C-12 Lacrosse has made some waves in the lacrosse world lately by successfully utilizing carbon fiber in a shaft. People have talked about carbon fiber (from here on referred to as CF) for a long time, and we’ve seen CF shafts in lax before, but they’ve never been durable, or even that great… until now. Advances in materials and tech will bring along the next wave of lacrosse product innovation, and C-12 is definitely changing the game with their new technology.
Metal shafts tend to feel pretty similar to one another. Some have a bit more flex, others might be a little lighter, and still others have smooth or textured grips. But they all have a similar feel to them since they are, in the end, metal tubes. The CF C-12 Lacrosse shaft feels different though, which makes sense, since it’s not just the metal walls of a octagonal tube.
When you look inside the C-12 shaft, you can see the carbon fiber tube that sits in the middle of the shaft. You can even feel the texture of the CF when you run your finger inside the shaft. But on the outside, you can’t even tell the shaft is CF at all. There is a highly adhesive wrap on the outside of the shaft, which can be customized with logos or designs. C-12 also says that the wrap helps with the stick’s integrity and durability.
Being an inquisitive person, I had to peel my wrap off and see underneath. I just had to. Plus it would have been a crappy review if I didn’t! What I saw amazed me. Beautiful CF patterning peeked through a black plastic material. The CF tube I mentioned above had clearly been coated or dipped in a thick layer of protective hard, plastic. And then the plastic has been molded or carved down to be a perfect octagonal lacrosse shaft. Wow. C-12 really did change the game with their tech! Too bad they hide it with custom wraps on the outside of the shaft! This is where a clear wrap could come in handy!
So like I said, the shaft feels different… like it has more flex to it than a typical shaft. But it doesn’t feel like a limp noodle one bit either. And I was concerned about that. It is strong, can take a serious beating and when you REALLY try to bend it, it bends, whereas a metal pole would eventually snap back (and reverberate), or just snap in half. Don’t believe me? Well I did what they do in the video, and it worked. Try this with your metal pole and you can buy a new pole! Ok, so DON’T try this with your metal pole. BAD IDEA.
When I spoke with C-12, they claimed that they had ZERO field failures with their shaft. I thought that was amazing, and couldn’t possibly be true. But I have absolutely abused the two shafts I got from C-12 to try out (both the shortie and pole made it to Thailand and back for one!) and even though I also peeled the wraps off of both of them, they haven’t shown any signs of wear or breakage whatsoever.
C-12 claims that a powerful shooter can also increase the speed of their shot by using a C-12 shaft because the CF bends, but doesn’t lose energy, so the snap back of the stick is increased. Ideally, this increases velocity. I haven’t tested this out scientifically, and am still trying to figure out how to do so, but anecdotally, I did shoot 90mph using one of the shafts with an Evo3 on it, and I’m 31 and don’t go to the gym ever. I haven’t hit 90 in a couple years. I’ll have to try that with another shaft though, and even then it means very little.
What I can take away from using the shaft is that I like it. It feels natural in my hands, I like the flex it gives when I really crank but how strong it is on regular passes and checks. It doesn’t feel flimsy at all, feels solid on hard checks and is definitely a move in the right direction technology wise. If other companies aren’t looking past metal alloys and composites right now, they will soon be left behind.
C-12 is at the head of the class right now with their first generation of shafts for general production. In my honest opinion, this is easily one of the best shafts on the market right now. But that is not to say it is without its issues. If you like wraps, and how they feel, then you will love C-12′s work. If you are like me, and you hate wraps (and for the most part have a general dislike of custom graphics on shafts) then you will want to peel it off. But I warn you! IF you peel off the wrap, the shaft is actually smaller than the corresponding hole in the head. So you’ll need to tape it up a bit, or find some way to make the fit tighter. Like I said, a clear wrap would fix that issue for the most part.
At first there seems to be another hang up, and that is the price of the shafts. The top of the line CF shafts go for $220 (defense/lsm), $175 (goalie) $165 (middie/attack). There middle grade breaks down $175, $150, $125. Their intro line is set around $105. Seems a bit pricey, doesn’t it? In actuality, it’s NOT! Top level Dpole shafts regularly sell for $200 and up nowadays, and when you consider these shafts actually offer NEW technology, it quickly becomes a fair price point. And even if one were going to buy cheaper shafts… let’s do some math first.
Let’s look at a big, strong dpole. He buys 3 shafts at $120 each and bends them all by the end of the season or one C-12 shaft at $220 and still has it at the end of the year? Easy choice I think. When you consider how well these things wear over time, it becomes much more rational to spend the dough. Maybe you like the feel of a Scandium shaft, if that’s the case then buy one. But the C-12 is definitely on the same or higher level of quality, so you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.
On our scale of 1-10, a price this high would usually drop the product down a couple of points, but in this case, I actually believe the extra cost is worth it, and applaud C-12 for making this technology a usable reality. The only thing that keeps this product from being a 9.5 or 10 is the fact that you HAVE to get a wrap put on it. The Carbon Fiber is the star here… C-12 just needs to let that Peacock fly. What is important is that the product is fantastic.
If you’d like to buy a C-12 lacrosse shaft, you can get them on C-12′s website!
No store mark up! Quality product direct from the makers! And that’s why the C-12 shaft gets a 9 out of 10! Great first production run! Very impressed overall.