Thursday, April 7, 2016

More Gear

We love Stateline Sports because it's just an awesome and unique store and the guys that work there are super cool, and I'm getting a sense that they love us, too, because we sure drop a lotta dough over there. This year has been exceptional with A&N both needing a bunch of new hockey gear, and I figured that once hockey season ended we'd be done, but no such luck. LAX season has arrived and I can't really complain because N got a lot of mileage out of the second hand gear we got for next to nothing from DE, which included everything N needed to play, i.e., helmet, gloves and pads. It was a great way for him to try the sport without having to commit the big bucks for gear, and for whatever reason, LAX gear is expensive. More so than hockey, even the guys at Stateline will admit to this.

Over time, much of the gear is either getting small or is too old and "not cool." We've upgraded several pieces, the helmet was the most painful (albeit the most important), and now N has gotten into the finer aspects of the game, namely stringing his own LAX heads. Apparently the really hardcore guys like to string the mesh baskets (or pockets) on their LAX heads, and there are many different patterns that you can employ. The easiest way is to buy the heads pre-strung, which I have always done, but I have been encouraging N to try doing it himself. Many, though not all, of his friends do it, and I figured it would speak to his penchant for working with his hands. My encouragement, however, has been met with ambivalence on his part... until now, that is.

This is partly due to some recent rule changes for high school LAX. Some of the hardcore dads have informed me that certain aspects of LAX pocket design are going to be outlawed, and it just so happens that his LAX head has them. The rules don't affect youth LAX players, but hardcore dads believe that if it applies to HS, then the time to get used to it is now. I doubt if N gives the rules too much thought, but if it means doing something fun and creative with his hands, then it piques his interest, and I'm more than willing to help him, especially when it involves cool gear.

Like in hockey, as the season winds down you can find all sorts of clearance deals on LAX equipment, which as I mentioned, is inordinately expensive. I got him some gloves, which he's already outgrown, and a LAX head, thinking he'd maybe try tying the pocket himself. At the time, he wasn't interested. This season we had to replace his gloves (again) and shoulder pads. I lucked out on the gloves because they had a pre-season clearance at Stateline and I got a good price, but the shoulders I had to pay regular price, which was a little more painful. As the kids grow, they can't wear kid's sizes anymore, and once you make the jump to adult sized gear, the price goes up. To be fair, the pads weren't as expensive as I'd thought they'd be, but they still cost a bit of dough. I'll just have to work more weddings this summer.

With all the new gear and a practice or two under his belt, N is ready to move on from hockey and into LAX, and with that, his interest in stringing his own pocket started to grow. I'm all for it. We picked up all the supplies to get this done and he went to work and as usual, he did a stand up job. He's very meticulous and thorough in this way, and he takes it very seriously as I thought he would. He even went ahead and re-strung my head, which is a junker but was in need of serious repair (it cracked). I buy my LAX sticks at the Listen Center, so they're not high end pieces of gear, but I've learned that having decent equipment can make a big difference, even for someone like me. After N re-strung my pocket, it definitely functions better.

So now we're ready for LAX, or rather, he's ready. Granted, the weather has been terrible, and school break is coming up, but once all that is done and over and the weather is warmer, we'll be ready to spend some time in the great outdoors playing LAX, or in my case, watching it.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to bztraining for the pic.

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