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Lacrosse

Best Lacrosse Shaft

Purchasing a lacrosse shaft is a very personal decision, because only you know which one is best. No matter the marketing gimmicks companies use, what reviews say, or how much the price of the shaft lists for, the only person who can decide is whoever is using the shaft. So where do you begin to figure out which one is the best one out there?

First of all, the position you play is important. Attack shafts are the shortest on the field, measuring at about 42 inches in length and players are often looking for a shaft that is lightweight and one that moves quickly. Strength is of secondary importance because the attacker wants every advantage he or she can have when it comes to assaulting the cage and taking the shot.

Defensemen have longer shafts measuring as long as 72 inches in some cases, and they too look for a lightweight option. They want a shaft that is fortified for resilience and maybe even feels a bit heavier than the attacker's shaft because they use their sticks to poke-check opponents with one purpose in mind; to make them lose the ball before it can reach their goal.

In the event the opposition does make it to the cage, the goalie will sometimes choose a shaft that is shorter, at about 40 inches or as long as the D-pole at 72. They're looking to maneuver quickly to protect the crease at all sides, so many goalies will choose the lightweight option over something with more strength and heft.

But not all players are created equal and not all shafts are the same to every player. The best way to find the shaft that is best for you is to try a few of them out. We've done that research and have found some of the best lacrosse shafts that you can buy. Maybe these options will suit you, maybe they won't, but it's the best place to start looking to help narrow your search.

Maverik Union Lacrosse Shaft

Built with an unholy alliance of scandium and titanium alloy base, the Union feature some of the best strength to weight combination you're likely to find in any shaft at this price point. It's incredibly lightweight yet strong enough to take on the competition no matter how hard they come at you.

This is achieved through the tapered wall thickness of the shaft as the extrusion process places more material at strategic portions of the handle. This reinforces the areas that take more punishment and decreasing the weight in other areas that don't need as much support. Warrior gave the Union a smooth finish, no extraneous grip here, so you have a better feel on the stick and the graphics package eschews the showy bling for a more subtle and serious profile.

Best of all though, is Warrior's new approach to the butt end of the handle. It's now fully adjustable anywhere along the shaft you prefer it, just slide it, lock it down and tape it up if you prefer (though not entirely necessary). It's that easy and fully addresses the issue that some of the Warrior shafts suffered from in that department.

Nike Vandal Attack Lacrosse Shaft

At the price, you can't really go wrong with the Vandal. While it's not the strongest shaft you can buy, this makes it perfect for players who aren't going to find themselves up against elite competition. But for the younger and/or improving player in their respective leagues, this shaft will more than meet the challenge. It's made of Nike's version of the 9000 series aluminum alloy that is not too dissimilar to the Wonderboy, which seems to have been designed for weight and not durability.

This is a light stick but in order to make it so nimble, the walls of the shaft had to be made thinner. So you're going to lose some staying power with the Vandal. That's why I'd suggest it to players who aren't going to face punishing combat scenarios.

The stick looks great, with minimal design logos and eleven colors to choose from. I also dug the sandblast grip that covers the majority of the handle's surface. It feels great and won't be too hard on the gloves either.

Gait 803 Ice Attack Lacrosse Shaft

The Gait 803 Ice is not only very lightweight, but I simply love the way this thing felt in my hands. It has an octagon shape with concave edges and you can really wrap your hands around this shaft to feel like you've got total control. The 803 in the name refers to the titanium enhanced alloy, which is much stronger than your standard alloy shaft. Just know this isn't a composite, so you're not going to get that same level of durability.

What you do get, though, is a very light piece of metal that has been fortified to withstand pressure in the crease. The diamond pattern along the surface is minimal enough to afford you enough grip so you can keep the stick in your clutches, without your gloves paying the price for it.

The shaft comes with a cork end cap which some players like to keep or remove in order to tape up their own end. It's all about personal preference, which is a good rule of thumb anyway in picking the right shaft. The Gait 803 Ice could be the one that's right for you.

Epoch Dragonfly C30 iQ9 LE 30" Shaft

Crafted from a mix of composite alloy and carbon fiber, the Epoch Gen5 Dragonfly C30 shaft brings Reload Technology to the game, offering a winning one-two combo of flex and recovery which is designed to increase the accuracy and velocity of your shot and improves your release point.

Carbon fiber is the key ingredient here because as you move to pass or shoot, energy is introduced into the materials. This creates flex and an automatic tension in the fibers which snap back to their original position, providing full recoil and thus more power on your release. The shape of the shaft is that well-regarded traditional concave shape and the smooth top-coat surface offers no grip and is clear through, so you can actually see the carbon fiber material within.

Rabil 99 Ninety-Nine Attack Lacrosse Shaft

Rabil 99 Ninety-Nine Attack Lacrosse Shaft

This is a shaft that’s all about speed and quickness. Warrior's Rabil 99 is built with the company's exclusive Altium alloy. This improves the strength-to-weight ratio of the handle, so you can react quicker and dodge opponents faster.

Like so many other lightweight alloys on the market, durability comes into question, but attackers want speed instead of strength and you may think that the only power you're going to get with this shaft is in your shot. However, with Titanium introduced in the mix, you need not worry about those durability issues.

The Rabil 99 is sturdy enough for use by the man himself, giving the handle the lightweight aspects you might find in the Warrior Krypto Pro with all the speed to match. This shaft is equipped with a light diamond grip for players who want some extra traction to keep their hands on the stick with more confidence. The company also placed an oversized butt end on the shaft, for giving players more intensity on their shots.

C12 Lacrosse Dirty Defense Lacrosse Shaft

There have been lacrosse shafts with carbon fiber in their makeup, but C12 has taken a different approach with their Dirty line of sticks. The shaft is comprised of a carbon fiber tube that gives the handle malleability, something that most metal sticks don't have. The handle definitely has some bend but this doesn't mean it's not a consistently durable or resilient stick (C12 even has a video where they show them bending one of these in a manner that you'd think twice about trying with an aluminum alloy shaft.)

What you're getting is a lacrosse shaft that can withstand serious impact due to the strength of the material while having the flexibility to increase your shot speed. Because it bends, this stick can give you the added velocity to put a little something extra behind the ball. You get the recoil on the shot that other metal shafts don't have. This stick gets the job done consistently and confidently.

Epoch Dragonfly C60 XL Lacrosse Shaft

Using composite alloy and carbon fiber, the Epoch Gen5 Dragonfly C60XL defensive shaft features FlexIQ tech which exploits the carbon fiber component to provide flex when you need it, while remaining firm and resilient so you maintain control. The result is a shaft that bends without sacrificing durability, strength, or weight so your checks are harder and much more effective.

Epoch has given the shaft a traditional concave shape with a smooth surface. The shaft is also see-through so you can glimpse the carbon fiber material. As you would expect from a Dragonfly shaft, it also features Reload Technology where that same carbon fiber gives the shaft more velocity and flex back. The carbon fibers automatically return to their natural position once you enter a load into the handle through the motion of passing or shooting. This gives the handle more recoil and makes your ball release more powerful. This is the kind of weapon a true lacrosse veteran wants in battle.

Brine King Magnum Attack Lacrosse Shaft, 30"

The Magnum is Brine's top of line series shaft which was available only for attackers until now. Their new long pole brings all of the quality attributes which made the previous shaft such a big seller. It has the highest strength to weight ratio of any handle that Brine currently manufactures. Its super light yet remains incredibly strong so it can take punishment and dole it out the crease.

Checks are rapid, smooth, and do the type of damage you want to shut down the opposition. Brine gave this shaft the same octagonal shape as the earlier model for consistent feel while the sandblasted diamond pattern grip makes it perfect for all-weather action. You're in total control with this handle, which allows you to clear the ball far and fast while wading into the melee of attackers with aggressive confidence. Sure it's expensive, but then you get what you pay for.

Warrior Dolomite Diamond Men's Defense Lacrosse Shaft

Coming in a close second to the STX is Warrior's Dolomite Diamond shaft, which is made of Altium, a hybrid mixture of titanium and aluminum alloy which makes for one stiff handle. Warrior's shaft is also extremely lightweight, only weighs about 6 ounces, begging the question of its durability. The best way to find out is to take it on the field and check some fools. The results were impressive to say the least, as there were no dents, no scratches, no evidence I had crossed sticks with anyone. No dents, no scratches.

The Dolomite shaft is Warrior's improvement on their best-selling Kryptolite, but the Diamond in the name refers to the subtle, sandpaper-like grip coating the entire handle but it’s definitely present along the surface. The price on this one is also pretty steep, but Warrior has designed this shaft to be a long-term investment.

STX Sc+Ti Pro Scandium/Titanium Defense Lacrosse Shaft

The STX Scandium Titanium Pro is my favorite shaft on this list because of the effortless way it grips. The weight of it is amazingly light, but also feels absolutely invincible. Weighing in at around 15 ounces, STX has crafted the perfect balance between heft and strength by combining scandium and titanium alloys together into a material that gives you the best of both worlds.

The Sc-TiPro shaft has an octagon shape with fortified concave edges designed to withstand the intensity near the crease while affording you an effortless grip. Sure, the technology is there, it looks sleek without any gaudy graphics, and it's made by STX, one of the best brands in the business. It's expensive, but then again the best things in life sometimes are.

Warrior Krypto Pro Goalie Shaft

If you're looking for a shaft that reacts as quickly as you do, then you want the Kryptolyte Pro. This handle has been constructed with an eye on weight, meaning Warrior has used their hydrogen-infused Kryptolyte alloy to accomplish their goal of building a handle weighing far less than many of their competitors. This shaft will give you total control over your stick and the precision to wield it effectively.

You're buying this shaft for performance and not necessarily for resilience, so this handle will bend and bow, but will not snap outright. It will suffer dents and dings with elegance and durability, while lasting you throughout the length of a rigorous season. I've seen these goalie sticks take a beating yet keep on stopping the ball.

C-12 Dirty High Performance Carbon Fiber Goalie Lacrosse Shaft

C-12 Dirty High Performance Carbon Fiber Goalie Lacrosse Shaft

The Dirty line from C12 incorporates a seamless carbon fiber makeup to craft their shafts. By doing this, they've created a handle offering flex while eliminating weak spots. Seams are where your handle is vulnerable to breaking but with the C12, the shaft is made of a carbon fiber tube affording flex and strength at the same time.

Try bending this goalie stick all you want, you're going to get a a lot more resilience here than you would with an aluminum alloy shaft. The handle can take on the impact you're likely to encounter when things get crazy in the crease and clearing the ball is a breeze with increased shot speed. The carbon fiber composition gives you extra release velocity metal shafts just don't offer.

Gait Lacrosse Ice Goalie Shaft

The Gait Ice has an octagon shape with concave edges, so you can grip and move this shaft for complete control. The "Ice" in the name refers to the cryogenics process used in the manufacture of every one of these handles. Gait uses an extremely lightweight C555 alloy which is cryogenically treated to -310 degrees to infuse powerful strength and resilience into the shaft. The result is a lightweight piece of metal that has been fortified to withstand pressure in the crease.

A diamond pattern texture along the surface is just enough to afford you enough grip to keep it from catching on your gloves and slowing down your reaction time. The shaft also uses the same a cork end cap most attack shafts currently employ, allowing you to customize it any way you want.

Maverik Wonderboy Goalie Shaft

Maverik's Wonderboy shaft was first introduced more than six years ago and ever since then it's been one of the most popular shafts on the market. What makes it so great? It scores high marks with players in nearly every category where you would consider analyzing a lacrosse shaft.

Maverik has built the stick from a 9000 metal alloy mixing aluminum and titanium together to create a lightweight shaft allowing you to maneuver faster and get to the ball quicker without getting weighed down. The material is stronger so the walls of the metal are thinner. You might think you sacrifice some durability but this stick can take the punishment.

Perhaps the most appealing feature of the Wonderboy is the feel of it in your hands. This stick has an octagonal concave shape so you can grip the stick tight. There’s only a raised grip along the insignia so you can slip it from one hand to the next to ward off all comers. There's a reason this has become one of the best-selling shafts out there so give it a test run and see if you're a fan as well.

Epoch Dragonfly C40 Goalie Shaft

The Epoch Gen5 Dragonfly C40 shaft brings a whole slew of cool technologies to the table for a high-performance piece of lacrosse gear. This is another pick on our list where the design relies heavily on the use of carbon fiber in its design.

You're getting Reload Technology which provides a flex and recovery behavior to every shot for increased accuracy and velocity on the ball with an enhanced release point. The carbon fiber is doing all of the work as you move to pass or shoot you're loading it with energy that’s released when the fibers flex. The learned tension in the fibers forces it to snap to the original position, giving you maximum recoil and bigger power on your release.

The C40 has the traditional concave shape and the smooth top-coat surface provides durability and a window into the very carbon fiber from which the handle has been built. For this version of the Dragonfly, Epoch has given it a three-zone grip, providing you multiple clutching areas along your shaft, for total control when things get hairy in the crease.

Marc Gottlieb
I'm a rabid sports-aholic who's been to Super Bowl XXI, the Indy 500 and witnessed Doug Flutie's hail mary pass to Gerard Phelan live in Miami. Sundays are sacred in my household and I'm a two-time back to back champion of my fantasy football league. I played a lot of sports in high school; football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse and I was on the school ski team. I even tried my hand at racquetball in college. I've jumped out of two perfectly good airplanes and bungee jumped off a construction crane. Since then I've worked for one of the top product placement companies in Hollywood, coordinating with most of the major sports apparel labels to get their products featured in films and TV. But it's a life-long obsession with music and film that has given me years of experience with the latest technologies and innovations in electronics. If they've built it, I've tried it and likely bought it. Laserdisc, DVD, Bluray players; I own multiple units that cater to all of these formats and more. A misspent youth immersing myself in pop culture meant I craved the hottest devices through which to enjoy it all, and at the highest possible quality. What I learned over time though, is that the most expensive items aren't always the best.
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