There’s a million different ways to string a stick. Take one look around Instagram and you’ll see just about every single possible variation of knot placement and thousands of different theories on string science. We love that about lacrosse. Players and stringers are passionate about preference and self expression.
If you look through our website you will notice our Chief Pattern Maker and Leader of the Powell String Team, Sam, uses multiple top string variations within the pattern. Here we will breakdown why that is and what the top strings role is when it comes to the success of a players pocket.
First Things First.
The top string is the foundation of your pocket and, when it comes to attaching mesh, is the almost always the very first string you will lace up. It’s important to remember with a top string that symmetry and balance need to be spot on at this stage because it will influence the rest of your string job. Like the foundation of a house, if its out of level it will make the remainder of the build extremely difficult. So when you string up your stick make sure your centered. The best way to do this is to use the rows or holes as a guide.
In this video Sam talks a bit about the three different top strings that he uses within the Powell pattern and why. Sam is a very practical stringer, that’s why we love him. He isn’t about flash, he’s all about performance. Sam is also a great lacrosse player with plenty of experience and understands what players really need out of their pockets. He’s the master of creating reliable pockets that are consistent and easy to maintain.
When you order a strung stick from us it will come with one of the three following top string patterns; 4 hitch, 6 hitch, or a triangle variant. Each of these top string patterns serves a specific purpose in the overall performance of the pocket.
As the name suggests, this pattern only uses four connection points in the top of the scoop (not counting where the string gets tied off on both sides). This is the classic way to string mesh and by far the easiest to string and the easiest to maintain. This is perfect for a player that likes a set up with a wide channel and likes the ball rolling around in a baggy pocket. The 4 Hitch, because it only uses four connection points, pulls very little tension to the top of the pocket and leaves gaps between the plastic and the mesh in the three untied rows. This allows more mesh to move freely and ultimately a full bodied pocket with a wide “U” shaped channel.
Nothing crazy to explain here, you simply add two more hitch knots or connection points to the 4 Hitch and you’ve got yourself a 6 Hitch. Adding these connection points will tension the pocket tighter up top and pull the mesh higher in the two outer rows that the 4 hitch left abandoned. What this means is that the pocket will have a tighter channel because you are pulling in the sides of the mesh and turning that “U” shaped channel into more of a “V”. This is great for the player that likes a tight channeled pocket with an easy to maintain top string pattern. A great blend of manageability and performance.
The triangle top string pattern is perhaps the most popular top string in lacrosse right now because it connects the entire mesh piece and lays the foundation for the tightest channel. To learn more about channel click here. By using a triangle top you can literally pull the mesh beyond the baseline of the scoop and really create an aggressive “V” shaped pocket. The 6 Hitch eliminated the gaps but left the central row open. The triangle top pulls the central row way up the center and really lays the base for that tight channel. Another cool thing here is that you can have fun with colors with this top string pattern because it uses multiple strings. When you order a custom strung Powell stick just add your top base color and your triangle color in the customizer and we will get er done.
Please keep in mind that this article discusses only the top string. Obviously the side wall and even the throat string patterns are critical steps when it comes to creating the channel as well. Maybe we can get Sam back on the couch and talk about how he laces up the sidewalls.
The intention of this post is to simply lay out what we do here and Powell but we encourage all of you stringers out there to do what works for you and what you’re comfortable with. It’s important that you never lose that sense of self expression and passion for preference.