Traditional wooden lacrosse sticks are the original sticks hand made by the Haudenosaunee people. The sport of lacrosse has been played by the Natives of North American for hundreds of years and even more. Modern times dating back even before the 1500’s. The art of making a traditional lacrosse stick was passed down the generations as an honour and a way to preserve the culture.
When the plastic stick was introduced back in the day it took away a lot of attention from the traditional wooden lacrosse sticks. Players were excited by the new plastic sticks and wanted to see the difference. Also the plastics sticks were more affordable. Traditional lacrosse sticks are only made in certain parts of North America. Akwesasne is the most popular so buying the sticks would be costly with shipping and other costs. Either way, lacrosse is becoming popular all over the world and traditional lacrosse sticks are making a comeback. Players from around the world who are beginning to learn about the sports history want a stick no matter what the cost. The traditional stick has come full circle one could say.
Traditional Wooden Lacrosse Sticks
The traditional lacrosse stick is crafted out of hickory trees. Stick makers go outside, find hickory trees, cut them down and bring them back home were they are shaped with a band saw. After that they are let out to dry for six weeks. Then the piece of wood has to be bent twice in order to gain its shape. The hickory is bent once and then one must wait six weeks before doing the second bend. One must make sure it is completely dry.
The Bend and Shape
After both the bends are completed the crafter would use steam to straighten the shaft. Then, let it dry out some more (a month). After that drying period it’s time to carve out the stick, drill holes, sand it down and let it dry out one last time. Then there you have it, the stick is ready to be strung with nylons and leathers. The complete process takes about 6 months and a lifetime to master.
Now I know that all this is a lot to take in especially because it’s a lot of information and words on a page so below I have included some videos from the great lacrosse stick crafters of the world. It’s such a beautiful tradition. One day I will learn I am sure. How about you?