The goal of this guide is to help you, the lacrosse player, better understand the types of lacrosse gear that are out there and to determine which style of lacrosse equipment best fits your game. Whether you’re just learning the game of lacrosse, or ripping corners in the National Championship, it is important to play with the right kind of lacrosse equipment.
Choosing a Lacrosse Head
There are over thirty different lacrosse heads available on lacrosse.com, and choosing the right one can be a tough task. The angle, stiffness, width and weight are all important aspects to look at when selecting your new lacrosse head. Below is a description of some of these characteristics.
Types of Lacrosse Heads
Offset Lacrosse Head
One of the most popular types of lacrosse gear out there; the Offset lacrosse head has revolutionized the way we play the game. The offset lacrosse head drops down at the throat, (where the head meets the handle) of the lacrosse head, allowing for a lower position of the ball and pocket on the head. Offset lacrosse heads are designed to give the lacrosse player maximum feel and control when carrying the ball, as well as great ball retention and accuracy when passing and shooting.
The forward cant technology is very similar to that of the Offset lacrosse head. A forward cant lacrosse head is also angled down at the throat of the lacrosse stick, optimizing ball retention and enabling quicker passing and shooting, without losing any feel or control of the ball.
The curved lacrosse head is also very similar to offset and cant technology. The scoop and sidewalls of this stick gradually curve down at the throat of the lacrosse stick. Curved lacrosse head technology generates power and accuracy on passes and shots, but maintains balance and feel for all lacrosse players who choose to use curved lacrosse heads.
Onset lacrosse heads extend straight on out from the handle. Offset, Cant, and Curved heads all slope downwards. With new lacrosse technology, fewer Onset heads are used by the top lacrosse players. However, Onset lacrosse heads are great for beginning lacrosse players who are learning the proper fundamentals and skills vital to the game of lacrosse.
*All of the above mentioned lacrosse heads are used by all lacrosse players of all positions with the exception of the goaltender.
Stiffness vs. Flexibility
Stiffness and flexibility are two categories which many manufacturers concentrate on when designing new lacrosse heads. However, different lacrosse players like to play with different kinds of lacrosse heads. Some stiff heads may be heavier than other more flexible heads. For example, one defenseman may want to play with a stiffer head for more effective checking, while another defenseman may want a more flexible head for picking up loose groundballs. The same can be said for all lacrosse positions. Stiffness and flexibility are all based on the preferences of the lacrosse player. You can’t go wrong with either choice.
Narrow vs. Wide Lacrosse Heads
Lacrosse heads have become more and more narrow in recent years. Again, some lacrosse players prefer narrow lacrosse heads, while others prefer wider heads. An attackman may want to play with a narrower lacrosse head to maximize ball retention and to protect the ball from defensive checks. A defenseman may choose to play with a wider lacrosse head in an effort to deflect passes, and also make it easier to catch. Most lacrosse heads with narrower shapes are designed for the more advanced lacrosse players, purely because it is harder to catch with a narrow lacrosse head compared to a wider head.Return to Top
Choosing a Lacrosse Shaft/Handle
As the sport of lacrosse continues to expand throughout the world, lacrosse manufacturers are using the highest levels of technology to create awesome new lacrosse equipment. Below is a breakdown of some of the most popular types of lacrosse shafts currently available.
Types of Lacrosse Shafts/Handles
Once the most common shaft, aluminum lacrosse handles have a good strength-to-weight ratio. These shafts are great for lacrosse players of all ages, however with advancing technology lighter and stronger handles are now used by higher level lacrosse players. Aluminum shafts are great for attackmen, midfielders, defensemen, and even goalies.
Titanium lacrosse shafts provide a much higher strength-to-weight ratio than any aluminum shaft available. Known for their superior strength, Titanium lacrosse handles are great for the lacrosse player who needs a durable handle that can withstand the physical nature of the game without sacrificing weight. The Warrior Titan Pro Titanium is the number one choice among MLL pros.
Composite lacrosse shafts are made of high grade carbon fiber, allowing for great strength and weight. The composite lacrosse shaft allows for ultimate feel and control. There is no need for grip tape with Composite lacrosse handles.
Alloy lacrosse shafts are characterized by their unmatched feel and weight. They are the lightest lacrosse shafts in the game and also deliver great strength. Many manufacturers are now adding built-in grips to their alloy lacrosse handles which offer the lacrosse player a unique and advantageous feel. Alloy shafts include variations of C405, Vandium, and many other mixed metal combinations.
Made of high performance element number 21. Scandium lacrosse shafts feature the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any other shaft in the lacrosse world. This shaft is great for lacrosse players of all positions because of its great feel and durability.
*Many manufacturers are now making hybrid lacrosse shafts, combining technologies to create unique shafts.Return to Top
Here is a quick break down of some of the lacrosse protective gear we sell on lacrosse.com. Whether you’re a first time lacrosse player or a seasoned veteran of the game, it is important to understand exactly what you're purchasing.
The primary function of a lacrosse helmet is protection. The main difference between helmets is weight, field of vision, and fit. It is important that the lacrosse helmet fit snug to your head to limit injury. Most helmets in the game today offer unique ways of adjusting the helmet size so you can customize it to fit your head. Lacrosse helmets are riddled with air vents to increase air flow and decrease its weight. All helmets come with an adjustable chin strap for added protection. Helmets can also be customized to match your team's colors.Return to Top
There are several things to look at when buying a pair of lacrosse gloves. The size of the glove is an important factor to consider, as well as protective features, what material it is made out of, ventilation, and dexterity. Many gloves now offer a wrist cuff which can be adjusted by various means to fit securely to your wrist and provide you with maximum comfort and protection. Lacrosse is a high paced game. Running up and down the field can be an intense work out, and having gloves that are well ventilated, allowing air to circulate in and around your fingers is crucial. All gloves take a little while to break in, though some take longer than others. The materials gloves are made out of differ. A glove with a mesh palm may be easier to play with, and provide great feel as well as ventilation. When buying lacrosse gloves you want to look for protection, ventilation, weight and flexibility.Return to Top
Lacrosse Arm Pads
As with all the other lacrosse pads, it is important that arm pads fit snugly on your arms, protect, and allow for maximum mobility. There are many different kinds of arm pads, each one offering something unique. Attackmen may want to wear a longer arm pad which covers larger portions of their arms, and has added protection for the elbows. Many defensemen, the guys beating up on the attackmen, choose to wear smaller, less protective elbow pads for maximum mobility to throw checks. Most elbow pads are fit with adjustable Velcro straps that wrap around the arm.Return to Top
Protection is without a doubt one of the most important components to look for when shopping for shoulder or rib pads. Shoulder pads slide over the head and rest right on your shoulders. They come with adjustable straps that loop underneath the lacrosse player’s armpits onto the chest. Aside from protecting the shoulders, correctly fitting shoulder pads should protect the sternum and upper arms. Most shoulder pads have removable upper arm guards which are easily adjusted. Many of the shoulder pads we sell have hard plastic shells on the high impact areas for maximum protection, and also meet the needs of all lacrosse players, providing optimal mobility and ventilation. Shoulder pads should fit tightly to the body.
Rib pads are not required to play the game of lacrosse, however many players choose to wear them, especially attack and midfielders. Rib pads are similar to suspenders and are worn with adjustable straps that sling over the shoulders and fit securely to protect your ribs, hips and sides. Most rib pads consist of durable, well ventilated foam which fit comfortably over the body and allow you to play at full speed with maximum mobility.Return to Top
Besides having a different stick, lacrosse goalies also wear different pads and protection. Each and every goalie is required to wear a chest protector and throat guard in addition to a helmet and gloves. A chest protector covers from the bottom of your neck and shoulders all the way down to your waist to protect against shots that may not be stopped by a stick. Every chest protector we sell provides adequate protection, though some offer more padding than others with detachable upper arm and belly pads. All chest protectors have adjustable straps to provide a customized fit for maximum comfort and mobility.
A throat guard attaches to the bottom chin piece of a helmet to provide essential protection for a lacrosse goalie. Goalies field a lot of shots by the other teams’ best shooters. Without a throat guard, a deflected ball or bounce shot has the potential to get up underneath the helmet and deliver a catastrophic blow to a goalie’s throat. All goalie throat guards are made of dense and durable plastic and provide great protection without compromising mobility.Return to Top