Since the days of wooden sticks, technology for lacrosse sticks has come a very long way over the last five decades. No change, however, has been bigger and more consequential than how much women's lacrosse sticks have changed over the last 3 years. Sticks are now designed to be drastically easier to use. They have better hold, are easier to catch with, throw more consistently, and gobble up ground balls easier. Sticks that were only a few years ago the best on the market, such as the STX Crux I and Brine Empress are now outdated and akin to using a handheld screwdriver instead of a drill. So what has led to such a dramatic change in women's lacrosse equipment in such a short time period? There are three very significant factors: changes in the FIL rules to allow a wider range of heads once only allowed in North America, innovations made by manufactures, and improvements in stringing options.
What Makes The Newest Sticks Better
The heads pictured above are the Empress and Crux I. These were once the best options under the old FIL specifications. If you compare them to the heads pictured below (the Crux Pro and Gait Whip) you will notice the heads above are much straighter from top to bottom, while the ones below have a big bend towards the top of the head.
This big bend in the top of the stick allows the ball to sit higher in the pocket. It also allows for a deeper pocket that remains legal. The combination of a higher, deeper, and well defined pocket leads to a stick that is much easier to use and performs significantly better.
New Stringing Options
The old FIL specifications were incredibly strict when it came to stringing options for women's lacrosse sticks. You now have a great many choices when it comes to your pocket.
A full mesh pocket (seen here in a StringKing Complete 2 Pro Midfield) used to be reserved only for boys but now is legal for FIL play. The advantages of a mesh pocket are that they are very easy to string and replicate from one stick to another. The pocket is very consistent and forgiving while catching. The disadvantage to a full mesh pocket is that it does not fit well in every head.
A hybrid pocket has part mesh and part leathers and string. These pockets may be an easier transition for someone using an all leather or older style runner pocket. This pocket style is highly customizable and delivers really amazing hold and feel. The two best options for these style pockets are the ECD Venom pocket (Pictured above in black) and the STX Crux 2.0 pocket (Pictured above in white )
How to Know Which New Stick To Pick
While the new spec sticks may be easy to use, there are so many choices that picking may be hard! Here are our suggestions for how to pick a new stick.
- check out the Northern Soul Youtube Page which features many reviews of sticks and explains which stick is right for each player
- visit us at a tournament that we are attending, the next opportunity will be at National Schools. We have a lot of demo sticks so you can try before you buy
- ask your friends and teammates that have bought sticks recently what they think of their selection
- give us a call at Northern Soul or use the chat feature on our website and we would be happy to help you make the right selection