We saw the new Throne of String custom Epoch Shafts, and were immediately jealous. Epoch is a partner of ours, so they gave us a sneak peek, and it immediately caught my eye. The custom shaft program from Epoch Lacrosse allows teams and brands alike to get their logo and name stamped on a set of Epoch Dragonfly shafts, and we think this program has really bright future, especially now that we’ve seen what can be done.
The shaft is still very much an Epoch shaft, and the overall look doesn’t change all that much… but when you get a little closer, the details start to emerge, and that’s where things get special.
You’ll notice that the Epoch neon green is gone, and has been replaced with Throne yellow. The Epoch logo near the top is also gone, and has been replaced with a Throne “T”. Throne of String runs down the bottom back side in their font of choice, and while the shaft still screams Epoch, it also says Throne quite loudly.
We found it interesting that two competing companies (Otter Mesh from Epoch, and Throne Mesh from Throne) would team up like this, and since I am on good terms with both parties, I decided to dig a little deeper. Why did these competitors team up on this? How does that work? Is this a new trend in lacrosse manufacturing, or just a one-off case of two good companies coming together?
The first question was for James Miceli at Epoch. Before we get into partnering, it might help to know why the company started a custom shaft program in the first place. So, James, why did you start this program?
Epoch Lacrosse decided to create a custom program because we wanted the opportunity to get the most technologically advanced shafts as many players hands as possible. Lacrosse has always had a sense of style that complimented the physical aspect of the game. The Epoch custom shaft program is the perfect blend of function and style.
Ok, from a business stand point that makes sense. Shows some savvy. But why team up with Throne of String when you guys have just come out with your own mesh, and could be considered competitors?
Our team at Epoch has always admired what Joe and his team at Throne have been able to accomplish, and in such a short amount of time. While me might technically be “competitors” we wish Throne nothing but success. The custom Throne Shaft is a prefect example of how our custom program should work. Epoch has several years of R&D specifically on carbon fiber shafts. Any new potential brands that introduce composite shafts will be generations behind Epoch. This partnership allows the style and brand that Throne has built to meet the technology and design that Epoch is know for.
Basically, the Epoch crew is saying that other people do good stuff, and they always look to work with people who do good stuff. That approach actually makes some sense!
But it wasn’t just Epoch that was willing to work across the aisle. Joe Williams from Throne of String also had to agree to this set up. I asked Joe why he was willing to work with a brand that was “technically a competitor”.
Epoch is an exciting and innovative brand run by fun, motivated individuals. They have a passionate structure just like our own. Making the decision to work with Epoch was a simple one. Their wide array of shapes, textures, and flexes is hard to beat. Not to mention they are incredibly light. Our two companies share the belief that a player’s stick should be an extension of oneself. There truly is a handle for almost anyone at Epoch. Finalizing a design when the possibilities were nearly endless was a bit more difficult.
Ok, I’ll bite! How did the design process work?
There were hundreds of paper mockups… Ever since college I’ve made “rough drafts” of my designs with paper mockups created on my computer. I took the basic Dragonfly Gen 4 and married it with the Throne Army aesthetic. Then I ran all the top designs by the some friends until I was sure we had a winner.
You can see the paper prototype above. In the end, it’s a great feeling to see our Throne Crest on a Dragonfly. This is the opening act of a strong narrative between Epoch x Throne of String.
The only question that’s left has to be, When is LaxAllStars.com going to release their custom Epoch shafts? I’m a fan of the product already, but get an LAS logo on there? SOLD!
Epoch is a proud partner of LAS, so we should be doing that soon enough. We can’t wait! There are a lot of custom shaft programs out there, but this one is different, because the original brand is still represented on the shaft. It’s innovative marketing, and it allows people to keep their gear as custom as they want. Even if Epoch weren’t a partner, we’d be interested by this. Are you? Hit us up with your thoughts on this program in the comments section!