Choosing the Right Lacrosse Stick Length
When selecting a new lacrosse stick, one of the most important factors to consider is the length. Lacrosse sticks come in a variety of lengths, typically ranging from 40 to 72 inches. The optimal length depends on several factors including your position, age, height, and skill level.
For attack players and midfielders who handle the ball frequently, shorter sticks in the 40-42 inch range allow for quicker passing and shooting. Longer sticks around 60-72 inches are preferred for defensemen, who use the extra length to intercept passes and checks more effectively.
Youth players aged 10 and under generally use sticks between 37-42 inches. As players get older and taller, they’ll graduate to full length sticks. For most male youth and high school players, 52-72 inch sticks are common.
When trying out different lacrosse stick lengths, the key is finding the right balance and comfort level for your game. Longer sticks provide a wider catching and checking area, but can be more difficult to control quickly during cradling or shooting. Shorter sticks are quicker, but have a smaller sweet spot.
Consider your height – taller players can control longer sticks, while shorter players need more maneuverable lengths. Also factor in your position and style of play. Try out several lengths to see what feels best. Keep in mind high school and college rules regulate legal stick lengths for each position.
Finding your ideal lacrosse stick length takes experimentation. Whether you prefer quick handling or wider reach, start by considering your age, size, position and skill level. Test different lengths to discover the optimal balance of control, accuracy and power before buying a new lacrosse stick.
The Many Types of Lacrosse Stick Heads
When shopping for a new lacrosse stick, one of the most important factors to consider is the head. Lacrosse heads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for specific positions and play styles. Understanding the different types of heads can help you find the right stick to match your skills and strengths on the field.
For offensive players like attackers and midfielders, narrower heads with defined pinch and scoop areas offer better ball control and quick passing and shooting. These heads have more defined sidewalls that channel the ball into the pocket. Popular offensive heads include the Maverik Optik, Nike CEO, and STX Surgeon.
Defensive players generally prefer wider heads with flat sidewalls, which provide a larger sweet spot for checking, intercepting passes, and scooping up ground balls. Broader heads with minimal offset like the Maverik Tank or STX Hammer provide excellent ball retention when carrying the ball upfield or running with it in transition.
Heads designed specifically for face-off specialists have unique shapes to help grab possession off the draw. These include “dorito” and “banana” shaped heads like the Nike CEO Geo and Warrior Burn FO. The angled sidewalls and pinch points allow face-off middies to gain leverage on clamps and scoops.
For goalies, oversized heads like the Maverik Rome help protect their stick from outside shots. The enlarged head essentially acts as an extension of the goalie’s body. These flattened, board-like heads make saving shots easier from all angles.
Women’s lacrosse sticks usually have more narrow pocket areas and evenly spaced stringing to meet specialized rules for the women’s game. Heads like the STX Crux 600 have contoured shapes designed for elite female players.
While plenty of heads work for both offense and defense, picking the right shape for your position helps maximize your performance. Keep your playing style in mind, and choose a head with the best attributes for how you play. The right head can give you an edge out on the field.
Popular Lacrosse Stick Materials: Pros and Cons
When selecting a new lacrosse stick, one of the key decisions is which shaft and head material best suits your needs. Lacrosse sticks today are constructed from a range of materials, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Composite shafts made from alloys of titanium, scandium or carbon fibers are popular at all levels. Brands like Maverik’s Hyperlite and STX’s Sci-Ti offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, meaning lighter overall weight without sacrificing durability. Composites also provideimproved flex and responsiveness when shooting. The downsides are their higher cost and potential brittleness over time.
Traditional solid wood shafts like hickory provide a true, classic feel and can be more affordable. However, wood is heavier than composite materials. Maple, birch, and aspen wood shafts offer a lightweight alternative to hickory. Wood also requires extra maintenance like taping or sanding to maintain optimal grip and performance.
Alloy shafts like aluminum offer increased durability and weather resistance versus wood. Brands like Warrior’s Aluminum Pro 2.0 combine the lightness of alloys with the strength of composite materials for an excellent all-around option. The main drawbacks of metal alloys are decreased responsiveness and increased vibration.
For heads, most are made from molded plastic composites like nylon polymer resins. Plastics allow heads to be engineered with precise pocket shapes and stiffness. Brands like STX use high-grade nylons to create consistent, lightweight heads. Downsides include potential warping or brittle breakage over time.
Traditional wooden heads are rare today outside of vintage sticks, but provide a unique traditional feel. Composite and plastic heads are now standard, but manufacturers continue to innovate with nano-materials and alloys to increase durability and performance.
Testing different lacrosse stick materials can help determine the right balance of touch, control, and stiffness for your game. Ultimately the optimal materials come down to personal preference, position, and budget. With so many choices available today, you’re bound to find the ideal composition to elevate your play.
Comparing Lacrosse Stick Head Shapes
The head shape of a lacrosse stick plays a critical role in its performance. Lacrosse heads come in a variety of forms, each engineered for specialized playing styles and positions. Understanding the nuances of different head shapes can help you find your ideal stick.
For offensive players, heads with defined pinch and scoop areas offer superior ball control and accuracy. Pinching the bottom of the head narrows the channel to improve ball retention during cradling. A rounded scoop allows for quicker, more accurate passes and shots. Popular offensive heads like the Maverik Optik have customized pinch and scoop zones.
Wider, flatter heads excel for defensive players who prize checking and intercepting ability. Heads with minimal offset like the STX Hammer 500 provide a large sweet spot to dispossess attackers. Flat sidewalls and wide faces also aid in ground ball scooping.
For face-off specialists, heads with angled sidewalls like the Warrior Burn FO aim to gain leverage on clamps. By contouring the lower sides, face-off middies can “pinch” the ball for increased control off the draw.
Goalies tend to use oversized, flattened heads to protect more of the net. Heads with minimal offset like the Maverik Rome help goalies cover more angles. The enlarged head acts as an extension of the goalie’s body.
Women’s lacrosse heads have more narrowly defined pockets due to specialized stringing rules. Heads with pre-set pocket areas like the Nike Force provide optimal ball control and release.
While universal heads work for multiple positions, choosing a shape tailored to your style and role boosts performance. Narrow, contoured heads suit offensive finesse, while wide heads lend themselves to defensive physicality. Find your ideal balance of control and power based on how you play.
With the variety of head shapes available today, you can pinpoint the just-right option to elevate your game to the next level.
Lacrosse Stick Pocket Types and Stringing
The pocket of a lacrosse stick plays a key role in ball control, handling, and shot speed. Lacrosse pockets come in various forms based on stringing style, materials, and depth.
Traditional stringing uses leather and nylon strings to create customized pocket areas. With interwoven sidewall, shooter, and cross lacing, players can dial in the ideal pocket tension, depth, and channel shape. Traditional stringing allows for maximum adjustability and break-in time. The downside is lacrosse stick stringing requires expertise.
Mesh and synthetic pocket varieties like StringKing’s Mark 2F offer pre-set shapes with consistent ball control right out of the package. By integrating the sidewalls and cross-lacing into one woven piece, synthetic pockets provide consistent depth and tension without elaborate stringing. The fixed shapes however allow for less customization.
Some pockets like ECD’s Hero 2.0 utilize a hybrid of nylon strings embedded in a flexible mesh backing. This combines the shape retention of mesh with the tunability of traditional stringing. Brands like Throne also offer replaceable pockets to allow players to quickly swap styles.
Pocket depth also varies based on player position and preference. Shallower pockets around 2 inches deep suit offensive players for quicker release and passes. Defensemen often prefer pockets over 2.5 inches deep to help protect possession during checks and scoops.
Ultimately there is no universally superior pocket variety. Mesh pockets offer quick reliability, while hand-strung traditional pockets let you fine-tune the feel. Testing different stringing setups helps determine your ideal balance of ball control, hold, and release.
Choosing the right lacrosse stick pocket enhances handling and accuracy. With the array of pre-set and adjustable pocket types available today, you can customize your lacrosse stick to match your playing style.
Popular Lacrosse Stick Brands
When selecting a new lacrosse stick, one of the key choices is which brand best suits your needs and budget. Major manufacturers like STX, Maverik, and Warrior dominate the lacrosse gear market, but upstarts like Epoch and StringKing also offer compelling options.
STX is a longtime leader known for advanced equipment like the Surgeon offensive sticks and Hammer defensive heads. Maverik’s lacrosse sticks emphasize optimal weight balance like the Hyperlite shaft. Warrior focuses on classic feel such as the Aluminum Pro 2.0 shaft andBurn FO face-off head.
Smaller brands like Epoch Lacrosse and StringKing provide innovative alternatives. Epoch’s Dragonfly and Hawk heads offer unique shapes and carbon fiber construction. StringKing complements mesh lacrosse heads with high-performance mesh pockets.
When evaluating brands, consider your playing position and style. Attackmen may favor Maverik’s accurate passing and shooting, defenders Warrior’s checking prowess. Face-off middies might choose heads from Nike, Warrior or STX for added clamp control.
Compare build quality and materials among brands as well. For example, Maverik and Epoch emphasize lightweight composite and carbon fiber construction. Warrior and STX still utilize premium alloys and metals for added durability.
Don’t overlook smaller brands either. StringKing’s mesh pockets offer consistent feel and control. Upstarts like Savage X provide cost-effective lacrosse sticks for new players.
While major brands dominate, don’t limit your options. Testing a range of lacrosse sticks before buying helps determine your ideal blend of performance, price, and durability from leading manufacturers or rising challengers.
Finding Great Deals on Lacrosse Sticks
With lacrosse stick prices ranging from $50 into the $300s, finding affordable options is key for many players. The good news is quality lacrosse sticks don’t have to break the bank if you know where to look.
Shopping end-of-season sales can yield big savings on current gear. Retailers like Lax.com, Lacrosse Monkey, and Dick’s offer discounted sticks heading into summer. Signing up for brand sales alerts provides notice for limited-time markdowns.
Buying last year’s lacrosse stick models can net discounts of 50% or more. With modest yearly changes, “old” sticks just a season or two behind often match current versions in playability at reduced prices.
Used lacrosse sticks in good condition offer value for youth players and backups. Check specialty retailers, but also explore Play It Again Sports locations, SidelineSwap.com and local listings.
For budget-friendly lacrosse stick options, don’t overlook emerging brands like Savage X Lacrosse, Clutch Lacrosse and more. New companies focus on affordable quality sticks rather than premium pricing.
Another tip is purchasing heads and shafts separately to mix and match deals on each component. Buying lacrosse stick heads in bulk multi-packs can also yield per-stick savings.
While elite lacrosse sticks carry premium tags, excellent starter sticks are available for under $100. With smart shopping at the right times, securing an affordable, quality lacrosse stick is very achievable.
Customizing Your Lacrosse Stick
One of the best ways to optimize your lacrosse stick’s performance is by customizing it to fit your playing style and strengths. With the right adjustments and personalizations, you can tailor your stick’s handling, feel, and shot speed.
Re-stringing the lacrosse head pocket with different shooting string, cross-lacing and sidewall patterns allows you to fine-tune the tension, hold and release. Altering pocket depth and applying different leathers or meshes impacts overall feel during cradling, scooping and passing.
Adjusting the flex and stiffness of the shaft affects shot velocity and accuracy. Adding grip tape provides personalized grip areas for more control. Inserting removable shaft cookies enables you to modify flex as needed.
Trimming the length of a long stick defensive shaft down to an attack or midfield size opens up options. Cutting down the shaft alters the balance and swing speed to potentially match your physique and mechanics better.
Swapping out the factory lacrosse head for an aftermarket version caters the head shape, sidewall structure and scoop to your style. Mixing and matching heads and shafts provides further customization.
Don’t overlook cosmetic changes too. Dying mesh pockets, adding custom leathers, incorporating team logos or insignias personalizes the style and look to your taste.
With some DIY time and effort, you can transform an ordinary factory lacrosse stick into an ideal personal performer tailored to your strengths.
Proper Lacrosse Stick Stringing Techniques
Stringing the lacrosse stick head pocket requires precision and skill to optimize ball control, release speed, and handling. Mastering key stringing methods provides a competitive edge.
For starters, proper sidewall stringing establishes overall pocket structure. Wide loops with gradual transitions from one row to the next enhances hold while tight, narrow loops increase speed. Sidewall materials like leather, nylon cord or shooting laces impact feel.
Interlacing the cross-strings through the sidewalls dictates overall pocket depth. Tighter cross-lacing pulls the pocket higher for quicker throws and shots. Wider spacing creates deeper bags for increased ball security.
Shooting string placement fine-tunes release and accuracy. Placing shooting strings closer to the scoop generates faster throws while lowering their position improves control. Use double shooting strings with diamonds or interwoven patterns for added ball guidance.
For face-off heads, offset sidewall stringing develops “channel” pockets when pinched. This provides superior clamp control and ball retention off the draw. Angled sidewalls aid initial clamp leverage as well.
Matching your stringing techniques to your style and position gives an advantage. While rules limit shooting string and pocket depth, savvy stringing optimizes overall feel and performance.
Mastering key stringing methods lets you customize your lacrosse stick’s handling and shot speed. Dial in materials, diamonds, sidewalls and depth to gain an edge over opponents this season.
Maintaining Your Lacrosse Stick
Taking proper care of your lacrosse stick ensures peak performance all season long. With the right maintenance and upkeep, you can extend the life of your stick and prevent in-game issues.
Storing lacrosse sticks in bags or stands protects them from damage, warping and weather. Keep sticks out of excessive heat or moisture. Let wood shafts air dry completely if wet before storage.
Regularly check for cracks in shafts and heads. Use waterproof sealants on wood sticks to prevent chips and swelling. Repair minor cracks in alloy or composite shafts with epoxy adhesives.
Waxing shafts preserves grip and feel in all weather. Use non-petroleum waxes to maintain optimal shaft tackiness. Re-apply grip tape or lizard skins when worn.
Inspect mesh and leathers routinely and make pocket repairs as needed. Tighten loose shooting strings or sidewalls. Sew any significant mesh tears to prevent ripping.
When traveling, pack sticks in padded bags or cases. Disassemble heads and shafts when possible. Remove any attached balls or accessories that could damage the stick.
With regular inspections, proper storage, and timely upkeep, even favorite well-used sticks can deliver years more service. Take care of your lacrosse stick, and it will take care of you all season long.
Lacrosse Stick Regulations
When purchasing a new lacrosse stick, it’s important to ensure it meets the equipment regulations and guidelines for your league and level of play. Organizations like the NCAA, NFHS, and US Lacrosse dictate specific rules covering everything from stick dimensions to pocket depths.
For NFHS high school boys’ lacrosse, sticks must be 40 to 72 inches long for field players, with pockets up to 3 inches deep. Goalies use sticks up to 72 inches long with pockets up to 5 inches deep. Shooting strings must be within 4 inches of the scoop.
NCAA men’s lacrosse sticks range from 40 to 42 inches for attack, 52 to 72 inches for defense. Pockets cannot exceed 2 inches in depth. Only 4 shooting strings are allowed, woven at least 3 inches from the scoop and 1 inch apart.
For women’s lacrosse, pocket depths cannot exceed 8.5 inches under NCAA rules. Mesh pockets must be transparent and loose enough for the ball to sit above the sidewalls. Pockets cannot be more than 1.5 inches deep at their deepest point.
Youth leagues like US Lacrosse require age-appropriate stick lengths, such as 37 to 42 inches through 4th grade. Pockets cannot exceed 1.5 to 2 inches deep depending on age. Traditional wooden sticks are not permitted.
Before buying a new lacrosse stick, consult your league rules to ensure compliance. Regulations help ensure safe, fair play across all levels. Purchasing a legal stick prevents in-game penalties and ejections down the road.
Choosing the Right Lacrosse Stick for Your Position
Selecting the optimal lacrosse stick involves matching the stick’s attributes to your preferred position and playing style. Attackmen, midfielders, defensemen and goalies each benefit from specialized sticks tailored for their role.
For attack players, shorter sticks from 40-42 inches provide excellent maneuverability for quick passing and dodging. Narrower heads with defined scoops like the Maverik Optik improve accuracy. Low pocket placement enables fast shots.
Midfielders favor sticks from 42-48 inches long for transitional play. Mid-depth pockets around 2 inches help retain possession on draws and ground balls. Wider heads balance offense and defense.
Defensemen prioritize sticks from 52-72 inches long to intercept passes and throws. Oversize defensive heads like the STX Hammer 500 have wide faces for checking. Deeper pockets let defenders cradle and run the ball upfield.
Goalies need the expanded blocking area of oversized heads up to 10 inches wide. Stick lengths up to 72 inches give goalies extra reach. Stiffer shafts and mid-to-deep pockets help control rebounds.
While some overall sticks work for multiple positions, choosing lacrosse gear aligned with your specific role gives an edge. Test sticks tailored to your style of play during position-specific drills to find your ideal match.
Top-Rated Lacrosse Sticks by Position
Finding your ideal lacrosse stick means identifying top-performing gear designed for your position. Brands like Maverik, STX, and Warrior make sticks engineered specifically for each role.
For attack, the Maverik Optik offers a narrow head for accuracy with a smooth scoop and mid-low pocket. The Epoch Hawk Attack provides lightweight carbon construction and quick release. STX’s Surgeon 500 has an elite-level pocket and defined hold.
At midfield, the Maverik Havok provides an evenly-balanced feel and mid-depth pocket for transition play. Warrior’s Evo Warp Pro boasts a hybrid head for offense and defense versatility. The ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 mixes carbon and composite for excellent durability.
On defense, Warrior Regulator Max features excellent stiffness and an oversized head to own ground balls. Maverik’s Tank head lives up to its name with a wide face and deep pocket for possession. The Epoch Dragonfly Elite relies on carbon strength and a broad profile.
For goalies, the Maverik Rome NXT Oversized emphasizes blocking area with an extra-deep pocket. The STX Shield 500 boasts a 10-inch flare and mid pocket to control rebounds. Warrior Nemesis 2 is specifically designed for dominant goalies.
While personal preference matters, position-specific lacrosse sticks excel by maximizing strengths for each role. Consult reviews, then demo top sticks at your position to discover the ideal fit.
Buying Lacrosse Sticks In-Store vs. Online
When purchasing your next lacrosse stick, deciding between in-store and online channels involves certain trade-offs. Brick-and-mortar retailers provide personal inspection and advice, while web stores offer convenience and selection.
Visiting local lacrosse shops allows first-hand examination of sticks to gauge materials, quality and feel. Store staff can provide personalized recommendations and feedback as well. You can also test sticks right away through demo products.
However, physical inventory is limited, so specific models may not be in stock. Store markups can also increase pricing on certain gear. Driving to different retailers wastes time and gas when selection is low.
Shopping online opens up access to every brand and lacrosse stick model. Large pure-play retailers like LacrosseMonkey.com or Lax.com offer hundreds of options. Shopping online saves driving time and lets you compare prices easily.
The drawback is lack of direct inspection or try-before-you-buy. Sizing, flex or balance could differ from product images and descriptions once received. Returns are possible but add hassle.
For most lacrosse stick purchases, combining online research with an in-store visit covers pros and cons of both. Digitally narrow down top sticks, then validate through hands-on inspection before deciding.
Buying Lacrosse Sticks in Bulk
When outfitting an entire lacrosse team, one of the most cost-effective options is purchasing lacrosse sticks in bulk quantities. Buying multiple sticks together nets discounts and simplifies the purchasing process.
Many lacrosse gear retailers like Lax.com and LacrosseMonkey offer custom team pricing for bulk orders. The more sticks purchased, the higher percentage discounts off retail. Bulk discounts can range from 10% on smaller orders up to 30% off for 40+ sticks.
Buying in bulk also condenses shipping costs, since multiple sticks ship together. Bulk orders can qualify for free shipping promotion thresholds as well.
Working with team dealers allows customization options like adding team colors, logos or numbers. Bulk orders can be customized by player positions too, like attack sticks vs. defense.
The main drawback of bulk buying is lack of individual customization. Sticks are purchased wholesale, so players can’t pick specifics like pocket type or flex. Exchanges are trickier compared to single-stick orders.
For new teams or gear replacement cycles, buying lacrosse sticks in bulk makes economic sense. Work with team sales reps to negotiate discounts, then distribute sticks uniformly or by player position. Just plan orders early to ensure delivery by the start of season.