As most of you know, Rob “RP3″ Pannell recently made a commitment to StringKing Lacrosse and has joined our Pro Team! He has been a supporter of ours since his senior season at Cornell and made sure when signing his deal with Brine that mesh, strings, and pockets be left out of his contract specifically so he could continue to use and endorse StringKing. He relies on the consistency of StringKing Performance Mesh to give him a pocket that he can trust regardless of any playing conditions and overuse. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have RP3 swearing by StringKing and we’re ecstatic that the best players in the world are noticing the benefits of playing with StringKing Performance Mesh!
We were lucky enough to sit down with Rob and have him answer a few questions for us about his thoughts on mesh, pockets, lacrosse, and life. Enjoy the exclusive interview below!
1) We’re a relatively new company and have been working hard to get the StringKing name out there. How did you come across StringKing Mesh and what made you “make the switch”? What was your initial reaction when you checked it out and how quickly did you notice it’s benefits?
“I came across StringKing mesh at school when Steve Mock came up to me and said something along the lines of “Yo this new string company gave coach some mesh and its pretty sweet.” I took a look at it and immediately when I felt it, I could tell that it was the highest quality mesh that I had ever touched and something that I wanted in my stick. I knew it was special when I had Steve string a stick for me and I could immediately use it the next practice, with no bagging out and not being affected by the rain or snow.”
(RP3 and Steve Mock. Best friends on the field and off)
2) After using StringKing mesh for a game or two in college you sent us a incredibly kind “Thank You” email. We didn’t even know you were using it at the time so it was great to get such positive feedback from the top D1 player. What made you decide to write that email and why did you offer to help spread the word about our brand? What do you think separates StringKing from everyone else and how does it compare to what you’ve used in the past?
“I decided to write that email because I was just so intrigued by the product along with a lot of my other teammates, like Mock. We talked about it a lot so I thought I’d just shoot you guys an email and let you know how I felt about it! You struggle with your pocket more than most things in lacrosse. Having to adjust your pocket based on weather is a constant issue. The break in time after you string a new pocket is staggering. There are countless issues a pocket can bring you. StringKing Performance Mesh eliminated all those struggles!”
3) At StringKing, we believe that a player’s pocket is the most important piece of equipment. Getting a consistent pocket starts with using consistent mesh. How important is it for your pockets to be consistent from one another? What have you noticed when stringing up pockets with our mesh? On a scale from 0-10, where would you rate your pocket in terms of importance to your game?
“As I mentioned before, you struggle with your pocket more than anything so its definitely at a 9 or 10 when it comes to importance in my game. The consistency that StringKing Performance Mesh provides from one pocket to the next is incredibly important for me so I can continue to play at my highest level possible without lag time in between sticks!“
(RP3 rocking his StringKing Pocket at the Team USA tryouts)
4) At this point you’ve now played in college and the pros, what’s been the buzz on the street about StringKing?
“I have heard nothing but great things about StringKing mesh from any of the college or pro players. It truly is unique and I don’t hesitate to tell players they should #maketheswitch when they talk about their issues with wax mesh or other mesh bagging out and being inconsistent.”
5) Right before the MLL season started we had one of our pocket engineers string you up a Clutch M1 (mid pocket) and an Evo 3 L1 (low pocket). Did you play with either in the MLL? Which pocket was more conducive to your style of play?
“I played with the Clutch M1 pocket in the MLL and it worked very well for me. I’ve never had such trust in a pocket! It was a perfect balance between carrying the ball and being able to get that right amount of whip on my shot when taking a rip!”
(RP3 with fellow SringKing Pros #66 Matt Gibson and #92 Mike Skudin)
6) What are some of your goals in lacrosse, both on the field and off? Beyond playing, have you ever thought about pursuing another type of career within the sport? What’s the future hold for the RP3 brand?
“On the field, I want to just continue to elevate my game and play at the highest level possible. Right now the two things on my mind most are making Team USA and winning an MLL Championship!
Off the field, I want to grow my newly formed company RP3 Lacrosse, which is going to offer various instructional type services such as camps and clinics throughout the United States. I want to start small but have hopes of building a brand and business that I’ll be able to grow and enjoy for the rest of my life.”
7) What was it like trying out for Team USA recently? At any point did you look down at your jersey and say, “oh my god, I’m trying out for Team USA”?! It must have been a pretty surreal experience.
“Being asked to tryout for Team USA was an honor in itself and then just being there was a once in a lifetime experience. It didn’t hit me until we were all sitting in front of Coach Meade for that first meeting Friday afternoon when I was like “wow, so this is what this feels like.” It was amazing being able to tryout to represent your country and play with the worlds best players. I have never played lacrosse at such a high level with every player just giving it their all and doing everything they can to make the team! It was special.”
(Rob battled his way onto the current 52 man roster for Team USA)
8) How did it feel to take home the MLL Rookie of the Year Award? What are some of your goals going forward with your lacrosse career?
“With the talent in this rookie class it was honor to be named Rookie of the Year when going up against great players such as Tucker Durkin, Eric Law, Marcus Holman, and Logan Schuss among others. I think it’s a credit to the players that I had around me on New York, like Max Seibald, Stephen Peyser, Drew Adams, Greg Gurenlian, Steve Mock, Tom Palasek, Brian Karilunas and others. They welcomed me to the League and allowed me to make a smooth transition to the MLL.”
9) Describe your ideal vacation. Where do you go? What do you do?
“My ideal vacation would be with my best friends from school and home all going on a trip to Ibiza, where I have been once, and Greece is one of the places I want to go. I would imagine that all of us would have an incredible time together with a nice mix of relaxing and enjoying each others company with maybe some golf mixed in!“
(Ibiza, Rob’s favorite spot to vacation)
10) What are some of your guilty pleasures (food, drinks, music, tv/movies…)?
“I have quite the sweet tooth! Haribo sour peaches are my go to and the new Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome chews have become a favorite.”
11) What is in your refrigerator right now?
“Tabasco, Franks Extra Hot and Franks Hot, lots of fruit, water, milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, and some avocados.”
12) If you could meet any two people (dead or alive) who would they be?
“Eamon McEneaney – Eamon has been an inspiration and hero of mine since I stepped foot on Cornell’s campus. Listening to the way in which people talked about Eamon, I knew he was someone I wanted to strive to be like both on and off the field. He was a special player but an even more special person. I admire the way in which he played the game and the way in which he lived his life. Eamon passed away on September 11, 2001 and I have never had the pleasure and honor of meeting him in person, but I feel like I have known him my whole life.
George Boiardi – Georgie was a captain for Cornell in 2004 and is the man in which all Cornell Lacrosse players should strive to be like. He was the best teammate possible and a very special person. His teammates have portrayed him to current players through a video about what it means to give a George Boiardi type effort, one you want to give day in and day out. George passed away during his senior season after being struck in the chest with a ball against Binghamton.”
13) What’s your favorite sport or pastime besides lacrosse?
“I love playing golf perhaps more than lacrosse, which says a lot. I love nothing more than a little father son golf with my Dad and brother James. However, my favorite sport to watch is football. I am a big Dallas Cowboys fan and on Sunday you will find me glued to a TV watching as much NFL football as I can.“
(Father-Son golf day for Rob with his Dad and brother James)
14) What are the five things you need to have with you when you’re traveling?
“Variety of footwear options
StringKing Mesh kit
15) What’s your ideal breakfast?
“My ideal breakfast would consist of a nice sized acai bowl, which is frozen acai berry topped with granola, honey, fresh strawberries, blueberries and bananas. I first had this in Hawaii last year and could eat it every morning and not get sick of it. Along with the acai bowl, I’d also have what I call a “healthy man”, which is egg whites, turkey, swiss cheese and hot sauce in a whole wheat wrap!”
(Rob’s favorite breakfast looks absolutely pure)