Editor’s Note: LaxAllStars.com and Powell Lacrosse are partners, but this is not sponsored content. It’s an honest take from one of our long-time writers. Since we believe in transparency, we’re making sure the connection is public knowledge.
What is the best lacrosse stick you can buy for $100 or less?
For a long time, the best option was buying a discount head, discount shaft, and quality mesh, then putting it all together, or finding someone who could. Using this approach, a beginner, dad, or anyone looking to spend $100 or less on a stick for any reason could still pick up a relatively high quality product. However, this was not an easy thing to do, especially for newer players or people who didn’t know how to string sticks, it took a lot of time and searching, and became a roadblock to the growth of the game.
If your stick is terrible, are you more or less likely to want to play lacrosse again? I think we all know the answer to that question.
The above issue has pushed me towards being a strong proponent for a truly great lacrosse stick being sold for $100 or less. While there are a number of sticks out there at or below the $100 price point, none have ever measured up in every category, and been truly great sticks… until now.
Best Lacrosse Stick – $100 or Less
I have looked at a LOT of sticks over the years, some sent to me by companies, and others purchased by kids I coach, and I’m happy to finally report that Powell Lacrosse’s $100 Switchback Complete Stick meets every criteria point I’ve ever considered, holds up really well, and is easily (and simply) adjustable. On top of all that, Powell also offers a broad range of color choices. This is literally the stick I’ve been waiting for. Others have come close, but no one was able to fully deliver. Those days are over.
I won’t go through and name all the affordable sticks currently available, or dog on some other product as there is a ton of stuff out there, and some of it is pretty good, but I will go through some of the problems that affordable sticks often present, and how the Powell $100 complete stick passes all the right tests. This isn’t about dragging anyone down, it’s just about someone doing something right, and pointing it out.
Truly Amazing Pockets – The most common problem with all “factory” strung sticks in general is a terrible pocket. To compound the issue, many factory strung sticks use lower quality mesh than what you can buy from a mesh company. In beginner sticks, this problem is even more severe. Most often, it’s either a tennis racket or a butterfly net.
Powell’s $100 stick gets around this problem by doing two important things:
- The mesh they use is the same high quality mesh they sell separately. It’s really quite simple, Powell uses high quality materials in their Frontier Mesh, and uses that very mesh in all of their mesh strung heads. This is a must, and it’s awesome to see. I can only think of one other company that does this consistently.
- (this one is super important!) The pocket is not some amateur factory job at all. It’s a REAL lacrosse pocket specifically designed by an accomplished stringer, specifically for their head. It’s complex, doesn’t change, and it’s legit. As someone who has strung 1000s of mesh pockets, I can say this – I am downright impressed. They took a LOT of time and care to make this pocket perfect to the head. When you order a Powell Head, this is what you get, every single time. I’ve NEVER seen a factory pocket this good. Ever. Seriously, I’m blown away. It throws great passes, has fantastic hold, and can be adjusted easily with the bottom string for pocket depth, and the shooting string for adding any whip, if you even need to. I don’t think you will. Kids can tighten up the bottom string a little, adults can leave it be, and both will be ready to go. I wasn’t actually sure that was possible! This is a fantastic pocket, leaps ahead of competitors. I really can’t stress that enough, and it changes the game in the $100 stick category.
Allow me to put this another way. I never keep pockets as they come. I always change something about them. It’s an obsession. I can always make them better. I couldn’t do that with this pocket. That’s never happened before. I’m kind of shook to be honest! I’m using a factory pocket, and I’m ok with that, because it’s really, really good.
No Head Wobble – Nothing is worse than picking up a stick, throwing a couple of times, and then noticing that your head is starting to wobble as it sits loosely on the shaft. This is a huge problem in the $100 or less category. Putting tape on can help reduce head wobble, but it’s infuriating to have to do that, and it never works as well as we hope it will. I just want the head to stay firmly on top of the stick. Is that too much to ask?
Powell does a great job here, and their heads fit onto their shafts as snugly as possible. It’s literally a perfect fit. In a joint where a millimeter can make a world of difference, the Powell head and shaft fit together perfectly, almost like they were designed for each other. Wait, they were? Of course they were! This is why a well done complete stick is so important, and a better option than putting one together yourself. Different companies use slightly different sizing on shafts and heads, so Powell’s consistency is a big plus here.
Quality Butt End Caps – Some players, even in the pros, don’t like tape on their sticks. Many beginners rarely put tape on their sticks. Having a quality end cap is therefore kind of important! Powell’s end cap is long, stays on, and is made of solid thick rubber, so it will last a full season and beyond. For a $100 stick, butt end caps matter, and Powell has a good one. It’s another check on the list and shows great attention to detail.
Tough Plastic, It Has To Last – I don’t know what Powell put in the goo when they made this plastic, but these heads are tough and really stand up to the test of time. If you’re buying a stick for $100, my guess is you want it to last. Well these sticks last, and last, and last. I beat on one for an entire season, used it for face offs, and just put it through the ringer, and it’s still out there on a field being abused by a friend of mine now. Hot or cold, they don’t break. The plastic is tough as nails, and for me, that’s important for a $100 complete stick! The strings are also of a high, lasting quality, and this is of equal importance. Nothing worse than blowing out your top string two weeks into the season when you can’t string!
Many thanks to everyone who entered our Holiday Sweepstakes. The winners have all been notified, so be sure to check your inbox if you haven’t already. If you didn’t win, how ’bout using BF2016 coupon code at checkout for 20% off anything at powelllacrosse.com #itsintheblood #powelllacrosse #explorethefield
Light & Strong, High Shaft Quality – Affordable sticks often go one of two ways when it comes to a shaft – 1) cheap and light, or 2) cheap and heavy. Either way, it’s tough to have a low quality shaft as they dent and ding, and can quickly bend. Playing lacrosse is hard enough, and a bent shaft doesn’t do anyone any favors. The Powell shaft is definitely of a higher quality than most, and this is important because anyone can throw a $10 shaft on a $90 head and call it a $100 stick. Imagine buying a stick and then having to buy a shaft two weeks later because your first one broke. That’s not really a $100 stick, is it? Powell has found the right mix between quality and cost here, earning another high mark. The same friend who has been using the head has also been using the shaft… to play box lacrosse. It’s tough enough!
It’s NOT a Beginner’s Head – Some brands will put out different heads at different price points, but Powell has done something really smart here by using their top of the line head on a $100 stick. It means it’s affordable, but not a knocked down version of a lacrosse head. This is the real deal. Casey Powell used one in the world indoors, and pros are starting to join Powell in larger numbers. The head they are using is the head you get for $100. It’s pretty unique, and it’s great to see someone offer their best product at an affordable price. We don’t see nearly enough of that in lacrosse.
Choices, You’ve Got Choices! – You can get the head in three different colors – white, grey, and black. The grey is beautiful, at least to me. You can also choose from 7 different shaft colors, so kids and adults alike can represent their town or team with pride, and an affordable price. Normally, I wouldn’t care about color choices, but since Powell has met every important criteria point, AND they offer color choices, I had to throw it in there.
I can say with confidence that the Powell Switchback is the best affordable ($100 or less stick) I’ve ever picked up that came direct from “the factory”. It needed no adjustments, worked perfectly after only a couple of moments pounding the pocket will a ball, and has stood up to the test of time.
Whatever the reason is that you are looking for a $100 stick, the Powell Switchback is the way to go. We’ve found a winner! Did Powell send me this stick to check out? You bet they did. Are they an LAS partner? Also yes. But did I have some serious doubts about this stick before I even picked it up? Also yes. It’s a $100 stick, how could it be good??? But it was. It was really, really good. So I wrote this post about it. I’ve never found a $100 or less stick to be truly up to par. This one is. I want players to enjoy the game, and a great stick can help anyone do that more easily. That’s really all there is to it.
Thanks to the guys at Powell for engineering this product the right way. It only makes us prouder to work with you! Keep it up, we know you will.