Legends Reunited: Gary and Paul Gait are Back in Business

Gary (left) and Paul Gait couldn't talk business for the longest time. Now, it's an “opportunity to start fresh.”

This story appears in the January 2020 edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Head to USLacrosse.org to subscribe.

Gen Xers rejoice. The Gait brothers are back in business.

Gait Lacrosse, the equipment brand with a cult following, relaunched this fall after a four-year hiatus. The new line included legacy products like the Gait Torque head and Gait Ice handle, as well as a women’s head, the Gait Air.

“This is an opportunity to start fresh, especially on the women’s side,” founder Paul Gait said. “What we wanted to do with the Gait brand is push the envelope, try new technology and create products with truly performance-enhancing features.”

And who better to partner with in that endeavor than his slightly older (by three minutes), slightly more famous twin brother, Gary? They’re 52 now. If you’re of a certain age, you remember watching them reinvent lacrosse as college kids who played with unprecedented flair at Syracuse and put pro lacrosse on the map.

If you’re younger, you know Gary Gait as the Syracuse women’s coach, whose innovative spirit has permeated the sport in the evolution of equipment and rules and whose showmanship has been reincarnated in stars like Michelle Tumolo and Kayla Treanor. 

Until recently, however, Paul and Gary Gait never could talk shop. Their conversations would end in a screeching halt, like a party-stopping record scratch. For the last 25 years, they’ve been competitors. 

Both twins were associated with STX when they came out of college in 1990. In 1995, Paul went his own way. He started a retail business, then designed equipment for deBeer, engineering the Apex head and the Trakker pocket that revolutionized women’s lacrosse sticks. He became the company’s president in 2003, launching the Gait men’s brand.

Gary Gait, meanwhile, continued to work in product development for STX even as his coaching career took off. His contract expired last year.

Reunited, and it feels so good.


“It’s good to have one of the great minds on your side instead of on your opponent’s side,” Paul Gait said. “I’ve always tried to stay behind the scenes. I like when he’s the front man.”

When parent company Jarden discontinued the deBeer and Gait lines in 2015, Paul Gait kept this renaissance in the back of his mind. He started Vertical Lax/Team 22, which became the exclusive licensee of Under Armour equipment, and LaxPocket, which specializes in stringing women’s sticks with its popular Rail pocket.

But the end game was always to bring back Gait Lacrosse, with the full weight of the brand’s namesake behind it. Paul and Gary’s first collaboration, the Gait Draw, will be featured this month at the US Lacrosse Convention in Philadelphia. The double-sidewall design essentially gives the head two pockets — a deeper front pocket for the draw and one with standard depth for field play. No more swapping sticks.

“We nailed it on this women’s draw stick,” Paul Gait said. “If you don’t have it and you’re up against one, chances are you’re going to lose.”

The Gaits also will unveil LaxPocket’s new Flex Mesh, expected to be the next revolutionary pocket for women’s lacrosse, at the convention.

“It’s nice to be the Gait brothers again,” Gary Gait said. “He’s doing his thing in manufacturing. I’ve been doing mine on the lacrosse side. It’s time to bring these two forces together.”

To learn more about LaxCon 2020, check out our "What to Watch for."

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