To kick off LAS and 412′s combined efforts to inform our readers, Peter Tumbas and I will be reviewing 2010 gear and letting you know what we think. While we try to maintain relationships with the lacrosse manufacturers, above all else we want you to know what’s really good in the game of lacrosse.
We’ll keep it honest and open-minded and let you know where we got the gear. For this article I got an X10 and Viper 2 from STX and purchased the Juice myself a few months back.
Our scale is a relatively simple “out of 10″ scale where 10 is the best product ever (don’t expect to see many 10s… even Brooklyn Decker would only be an 8-9 because of her occasional alien face),
Anything that gets a 9 Just. Blew. Us. Away. Something truly groundbreaking.
8 is really really good… like we would happily pay for it good.
7 is a very good product well worth your consideration.
6 is above average but not stellar.
5 is “meh”. The lower you go beyond 5, the worse the product is. If something rates below a 4, we wouldn’t recommend buying it ever.
This rating system also takes price into account to some extent so more expensive products will be held to a higher standard than cheaper gear because we all know that while money is made out of trees (and national economies), it doesn’t grown on them. Not even on the Tree of Liberty.
For example, if you have two heads that are the same quality, but one is less expensive, the less expensive head will usually rate higher on our scale.
Let’s get started.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The X10 is basically a modified and updated X2 that meets the 2010 NCAA stick measurement restrictions, however there are some improvements worth noting. The head is definitely a bit stiffer and stronger than it was in the past but it is still light. If you like a lot of ”flex” in your head, this may not be the head for you.
However, if you like a nice stiff head, this could be your baby. As a defender, the stick is great because of how stiff it is and it picks up gbs easily with a good sized face and somewhat pointed scoop. The sidewall doesn’t have 1000 holes but it does allow for creative stringing while making it easier on the novice stringer.
I can see players all over the field using this stick but would think longsticks would favor it most. The head has a full cant and can handle a pocket placement anywhere but lends itself to a channeled pocket in the middle of the throat. You’re looking at $70-80 unstrung for an X10 retail and can get it in a bunch of different colors, like most STX heads.
STX Viper 2
Rating: 7 out of 10
This is Brett Hughes head of choice and it’s another good one. It has more flex to it than the X10 but is still stiff and light. Along with longsticks that like to carry the rock, d-middies and do-it-all middies, I can also see some attackmen gravitating towards the stick. Face off guys may want more flex to their head than the Viper2 allows for.
The Viper also retails for slightly cheaper than a lot of the other heads out there at around $60 unstrung. if you’re buying you’re own equipment, the Viper2 is a great value. Again, the sidewall holes aren’t overdone but I would like to see a few more holes to accomodate the diverse styles and preferences of so many stringers out there. The full scoop is a nice move so that those who prefer a thicker piece of plastic have an option. The scoop is rounded, which may make gbs on turf a little easier than a pointier scoop would.
Rating: 6 out of 10
The Juice was Maverik’s first head released to the market and for a first run product, it’s quite good. The plastic of the head is stiff but also thin so it does flex quite a bit when throwing passes or throwing hard checks. It bends too much on poke checks for me to recommend it to be used by most poles but I do use it when I play midfield and it’s light and fully offset.
The Juice has a nice wide face which makes it a good stick for a do it all middie or an attackman that likes to score inside and catch passes in traffic. The Juice is available in a lot of colors, even brown, and will set you back around $80 unstrung. The sidewall holes are much like the STX heads and allow for options but aren’t suffering from sidewall hole overkill.
Overall, I like the product but I’m more excited to try the new Maverik Vision and Bull (Rabil’s new signature product) heada. If the head were just a little more affordable, it would easily be a 7.
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 [email protected].