Since their beginning, Warrior Lacrosse has always done things a bit differently than other manufacturers. Their products have always stood out from the pack with their dynamic engineering and bold designs. That’s why it is no surprise that Warrior has come out with a product so unique and mysterious that it could completely change the game.
From seeing the photos online and the videos produced by Warrior, all of us at LACROSSE.COM were itching to get our hands on the Evo Warp. So when we got the call that we’d be able to test it out, we jumped at the opportunity. We then gathered up a group of our faithful employees with a wide range of playing experience to see what the Evo Warp is all about.
It’s no doubt that the Evo Warp looks like nothing we have seen before. But just because it looks so vastly different from your average mesh or leather string job doesn’t mean it will not hold the same technical values. Looking at it in person for the first time it is very clear that Warrior designed the polypropylene pocket to mirror the construction most stringers work to accomplish in their sticks. That is to produce a consistent channel to direct accurate passing and shooting, arrange specified broken-in zones for desired pocket placement, and build lines of constricted material to give you an extra snap on your release. This can all be seen through the various knitted patterns in the Evo Warp pocket. The yellow outer ring of the pocket signifies the Kevlar material used to provide an unbelievable level of durability. Outside of the pocket’s design, the thick polypropylene material gives off the impression that the head is dense and heavy, but when you pick it up you will be pleasantly surprised. Yes, the look of the Evo Warp is very unconventional but once we picked it up, threw around and ripped some shots with it, we were thinking the exact opposite.
For comparison’s sake we brought out a few sticks strung with mesh to get an idea of how different the Evo Warp truly is. To provide the whole picture, the stick I used to compare against was a Nike Lakota U strung with East Coast Dyes Semi-Soft HeroMesh in a drop top pattern. Although I fully intended to play out the scientific method in this experiment I couldn’t help but take the Evo Warp straight to the cage for some high speed rips and boy does it perform! Right out of the gate the Warp didn’t feel like a newly strung stick but one that was broken in and had already seen the game field a few times. In speaking with our Warrior representative, he assured us that everyone will have that exact feeling when they pick up the Evo Warp for the first time. That’s because Warrior uses the same machine that tests the strength of their shafts to pound in the Evo Warp’s pockets so that they are broken in from the day you get it.
As I threw around with the Evo Warp and then my own stick and back to the Evo Warp again, I noticed a few key differences. Now that I am fairly accustomed to the performance of the ECD soft mesh, the variance in the level of give in the pocket was noteworthy. Although fairly soft to the touch, the Evo Warp’s polypropylene pocket is much thicker than any mesh on the market making it a stiffer target. Along the same lines, while cradling and switching between hands there seemed to be less ball movement within the pocket on the Evo Warp as compared to the soft mesh. For those that use soft mesh, understand that the ball can move freely throughout your pocket, hugging the sidewalls or shooting strings depending on your movements. Although you will still experience this feeling with the Evo Warp, it is not as pronounced as with the soft mesh so if you are switching between the two you may need to be more attentive to your stick to ensure possession. If compared to hard mesh or wax mesh, this situation may not even exist.
The lack of physical shooters or nylons was also a pronounced contrast between the Evo Warp and my testing tool. As you would know, you can use your shooting strings to determine the level of whip or hold in your stick by simply adjusting the tautness. In testing the mid and low pocket versions of the Evo Warp, the mid noticeably had more whip to it so I quickly gravitated to it over the former as it gave me a more similar experience to that of my gamer. But it still held some disparity between my soft mesh pocket with two straight shooters. This difference came up as I was testing out a variety of throwing techniques from low side arm to ¾’s and straight overhand. With my mesh pocket I felt as if I got the most whip while shooting side arm, but with the Evo Warp it was the exact opposite.
The structure of the Evo Warp’s pocket was meant to enhance a player’s fundamental mechanics and that is the overhand pass and shot. Yes, the Evo Warp will shoot great side arm, but you will see the most benefit when you stick to the basics which I’m sure every coach around the world would also agree with. The Evo Warp is almost designed as a tool to bring the game back to those fundamentals that it was built on. But that doesn’t mean this is a stick just for beginners learning lacrosse, because even the most elite players need to be reminded of those fundamentals to help improve their game. Just look at Tyler Pace, the Junior midfielder for the Denver Pioneers who has racked up 19 points in 5 games (5 of those during the UNC game) and has been using the Evo Warp all season. The mantra of the Evo Warp is consistency and that rings true when used with the proper techniques.
With the Warp technology there are still a lot of unknowns. When will it be released for sale? How many pocket types will it come in? Will there be any other color options besides the white and yellow Kevlar? The list could go on, but all of our questions on its functionality have now been answered. The Evo Warp is like nothing else the game of lacrosse has ever seen and it is destined to continue to turn heads. Will it also change the way you play the game? That is something we look forward to finding out.