Best Lacrosse Stick
Every lacrosse company is looking to offer the best technology and the best gear to make the consumer choose their product over the competition. But sometimes price and function and the latest advancements in design can overshadow the simple fact that to play the game, all you really need is a stick and a head that has mesh on it.
Beginners and young players don't always need to get the top of the line equpiment in order to effectively learn how to play the game correctly. Often the price of the item far outweighs the necessity for the player. Therefore, most companies will cater to the novice with complete lacrosse sticks offering basic to intermediate combinations of head and shaft. This allows players to learn the ropes at their own pace which keeps the game fun and rewarding. Be sure to check out our lacrosse stick buyer's guide listed below which walks you through all the neccessary considerations when it's time to buy your ideal stick.
Nike Elite Attack Lacrosse Stick
Warrior Rabil Next Attack Lacrosse Stick
STX Stinger Complete Attack Lacrosse Stick
Maverik Bazooka Complete Stick
STX AV8 U Complete Attack Lacrosse Stick
STX X10 Complete Lacrosse Stick
Warrior Swarm X Complete Defense Stick
Brine Alias X Complete Defense Stick
Maverik Lacrosse Charger Complete Stick
Gait Lacrosse Defense BEDHU Bedlam Complete Stick
STX Exult 10 Women's Lacrosse Stick
Brine Mantra 2 Women's Lacrosse Stick
deBeer RAPTFLX Lacrosse Stick
Maverik Lacrosse Wondergirl Complete Stick
Nike Women's Arise Complete Lacrosse Stick
STX Eclipse Complete Goalie Stick
Warrior Nemesis Lyte Complete Goalie Stick
Brine Money Complete Goalie Stick
STX Goalmaster Complete Goalie Stick
Gait Sentinel Complete Goalie Stick
Nike Elite Attack Lacrosse Stick
Most moderately priced complete stick packages are based around the quality of the head. It's usually one of the better selling heads for a company been slapped onto a stock inventory shaft that's heavy and damages easily. Some folks over at Nike must have realized this and built the Elite with the single purpose of offering something better at a comparable price.
The Elite head has pretty good pinch for a beginner learning the basics of ball retention and cradling. There's also a fair amount of flex for face-offs, with a strung pocket sitting high for quick ball release. Thr shaft is crafted out of a 7075 aluminum alloy, the same one used in Brine's Swizzle series and Warrior's Kryptolyte.
This stick has been coated in a sandblast style grip and is more resilient than a typical shaft on most complete sticks. It's also more lightweight so novice players can start to get the feel of what it’s like to play with more advanced gear without the high price tag. Overall, this is a great stick for anyone starting out in the game.
The Rabil Next is specially designed for the beginner who wants to learn the basics as taught by the pros. The head has been designed with a TruOffset sidewall, meant to get the ball in the pocket quickly and keep it there for secure ball retention. This will give first timers the feel for passing, scooping and cradling with confidence.
This stick features an easy to use scoop and wide face for easy catch and release of the ball. But what makes this stick particularly beneficial for novice lacrosse players is the ChampRings shaft. Warrior has outfitted it with three areas of grip at strategic positions along the handle to help promote proper hand position for maneuvering the ball in all parts of the game.
As you may expect with a stick of this price and intended use, it's on the heavier side. Also, the metals used to craft the handle aren’t of the same durability as the more high-performance shafts at higher prices. For players just starting out who aren’t likely to engage in a lot of full contact play, so this should be more than sufficient.
STX has made a stick solely for young beginners just starting out in the game. While this is a good stick for attackers, I'd say the Stinger is also made for the future All-Star defenseman as well. The stick comes with a pretty wide head, so catching is going to be a cinch on this, but the open sidewalls make it look like a cheap plastic toy.
There's no angle on the throat but the scoop is good and flat so picking up grounders will be easy to master on this head. The shaft is a typical octagon-shape aluminum alloy and while it's not the most durable material ever made, at least the handle is lightweight.
The Bazooka makes a solid contribution to our list of introductory sticks. The head has an easy to catch and release shape with a rounded scoop, so ball movement and control can be mastered with repeated successes time and again.
The Bazooka has been strung with a mesh that’s actually quite better than you might expect on a stick of this overall quality. It’s been designed to keep a consistent pocket like some of the harder types that more advanced players might use on their heads. As for the shaft, it's a stock 6000 alloy so it'll take some dents and chips with typical game-play.
The Maverik is available in a variety of color combos with flashy graphics resembling those on some of the louder elite shafts; future MLS'er will already feel like he or she have hit the big time. Best of all, it's legal for play at all levels so whether you're just starting out with just a little experience under your belt, this stick is ready to go.
The difference between the Stinger and the AV8 U is simple. Both offer features benefitting all beginners, such as a forward cant, wide throat head for easy catching, soft mesh for better cradling ability and open sidewalls. Fortunately, this stick is compliant with NCAA and NFHS standards.
This stick may be better suited for the player who is joining a league or playing on a school team for competitive play as opposed to just horsing around in the backyard after school. The AV8U also comes in six color combinations whereas the Stinger is only available in white/blue.
STX X10 Complete Lacrosse Stick
The X10 is one of the best defense heads on the market today. It has a forward cant design with incredibly stiff sidewalls with a great release when you're throwing. The head is pinched just enough to keep the ball under control, yet wide enough to intercept in traffic. The X10 head is lightweight and there are so many stringing holes that you can create any number of pocket styles.
The handle it comes with is made of an infusion of titanium and vanadium, which makes it lightweight but fortified to take punishment from all around while the octagon shape gives you a solid grip. This stick really has the best of all worlds which makes it my number one best pick.
The Swarm X stick gives you Warrior's head which has great pinch for a universal spec head and the company's famous offset design gives it a low pocket for superior control. There's also some serious power on the release. The Swarm X also has a wide scoop and the contour is great for grabbing ground balls.
The handle they've put it on is an upgraded 6000 alloy aluminum handle so it's going to be lightweight, but there will be some bend to it. The material isn't as fortified as I would like, but for the price you're getting a great head with a solid handle.
Complete sticks are meant for players who aren't advanced enough for the more sophisticated gear. Luckily, there are sticks like the Alias X so newbies can get a taste of what awaits when they reach the next level. While it's not designed to withstand years of abuse, Brine has crafted a complete stick that focuses on ball-handling at such an important position on the field.
The Alias X head uses a true offset with lowered sidewalls to build a deeper pocket to protect the ball, while increasing the power on your shots and allowing for truer accuracy upon release. The shaft is aluminum and honestly, not a heck of a lot to write home about, but it's a pretty standard accessory for gear at this price.
The head comes strung with Brine's ultra mesh which is good for getting an adequate pocket quickly. However, players who’ve advanced their game along will probably want to switch it out for something they feel better with.
Maverik has built this stick that’s strictly for beginners with everything about it designed to introduce future all-Americans to the sport of lacrosse. It's got enough stiffness so there’s a realistic feel behind everything such as controlling the ball, maneuvering through traffic, even getting poke-checks to succeed for the very first time.
The Level 3 bottom rail of the head is wide enough to catch balls on the fly and pinched enough to keep it in the pocket, giving you a solid combo of accuracy and power on the release. The sidewalls don't give you a lot of options for stringing, and the mesh it comes with is pretty standard stuff in a complete stick; nothing special, but it gets the job done.
The shaft is a standard 6000 alloy which is lightweight in your hands and durable enough to take some impact. However, don't expect it to withstand serious repeated abuse. This is a stick that’s going to get thrashed as a beginner becomes more skilled.
Gait took two products from their inventory and slapped them together to make the Bedlam with the name referring to the head you get in this complete package. Gait's Bedlam head has a wide contact area and gives you a pretty great pocket for ball control and retention. This will give players the feel for catching and throwing the ball. You also get multiple holes for stringing and quick break in of the pocket.
A flat scoop makes grabbing grounders on the fly a cinch and there’s a tight base for keeping the ball safe and sound through traffic. The shaft is a 6000 alloy you find on these kinds of complete package sticks so expect it to take scratches, dents, and dings with increased use. But throwing with this in the backyard or during moderate contact play will give greenhorns the fundamental skills to build on for the future.
This stick isn’t cheap but you're getting a lot for your money. The Exult 10 is the latest incarnation of STX's exclusive tech which gives the head a tilted bend at exactly 10 degrees. This is designed to heighten the head's center of gravity, forcing the ball into the pocket quicker and more directly so as to afford you greater control over ball retention and release. They've also widened the contact area on the Exult, to make snatching the ball out of mid-air easier and faster.
As is standard with STX's 10 degree tech heads, there's an elastomer overmold along the throat to keep the ball from shaking around when you've got possession of it. The Exult comes with a runway strung pocket which includes overlapping center strings and fully flexible runners for increased ball control. Attackers and middies are going to want to check this one out immediately.
Brine’s patented 2 Shot tech is used to infuse colors into the molding of this stick's head. Not only does this enable you to customize the look of your stick, but the two tone color process helps stiffen the sidewalls by adding extra plastic to key joints in the head. The sidewalls are Brine TruOffset which lowers them enough to enable a deep pocket to keep the ball secure while jacking up the power behind your shot. The curved scoop gives the Brine Mantra the advantage on retrieving ground balls with the greatest of ease while the ball stop on this head will make ball maneuvering clean with every possession and release.
The Rapture has a lightweight head with a reinforced sidewall for added strength. The narrow scoop grants greater velocity and accuracy as well as a curved design for incredible ball control and release.
The low sidewalls offer increased pocket depth, a Gripper Pro pocket includes molded rubber for better ball grip, and the notched sidewall promotes greater pocket movement. The versatile stringing options also provide for total customization in the construction of your pocket.
The Rapture has a very easy head to catch with and cradling is a cinch considering it's been equipped with a ball stop angled to a USL allowed 6.5 degrees. The shaft is a Z09 alloy shaft, which is a mid-sized, octagonal shaped handle and it is very lightweight, which is a good thing since the head on the Rapture only weighs in at about 5 ounces.
Maverik has built a dependable, reliable complete women's stick with a number of great features that make it well worth the price. With a retail tag of about $120, the Wondergirl offers a top string that won't tear no matter how hard you abuse the stick. This means you're in the game longer and your pocket won't suffer the consequences of harsh face-offs.
Speaking of the pocket, the Wondergirl's head uses flat nylon for a pocket which keeps a complete and consistent pocket with a sweet spot promoting ball retention and control. Stiff sidewalls let you dole out punishment in the crease while keeping the ball safe until you're ready to pass or shoot. The composite shaft has a unique concave shape for better grip that is comfortable and lets you retain complete confidence in your authority over your opponent.
Nike Women's Arise Complete Lacrosse Stick
Nike makes our list with a women's lacrosse stick promoting ball control, maneuverability, and durability in a lightweight handle that won’t weigh you down. Developed with midfielders in mind (but perfectly suitable for use by any position), the Arise uses a head with minimum sidewall height to give you a deep enough pocket to keep the ball well-protected. This also helps with ball movement by letting you grab passes with ease, while the raised ball stop enhances ball retention for making your way through the opposition. The AL7075 alloy shaft feels familiar in your hands, featuring a traditional octagonal shape for good grip, and sturdy construction so it stays strong for the duration of your season.
The Eclipse goalie head has long been the standard-bearer of quality and functionality in a piece of lacrosse gear. This one's at the top of the list because it has it all; stiff open sidewall construction in an offset head that promotes excellent ball control and accurate passing. The scoop is wide and has a subtle tapered shape, so taking ground balls is effortless. The stopping area on this head is among the widest on this list and there are a wealth of available stringing holes so you can build your pocket the way you like it. The shaft that it comes with is STX's AMP 6000 aluminum alloy, which is pretty standard for complete stick packages. In most cases, you're usually paying for the head, and the included shaft is a no-frills handle that you almost get for free to complete the product. But STX has designed their handle to stand up to all kinds of conditions at the cage and it will show some wear and tear in due time. This shaft will help any young player develop their skills enough to graduate to another that may be more to their liking soon enough. But one thing's for sure, the head will likely remain the same.
The Nemesis Lyte is such a close second to the Eclipse that many die-hard goalies will argue that either could be at the top of this list. Using their patented Noz technology, Warrior has used nitrogen injection to lighten the load of the goalie head to minute specifications. This is one of the lightest heads available today and those tiny little air bubbles are doing all the work. But the plastic is also highly durable and the Nemesis Lyte is a fierce competitor when it comes to stiffness. This is also one of the tightest pinched offset heads a goalie could ask for, so you can do it all with this stick and do it well. Passing, cradling, catching are all served well by Warrior's sidewall design and the stopping area is big enough to intercept balls right out of the air. The shaft it comes with is Warrior's Alloy 2000, which felt a bit too soft for me and I noticed some flex and bend when I really put it to the test. But it's light enough to get the job done and durability shouldn't be a problem.
The Brine Money has similar open sidewalls and its offset design extends across the entire length of the head, giving it a consistent contour. But what makes this one stand out for me is it's stiffness. The plastic on this head simply refuses to yield and it makes picking up ground balls or throwing the occasional poke-check something remarkable to behold. The scoop on this head has a pronounced curve so grabbing those grounders is made just that much easier. Brine stuck this head on their 6065 aluminum alloy shaft which means you're getting a shaft that moves fast but isn't the strongest material in the world. But that's okay, you're getting a complete stick with a terrific goalie head for less than the price of many unstrung heads that don't include the handle. Some beginner goalies may just love this stick and it's a great way to learn how to play the position.
Coming in as the least expensive pick on our list, the STX Goalmaster is a far cry from their ever-popular Eclipse model. But where that stick is best suited for the advanced player, the Goalmaster is geared towards those who are starting out. As per usual with most of these complete stick packages, the head is what you're really buying and this one can really take a beating. Not only is it resilient enough for first time players to batter the heck out of it as they learn every facet of the game, but it's also shaped for an easy grasp of the fundamentals. You could say it resembles a shovel, with it's triangular shape and flat scoop, so players can get the feel for grabbing grounders and clamping down the ball in the crease. It's on the heavier side so clearing the ball is going to be a bit tougher but it'll get small hands accustomed to the weight, making their graduation to lighter, more elite gear that much more rewarding later on.
Gait has placed their Sentinel head on a 6000 alloy concave octagon shaft. It's good enough to get the full benefit of everything this head offers. It's very stiff, probably among the stiffest on our list, and the curved scoop and oval shape offers a large stopping area to make catching balls a cinch. The pocket is pre-strung, but it's not very deep. But that's okay, the Sentinel has plenty of stringing holes to customize it to your liking. The shortened throat has a comfort grip construction so it's easy to grab and maneuver the stick during game play. For the price, you're getting a pretty good stick that should last you through the season without incident.
Lacrosse Stick Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the right stick or shaft isn't as difficult as selecting the right lacrosse head, but there are still some determining factors that you should keep in mind when you're making your choice. Your position plays a big part, as do the materials that are used in the manufacturing of the stick as certain players are going to want specific attributes in their equipment, be it length or resilience.
Shape and grip are also important considerations but these inevitably come down to personal preference. One player's ideal grip could be another player's personal hell, which is why it's important for you to feel out a few shafts first. Comfort is another key component and if you're just not feeling it, continue on with the quest for your ideal stick.
Most major lacrosse companies offer plain shafts or complete sticks which include a head as part of a total lacrosse stick package. For additional information, be sure to check out our lacrosse head buyer’s guide.
Lacrosse Stick Types
Attackers and middies want a stick that's fast, accurate, and lightweight so as a result, they'll prefer sticks that are shorter in length. However, there are regulations that must be complied with and so 40 inches (including the attached head) is the minimum required by league rules. The average for most sticks is 40-42 inches but again, this will be an issue of personal preference. This means the shortest shaft you can buy or modify must be at least 30 inches in length to remain legal for most types of league play.
The bane of the opposing attack's existence, players in the defensive and goalie positions have a wider array of length options when selecting a shaft. Some like to keep the standard 40-42 inch length, others prefer a longer stick which can run between 52-72 inches long.
The reason for the extended range is because it gives defenders (and even midfielders) greater effectiveness with poke checks and longer reach to knock the ball out of the opponent's pocket.The drawback is that the longer the stick, the less power and accuracy you’ll have on ball release. However, it sure makes intercepting those passes a heck of a lot easier.
Goalies have more radius to protect the crease with a longer stick as well, though not all goalies prefer it. Some players will opt for more agility and speed instead and therefore going with a shorter length more akin to one suited for attack.
Designed for use by players just beginning to learn the basics of the game, the big lacrosse companies offer complete sticks which include the shaft, head, and mesh. These are affordably priced options for getting newbies adjusted to the game. Eventually players can graduate to more advanced gear when they're ready.
For the most part, these sticks are made from aluminum rather than alloys like scandium or titanium. However, there are some complete sticks made from stronger stuff to be found if you do your research.
Nothing much different here than if you were selecting a men's stick, although female players will still want handle a few different sticks first to see which is most comfortable. Women's sticks primarily run 35-43 inches and often constructed thinner for a better grip.
Much like with the men, position plays a role in picking a stick, with attackers going short, defense going long, but with the regulations for the women's game, some of the length requirements are a bit different.
Lacrosse Stick Components
Most sticks today are made of four particular materials, each one with distinct advantages:
Aluminum alloy is the most common stick material you’ll find. Well suited for beginners, aluminum is lightweight but sacrifices durability and strength.
Scandium boasts the best material strength-to-weight ratio used in sticks today, combining lightweight properties with exceptional durability. It's most popular stick material used by advanced players and professionals
Titanium is similar to scandium in terms of weight and strength. This alloy is capable of withstanding plenty of abuse on the field.
Composite sticks are usually made with a high-grade carbon fiber. They’re ideal for intermediate players on attack because of its combination of agility and strength as well as the natural grip inherent with the material.
The days of taping up your shaft are long gone with most sticks offering some kind of grip texture embedded into the shaft material or added on post-manufacturing. You can find rubberized grips, sandpaper grips, or no grip at all if that's your preference. Most players are going to want to feel things out for themselves; too much grip can hinder hand movement on the stick although some individuals prefer having that extra amount of tactile enhancement.
Shape refers to the circumference of the stick, whether it's in an octagonal shape, concave, or a variety of other configurations, each one more aggressive than the next. Since this is also a tactile issue like grip, personal preference is going to be key versus a "one-size-fits-all" solution.
Some players like a perfectly round shaft while others prefer extra ridges for stronger control over the stick during the game. Grip and shape go hand in hand so you’ll want to get your hands on a few models first and see what feels right to you.