Company: Under Armour Lacrosse / Product: Unleashed U Head / Price: $89.99
We’ve been reviewing a lot of Under Armour’s new gear this past Fall and Winter, it is safe to say at this point that Under Armour is definitely in the lacrosse world for the long haul. All of their new gear is proof that Under Armour heard the cries of lacrosse enthusiasts everywhere and has been working to make changes and improve their equipment.
This time, we are reviewing the Unleashed U head by Under Armour Lacrosse. As noted by the ‘U’, this bad boy will be available for all levels. First impressions were quite good and the Unleashed actually reminds me a lot of the Gait Torque head, just way more stiff.
Right away, the head just feels solid. Weighing in at a hefty 5.2 ounces, it isn’t the lightest head on the market by far, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This could be just the head for a defender looking for a little extra weight to throw around. There is a mild offset on the head and the scoop has a moderate v-shape to it. The face is very streamlined and looks like it could stand the test of time – we’ll have to find out for sure though!
Aesthetically, as I mentioned before, it reminds me a lot of a beefed-up Torque head. The general structure of this head just looks solid. I’m still not a huge fan of the throat design though. If you read the review of the UA Charge head then you know this already, if not, then I’ll give you a quick rundown. I used to play with either a Warrior or Brine head that had a similar design around the throat and it ALWAYS came loose. There are few things worse when you’re playing than a wobbly head – if nothing else than for just the fact that it is annoying to always have to tighten the screw or put tape on the shaft before you put the head on.
I actually ended up switching away from said head purely for the reason that I couldn’t stand the head coming loose anymore. As I like where Under Armour is headed with their equipment, I wouldn’t want to see that be the reason people lean away from their gear. I could just be hypercritical here though, as anyone else had this issue with UA heads?
In a day where we get absolutely spoiled by some heads when stringing, it is easy to come down on other heads just because they don’t have a sidewall riddled with holes. The number of holes in the Unleashed U falls somewhere in the middle of the heads on the market. You don’t have unlimited options with what you can do, but you are able to customize it pretty well to each pocket with some tweaking. I had to go back a couple times to get the exact pocket I wanted, but I tend to do that with most heads these days.
The stiffness of the Unleashed U is a gift and a curse, much like that of many Protons I’ve used in the past. As a midfielder, I really like a head that can hold its shape; it allows you to face-off, throw good checks on defense and scoop through ground balls on scrums – that was never an issue with this head. The problem arose when I would look down at the head after doing these acts repeatedly only to notice that it was pinched to one side or the other.
After a couple bends it would return to shape, but this sort of problem doesn’t bode well for the long term status of the head. Let’s talk about that more in durability though.
Durability is a little more broad than just asking, what does it take to break the head? If a head is truly durable, than you will be using it for years on end. It will not only be able to take checks without breaking, but also keep its shape through all the wear and tear.
Not to bring up the Proton again, but it is a great example of this. The Proton and Super Powers were stiff heads, had a little flex to them but never broke. The problem was with the pinch of the head. The plastic always pinched so much that the head became illegal and could never keep its shape. I could really see something similar to this happening to the Unleashed U.
Let’s go back to the positive though, did I mention this thing is rock solid? We have a concrete floor in our gym, so I decided to see if the thickness of the sidewalls was all for looks or if it would have some functionality to it. It was the latter, after repeated checks, bends, etc., the head showed no signs of folds, cracks, or breaks. It’s safe to say that Under Armour has their hands on some good plastic.
Everywhere I have looked, I’ve found the head for $89.99. This is right below the $95+ range of the super top of the line heads like the Rabil, Hammer, Cobra, 10K, etc., making it a pretty fairly-priced head. In today’s market, if you can sell me your top of the line head for $90 or less, I see no problem with giving the head a two for value.
While the head may have some question marks surrounding its longevity and how much it may or may not pinch, I think this is a fantastic head that will be seen a lot this spring by Under Armour teams and many others. With the amount of specialization in our sport, the two main issues (pinching and durability) I brought up might not even be noticed by someone on just one side of the ball, or moreover the fact that a lot of people won’t be trying to break the head.
For essentially $90, you can purchase Under Armour’s top of the line head and what they call their stiffest and strongest head available. I would definitely check out the Under Armour Charge as well to help you decide which Under Armour head is right for if you are looking in that direction.
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