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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 Dartmouth attackman Ari Sussman.
What head do you use?
I have been rotating sticks this fall. Using both an original Brine Edge and a Gait Torque. Both are dyed dark green.
What handle do you use?
An old STX titanium shaft. I’m not sure if they make them anymore; it doesn’t have the fancy designs that all the new handles have.
Where does your pocket sit/what type of pocket to you prefer?
I like my pocket to sit low. A low pocket enables me to hold the ball well while cradling one-handed. Both my sticks have pretty deep pockets, and my Edge’s pocket sits higher than the Torque.
Who is your stick doctor? Do you string it yourself or have a go-to-teammate/friend?
I generally try to string and fix my sticks myself. However, I did not string either stick that I am currently using. Jon Livadas, a senior last year who is currently at Duke doing a Master’s program, strung the Torque that I use. He is a pretty big lax junkie, so he was willing to help out fixing and stringing sticks. The Edge that I use was strung by Peter Milliman. He strung it a couple of summers ago when we were working a camp together. I have no clue what I am doing when I try to fix traditional, so Dennis Lally, a junior, handles all the repairs to my Edge.
What kind of mesh do you use (Hard, soft, traditional/leathers, marc , etc.)? Why?
I use Brine Ultramesh on one of my sticks, and I use traditional on my other stick. I have no real attachment to a certain mesh or stringing. If someone strings me a stick and I like the way it throws and handles, then I will use it. Though, I do feel that my traditional stick helps me with velocity on my shot.
What is your preferred glove?
Right now, I am still using the Brine King gloves that were issued to our team last year. I am a huge fan of this glove. I generally get pretty attached to my equipment (I have been using the same DeBeer Vision shoulder pads since I started playing lacrosse in 5th grade), so I am not going to be too happy when I get new gloves and elbow pads this season.
How much whip does your stick have?
My stick has a decent amount of whip and a very late release. The whip and late release allow me to get more power on my shot and do more creative moves and tricks with the ball in my stick.
Anything unique you do to your head or shaft (pocket up-keep, tape jobs, alterations, etc.)?
I don’t like messing too much with my stick on a day by day basis. If the stick is throwing consistently and nothing is ripping, then I don’t touch it. However, I like to re-do the tape on my stick every other day or so. I use the same tape job for every stick; I criss-cross the top-third 7 times, and have a band about 6-7 inches from the bottom of my stick; my bottom hand holds the stick between the knob and this band.
How long do you keep a stick before you get a new one?
Like I said before, I get pretty attached to my equipment and sticks. If it doesn’t break or rip, I will use the same stick forever. Unfortunately, due to the cold and weather in New Hampshire, sticks break and rip all the time. So, I generally go through 3-4 heads a year.
What’s most important to you in a stick?
I don’t have an attachment to any one particular characteristic or string job. The one exception to this is the width of the sidewall. I like heads that have big sidewalls, so the overall pocket (from top of the plastic to where the ball sits in the mesh) is really deep. But generally, if a stick throws well and I like the way it holds the ball, then I will use it.