LPG had the opportunity to talk with Stephen Dylag, Owner of Hickory Lacrosse. Hickory Lacrosse specializes in manufacturing and selling high quality, hand-finished hickory lacrosse shafts. The shafts come in various sizes (attack, defense, goalie) and color (Red, Black, Blue).
When did Hickory Lacrosse come in to existence and where are you located?
a. Hickory Lacrosse started in my uncle’s workshop when I created two shafts for an end of the season lacrosse banquet in 2004. We slowly added woodworking machines to our business, created an easy to use website (we do all of our transactions through PayPal to ensure security) and have worked to perfect the art of creating the ideal wooden lacrosse shaft for the past 5 years out of our family workshop in Buffalo, New York.
b. We can be found online at hickorylax.com
c. Our process creates the smoothest and most consistent hickory shafts, which are now in use in almost all 50 states, Europe, and Australia. They have been used in many college games around the country.
Who is behind Hickory and what made you want to create this company?
Hickory Lacrosse is a family business. Everything from the website to manufacturing to shipping is done by the Dylag family. I have always been intrigued by the Native American tradition and history of the game of lacrosse. I have played and coached the sport for over a decade and formed the company because the tradition of the wooden shaft is truly unique.
I can see that your shafts are made from wood. Is there a quality in Hickory that makes it advantageous for lacrosse?
Hickory is one of the strongest woods in the world. Hickory is known for its flexibility, which creates an extremely durable shaft. The shafts are great for practice due to the added weight, which results in faster shot speeds and better ball control when a lacrosse player switches back to the metal shaft for game play. Defensive players love the shafts due to their punishing power against attackmen. Offensive players love the feel of wood in their hands during practice and games. No other wood matches the strength and flexibility of hickory.
Where does the wood come from?
Our wood is purchased from another family owned business near Buffalo, NY. All of the wood is logged in the US, cut and kiln dried locally. I personally pick through thousands of board feet of wood to choose only the straightest and knot free boards to turn into shafts. The inspection process of the raw wood is one of the most important aspects to creating only the highest quality shafts.
I notice your shafts come in not only all sizes, but also different colors. Can you explain the painting/dyeing process?
Our colored shafts are becoming a huge hit in the lacrosse community. We currently offer red, black, and blue colors. We cycle the colors with each batch of sticks, which is why they are limited edition. These shafts are all finished with 8-10 coats of wood dye to achieve a deep color and consistent product. After the color dries, we cover the shaft with four coats of an extremely durable urethane that dries to a perfect and durable protective coating. We hold a survey on our website every time we create a new limited edition shaft so customers can vote on the next color.
What is your most popular shaft?
The traditional attack shaft is our most popular. It is low in cost and high in quality. The new Dominator oversized shaft is growing in popularity as well. We also offer the lowest cost and highest quality hickory long pole on the market. All long poles are strength tested at every phase of the manufacturing process. All of our shafts come with a 90 day warranty.
If there was one reason why someone should use a Hickory shaft, what would it be?
Training with a wooden lacrosse shaft will make you a better player. It will help increase shot speed, handling, and stick checks.
What’s in store for the future? Any new products? Designs?
Our line of colors is always expanding. New colors will be arriving in the summer. We are also working with central New York vendor to create a shaft that is dipped in designs that may include camouflage or textured patterns.
Visit Hickory Lax today to purchase a hand crafted wooden shaft.