Intro – Lacrosse popularity and growth
You ready to step up your lacrosse game this season? I feel you. As lacrosse continues its meteoric rise from niche sport to mainstream athletic powerhouse, more and more players are looking for an edge. And it all starts with having the right stick.
I’ve been playing lacrosse since I was a kid, and I can’t get enough of it. Something about the speed, the strategy, the connection with my teammates – it just clicks. Lacrosse gets into your blood. These days, I’m not alone in my passion. Youth and high school participation numbers are through the roof. College lacrosse is bigger than ever. The pro leagues are attracting top talent. The sport is absolutely blowing up.
With the growth at every level, competition is fierce. Having the right gear, especially your stick, can make a huge difference. I’ve spent years obsessing over lacrosse stick specs and trying all the top brands. I’ve been through more heads and shafts than I can count. I’m here to pass on what I’ve learned to help you take your game to the next level.
The Anatomy of a Lacrosse Stick
First, a quick refresher. A lacrosse stick has three main parts – the head, the pocket, and the shaft. The head is the plastic top part that’s strung with the pocket. Heads come in different shapes, sizes, and stiffness levels. The pocket is the strung netting where you carry and pass the ball. It can be customized through stringing techniques. The shaft is the metal pole you hold. It varies in material, flex, and weighting.
These three elements all impact feel, handling, passing, and shooting. Finding the ideal combo can be a puzzle. But when you get it right, your stick transforms from sporting equipment into an extension of your arm. A stick that’s perfectly tuned to you becomes a true competitive advantage.
Types of Lacrosse Sticks
Lacrosse sticks are optimized for different position groups. In general, you’ve got attack sticks, midfield sticks, and defensive sticks. Attack sticks have a narrower head and tighter pocket for precision passing and shooting. They favor control over power. Midfield sticks balance both. Defensive sticks maximize scooping ground balls with a wider head and deeper pocket. Knowing your position helps narrow the search.
Beyond that, there are different stick regulations at various levels. High school sticks must be between 52-72 inches overall, with heads 6-10 inches wide. Plus pockets can’t be too deep. College and pro sticks have some slight differences, like allowing shooting strings. I’ll break down the official rules later so your stick stays legal!
Key Stick Specs
When you start shopping for sticks, there are a few key variables to consider:
- Weight – Heavier sticks add momentum for shooting, lighter sticks are quicker handling
- Balance – Do you want more weight in the head or shaft for your playing style?
- Flex – Stiffer shafts offer control, more flexible shafts generate shot speed
- Pocket Depth – Shallower provides accuracy, deeper creates holding power
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the specs. My advice? Think about what you need to improve most – passing, catching, cradling, shooting? Then find a stick tuned for that. Ask teammates if you can try their sticks to get a feel for different setups.
Top Lacrosse Stick Brands
In my experience, these brands consistently produce high quality sticks across all price points:
- STX – Known for excellent mid-range sticks like the Stallion and reliable beginner sticks like the Mustang
- Maverik – Produces sticks favored by top college programs like the Tank and Rome
- Warrior – The Burn and Evo lines offer premium performance for elite players
- Brine – The Clutch and King lines provide versatility for multiposition players
You really can’t go wrong with any of the major brands’ newer models. I find the differences come down to personal preference in looks, grip, and just how the stick handles best for your game.
ECD Lacrosse Sticks
A relative newcomer, ECD has made waves in lacrosse over the past decade. Founded by lacrosse-crazed Canadians, ECD takes a high tech, cutting edge approach. They analyze every design element and material to maximize performance. As a result, their sticks have shaken up the market.
The ECD Infinity combines a stiff, lightweight carbon shaft with an incredibly precise mesh pocket. It’s ideal for elite offensive players. The quick release shooting and pinpoint accuracy are unmatched. I used an Infinity last season and felt it improve my outside shooting immediately. My only gripe is the durability – elite sticks sacrifice lifespan for peak performance.
The Carbon Pro 2.0 keeps the same shaft as the Infinity but has a more flexible head designed for midfielders. I love how it transitions smoothly from scooping ground balls to ripping shots. The wider face and mid-level pocket depth provide excellent all-around play. It feels like an extension of my arm. For a high end do-it-all midfield stick, the Carbon Pro 2.0 is hard to top.
Crab Lacrosse Sticks
An interesting niche product, crab lacrosse sticks have an extra wide head meant to dramatically increase ground ball scooping. They almost look like mini butterfly nets. Defenders swear by them for gaining possession off checks and turnovers. They can be very effective but take some adjustment to stickhandle with. Personally, I prefer a more well-rounded midfield stick even as a defender.
Finding the Right Lacrosse Stick
With so many stick options out there, choosing the right one for your game can be confusing. Here are my top tips for finding lacrosse stick nirvana:
- Match the stick specs to your position – middies need versatility, attackers want shooting precision, defenders need ground ball grabbers
- Try sticks from teammates or stores to get a hands-on feel before buying
- Pick an appropriate price range for your skill level and budget
- Read online reviews but know only your on-field experience matters
- Get properly sized – youth players don’t need long poles
- Obsess less over brands and more over balance, grip, pocket feel
- Re-string sticks until the pocket is exactly how you like it
Don’t rush the stick selection process. Take your time and experiment until you find the one. That perfect stick will become an invaluable weapon in your lacrosse-playing arsenal!
To maximize your lacrosse game, you need a stick that’s dialed into your strengths and play style. Understand lacrosse stick anatomy, types, brands, and specs. Carefully match the components to your needs on the field. With the right stick in your hands, you’ll be ready to dominate! Still have questions? Drop me a line, I’m always talking lacrosse sticks!
Anatomy of a lacrosse stick – head, pocket, shaft
If you wanna up your lacrosse game, you gotta have a solid grasp of your most essential piece of gear – the stick! This ain’t no regular old stick though, it’s a precisely engineered sports implement with several components that each serve an important purpose.
Let’s break it down piece by piece so you can really understand what makes these babies tick. The head of the stick is the plastic top part with the netted pocket attached to it. Heads come in a variety of shapes like oval, teardrop or diamond. They also vary in stiffness, which affects how the ball releases. Stiff heads provide more control while flexible heads generate whip on shots.
Ahh the pocket, the cradle for catching and carrying the rock. This woven netting forms the middle section of the stick. It’s where you retain possession of the ball and can vary the hold and release. The pocket is customized through complex stringing procedures. Experienced stringers can craft a pocket to match a player’s preferences.
Finally, we’ve got the shaft, the pole you grip during play. Shafts are typically made of metal alloys or composite materials like carbon fiber. They range in weight, flex and grip. Heavier rigid shafts provide durability and passing force while lighter flexible shafts are quicker handling.
Finding the right combo of head, pocket and shaft results in a stick that jives with your game. Think of it like a golf club, with different lacrosse sticks for different lacrosse shots. The stick specs match the player’s needs and play style. When you got the right stick, you just feel it. So get out there and start testing different setups until you find your dream pole!
Types of lacrosse sticks – attack, midfield, defense
Lacrosse sticks come in all shapes and sizes because different positions have different needs. Just like a catcher’s mitt looks way different than a first baseman’s glove. Attack sticks have narrower heads and a defined pocket for precision passing and shooting. Handles are lightweight for quick release shots. These guys are all about finesse.
Midfield sticks rock wider heads and mid-depth pockets to balance ground balls with bombing shots upfield. Since they play both O and D, middies need versatility. I typically roll with a midfield stick for my two way hustle game.
Defense poles have those massive heads to scoop up all the turnovers andChecks they create. Extra wide heads with deep pockets allow them to clamp down on grounders. Their main job is to protect the net and gain possession.
Figuring out your position first makes picking a stick way easier. You wouldn’t give a QB a lineman’s shoulder pads. Get the stick engineered for how YOU wanna impact the game.
Key stick specs – weight, balance, flex, pocket depth
Beyond basic position differences, you gotta dial in the details of your stick specs. We talking weight distribution, balance, shaft stiffness, pocket features, materials, the whole shebang. Finding your perfect combination of specs is key, my dudes.
Some players like a super lightweight stick for slick handling while others prefer weighted shafts for ripping shots. Balance out the weight between your shaft and head based on feel.
Stiffer shafts provide more passing control while whippier flexible shafts generate velocity on shots. It’s about your preference for response and snap.
Shallow pockets make for crisp accurate feeds while deeper pockets let you hang onto the ball but are slower releasing. Consider how you wanna move the ball.
Dialing in those specs to match your game takes trial and error. Test different setups until the stick just becomes an extension of your arm.
Top brands – STX, Maverik, Warrior, Brine
There’s a ton of lacrosse brands out there nowadays making killer sticks from youth levels to the pros. After testing gear for years, these are my top choices:
STX makes the most solid all around sticks across all price ranges. The Stallion line is a go-to for midfield. Great balance of affordability and performance.
Maverik churns out cutting edge sticks geared for elite players. The Tank and Rome sticks are perfect for taking your game to the next level.
Warrior makes super premium sticks dialed for top level shooters and scorers. The technology in the Burn and Evo lines is serious.
Brine sticks offer versatility for multi-position players. The Clutch and King lines can take you from scoring to defending seamlessly.
Most of the top brands make killer modern sticks – just comes down to finding the one tuned for your game.
ECD Lacrosse Sticks
ECD is an up and coming brand taking the lacrosse world by storm. They’re pushing the envelope on materials, design and tech to build the sticks of the future. Two of their sticks I’d highlight are the Infinity and the Carbon Pro 2.0.
ECD Infinity Lacrosse Stick
The Infinity combines a super stiff lightweight carbon shaft with an insanely accurate mesh pocket. It’s built for elite offensive players to snipe corners. The quick release and precision beating the goalie is unreal. Only issue is durability – it sacrifices lifespan for top end performance.
ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 Lacrosse Stick
The Carbon Pro 2.0 keeps the same shaft as the Infinity but has a more flexible head for midfielders. Scooping, passing, catching, shooting – it can do it all at a high level. Transitions so smooth from offense to defense. For a high end midfield stick, the Carbon Pro 2.0 is a top choice.
Crab lacrosse sticks
Here’s a unique product – the crab lacrosse stick. It’s got an extra wide head, like imagine a mini butterfly net on your stick. Defenders love them for getting max ground balls off checks and turnovers.
They take major adjusting to stick handle with though. Personally I stick to more balanced midfield sticks even as a defender. But I’ve seen dudes that can scoop and clear with those crab sticks like crazy!
Finding your lacrosse stick soulmate just takes time and testing different setups. Learn the stick components and specs that fit your game. Match it to your position and style. With the perfect pole in your hands, you’ll be ready to dominate the field this season!
Types of lacrosse sticks – attack, midfield, defense
If you’re looking to step up your lacrosse game this year, having the right stick is key. Lacrosse sticks come in different styles optimized for different positions and roles on the field. Here’s a complete guide to the top lacrosse sticks for attack, midfield, and defense.
Attack Lacrosse Sticks
Attack players are responsible for scoring goals, so their sticks are designed for excellent ball control, quick passing and shooting accuracy. Attack sticks have narrower heads for precision passing and tighter netting for improved ball control. The shafts are typically lightweight to enable quick stick movements.
Some of the top picks for attack lacrosse sticks include:
- ECD Infinity: This carbon composite stick has an optimized head designed for pinpoint accuracy. The stiff construction gives great ball feel and control.
- Warrior Burn Pro: With a re-engineered head and Enduraform rail design, this stick offers extra whip on shots while maintaining accuracy.
- Maverik Optik: The Optik has Maverik’s new Raptor pocket which improves hold and control. The handle contains textured grip zones for solid feel.
Experienced attack players may also like the limited edition lacrosse sticks which offer customizable features. The Epoch Dragonfly Elite is a handmade carbon fiber stick that can be built to your preferences.
Midfield Lacrosse Sticks
Midfielders need a balance of offensive and defensive skills since they transition between attacking and defending. Middie sticks have wider heads for scooping up ground balls and a lightweight, flexible design for all-around play.
Some top midfield lacrosse sticks include:
- Warrior Evo Warp Next: This carbon composite stick has an open sidewall head designed for quick ground ball pickup.
- STX Surgeon 700: With an asymmetric optimized head shape, this stick excels at ground balls while offering a quick release.
- Nike Vapor: The hybrid composite material handles like a wooden stick with excellent durability. It has great feel with an angled scoop.
For added versatility, many midfielders use a crossover head with a wider face shape that combines aspects of attack and midfield heads. The Maverik Tactik head is a top choice for midfielders looking for a crossover option.
Defense Lacrosse Sticks
Defense players need sticks optimized for checking, knocking the ball loose, and scooping up ground balls. Defense sticks have wider heads for superior ball control, with stiff constructions and elongated shapes for reach. The shafts emphasize durability and stiffness for hard checks.
Some excellent defense lacrosse sticks include:
- Warrior Regulator: With angled sidewalls and a stiff cross member, this stick excels at checks while maintaining ball control.
- STX Hammer 700: This stick has an oversized head for ground balls paired with a durable alloy handle.
- Maverik Tank: With Maverik’s 360° stringing holes, the Tank optimizes pocket shape for ground ball pickup and control.
Experienced players may also consider a specialty defensive stick like the Brine Clutch Rise, which has an extremely stiff extended head for maximum checking reach.
How to Choose the Best Lacrosse Stick
With many stick options available, it can be challenging to pick the best lacrosse stick for your game. Here are some tips on finding the right stick:
- Consider your position and needs. Attack players need optimal ball control and passing, midfielders need versatility, and defenders need superior checking ability.
- Determine the appropriate head width based on position. Attack heads are narrower while defense heads are wider.
- Think about weight preferences. Composite sticks are lightweight while metallic alloys offer more durability.
- Examine head and pocket features that fit your style of play. Optimize ball control vs. quick release as needed.
- Grip the stick to check the handle shape and texture. Make sure it feels secure in your hands.
- Consider getting re-strung if the pocket doesn’t optimize ball control and release.
- Think about specialty sticks if you want maximum customization as an experienced player.
Testing out sticks to find the right fit is recommended. Most players end up preferring particular brands and models based on their playing style and feel preferences. While price is a consideration, you don’t necessarily need the most expensive stick to take your game to the next level.
At the end of the day, choosing a lacrosse stick comes down to finding the right balance of features, controls, and feel to elevate your strengths on the field. With the right stick, you’ll have the tools to cut through defenses, scoop up ground balls, and fire shots on goal all season long.
Key stick specs – weight, balance, flex, pocket depth
Choosing the right lacrosse head
Choosing the right lacrosse shaft
Top stick recommendations by position
Top brands – STX, Maverik, Warrior, Brine
Stick recommendations for beginners
If you’re a lacrosse player looking to up your game this season, you may have heard about a revolutionary new stick design called the crab lacrosse stick. Crab lacrosse sticks have been generating buzz in recent years for their unique structure and alleged performance benefits. But are these unconventional sticks really all they’re cracked up to be? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using a crab lacrosse stick.
What is a crab lacrosse stick?
Crab lacrosse sticks get their name from their distinctive sideways V-shape, resembling the pinchers of a crab. Unlike traditional lacrosse sticks that have a straight handle connected to the head, crab sticks have an angled handle that leads into the head. This tilted handle is intended to bring the ball closer to a player’s core and provide more control over cradle and passing. The heads of crab sticks also tend to be more narrow and defined than traditional heads.
Some popular crab lacrosse sticks on the market include the ECD Infinity, the ECD Lacrosse Complete Stick, and various models from upstart brand Crab Lacrosse. These sticks promise better ball control, quicker and more accurate passing, and increased power on shots.
Benefits of using a crab lacrosse stick
So what are the potential advantages of using a crab lacrosse stick?
- Superior ball control – The angled handle is designed to keep the ball tighter to your body as you cradle, making it easier to protect the ball from checks.
- Quicker passing – The head being closer to your hands allows you to make faster passes with less windup motion.
- Increased passing accuracy – The tilted shaft aligns your hands directly behind passes, resulting in more accurate throws with better pace.
- Harder shots – The whippier crab shaft builds up more momentum as you shoot, packing more punch behind your shots.
- Easier scooping – The narrow crab head lets you scoop ground balls more cleanly.
- Stick awareness – The sideways handle gives you a better sense of your stick’s orientation as you cradle, pass, and shoot.
Many midfielders and attackmen who’ve made the switch to a crab lacrosse stick praise the added quickness, control and velocity it brings to their game. The laterial nature of the sticks seem well-suited to players who rely on swift passes and dodges. If you’re looking to take your passing game up a notch, a crab stick could be just what you need.
Drawbacks of crab lacrosse sticks
However, crab lacrosse sticks aren’t perfect. Here are some potential downsides to be aware of:
- Steeper learning curve – The unconventional design takes time to adjust to. Expect your fundamentals like catching, cradling, and scooping to be off as you acclimate.
- Increased ball ejection – The narrowly pinched head can eject balls more easily on checks or misplayed catches.
- Harder poke checks – The side-turned shape makes it more difficult to execute targeted poke checks.
- Reduced power on overhand shots – The non-direct shaft path slightly hampers overhand shooting velocity.
- Added complexity – More moving pieces mean more components that can break over time.
The peculiar stick architecture and balance of crab lacrosse sticks throw off some players’ mechanics at first. While ball control can improve with practice, poke checks and overhands may always feel compromised. Defenders in particular may struggle with the stick’s learning curve and difficulty poke checking.
There’s also the issue of durability. The S-curve handle introduces more connections and pinch points for potential breakage. As a newer design, the long-term reliability of crab sticks remains unproven compared to traditional models.
The bottom line on crab lacrosse sticks
Overall, crab lacrosse sticks offer an intriguing new option, especially for quick-passing midfielders and scorers. Players who value swift, accurate throws and maximum ball control will find a lot to like in crab sticks’ responsive design. However, it takes dedication to relearn fundamentals and overcome poke check limitations.
For players more reliant on power shots and physical defense, the benefits may not outweigh the adjustments required. The choice ultimately comes down to your playing style and willingness to experiment. Given the rave reviews from many crab converts, these futuristic sticks may very well represent the future of lacrosse. But the traditional straight handle still has its merits too. Whichever direction you choose, upgrading your stick tech is one way to gain an edge this season.
Finding the right lacrosse stick for your position
As any seasoned lacrosse player knows, not all sticks are created equal. The optimal lacrosse stick varies significantly based on the position you play. Attackmen, midfielders, defenders, and goalies all have different needs and preferences when it comes to their gear. Selecting a stick tailored to your role is crucial for maximizing on-field performance.
So what should you look for in a lacrosse stick based on your position? Let’s break it down:
For attackmen, the priorities in a lacrosse stick are ball control, quick passing, and shooting accuracy. Handles should be on the narrower side for tight cradling. Heads with medium depth help retain possession while still allowing excellent ball movement. Sticks with a quick release and flexible shafts lend themselves to blistering shots and feeds.
Many attacks also favor offset heads for superior ball control while dodging. Options like the ECD Infinity or Maverik Optik fit the bill. These sticks give attackmen the tools they need to operate behind the cage and in tight quarters.
Since middies handle both offensive and defensive duties, flexibility is key in their stick. Middy sticks generally have a median thickness shaft and a head with average width and depth. This allows for all-around skills from courageous clears to powerful drives to tenacious riding.
Many midfielders also use FOGO lacrosse sticks specialized for facing off. These feature an extra waxed throat to gain an advantage at the X. The ECD Lacrosse Complete Stick delivers an excellent blend of FOGO abilities with versatile middie playmaking.
For defenders, physicality and checking abilities take priority. Their sticks usually have wide, sturdy shafts and medium-deep heads. This combination gives them the strength to shove and jack opponents while still quickly moving the ball in transition.
Since defensemen don’t shoot often, they can sacrifice some ball finesse for raw power. Checks and ground ball scooping are easier with a forceful cross-check. The Warrior Talon and Maverik Tank suffice most D-men’s needs.
Goalie sticks are in a league of their own. The extra-wide heads allow goalies to fully fill the net with their stick on shots. The angled throats help funnel off-target shots into their stick. Sturdy shafts take the brunt of the scoring barrage.
While flashier composite shafts are taking over field play, most goalies still opt for traditional solid wood shafts. They provide the balanced strength needed for a position subject to endless abuse. Goalies choose sticks like the Maverik Rome based on maximum durability.
What to look for in a lacrosse stick
Regardless of position, there are a few key factors to evaluate in every lacrosse stick:
- Shaft material – Composite shafts are lighter while alloys are more durable. Your style of play and budget will determine the ideal shaft material.
- Shaft flexibility – The shaft stiffness affects passing, shooting, and checking. Mid-flex shafts around 70 provide the most versatility.
- Shaft shape – Rounded shafts are best for offensive players that cradle often, while octagonal shafts excel for defense.
- Head shape – Wider heads have superior ball retention while narrow heads have better ball handling.
- Scoop – Large scoops are ideal for ground balls, especially for face-off specialists.
- Offset – A head offset from the shaft helps attackmen shield the ball while dodging.
Within these construction specs, finding the sweet spot for your position gives you the competitive edge you’re seeking. Don’t settle for just any stick – with the wide range of lacrosse sticks available today, you can get one tailored exactly for your game.
Properly stringing and breaking in a new lacrosse stick
So you just got a brand new lacrosse stick and can’t wait to take it for a spin on the field. But before you use it in game action, it’s important to properly string it and break it in. Taking these essential steps will maximize your new stick’s performance and get it game-ready.
Stringing your lacrosse stick
Stringing is the process of threading lacrosse strings through the head to create pockets that cradle, control, pass, and shoot the ball. While you can pay to have your stick strung, stringing it yourself lets you customize it to your exact preferences.
Here are some key stringing tips:
- Follow pattern guides for consistent pocket placement based on your position.
- Use mesh or synthetic strings for superior ball control and release.
- Anchor the bottom string 1.5-2 inches from the scoop for ideal ball retention.
- Weave the cross-lacing tight in the sweet spot for a defined pocket.
- Tie off the sidewalls tightly so they don’t stretch and deform.
- Leave 1-2 inches of extra string to allow fine-tuning of the pocket.
Precise stringing takes practice, so don’t be afraid to restring your head multiple times until the pocket is perfect. A quality string job makes all the difference when breaking in your stick.
Breaking in the pocket
Once strung, you’ll need to break in the pocket by compressing and forming the mesh to match the ball. This helps optimize the catching and throwing mechanics. Here are some tips for breaking in your pocket effectively:
- Soften mesh pockets by soaking the head in water, then form the pocket around a ball.
- Pass and catch repeatedly against a wall or with a friend to naturally shape the pocket.
- Cradle often with a ball loaded to mash in the sweet spot.
- Shoot over and over to define the release point and channel.
- If needed, tweak sidewall tightness to fine-tune pocket depth.
Take it slow, making gradual adjustments over several practices. Rushing the break-in can overstretch strings before they conform properly. Be patient and keep working the ball through different planes until it moves seamlessly in the pocket.
Breaking in the shaft
The shaft also requires some breaking in for peak feel and control. Follow these tips to get your shaft gamer-ready:
- Roll solid wood shafts underfoot or bend gently over your knee to increase flexibility.
- Hang composite shafts with weights for days to loosening them up.
- Cradle and pass vigorously to adjust the flex point to your motion.
- Check for loose screws early on and tighten them as needed.
- Inspect for early cracks, especially around the head junction.
Take it easy at first when shafting passes and shots. Composite shafts take 10-20 hours of play to really break in. Don’t try to violently beat it into submission too quickly.
Properly stringing up your new stick and taking time to break it in the right way ensures you’ll be playing at your best. Pay the necessary attention early on and your stick will pay dividends all season long.
Caring for your lacrosse stick – cleaning, storage, maintenance
As any seasoned lacrosse player knows, taking proper care of your stick is essential for optimal performance. A clean, well-maintained stick gives you better ball control, more accurate passing and shooting, and ultimately a competitive edge on the field. While high-quality lacrosse sticks are designed for durability, they still require regular upkeep to keep them in top playing condition. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about cleaning, storing, and maintaining your lacrosse stick.
After each use, you’ll want to remove any dirt, grass, and debris that has accumulated on your stick during play or practice. Start by using a damp rag to wipe down the entire stick, including the shaft, head, and netting. Pay extra attention to the netting, dislodging any mud or turf material stuck in the woven pockets. You can use a pocket pick to help dig out compacted dirt.
For a deeper clean, fill a bucket or sink with warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the head of the stick in the water and gently scrub the netting and head with a soft bristle brush. The warm water and soap will loosen the dirt so you can rinse it away. Avoid submerging the entire stick, as excess water can damage the shaft and glue holding the head in place.
About once a month, give your stick a thorough cleaning with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. The alcohol will sanitize the stick and remove oils, waxes, and grime buildup. Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently wipe down the entire stick, including the shaft, head, and netting. The alcohol will evaporate quickly without leaving any residue behind.
When your stick isn’t in use, proper storage is key to keeping it in optimal condition. Avoid leaving it outside or in a hot car, as exposure to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures can warp the head and cause the netting to become brittle and frayed. Leaving a stick sitting in water or high humidity can also cause damage over time.
The ideal storage place is a cool, dry spot inside your house. Whether stashing it in the corner of your room or dedicating space in a closet or garage, store the stick lying horizontally to prevent any warping of the head. You can purchase wall-mounted sticks racks that safely store sticks in a horizontal position while saving space.
If you primarily play field lacrosse and don’t have room to store full sticks, simply detach the head from the shaft after each use. Storing heads and shafts separately will allow you to stow them in smaller spaces. Be sure the heads are completely dry before storing.
With consistent cleaning and proper storage, your stick should provide many seasons of play. However, some preventative maintenance steps can further extend the life of your stick.
Check the netting regularly for any loose or broken strings that need repair. Use string wax on the mesh every few weeks to prevent fraying and help the netting maintain its shape. Reapply tape to the bottom of the shaft as needed to avoid splintering. Frequently check that the head is firmly attached to the shaft and retighten the screw if necessary.
Whether you play attack, midfield, defense or goalie, the correct pocket and proper stringing is vital for success. Have your stick restrung before every season to ensure optimal ball control and release. Be sure to get it done by an experienced stringer. You can also learn to string and adjust your pocket yourself.
To keep your stick looking like new, use ultra-fine grit sandpaper to gently buff out any scratches on the shaft. Apply a fresh coat of stick wax to seal the wood and provide extra protection from nicks and cracks.
Even with careful use, sticks will eventually break down from repeated play. Make sure to regularly inspect your stick for any cracks in the shaft, warped head or excessive rattling that indicates loose screws or broken bonds. If you notice any issues, it’s time to retire that stick and upgrade to a new one.
Additional Lacrosse Stick Care Tips
Here are some extra pointers for keeping your stick in exceptional condition:
- Avoid stepping on your stick or pounding the butt-end into the ground.
- When not using your stick, place it safely on the sidelines instead of tossing it carelessly onto the ground.
- Don’t use jersey numbers, tape or stickers on the shaft, as they leave behind adhesive residue.
- Hang your stick to dry instead of lying it flat, so moisture doesn’t pool in the head.
- Wipe down your stick after playing in the rain to prevent warping from moisture.
- Bring an extra stick to games and practices in case your primary stick breaks.
- Don’t let others use your stick to prevent premature wear and tear.
- Consider carrying a backup pocket to replace a broken one at games.
With the right cleaning, storage, and maintenance habits, your lacrosse stick can deliver optimal performance season after season. Taking good care of your stick shows dedication to improving your skills and gives you the competitive edge you need to take your game to the next level. The time invested is well worth it!
Customizing lacrosse sticks – dyeing, painting, stringing styles
For lacrosse players looking to stand out on the field this season, customizing your stick is a great way to showcase your unique style and skills. From dyeing the head to intricate stringing patterns, adding personalized touches can help you play with more confidence and flair.
One of the most popular ways to customize a lacrosse stick is by dyeing the plastic head. This allows you to choose vibrant colors and designs that reflect your personality. Solid neon tones are eye-catching choices, while fade effects and ombre styles create a cool, artistic vibe. You can even paint intricate patterns, team logos, or your number for complete customization. When dyeing your stick, be sure to prep the plastic properly so the colors adhere evenly and last all season long without chipping or fading.
Painting the lacrosse stick head offers similar creative options as dyeing. You can use lacrosse-specific paint pens to hand draw any design imaginable right onto the plastic. Painting allows for super intricate details and shading that dyes may not achieve. Consider a cool mascot, your name in graffiti style lettering, or abstract shapes and lines for one-of-a-kind flair. Just be careful not to add too much weight with multiple coats of paint.
Beyond the head itself, stringing is another area ripe for personalization. Stringing patterns not only affect how the stick handles, but also provide an opportunity for self-expression. You can string traditionally with leather and nylon strings, or get adventurous with materials like multi-colored yarn for a funky look. The variations for interweaving and knotting the mesh are endless. From a basic starter head to a pinched and polished masterpiece, stringing can be customized to suit your playing style.
Dyeing the head for vibrant color
Dyeing your lacrosse stick head is a fun way to add a blast of color. With the right dyes and preparations, you can create a flawless, vibrant finish in your choice of color. Here are some tips for dyeing your stick:
- Choose a high-quality lacrosse head dye made specifically for plastic heads. Many general fabric dyes may not bond properly.
- prep the head by lightly sanding it to rough up the surface so the dye adheres better.
- Clean the head with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt and oils for optimal dye absorption.
- Set up your workspace with gloves and materials to prevent messes.
- Follow the dye directions closely, applying even coats to achieve full coverage.
- Let the dyed head fully dry before re-stringing to avoid any bleeding.
With the right dyes and preparation, you can achieve stunning, vibrant colors that really make your stick pop on the field. Match your gear, go neon bright, or channel your favorite team’s colors.
Custom stringing for optimized handling
Beyond just looks, lacrosse stick stringing can also be customized to improve handling for your position and playing style. Midfielders may prefer a quicker release when passing and shooting, while attackers opt for superior ball control. Here are some stringing tricks to optimize performance:
- Use a mid-low pocket depth for quick ball release, or a deeper pocket if you prefer more ball control.
- String a wider pocket if you need help scooping up ground balls.
- Add an interwoven shooter at the throat of the head for more power and accuracy.
- A “V” channel nylon shooting string can help direct shots.
- For midfielders, a focus on whip and responsiveness can aid those quick stick passes and shots in transition.
- Defenders may opt for a bit more depth and hold for securing 50/50 balls.
Don’t be afraid to experiment to find your ideal stringing set-up. The beauty of stringing your own stick is fully customizing your pocket, channel, and sidewall stringing to maximize your on-field potential.
When looking to play at your best this lacrosse season, customizing your stick is a fun way to optimize performance while showing off your style. With the right techniques, you can dye, paint, and string your perfect stick. A personalized lacrosse stick gives you an expressive edge to stand out and gain confidence at every position.
Lacrosse stick regulations – HS, college, pro levels
When gearing up for lacrosse season, one key consideration is sticking to the specific equipment regulations for your level of play. High school, college, and professional lacrosse leagues each have their own rules for legal stick dimensions, pocket depths, and other specifications.
Understanding the differences in lacrosse stick regulations can ensure you are in compliance and avoid potential penalties or ejection from games. While youth levels focus more on participation and skill development, older and more competitive leagues institute strict equipment criteria to uphold fairness and safety.
High school lacrosse stick rules
For boys’ lacrosse at the high school level, sticks must adhere to guidelines set by the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations). The crosse cannot exceed 42 inches in length, while the head must measure between 6 and 10 inches at its widest point.
There are also regulations for pocket depth, which cannot exceed 5 inches from the top of the ball to the bottom of the head. Extra strings and whip are not permitted, and the top of the ball must remain visible when looking into the pocket from the side.Goalies have slightly more flexibility, as their heads may range from 10 to 12 inches wide and pockets may be up to 5.5 inches deep.
For girls’ high school lacrosse, the NFHS rules dictate that the entire stick must fit in a 41.5-inch box, with pockets between 7 to 9 inches across. Mesh pockets must be strung traditionally rather than modified with pull strings or Shooting/V strings. Any additional strings may not be more than 1.5 inches from the bottom of the pocket.
NCAA college lacrosse stick specifications
At the next level in the NCAA, even more specific lacrosse stick regulations help control the speed and style of play. For men’s sticks, the head must be between 6 and 10 inches wide, with pocket depths starting at 3 inches up to the allowance maximums.
For attackers, the maximum pocket depth is 4 inches, while midfielders get a bit more at 4.5 inches. Defenders are afforded extended pocket depths up to 5 inches. Similar to high school, goalies get up to 12 inches for head width and up to 5 inches for pocket depth.
On the women’s side, the NCAA stick rules follow international guidelines. The entire stick must fit inside a 35.5-inch box, with pockets no more than 8 inches wide. Mesh pockets must be traditionally strung, with no double pockets or shooting strings allowed.
Professional leagues and regulations
When it comes to professional lacrosse equipment, the leagues with the most specific criteria are the NLL (National Lacrosse League) and the PLL (Premier Lacrosse League). The pros use specialized sticks with narrower heads and tighter stringing for optimal control.
Heads may be 4.5 to 7 inches wide in the NLL, with graduated pocket depths starting at 2 inches and ranging up to 2.5 inches for attackers and 2 inches to 3 inches for defenders. Goalies have some more flexibility with head widths from 10 to 12 inches.
The PLL follows similar constraints, limiting heads from 4.5 to 7 inches wide. Pockets must be traditionally threaded using specific materials, shapes, and stringing methods. For professional players, these sticks provide the highest level of ball control, hold, and release speed.
Adhering to lacrosse stick regulations is crucial for playing safely and legally at every level of competition. As you progress from high school and college lacrosse to the pros, expect equipment scrutiny to intensify. Understanding the specific rules for your league ensures your stick meets codes for fair play.
When stringing your stick for the upcoming season, be sure to reference the rule book. Keeping pockets and sidewalls strict, heads narrow, and overall lengths in check will let you focus on skills, not equipment violations.
Conclusion – matching lacrosse stick to your game for optimal performance
With so many lacrosse stick options on the market, choosing the right crosse for your game can be challenging. The key is matching your playing style, position, and skill level to the optimal features for performance.
For attackers, focus on control and quick release when passing and shooting on goal. You’ll want an elite level stick with a narrow, pinched head for precision. A medium pocket depth around 3-4 inches helps cradle and protect the ball while allowing for fast feeds and shots. A strung shooter pocket gives extra power and consistency.
Midfielders benefit from a balance of control and speed to succeed on both ends of the field. A head around 6 inches wide provides versatility, while a pocket depth around 4.5 inches lets you scoop ground balls but still get off passes quickly. Nylon shooting strings give extra velocity when needed.
Defenders need sticks optimized for checking, intercepting passes, and securing possession. Wider heads up to 10 inches have a larger sweet spot to check and hold. Max pocket depths around 5 inches help lock in ground balls and errant passes when battles get physical. Stiff sidewalls and double ramps add strength.
Goalies have the most flexibility to customize sticks to match their reaction time. Extra-wide heads up to 12 inches and deeper pockets around 5.5 inches provide more blocking coverage. Stiff sidewalls, a narrow channel, and additional stringing help control rebounds.
Women’s lacrosse prioritizes finesse, featuring shallower pockets with traditional stringing for elite handling. Heads must be strung traditionally per regulations, so focus on quality materials for defined pockets that cradle cleanly.
Ultimately, matching your gear to your skills and role on the team can maximize your contributions. Don’t just go with what the top players use or copy their patterns. Find the ideal specs tailored for you by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses.
Focus on heads with defined scoops to snag ground balls based on your tendency to play low vs high balls. If your shooting lacks accuracy, choose a stick with a pre-set channel or v-string to improve consistency. An elite-level stick can help elevate your game, but only when properly matched to your abilities.
By starting from square one each season with fresh stringing optimized for your play, you give yourself the best opportunity to shine. Get the right pocket shape, nylon, mesh, and shooting strings installed for your style. Don’t settle for an off-the-rack mismatched setup.
A personalized, pro-level stick with the proper flex, features, and stringing tailored exactly for you gives a true performance edge. Understand regulations at your level and craft a stick that accentuates your skills and fixes any weaknesses.
With lacrosse sticks, one size definitely does not fit all. A customized and calibrated crosse that complements your strengths provides the ultimate tool to elevate your game to the next level.