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Full Interview: Buttendz Lacrosse Grip
In case You Missed It: I recently did a review for Buttendz Paradox Lacrosse Grip but I wanted to know more about the company and history. After reaching out to Kevin Lonergan I was able to get a much better understanding of the company and passion for the product. Below I have outlined some of our interview with Kevin’s exact responses as his passion for his products speaks for itself.
Where did the idea for the Buttendz Grip come from?
We started in 2013 making hockey grips. Rob played professional hockey and had the idea in 2008. Year after year, we kept receiving requests from lacrosse players that knew our brand from hockey grips, to start making lacrosse grips. So, in 2015, we had some Div 1 players design the universal lacrosse grip possible (length/knob size/thickness/rubber softness). The Paradox was born September 2015.
What type of material is the Paradox made out of?
All the grips are hand painted and made from 100% natural rubber. This is the most durable material on earth for the product lacrosse players need for a grip. Plastic and tape were not options for us.
How long does the Paradox Grip last? In seasons?
Because of the durable rubber material, Buttendz Lacrosse grips will last you a full season. We made them as thin as possible so they will withstand a full season of use, but not tear easily. You do have to take care of them by storing them indoors in between games. An added benefit, is that they are reusable. Because our application process doesn’t involve any glue or tape, you can remove the grips (we have videos on our website to show you how), and transfer them to a new stick.
What’s the wear and tear like?
The rubber breaks in nicely and will keep its grip for a full season if you take care of it(don’t leave it outside). The longer you use the grip, the more you will see the rubber break in, like a car tire that needs changes every 10,000 miles…they are durable but don’t last forever.
How is this better than taping your lacrosse stick?
Tape provides no performance benefits whatsoever. It’s just a cheap way to make a grip for your lacrosse shaft, that wears out after a few games(at best). You don’t see professional golfers using tape on their clubs. Similar concept here. A rubber grip provides a consistent feel that absorbs shock, and eliminates those loose end caps.
These grips are also much better on your glove palms, saving you money on re-palming & new glove purchases. Our grips only weigh 1.5 ounces, which doesn’t add much weight at all, and provides a nice balance of weight for the stick. When you add up the weight of those rubber end caps that come with the shaft, along with the tape you are using that absorbs moisture and gets heavier over time...Buttendz grips weigh less!
How does the paradox lacrosse grip fair in rain, cold, and hot weather?
Awesome! Such an advantage over tape, which gets gross and slimy when wet. The natural rubber material repels water very well, and the built in end cap provides amazing confidence in the stability of the bottom hand while pulling down to shoot in adverse conditions.
And as a company, could we expect a shaft with a Buttendz already built in it? And then, of course, customizable colors in the future?
Well, we definitely see stick companies eventually including our grips as a complementary product to their shafts. We also plan to offer multiple knob size/grip length options soon, as it is best to not force a grip on someone. Rather, give the player the option to choose a grip based on the style they prefer. Sold separately from a shaft, but at a discount in a single purchase.
Are you going to create different styles of the paradox in the future?
We are working on a couple different grip designs including a Top hand/face off grip. We ultimately want to eliminate those cheap factory end caps that come with each stick, that just cause problems. We have seen requests for shorter grips and grips that have a knob a couple inches down the shaft to help shorten the stick for more control
Can you explain this, “Reduced grip pressure in the top hand; promoting harder, more accurate shots”
Absolutely. It’s a similar principle to many other sports that involve the hands and wrists swinging a stick (baseball, hockey, golf, etc). The harder you have to squeeze your lacrosse stick, the stiffer the muscles in your wrists become, which restricts your wrists from turning over and following through properly. When your tape starts to lose its stickiness, you naturally have to squeeze harder to hold the stick the same way.
With a natural rubber grip, you can relax the hands/wrists and pull down on that bottom hand to rip through your shot more naturally. Less restriction of the hand and wrist muscles means you are maximizing your shot velocity. Try flexing your wrist while squeezing, and then twist your wrist. You will notice it’s a difficult process. Now relax your hands and wrists, and try the same thing…that’s how it should feel while you shoot.
How do you see these helping players in the future?
The idea is help the lacrosse stick perform better, while saving glove palms, and eliminating the process of taping/ re-taping your stick. Everyone says they “love the process of taping their stick” and that it’s a “pregame ritual” and “time to be alone with your thoughts”…but, they only say that because they don’t know how nice it is to have a consistent feel every time, and not have to set aside time to remove tape and/or reapply it.
What other innovations do you hope to bring to the lacrosse world?
We will always concentrate on our specialty, grips. There is a tape epidemic in lacrosse and hockey that needs to be solved. People are still using rotary phones(google it) when they can be using iPhone 7’s. Our mission is to always improve the standard of quality and product for the grip.
What’s next for the company??
Adding to our Lacrosse Grip product line – different grip designs and styles. With 4 years experience perfecting our multiple hockey designs, we have become experts at pushing the boundaries of what we can do for rubber grips that enhance performance. The possibilities are endless. Follow us @buttendz_lacrosse on Instagram to make sure you see everything that’s happening.
- Lacrosse Shaft? – “Arc Lacrosse Attack Shaft.“
- Lacrosse Head? – “The Mirage (ECD).“
- Lacrosse Mesh? – “Mogul Mesh (Semi-Soft)“
- Player?- “Paul Rabil – Because he understands social media is the best way to promote the great game of lacrosse. He gets it.”
My personal opinion on the Paradox Lacrosse grip from Buttendz?
- First thought that I wasn’t going to like it but, I have to say that after playing with it for a week, I don’t mind it at all. I do wish that the buttend had a bigger donut but that wasn’t a big issue rather than a preference.
- The length of the grip seemed a bit short for me and wish it was a tad longer. This was because it was a little awkward where I hold by hands while shooting. I usually tape my stick half way up and my hand was half on/half off the grip sometimes.
- It wasn’t too grippy at all & worked well with my gloves and will leave it on my shaft for the future. Overall, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try it or is on the fence about it. It’s not going to be for everyone or just might take some time getting used too but at the end of the day, it won’t break the bank to try it.