Company: Orion Lacrosse / Product: Cor Strength Shaft / Price: $129
New shafts come out every year, often boasting some sort of new technology that is supposed to help make them lighter, help you throw better checks, or be more durable. I’ve seen holes in shafts to decrease weight, different types of metals to balance the strength to weight ratio, “flex points” to increase torque, and even different composites (or layers) that take a completely different approach to creating a shaft that is both light AND durable.
We recently received the Cor Strength Shaft from Orion Lacrosse to test out. Right off the bat, it seemed like this could be a very promising new stick. The Cor Strength Shaft features some pretty cool technology that, at least in theory, sounds like it is the real deal. I took it to the Elite Lacrosse gym and Men’s Indoor for two weeks to see how it would hold up through shots, stick checks, and a little D-middie action.
The shaft is made up of two layers: (1) a round carbon fiber core surrounded by (2) a composite layer over the round core.
Starting with the core; the round shape is said to have superior flexibility for greater head speed and power as well as superior durability due to the round structure, instead of the traditional octagon. The composite over the round core is made up of composite ControLite™ armor that protects the inner core and absorbs the stick checks. The ControLite™ armor actually has a lot of little benefits to it that you will see mentioned in several areas throughout my review.
The Cor Strength Shaft has a very nice, clean look to it. Dressed in black, it isn’t anything wild or out of this world, but it looks aggressive, and even better, it functions well. But more on that below. The shaft features the ‘Orion’ logo and the ‘Cor Strength’ logo on either end with a subtle “honeycomb” pattern to accompany the logos.
It may be due to the fact that the material used is only available in black, but the only available options for the Cor Strength right now are black/red, black/blue, and black/silver. You won’t hear any complaints from me about this, but I could see some people turn their noses up because their isn’t a carolina blue, magenta, or volt… whatever. Black is on point.
The grip is actually one of the major “new” features of the product and one of my favorites. There are two points to the grip that both factor in to why the shaft scores two points in this section, and both relate to the Composite ControLite™ armor around the inner core of the shaft.
First, the armor is much more of a skin than anything else and the grip acts as such. It is very similar to the rubberized texture that many shafts feature today, but is actually something that won’t wear off or chip away. The armor is also a porous material, that means it won’t get as slippery if it is raining or snowing outside. Second, the armor actually flexes when gripped and you feel it even more so at higher speeds when shooting or checking. There is very little need for tape on this shaft.
At 6.9 oz. it is far from the lightest shaft on the market, but by no means does it feel like you are carrying around a lead weight. It should be pretty apparent that the added density of the shaft will also add to the weight, but it is still lighter than even some of the higher-end titanium shafts on the market.
I’ve set aside some shafts in the past because I didn’t like how heavy the shaft seemed compared to the head. This was not the case at all with the Orion, even with a little extra weight in the handle, my stick didn’t feel unbalanced, nor did I even notice a huge difference in weight when switching from my other shaft made of Scandium.
The strength is also another driving force behind this shaft. As mentioned earlier, the strength is supposed to be one of the biggest benefits to this stick. The two layers of the stick play into making it more durable and that really compliment one another.
Before we move on though, let’s talk a little about the actual make-up of the stick, because it is definitely durable in many aspects. Without being too repetitive, the round core is a big factor in increasing the strength and durability of the shaft. The core is then protected even more by the composite ControLite™ armor that helps to protect the core by absorbing checks to the stick.
The ControLite™ armor bruises a little, but we were told this is normal. Orion is constantly working to find new ways to improve their shaft and the new finish on this shaft really helps to give it a little extra durability. Even just since their first shafts were released to the public, Orion has revisited their make-up multiple times to find more impact resistant composite materials and carbon fiber, as well as search for the best, most durable structure of the shaft.
This shaft is a workhorse and there were several conversations about how tough it was. I’ve played with several composite shafts before and have even had one break over my leg in a high school game. None though, have impressed me like the Cor Strength has. The only concerns with the shaft’s durability arose with the flex of the shaft and the bruising that happens. This will be something that we will have to revisit in the near future.
Coming in at $129, the Cor Strength is very smartly priced right in the middle of most attack/middie shafts. I’d have to say it’s an admirable price given all the new features of it. Especially since a lot of shafts with similar technologies usually are $150+.
Orion is definitely onto something with the Cor Strength Shaft. I love it when new companies pop up with ideas like they have here which push the envelope on shaft technology (and other equipment for that matter!). I would highly recommend this for attackmen and offensive middies everywhere. I am very excited to continue playing with this shaft throughout the summers as I travel from tournament to tournament with LAS and the Scallywags.
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