The stick. The basis of the entire game and its unique identity revolve around this very important piece of equipment. It is a hot topic year after year about what is the best shaft for offense, which for defense, and which for even goalies! With so many options out there, a new player or parent may not know what to do! We will discuss the best lacrosse shafts in this article.
In all my time as a lacrosse player and coach I have garnered a lot of information on and also experienced many shafts. I want to give you an insight in to the best shafts, and I want to tell you why.
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Criteria To Look At When Choosing the Best Lacrosse Shafts
The grip is of high importance to many players. The grip that a player has on a lacrosse shaft can determine the feel, and ultimately, the players’ ability to catch, throw, scoop, and control their stick.
Each player is different. Some prefer a shaft with higher grip. The positives of the higher amount of grip are that your hands will slip less, meaning you can put more power into your grip when shooting and in those tough ground ball situations.
Some players also prefer a stick with no grip at all. These players value the restriction free movement that they get form these shafts, allowing them to make tricky stick moves and rapidly transition their stick from one position to another.
The best lacrosse shafts come in many different shapes. The shape of the stick is important because some players feel more comfortable with a rigid shaft that has tight angles, while other players prefer the round corners of even circular shafts that are available on the market today. Having the correct feel for your game is very important.
To me, this is the most important feature of any of the best lacrosse shafts. Lacrosse is a tough, tough game; if you have ever watched a professional game, then you know what I mean. The stick is used eloquently, yet at the same time it is used in a hacking, checking motion.
All of these different situations require the durability. You do not want a stick that will bend, break, or dent. You want a strong shaft that will bring you good usability, but also great value as you check, face-off, and scoop your way through your lacrosse career.
With all of the swinging and intense motions that go on, you do not want to have a heavy stick. All of the best sticks at this time are continually going down with the grams per shaft, and this is making the game faster and faster every day. You are going to want to keep up!
Best Lacrosse Shafts for Attack Players
The stick of the offensive shaft while playing the field game is noticeably shorter, coming in at 30-32 inches when using a regular 10 inch head. These smaller sticks need to be tough when taking a beating from defenseman and during the intense ground ball battles. Here are my clear favorites and why:
Maverick Lacrosse Wonderboy Shaft Review
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The Wonderboy is the most classic of the best lacrosse shafts in the game, and for a reason. This shaft is of high quality and usability at a great value. Everyone from professionals to 10 year old beginners use the Wonderboy
The pros of the Wonderboy start out with its durability. Designed using Maverick’s aluminum/titanium 9000 series alloy, the shaft can withstand even the toughest beating. Along with that, the small/medium amount of grip is ideal for most players when they begin. Lastly, the shaft has a 8-sided build with a small amount of dip in between angled edges. This allows for a wonderful grip in your hands.
The cons of the Wonderboy is that with the shaft are rarely evident. The shaft is personally not the right feel for some players when grip and shape are concerned. Others disagree that the shaft can last at high levels and look to newer technology when buying a shaft.
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STX Stallion 500 Shaft Review
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More of a newcomer to the scene, the STX stallion 500 shaft has quickly risen as a top shaft for attackman and midfielders.
The pros of this stick are numerous. The stick has the classic octagon shape. No dips on this stick, just the classic 8-sided round edge shape. The grip is a medium, so you are going to get some grip when you need it, but it is manageable for most players. Lastly, the weight is outstanding: using a 500 series allow the shaft has been fantastic for players in the field.
Cons of this stick are hard to find. STX has a history of high performing sticks with moderate durability, and the light weight of this stick can help lead to that possible durability issue.
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Best Lacrosse Shafts for Defense Players
Defensive shafts have a more variability when it comes to length, with the final measurement having to be 42 – 62 inches when using a standard 10 inch head. With that length, there is a need for added strength and control. Here are some top defensive shafts to consider:
Epoch Dragonfly GEN.4 Relaxed Concave Defense Lacrosse Shaft Review
[easyazon_link identifier=”B00FB3BXD4″ locale=”US” tag=””][/easyazon_link]This shaft has it all: strength, durability, shape, weight, and grip. I have personally used this shaft in a college game and I was happy as can be.
The Pros of this shaft are highlighted by the durability and weight. Usually the combination of these two variables can lead to a lack of durability: not the case with the Epoch Dragonfly. This shaft has the best strength to weight ratio in its class, meaning that it delivers a high quality product in both categories. AS an added bonus, the “Slip/Grip” technology keeps the shaft consistent in all weather. This is very important if you are playing in a climate that has a lot of snow and rain.
Cons of this stick are almost absent. The concave shape is not ideal for some players, and thus will need to be looked at. There is also a high price point, but with the quality you are getting it is worth it. In my 10 years of experience I have never heard of one breaking.
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STX Hammer 500 Shaft Review
Another great shaft, the STX Hammer is a time tested product that will give you the performance you want in a shaft.
From a positive standpoint, the STX Hammer as a great base of qualities with the octagonal shape and a medium grip. The main feature on this product is the 225 flex level. This means that the stick will bend slightly, but not break while delivering those punishing defensive checks.
As far as negatives go, the grip is a little higher than some shafts, and thus can be difficult for some players. Also, as with the Epoch, you will be paying for quality on this shaft with a high price point.
Lacrosse shaft purchasing can be difficult. There are sticks of many different sizes, colors, feels, grips, and advertising words that many cannot comprehend.
I would maintain to focus on the four criteria I listed above: Grip, Shape, Durability, and Weight. When looking at reviews make sure to evaluate how the reviewers have commented about these specific variables.
Last but not least, the shaft is personal to the player. Every player is different. If you can find the best lax shafts that fits the criteria above and feels good to you, then you have found yourself a good buy.