I did an initial review of the Warrior Warp head, aka the EvoWarp, when it first hit the lacrosse world, but I couldn’t speak to its durability as I hadn’t used it for very long, and I knew only so much about the future of the product, for obvious reasons.
Now that I have used an original Warrior Warp for a full spring of lacrosse, seen two of my youth players use an EvoWarp for an entire season, got a glimpse of the future of the product through a recent patent application, used the new 2.0 version of the pocket, AND talked to Warrior directly, I’m well versed and prepared to give you the FULL download on the Warrior Warp, as it currently stands. I can also provide you with a glimpse into the future, so buckle up and get ready for a high level dose of lacrosse pocket technology!
Warrior Warp Head – Durability
For a review of the actual function of the Warp technology from Warrior, take a look at my initial review. I go through how it throws, catches, etc. The only thing I couldn’t speak to was the product’s durability. Now that I’ve used it for a couple months, I can.
The plastic on this head holds up, and the Warp head does not warp much at all, so that’s good! It keeps its shape, and retains its stiffness for a full season, and it’s a stiff head in general. I saw no breakage on any of the Warrior Warp heads I used or my players used. I’m sure some did break though, I just didn’t see a lot of it myself. The yellow Kevlar held up, the white mesh portion held up and small tears, if they did occur, made no difference in performance. If the white mesh did tear, it could easily be singed/burned with a lighter to limit any additional unraveling, just like regular mesh sometimes requires. This did not happen often.
As the pocket was pounded by catching and throwing lacrosse balls, it tended to soften up, form better, and feel and hold improved over time. Fresh out of the box, the EvoWarp was good, and it stayed good, if not improving with use. From a durability point of view, the EvoWarp is a strong contender, and a tough product. I have absolutely no complaints about it in that regard.
It’s a pricey product, but it does stand up to the test of a lacrosse season, validating its price point a little further. Durability is key for expensive equipment. If you’re going to pay a lot, it needs to last, and the Warrior Warp does just that.
Warrior Warp Head – The Pros!
Initially, Warrior released “low” and “mid” pocket versions of the EvoWarp. Only a few D1 or MLL players used these, but once a “higher” pocket, with larger diamonds, was introduced, more players picked it up. The number in use in the pros is not all that high, but the fact that certain MLL players are actually using it says something. Right now 11-13 players are using Warp heads in pro field lacrosse. They are all using the 2.0 versions of the pocket. Is it better? YES. But we’ll get to that soon enough.
First things first: Is Warrior pushing their pros to use this product? They’d be crazy not to! So I had to ask, and Warrior’s John Gregory, Director of Marketing, supplied the below response:
“There is no circumstance where we would ever force a Warrior athlete to use the Evo Warp or any other product in our line. We want and need our players to use the equipment they are comfortable with, and that will enhance their performance on-field. In the case of the Warp, many of our pros have been directly involved in the development of the technology, and continue to work with our product team on a daily basis to optimize future generations of the head.
“While the current head certainly exceeds our performance expectations, the future potential for the platform is unprecedented. Our Warrior athletes understand this, and the momentum we are already seeing in the pro ranks is about to increase considerably. We understand that the Warp represents a major shift in technology, and we never expected every player to convert overnight. But the science behind the head, and the performance advantages it offers, are completely undeniable and will only continue to improve in the coming months and years as the Warp continues to separate itself from the pack.”
The fact remains that pro players don’t want to be terrible, so if it doesn’t work, they wouldn’t use it. If it’s as good, or better, they will. At the end of the day, the pro player feedback this Summer will prove vital to making it a widely accepted, and improved, product in the future. Find out what works from the best in the game, and trust them. So far, this seems to be happening, and we have already seen a new pocket pop up via the pros.
This all brings us to an updated review of the product:
Warrior Warp 2.0 Review
A lot of what I said initially is still true, but a couple of very important things have changed.
1) The pocket now throws off the mesh, and not the plastic. The top is a little tighter, and it makes for a more normalized throwing experience.
2) The mesh is softer. This makes catching, dangling, and “feeling” the ball in the pocket a lot easier, and just like the throwing action, more normalized. It felt like a channelled mesh pocket more than before, and was noticeable from minute 1. I can’t overstate how this changes catching and cradling. It’s much improved. You’ll now notice Warp heads described as Warp H or Warp S, which I would take to mean “Hard” or “Soft”. Personally, I’m all about the S.
3) The pocket is less of “one thing”. The originals were crafted so the ball had ONE sweet spot. The new pockets let the ball move around a little more, have a longer “bag”, and feel less restrictive. Functionally, it’s more like a mesh pocket, but still being Warp-y. It’s a good blend.
4) There are more big holes. This allows the ball to travel more in the head, makes for a larger sweet spot, and increases hold and feel. It’s a similar point to #3, but the pocket just LOOKS different, and somehow better. Good looks help. Fact. Does it still look like a jock strap? A little, but it’s a good looking jock strap! All kidding aside, it will take time for people to see the Warp as normal. Until then the jokes will persist, and I might even laugh at them.
Without changing the basic design, Warrior has improved their product dramatically with different hole shapes and a slightly softer white mesh piece… that was quick! That brings us to what could happen in the future, and what we could see from the Warrior Warp moving forward. Could the Warp ever really be my game stick?
Evo Warp – Moving/Warping Forward
I for one expect the Warp type of pocket to change greatly over time. I think we will see more channeling, larger, more circular “diamonds”, and an even more mesh-like product. However this won’t be like any mesh we’ve seen before.
I get this feeling from the current Warp stick most MLL guys use right now and the 2.0 version I hold in my hands. There are many circular holes running down both sides of the pocket, and it isn’t really “high”, “mid”, or “low”… because it’s basically all three. The ball seems to sit wherever it needs to, and as a guy who loves an “all over” pocket, this is really good news.
The original Warps had very particular pocket placement, which threw many consumers off. With a more flexible pocket, the Warp could quickly become a lot more popular.
So is this really all we can expect from Warrior? Just some circular holes that make EvoWarp mesh more like regular mesh? The haters will say “yes”, but the patent nerds will say “not so fast”. And Warrior will likely say the same when I press them on this next issue…
Thanks to a man much smarter than myself, I found the June 2nd, 2016 patent filing for Warrior’s EvoWarp product, and some of the figures and images in the document are eye-opening and jaw-dropping. Prepare for some engineer-inspired lacrosse pocket craziness. And I mean that in a good way!
Before we start, PLEASE NOTE that most of these are simply descriptive drawings showing the technology and impact of design that these products could potentially have. For example, you see scoop holes in some figures, but that does not mean the Warp will ever have a scoop tie or scoop holes. It is done to show the mesh is attached to the head, using the old method to demonstrate this fact, even though the Warp uses a new technique. A lot of it is old patent law stuff.
Anyone who posts one of these photos as a “definite” new Warp design is fooling other people, and maybe themselves. These are PATENT design figures… all they do is give us a good idea of where Warrior is headed CONCEPTUALLY, with this product. If you can take it for what it is, it’s really interesting stuff.
First up, this one looks a LOT like the engineering design for the current high pocket version in use with some MLL players. Fill in the empty white portions with the micro mesh the Warp uses, and that’s close to the current pro pocket.
As you can see below, this is basically the set up for the current high pocket.
On the below image, we get a very different conceptual approach, and this pocket seems to mimic the pita pocket with a thin ramp for the ball to sit on in the middle. This could very well be a design element of the original two pockets, and where the longer diamonds would sit… However, I am very curious as to what a pocket with this much of the small mesh would feel like it, so it’s an interesting concept on its own.
Below you can see another angle of the same concept. Tell me that doesn’t look interesting!
Below, you can see a very different approach to the top portion of the pocket. Instead of structural weaving being done horizontally, this design has a vertical structural weave up top, and it looks a lot more like a traditionally strung stick. Would this help with channeling? Where is says “745U”, would that area act as a high shooting string?
The two options below offer more interesting option for vertical and horizontal weaving. I want to focus on the image on the right. I’ve seen mesh like that before, but it’s always tough to string, and usually woven poorly. I always thought it could great if done well. At its base level, that is really what the Warp offers: the chance to do anything, and do it well.
And then we get to this beauty.
It basically looks like a perfect traditional pocket, where hold, feel, power, and accuracy all come together to form perfection. I’ve never seen a mesh stick do all that, no matter how masterfully it is strung, but the below image gives me hope. To be fair, only 1 out of 100 traditional pockets I see is really like that either.
But what if EVERY pocket could be like that?
Tell me that doesn’t look like it would throw dimes, hold like crazy, provide great feel, and shoot the rock hard. Given how well the first run of Warps worked, I honestly can’t see why it wouldn’t with some more tweaks.
At the end of the day, the future for the Warrior Warp line of products seems really bright. The company has made a huge investment in this technology, and while it may take time to pay off, if they keep moving forward, it does seem like a realistic push to make.
The Warp is not for everyone right now, and might not be for another couple of years. It all depends on how quickly Warrior changes and improves the product, where the final price point sits, and how we the latter versions of the Warp stack up against the best strung pockets in the game.
Warrior firmly believes they can produce the best, most consistent pocket for lacrosse ever. If they’re right, it’s only a matter of time before the Warp is everywhere, and in everyone’s stick. There will always be traditional or mesh holdouts, and more power to them! But this isn’t about the holdouts, or the stringers… this is about the masses. And if the product works, the masses will respond, favorably.