Company: Blackfeet / Product: Woody Lacrosse Shaft / Price: $50
With all of our recent reviews of the “new” and “high-tech” gear on the market, we decided it was time to go back a few years and pay homage to the great history of lacrosse. We hit up the guys over at Lacrosse Panda and picked ourselves up the Woody Lacrosse Shaft by Blackfeet to test it out and see how it’d fare against the metal shafts of today.
Right away, I was excited to try it out. I played with a wood shaft from time to time throughout high school to help train my stick skills, but this was nothing like I remembered. The shaft wasn’t too terribly heavy and had a nice end cap already built onto the end of it.
It’s wood, what do you expect? It’s not flashy, there are no graphics or logos. It’s just your run of the mill wood shaft look – and that’s something you’ve got to appreciate. The only graphic on the entire stick is on the butt end, which is pretty sweet mind you. The end cap is also available for metal shafts.
Just like the appearance, there isn’t anything special with the grip. It is a conventional eight-sided shaft with straight edges and a smooth, sanded down grip. I did notice when my hands got really sweaty, I seemed to grip the wood a little better actually. I only tape the bottom of my stick, so I was a little worried my top hand might slip from the smooth finish, but it was actually quite the opposite.
Yes I know, 6.8 oz. isn’t that light, but for a wood shaft it actually is! Especially considering it weighs around the same amount as most alloys on the market today.
I noticed a small difference in the weight right away, but that was expected considering it’s made of wood and traditionally wood is a little heavier. When I started playing with it though, I never really took notice of the weight or felt fatigued at all by the heaviness of the stick.
The Woody shaft is made out of pine, which has both positives and negatives to it. On the plus side, it is much lighter as I mentioned above. On the downside though, it is a much softer wood, as mentioned in the product description of the shaft.
Pine Wood is soft and therefore impressionable. Each game is recorded in dents and groves where contact was sustained.
While I recognize that the wood is softer and will show more dings and dents, it also really worries that a few nice checks from some guys my age might break the shaft. I played with it in one indoor game and it really had some character afterwards.
I’d recommend it for high school and younger age kids, especially considering how light it is for a wood shaft. I read a great review about wood shafts by Jack Reilly of Johns Hopkins that I think can be applied here:
I feel a lot more discipline when playing with the wood stick. Every time I play with it, I know can’t throw certain checks in situations. It forces me to move my feet more and play fundamental lacrosse, instead of being wild out on the field. I feel starting with the wood stick when I was younger, really helped me in playing lacrosse. Developing positioning first and than “when switch to metal” focusing on take aways was a good combo for me. Eventually after working with positioning and checking I combined the two, now I’m just playing with the wood stick.
When most shafts run you $100 each, a $50 shaft is a solid deal, no matter what material it’s made out of. For developing players I’d say this is a great shaft. Like the quote above says, wood sticks really teach you to focus on playing smart. With softer defense and not as wild of stick checks, this would be a great shaft.
When it comes college and post collegiate though, it may be too brittle for big checks and outrageous slashes. You might be able to get away with playing more disciplined defense, but that won’t stop some defender from throwing a mean check right onto your shaft and snapping it. Overall, it just depends on the player and the level of play!
The Woody Shaft by Blackfeet is a great stick and even better value for younger players. As mentioned, putting a wood shaft to use can be a great way to help develop better fundamentals and playing better defense. When it comes to playing throughout a full season though, I’d pick up the Blackfeet Shaft in Ash for a little more durable of a stick!
There is nothing wrong with a wood shaft, just make sure you buy the right one for your needs.
Sorry for the lack of photos! It’s snowing outside and we weren’t able to get any of me playing with it Sunday night either. Nonetheless, we were still just as thorough on the review.