It’s been over half a year since the announcement of the Epoch Prequel lacrosse head, which means it can get a full and worthy review, and then some, right? So, how does it really hold up? And what kind of pocket truly works best with this one of kind head’s design? Now that I’ve had time to use a Prequel stick for an extended period of time, I feel more than comfortable answering all those questions.
Editor’s Note: Epoch is a LaxAllStars partner, and they asked us to do an open an honest review. We spoke with James Miceli of Epoch Lacrosse from his office in Roseville, Minnesota, for additional information.
When Epoch hit the market with the original Hawk head, the company grabbed the world’s attention by offering something very different from what the rest of the lacrosse world had on tap. It wasn’t a head designed for everyone, but it did cater to a select group of users, and a couple of product features stood out in a really positive way, like its durability, stringing options, face shape, and the fact that it was so light, but still so strong.
The next step was to create a head that took the best attributes of the Hawk, but added in universal appeal. The Prequel is Epoch’s next step.
LaxAllStars Gear Review: Epoch Prequel
Product: Epoch Prequel Men’s Lacrosse Head
Company: Epoch Lacrosse
Price: $100 with free shipping
The first big difference from the Hawk is the Prequel’s full sidewall, and this alone opens up a whole new segment of appeal for any player.
While a lot of kids do love a high pocket, many like mid pockets, some still prefer a low pocket, and a growing number are going with an “all over” pocket, which has hi, mid, and low capabilities. As stringing knowledge has improved greatly, there is little limit to what can be done. So a full sidewall gives people all the options they could want. This immediately makes the Prequel more attractive.
Add on 20 sidewall holes, which start high near the scoop and end low near the throat, and you have a very “stringable” head, which will accept a great mesh pocket as readily as it will a six shooter traditional.
The four leather/bottom holes in the throat are a great size for any type of stringing, and the six scoops holes on the top of the stick are well spaced for mesh, and well sized for string or leather.
I originally had a mesh pocket in this stick and easily put together a great all over pocket, which was college legal, and had superb hold. It threw crisp accurate passes, and had a nice snap when I shot with it. Unlike the Hawk, there was NO adjustment period to this head. It felt like a good old offset lacrosse head with a channeled mesh pocket, and I liked it.
The leather pocket I have in the stick now is very similar. It has great hold, but throws accurate passes and snaps nicely when I shoot with it. The interesting thing is that the ball sits in the same place as it did with the mesh pocket, and the mid point of the head really does seem to be the “happy place” for the ball in the Prequel.
It’s not surprising that this is the most offset area of the head, but what is surprising is how nicely the ball sits when you cradle, without snagging when you throw.
According to James Miceli, this is by design. Whereas the Hawk/Sequel have a quick release (with little to no recurve at all), the Prequel allows the ball to sit in the head a little longer, generating more power and slightly longer release.
The Prequel seems to have a recurve to it, which in theory should push the ball down, but I have not found that to be the case whatsoever. Where the Hawk tended to throw high, this stick tends to throw straight.
As someone who uses only a little whip but loves hold, this is a great feature. I can cradle/dangle/etc, but still throw a quick pass. I can throw a big fake, but then finish without worrying about the ball hooking away off target. The ball wants to stay in the head until you throw it. Then it just releases.
I’ve strung this head 3 times now and it’s always been the same. Maybe it’s just me and I’m the best stringer ever (doubtful at best), but I’m starting to think it might also be the head, as much as it pains me to ever admit that.
James says this has a lot to do with the “lie” and “travel” of the pocket. This head was designed for a player who wants to post up, rocker, and rip it. It’s for a dodging middie or attackman, or a kid who wants to let one loose from 14 yards. The head allows for a powerful pocket, without sacrificing accuracy. The geometry of the head all points in this direction.
Speaking of geometry, the Epoch Prequel head must have the most expensive mold of all time. Just look at the throat where the “E” is located…
The plastic is super thin there in many places, which keeps the stick light, but it’s also REALLY strong. To do this, there is a different tech required than typical molding, but the results are quite impressive.
When it comes to design and durability, the Prequel matches up well. Design aesthetics (whether we like how something looks) are totally subjective, but personally, I do like the look of the head.
It’s clean, cut back, and the “T-hole” face shape (shown in the photo about, and yes, I just made that term up) is great. Wide enough to be legal and make catching easy, but not too wide. For me, it’s the golden ratio of wide and narrow, and I love how it’s consistent for so much of the head’s length. I believe this makes it really easy to string a great pocket as well.
When you look beyond the personal aesthetics of the head, there are some other interesting design elements, too. The sidewall, and throat are both cut back considerably, and the sidewall is very close to being truly “open”. This keeps the head light, but it was surprising to see that the head doesn’t lose much, if any, strength and rigidity.
The Epoch Prequel is definitely tough and can take a beating. It’s got a one year warranty on it, even if you dye it, so you know Epoch believes in their product. I’m pretty sure they are still the only company that accepts dyed heads for returns – officially.
The one area that does have some give is the middle of the head, below where the sidewalls flare outwards toward the scoop. This is a standard area of flex for most lacrosse heads, but I don’t think there is enough flex to make this a face off head for most players.
The plastic Epoch uses is quite tough, and I’m not sure it will bend like other heads. Even the most beat up Hawks tend to retain their shape pretty well. So, while the Epoch Prequel does flex, I’d say it doesn’t warp very much either.
The lines on the head, the sublimated Epoch “E” on each side of the throat, the textures, front logo and sidewall holes are all really smooth, but striking. The Epoch Prequel looks polished, and this is a testament to the time it took to design. The head looks like a serious product, and it acts like a serious product. I think you’ll be impressed.
I love that the head allows me to string a shifty, all-over pocket, but also find my happy place.
The scoop makes ground balls a cinch, and the offset holds the ball without causing whip issues. It’s a meld of a throwback and the most modern tech available, so the Prequel hits in all the right places to me. It’s tough enough for college or the pros, but it can work for younger kids just as well. I liked the ideas that came out of the Hawk, and I believe Epoch has put them all together, along with more traditional features, in the Prequel to form a truly fantastic head.