Top Features of East Coast Dyes Defense Heads
East Coast Dyes is well known for engineering lacrosse heads with the perfect blend of stiffness, flexibility, and balanced scoop and sidewall design to give defenders the control and ball retention they need. Here are some of the standout features ECD builds into their defense heads:
By optimizing critical features of their defense heads, East Coast Dyes empowers defenders with the control, durability, and possession-focused design needed to shut down opponents and catalyze fast breaks.
Choosing the Right Lacrosse Head Shape and Style
When selecting an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head for defense, the head shape and style are key factors to consider. The head shape impacts handling, control, and your ability to protect the ball from checks. The style determines features like stiffness, scoop design, and stringing options. Here are some tips on dialing in the ideal head shape and style:
For head shape, defenders often opt for a more narrowly pinched and elongated profile versus a wider, more ball-shaped offensive head. The narrowed straight design provides extra ball protection down low in the pocket. This allows you to shield the ball from poke checks on drives to the goal. An elongated shape also helps when positioning your stick vertically to block shots.
In addition, a narrower head shape gives you more overall control when stick handling, and allows for quicker, more accurate passes – critical for transition play after a turnover. The pinched profile also leaves less open space in the upper sides of the head, protecting against bad bounce checks.
When looking at defensive head styles from ECD, a few options to consider are the Rebel Defense, Mutant, and Brine Clutch X. The Rebel uses more flexible plastic on the sidewalls for better ball control, while the Mutant has uniformly stiff walls for maximum ball retention on poke checks.
The Brine Clutch X signature head has a unique hybrid of boardwalk sidewalls with a pinched back for ball-protecting stiffness at the base, combined with softer injected plastic up top for controlled handling. Test out some ECD defensive head shapes and styles to hone in on your preference.
The last element is considering how the head complements your defensive stick shaft. Shorter D poles work best with narrower heads for maximum control, while longer poles pair well with slightly wider heads for superior ball protection down low in the pocket area. Work with your local lacrosse equipment experts to dial in the ideal head and shaft combo.
Getting Proper Stiffness and Flex for Your Position
When choosing an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head for defense, finding the right balance of stiffness and flex is critical. The stiffness gives you solid checking ability and ball retention, while the flex ensures excellent scooping, passing, and stick handling.
ECD engineers their heads to fine tune stiffness using strategic plastic injection molding. They blend rigid polymers with more flexible compounds to build in position-specific performance. Here are some tips on dialing in the ideal stiffness and flex profile:
For close defense, consider heads like the ECD Rebel Defense and Cascade Lacrosse CLIB22 that have a slightly stiffer upper sidewall and scoop area for maximum ball retention on checks. However, the lower sidewalls feature more flexible polymers to allow the lower sidewalls to partially absorb ball impact.
This helps you maintain possession after poke checks. For LSM long sticks, opt for an exceptionally stiff throat and upper sidewalls. This enables superior poking and slashing to force turnovers. The Mutant head offers extra rigid plastic, and the Maverik Tank is another top choice.
For SSDM short sticks playing down low, select a head with moderate stiffness up top for poke checking, paired with softer sidewalls down low for scooping ground balls. The Nike Legacy 91 offers a great blend.
For goalies, stiffness is less critical – focus more on finding a head with excellent ball retention and rebound control. The Warrior Nemesis and STX Shield provide great ball control. Don’t overlook flex – goalies need some sidewall give for quick outlet passes after saves.
Work closely with your lacrosse equipment specialists to test out heads with different stiffness blends. Focus on tuning the flex and rigidity to your exact positional needs and playing style for optimal performance.
Finding an ECD Head With Ideal Pocket and Scoop Design
When selecting an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head for defense, evaluating the pocket and scoop design is imperative for maximizing possession and facilitating rapid transition play. Here are some factors to consider regarding pocket and scoop configuration:
For the pocket, opt for a mid- to low-pocket profile. This protects the ball from slap checks and pokes when carrying it in traffic or dodging from X. A deeper pocket also helps retain possession when getting pushed out of bounds. Just ensure the pocket doesn’t sag too low, which slows passing and shooting.
ECD typically optimizes their pockets with a pronounced mid-pocket sweet spot that cradles well on carriage and provides accurate passing – ideal for driving transition play. Also look for sidewall stringing holes that allow customizable pocket depth based on your preference.
Regarding scoops, ECD focuses on designs with an exaggerated lip to facilitate scooping ground balls, especially with a lower pocket. The lip helps guide ground balls smoothly into the pocket. Rounded scoop edges are also critical, enabling smooth ground ball entry while keeping the ball securely seated in the pocket during play.
For close defenders covering driving attackmen, consider a scoop-forward design like the ECD Rebel that positions the scoop closer to the ball in your stick for added protection on slap checks. For LSMs trying to force turnovers through pokes, opt for a head with a scoop positioned slightly back from the ball to allow better poking access.
Goalies need scoops with soft, flexible edges to gain maximum control guiding saves into their stick. Warrior and STX goalie heads have excellent scoop ergonomics. Work with your lacrosse equipment specialists to test various pocket and scoop configurations specific to your position and style.
Dialing in the right depth and feel of your head’s pocket, along with optimized scoop design, will give you the possession-focused performance needed to excel on defense.
Evaluating Materials and Durability of ECD Heads
The materials and construction quality used for East Coast Dyes lacrosse heads have a major impact on their durability and longevity. When selecting an ECD head, be sure to evaluate the materials and craftsmanship that contribute to ensuring a long-lasting, high performance head.
ECD uses top-grade polymers injected with precision into head molds to optimize stiffness and flex properties. For their stiffest heads, exotic polymers like Xenith X85 are utilized, offering pro-level rigidity. ECD’s injection molding process ensures the plastic hardens consistently for uniform stiffness in all areas of the head.
In areas where more flex is needed, ECD uses softer elastomer compounds. They strategically place flexible plastic zones along the sidewalls and scoop for controlled ball responsiveness. By blending stiff and soft polymers within specific head regions, ECD achieves ideal position-specific performance.
ECD also pioneered the use of boardwalk sidewalls back in their Razer series. Boardwalk sidewalls fuse areas of stiff plastic along the side rails with injected sidewall sections up top. This hybrid construction maintains rigidity for poke checks while allowing some flex up high for handling and passing.
For construction, ECD heads feature integrated sidewalls rather than screw-on for maximum durability. Integrated sidewalls have no weak points and can better withstand hard slash and wrap checks. ECD also double straps the lower sidewalls on all their elite heads for enhanced ball retention strength.
By utilizing cutting edge polymers, optimized injection molding, and robust integrated construction, East Coast Dyes engineering allows their heads to maintain high performance season after season. The quality materials and craftsmanship result in heads made to last through years of aggressive defensive play.
Weighing the Importance of Head Weight and Balance
When selecting an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head for defense, finding the right balance of weight and feel is crucial for optimizing your performance. Here are some tips on dialing in ideal weight distribution and balance:
In general, a more lightweight head is desirable for quicker handling, faster passing, and ease of carrying upfield for clearing attempts. However, ultra-light heads sacrifice some durability, and can feel less substantial on physical play.
Heavier heads offer more ball protection thanks to increased mass, and feel stronger when jostling against cutters. But overly heavy heads slow your reaction time a bit, and cause fatigue over the course of a game if constantly carrying the ball upfield.
The ideal weight blends just enough heft for solid physical play, with a lightweight feel for quick sticks and passing. For field defenders, a head in the 150-170 gram range like the ECD Rebel provides this perfect balance.
Goalies can opt for slightly heavier heads in the 180-200 gram range since they won’t be carrying the ball upfield often. The extra mass improves ball retention during rebounds and outlet passes.
Balance is also key – make sure to test heads to ensure the weight distribution feels lined up with your hands as you cradle. Optimal mass balance improves control during ground balls, catching passes, and stick checks.
Work closely with your lacrosse equipment specialists to test and compare heads with different weight profiles. Dialing in the ideal mass and balance amplifies the quickness and feel of your stick work, while still allowing physical play needed for shut-down defense.
Comparing Styles Like the Rebel Defense and Mutant Defense
When evaluating East Coast Dyes lacrosse heads for defense, it helps to compare popular ECD head styles to understand their strengths and positioning. Two of the leading ECD defensive heads are the Rebel Defense and Mutant heads.
The ECD Rebel Defense head is designed for a balance of ball retention, handling, and durability. It uses a blend of stiff and soft polymers to achieve this versatility. The scoop area, sidewalls, and throat feature more rigid injection molding for solid poke checks and retaining possession.
But the lower sidewalls incorporate softer elastomers to allow some flex for controlled catches and passing. The Rebel excels for aggressive close defensemen who battle cutters but also need to move the ball in transition.
The ECD Mutant ratchets the stiffness up a notch, making it ideal for LSMs focused on knocking the ball loose through relentless pokes and slashes. The Mutant features ECD’s super-stiff Xenith X85 polymer throughout the head for maximum ball-jarring rigidity.
This extra stiffness allows the Mutant to excel at possessions-ending pokes. But the uniform stiffness sacrifices some ball control during catches and ground balls compared to the Rebel. The Mutant appeals to long stick middies who prioritize turnovers and passing lane disruption over upfield clears.
For players who need versatile stiffness, the ECD Rebel Defense provides the more balanced option. It offers confident poking without fully sacrificing ball control. But LSMs demanding max poke intensity will relish the Mutant’s unwavering rigidity. Try them both to determine which stiff-yet-controlled or ultra-stiff personality resonates.
Understanding ECD’s design ethos for heads like the Rebel and Mutant allows defenders to select the ideal blend of ball retention, poke checking, and transition play needed to stifle offenses and spur fast breaks.
Understanding How an ECD Head Complements Your Shaft
When pairing an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head with a defensive shaft, it’s critical to select a head that optimizes the performance of your shaft length and flex profile. Here are some tips on matching ECD heads to complement specific shafts:
For short 30-40″ defensive shafts like the Epoch Dragonfly and Maverik Hyperlite, pair them with narrower head profiles. This improves handling and control with shorter sticks. ECD’s Rebel Defense has a narrowly pinched shape perfect for short sticks.
If using a longer 52-72″ pole for LSM, pair it with a slightly wider head like the ECD Mutant or Brine Clutch X. The added width provides superior ball retention and protection down low when using a longer stick.
Consider matching stiff shafts with more flexible heads, and vice versa. For example, the rigid East Coast Dyes Dragonfly pairs great with a head like the flexible ECD Rebel for balance. Or match a flexible Origin shaft with a stiff Mutant head.
For goalies, use softer foam shafts with very stiff heads to get ground ball control while still maintaining a rigid blocking presence up top. The Warrior Nemesis and Epoch Hawk complement foam goalie shafts well.
Ensure your head is balanced with your shaft flex point and handle. Heads like the Under Armour Billboard or Maverik Tank have optimized mass distribution to complement various shaft flex profiles.
Testing potential shaft and head combinations to hone in on the ideal synergistic performance is key. An ECD head tuned to enhance your shaft’s attributes will provide next-level play compared to an arbitrary pairing.
Reading East Coast Dyes Head Reviews From Defense Players
One great way to evaluate East Coast Dyes lacrosse heads for defense is to read through reviews from players who use them. Experienced defenders provide unique insights you won’t find in generic product descriptions.
Look for reviews of ECD heads from competitive high school and college defensemen. These players truly put heads through the ringer with extremely physical play. See what they say about stiffness, durability, ball retention, and ground ball scooping after extended use.
Also check reviews from elite youth and club players. While younger, these athletes often have great technical stick skills. They can provide feedback on handling, passing, pocket configuration, and weight balance from a finesse perspective.
Goalies can give insights into how different ECD heads perform when blocking shots and controlling rebounds. And coaches may highlight aspects like whether a head seems to maintain its shape and performance after exposure to harsh weather.
Instead of just reading Amazon reviews, check lacrosse forums like LaxAllStars and Reddit for detailed impressions. You’ll find fewer generic “feels great!” type reviews, and more thoughtful breakdowns of ECD head benefits and drawbacks.
Focus on multiple reviews of heads like the Rebel, Mutant, and Clutch X to identify trends around stiffness, durability, and handling for each model. Take note of how heads are tuned for specific defensive positions based on review feedback.
Leveraging insights from experienced ECD users will ensure you select the ideal head configured specifically for your chosen playing style and role on defense.
Learning From Lacrosse Pros About ECD Defense Heads
Beyond reading online reviews, you can gain invaluable insights into East Coast Dyes lacrosse heads for defense by learning from the pros. Elite players and coaches provide expert perspectives you won’t find anywhere else.
Check out video interviews and podcasts featuring pro defenders from MLL and NLL teams discussing their favorite heads. Guys like Brodie Merrill, Doug Utting, and Kyle Sweeney rely on ECD heads like the Rebel and Mutant for their livelihoods.
See what those players highlight regarding ball control, passing, checking ability, and durability after grueling pro seasons. Watch game film focusing on their sticks to observe how the heads move and perform.
Also, learn from accomplished college and high school coaches. Coaches have the benefit of observing all their defenders’ heads in action, and suggesting models to fit specific playing styles. If a coach consistently fits their shut down poles in ECD heads, take note.
You can also get firsthand defensive head guidance at prospect days, elite camps, and recruitment showcases from college coaches running drills. Ask them their thoughts on optimal heads for your position, grade level, and skillset.
Finally, don’t overlook gaining insights right in your local area. Discuss heads with former college and pro players who now coach youth teams and clinics. Their advice will be tailored specifically to your region’s playing style and competition level.
Tapping into the head knowledge of lacrosse experts worldwide will help ensure you select an East Coast Dyes model optimized for your specific defensive role and competitive environment.
Finding an Affordable Price on a Quality ECD Head
While East Coast Dyes produces some of the best lacrosse heads for defense, they still carry a premium price. Here are some tips for getting an ECD head on a budget:
Browse used heads – Sites like SidelineSwap have reliable sellers offering used ECD heads in great condition. With some new stringing, you can get a used Mutant or Rebel head performing like new at half the price.
Wait for holiday sales – ECD heads see major markdowns for holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Retailers also discount old stock to make room for new models.
Shop last year’s designs – Current year heads are usually full price, but retailers apply discounts to previous years’ designs even if the technology is the same.
Buy combo head and shaft packs – Brands like ECD offer bundled deals on heads, shafts, gloves etc. that lower the overall cost. The head still has full value.
Negotiate multi-item deals – If buying several heads for a team, negotiate with retailers for volume discounts. The more heads you buy, the better deal you can work out.
Talk to your coach – Coaches often have equipment sponsorships that allow them to acquire top heads like ECD models at hugely discounted rates.
With the right shopping strategies, you can secure an awesome new or used East Coast Dyes head that will elevate your defense without breaking your budget.
How Stringing Impacts an ECD Head’s Performance
The stringing setup you use on an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head is just as important as the head itself for optimizing performance. Proper stringing amplifies the strengths of ECD heads for defense.
For starters, focus on a mid- to low-pocket configuration to protect the ball. But don’t go so low that passing and shooting slow down. Choose stronger shooting strings and sidewall strings to really lock in the pocket shape through constant checks.
Use a double traditional setup with four leathers and 8-16 diamonds to create a deep pocket with pronounced hold. This helps shield ground balls from checks on the scoop and retain possession.
For LSM heads like the Mutant, string a slightly higher pocket to allow better access for pokes while still maintaining hold. Use a triple traditional with 3 U-shoots for added ball retention.
To optimize ground balls, use softer mesh and nylon materials in the channel that move well along the scoop. You want the ball to easily roll up into the pocket on ground ball pickups.
Focus on a mid-high to mid-low pocket sweet spot right in the core center of the head. This central hold point allows superior handling across the top and great hold down low when cradling.
Consider adding roller sidewalls for extra grip when carrying the ball one-handed like on clears after turnovers. Roller sidewalls give needed handle friction.
Work closely with your local stick stringers to test out pocket configurations until you dial in the ideal setup for your chosen ECD head model and playing style. Proper stringing enhances the strengths of any head.
Ensuring Your Head is Legal for High School and College
When selecting an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head for defense, it’s important to ensure the head you choose meets regulations for your level of play. Here’s what to look for:
For NFHS high school rules, the head must be 6.5-10″ wide at its widest point, except for goalies. Also, the top rim of the sidewalls must be at least 1.5” above the ball’s lowest point when pocketed.
For NCAA men’s rules, the head must again be 6.5-10″ at its widest point excluding goalies. The height from the scoop to the ball’s lowest point must be at least 3″. There are also minimum sidewall dimension requirements.
For both NFHS and NCAA, no more than 4 shooting strings are allowed. They must be below the ball restraining line when it is pocketed. Also, the top shooting string must be no more than 4″ from the scoop when at rest.
The ECD Rebel Defense, Mutant, and other top ECD heads are designed to comply with high school and college regulations right out of the box.
However, an incorrectly strung pocket on a legal head can still make it illegal. When stringing an ECD head, be sure to keep the pocket above the minimum height allowed. Don’t add too many shooting strings or place them too close to the scoop.
Test pocket depth with a ball to confirm it sits above the minimum height limit. Confirm your stringer is adhering to the rules for your level of play. This ensures your new ECD head provides competitive edge without fear of getting flagged off the field.
With the right dimensional design and stringing approach, an ECD head optimized for defense will dominate within the rules year after year.
Picking a Defense Lacrosse Head That Matches Your Style
When selecting an East Coast Dyes lacrosse head for defense, it’s important to choose a model that fits your personal playing style and technique. Here are some factors to consider:
If you rely on physicality and brute force checks, prioritize maximum stiffness like the ECD Mutant head. The extra rigid construction allows relentless poke checking and hustle play.
If you’re a speedier, finesse defender who strips the ball with quick checks, opt for a head with moderate stiffness like the Rebel that provides controlled, accurate pokes without sacrificing ball handling.
If you struggle with ground balls, choose an ECD head with a scoop-forward design to get your stick lower, along with softer plastics on the throat and lower sidewalls for better flex during ground ball pickups.
If you play down low as a SSDM covering dodgers, look for a head with a narrower profile for tight coverage, along with a mid-flex feel to keep up with elusive attackmen.
If you tend to get out-muscled by cutters, go for max durability like the rock-solid Mutant to withstand constant physical play. Extra stiffness also helps retain possession when jostling off ball.
If you’re an LSM constantly sprinting up and down the field, minimize head weight while retaining stiffness by drilling extra holes. The lighter feel reduces fatigue.
Think about your current skills, athletic traits, and how you like to play defense. Then select the ECD head with features that best complement your unique style for optimal performance.