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Grip ‘N Rip: Charlie Raffa, Chesapeake Bayhawks

Charlie Raffa draw

Photo courtesy of the Chesapeake Bayhawks

Charlie Raffa is a machine at the faceoff X. I can’t think of a better way to describe him. His dedication to the beautiful art of facing off is out of this world, and it shows when you watch him go out for every draw and give it everything he has. Lacrosse is a game where possession matters, and Charlie digs in for those extra possessions to help his team. Charlie has received multiple Honorable Mention and All-American accolades while at the University of Maryland (Go Terps! Sweet 16 bound!!!) and he has continued to see success in the MLL. He’s also a coach at Fogo Lax Academy.

What head and shaft are you using?

Epoch The Sequel and the Dragonfly G5 F30.

Charlie Raffa 2

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

I string my own sticks because off the faceoff my head gets very warped. I usually have to adjust my pocket accordingly.

Charlie Raffa 3

What kind of pocket are you using?

I use Epoch Ottermesh I like to keep my pockets low/mid. I use two shooters straight across and then a nylon about my shooters. I do not have any whip in my stick the ball is able to roll straight off the stick.

How do you tape your sticks? Why do you like this set up?

I put tape at the top for my top hand and I have a small knob at the bottom of my shaft. I also place a knob at the bottom of my left hand so that it does not slide down my shaft during the faceoff.

CHarlie Raffa 4

You had to adjust to the 2013 NCAA shooting string rule, how did you go about it? Was it a hassle?

The stringing rule didn’t effect me because I have always strung my sticks with straight shooters across.

What was it like adjusting to the bogus faceoff rule about running with the ball in the back of the head?

It was definitely an adjustment at first. Since I didn’t get to play fall ball because of surgery I had to adjust in season. It was a little different at first but I was able to get the hang of it more as the season went on.

Charlie Raffa 1

How has your stick changed since college?

It hasn’t really changed at all, I have been setting my stick up the same ever since I started facing off for the most part. The only addition I made was the knob below my left hand.

Any superstitions or funny stories?

Only superstition I have is I write my friends initials who passed away on the bottom of my shaft before every game.

What makes the best faceoff head for you?

I like the head to have a very stiff and strong bottom, with a kick point in the midsection of the head.

How often do you go through heads?

I go through them pretty often. I think the worst was my freshman year I went through around 15 heads in one season.

Best memory from college?

Had a lot of great memories as a Terp. Hard to pick one out, but I’ll go with our trip to California last year. It was nice to get away with the guys on our team and then flying home with a win versus Carolina is always a plus.

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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