Grip 'N Rip: Ken Clausen

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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 UVA All-American Defenseman, Ken Clausen.


What head do you use?
The head I am currently using is the Gait "Flow". Go figure. Usually when I look at a head I look for how stiff the head is and how flat the top is for ground balls.

What handle do you use?
The shaft that I use is the Gait "Ice". I like this because it is light, skinny, and strong.

Where does your pocket sit/what type of pocket to you prefer?
I prefer to have a long spread out pocket, almost in the shape of a banana. I don't mind the ball moving around a little bit. I like to be able to get the ball out quickly if i need to. I think the ball tends to sit in the middle but has the capability to sit anywhere in the pocket.

Who is your stick doctor? Do you string it yourself or have a go-to-teammate/friend?
I have no idea how to string any part of a head. Zero. My go to stick doctor has been Brian Carroll in the past. If anything happens to my stick, I have to go to someone else to fix it. I've even had Dom fix my stick in the past.

What kind of mesh do you use? Why?
Up until last year I used Canadian mesh. The only reason I stopped is because I could not find any more of the kind I had once used. I started using mark mesh last year and am currently using hard mesh. I still prefer the Canadian because I feel that it is flexible and pretty reliable in the rain.

What is your preferred glove?
Don’t necessarily have a preferred glove. I use whatever they give me here so I've been using Gait gloves. Can't complain. My favorite glove that Gait has come out with is the palmless, but that got outlawed rather quickly.

How much whip does your stick have?

I think my stick has a decent amount of whip. I like to feel the ball come out with a little kick.

Anything unique you do to your head or shaft?
Nothing too special about my stick. I tape my stick from the bottom to about a foot from the bottom. I use three horizontal strings at the top of my pocket. Other than that nothing too crazy.

How long do you keep a stick before you get a new one?
I use a stick until it breaks, and even then some. Shafts you clearly have to get a new one once they break or get bent. Heads you can tend to use for a little while after a break depending on how bad it is. I don't like switching sticks so I'll get my moneys worth from a stick before I toss it.

What’s most important to you in a stick/what makes a good stick?

Most importantly, the stick doesn't make the player. Too often to people look at their stick with disgust rather than themselves. Not the wand, but the wizard. With regards to the stick, most important thing is to make sure the stick is legal. No sense in hurting your team with an illegal stick.

Click here to find out more about what Ken has been up to these days.
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