For this episode of the new season of Stylin’ Strings Customs we wanted to come out of the gate swinging to trump the sticks of last season like the Goalie Houndstooth/Flag & the Inside Out Clover for Jake Byrne. We had some correspondence with someone inside the UVA organization. This developed into trading emails with head coach Dom Starsia. After he viewed the SS Lax website and understood what we do he invited us down for a very anticipated special day with the team.
Dustin & Justin decided to make three heads prior to making the trip to show the guys what the possibilities when it came to personalizing a stick for each individual. With the blessing of the University we were supplied the official logos to make this job legit. Our contact at UVA told us the guys like the Torque, the Flow, & the Showtime the best from their sponsorship with Gait Lacrosse. With our inside out dyes becoming popular we decided to do one of those with a navy to orange fade, with the full two-color V and swords logo at the top of a Torque 3. The second head design was an all orange inside, navy outside on a Show time. The last head was a Flow that we decided to make a special gift for Dom for his office wall that commemorated his 2011 National Championship, the roster, and his accolade of the coach of the year.
On the Torque 3 you will see from the side view that we snuck reversed orange swords on the top of the head just to increase the level of difficulty in the dye. The pocket Justin strung in it was our Pin Hybrid Traditional. You will see in the next photo Dustin decided to ghost Virginia on the inside of the head where it fades from orange to navy, and Cavaliers on the other side.
The Showtime all orange inside is highlighted at the top of the head with the Serif Virginia as tall as the head goes. The circle indent on the bottom face of the head was also perfect for white V, thin orange stroke, and the orange swords contoured to the ridge. The pocket strung in this is the SS Lax staple Mesh-X pocket with traditional outsides as opposed to the coils you are used to seeing from us. This option is available on all SS Lax pockets.
One of two surprises is revealed in this ¾ angle. Dustin used the bodylines of the head on the inside sidewalls to accentuate different size swords curving in and out. The next angle will show a very ambitious undertaking to pop out the natural V the Gait Showtime had in it’s sidewall of the head.
We thought the V need to be popped out in white and the flat back area in orange, which made it very difficult and almost impossible to stop any type of bleeding. But as you can see it looks pretty good. This angle also shows a nice drop in the pocket.
The third head for Dom was the Flow. It has the 2011 National Champions in white on the top lip and the same two color Virginia logo on the bottom as the Showtime. All the text was pulled out in orange. This view shows the top rail left to right (Dom Starsia USILA Coach of the Year, #4 White, #35 Kelly, #31 Glading, #7 English, #17 Price, & #25 Riley).
This view top left to right is the back right sidewall rail (#28 Melzer, #21 Cockerton, #43 Swankowski, #33 Ghitelman, #14 Van Arsdale, #39 McGee, #36 Lantz, #22 McLinden). The front right face of the head (#6 Stanwick, #10 Bocklet, #34 Briggs, #44 LaPierre, #24 Emery, #15 Ince, #29 O’Reilly, #32 Kugler, #36 Hill).
This view top left to right is the back left sidewall rail (#41 Cockerton, #18 Fortunato, #27 McWilliams, #19 Landon, #8 Ghitelman, #12 Haldy, #5 Prevas, #26 McDermott).
These two views are the inside faces of the heads by the sidewalls top let to right (#11 Harbeson, #30 Malphrus, #42 Geisler, #9 Faiella) & (#37 Benincasa, #2 Clements, #40 Lovejoy, #16 Puzes).
The next few pictures show a limited view of how amazing our trip to UVA was and the time spent with the players and coaching staff. Everyone was very welcoming. After speaking to three sets of players in the locker room to explain what we do in detail, we stopped into the equipment room to throw some Gait Ice shafts on the two sticks we did for the guys. The shafts bin was in a separate room that had this awesome old Lacrosse Assembly sign we just had to take a picture of. It looked like it has seen many championships teams, players, & staff with its worn appearance.
While we were in there we were intrigued how much of an operation it is for a Div. 1 college equipment manager. Here we got glimpse of the jersey stash to authenticate our visit.
The hallway walls of the locker rooms were covered with huge framed pictures of championships teams from across all sports to create an environment of winning. This 1996 undefeated Lacrosse team photo caught our eye on the way to the old Basketball field house.
We went in there to have the guys throw around with the two sticks and the bag of broken in demos of all of our pockets, some dyed, all on complete sticks.
Here we discussed pocket styles, string theory, analyzed dye jobs, they asked questions on the capabilities of custom stringing & dyeing for each individual. Some guys had us take pictures of exact top string, sidewall, & pocket placement so we could replicate their favorite stringing styles.
After we were inside for a while the guys could only let loose so much. So we had the privilege of getting some field time on the practice field.
While groups were trading on and off we made our way on to the Boise style blue Field Hockey field so the guys could rip shots with our demos with no mercy. Here is where we got some guys converted to our Hybrids. Our base styles are only a building block to get exactly the throwing criteria that you want out of a pocket. Then we customize the pocket placement, amount of whip, and actual pocket choice to the player. Some guys had us replicate mesh styles as well. We do offer a standard SS Pro mesh pocket and a build your own mesh pocket on our website.
After the guys were done we soaked up some of our own time ripping shots and taking some time for Dustin to get some sick photos.
Before leaving and dropping off our gift to Dom Starsia to hang on his office wall we grabbed a few final photos in the sweet setting of the athletic offices.
So there you have Part 1 of the Virginia series, stay tuned for Part 2 & 3 over the next couple weeks for over 10 more sick specialized pockets & dyes. Again, we at SS Lax would like to thank The University of Virginia for the opportunity and the contract naming us The Official Stringers & Dye Artists for 2012. Stay tuned to our facebook page