Powell Lacrosse is following up a strong 2017 with their 2018 offering, and it’s exciting stuff. We love to see the new T-shirts, apparel, and accessories, and it’s all worth checking out over at PowellLacrosse.com, but for this 2018 Gear Review, I am going to focus on the new shafts and heads that Powell Lacrosse recently released.
Stay tuned for a ton more 2018 Gear Reviews coming at you over the next couple of weeks, featuring all of the top brands in the game.
Powell’s original offering of product was very impressive, but their second generation of product allows them to enter the elite stratosphere of lacrosse equipment manufacturing. This stuff is legit, priced very competitively, and is well worth your consideration when you’re looking for new lacrosse gear this year.
Both of the new heads follow the Pioneer line, first established with the original Powell Lacrosse head (the OG Pioneer), but both the Pioneer II Defense head and the Pioneer II Attack head have a lot of new features to talk about, and both heads represent a truly huge leap for this growing lacrosse brand. On top of two new heads, Powell Lacrosse also released second generation products for their two elite level shafts, and like the heads, these shafts are really pushing the Powell product line to new and exciting levels.
2018 Powell Lacrosse – NEW Heads
I will get to the details of each head below, but before I get to the plastic, I need to talk about the Powell Lacrosse factory pocket. Listen, I’ve strung a ton of sticks in my day. I’ve NEVER played with a factory pocket… until now. I used a Powell Lacrosse head down in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras tourney, and I didn’t change a thing. Right out of the box, the pocket was good to go, and worked perfectly. Coming from someone who restrings EVERY stick I get and is very picky, this means a lot. The Powell Lacrosse factory custom pocket is the best in the business. Hands down.
Pioneer II Attack head – This head is going to be incredibly popular with ball handlers. If you’re the team’s QB, a dodging middie, or slick attackman, this head is going to be perfect for you. It’s wide enough to catch anything or pick up a loose ball in traffic, but if you’ve got a good handle, the ball is not coming out of this stick once you get it, because it’s also narrow enough from throat to scoop that a good cradle really lodges the ball in the sweet spot.
The head is stiff enough for good GBs in the dirt, but even with this stiffness, what really stands out is the head’s lightness in your hands. Fewer struts in the sidewall help lighten the load, and cutaways on the inside of the face take it further. The Powell mesh is also really light! This results in the ultimate connection to the ball, and when the rock is in your stick, you can really feel it, giving you that extra edge of confidence.
For the elite offensive player, the Pioneer II Attack checks all the boxes and should prove to be a favorite for any offensive star who gives it a chance. It looks clean, plays smooth, and provides all the power and accuracy you could ever want. I can see some LSMs and d-mids choosing this head as well, especially for guys who like to push it in transition or carry the ball up the field. I also think this head could have some potential for face offs if it gets really broken in and softened up, as the tough plastic and strut design will allow it to serve for a full season.
It doesn’t matter where on the field you’re using it, the Pioneer II Attack head is built to last. The custom factory pocket is superb, but if you like to string your own heads, the Attack head is a beauty for stringing. No matter the route you choose, you’ll be happy with your choice.
Pioneer II Defense head – The “D” head from Powell Lacrosse is really fantastic. Like many other defensive heads out there, the Powell head is a little wider, stiffer, and tougher than its offensive counterpart, but unlike a lot of other D heads out there, it is not JUST a defensive head. In fact, it might just be my favorite head on the market right now OVERALL, and that’s saying something.
The Pioneer II Defense head is stiff. It can give, and take, a ton of abuse. It does not warp, it does not break, and it’s face shape is to die for. I’m in love here. I played defense in college, but now I fancy myself as an offensive player. I want a stiff head, with a good catching area, and a tighter throat where I can create a good channel and high mid to low pocket that moves around a little bit. At the same time, I want the pocket to be locked down, and throw consistently, while also having a soft feel for catching. The Pioneer II Defense head meets each and every one of these requirements, and I’ve been using it to play midfield, attack, and offense in box lacrosse.
Now if you’re wondering how I can use a heavy D head to play offense, wonder no longer, because this is one of the ways where the Powell D head is very different from its competition – the Pioneer II Defense head is actually really light! It’s amazing that Powell has been able to create a head that is as stiff and tough as it is, without being bulky or having any additional weight. This allows O players to sling the rock with ease, and it allows defenders to throw crazy checks or pick up loose balls from anywhere. This head is really a bit of a revelation, and I’m loving it. I haven’t owned two of the same head for years, but I now have a gamer and a back up, and they are both Powell Pioneer II Defense heads.
Like the Attack head, the Defense head has an amazing custom factory pocket. It’s ready to play right away, but if you want to string up your own, the D head is also perfect for any type of pocket. These heads string up like a dream, and in my opinion it’s perfect for any player on the field, no matter what position they play.
2018 Powell Lacrosse – NEW Shafts
Mighty Black Pro shaft – I’ve always liked the idea of composite shafts, but in practice most of the shafts offered were either too heavy, or got soft and turned into a wet noodle. If I’m playing field, I want a stiff shaft that will let me shoot hard and accurate. If I’m playing box, I want a stiff shaft that can deliver a good crosscheck and stand up to some abuse. For a long time, I simply couldn’t find a shaft that really delivered on my needs.
Enter the 2018 Mighty Black Pro and my concerns have been addressed fully. Not only is the new shaft extremely light (145 grams), but it is super stiff and now I’ve found a composite shaft that does the job! The Mighty Black Pro delivers a beating, and it takes a beating, and then it comes back asking for more. It doesn’t dent or ding, it doesn’t get soft, and it’s a fantastic option!
Personally, I always loved the stiffness of metal shafts, but the feel of composite shafts was also attractive, and I never found something that hit both points. Now I have, and it’s looking more and more like my full gamer is going to be a Powell set up.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? These guys are making great products, and I like using great products. I need all the help I can get out there! The shaft comes in a rough pebble finish, or a smooth matte finish, further allowing players to get exactly what they want.
Bloodline Sc Ti Shaft – Of the four products in this review, the Bloodline Sc Ti is probably the least modified product, and seeing as it was Powell’s top selling shaft last year, that makes a lot of sense! When you’re looking for a light, tough, classic metal shaft, this is going to be your jam.
I’m partial to composites, as you read above, but that is really just personal preference. I like how it feels in my hands, and I can’t really explain it beyond that. For a lot of players, they feel the same way, except they feel that way about metal shafts, and it’s totally fair. The great thing about the Bloodline Sc Ti is that it’s the same weight as the Mighty Black Pro, it provides the same wonderful ratio of strength to light weight, and the only huge difference is that it’s made out of metal!
So basically, if you want a stiff, strong, tough, and light shaft Powell has you covered. You can get it in metal or composite, and then choose from a couple different finishes. If you want to add some color in, Powell can hook you up, and they have a number of other shafts (and their OG head) available at lower price points.
Even if you buy their most elite product, you won’t break the bank purchasing any of this stuff. Every product reviewed above sells for less than $100 on its own, and if you buy a complete stick (any shaft, any head), you can get it for $150 or less.
For 2018, Powell is offering a new line of high quality product at very reasonable price points. Their shafts are light, stiff, and tough, and their heads are light, strong, and durable. Their mesh products are top level, and the factory custom pockets they string are second to none. Once you go Powell you may never go back to anything else, and I can’t wait to see what else they drop on the lacrosse world this year, and in the future.
2018 Gear Review Methodology – We did outreach to manufacturers asking them to send us any new (or relatively new) product they wanted reviewed for 2018. We made no promises on what we would say, and every brand is given an opportunity to participate. Our focus is on Heads, shafts, helmets, gloves, padding, and footwear. We will also a giant 2018 Mesh Review soon. No scores are given. We simply talk about the positives (and negatives) of any product. Our goal is to help you, the consumer, make informed decisions on equipment purchases. That’s it!