Grip 'N Rip: Mark Matthews, Saskatchewan Rush

Grip 'N Rip: Mark Matthews, Saskatchewan Rush

Mark Matthews

Mark Matthews is arguably one of the most recognized Canadian attackmen in the game right now. The University of Denver graduate led the Pioneers to their first Final Four appearance while obtaining two first team USILA All-American honors and leading the Pioneers in points. Matthews became the all-time career point’s leader at UD with 217 points. In the NLL, Matthews continued his career with the Edmonton Rush and became the NLL Rookie of the Year after scoring 38 goals and 31 assists. He won a championship last season with the Rush and was named the championship MVP.

What head and shaft are you using?

I use a Under Armor Charge head with an UA shaft.


Do you string your own sticks? If not, who does?

I do string my own sticks, I have been stringing my own since I was around 12


What kind of pocket are you using?

I currently use mesh supplier East Coast Dyes. I use their new semi hard mesh which has been great to me since day one. I use a mid to high pocket with zero whip. Three straight shooting strings with a very tight nylon across the top of the top shooting string


How do you tape your sticks?

I tape my stick very different than most I would assume. It is very hard to explain but I will try my best. I tape a very large knob at the end of my stick. Tape not to thick so the stick is still long enough for me to use. I also make a smaller knob just above where my bottom hand would be placed while playing. This locks my hand in on that particular part of the stick.  As for the rest of the shaft I candy cane the rest to the neck of the head.


Why do you like this set up?

This set up is good for my because I for the most part don’t take my bottom hand off my stick and I don’t have to worry about anything changing when my hand is on the stick. The candy cane gives me the right amount of grip without it being to sticky.

How has your stick changed since college?

The only thing that has changed about my stick since college is the company used. We used Warrior in college and must use Under Armour in the NLL. My pocket and everything else stays the same always.

Any superstitions or funny stories?

Funny story about my stick was last year nearing the end of the season my head had broke. The top plastic directly in the middle of the stick had snapped. My equipment guy in Edmonton, Marc (best in any league), chicken wired my stick and super glued it every week so it was stay available to use. I used that stick for the last four games of the season and into the playoffs and eventually the Champion’s Cup. (Editors note: Wow.)

What is your wallball routine?

When I play wall ball I keep it realistic to my game. I don’t bother with wrong hand throwing and catching when I know I will never have my stick in that hand (right). I try and make game like plays and do things that may happen while playing. Examples include bad pass drills I throw myself bad passes and force myself to catch that pass and bring my stick as fast and efficiently as I possibly can.

What is your favorite sports team?

My favorite sports team is the Spurs. They are by far the most entertaining sports team to watch at any sport. They play the game the way it should be played with tons of movement and ball movement. The ball is very rarely stuck in one players hand for a long period of time.
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