your sidewall string, like you did with your top string. Weave the untied end through the sidewall hole below where your top string lies and through the first adjacent diamond hole on your mesh. Now, take the string through the same sidewall hole, then up and under through the same mesh hole. Run your string through the sidewall hole three steps down and through the second diamond mesh hole. Give it a tight pull up and your stringing should feel locked into place.
The rest of your sidewall stringing will follow the same technique as mentioned above. Skip a hole on the head and repeat the same stringing technique. Each outside hole of your mesh, however, should be connected to your head’s sidewall.
Your stringing should be as tight as possible throughout, with little to no slack. If it’s too loose or you skip mesh holes, your hopes of breaking in a nice pocket are as good as gone.
When you reach your last sidewall hole, bring your string from the back through the last mesh diamond in reach. Feed your string back into the last sidewall hole, from inside to out, and tie a knot as close as possible to the plastic sidewall.
Tying off your mesh at the bottom of your head, luckily for you, is a little bit of an easier process. Start off by cutting some leftover sidewall string and tying a knot at one end. Next look at how many holes the bottom of your head has. Most heads today will have four holes; bring the untied end of your string through the inner-left hole at the bottom of your head and then up, one over from the same mesh diamond that you finished your sidewall at.
Weave your string across the mesh from back to front through each diamond hole until you reach one hole over from the opposing sidewall string. Bring your string back down and into the inner-right hole at the bottom of your head. To secure it in place, tie a final knot as close to the plastic as possible and cut off any remaining string.
Where and how you choose to place your shooting strings will have a direct effect on how your pocket feels when passing and shooting the ball. There are several combinations of how you can use your shooting laces and nylon shooting string to help bring out a certain feel in your head’s pocket. Some players prefer to only use shooting laces wrapped directly around their pocket, while others like to keep things simpler with only a nylon shooter.
If you’re looking for a standard shooter set-up here’s what we recommend:
Take your first shooter and run it through the gap between your sidewall and sidewall string, over either the second unstrung sidewall hole or roughly where your pocket formation takes shape.
Next, stretch your shooting lace out so that it lies on the sidewall at its halfway point. Take one side of the evenly centered lace and weave it under the first diamond mesh hole, then up through the adjacent one after it, etc. Once you reach the other side of the head, take the remaining string that you’ve laid out and weave it through the string that you’ve already woven, alternating going over and under it.
To close off your two shooters on the sidewall, tie a double knot around the sidewall string in place and run a lighter over where you cut it to melt any strings that may have been frayed.
- In some cases, holes should be skipped to get a desired pocket shape
- Certain heads have certain stringing guidelines
- Restring your head every two months