This Year in Gear 2013

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This year was a big year for some companies and it was the end for some others (cough cough Reebok and Easton).  But across the board 2013 was a big year for gear where all the companies brought new products to the market some of which really took off and some of which did not. But overall 2013 was a great “Year in Gear” and we will be going into what worked and what flopped.

Brine

Men

Brine had a real strong year with continued success of their King line and its fourth installment with the King IV protective. But they also released the Clutch Elite head which really caught the eyes of a lot of players.

King IV

The staple of the new King line for Brine and probable their biggest release was the King IV gloves. These gloves completely revolutionized the way your hands are ventilated while still remaining protective with their new floating “Arch” technology in the back of the hand which we a seeing a lot of on other companies for 2014.

king IV 2

The Clutch Elite became popular because it is lightweight like the Clutch SL and strong enough like the traditional Clutch to offer benefits to all positions. This was due to their Core Tech system that actually carved out sections of the plastic to create a lighter  feel but also helped create strength.

clutch elite

Women

In 2013 Brine’s women got a revamp on the Mantra with the Mantra 2 that has a 2shot molding process that allowed it to be customizable.

mantra2

 

STX

Men

STX really focused on products based on position so that players can use different pieces of gear to fit their game and style. They started with the release of the Hammer U head built for defenders by defenders. They utilized a wide face shape the allow defneders to get into the passing lanes and pick off passes easier.

 hammer I

They used the C-Channel Technology to deliver a stiff sidewall design that disperses energy throughout the sidewall versus targeting one pressure point.

hammer 2

 

 

They also replaced the traditional Sci Ti with two models the Surgeon Sci Ti a lighter version designed for quickness and the Stallion Sci Ti designed with a thicker wall for toughness.

stallion sctisurgeon sc ti

 

 

 

STX also released the Shield goalie head to overtake the wildly popular eclipse that has been the staple of goalie heads for a long time.

guardian

 

 

Women

STX released their new Exult 10 which is designed for the elite midfielder and offers superior ball control with their patented 10 degree offset. The 10 degree offset works well in the women’s game because it drives the ball directly into the sweet spot of the pocket and creates a smooth release.

 

exult

 


Warrior

2013 was a big year for Paul Rabil because he released his first ever Rabil Line.

rabil allhail

 

Rabil gave input on a head that is designed to give midfielders the ultimate shooting weapon and then the Rabil head was born.

rabil 2

 

 

 

He also designed a special version of the Dolo Diamond with his logo repeating down the side of the shaft.

 

rabil 3


He also developed a protective line the features Cage system that creates a lightweight feel and ultimate breathability and ventilation which is featured throughout the shoulder and arm pads.

rabil 6rabil 4


 

 

 

 

Warrior also revisited an old friend the Blade which had fogo’s everywhere drooling when the Blade Pro released.

balde pro

Maverik

Maverik has really upped their game and become one of the leaders in the market for lacrosse. It wasn’t easy but Maverik had a great year in 2013 with the success of their A1 shaft that offer a lightweight and durable performance.

a1

 

 

 

 

 

They also released their second version of the Maybach with the Maybach Deuce for maximum flexibility and an extremely lightweight feel.
maybach deuce

 

 

Under Armour

Men

Like we stated before the lacrosse market isn’t easy to break into but with a powerful name like Under Armour they have been make strides every year to design gear that will attract players visually but also will benefit them on the field. In 2013 Under Armour released the Charge head which was one of their stiffest heads and offered a variety of players with benefits.

charge

 

Their Player SS line featured a really cool looking black themed color design but who cares about what you look like it needs to feel right and the Player SS shoulders offered a lot of protection with minimal weight and high amounts of flexibility from the “molded skin” technology.

player ss

 

 

 

Women

Under Armour has taken strides to become a leader in the lacrosse market since they started and on their women’s side it is no different. They released their new Illusion goggles that have two certifications one model one for field hockey as well as lacrosse certifications and one that met only lacrosse certifications. UA noticed that a lot of girls were buying two sets of goggles if they played both sports so to eliminate that they added more bars to the lacrosse model to work under both certifications.

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Nike

Men


Nike stepped up their game with their Vapor line that produces the Vapor head that was designed to be lightweight and stiff at the same time. The gradual offset allows any player to see the benefits but is a perfect head for feeding and shooting.

vapor

 

 

Women

Nike realized that they needed to go after the intermediate level player when designing sticks and voila the Arise was born. The Arise has a raised ball stop height designed for protection when handling the ball.

nike-lacrosse-women-head-arise

                                                                                                                                                                    

 

On the other side of the table we have the players who are looking from the outside in or may not even be looking anymore. In 2013 we are sad to say that we lost two members of the lacrosse gear community one being Easton and the other being Reebok. We have said it multiple times it isn’t easy to enter into the lacrosse world as a new company and the quality of the products they release or in Reebok’s case didn’t release. Easton had great design in their shafts but I think after their Raptor helmet recall in 2012 they could never recover PR wise.

Reebok

In Reebok’s case they were almost everywhere in the lacrosse world especially the indoor game, they actually sponsored the NLL and had some years of good products being released.

reebok blazers

But in 2013 they were going to release their highly anticipated Reebok Black line, but instead it was like a blind date that didn’t show up. We got all the hype and were excited to see all the new stuff in the Black line, but when it came down to it there were manufacturing problems with the 11K head(never released to public) and the Black gloves (never released to public).

 

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For what Reebok did release of the Black line the only salvageable product were the shoulder pads where were real light and had great protection but never really took off.

reebok black 2

The Black Arm Guards were severely underwhelming when you put them on, the pad was awkwardly shaped and didn’t move naturally with your arm and they looked bulky and ugly.
reebok black 3

Easton
In Easton’s case when they first entered the market they had some good products with their handles but their protection was very bad with the release of the Stealth RS line.   It seemed that they just took their hockey equipment put a couple more breaks in it and called it lacrosse equipment. If anyone has ever tried playing lacrosse in hockey elbow pads or hockey gloves it just doesn’t work because there isn’t enough flexibility to move the way you need to in lacrosse.

easton stealth

They released the Stealth Core head which had the reflex tech and adjustable pinch technology. It seemed that Easton was trying to create technology solely to say they created a new technology which is never a good way to stand out from the crowd.

 

easton 2

But with 2013 in the books we can begin to look forward to 2014 and all the sweet gear that is going to be released!


2013 Lacrosse Holiday Gift Guide

Lacrosse Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the 2013 ComLax Holiday Gift Guide! It is easy for things to get out of control during the holidays, so we figured it would be a good idea to offer you some help finding the perfect gift for every lacrosse player and fan in your life. To make things easy, we went through the copious amount of lacrosse heads, helmets, shafts, gloves and gift items in our store and narrowed each category down to a small grouping of items that are sure to bring holiday cheer. There are perfect ideas for every price range and age level, so use the buttons below to find some great gifts!

STX K18 Head

HEADS

Cascade R Custom Helmet

HELMETS

STX Surgeon Sci-Ti Shaft

SHAFTS

STX Stallion HD Glove

GLOVES

Lacrosse Gift Ideas

GIFTS


Mirrored Off The Masters

Today’s post features College and Professional Lacrosse players’ stick setups and stringing preferences.

First up is former UVA standout and LXM Pro athlete Rhamel Bratton. Unfortunately, Rhamel ended his 2011 senior campaign earlier than we would have liked due to a team-issued suspension, but he played a vital role in paving UVA’s road to the national championship. Now, Rhamel participates in the LXM Pro Tour, which is a professional lacrosse tour run by Kyle Harrison.

Today, I’m mirroring Rhamel’s setup he used when he played for UVA. There is a story behind this setup. The manager of our Franklin ComLax store, Kyle Prussing and a couple other ComLax managers were at the Final Four at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA a few years back. Rhamel threw his stick up into the crowd and they caught it. Considering some pictures I found on the internet and Kyle’s description, I came up with this mirrored setup.

Throughout college, Rhamel rocked the Evo X head on a Gait handle. At the time Kyle and company got their hands on his setup, his shaft’s graphics were pretty worn. It is safe to assume however, that Rhamel used one of Gait’s top shafts because UVA has always been sponsored by Gait. Therefore I decided to throw a Gait DB803 on the head.

To mirror Rhamel’s setup, I started off by marinating the white Jimalax hard mesh in some lukewarm water just as Kyle and Kyle demonstrate in our YouTube Stringing Tutorial. I then laced up the California Dream Top String (Triangle Top String). Then I strung the sidewalls with the goal of forming a mid pocket with a tight channel (1,1,1,1,2i,1,1,1,1). One cool thing I liked about this stringing pattern was the crispy mesh curl – once I threw in a bottom string. After I pounded in the mid-pocket, I put in one U shooting string, 3 diamonds wide and then another one 5 diamonds wide. A unique thing Rhamel does with his stick is he puts two nylons above his shooting strings. Most players use one nylon, but Rhamel places his on consecutive rows of diamonds and makes them fairly tight. This gives the head a good amount of whip and a very smooth release. Rhamel’s distinct passing and shooting style/technique can be attributed to this unique shooting string pattern.

Once the strings were all tight, I screwed the Evo X on the Gait DB803 Handle. Based on the photos I found online, Rhamel made a thick butt end on his shaft and also taped about a 1/4 of the way up. In addition to this, Rhamel had three thin strips of tape that sat right where his top hand sits when he passes and shoots.

I would recommend this stick for any mid-level to experienced players who hit the weight room. This setup isn’t for those who pass or shoot lightly. You need to get some muscle behind this stick for it to be effective. So, anyone who can bring the high heat and dish quickly will standout with this setup.

 



From The Crease

By Kyle Prussing, Manager, ComLax Franklin, MA

For many of us folks here on the east coast, February vacation week has come to an end. As Spring nears, many of us players and coaches will soon be taking the field. For goalies, this is the time to be taking inventory of your equipment and one of the most important items to consider is your STICK. Come April, the excuse of  “coach, my stick is not throwing properly” or “my stick is too short/long” doesnt go over so well. Trust me, I’m a coach. Listed below are a few tips and suggestions I strongly reccommend you consider.

- A complete lacrosse goalie stick (including head and shaft) is approx 60″ in length. The shaft/handle is generally 42″ in length. Goalie Heads are approx 17-18″ in length. In my opinion, the length of stick can be slighly reduced without jeopardizing performance.

- For boys playing lacrosse at the college or high school level, a length beetween 49″-53″ is ideal. This still allows one to have control of stick while clearing on outlets or playing defense and knocking down or intercepting passes.

- For Girls in college or high school, the stick can be no LESS than 35 1/2 ” in length and no longer than 48″. The ideal length for this age group is 39″-46″.

- For Youth levels of play (boys and girls), 37″-44″ is ideal.

- Many of todays lacrosse shafts are made from some type of high grade Aluminum or Titanium. Please use caution when cutting and always remember that you can cut off more if needed- any table saw or hacksaw will suffice.

- In todays market, you are given many different options when selecting a stick. Listed below are my top picks for 2012.

TOP HEADS: STX ECLIPSE, WARRIOR NEMESIS LYTE, WARRIOR NEMESIS

TOP SHAFTS: WARRIOR KRYPTO PRO DIAMOND, STX SCANDIUM PRO, WARRIOR KRYPTOLYTE

BEST COMPLETE STICK: BRINE MONEY COMPLETE

Have questions? No problem! Contact your local ComLax location with any questions. Until next time. BREAK!


What’s In My Lacrosse Bag?

Today we’re checking in with Bryan Feener, who manages our ComLax store in Medford, Massachusetts. Bryan has been with us for about two years now and played both lacrosse and ice hockey at Malden Catholic. Let’s let him give us the lowdown on what you might find in his lacrosse bag these days:

Stick(s): STX SCI-TI Pro (black), STX CO2 offset shaft, Warrior Razer Head

Shoulder Pad: STX Cell Liner

Arm Gaurds: Nike Vapor arm gaurds (white)

Helmet – Custom Cascade Pro 7 helmet (Malden Catholic colors)

Gloves – Warrior Mac Daddy Navy Blue

Cleats – Under Armour

Go see more about Bryan and our Medford store at our Medford ComLax profile page.