Company: STX Lacrosse / Product: Hammer U Head / Price: $99
STX has been on a mission this season, releasing some of the sport’s most impressive heads to date. While you would expect them to design heads fit for offensive power houses like Kyle Harrison and Sam Bradman, STX threw down with their newest defensive head. The Hammer U head is a monster. If you are a big bad defenseman looking to do some work this year, this head is ready to make you a one man wrecking crew. Check out STX’s product video and then read on to find out what makes this head so special.
STX pulled out all of the stops when designing the Hammer U head and they definitely didn’t slack off in the looks department. The Hammer U head looks mean. The 3 sidewall braces look like gills of a shark or some other kind of creature that you never want to cross. The forward cant near the middle of the head creates an aggressive look and with 9 factory color options ranging from lime green to carolina blue it’s hard to find something you don’t like about the way this thing looks.
The only thing holding this thing back from a perfect score in the beauty pageant is it’s width. While I may be biased as a middie, a head this wide looks a little minor league to me dragging the heads score down slightly.
A stick can never have too many holes on the sidewall. With 13 sidewall holes on the Hammer U head, STX shows yet again that they understand a player’s desire to have some flexibility when twisting up their pocket. In addition to the numerous sidewall options, the Hammer U head features 3 oversized top string holes near the top of the stick. I love this feature on heads, especially when stringing traditional pockets, as it gives you the ability to put multiple pieces of crosslace/shooters through the holes without having to take up additional sidewall holes.
I love to string heads. The Hammer U is a stringers dream, so feeling a little inspired I tried out a new pocket and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
If you can break this head I bet STX would give you your money back. This thing is about as stiff as it gets. The head is thick and the 3 sidewall braces provide extra support for ground balls and stick checks. STX’s design team put this thing through a series of tests geared specifically for the types of blows and bends a defenders head will go through and what they came up with was one of the industries strongest heads. Unfortunately, with the increased strength comes an increase in weight, and while STX tried their best to reduce weight by hollowing out the sidewall braces and areas around the throat, this thing feels like a sledgehammer. If weight were a category in this review this head would score in the negatives.
The Hammer U features STX’s C-Channel design which gives the head added flexibility for ground balls and checks while keeping the head stiff and rigid when you are laying the lumber. The utter thickness of this head means that it is reinforced to the max. If you are not concerned about weight and want a head that is ready to both lay and take a beating, this head will be yours to rock for many seasons to come.
The value category is always the hardest for me to grade. With lacrosse equipment technology reaching all time highs I totally understand that prices are going to start hiking upwards too. That said, for $99 this head is pretty expensive, STX’s second most expensive head in fact, especially for something that weighs as much as it does. I think that STX has created a fantastic defensive head. Maybe even the best in lacrosse right now. I doubt this thing will break, and the checks you can lay with the Hammer U will have offensive players hesitating to move within a sticks length of their defenders but again, I have a hard time giving gear high marks in the value category when their price tag turns me away from even checking them out.
Overall the Hammer U is battle ready and would be worth the investment if you are interested in a defensive head that is going to last you a number of seasons. With multiple factory color options and a wide variety in stringing possibilities, this head can be customized to your exact liking. Unique features like two screw holes, enlarged top string sidewall holes, and STX’s C-Channel design make this thing a stick worth a second look and while the price tag is a little high I think the pros outweigh the price for serious defensemen.