Helpful Hints When Buying a Stick
The lacrosse stick will be the most important piece of equipment for a player. A lacrosse stick is made up of a plastic head, nylon pocket which attaches to the head, and the shaft. There are many different types of heads, shafts, and pockets that can make up the stick. It can be overwhelming if you are new to lacrosse. So reach below to find out what's best for you.
When buying a stick, there are two paths to choose. You can buy a complete stick which comes put together and ready to play with, or you can buy the head, pocket, and shaft separately and put them together, or have the store put it together. Buying the parts of the stick individually and putting it together can be more expensive, but makes more sense when you are an experienced player. Beginner players are usually better off getting sticks already made. But remember, the most important part of the stick, and the part worth spending extra money on, is the pocket. Without a good pocket, your son will be limited in what he can do, and how quickly he can learn the skills.
When you are just learning the basics, your best option is to get a complete stick. The stick should have a head with a wide face to make catching much easier. Having a softer mesh is also a good idea as this will minimize the ball bouncing off too hard (like a tennis racquet) and it will make cradling the ball easier. Beginner sticks are much cheaper than other types of stick too, so if your not sure if your son will like lacrosse, this is the path to choose. There are cheaper sticks, but I have found the Rabil Next or Rabil Next 2 sticks are the best for beginners. They are $49.99 but we send out a 20% off coupon to Dick's Sporting Good in the beginning of the season. ***The most important thing to remember for anyone new to the sport, is to buy a stick with a pocket already in the stick. This means, the mesh (nylon pocket) should not be flat in the stick. Instead, it should hang down from the bottom so the ball sits in it. This will help all new players learn how to catch.***
As you continue to play lacrosse and build your skills, you may want to purchase a stick that's a little more advanced. At this point, you could spend a little more money on the shaft because you will not grow out of it, and as the players get stronger, they will check harder. A stronger shaft will prevent any dents or cracks in it. The head of the stick does not have to be super wide, but should not be very narrow either. The biggest mistake we see is youth players get very narrow head that only college or professional players should use. It makes catching very difficult and players could get frustrated and lose interest. As for the mesh pocket, we believe that players should stay away from hard mesh and go with East Coast Mesh or String Kings Mesh. When stringing the stick, ask the person stringing the stick to make the pocket either in the middle of the stick or towards the bottom of the head. This allows for a quicker release when passing.
Here is a great website to get information and watch videos on how to choose the right stick. Click on the links to the left of the home page for helpful info reguarding the lacrosse stick.
1. Do not play with a high pocket or "whip" in your stick. Whip is when the pocket in your stick is high, and the shooting strings are pulled tight. By the time a player realizes they can't play with "whip", it's too late. I have only seen kids get held back by trying to play with whip in their sticks.
2. Cut your stick down. See below for more information.
3. Play with what works for you. Don't go by the brand name, or what your friend plays with. Your friends isn't passing, catching, or shooting for you. You have to be able to use the stick so get one that works for best for you.
How to Cut Down the Lacrosse Stick
All sticks come 42 inches long, except for starter sticks. This makes it hard for youth players to control. We recomend players 2nd grade or younger cut it down to 36-39 inches, and older players cut it down to 40 inches.
When you measure the lacrosse stick, it measures from the top of the head to the bottom of the shaft. A "legal" length is 40 inches, but that only matters when a player reaches middle school level. When cutting the stick, you take off the butt end at the bottom of the shaft and cut from the bottom of the shaft. When you are done, put the butt end back on and tape it to the shaft.
If you need assistance cutting down the lacrosse stick, please ask a coach. We can do it for you.