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Choctaw Stickball Sticks | 2nd Edition - Episode 1

Choctaw Stickball Sticks | 2nd Edition - Episode 1

 choctaw stickball sticks justin skaggs wood lacrosse sticks

Iím Justin Skaggs. Iím a wood stick maker here in Philadelphia and I made Stick Ball sticks, or at least I tried to, about 2 years ago, and IÖ just didnít make them right. So, enough time has passed, and I did a lot of experimenting. Iíve identified the area where I was correct and incorrect in making Stick Ball sticks. Stick Ball sticks are just like any other lacrosse stick. Thereís a ton of variation from each individual group of people who made them, and I was trying to make the Choctaw Stick Ball sticks.


The sticks in my right hand actually pre-date my First Edition sticks. This is a rough cut of what I thought I was gonna make, so this isnít even as good as the thing I did poorly, if that makes any sense. What I have in my left hand is a rough cut of what Iím going to try to do for my Second Edition Sticks. Now, the cups arenít the right size. Thereís even a difference in the pockets in the left and right-handed one. These are a lot closer to authentic Choctaw Stick Ball sticks.

 choctaw stickball sticks justin skaggs wood lacrosse sticks


Choctaw Stick Ball is still alive and well, in fact, the World Series just happened. Iíve been very fortunate to have some very talented stick makers work with me and tell me where I went wrong. I owe a lot to Clovis Hamilton and Brenner Billy. Instagram friend, Facebook friends. Social Media is bringing us stick makers together. They really showed me what I did incorrectly and took the time to show me their process. You guys are gonna see that Iím actually taking Clovisí stick making and flaring technique, and thatís what Iím gonna be building in the next episode, which is my version of that, which Iím sort-of conceptualizing as a spine.

 choctaw stickball sticks justin skaggs wood lacrosse sticks

A couple key things to identify that I did incorrectly are: (1) The shaft was way too thick on the original. (2) The cups on the originals were actually made more in the historical Cherokee fashion, which is a circular loop, similar to a Great Lakes-style stick, and a Choctaw Stick Ball stick actually has a lot more shape. It flares out and it bends forward. Also, and this is really important, (3) there are two different sized cups. One cup is meant to fit inside of the other. If you guys arenít familiar with my other videos, a cup is basically the head of one of these Choctaw Stick Ball sticks. 

 choctaw stickball sticks justin skaggs wood lacrosse sticks


So, these are the tings that Iím gonna be correcting, and weíre gonna do a shot miniseries going from the original First Editions all the way through my process of trying to change how I make these sticks for the Second Edition of my Choctaw Stick Ball sticks. I look forward to sharing that with you guys. Iíll see you next time.

Article Posted: 10/10/2019 02:44:42 PM

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LACROSSE HISTORY: The world's oldest stick

I'm Justin Skaggs and I am a stick maker out of Philadelphia. I've been working on my craft and†going through my journey for some time now, and as part of my journey, I've†made it a point to do my homework and do research on the origin of†sticks from all around the world. Now, it’s time to spread my knowledge to you. This is Lacrosse History.Today, I want to discuss the world's oldest existing Lacrosse Stick. To be clear, this isn't me saying that this is the oldest lacrosse†sticks in terms of what was used throughout history, but rather†that this is the oldest surviving lacrosse stick in terms of something that you can go†see in a museum today.The oldest known stick is roughly 200 years old, dating back to 1823. You may think this stick is located somewhere in North America, it is not. In actuality, the stick is located in Italy. The stick was taken by an Italian explorer name Giacomo Costantino†Beltrami. He brought it back to his hometown of Bergamo, Italy, where it is†still located today. In fact, the stick is often referred to as The Beltrami Stick. This stick is a Great Lakes Style stick, so it is very similar to the sticks currently made by Minnesota-based lacrosse stick maker Max Kelsey.This is a game with deep origins from generations past, so I fully recognize that this is likely not the oldest lacrosse stick in existence, but so many of these antique items are difficult to time-stamp, and seeing as museums and archaeologists are so particular about when things are and can be dated, the Beltrami Stick gets this accolade.Until next time, make sure to let me know if you’d like to learn about anything in particular, and I’ll take a look into our archives. There are many more sources about this stick and other books (such as Minnesota Lacrosse: A History and North Country: The Making of MinnesotaLacrosse Legends of the First Americans) that I’ve pulled facts from down below. Until next time, take care, and keep LAXin’.

Article Posted: 04/23/2019 03:57:49 PM

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