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Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse
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Gear Review: Recon XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse

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Company: Gait Lacrosse / Product: Recon XLU HeadPrice: $81.95 

Gait, to me, has always made quality products (minus the helmets), but somehow always flies under the radar and seems to get overlooked. It’s like they are the third Manning brother – still really good at what they do, but just not getting the same amount of publicity as his brothers. I played with a Triax Titanium shaft all through HS and most of college – wonderful shaft. I have never heard a bad thing about the OG Torque – lightweight and durable. And you can’t argue with the price Gait sells their equipment for – always affordable.

October 15th now marks the official release day for its all new, highly anticipated Recon XLU head. The universal version of their Gait Recon XL head. The Recon XL was a pretty solid head, with only some grievances on the sidewall hole durability and stiffness to note. The XLU comes in with the obvious upgrade to universal specs, but what I want to know is if Gait beefed up the rest of the head at all. Will this be the next Torque?

Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse

Appearance… +7.5

I love the shape of the Recon XLU head, or really any universal or college head in general. A nice, wide face that doesn’t look like it’ll pinch after one groundball, poke check, or face-off, plenty of stringing holes, and what seems like a functional sidewall pattern.

I’ve never been a fan of the multiple shots of molding on sidewalls, they pull apart and seem more gimmicky than anything else. The XLU is like most Gait heads – simple, classic, and ready to work. My only worry just from looking at it, is the sidewalls seem to be your traditional Gait sidewalls, that are notorious for cracking.

Stringing… +10.0

Nothing changed from the holes on the Recon XL to the XLU, 16 holes down the sidewall, 10 across the scoop, and four at the throat. If a head has that many holes, and you can actually use all of them, then it is going to get a full score every time. The scoop and throat holes are wide enough to allow for traditional stringing and anything above 15 sidewall holes allows for just about every pocket you could think up.

Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse

Stiffness… +6

I haven’t met a Gait head that wasn’t flexible, and that is what I love about them. This head has a solid amount of give, but support in the right spots and at the right times. This is a solid head for any player on the field

It reminds me a lot of the Torque, in its flexibility and as you’ll see in the next section, its durability. The two sidewall braces near the throat of the head allow for great pinch and pops on face-offs, as well as some tough rigidity when poke checking.

Even after bending the head quite a bit through face-offs, ground balls, and defense, it has returned to its normal shape without any noticeable pinching or warping.

Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse

Durability… +7.5

So far, so good. While I’ve only had this head for a month or so, it has held up really well through a lot of strenuous testing, and has yet to show any signs of breaking or warping.

Based off the track record of the Recon XL, as well as many other Gait heads though, I can’t give it a full score until I see the sidewall holes make it through a whole season of play.

Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse

Value… +10.0

Gait offers the Recon XLU in several different ways. You can purchase it unstrung for $81.95, strung with mesh for $94.95, and strung traditionally for $104.95. Any unstrung head under $85 should get a 7.5 to 10 on the value scale if the other components perform well.

Considering how much mark-up is in lacrosse today, this lands right in the middle of all heads on the market. Factor in how well it has performed through testing, and it absolutely deserves a full score in this category.

Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse

Overall… 8/10

Overall, I’m very excited to see how Gait teams enjoy this head. From our testing at LaxAllStars, this has the potential to be a very solid head and make as big an impact on the lacrosse community as the torque did.

I will personally be recommending this head to many of my players locally for the price point and performance factors alone.

Gear Review: XLU Head by Gait Lacrosse