Company: Gait Lacrosse / Product: ICE and ICE Scandium Shafts / Price: $83.90
When I received these classic Gait shafts, I wanted to do a compare and contrast review. However, after using them for over a month and doing a little research online, I’m not quite sure this is much of a difference. Online retailers seem to use ICE and ICE Scandium interchangeably and don’t offer both. Another interesting note is that most of the sticks I found for sale online either said “Titanium Enhanced” or “Scandium Enhanced,” but I didn’t find any that merely said Gait ICE (see blue shaft above).
With this in mind, I did my best to find a difference between the two shafts. To test them out, I used both in several practices, played a lot around the house and used them for a part of my high school alumni game. In addition, one of my teammates at UCLA used the ICE Scandium for the entire Las Vegas Lacrosse Showcase after his stick broke the day before the tournament. Initial impressions of both- wow, these are extremely light!
Both shafts have clean one color looks with a subtle chain mail style finish that acts for both appearance and grip. In a lacrosse world where flashy gear often takes center stage, this simple design feels like a classic look to me.
I love the shape of these sticks. As I mentioned when I reviewed the new Brine Scandium shaft, I’m picky about shaft shape. This is because my first two sticks were from Gait, and my favorite shaft as a youth player was the Gait Liquid Metal. That shaft had a distinct “T” shape, much like the Dragonfly X30. While the ICE has a similar shape, it also has additional ridges to decrease the amount of material in the shaft and thus making it lighter. There is also the chain mail finish that I mentioned before that provides just a little extra grip. In addition, Gait has a great end cap that also helps with grip while shooting the ball.
As far as I’m concerned, Gait makes the lightest sticks around. The Liquid Metal was my favorite because of that, and the ICE doesn’t disappoint. I wasn’t able to acquire a balance to test the difference between the Scandium and regular versions, but just from playing with them, it’s impossible to tell a difference. Both are extremely light.
Light shafts are expected to break more easily, and I would have to agree with that expectation here. Although the Scandium version went through an entire tournament without denting and simply had a few scratches, I’m not sure how many seasons these shafts could last, and I’ve heard a few horror stories of players going through multiple of these sticks in a season. However, I think that may be an extreme case, and for younger players these shafts will last just fine for a few seasons.
I expected to find this stick at a cheaper price than I did because it is a few seasons old. Besides that knock against it, I don’t have much else to take off for in the value department. It’s incredibly lightweight and really isn’t that expensive compared to other sticks.
OVERALL SCORE: 7.2/10
These Gait ICE shafts seem identical to me. I would guess that the Scandium version holds up a little longer, but both are extremely light and have a great grip and simple look. They’re a winner in my book.