With lacrosse season at full throttle, we wanted to make sure you’d have the scoop on all the newest equipment, so we teamed up with Lacrosse Panda, Warrior Lacrosse and Brine Lacrosse to bring you a great line-up of Gear Reviews over the next two months!
Company: Brine Lacrosse / Product: Clutch Superlight Head / Price: $94
Well, this year Brine has taken steps to improve upon an already immaculate design and put the Brine Clutch on a diet. It’s been runnin’ on the treadmill and only eatin’ salad. That’s right, the Clutch dropped its Freshman 15 resulting in the Brine Clutch Superlight, weighing in at a ridiculous 3.9oz, which ties for the lightest head on the market to date.
The look to this head has become iconic in modern lacrosse circles, in part because of the iconic players who’ve used it. I’d be willing to bet that half of the high school players I coach could sketch the sidewall design from memory if prompted, and I think everyone who can string a stick has strung one. I’d go so far as to claim it as the Edge of our time; when you see it on the field, you know it.
It’s simple, yet sort of brash; gradually tapered with a hint of “I’m gonna rip ched.” I feel like I’m describing wine.
Bottom line, when this design first came out, it made many of us say, “This is what a lacrosse head is supposed to look like.”
Stringing this head has always been a pleasure. Refreshing even, since I’ve done it so many times. I strung it for the first time in 2007 when my roommate and I both bought one for our freshman season at UC Davis. After a particularly late night paging through Inside Lacrosse magazine, we both ended up with the dye job above. Unfortunate, I know.
One thing that I love about stringing this head is it has a bit of a reverse flare, meaning it’s just a bit wider in the back than at the face. It’s also moderately stiff, which we’ll get to next. This combination makes for a head that doesn’t warp too much over time from my pulling the mesh down so tight at the top, and if it does, it just returns to looking normal.
I’ve pinched a few battle-softened lacrosse heads to illegality simply by stringing them. However, I’ve never had that happen with a Brine Clutch, and it didn’t happen with this Superlight either.
As Jeff pointed out, the original Clutch definitely wasn’t the stiffest head out there. It seems like Brine has done some improvement with this head because although it still isn’t super stiff, the thing weighs 3.9 ounces so it’s pretty impressive that it clearly has more pop to it than the original.
Brand new, this thing was fighting back when I was stringing and pulling on it and it never flattened out when I scooped a ground ball. I had my doubts based on the original, but this Clutch Superlight head surprised me in the stiffness category. It’s a stiffer head now. Deal with it.
Now I obviously can’t say for certain, but if the Clutch Superlight is anything like the original Clutch, the bottom holes like to break. And they like to do it in important games when something’s on the line. This is an automatic deduction for me. That being said, every time I’ve seen these holes break the player’s bottom string has knots pulling directly against the hole. Every time he catches, throws, and shoots, all of that force goes directly to a quarter inch of plastic on either side. If you use all 4 holes to spread the torque applied to the bottom string, you’ll be much less likely to have this problem.
I will say that I remember the original being a little softer than this new upgrade. The plastic in the Superlight has a different consistency to it and it has more of what I’m calling “pop.” Maybe it’s just the NOZ technology, but it feels like it’ll maintain its shape longer before it goes soft in the middle and starts pinching (which I never said was a bad thing).
This is Brine’s most popular head for a reason; it’s worth the money.
And for only $10 more than the original, you’re paying for Brine’s re-engineering of this head to be 1 oz lighter and noticeably stiffer. In my opinion, this head is better than ever. Plus, I believe it’s close to the same price as the original Clutch when it first came out.
Personally, I appreciate the effort to make an already great head greater. Brine recognized how well this head worked for offensive players and sought to introduce us to its slimmer, sexier younger sister. It didn’t need a wild marketing push or a pro player touting it… it needed to be lighter and stiffer, and that’s exactly what we got.
If you paid for the original Clutch head I think you made an investment in its re-engineering, so I’d try to take advantage of this Superlight head while you’re still in high school. Before you know it, you’ll have to use 2010 legal heads. Trust me, it goes by too fast.
I’ve loved this head from the outset. I was very unhappy with the lacrosse community in 2010 when they took this head away from me in college, although I found a new partner in crime in the Warrior Evo Pro X6 head. I sold off all my Clutches in a desperate attempt to fill the void left in my heart with small amounts of cash and I’ve regretted it ever since.
What I’m saying is that it warms my heart to see this head retain all its best attributes and improve upon the less desirable traits mentioned above. I think the Brine Clutch Superlight head will last the average player longer than a season, which is when your pocket really gets dialed in anyway.
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