Today’s post features College and Professional Lacrosse players’ stick setups and stringing preferences.
First up is former UVA standout and LXM Pro athlete Rhamel Bratton. Unfortunately, Rhamel ended his 2011 senior campaign earlier than we would have liked due to a team-issued suspension, but he played a vital role in paving UVA’s road to the national championship. Now, Rhamel participates in the LXM Pro Tour, which is a professional lacrosse tour run by Kyle Harrison.
Today, I’m mirroring Rhamel’s setup he used when he played for UVA. There is a story behind this setup. The manager of our Franklin ComLax store, Kyle Prussing and a couple other ComLax managers were at the Final Four at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA a few years back. Rhamel threw his stick up into the crowd and they caught it. Considering some pictures I found on the internet and Kyle’s description, I came up with this mirrored setup.
Throughout college, Rhamel rocked the Evo X head on a Gait handle. At the time Kyle and company got their hands on his setup, his shaft’s graphics were pretty worn. It is safe to assume however, that Rhamel used one of Gait’s top shafts because UVA has always been sponsored by Gait. Therefore I decided to throw a Gait DB803 on the head.
To mirror Rhamel’s setup, I started off by marinating the white Jimalax hard mesh in some lukewarm water just as Kyle and Kyle demonstrate in our YouTube Stringing Tutorial. I then laced up the California Dream Top String (Triangle Top String). Then I strung the sidewalls with the goal of forming a mid pocket with a tight channel (1,1,1,1,2i,1,1,1,1). One cool thing I liked about this stringing pattern was the crispy mesh curl – once I threw in a bottom string. After I pounded in the mid-pocket, I put in one U shooting string, 3 diamonds wide and then another one 5 diamonds wide. A unique thing Rhamel does with his stick is he puts two nylons above his shooting strings. Most players use one nylon, but Rhamel places his on consecutive rows of diamonds and makes them fairly tight. This gives the head a good amount of whip and a very smooth release. Rhamel’s distinct passing and shooting style/technique can be attributed to this unique shooting string pattern.
Once the strings were all tight, I screwed the Evo X on the Gait DB803 Handle. Based on the photos I found online, Rhamel made a thick butt end on his shaft and also taped about a 1/4 of the way up. In addition to this, Rhamel had three thin strips of tape that sat right where his top hand sits when he passes and shoots.
I would recommend this stick for any mid-level to experienced players who hit the weight room. This setup isn’t for those who pass or shoot lightly. You need to get some muscle behind this stick for it to be effective. So, anyone who can bring the high heat and dish quickly will standout with this setup.