Like tires on a car, the lacrosse stick is the most important piece of equipment for your son or daughter. Stick design hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. The use of stronger but lighter plastics has allowed manufacturers to be more creative in their designs but the rule of lacrosse dictate the size and shape of the heads (boys and girls). What does that mean? Simple, used lacrosse sticks rock. Whether the stick is brand new or 10 years old the most important thing is for your child to feel comfortable with his/her weapon of choice. The lacrosse stick is an extension of the player and it is critical that they are comfortable with it.
Sticks vary greatly in price. Entry level sticks can cost as little as $29 and can easily go for more than $175. Which should you buy? I always say buy the best stick that you can afford. I am NOT a big fan of the $29 boys sticks you can get at the big box stores (I think the cheaper girls kits (stick, goggles, and bag) are great for girls interestingly enough). The inexpensive boys sticks tend to be cheaply made and I guarantee your son will be asking you to replace it after a year or two. First time lacrosse parents with a child who is not 100% sure this is the sport for them? Buy a used stick. The older kids tend to upgrade sticks all the time so check Play It Again Sports (Webster) or Craigslist. As long as the head is straight (they can become bent – especially by FOGOs) then you should be in business.
Girls sticks are interesting in that they tend to be less cosmetic and more functional. The rules of girls lacrosse are very strict on the design of lacrosse sticks, so the variation between sticks tends to be less. Where there may be 15 different boys sticks there may only be 4 different girls sticks (not counting colors) at your local store. The price range for girls sticks mirrors the boys ($30 – $175+) but there tends to be few choices in the middle price range. The beginners sticks tend of have higher side walls and are flatter which makes catching and passing easier for younger players. The more expensive sticks are aimed at the advanced player and tend to have lower sidewalls and have a curve in the head.
Great complete stick. Throws really well out of the box and is a high quality product. I use one and both my sons use them. Only available online but ships from Syracuse so it usually has a fast delivery. Full stick for $75 and up
String King Complete sticks
Another good complete stick. They do have really cheap versions (sub $35) and those should be avoided but their other sticks are great.
As I said earlier, the difference in girls sticks is minimal until you get to the high end. Two things I would recommend:
1) Which ever stick you choose have the pocket strung in Mesh. Mesh pockets were approved for use a few years ago and it makes a world of difference in play-ability.
2) Use an illegal pocket. By rule the pocket of a girls stick is VERY shallow. It is difficult to catch and throw. I want you to completely ignore this rule. Now I am not say cheat because we don’t want that but we are going to be generous on the amount of pocket we put in the young girls sticks. This game is hard to begin with, we don’t need to make it harder.
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