Choosing Lacrosse Strings Based on Player Position
As every lacrosse player knows, not all nylon lacrosse strings are created equal. The type of string you choose can make a dramatic difference in your on-field performance. When selecting a lacrosse string spool, it’s important to consider the unique needs of your position.
For attackmen who handle the ball frequently, thinner lacrosse strings offer superior ball control and handling. The narrower strings grip the ball better, allowing attackmen to cradle and maintain possession amid checks and pokes from defenders. Thinner strings also provide more flexibility when shooting, passing, and dodging. Of course, the tradeoff is that thin lacrosse strings are less durable and tear more easily. However, for lightning-quick attackmen who value ball control, thinner nylon lacrosse strings are the way to go.
In contrast, defensemen benefit from thicker, heavier lacrosse strings that provide extra strength and durability. When slashing and poking at attackmen, thicker strings stand up better to abuse without fraying or breaking prematurely. The stiff nylon also gives defensemen’s checks more power and authority to dislodge the ball. Though some feel and finesse is sacrificed, defensemen need sturdy lacrosse string that will hold up shift after bruising shift.
For midfielders who play both offense and defense, a lacrosse string spool with medium thickness strings offers the best of both worlds. Middies need strings that are responsive for passing and shooting but also dense enough for physical play. The right median thickness gives them sufficient ball control without sacrificing too much durability. With midfield being the “do-it-all” lacrosse position, all-around performance lacrosse string is ideal.
So be sure to factor in your unique position and style of play when selecting a lacrosse string spool. The same nylon that works well for an attackman may be unsuitable for a hard-hitting defenseman. Making the right string choice will optimize your performance on the field!
Selecting Lacrosse String Thickness for Ball Control and Power
When looking at different nylon lacrosse strings, one of the most important factors to consider is the thickness or gauge of the strings. Lacrosse string thickness has a major impact on the balance between ball control, feel, and power when passing, catching, shooting, or scooping ground balls.
In general, thinner lacrosse strings in the 20-30 gauge range provide superior ball control, feel, and handling. The narrower string beds grip the ball better, allowing for quicker cradling, smoother scooping, and more precise passing. Thinner strings move and whip with less resistance, giving players better command over the ball’s movement. Light and flexible lacrosse strings almost become an extension of the stick head. For players who rely on ball control finesse, thinner nylon lacrosse strings are the top choice.
However, thinner lacrosse strings also have some drawbacks. Most notably, they tend to bag out and lose tension more quickly. And because they are less dense, thin strings provide less power when passing and shooting. While great for ball control, thin strings can be too flexible when trying to rip a hard shot or deliver crisp passes through traffic.
That’s where thicker lacrosse strings come in. Those in the 40-60 gauge range offer a stiffer feel and generate more force when passing and shooting. Dense lacrosse string beds have less give, resulting in sharper passes, increased velocity on shots, and better ball retention during checks. Tradeoffs include decreased flexibility, somewhat slower ball handling, and a stiffer overall feel.
For players who rely more on shooting and passing power, thicker nylon lacrosse strings are preferable. Middies or attackmen may favor a middle ground around 30-40 gauge, balancing control and velocity. It all comes down to your style of play and personal preference. Testing out different string gauges to find your lacrosse string “sweet spot” can pay huge dividends on the field.
Optimal Lacrosse String Length for Restringing
One key factor when selecting a lacrosse string spool is making sure you have enough yards of nylon string for your specific restringing needs. Having ample length allows you to string traditional pocket designs like mid-lows or high-whips that require substantial stringing. Conversely, buying a spool that’s too short can be incredibly frustrating.
For attack or midfield sticks, experts recommend getting a lacrosse string spool with at least 40-50 yards of nylon. This ensures you’ll have plenty of string to weave a deep pocket with 6-8 shooting strings and 1-2 channel strings. More string may be required for wide heads that need substantial sidewall stringing. You’ll also have leeway for mess-ups and trial-and-error tweaking to get the pocket exactly how you want it.
For defense sticks meant primarily for checks and dislodging the ball, 25-30 yards is usually sufficient. You can get away with fewer shooting strings and a shallower channel. But purchasing extra length helps account for mistakes and allows experimenting with different sidewall stringing styles.
Buying lacrosse string spools with 80+ yards gives the most flexibility for players who restring often or have multiple sticks. You’ll never run short, even when stringing wider heads or intricate pocket patterns like a triple threat or zombie. Having ample extra string also allows re-serving the sides or bottom shooters as they wear over time.
While it may seem wasteful buying more nylon than you need, keep in mind that lacrosse string lasts for years if stored properly. The minimal upfront investment will save you hassles and frustration down the road. For simplicity and flexibility, go with a generously-sized lacrosse string spool.
Softer Lacrosse Strings For Superior Ball Control
When evaluating different nylon lacrosse strings, one key characteristic is the overall stiffness and softness of the string. Softer lacrosse strings generally provide better overall ball control, feel, and handling.
The flexible nature of soft lacrosse string allows it to “grip” the ball better within the pocket. This gives players tighter control over cradling, scooping ground balls, and protecting possession amid checks. Soft strings almost cling to the ball surface, keeping it locked in the pocket. The supple feel also provides excellent touch on quick sticks, feeds, and shots on the run.
Stiffer lacrosse string doesn’t conform to the ball as closely, leading to decreased ball control. Harder nylon strings tend to have more “bounce” as the ball contacts them. This can result in poorer ball retention, passes sailing high, and loss of possession. While good for power, stiff strings sacrifice control.
Softness or stiffness depends partially on the gauge of the string. Thinner strings are inherently more flexible. But coating and waxing techniques also impact the overall feel. Unwaxed lacrosse strings maintain maximum softness, while heavy wax applications increase stiffness.
For players who rely on finesse, quickness, and ball handling skills, softer nylon lacrosse strings are the way to go. Attackmen and middies in particular benefit from the enhanced control of soft lacrosse string. It allows them to cradle, pass, and shoot with precision. The soft feel becomes like an extension of their hands. Defense and LSM may still opt for stiffer string for checks.
By paying attention to lacrosse string softness and feel, you can customize your pocket for ideal control. Take time to experiment with different strings to find your optimal balance of softness versus stiffness. The payoff will be immediate in the form of better possession, passing, and shot accuracy.
Stiffer Lacrosse Strings For Increased Passing and Shooting Power
While softer lacrosse strings provide superior ball control and feel, stiffer nylon strings offer some key benefits of their own. Most notably, stiff lacrosse strings generate more force when passing and shooting.
The decreased flexibility of stiff lacrosse string allows energy to transfer more efficiently to the ball during passes, shots, and clears. Rather than absorbing force, rigid nylon strings maintain shape, resulting in faster throws and harder shots.
Stiff string beds also “hold” their shape better after stringing. Softer strings tend to bag out over time, decreasing pocket depth. But stiffer nylon maintains the original string bed shape and pocket profile for longer. This results in consistent passing and shooting performance until the strings are re-strung.
During checks, stiff lacrosse strings help retain possession better than soft strings that absorb impact. The limited give of stiff string allows for tighter ball control even when getting knocked around. For players who rely on passing and shooting velocity, stiffer nylon lacrosse strings are clearly preferable.
Of course, stiff lacrosse strings have tradeoffs in terms of feel, control, and handling finesse. Whippier soft strings provide better touch. But for high-velocity shooters or passing middies, optimizing power is a priority. By selecting stiffer lacrosse strings, they get maximum force transmission when unleashing shots or throws.
As with softness, waxing techniques impact the overall stiffness. Heavy waxed strings increase rigidity, while unwaxed strings maintain maximum flexibility. Testing different lacrosse strings is the best way to find your optimal balance of stiffness and control. The right string can be a game changer!
Pre-Stretched Lacrosse Strings For Consistent Pocket Feel
One key factor to consider when selecting nylon lacrosse string is whether it has been pre-stretched prior to spooling. Pre-stretching the string provides more consistency and helps the pocket maintain its shape over time.
Unstretched nylon lacrosse string tends to stretch and bag out fairly quickly after stringing. This alters the pocket shape and flexibility, changing the way it throws and shoots. What started out as a mid-low pocket ends up looking like a mid-high after heavy use. The unpredictable stretching can be frustrating.
Pre-stretched lacrosse string has already gone through the initial elongation process and stabilized. This means the pocket shape and string bed flexibility will remain largely unchanged over weeks and months of play. You can dial in your perfect pocket with pre-stretched string, knowing it will stay consistent.
The controlled pre-stretching also removes any hidden “weak” spots in the nylon that could prematurely snap under game conditions. And the pre-tensioning gives the strings a subtle broken-in feel right out of the package.
Of course, even pre-stretched lacrosse strings will need occasional minor tweaks as shoots and sidewalls wear. But you avoid the annoying surprise of waking up one morning to find your pocket Completely changed. For consistency and reliability, pre-stretched nylon lacrosse string is the way to go.
Some lacrosse string manufacturers even indicate the pre-stretch percentage, like 110% or 125% elongation. This helps you gauge how stable the strings will be after stringing. For predictable performance month after month, choose pre-stretched lacrosse string.
Waxed vs Unwaxed Lacrosse Strings – The Durability vs Feel Tradeoff
One of the big decisions when selecting nylon lacrosse string is whether to go with waxed or unwaxed string. Waxing the string impacts both durability and overall feel.
Unwaxed lacrosse strings provide the best control, touch, and overall feel. The natural softness of the nylon translates directly into excellent ball control and finesse. Unwaxed strings almost cling to the ball surface, helping maintain possession. They also break in and conform to the user’s style more quickly.
However, unwaxed lacrosse strings sacrifice durability. Without the protective wax coating, untreated nylon strings get chewed up more quickly from checks, pokes, and ground contact. Unwaxed strings show fraying faster and need restringing more often. They also tend to lose tension and bag out faster as the natural fibers stretch.
This is where waxed lacrosse strings offer a major advantage. The wax infusion protects the outer fibers from abrasion, greatly increasing string life. Waxed lacrosse strings easily outlast their unwaxed counterparts before showing wear. The wax also helps the strings retain shape and stay stiff rather than bagging out.
But all that durability comes at the cost of feel. The wax coating slightly decreases control, flexibility, and the overall “broken-in” feel. New waxed strings can feel quite stiff and board-like until they break in over many games. So there’s a definite trade-off to consider.
For optimal feel and finesse, unwaxed is the way to go. But be prepared for more frequent restringing. To maximize durability while retaining some feel, try a light wax coating. Get the right lacrosse string for your style of play!
Opting for Quality U.S. Made Lacrosse String
When shopping for your lacrosse string spool, take a close look at where the nylon string is manufactured. Opting for U.S. made lacrosse string provides some potential advantages over the cheap imported stuff.
U.S. lacrosse string companies often use higher-grade nylon sourced domestically rather than whatever is cheapest overseas. String made stateside undergoes more rigorous quality control as well. This results in more consistent sizing, wax coverage, and optimized performance characteristics.
American lacrosse string manufacturers also tend to have tighter tolerances during the extrusion and winding processes. This minimizes weak points and defects that could lead to premature breakage on the field. Proper tensioning and spool winding helps avoid annoying tangles and knots too.
Plus, buying domestic lacrosse string supports American jobs and reduces shipping footprint. While you’ll pay a small premium, you can take comfort knowing those dollars support U.S. workers and the local economy.
Imported lacrosse string certainly gets the job done and offers savings. But for players invested in quality and consistency, opting for American-made nylon lacrosse string can be worth a few extra bucks. Support domestic manufacturing while getting a superior playing experience.
Customizing Your Lacrosse Pocket with Colorful Strings
Beyond gauge, wax, and texture, one fun way to customize your lacrosse stick is choosing colorful lacrosse strings. While white is standard, you can also find strings in vibrant hues and color combinations.
Adding some bright colors to your pocket is a great way to make your stick stand out on the field. Eye-catching neon yellows, oranges, greens, and purples give your stick some personality. Or go for team colors or patterns to show spirit.
Colored lacrosse strings also make it easier to identify your stick when clustered with others on the sidelines. No more guessing which one is yours! Bold colors also help refs easily distinguish possession during scrums.
For players who focus more on utility than looks, colored shooting strings can help optimize pocket performance. Some attackmen use certain colors to identify anchor points or track sweet spots. Colors can also highlight channel nylons or sidewall locks.
Alternating different color strings creates checkerboard or stripe effects within the pocket. You can customize colors to your team, number, or just personal preference. Switch it up each restring for fresh looks.
While not for everyone, colored lacrosse string offers a cool way to put your personal stamp on your stick. The options are endless when you move beyond basic white. Express yourself and have fun with it!
Proper Lacrosse String Storage
To get the most longevity out of your nylon lacrosse strings, be sure to store unused spools properly between uses. Keeping them in ideal conditions will extend shelf life.
Moisture and sunlight are the two biggest threats to stored lacrosse string. Excess moisture causes the nylon fibers to contract and expand, which weakens the strings over time. This makes them more prone to fraying and breakage when finally stringing up a stick.
Direct sunlight is also problematic, as the UV rays degrade and discolor the nylon. This accelerates the aging process. Colors fade first, then structural integrity declines.
To avoid these issues, store spare lacrosse string spools in a cool, dry, dark place. A closet or drawer is ideal, keeping them away from swings in humidity. Make sure no sunlight can directly hit the spools. Constant room temperature around 70°F is preferable.
You can also place extra spools in sealable plastic bins or bags to protect from dust and moisture. Just don’t wrap the strings too tightly, as this can cause kinks. Gentle winding in the packaging prevents tangles.
With proper storage conditions, quality nylon lacrosse string will easily remain usable for 5+ years after purchase. A few basic precautions go a long way towards maximizing shelf life. Your lacrosse string investment will deliver years of consistent performance.