Company: Orion Lacrosse / Product: Cor Strength Women’s Shaft / Price: $129
Editor’s Note: Please welcome Cassie Brunelle to the LAS Gear Reviews! This is Cassie’s first product review and she does a great job combing over this Orion women’s shaft!
There are countless options and combinations when it comes to picking a lacrosse shaft and head. It is a puzzle trying to decide which brand and model is the right combo for you on the field. Truth is, once you find a combo you like it is very hard to change it up in my mind, as I like to stick with what’s most comfortable – no pun intended. ;)
Anyway, it has been a long hiatus for me since I haven’t been on the lacrosse field for about a year, so trying something new wasn’t too difficult. In recent weeks picking up my Brine Amonte 2 and Enzo shaft for the first time felt good, like I was getting back on a bike, however I could feel a difference when I switched to my new Orion Cor Strength shaft for this Summer’s tournament in Lake Tahoe. Here are my thoughts…
The Cor Strength shaft is composite coated, and while their men’s shafts come in mainly black, this one was white with a tinge of black honeycomb and a red Orion logo. I was delighted as to how perfect it looked with my Amonte 2 red and white basket. The knob on the bottom is black which complemented the black singed top strings. The stick looked great from head to foot and went nicely with the red, white, and blue LAS uniforms.
The grip is probably the most interesting part and is unlike anything I have felt before in a lacrosse stick. The ControLite coating actually flexes while you’re gripping it, which makes the stick feel molded to your hands. However, I barely noticed this while I was on the field.
I am a fan of coated shafts, and this had an almost thick, chalky, rubbery feeling, kind of what I imagine shark skin would feel like, although I have never touched a shark so I have no clue if that’s true. I did not particularly like the way it felt because I prefer a smoother coating.
It would definitely be a benefit in cold weather and rain, as it doesn’t absorb temperature. Overall the grip was unique, but perhaps too soft because there was more than one dent in the outer layer after four games.
Call me weak but I love a stick that’s lighter than air, and the Brine Enzo I have been using is just that. Even though the Orion is a bit heavier than what I am used to, it wasn’t uncomfortable. I felt like I had more power with my defensive checks and cradling down the field with the added weight. So it was strange because it was different, but the difference was noticeable… and in a good way.
The stick feels soft to touch, but I think its durability is high. The one thing I disliked was that there were noticeable chips in the ControLite coating after a hard check and multiple dents (small) in the outer coating after the tournament. This makes me think the inner core is the main source of durability. I think the technology behind the ControLite is perfect for a middie who is transitioning the ball and an attacker who is ripping shots because the layer will absorb shocks from defensive checks, but it’s outer layer didn’t fare that well after just four games.
Since this shaft is cutting edge with its added layer technology I think it would suit advanced players well and is worth the price. I only used it for one weekend so I don’t know how it would hold up over the course of the season, but in my mind its worth it especially on the offensive end of the field where the shock absorption would be the most important. I would like for some of my offensive teammates to have tried it out to help determine if there’s a real difference because of the grip and weight, but it was a great shaft to try out and I felt a difference on the field.
Overall Score: 7/10
It was fun trying out a new shaft and it opened my eyes to the benefit of having a little heavier shaft on defense. I think it allowed good whip on passes and was soft on the hands. I think the technology behind it is great and is helping pave the way for more composite, cutting edge shafts especially on the women’s side of the game.
In my personal opinion, my rating of 7/10 is reflective of my experience as a defender using this stick and the noticeable chips in the Controlite after just a few uses.
First things I would do if I were to use this shaft again is change the tapered ‘butt’ to a round knob and get some shots on attack to determine the usefulness of the shock absorption. Overall, I had a good experience using it and think it complemented my Amonte 2 head well, I would definitely recommend it to advanced players who are looking for a new feel in a composite shaft.