ROCK-IT POCKET TALK – BAM! – Flip Naumburg
WHO WE ARE
Rock-it Pocket has always tried to maintain the reputation that emerged and grew from its original model. That foundation was built on the simple but important values of quality and quality control. The motto/mantra we have always used consists of just 4 words. They are, in no particular order, Accuracy, Dependability, Consistency, and Durability. These are the pocket-making concepts that we have always lived by and strived for. The words have been printed around our company’s ‘target’ logo since we first started way back in the 1987-day.
IN THE BEGINNING
The Rock-it Pocket was originally designed to, in effect, narrow the face opening or width of any lacrosse head by making the ball naturally sit and stay in the middle of the pocket and in only one specific pre-structured spot while the pocket itself moves when cradled to rock the ball safely inside the stick head. A powerful cradling motion with the Rock-it Pocket makes the ball very difficult for a defender to dislodge because the pocket tucks the ball in when cradled.
The center leathers that surround and hug the ball then work to track it to a quick, consistent release point when throwing. This part of the design really promotes shooting accuracy and consistency. The pocket is built in a way so that the space between the two center leathers is reduced or narrowed as the ball travels upward in the pocket. This helps to lift the ball as it approaches its release point.
It is easy to control and affect the amount of ‘whip’ that a Rock-it Pocket has by adjusting the tension on the middle two leather strips. This makes for a very versatile pocket.
ALL ROCK-IT POCKETS ARE CREATED EQUAL
All the Rock-it Pockets do a great job of performing pretty much the same or equally well, no matter what style or brand of head they are strung in, and in all kinds of weather. In fact, some of the earliest hot spots for Rock-it Pocket users were in geographic areas that had to contend with a lot of rain. By building the pocket already formed and ready to play, it minimizes the stretching and changing aspects of the pocket that players often must contend with in inclement weather conditions.
SOMETHING OLD SOMETHING NEW
We are introducing a new Rock-it Pocket to the line for 2010 with the “Bam” pocket. The “Bam” is an innovation on the Classic Rock-it Pocket developed by Dylan Preble, a former CSU lacrosse player. Dylan is manager and Number One pocket stringer at the Colorado Lacrosse and Company store in Fort Collins, Colorado. The “Bam” comes from the nickname we had for him, Bam Bam, when he was a CSU player. The pocket features include two leathers instead of the usual four, and pocket central is moved just slightly down in the head instead of the dead center of the head spot, which is where the ball is ‘at home’ in the Classic Pocket.
ANY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE
The Rock-it Pocket has always offered choices for players, from the high-pocket “Davis Dog” where the ball sits up, just under the throw strings, all the way down to the quick releasing “Pookie” where the pocket has ball sitting down low and hidden slightly behind the foam ball stop near the throat of the head.
While the 4 Rock-it Pocket styles have differences, we string all four of them to embody the pocket traits of accuracy, dependability, durability, and consistency.
We are also bringing options, visual style, and innovation to the mesh pocket more than ever as part of our ongoing build-a-better-pocket scheme.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
The new for 2010 rule specification factors make overall pocket design and placement more important than ever.
The new 2010 heads with their mostly wider dimensions down at the throat call for great attention to the details, things like having the centering-of-the-ball feature that all the Rock-it Pockets already have.
GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN, TOO
One of the many things we are working on at Rock-it Pocket is the developing of a great women’s pocket, and some of the same things do apply to all players, men, women, boys, and girls, but hopefully the reader will understand when I use mostly masculine nouns when I write stuff about the game here on the web site.
We want to be your “stick guys” by striving to build the best pockets, no matter what pocket or head you choose to use.
Confessions of a Rock-it Pocket Disciple – David Karpman (original RP employee)
I first started working with Flip in the summer of 1987 (if my memory serves me, which it may not). Actually my first work was helping him sand and finish custom hard-wood trophies he was making for the Vail Lacrosse Shootout. Those, in my opinion, were some of the nicest tournament trophies I’ve seen. Maybe it’s because I’m not all that wild about the lucite ones that have been the norm for many years now.
Back then, the staple head was the Brine Superlight II, though the STX HiWall and Excalibur we’re also in circulation. Brine also had the SL IV, Magnum, and Shotgun, but they were not very long lived or as prolific as the SLII. Flip probably has some of the old brochures stashed away somewhere, but the early pockets had more string than they do today. Also, we used to use the fat brown leathers that felt kind of oily. Of course those eventually gave way to the lighter more supple white leathers.
I remember that Lacrosse Magazine said that Rock-it Pockets had “more colors than a Santa Monica skateboard.” This was after one of Flip’s early trips to the Coaches Convention. I think I first went to the convention back in 90 or 91 when it was held in the big hotel just off the Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick. From there it moved to the Glenpointe Marriot in Teaneck and I attended at least a couple there as well. I even went to one in Stamford CT.
Back to the Pockets. In the first year or two that I was stringing (and helping sell), I think we sold something like 200. I remember a decisive moment when Flip pondered whether “we’d ever get another order.” A couple years later with vending at Vail and other events and return trips to the convention expo etc, we had a deal with Laxworld and moved the total sales to the 1000’s. By the time I left RIP, in the winter of 94, we had several store deals working and were selling pretty much as many heads as we could string. That transition time also saw us find bulk distributors for the polyester string, sidewall string and the supplies needed for Custom Dying.
It was also in the early ’90s that Flip designed what became Warrior’s first head, the Cobra. In fact, Flip made the prototype out of wood and we actually strung it. This was also around the same time that the pocket known now as the “Pookie” was developed. Though, I know Flip has already written about that one.
Toward the end of my tenure at Rock-It Pocket, the most popular heads were probably the STX Turbo and Viper. Up until few weeks ago, I was still using an STX Dominator (circa 94) with an original Warrior Ti handle. I actually have another Dominator of that same era, that has only seen occasional use as a back-up. I will say, though, that the new equipment really does make a difference. I just got a Warrior Razer 2.0 from Flip and the guys and used it for the very first time in a game. I had 1 goal on 2 shots, and no drops or flubbed passes. If that isn’t “Game Ready” then I don’t know what is.
David Karpman was RIP’s first employee. Today, he lives in NJ, and coaches lacrosse for the Roxbury Recreation program.