Editor’s note: read all of the 2010 Gear Review’s and see what you should be rocking this season.
STX K18 II GL Gloves
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
412 recently remarked that the K18s looked really small on players’ hands during a recent D1 game and I must agree, they are small, but only in all the right places.
The glove is tight on your hand and to me that really allows you to force the glove to break in quickly. I played in a pair that STX sent over for review for the first time at the Mardi Gras Tournament and with no break in at all, I was easily able to play in them.
They did get better as I played more and by the end of 5 games, they were definitely broken in. A number of guys who played with me in Miami got new gloves and had similar experiences. This is good news because any glove that has good protection needs to be broken in at least a little and the K18 will do that pretty quickly.
While I don’t love all of the glove designs that a number of STX teams are wearing, I can’t really blame STX since the coaches and teams make the call. I also wish that STX’s online customizer allowed you to literally choose every color. Nobody does that but they should. If I’m going custom, I want custom. Maryland’s gloves came out really well though but they have 4 good colors so anytime they have bad gear, it’s a travesty.
The K18s retail on lax.com for about $150 and with top of the line gloves ranging in price from about $120 to $185, they are actually on the lower end as most of the best gloves are concentrated in the $140+ range. In general, gloves have really started to get pricey.
STX has a ton of college teams wearing their stuff and the vast majority of them got K18s. Some of the best players at the highest levels are wearing them so you know they can take the abuse. I like them and until I find something better, they are my glove of choice. Excellent product and relatively inexpensive.
Silverfin Titanium Handle
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
We recently spoke with the guys at Silverfin and they were kind enough to send us one of their first-run short stick handles to review. They started out with classic Titanium handles and are now refining those and introducing a new line of alloys. I remember my first Ti handle back in high school when they were brand new to lacrosse and they were like magic. When I picked up the Silverfin handle I got that familiar feeling. Maybe it was the no-nonsense pure titanium look and feel to it. The old Ti sticks were like that… really simple.
The problem with those older sticks is that they dented, dinged and bent eventually. Some of the really early ones even snapped into dangerous shards. That was like 13 years ago though and Titanium has come a really long way. The snapping problem was pretty rare anyway and I haven’t heard of it happening in the past 10 years, at least. Silverfin prides itself on using top quality material and the handle retails for $80 on their website. Short stick shafts can cost over $200 so the Silverfin Titanium is a great deal. For those looking to get back to a classic titanium shaft, there probably isn’t a better option out there, especially price-wise.
The shaft is really light and can take a good beating. The walls are actually pretty thin so you get a nice little Ti flex in the shaft. Titanium dings and dents a bit. It just does. Science. But it typically lasts for a long time and has a very good strength to weight ratio. I’m excited to try their new titanium long stick, now with thicker walls! The finish is smooth but not slippery with no gimmicks. A little tape and you’re good to go. Great first run product, really good value.
Blue Collar Lax – 15 MM Marc Mesh
Rating: 9 out of 10
Based in Ontario, Blue Collar Lax is a mesh company. Or should I say, THE mesh company… well, it sure seems that way. They are now the official stick stringers of both MLL and NLL teams and most people that I’ve met who have used their mesh were fans. But you just can’t trust other people (except for me and 412, you can totally trust us) so I had to go out and buy some myself to give it a shot.
I strung up an X10 with a green, yellow and white piece of MM and got on a plane to New Orleans to give it a whirl. I used 15 millimeter mesh (15mm is the distance between the top and bottom of each diamond), which is right around the industry standard. Marc Mesh is also available in a 20MM sort of mid-mesh variation as well. Supposedly it resembles the feel of traditional string job a bit more but that’s just gossip.
The mesh stretched out easily as I strung the stick and the shooters they provide are all white of medium thickness and stiff. Vs work but 4 shooters straight across is actually the best option. Just trust me and get used to it. It threw great right away and needed little adjustment, of course I do string a mean wand. There wasn’t rain in NOLA and I’ve heard Marc Mesh is great in the rain so I was a little bummed (not really, I hate rain) but there were puddles and mud and puddles of mud. Awful.
At the end of each day I literally had to hose off my stick (after washing it off after every game) to get the mud off. Most mesh would be destroyed by this and the pocket would be a lost cause. The Marc Mesh held up. It is not as good as it was right away but I’m still using it and liking it better than anything else I have by far.
The one drawback? This stuff is expensive. All white kits are $30 from BCL and when you go to the dyed mesh, the price goes up even more (some are even $100+). Regular mesh kits are usually $15-20. The Marc Mesh designs are pretty sweet though and I heard through the grapevine that they’ve done a custom UNC mesh piece for Billy Daye. Blue Collar Lax says their mesh is worth it, Rabil can be seen rocking it in some Maverik ads and even though it’s pretty pricey (remember, I actually paid for this), it’s still by far the best piece of mesh I’ve ever used.
About the Author: Connor is a pretty average lacrosse player at this point who doesn’t know when to give up on the game. He played and coached in the NESCAC and still plays for the Southampton LC in NYC. Connor lives with his fiance in Brooklyn and thanks her for allowing him to keep the dream alive.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.