Traditional Stringing vs. Mesh Pocket
A ton of customers come into our retail stores and ask for a traditional. The first question we always ask them is why? Most of the time, the answer is "because it looks cool" but sometimes we get someone who actually knows the pros and cons of using a traditional stick. So a traditional pocket involves leathers and cross-lace and some crazy knots to make a cool looking pocket. Some of the most popular styles are the Pita Pocket, the Traditional Pocket, and the Heat Pocket. Even though these are all considered traditional sticks, they will all perform different. So why do we ask people why they want their sticks strung traditional? Well if they don't have a good answer, we usually recommend they don't use one. Sure they are cool and perform pretty well, but they are expensive to have strung and if you aren't capable of tweaking the pocket yourself, your game will suffer. Traditional sticks are a ton of maintenance due to the amount of knots that keeps the pocket together. If something goes wrong in a traditional and you aren't sure how to fix it, it will most likely perform horribly.
Now what makes a traditional better than a mesh pocket? Well I wouldn't say anything makes them better or worse, but it all comes down to preference. A traditional pocket has way more control over the ball. The leathers provide a soft resting place for the ball to stay while cradling. Another feature of a traditional pocket is the release. You can feel the ball roll out of the head and off the shooters as you pass or shoot. Sometimes if strung incorrectly the ball will catch under the shooters because the leathers are too soft and the ball will hook. When I see traditional pockets that people string up the main issue I see is tension control. The sidewalls should always be strung super tight and how low you drop the leathers determines how deep you want you pocket. When compared to a mesh pocket a traditional will outperform in hold, whip, and feel...so it's a shame to see these on the way out. If you're trying to play it safe, use a mesh pocket. They are the most consistent and easy to use. If you are trying to string a tradi for the first time by yourself, buy a TradiTree. This tool will allow you to string a traditional pocket very easily.