Company: Epoch Lacrosse / Product: X30 / Price: $129.00
I give Epoch props for sticking to clean and simple, but personally I think the Dragonfly line falls short in the looks department. While I love simple shafts, I hate shafts that look off the shelf stock and to me, black and silver is just that. While the all black or all white Epoch shafts may be very appealing to a wide range of players, I wish Epoch would have moved away from black and silver and utilized their recognizable bright green a bit more. All black with a silver stripe is ok, but all black with an Epoch green stripe would give keep the X30 clean while providing a little flair.
If you are a player that likes the stickiness of tape for grip on your stick than an Epoch shaft is for you. Epoch’s carbon fiber construction gives the X30 a grip that feels like you’ve taped your shaft from butt end to the head without all the added weight of actually taping your stick. Even as it scuffs from stick checks the grip keeps its feel.
Epoch designed the X30 with their Xtreme Concave cross-section to “provide maximum ‘feel’ for players who prefer shafts with distinct edges and ridges.” The X30 feels and handles like a Maverick Wonderboy which happens to be one of my favorite shafts. I played with a Wonderboy all through college and think that the rectangle grip can take a beating better than the traditional octagon style shaft most companies produce. All in all I think Epoch set out to make a shaft that gives players a unique handle of their stick and they pretty much knocked it out of the park.
It’s no secret, carbon fiber shafts are light. Epoch’s X30 features True Aero Space Grade Materials which make this thing feel like it’s floating. I have heads that weigh significantly more than the X30. The X30’s slip/grip finish means you don’t have to beef the shaft up with tape which in turns reduces the weight of your gamer. Epoch touts that they have the best strength/weight ratio in the game and after playing with the X30, I think that they may be spot on.
The first thought that went through my head when I opened the package LAS sent me filled with the Epoch shafts was, “carbon shafts… these things don’t stand a chance.” I’ve messed with other carbon shafts that have lasted half a season at best. That said, Epoch seems to have pushed carbon technology to new heights and while I have high hopes for the X30’s strength, I couldn’t help but cringe a little as I drilled my head screw into the top of the shaft.
As I mentioned, I think that the rectangular shape featured in the Epoch X30 seems to hold up a bit better than the typical octagonal shafts we’re all used to playing with. Something about the shape just makes this thing seem stronger. While the grip scuffs quite a bit, I haven’t been able to put a crack in it.
At $129.99, the Epoch lacrosse shaft is over priced. While the X30 offers a lot of fantastic features, $130 is just about as expensive as lacrosse shafts get. LAS has been fortunate to review a number of pretty impressive lacrosse shafts and while the X30 seems as if it could perform with the rest of the crowd, its price tag weights in at nearly $50 more than other products we have taken a look at. If you have the money to spend on a shaft that may be one of the lightest you’ve played with than by all means go for it, but I don’t see many players jumping at the bit to get their hands on a carbon shaft that is selling for so much more than competitively priced alloy shafts.
Playing with the X30 was definitely a treat. In fact, I think it was easily the most expensive shaft I have ever played with. I put it to the test of both outdoor and indoor games and, minus a few dings, it really held up. With that in mind, the price is too much for my taste and as with any carbon shaft I am still a little weary of the X30’s ability to make it past a typical season.
To learn a bit more about Epoch and the philosophy behind the X30 check out their NCAA Final Four Sights and Sounds Video below.