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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They used the C-Channel Technology to deliver a stiff sidewall design that disperses energy throughout the sidewall versus targeting one pressure point.
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.
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.
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.
2013 was a big year for Paul Rabil because he released his first ever Rabil Line.
Rabil gave input on a head that is designed to give midfielders the ultimate shooting weapon and then the Rabil head was born.
He also designed a special version of the Dolo Diamond with his logo repeating down the side of the shaft.
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.
Warrior also revisited an old friend the Blade which had fogo’s everywhere drooling when the Blade Pro released.
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.
They also released their second version of the Maybach with the Maybach Deuce for maximum flexibility and an extremely lightweight feel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!