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.

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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.

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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!


Maverik Metrik

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.

builtstronghere

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.

 

trueform

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.

 

dualscoop

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.

 

 


What’s In My Lacrosse Bag?

By Chris Tomaselli, ComLax Franklin, MA

My game day stick is an STX Professor in white, strung with white 10D Jimalax hard mesh and black striker shooters on a black Nike Sprint SC Shaft. I dig this setup because of the shape of the Professor. Its long throat gives me the ability to have a long pocket, which is perfect for attack because I can cradle the ball up against the shooters when shooting or down in the throat when dodging. The Nike Sprint SC Shaft is one of my all-time favorite shafts. It has a very unique shape with smooth edges, while still feeling angular. The grip is very comparable to a Warrior Krypto Pro Diamond. I’ve been using it for almost a year and it really doesn’t dent. That’s legit considering the hacks I give and take in practices and games.

My backup set up is an STX Proton Power in black with white 10D Jimalax hard mesh on a silver STX Scandium Pro shaft. You really can’t go wrong with this head or shaft. Both great, aggressive products that have proven durable when filling in for my game day set up.

For For shoulder pads, I wear the Maverik Empire Speed. Like most older players, I altered them a bit. To get rid of the little bit of bulk, I cut off the shoulder caps. It hasn’t sacrificed much protection and it gives me lighter shoulder pads. I really like the shape of the Empires on my body. It gives me lots of protection without the bulk. This year, I’m rocking home and away elbow pads. For home games, I’ve got STX K18 II Arm Guards in red. These are hands down my favorite elbow pads for an attack man. Super comfortable, flexible, and protective, I got a year and a half out of heavy use out of my first pair before they finally ripped, so naturally, I got another pair. For away games, I’m, wearing the Nike Vapor Elite Arm Guards in white. The Vapor Elites are very, very light, but don’t sacrifice much protection.

For gloves, my school ordered custom school Brine Messiahs in red, white and black. I got #22 on the cuff along with our school logo. So far, I love these gloves, as they are really light and comfortable. We’ll see how protective they are when tryouts start later this month. My lid is a Cascade Pro7 in red with my school’s decals. Plenty of tilt to go around folks!


On my feet, I’ve got the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon LX in white and black. If you turn on ESPNU this Saturday and when they zoom in on the players look at their feet. The Vapor Carbon LXs are what all the college kids are wearing and for good reason. They are extremely light, but are also surprisingly supportive during your cuts and dodges.

After digging out all of my gear, I found an UnderArmour jock, a cup, a Top Gun CELL pinny, and an ankle brace.