TimberStix: Back to American lacrosse traditions

Wiltonian Cortland Begor isn’t too interested in pitching his new company against the country’s collection of wooden lacrosse stick makers. Instead, he says his plan is to create a TimberStix product that is so good metal sticks will pale in comparison.

Cortland, a senior at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire, started TimberStix last spring. The company, which operates online, sells hand-crafted wooden lacrosse sticks made from “sustainably harvested” New Hampshire ash, the owner said by phone on Friday.

“I want to compete against the other metal shafts out there,” he said. “I don’t want to compete against the wood shafts.”

The TimberStix brand shaft isn’t made in a factory, it’s made by Cortland himself in his family’s New Hampshire wood shop.

“For our entire lives, my brothers and I have done woodworking” in New Hampshire, the high school senior said. “We’ve been making wooden lacrosse shafts for 10 or 12 years now. We’ve been making them and giving them to friends, and more and more kids liked them and wanted them, so I said, ‘why not try and start a company?’”

Since last spring, TimberStix has seen sales of more than 500 shafts online and at lacrosse recruiting camps, Cortland said. In addition to the sale of 150 shafts to Madagascar (he’s still trying to figure out who they’re going to), TimberStix recently won a contract to outfit the entire midfield and attack components of the Berry College Division III lacrosse team in Georgia.

All of the shafts made by TimberStix are sized for men’s attack and midfield players and come in at a competitive weight.

“Ash has the best strength-to-weight ratio out there,” he said. “The shafts actually come in around eight ounces, which isn’t crazy compared to a metal shaft.”

Though he has considered crafting a bamboo stick, he has stayed away from foreign wood so far. He prefers a tradition to saving little extra weight.

“Bamboo is also another really impressive wood that would do well, but I’m still trying to stay to the American-grown New Hampshire wood that will keep the tradition there with lacrosse,” he said.

Players are interested in wooden shafts, Cortland said, but often only after they’ve had the chance to hold a stick in their hands.

“The stick actually bends so you can get more torque out of the shaft,” he said. “It’s a different feel, and a different balance. Every lacrosse player I’ve given it to, they’ve loved the feel. The hardest part is just getting it in their hands. Once they got it, they loved it.”

Some former Wilton lacrosse players have already fallen for the sticks, Cortland said. Eduardo White, a Georgetown player, and Connor Johnson, a goalie with St. Lawrence University, have both used, and appreciated the sticks, he said.

Information: timberstixlacrosse.com.