Recently we surveyed you, our devoted audience, and learned a number of things about what you want to see and read from us. We received an overwhelming request for more comparison reviews to help ensure you suit up in the best gear fit for you and your playing style. That is why we are kicking off our new Head to Head series where we will be matching up similar products so you can figure out between them, which suits you most.
In our inaugural Head to Head match up we are going to be reviewing two of the game’s most popular face-off heads, the Nike CEO and the STX Duel. Both of these heads vary in style, shape and construction but they both continue to be a staple weapon for the face-off specialists out there. To properly compare these heads, we are going to focus on three key areas; the look, the construction and the featured technology.
The STX Duel off the bat looks very different from any head in the game as it was built from the ground up to be a face-off head. Although it has a different aesthetic, it still presents itself distinctly as an STX product with its scalloped scoop and the almost wavy looking top string hole foundation. The face of the Duel looks very traditional in a sense but has a noticeably shorter throat which comes with reason as it allows the FOGO to get his hands closer to the ball on the face-off. There are a number of offensive heads that feature a 2 strut sidewall system, but the Duel places these near the top side of the head to help reinforce the area that will see the most twist and bends.
The Nike CEO presents itself in a very different manner. This head, unlike the Duel, was not built with face-0ffs in mind but was designed for the offensive minded players. As such, you can find similarities between the CEO and the STX Surgeon 500 with their extreme pinched mid-section and the flared out upper section on the face of the heads. The sidewalls of these heads are also very similar as they feature 2 slanted struts near the base of the head, albeit they point in opposite directions. With all of the similarities to the Surgeon, it is clear that visually the CEO and Duel have taken two different paths.
As mentioned above, the STX Duel was constructed from day one with the sole intention of being a face-off specific head. There are many lacrosse heads out there that work better at face-offs than others, but the Duel is the first specifically designed for the task. We touched on the shorter throat earlier, but this area of the head is one that is vastly important as it not only brings the player closer to the ball, it also plays a vital role in the connection between the Duel head and the Duel shaft. Unlike traditional heads that have an open throat, the Duel features their revolutionary throat plug that connects the two pieces and also plays as the base for the second screw on the side of the shaft to lock into. This construction ultimately creates one solid stick for the player, giving them more control at the X.
Noted earlier, the CEO was originally built for an attackman looking for a mid-low pocket to easily carry the ball one-handed with no worry. The visual similarities to the Surgeon further emphasize this point, however, the difference in the angle of the sidewall struts are what really separate those two heads. The Surgeon is known to be a very stiff product while the CEO has gained recognition by face-off specialists for its flexibility. This flexibility is truly one of the key features of the CEO’s construction that have made it as popular as it is for FOGO’s alike.
The Featured Technology
We’ve mentioned it before, but the revolutionary throat plug in the STX Duel absolutely should be noted as its featured technology. This component truly sets the Duel apart from anything built before, and it holds a very specific purpose to help improve any and all face-off player’s game.
The feature that sets the CEO apart from the Duel is its pinched design. The Duel was engineered for a very specific aspect of the game, while the CEO remains as an offensive minded head. If you are not simply a face-off, get-off player but instead one that thrives for the opportunity to gain possession and then work into your offense, the CEO was built to do just that.
That wraps it up for our first Head to Head review between the STX Duel and the Nike CEO. Please comment below with your own take on these heads and let us know what other comparisons you’d like to see from Lacrosse.com.