Lacrosse is a game that is at its heart fairly simple. You have a goal, a stick, and a player. Hopefully you have multiple ones and it’s a game. But regardless, the simplicity stops there. The stick, contrary to what you might believe, actually has a lot of complexity built in. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the best and most popular men’s lacrosse sticks of 2019. We’ll be looking at the ins and outs of them, helping you to determine just what it is you want and what you need. Beginners and veteran players alike will be able to find what they need all the easier thanks to our list. We’ll also be reviewing the top ones out on the market so you can get a great jumping off point toward selecting the best one possible. So, let’s just get to our buying guide started then!
Top Men’s Lacrosse Sticks Comparison Chart
|Name||Position||Complete?||Price||Where to Buy?|
|STX Stallion 200 A/M Complete Stick||Midfielder & Attacker||Yes||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Brine Clutch Rise Complete Attack Stick||Attacker||Yes||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|STX Shield 100 Strung Goalie Stick||Goalie||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nike Men’s Vapor LT Stick||Goalie||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Maverik Charger Complete Stick||Attacker||Yes||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Men’s Lacrosse Sticks Buying Guide
A Quick History
It’s truly crazy to think about how we have arrived at this point. The lacrosse stick is now a technological marvel, capable of helping players of all shapes and sizes reach their goals. But it wasn’t always this way. It used to be much more simple. They would play with a wooden stick that had a U-shape head to catch and hold balls. Today, we have all kinds of shapes and sizes, there are regulations, and all kinds of other permutations. It’s all changing so quickly, even as we speak this very moment. As the game changes, so, too, does the stick and its various pieces.
Stick or Complete
Before we get too far in, you might need to know that the lacrosse stick isn’t always going to be able to be purchased fully assembled. Some sticks will arrive fully intact, while others will just be the stick alone. This is normal in the sport because players like to customize their sticks. They might want to play with a head that is light, or they might want a heavy one. Maybe they want a wide or narrow one. Or maybe they want to change their shaft. This is all something to consider. If you are new to the game, you shouldn’t worry too much about this yet. You should just be looking to get a stick and start learning how to play. Later on, you can start to change it up as you get more accustomed to it and find out what you like. Just keep this in mind. There are choices to be made, no matter if you are new or a very experienced player in the world of lacrosse.
One thing that you should keep in mind when buying a stick is to think about it long term. A stick includes many parts. We’ll go to them here in a bit. But the stick itself is almost always going to last longer than the other parts. This means you need to find something that you like. It’s vital to do this. If you don’t like the feel right out of the gate, you should refrain from buying it. Or you should even contemplate sending it back. If you are looking to buy a stick just for the way the stick itself feels, then you should make sure that it is interchangeable. It wouldn’t be a lot of fun if you get it and can’t switch out the other parts! Remember, your investment can go a very long way but it will only do so if you watch out and smartly buy.
Sticks By Position
The position that you play is going to say a lot about the kind of stick that you want to have. Without the right stick, you will not be equipped to do the job, letting yourself down or forcing you to play another position. If you are unsure of what position you will play, then you should look for a good medium sized, general stick. This way you can play anything capably, though it must be said that you won’t be great at any one thing, either. Once you have been involved in the game longer, you can start to really pick out what you like and go from there. You might find that your game fits a certain type when it’s usually another kind that is used.
Attackers, just like in other sports, are the players that will grab the most headlines. They put the ball in the back of the net and rack up the stat sheets with goals and assists. Before all of that, though, they have to have the right equipment to help them reach for their ambitions. Whether you play right up top, or you are a midfielder, you need to find a stick that has a short and lighter shaft. This will allow you to maneuver away from the sticks of defending players a little bit better and will give you more accuracy with your passes as well. Attackers also want to have a stick that features a light head that has a good amount of scoop to it. This will let you pick up the ball much better, and it will also make it easier for you to retain the ball when you do get challenged for it.
Defensive players will be looking for sticks that are both longer and also heavier. As a consequence of the latter part, their sticks are typically more durable. And they have to be, seeing as how much of a beating they take compared to those of attackers. Longer shafts allow the defender to poke and prod at the attacker, giving them a greater chance of being able to block shots. They also need it to be heavy so that they can generate more power when throwing to teammates. For this reason, sometimes you might see a younger, smaller player go with this type just so he can reach his teammates a little better. Defenders usually will play with flatter scoops, making it easy to scoop the ball up off of the ground.
Goalies are a very special breed. The primary difference between goalie sticks and those of attackers and defenders is the shaft. The shaft of a goalie is going to take quite a beating, sure, but it also has to be quite flexible, too, since they have to deal with shots. If you have a wall, for example, and run into it with a car, it won’t end up too well for you. But if you put some give in to the wall, like they do for racing, it supports you. This is the same idea. With that said, some goalie shafts are better at flexing than others, and you can go various way with your choice. You might prefer one that is rigid or one that gives a lot. The heads are also different. They are shaped differently and have an altered size so that they can block and pass longer distances accurately.
Are Men’s Different Than Women’s?
Yes, there are some major differences between the equipment used in men’s lacrosse. Women’s lacrosse is a game that does not allow as much contact as the men’s game does. For this reason, the sticks are nearly always shorter and smaller. They also have more shallow pockets, presumably because companies assume the shots and passes being thrown won’t be as hard. This is just one of the many differences between the two games. Men’s sticks have to be much more heavy duty than their ‘sister’ sticks simply because of the increased contact that they have to go through.
Before you get to that, however, you have to start playing. At the very young age levels, mostly ages 4-8, you will see both genders using youth sticks. They aren’t all that different, but it really doesn’t make a big difference since they are all just learning the basics anyway. The most important part of playing at those ages is to learn the fundamentals, so it can be left until later to make a switch and start honing in on what you need to have. As you progress, the sticks will cost more as they become more and more specialized.
To keep the price down, there are a few things that you can do. But first, you’ve got to understand the type of player you are. If you are a beginner, or are buying for one, then you don’t need to be spending a ton of money. As stated previously, the fundamentals are king, and if they can’t get that down with basic equipment they will never do so. You also don’t want to spend a ton of money only to see them begin to collect dust and never see the sun again. As a beginner, you can make sure to buy a stick that is fully completed. This will drastically cut down the amount of money you spend. You can easily spend double or more if you to choose to customize your stick with your own shaft and head.
Furthermore, while online shopping is more of an art than a science when it comes to narrowing down the best deals, generally you can find good deals right before the season starts, especially in stores. This is ideal for those that are just starting or who have just been playing a few years and aren’t super serious. When you take a combo stick and combine it with this, you can save quite a bit of money and still get a decent stick, too.
With that said, you should be looking to spend wisely. While price isn’t always a measure of how good a product is going to be, you can rest assured that the more you can spend, the better off you will be. This, though, is not always ideal when you are a newer player. As you go up the ladder and get into better sticks, you sometimes will have features involved that only advanced players can operate efficiently. So, there is such a thing as going too far, and that is something you should work to avoid. Paying unseen amounts of money will not guarantee you success. As far as we know, there is no button mashing stick that hurls the ball for you yet!
The head of the stick is the ‘business’ end of it, the end where damage can be done- literally and figuratively. The head is where you catch the ball, hold it, and throw it from, and it can be altered in order to give you the utmost from your game. With a complete stick, you get what you get. Some players choose to build their own stick from top to bottom, changing out the head to fit their game. Here’s a quick look at the inner workings of the head so that you will know what’s going on when they are brought up later!
The sidewalls are the part of the head that helps determine how much stiffness it will have. They can either be very stiff or extremely flexible. Generally, the more flexible, the lighter. But that also means that they can break easier. So, based on your position, you will have to make a call on whether it’s enough to support you or not. An attacker would like a stiffer sidewall, since they have one thing in mind: getting to the goal and scoring as much as possible.
The scoop is very much self explanatory. It’s the top part of the head that gives players the chance to pick the ball up from the ground. This area is not only going to be measured by the width but also by the drop (depth). Defenders need more than attackers, since they will be working hard to get attackers to drop it and then pick it up to relay toward the eagerly awaiting teammates to hopefully attack and score at the other end. It can also be important for midfield players, too, so it just depends on your specific positional needs and desires. If you are unsure of where you are playing, then something in the middle would be best, that way you can play either position in a decent manner at least.
The pocket is also pretty much common sense to figure out what it is. It’s the part of the head that is at the base and is where the ball is going to sit. There are a couple of options for this: unstrung and strung. For new players that are buying a complete ‘combo’ stick, then you will probably not have much of a choice to make. You’ll want to go with one that is already strung. But for more experienced players, you can go with unstrung and then string your pocket the way that you like it. This way you get even more customization out of your stick.
This part of the head is the place where the sidewalls decrease as they descend downwards. This is located near the scoop and behind the line of the handle, and it can be used to make your ball handling better. This isn’t a huge issue, so we won’t take up too much more space by discussing it.
The shaft is the area that is going to determine how much control you can have over the game. While the head is important since you are going to be using it to fling the ball around and to carry it, you also have to have a shaft that is up to the job. Shafts have two ways that they usually go. You can go with a shaft that is longer and stronger or you can go with one that is flexible and lighter. If you are a strong shooter already, then going with something light is likely to be your best bet. But if you are new to the game and need to generate some additional power, then something bigger can help you. Just keep in mind that there will be extra weight involved, so it is a balancing act that’s not perfect. You may have to overcome that extra weight, and it might end up just not being worth it for you. It also should be pointed out that the heavier a shaft is, the more durable it should be. With that comes price as well. The more you pay for the shaft, you more mileage you will typically be able to get from it.
There are four main types of materials that are used to make lacrosse shafts. They are aluminum alloy, scandium, titanium, and composite. Aluminum alloy is the weakest one of the four but it is also usually the cheapest and is well rounded, giving you the chance to play multiple positions with it. Composite is the way to go if you want to pick a type of material that is strong, affordable, and will also still be light enough that a newbie can maneuver it fairly easily. Scandium is very much in the upper echelon of materials, and as a result, the top players in the game, whether pro or college, use it. It’s not necessarily needed for you, but it is an option if you are going places with your game. Titanium is the way to go if you are an attacker, wince it is stronger than aluminum but also lighter. This is why it’s a good idea for them, since they need to move around quicker and don’t need quite as much durability built in to their shaft.
The most important thing to do is to make sure that the shaft you have feels good in your hands. If you can’t get a good feel from it, you will need to have a rethink about your equipment. Much like with shoes, if you don’t feel good in them right away then you probably never will do so. Also, make sure that you can control it. If it’s too heavy for you, or if it’s too light, then you will be unable to accomplish your goals.
No one wants to buy something that doesn’t last, but durability is something you need to think about. A lot of it depends on the position that you play. While it’s nice to have something that will last a long time, an attacking player doesn’t require nearly as much of that as a midfielder or a defender would. That’s because they won’t be making as much contact, and instead, they need something lighter. It’s only natural that a lighter object won’t be as durable. So you should keep this fact in mind. Also, a warranty, if it’s available, can help you in this regard. You can find them, but make sure to read over the information because they are not always the same and could be altered from one to the next.
Price is another consideration that you have to look at. Setting a budget and sticking to it is important, provided that you know what you are looking for and what to expect. A good stick doesn’t have to run in the triple digits for you, but it’s just going to depend on what kind of features you need. As you progress and get better, you will need to step your equipment up. But until then, don’t worry about buying the latest and greatest thing to hit the market. Since it just won’t be of that much use until you get the fundamentals down pat.
Let’s Review the Top 5 Men’s Lacrosse Sticks of 2019!
STX Stallion 200 A/M Complete Stick
If you want an affordable option for your attacker or midfielder, then this is one of the best you can hope to find. It comes in a number of colors, is able to be used in play at all levels, and will be excellent for developing skills and playing on the field. It’s great for newer players since the stick isn’t too long and thus unable to be controlled. One potential problem that you might encounter is if you try to play too much with it. While attackers don’t take as much abuse, it’s not the more durable for games. For practices it will work wonders and it feels great, so it’s an ideal selection for that sort of thing. Some have found the netting to not be to their liking, so you might need to think about an adjustment or two. But overall, it’s a great stick, especially for new players.
- Very affordable
- Helps develop skills
- Durable enough
- Not very long
- Durability if you play too much
Brine Clutch Rise Complete Attack Stick
In this stick from Brine, you get another good attacker stick that won’t be running too much money out of your wallet, either. This is a lesser version of their more popular and expensive Clutch, but that doesn’t make it a poor choice. Instead, a lot of the same, great features are included, such as the flatter scoop it has that makes picking the ball up super efficient and easy. It’s also got a wide face, wider than most, to help you catch and learn much quicker, allowing you to graduate to the next level and next stick in record time. This stick is not the most durable, being made out of aluminum and it’s probably best for either practice or the early games in a season, but it’s still quite a good stick as you work your way toward proficiency in the game. Definitely well worth a look given all of the good it can bring to you!
- Also affordable
- Easy to catch
- Flat scoop makes picking balls up easy
- Not for advanced players
- Could be more durable
STX Shield 100 Strung Goalie Stick
If it’s a goalie you are buying for, then you’d be wise to take a look at this stick, the Shield from STX. Goalies need a special stick, and this one is special. It does cost more than most normal sticks, sure, but you need the extra features it yields. Such as the much wider net to help you catch the ball and hold on to it. It’s got what is called 12-diamond mesh, which is perfect for catching and is also grippy enough to give you a good chance of throwing good, strong, and accurate passes to your teammates. This is a great beginner goalie stick as a result of that and the fact that it’s easy to navigate around the net with. It can be very tough with a longer, heavier stick, and this one doesn’t overwhelm very much. The more advanced player might be better served building their own specific combo, but for a new player there are going to be few than do you better over the long haul.
- Excellent netting
- Not too heavy
- Great for beginners
- Not great for advanced players
- Tad more expensive
Nike Men’s Vapor LT Stick
If it’s pure style that you want, then there aren’t going to be many better than this sleek model from Nike. The Vapor LT just catches the eye with an appealing and flashy yellow color. But it’s not just about the looks only. It packs quite the punch with a handle that is built to last while helping you evade those defenders. It’s quick, smooth, and also powerful enough to help you score goals, making it a step up in quality from the others. The mesh used, contrary to the Shield, is soft mesh to help you catch and handle the ball better than ever. It’s still considered to be a starter kind of stick, but it is a step in the right direction and might just be the sort of stick you want to turn to when you are ready for your second one. It’s wide head, though, is still ideal for relative newcomers, so it’s a good call if that fits your description.
- Awesome looks
- Soft mesh makes catching easy
- Wider head brings confidence
- Slightly more expensive
- Will need to take a step up when you have improved
Maverik Charger Complete Stick
If it’s a bit of power and accuracy that you want to bring to your game and you are just getting your start out of the blocks, then this is the one for you. This stick is a good general stick that has a bigger catching zone at the top while also having a narrow throat area that allows you to better control the ball as you throw. This design is best for players that are struggling in both of those areas, and it can help alleviate some of those issues as you work your way toward a better stick and a better overall game. The shaft is made from aluminum, making it quite maneuverable and also is going to be a grippy sort of option. The universal problem people have had is with the mesh, which is just not up to the job. It doesn’t help throwing or catching, and many have decided to go ahead and change it immediately and saw improvement. So that needs to be considered.
- Accurate and powerful
- Wide catching zone
- Stick is mobile and agile
- Netting is not up to par at all
Conclusion And Final Men’s Lacrosse Sticks Recommendations
Buying a lacrosse stick for a beginner can be a harrowing experience. It’s tough to decipher many of the code words that the game has, and it’s even harder sometimes to figure out what positions you might even find yourself playing once you do begin. With so many sticks available, it can be nigh on impossible to cut the list down and identify what you need. That, however, has been taken care of you in our buying guide today. While you still have some thinking over it to do, you’re now in a much better, more informed position to make a purchase on the perfect lacrosse stick for you.