Lacrosse is an intense sport that can be physically taxing. Think of it as hockey without the ice. But whereas in hockey much of your motion is gliding motion resulting from your own momentum, in lacrosse you have to work for every inch. Having the right lacrosse equipment then is essential for players. If your lacrosse stick is too heavy, too long or awkwardly balanced it’s going to slow you down, make you less effective and have a negative impact on your ability to accurately pass the ball. So whether you’re an absolute beginner or a star of Major League Lacrosse you need the right stick. Below are the best lacrosse sticks for 2019.
The Best Lacrosse Stick
The STX Lacrosse Stallion 200 is one of the premier lacrosse sticks available. It is an essential tool for anyone who wants to get to grips with lacrosse, while more experienced players will also find it suitable for training.
The tonal memory marker graphics along the alloy handle help guide you towards the best grip position and give your game an extra dimension that could mean the difference between victory and crushing defeat. This makes it a lacrosse stick that delivers additional support, allowing players to train and improve as they play more effectively, rather than being thrown in the deep end.
Tonal ‘memory marker’ graphics
Suitable for all entry-level players
Meets NCAA and NFHS rules
Soft mesh stringing
- ModelCS ST20 B1 SM/AAX8 69/BK
- Weight12.8 ounces
The Warrior Evo Warp is a complete lacrosse stick intended to help players develop better handling skills. While it comes game ready it’s not really for more advanced players but instead should be viewed as a developmental tool for budding attackers and midfielders.
That said the stick is nice and light so it won’t wear you down whether you’re using it for prolonged practice sessions or in game situations. The more focused than normal mesh pocket promotes proper throwing motion. You simply can’t get off a good throw unless your fundamentals are sound. And that’s a good thing. It will help you or your child develop skills in a sound manner that will pay long term dividends.
Suitable for players 14 years and under
Tighter face shape
- Weight 1 pound
The STX Lacrosse Stallion 50 is another excellent option for young players and while it is perhaps most suitable as a training or practice stick, it will also perform well during proper games where the stakes are as high as the expectations.
Inspired by the Elite Stallion 550 head, this lacrosse stick provides kids the confidence they need to feel like they are creating their own personal highlight reel. The forgiving response makes it easy to catch and cushion the ball before releasing it, and it will even allow them the option to dip and twist between their opponents should they see any opening in the defensive line.
Inspired by Elite Stallion 550 head
Easy catching and ball-control
Soft mesh stringing
Suitable for beginners and youth players
- ModelCS ST05 W6 SM/AYXX XX/XX
- Weight11.2 ounces
STX is one of the premier names in lacrosse equipment and their FiddleSTX lacrosse stick two pack is a great idea for those just getting started in the sport. These are lightweight, well-balanced sticks that aren’t so heavy they’ll wear out a newcomer. Yet they’re durable enough to stand up to the rigors of the sport and allow the beginner to acclimate themselves to handling, running and shooting with a lacrosse stick. Which is more difficult than it seems on paper.
If you’re an experienced lacrosse player you’ll know what works and doesn’t work for you and want something more substantial. There’s no doubt about that. But there’s also no doubt that if you, or more likely your son or daughter, are just getting their feet wet in the sport you’ll want to be sure it’s something they’re genuinely interested in before you drop serious money. As such the FiddleSTX is a great introductory stick.
Rugged plastic heads and shafts
Soft orange ball included
Soft mesh pocket
Suitable for indoor and outdoor play
Easy to handle for younger players
- ModelFX 923 MP/MP
- Weight 1 pound
The Maverik Charger Complete Stick is another step up in performance and is ready to play right out of the box. It features a level 3 bottom rail for enhanced accuracy and power, a large catching surface, and narrow throat designed to enhance ball control while you’re on the move. The pocket is prestrung with competition-ready mesh which more advanced players may want to tweak to their own liking but which most will find more than satisfactory.
The “complete” in the name refers to the fact that this is a shaft/head combination. Not just a head or a shaft. The shaft is fashioned from 6000 series aluminum, making it very durable but also giving it plenty of flexibility. It’s 30 inches long, which means it’s made for attackers and midfielders. The whole stick with head checks in at just over 40 inches in length. The Maverik Charger also features what the company calls “Grip Zone” technology, which sounds a bit hinky but actually provides a good grip in pretty much any conditions.
6000 series aluminum shaft
Narrow throat enhances ball control
Large catching surface
Grip Zone technology
Ideal for attackers and midfielders
Power and control in one stick
- BrandMaverik Lacrosse
- Weight1.2 pounds
The sporting giant Nike wades into the lacrosse equipment market with this entry-level complete stick they’re calling the Men’s Vapor 6000. The 6000 is viewed as an extension of the company’s well-known and respected line of Vapor products that includes everything from golf clubs to cleats and puts an emphasis on style and performance.
The Vapor 6000 lacrosse stick is certainly handsome but it’s also nice and light, well-balanced, has a durable wide head that enables aggressive play and promotes proper form. As a result with a bit of practice, beginners and intermediates will find themselves hitting their marks with more consistency.
Vapor LT head
Soft mesh pocket
For beginners or intermediates
Lightweight aluminum shaft
The String King Complete Attack Stick is game-ready right out of the box. It’s pre-strung at the factory with a semi-hard mesh pocket that promotes proper form while also allowing for aggressive attacking styles. The stick and head work well together. They’re light and perfectly balanced which means they’re not going to wear on you.
If you’re a newcomer you’ll appreciate the easy maneuverability of the stick. If you’re a more advanced user you’ll appreciate that it enables you to make quick precise throws and has a decent, but not overwhelming amount of whip in the shaft. The more familiar you get with the game and your own tendencies the more you’ll likely want to string it yourself. But for most intermediate users the factory pocket will be more than adequate.
Complete game-ready stick
30 inch shaft, 40 inches overall
Semi-hard mesh pocket
Ideal for practice or competition
- BrandString King
- Weight1 pound
The Caklor Lacrosse Complete Attack/Midfield Stick is perfect for beginner players. It’s designed to make catching and ball control slightly easier, as they learn to play the sport. In spite of that, it still meets all NCAA and NFHS rules, so it’s suitable for competition-level play. To keep the stick lightweight, it has a 6000 series alloy handle. Known for its durability and weight-saving design, it’s easy to maneuver this stick and keep control of the ball. The head is molded with a slightly softer material, so it’s more forgiving when you catch the ball.
Lastly, the mesh has been professionally strung and has a wax coating. At first, this can seem a little stiff but you can soften it up by leaving it to soak in hot water and a cup of fabric softener for 20 minutes. This might not be the best performing lacrosse stick on the market but it’s perfect for beginners.
6000 series alloy handle
Professionally strung mesh
Wax coated mesh
Meets NCAA and NFHS rules
Lacrosse Stick Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of The Best Lacrosse Sticks
None of the standing members of our product review team are lacrosse players (sad, we know). Therefore, our own two cents was largely confined to the feel of the different sticks, their comfort and the overall build quality. In order to understand how the different sticks performed on the field or in the box we needed to obtain input from actual lacrosse players. We then took their valuable input, combined it with our experience of the materials and build quality and tossed in a dash of third party reviews to reach our final selections.
As lacrosse is something of a niche sport not as many sporting goods companies the offer lacrosse sticks as offer, say, basketballs or even baseball gloves. The market tends to be dominated by a few well-established manufacturers like STX. Although in recent years a few heavyweights like Nike and Under Armour have dipped their toes into the lacrosse stick market. As for price, lacrosse sticks tend to fall into a range between $20 and $100, with most somewhere in the middle of that range. So they’re not exactly luxury items and are reasonably accessible to just about anyone interested in the sport.
Features To Look For In Lacrosse Sticks
Buying a lacrosse stick involves weighing a number of different factors. Many advanced players will purchase the stick and the head separately and/or purchase multiple heads that they’ll swap out as they see fit. Beginners however, don’t need to think about such things and should simply concentrate on finding a complete stick that will suit their needs and allow them to acclimate themselves to sport. These are the most common features to be concerned with:
What position they’ll be playing - Most novices are not aware that lacrosse players don’t all use the same type of stick. The kind of stick you choose will in fact be heavily influenced by the position you’ll be playing. Midfielders and attackers use a lighter and shorter stick because it enables them to stay agile and doesn’t tire them out so quickly. As such the length of the shaft of the attacker’s stick will typically be about 30 inches. For defenders that may increase to 60”. This is so they are able to extend further to snag a shot. Finally, the shaft of the goalie’s stick is usually about 40 inches, give or take. They can get away with the shorter stick because the amount of area they have to cover is limited. The shorter shaft is also lighter which lets them retain a high degree of mobility and react quickly.
Shooting strings - Shooting strings run horizontally across the top of the stick’s head and are intended to ease the path for the ball as it is runs out of the pocket. Thing is, there are nearly as many opinions regarding the placement, number and material of shooting strings as there are lacrosse players. Shooting strings are said to affect the whip of the shot. “Whip” being the angle of the ball as it leaves the pocket. As a general rule the more whip a stick has the lower the ball trajectory. And attack players tend to prefer a low angle.
Weight - The weight of the stick is in large part determined by the length of the shaft. That’s one reason attackers and goalies use short lacrosse shafts. Because they don’t want the extra weight that comes with a longer shaft slowing them down. Some people train with a heavier shaft in order to build up the muscles they’re going to need in game situations and then go back to lighter sticks when the actual game starts. Certainly beginners, and in particular young beginners, are going to want to use lightweight sticks because their major concerns are going to be getting used to carrying and using the stick. Once they get comfortable they can try slightly heavier sticks if they want and see how it feels.
Pocket - Lacrosse sticks feature either a traditional lacrosse head with woven pocket or a mesh pocket. Woven pockets ruled the roost until recent years when the mesh pocket rose and pretty much took over the industry. Mesh pockets are composed of nylon webbing and tend to be very light and reasonably tough. Goalies often prefer mesh pockets because they lessen the chance of rebounds. The downside of mesh pockets is that they make it harder to control the ball while running with it. Woven pockets on the other hand tend to offer greater ball control while on the move. The depth of the pocket is also important with attackers typically opting for shallower pockets which facilitate long crisp passes and a lacrosse defense stick having a deeper pocket that doesn’t spill the ball so easily.
Head - As a general rule the stiffer the head of the lacrosse stick the more effective it will be when used for checking maneuvers. There are 3 basic types of lacrosse stick heads:
- Universal - This head can be used by all players at all levels.
- NFHS - These head are approved for use by youth lacrosse players and those in high school.
- NCAA - This type of head is must have kit for those who would hope to play college lacrosse.
Keep in mind too that goalie heads are typically much larger than standard lacrosse stick heads, often measuring 10 inches or more across.
Material - The shaft on the best lacrosse sticks may be fashioned from any of a number of different materials.
- Aluminum - Beginners often choose lacrosse sticks whose shafts are made of aluminum or aluminum alloy simply because it’s relatively light and very durable. So they know they’ll get their money’s worth.
- Carbon fiber - Carbon fiber lacrosse shafts are very tough and very durable. They’re also at the upper end of the price spectrum and not recommended unless you are committed to playing lacrosse at a high level. Carbon fiber makes outstanding sticks for both defenders and attackers.
- Titanium - Titanium is another material that is both extremely light and extremely tough. It’s stronger than aluminum and quite a bit more expensive, but it makes for the lightest lacrosse shaft.
- Scandium alloy - Scandium alloy is as light as aluminum, as hard as ceramic and as strong as titanium. Scandium is typically used in the aerospace industry but is also used to fashion components for race cars and lacrosse sticks. Expect to pay.