Epoch Lacrosse has released five generations of lacrosse shafts and today they release their first ever lacrosse head in The Hawk. Epoch developed this head in conjunction with Flip Naumburg of Vail, CSU, Rock-it-Pocket, and curved/offset head technology fame. Be on the lookout for an AMAZING documentary on Flip as well. It is MUST WATCH lacrosse video to be sure!
The head is something truly different, and I have been fortunate enough to play with a couple of recent prototypes. I have also been able to string up 3 or 4 of the heads over the last month or two, so I’ve gained a unique insight in to what makes this product unique.
Editor’s Note: Epoch is a proud partner of LacrosseAllStars.com
In the Hawk PR kit, James Miceli, founder of Epoch Lacrosse, has this to say about the new head:
We didn’t design The Hawk for everybody and we didn’t want to create a utilitarian head that fits all styles of play. The Hawk is an advanced head, designed for players who desire a high pocket. It is designed for the modern style of play.
As you can see in the photos, The Hawk is definitely not for everyone. If you love a low pocket or a mid pocket bag, this might not be the head for you. But if you love a good high pocket, you might just find The Hawk to be extremely appealing. It truly does function differently than any head I’ve ever played with. And Epoch believes that many modern players will love it. Ryan Hurley had this to say about Epoch’s market research:
The game has evolved from being played with a vertical one-handed style to the modern two-handed style in which players hold their sticks more on a horizontal plane. This new style has changed the way in which players prefer their stick to be strung. Our retail partners have educated us that over 75% of players who ask for their stick to be professionally strung ask for a mid-high pocket. The Hawk caters directly to this need.
In many high pockets, whip can become a problem. The hold is almost always excellent, but players are often forced to bring the head too far back, or they have to stop their motion early, when throwing a pass, just so that the ball won’t go into the ground. I find that a typical high pocket does not allow me to follow through all the way, and have seen many other players plagued by the same problems.
The Hawk however has a different approach to an “offset/laid back” approach, and this unique set up changes how the stick throws in a major way. The scoop does not come back up, as it does in truly offset heads, and is at an angle to the rest of the head and the shaft. The ball sits up there with ease when cradling. But when you throw the ball, it comes out with a quicker release, and travels a relatively short distance, allowing you to pop quick passes and shots without a full and time-consuming wind up. By following through fully more, I was able to generate the same shot speed, but my release was definitely quicker.
The head is extremely light, and I expected it to be more flimsy because of how thin it is. But leave it to Epoch to find new materials to use in their heads, and you actually have a relatively stiff head that can take some abuse and not lose its shape. Here is an interesting blurb from the Epoch PR Kit on the new materials:
The Hawk is constructed using state-of-the-art materials and utilizes an industry first proprietary composite injected polymer, providing not only optimal strength and durability but also maximum energy transfer for improved velocity. Epoch has led the way in the adoption of advanced materials, such as carbon fiber, with their Dragonfly line-up of shafts. With The Hawk, they have introduced composite material into lacrosse heads.
Epoch’s exclusive dual layer architecture ensures The Hawk remains light and strong (durable) by removing material and weight from non-essential parts and increasing the strength throughout the essential structure. The trusted trestle sidewall is a proven design providing increased lateral, torsional and vertical compression resistance, in addition to overall stiffness.
But maybe you want a more flexible head because you take face offs… or you’re a D guy who wants something stiffer? Well Epoch has you covered there as well. This composite material will allow Epoch to create the same head, but with different stiffness ratings, similar to how some of their shafts flex more or less than others. James Miceli fills us in on that concept a bit more:
All too often we see players forced into playing with a specific head based on their position. Many defensemen who desire a stiffer head buy a head marketed specifically to defensemen, but that added stiffness usually comes with a wider profile and is less suited for making the switch from defense to offense. By using their proprietary composite polymer, Epoch can increase or decrease the stiffness of The Hawk by altering the materials used in manufacturing. This will allow defensemen to have the same profile and shape head as an offensive player but with the added stiffness they desire. Epoch plans to launch a iQ5 (mid-flex), iQ1 (Stiff) and a iQ10 (Soft) version of The Hawk.
The Hawk will retail for $100, and can be purchased now through a pre-order with certain e-tailors. Go to Epoch’s Website to find a retailer where you can pre-order The Hawk.