Grip ‘N Rip: Alex Capretta

Each week Lacrosse Playground will be featuring a different lacrosse athlete as part of our “Grip ‘N Rip” series, where we’ll find out what the best use to fine tune their game. This week we are featuring Princeton sophomore attackman, Alex Capretta, out of St. Ignatius Prep in California. Alex is well known in many circles for his stringing abilities. Check out what he uses to snipe corners.

Overall: I'm playing with the new Warrior Razer this year. It's a little wider at the throat because of the new rules, but luckily I've been able to string it to my liking. A lot of guys like the Evo X6 and the Revo X6 on our team but they're both just a little too thin for my liking. The wider head gives you a few more options for get creative with the sidewalls. I usually use all white strings and an orange bottom string, but my buddy Mike Grossman recently gave me an all white Warrior Gnar to use, so I figured I'd shake things up.

Mesh: Hot water and shaving creme to stretch it out and soften it before I string it.

Top String(s): It looks crazy, and it is. I've strung sticks in the past with two strings for the top, but I figured I could add a third string and come up with something crazy. The third string really doesn't make a difference; it just looks cool. Like any top string pattern, so long as the string that initially attaches the mesh to the head is symmetric and tight, the pocket should turn out fine.

Sidewalls: I like to loop through the first diamond I go through to pull the mesh tight to the sidewalls, and then use a couple of different knots for the next two diamonds. Once I tie down the second diamond, I go through two diamonds per sidewall gap. This gives me the low pocket I like.

Shooting Strings (Nylons): Two straight across. Nothing sneaky here. The tightness of these strings is important though, as I'll explain with the hockey laces.

Shooting Strings (Hockey Laces):
Here is where I've found accounts for most frustration in any pocket, so I'm really careful with these. If the hockey laces are too tight, the ball gets stuck and won't release quickly. If they're too lose, the pocket doesn't have any control, is inaccurate, and will give off a sluggish feeling when the ball releases. I personally like hockey laces to be tight, but not so tight that the ball gets stuck. I just want the ball to come out smoothly and accurately, so I account for any looseness that would throw that off with tighter nylon shooters. It's confusing, but I think the proper balance between tightness of shooters is so much more important than stringing of sidewalls and top strings (don't get me wrong, all strings are important, but if you're going to do one thing right, I think shooters are the strings to spend extra time on).

Bottom string (aka Throat String): If the bottom of a head has 4 holes in it, I go up through the inside, then through the outside so the string comes out on the bottom, and copy this on the other side. This can help the ball sit lower.

If there's one piece of advice I can give to someone trying to step up their stringing game: work on making things equal in all aspects of the stick. A stick with one sidewall looser than the other will be less accurate than one with two equal sidewalls.
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