I was very fortunate to get a hold of the new Maverik Optik head (HS spec) before its release date on July 4th. I had been eager to string one of these up and take it for a test drive, so I was pretty excited when it showed up!
At first glance, I noticed the Maverik Optik has a similar offset to the Warrior Evo and a comparable overall look to the Nike Vapor. The Optik has the proper balance of a lightweight feel, adequate stiffness in the throat and flex in the upper third – where it’s needed for performance. This head is designed for the offensive player with a balanced shooting and feeding game.
STX has really come a long way with their protective line of equipment and in the past lines like the G22, Assault and Cell helped pave the way for the protection lines of today. The Stallion HD line takes the best parts of all the lines from previous years and combines them together to create the new line that is protective, flexible and lightweight.
The Stallion HD gloves are designed to give players the best protection as well as the highest amount of mobility so that players can “Run without Reins.”
STX utilized a familiar techonology for protection throughout the entire glove with the High Def Polymer hence HD in the name Stallion HD.
The High Def polymer has been in STX equipment for some time now going back to the G22 line as well as in the Assault line of protection. High Def polymer creates a soft to touch feel but on powerful impacts it absorbs and disperses the impact throughout the HD polymer.
The Stallion HD glove also features better protection systems throughout the glove with expanded finger joints which enhances the coverage of protection on the fingers. STX also added a floating knuckle system where the knuckles on the glove aren’t resting directly on your hand, that way if you take a shot off the knuckles you aren’t feeling directly on that spot. Continuing with the knuckle protection STX added a domed knuckle to allow your fingers to move independently and have high amounts of finger flexibility.
STX redesigned the thumb on the Stallion HD with what they call the Iso-Thumb technology which gives players a full 360 degree range of motion in the thumb. The Iso-thumb allows players to get a full grip on the handle without having any “dead space” between the handle and the glove.
STX updated their cuff system to feature an integrated cuff system where the cuff is streamlined part of the backhand to eliminate gaps in protection like previous cuffs had.
STX also updated the palm to wrap around the entire hand to eliminate and seams along the side of the glove that would interfere with your hands.
STX actually ended up releasing this last year in the NCAA Tourney with Cornell wearing them and Team USA will be wearing them at the FIL World Championships in Denver later this year! Here is the Team USA’s version of the Stallion HD for the FIL World Championships
Breaking into the lacrosse market is not easy but Maverik Lacrosse has found a way to succeed in the evolving world of lacrosse. Like any good business or skill you need to set the foundation before you can expand and Maverik is a great example of how to do it correctly. Some of Maverik’s heads in the past were great on the design side but the performance wasn’t exactly there. Some of the heads were not strong enough to put up with going into battle everyday. So Maverik’s R&D team went back to the basics to figure out what players look for and how to help them succeed. This year Maverik released their newest and most anticipated head of the year; The Metrik.
Maverik product designers went back to the drawing board with this one and decided to start from scratch and deliver a high quality fit enough for a pro….And that’s just what they did, they went to the Pro’s on the LXM tour and their sponsored athletes and got their input on what makes a head accurate and what they wanted to see from the head.
To get the strength and stability they wanted Maverik R&D reengineered their sidewalls to be able to put up with an everyday player’s demands. Maverik utilized a new molding process for the Metrik and they strategically positioned the struts in the sidewall to give the Metrik strength and stability in what Maverik calls their True Form Technology.
When I first saw this head I thought “Oh, another Maverik head that will bend immediately….”, but to my surprise it held up and didn’t bend at all. It is good to see Maverik is building products that will perform high the highest levels.
Maverik also featured a dual scoop design where the Metrik has two profiles on the scoop where the outer parts of the scoop is rounded off for easy ground balls while the center of the scoop has a concave design to create a natural channel for the ball to increase accuracy when passing and shooting.
Overall Maverik since Maverik went back to the drawing board on the Metrik they have really fine tuned the essentials of the head to keep up with demands for high performance.
Over the past couple years we have seen a huge increase in “treated” mesh with wax meshes being the main player. We recently brought in East Coast Dyes “East Coast Mesh” and we have certainly been blown away with the variety of their mesh, the performance of the mesh and fast break in with little maintenance. East Coast doesn’t just coat their mesh in wax they actually infuse the mesh with the wax so that it wont just fall off the wax is literally in the strands so you can “feel the difference”.
Easy Coast Mesh offers a variety of different types of mesh from different diamond size and they offer a big selection of color combinations. We have found that they have taken care of everyone whether you like 10 diamond or 6 diamond player or goalie they have it all! Another great feature is that they offer so many different color options whether it is their traditional solid white mesh, to the two colors fade option and even their special striker mesh types they offer ECM for everyone.
The performance was great and versus other wax meshes I have tried in the past I liked ECM the best so far because it is kind of a hybrid of hard mesh (consistency) and soft mesh ( ball control ). The biggest thing I saw was that ECM wax didn’t flake off like some other waxy meshes on the market and this is due to their infusion process. It was great because it had the consistent feel of hard mesh but was easily maneuverable like soft mesh. The wax does grip the ball well but not too much and you really get a great feel for it in the pocket and also during the release. With the heart of Winter coming up we have had some of our employees test it in the snow and even though it was cold out ECM still had the same consistency we were looking for.
Just like most other sports there are certain break-in periods for new equipment, previously breaking in a piece of hard mesh took some work. The break-in time on ECM was very quick and it wasn’t hard to get the pocket the way I wanted. It was easy to string and stretch the mesh out where sometimes with hard mesh I dunk in water to loosen it up a bit. ECM was so easy to string and it didn’t flake off wax like some of the other wax meshes on the market. The only thing I may have had a small problem with was that my hands got slightly sticky but that is a small price to pay for such a great product. Also because of the weatherproof aspect of the wax the maintenance of the pockets doesn’t need to be tweaked too often like other types of stringing.
We have had some really good feedback from some our employees who have strung some ECM pockets up as well as players who have used it seem to like the feel and play of East Coast Mesh!
We certainly have felt the difference but have you?!?!?
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Kyle Harrison is a world famous lacrosse player and member of Team STX on the LXM Pro Tour that continues to push himself as well as the game of lacrosse to another level. He has once again gone to the drawing board with STX product managers and designers to release his latest K18 line of equipment. The new K18 line has features that will benefit players as they continue on their journey through the sport of lacrosse. The new line also give players an understanding of what lacrosse has meant to Kyle over the years and what influenced him on the lacrosse field.
The new K18 line features a full line of protection from new gloves, arm protection (arm pads and arm guards), and shoulder pads. A new shaft was released with K18 line graphics that features his autograph as well as the iconic turtle design. But the real staple of this line is the new K18 U head where Kyle spent time working with the STX product managers to release a head that is truly a game changer.