How to Buy the Right Lacrosse Head
Lacrosse sticks consist of a metal or composite shaft topped with a lacrosse head…
which is used for catching and passing the ball. Stick options are fairly basic, but buyers may have difficulty choosing between the many different lacrosse head designs. While the right lacrosse head can improve your performance, the wrong head often leads to frustration that can take the fun out of the game. When comparing one lacrosse head to another, consider features such as pocket size, material, shape and stick head angle to find the best option for your needs.
1. Match the size of the lacrosse head to your skill level
A broader lacrosse head provides a wider base for catching the ball, and are often the best choice for beginners. More advanced players often prefer a narrow or pinched lacrosse head. The tighter head shape protects the ball so it’s harder for the opposing team to steal.
2. Examine the shape of each lacrosse head you are considering.
The flat edge of the head is used for scooping the ball off the ground. New players should choose very flat heads to make it easier to build their skills. A curved head shape increases the difficulty of scooping the ball, but also improves throwing accuracy. The deeper the curve, the more it contributes to precision in your throws and passes.
3. Narrow your search based on stick head angle.
The lacrosse head angle represents how the head is positioned on the stick, and each manufacturer uses a slightly different system. According to Longstreth Women’s Sports, for example, STX sticks use direct offset or 10-degree offset heads while Debeer sticks use a transferred offset system. While stick head angle is largely a matter of personal preference, a change in this angle can have a big impact on your game. Try different options until you find one that works, then stick with this configuration as you change your lacrosse head or stick.
4. Inquire about pocket construction.
Leather pockets are standard and provide a solid, all-around option for most players. Synthetic mesh pockets offer increased weather resistance, and also require little adjustment. While the lack of adjustment can be a disadvantage for advanced players, it frees up beginners to focus on the game instead of their equipment. Hybrid pockets provide the highest level of adjustment and are the most popular choice for advanced players.
5. Balance weight and durability.
According to Lacrosse Turf, the weight and durability of a lacrosse head are inversely related. Lightweight heads allow for faster shooting, but have a shorter lifespan than heavier head designs. Stronger, heavier heads are less likely to break and add more power to your passes. Remember that you’ll be carrying this head through an entire lacrosse game, however, so choose a weight that won’t slow you down.
Well-known lacrosse programs like the National Collegiate Athletic Association and National Federation of State High School Associations issue standards that cover everything from pocket design to stick length. If you are unfamiliar with these guidelines, choose a stick marked “Universal,” which means it can be used in any standard league. College players often have more flexibility in terms of pinch or pocket size, but check the label before buying to ensure it meets the current NCAA guidelines for your lacrosse head.