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Gear Review: Gen4 Shaft by Epoch Lacrosse

0 - Published September 10, 2013 by in Gear Reviews
Gen4
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Company: Epoch Lacrosse / Product: Gen4 Shaft / Price: ~$130

Epoch’s new line of shafts, the Gen4 version, are popping up in retailers across the country. Epoch sent over a great selection of their shafts for us to review, and after putting them to the test, we’re ready with our verdict!

Appearance… +7.5

The Epoch shafts are designed to be eye catching, but not overpowering. They come in black or silver, and have neon green accents. They aren’t overly flashy, and by sticking with black and silver, Epoch has kept it classic. Big fan of this move. People do love different color combinations though, and I’d love to see a couple more options in the future. My guess is it’s only a matter of time.

Grip… +10.0

I’m a big grip guy. I want so much grip on my stick that I typically tape the entire shaft, all the way up. With the Epoch shafts, I have not had to do this right away. The factory grip is outstanding. Unfortunately, as with all grippy shafts, the roughness does wear down eventually. I’ll be taping the entire shaft some day, but for now, a couple months in, it’s still good to go.

The other factor when it comes to grip are the different shapes of shafts available. Epoch makes a number of different shaft cross sections, and the fact that you can get the same shaft, just in different shapes, is a definite plus. Another neat feature of the goalie stick is an additional rubber grip at the bottom and midpoint of the shaft. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Weight… +7.5

Some sticks feel like nothing in your hands, they are just that light. With the Epoch shaft, it’s not quite on this light as air level, but it is definitely a lightweight product. It’s noticeably lighter than other composite/carbon fiber shafts, like the original STX Alliance. For the strength and durability that this stick delivers, the light weight is still extremely impressive.

Epoch also offers shafts that have different amounts of flex to them, on a 1 to 10 scale. Box, goalie, and defense shafts have a flex of 1 or 2 (little flex), while most field shafts have a flex of 5. Women’s shafts can have even more flex, at around 6 or 7. I like the 1-10 system, where zero is no flex, and 10 is approaching the point where the flex would be detrimental to one’s motion and form.

Durability… +10.0

I really can’t give this shaft anything below a 2.0 on durability. Checks from other sticks bounce off it like nothing. Slamming it against a metal pole in the ground does nothing. The only way I could damage this shaft at all was when I slammed it against the corner of a concrete wall ten times. Normally, this would snap, bend, or severely ding ANY shaft, but the Epoch shaft took the abuse, with little wear for the worse. The guys at Epoch told me it was pretty much indestructible, and so far, it has been.

Keeping the shaft up at 2.0 is the fact that Epoch offers a one year warranty on their shafts. That’s product confidence! I think I gave it a 1.5 in the video, but that was crazy talk. It’s tough and can handle whatever you’re dishing out no problem.

Value… +10.0

The Epoch midfield/attack shafts will sell for around $130, and while this is near the top of the shaft market, it is worth it. A one year warranty adds to the value, but the true 2/2 score here comes from the fact that this shaft is light, flexes nicely (but not too much), and can take an absolute beating and keep on ticking. It’s nice to know you can buy one shaft to use all year long, and it’s even better when that shaft is of such high quality.

Overall… 8.8/10

What can I say, I’m a fan of Epoch’s new shafts. They are quite light, extremely strong, and I love silver. Also I’m spending less money on tape. I’ve tried my hardest to break the Gen4 shafts, and failed. I put in a good effort, so I’m ok with that. The product is worth the sticker price, looks good, and has a one year warranty. I’m sold!

If you want specifics on how the shafts are wrapped, what shapes are available, and how the flex specifically works, head on over to Epoch’s website. There is a ton of information over there, and we love how open they are with their product specs!

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