Best Lacrosse Sticks for 2018

U.S. Lacrosse (USL), the NCAA, and NFHS (the National Federation of State High School Associations) govern the sport of Lacrosse and certify the best Lacrosse sticks for play. This buyer’s guide provides details on several of the sticks preferred by these organizations.

What are the U.S. Lacrosse Regulations for Lacrosse Stick Certification

U.S. Lacrosse provides a guide to lacrosse equipment, which includes specific regulations for lacrosse sticks used by men, women, boys, and girls. To qualify a crosse (lacrosse stick) for play, USL provides specific standards for measurements and materials.

In men’s lacrosse, qualifying lacrosse sticks for attackmen and midfielders are 40 to 42 inches long, and defensemen’s lacrosse sticks are 52 to 72 inches long. The standard head measurement is between 6.5 and 10 inches wide, except for the goalie’s lacrosse stick, which may be 10 to 12 inches wide.

In women’s lacrosse, qualifying lacrosse sticks are between 35.5 and 43.25 inches long, with a head measuring 7 to 9 inches across. The goalkeeper’s crosse measures between 35.5 and 48 inches long, and it may have a head up to 12 inches across.

Since rules do change periodically and may differ from one league to the next, it may be best to consult with a local coach or authority before choosing a lacrosse stick. Be sure that the lacrosse stick you choose is in compliance with regulations, since sticks are typically measured before each game. U.S.  Lacrosse publishes a list of legal sticks.

How to Pick the Best Lacrosse Stick

When choosing a lacrosse stick, select a crosse that is right for your playing position as well as one that you can handle without discomfort. New players should look for sticks with wide faces for simplified catching. Note that titanium shafts are built for durability and strength, while aluminum shafts are typically lightest in weight. Scandium offers light weight combined with strength, however composite shafts may feel more comfortable to hold as they maintain a more consistent temperature in cold and hot weather.

For men, the pocket type depends on which rules your league uses. Be sure to keep this important factor in mind as you make your choice and select a universal head if you’re uncertain.

Brine Clutch Rise Stick

If you’re looking for a beginner’s lacrosse stick, the Brine Clutch Rise Stick may suit your needs perfectly. This standard 30-inch attack stick is suitable for backyard play and practice sessions, and may also be suitable for league play. The scoop is flattened for easier ground ball pickup, and the face is a bit wider than some other models, making for easier catching, particularly for players who are still developing their skills.

The Brine Clutch Rise Stick is custom-strung. With a handle embellished with custom logos in contrasting black and white tones, it offers an attractive appearance. The head design is among the most popular features offered, particularly among those who are just learning or who are teaching youngsters some lacrosse fundamentals during recreational sessions at home.

Pros:

  • Well made
  • Good for casual, recreational play
  • Wide head makes catching easier

Cons:

  • Pocket adjustments may take longer than you like
  • Some reviewers report paint flaking more than expected

The Brine Clutch Rise Stick is a decent, basic attack stick that offers good durability for the price. It’s a good choice for people who are still learning, but it may not be ideal for use in highly competitive situations, particularly since the wider head makes it easier for opponents to hit the stick and knock the ball out of the pocket.

Maverick Lacrosse Men’s Charger Complete Stick

Featuring a 6000-series aluminum shaft with a designated grip zone for better control, the Maverick Lacrosse Men’s Charger Complete Stick comes with a Level 3 Bottom Rail for greater accuracy and power during gameplay. The head features a narrow throat for superior ball control, plus a wider surface at the top for easier catching.

This complete lacrosse stick arrives pre-strung with upgraded mesh, and the 60-inch handle may be cut down to fit your needs precisely. Durable enough to withstand blocking and other aggressive movements, this is a good all-around defensive lacrosse stick.

Pros:

  • Sturdy feel
  • Lightweight aluminum lacrosse stick
  • Comfortable, secure grip
  • Head shape makes it easier to cradle balls

Cons:

  • Mesh may bag out within a few months when subject to consistently damp conditions.

If you’re looking for a good defensive lacrosse stick, then the Maverick Lacrosse Men’s Charger Complete Stick may be ideal. It’s well-built, with quality components and a thoughtful design for better control of the ball during gameplay. Note that the standard mesh may need to be replaced with Hero Mesh if you tend to play or practice during wet weather conditions.

StringKing Complete Jr. Youth Lacrosse Stick

If you’re looking for a quality junior lacrosse stick, you may want to consider this one from StringKing. With a narrower, lighter shaft than you’ll find on a standard stick that has been cut down to accommodate junior players, this lacrosse stick is easier for small hands to grip, so kids learn proper technique and develop greater confidence.

With a Mark Jr. head that is a bit wider than the StringKing Mark 1 head, this stick offers a larger catching area. The pocket arrives pre-adjusted for playing right out of the package. This youth lacrosse stick comes in your choice of colors: All black, white, and black/nickel. It’s ideal for 6U, 8U, and 10U players.

Pros:

  • Balanced feel, far better than a cutdown, top-heavy stick
  • High-quality components
  • Narrower, lighter shaft than a full-sized lacrosse stick; easier for kids to grip
  • Ready to play right out of the package, no adjustments needed
  • Sized appropriately for players under age 10

Cons:

  • Costs a little more than some other junior lacrosse sticks

The StringKing Complete Jr. Youth Lacrosse Stick offers a good combination of value and durability. It’s sized to make lacrosse easy for young players to learn while developing appropriate technique as they get older. Recommended for players under age 10, this stick will probably  be outgrown before it wears out – however it’s a good choice for kids who love the game and want to take their skills to the next level.

STX Lacrosse Stallion 50 Lacrosse Complete Junior Stick with Shaft & Head

A good all-around lacrosse stick for young beginners, the STX Lacrosse Stallion 50 may be ideal for a child who is playing with a developmental league. With a thin handle that allows smaller hands keep a tight grip, it features a 28-inch shaft and a molded head with soft mesh stringing.

This youth lacrosse stick takes its inspiration from the popular STX Lacrosse Stallion U 500 head, and can accommodate regulation size lacrosse balls as well as mini balls. The head measures 7 ¼ inches at the top and 4 inches at the bottom. It is 10 inches long, and is designed to be adjusted like any other lacrosse head, and it may be removed from the lacrosse stick if necessary.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Sturdy stick holds up to rough use
  • Light weight and easy to handle

Cons:

  • Does not meet specifications for high school or college lacrosse
  • Product description forgets to mention that this stick is for boys; not legal for youth female games

If you have a young child who is just starting out with lacrosse, then this junior stick is probably a good choice. While some reviewers mention using it as a practice lacrosse stick for girls, it’s not legal for girls’ league play.

 

STX Lacrosse Stallion 200 U Complete Attack/Midfield Stick with Shaft & Head

The STX Lacrosse Stallion 200 U is designed for entry-level to intermediate players. Built with easy ball control in mind, it helps developing players catch balls easily while developing their playing style. The stick is an attractive black color with metallic graphics, and the wide universal head, which is inspired by the STX Lacrosse Elite Stallion 500 U head, is of black plastic composite. It is prestrung with black mesh.

This is a legal universal attack stick that may be used in games, and it is often described as an excellent choice for faceoffs. For practice, it helps users develop confidence with throwing and catching skills. This complete lacrosse stick weighs in at less than one pound.

Pros:

  • Wide universal head
  • Meets NCAA and NFHS regulations
  • Lightweight shaft is easy to handle

Cons:

  • Dents easily
  • Head has a lot of whip as strung; users recommend adjusting for less whip
  • Mesh may require replacement as it can be compromised in wet weather and is prone to tearing

If the STX Lacrosse Stallion 200 U lives up to its reputation, it could be a great lacrosse stick with good performance. While denting doesn’t seem to bother reviewers who view it as a consequence of having a lightweight, inexpensive crosse, it’s an issue worth keeping in mind.

STX Lacrosse Women’s Crux 100 Complete Stick with Head

With a strong sidewall design that keeps weight low without reducing strength, the STX Lacrosse Women’s Crux 100 Complete Stick with head features a flexible scoop that makes for easier ground ball pickups. A raised ball stop and STX forward cant contribute to better handling.

This complete women’s lacrosse stick features the 42” STX 6000 handle, which offers a traditional alloy grip. Designed for school age players and adults alike, it comes in your choice of blue, green/blue, pink, and purple/pink.

Pros:

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Grip feels great
  • Good choice for beginners
  • Meets USL regulations for women’s lacrosse

Cons:

  • Lower strings tend to slide and loosen, which could result in lost balls; users may need to re-string after some use

Overall, the STX Lacrosse Women’s Crux 100 Complete Stick offers great value, particularly for young and/or beginning players. If you’re playing at a higher level where balls tend to come in hard and fast, you may want to invest in a stronger head and/or stick.

STX Crux 500 Complete Stick (Women’s)

With a strong composite handle and 10-degreee technology for better ball control, the Women’s STX Crux 500 Complete Stick offers a great feel. A Patented Elastomer Overmold feature helps reduce ball rattle, and minimal sidewall height makes for a deeper yet still legal pocket.

The STX Crux 500 features a patent-pending Launch Pocket which consists of a tapered runner system with flexible chevrons that surround the ball for increased stability and control. The pointed scoop makes for more accuracy when shooting and passing, and the scoop angle provides outstanding snap. This complete lacrosse stick is available in a variety of colors.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Excellent choice for attack / Middie use
  • 10-degree launch pocket enhances cradling and shooting actions

Cons:

  • Some reviewers feel that there’s a little too much flex on the draw
  • Launch pockets can tear under frequent / strenuous use; some reviewers recommend swapping for a beaded style runway pocket

The STX Crux 500 Complete Lacrosse Stick is a popular choice with many satisfied users who feel that it improves their game. If your playing style is more aggressive than most, you may find yourself replacing the pocket sooner than anticipated due to the reported tearing issue.

 

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An excellent choice for midfielders, the STX Lacrosse Women’s EXULT 300 is a complete stick that comes with a variety of head and pocket colors. The STX 7075 handle offers lightweight durability and a lightly textured grip for better handling.

The Runway Pocket features an overlapping center string system that flexes for a better grip on the ball, and the scoop itself is flexible enough to allow for effective ground ball pickup. The head’s stiff sidewalls provide the stability you need during competition, providing good ball control and more precision when shooting. The stick offers all-around durability, making for worry-free shot blocking.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality components
  • Head design makes passing, shooting, and catching movements more effective
  • Stick stands up to heavy use

Cons:

  • Priced higher than an entry-level lacrosse stick

Thanks to superior materials and craftsmanship, the STX Lacrosse EXULT 300 is an outstanding upgrade from an entry-level stick. From the head to the grip, it is designed to take gameplay to the next level. There are no reported design flaws; while these are possible with any product, the overall consensus is that this crosse offers a good combination of quality and affordability.

Warrior Rabil Next 2 Complete Stick

The Warrior Rabil Next 2 Complete Stick measures 40.5 inches, and features a head with an easy-scoop design that makes ground ball pickups easier, even when you’re on the run. Available in your choice of two color schemes, eache embellished with graphics from famous lacrosse player Paul Rabil, this crosse is as good-looking as it is effective.

The Rabil Next is a moderately priced standard attack / middie stick, and arrives pre-strung. The hard mesh pocket lacks any of the waxy feel that’s sometimes found in cheap lacrosse sticks while offering good control of the ball. A good choice for new to intermediate players, the Rabil Next 2 Complete stick is legal for high school play. The head features a flatter opening and greater rigidity than you’ll find on some other models, making for lower passes and greater accuracy.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Attractive design
  • Well-made, good quality for the price
  • Good ball control

Cons:

  • Some reviewers state that the plastic head broke

If the Warrior Rabil Next 2 Complete Stick performs as most reviewers suggest, it should provide you with a satisfying experience and perhaps even help you improve your game. However, if the reported durability issues are true, then you could find yourself replacing the pocket and/or head sooner rather than later.

 

Warrior EVO Next Lacrosse Stick

 

A mid-level lacrosse stick that’s ideal for beginners as well as JV players who want to improve their game, the Warrior EVO Next Lacrosse Stick offers a blend of effectiveness and affordability. It’s available in your choice of attractive white, black, or red colors with crisp graphics.

With an EVA head modeled after professional designs, this complete lacrosse stick boasts Warrior’s Truoffset design, which provides superior ball control thanks to the deepest pocket possible. The EVA next shaft is textured with ruff-grip for a secure feel that promotes greater confidence during gameplay.

Pros:

  • Performs just as well as a more expensive lacrosse stick
  • Pocket breaks in easily
  • Textured paint makes the stick easy to grip
  • Light weight and good durability
  • Attractive, high-end appearance

Cons:

  • Not many user reviews; difficult to establish whether buyers might encounter common manufacturing flaws

Despite having just a few user reviews, those which are available are overwhelmingly positive. The Warrior EVO Next Lacrosse stick is a good choice for beginners and mid-level players who want to improve their skills. It offers plenty of stability, a good grip, and an upgraded design. Like other lacrosse sticks, this one will need to be restrung eventually.

Considerations when Choosing a Lacrosse Stick

When selecting a lacrosse stick, be sure that it’s the correct type – not just for the position you play, but also for the player’s age and gender. Once you have narrowed down your choices, consider the following factors as you make your decision.

Weight

Manufacturers know that weight is important, and most lacrosse sticks come in at one pound or less. If you’re an average player, weight might make a little difference. The more you practice, the lighter your crosse is likely to feel.

Head Features

Most contemporary lacrosse heads are built with composite plastics that are designed to take quite a beating. Consider the shape, noting that wider tops make for easier catching, but come with the drawback of making it easier for opponents to knock the ball away from you during intense gameplay. Strings and mesh are easily replaced at a minimal cost; you may want to experiment with different types to see what feels best to you.

Price

Watch out for ultra-cheap lacrosse sticks unless you’re planning to practice or use the sticks for recreational purposes only. Mid-priced sticks tend to offer good durability and stand up to the demands of frequent gameplay, and some experienced players note that these mid-range sticks offer surprising similarity to expensive sticks. You can get a great stick for well under $100.

Durability

An ultra-cheap lacrosse stick probably won’t make you a better player, and it’s likely to break after a few good whacks, meaning you’re out of the game. Get the best, most durable stick you can afford and you won’t have to spend extra money replacing it later.

Sources:

https://www.uslacrosse.org/rules

https://www.uslacrosse.org/safety/equipment

https://www.uslacrosse.org/blog/clarification-on-girls-stick-specifications-for-2016

http://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/lacrosse/lacrosse-stick-buying-guide

http://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/lacrosse/buying-a-womens-lacrosse-stick

https://www.newyorksportsconnection.com/ny_commentary/choose-lacrosse-stick/