Company: Easton Lacrosse / Product: Stealth Core Head / Price: $69.99-84.99
Editor’s Note: Mark Powers of The Lacrosse Show stops by Sweet Sweet Lax to give the Core Head by Easton Lacrosse a very thorough review!
Thanks to Connor and the guys at Easton Lacrosse (EN: In the interest of full disclosure, Easton is an advertising partner of LAS), I recently had an opportunity to “demo” the new Easton Core Head. After playing with the head during the rigorous summer tournamanet/league scene, I can securely say that I put the head through its paces in order to give you guys an accurate review.
In the end… I was pleasantly surprised, and more importantly, very impressed! Let’s start with the overall asethic of the head itself and work from there.
To me, you can’t look at the Stealth Core and not think of some other, older, heads. Between the solid, singular piece of plastic in the sidewall and the cant of the head, it could almost be related to a Proton. However, the comparison really ends there.
As Connor pointed out in his introduction of the head, “Easton’s Stealth Head, and their original Launch head, were clearly used as the basis for this new Stealth Core head, and while the new head and the Launch head may look quite similar at first glance, the difference in head quality from year one to year two is staggering.” Truer words have never been spoken.
I had limited experience with the original Stealth and the Launch, and to be honest, for some reason I didn’t particularly care for the heads. As a defenseman, I thought they were a little too felxible for my taste. Also, the Launch’s flexible, moving throat piece was a little too wonky for me. It brought back bad memories of manufactruers’ past efforts with moving parts on a lacrosse head – think the STX Liquid.
The Stealth Core head is so MUCH stiffer than the original and the flexible “Reflex Technology” is leaps and bounds from what it was on the Launch head; so much so that a fair comparison cannot even be made. Easton’s Reflex Technology allows you to dial in the exact amount of ‘deflection’ (a.k.a. Stiffness) that you want, meaning you can make quicker adjustments to fine-tune your speed and accuracy on the fly.
I’ll also take Connor’s word for it that “There is thicker plastic in certain places, thinner plastic in others, and a reworked sidewall design that resulted in a much more solid feel. The yellow rubber piston is now locked into place (as is the screw and nut), and the head just feels much more rough and tumble.”
I completely agree with Connor. Having the ability to ‘lock down’ the yellow piston and adjust the head as you like is awesome! Major improvement. Especially as a defenseman, I’m looking for a stiff, consistent head, not something that will change-up on me.
To me, that is real eye-opener with this head; (other than the obvious yellow rubber piston that you don’t see on other heads) the stiffness. From its outward appearance, it does not seem super stiff and/or durable. The Stealth Core doesn’t exhibit the usual stiff head characteristics; a substantial and/or menacing sidewall ala the Revo, or significant plastic ala the old Brine MD or M1. In no way am I comparing the Stealth Core to those standard bearers of stiffness. No, no. Instead, I’m suggesting that the head is super-stiff in spite of its outward appearance.
The Stealth Core is so sleek and light that you would never expect is to pass the defense test. I think they must’ve used some new, more durable plastic throughout the head, not just in select areas as Connor suggested because the head is not bulky and it is that much stiffer than the previous offerings. In fact, the weight of the head was another surprise for me (especially when you consider the stiffness – strength to weight ratio here has got to be pretty impressive).
I love the minimalist astethic, the adjustable reflex technology, and the stiffness, but there is one issue I have with the Stealth Core. Similar to what Sweet Sweet Lax found with the Maverick Flight, I had a problem finding a shaft to fit with the Easton Stealth Core. Now, we all know that each company uses different hole placement on their heads and shafts, but for the life of me I could not find a shaft that matched up, even ones with like 5 holes already drilled in. Another interesting issue is the screw in throat under where the ball stop would go.
Screwing it all the way down prevents you from using any shafts that aren’t hollow like the Brine EKG that Connor and I reviewed on the Lacrosse Show or even a Wood shaft. Not a Major deal breaker by any means, but it’s definitely something to be aware of and this is a review after all! I did eventually drill a new hole for the Stealth Core and everything worked out just fine. Maybe I’m a complainer?
As Connor pointed out, the Stealth Core was incredibly easy to string. “There are more top lace and sidewall holes than I will ever know what to do with, and with this approach of hole-ification, Easton has guaranteed that any type of pocket can be strung into one of their heads.”
Other than how stiff the head is, I was most impressed by its “string-ability”. I got the Stealth Core after Connor had already strung an 8-diamond traddy in it (kinda low pocket), so I can truthfully only evaluate the effectiveness of the head with that pocket, but being a seasoned stringer, I can definitely say that any pocket could be strung into this head.
Actually, I’d probably prefer to string mesh into because of the abundance of sidewall holes and the fact that they travel all the way down the sidewall into the throat of the stick. You never see that! That’s an example of Easton going the extra mile and keeping players in mind. Not a huge detail, but with like 3 or 4 extra holes at the bottom as compared to other heads, the Stealth Core can make a huge difference, especially when stringing a low pocket.
I also appreciate the abundance of sidewall holes because I like to anchor my shooters into or at least around the plastic. Given the option, I prfer thru the plastic, which is often difficult when sidewall string is already occupying the hole. With the extra holes, I had no issue anchoring the shooters. Big + in my book.
Once I had the head dialed in after a couple sessions of wall ball, I gave the Stealth Core a good beating in order to test its durability. I played with it in no less than 4 summer tounaments and during my twice-a- week summer league (shoutout to Next Level in Hoboken – best NYC summer league). The head performed very well. The head hasn’t warped at all, it’s still super stiff, and I haven’t had to re-lock the screw down at all since I first tightened it.
Value… + 7.5
The Stealth Core is legal under NFHS and NCAA rules, and as mentioned above, it can definitely take a serious beating. Like the other Easton lacrosse heads, the Core is adjustable, and according to Connor, it really snaps through on a hard shot (unless it’s BTB, my shooting game is not the best).
I’ll admit I was skeptical of the head before I had a chance to try it. I am now a major proponent! The head excels in the areas that matter most to me: stiffness, string-ability and asthetics. I would definitely recommend the Stealth Core to players of all ages and positions. The Core is such a major improvement over Easton’s foray into the market (Stealth, Launch), that it makes me even very excited to see Easton’s next efforts at padding and helmets.
The potential $70 price tag puts this head in a very competitive place, and the $85 price tag puts it more in the middle. Still, +7.5 in this category in a worst case ($85) scenario.
It’s a strong head, that is easy to string. Oh, and it looks great. Add in a great price point for the best Easton head yet, and you’ve got a winner.