Lacrosse Shaft Buying Guide – Replacing Gandalf’s Staff

Lacrosse Shaft Buying Guide – Replacing Gandalf’s Staff

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Much like a lacrosse shaft, a Wizard’s Staff is his primary weapon and serves as a symbol of his power. There are only a few known times where a Wizard’s staff has been broken; If you are lucky, this buying guide will help you choose a lacrosse shaft that won’t suffer a similar fate. Gandalf’s staff was lost and destroyed during his battle with Durin Bane when he demolished the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. If only Gandalf had read this; he probably would have bought a staff/shaft that would not have broke…

There are many different types of lacrosse shafts on the market, but there is only one shaft that stands between you and your opponent trying to overpower you. In this blog, the experts here at Monkey Sports are going to go over several factors that will help you make the right purchase decision; such as, length, material, weight, finish, and handle shape.

In lacrosse, you will notice there are three different stick lengths used to enhance the player’s ability to succeed. Without the head installed, men’s shafts are typically one of three lengths; 30 inches for the attack and midfield positions, 60 inches for defense, and 40 inches for goalies.  You will notice a large variety of price points for shafts as well.  The manufacturers determine the price based on the quality and density of the material used to make the shaft. Just because a shaft is made of the same material as another, does not mean it will have the same properties.

When buying a shaft, it is important to look at 3 main components; the finish, durability and the weight.

Shaft Finish

Shaft finish is known as the surface texture or surface topography of the shaft. There are three key surface characteristics that provide texture such as; smooth grip, sandblasted grip, and Tactile Grip.

Smooth “no grip” is the most traditional shaft finish. It allows the player to customize their grip with tape.

For Example: Warrior Burn Lacrosse Shaft

For Example: Warrior Burn Pro Lacrosse Shaft

For Example: Brine King RP3 Lacrosse Shaft

Sandblast grip “Diamond Grip” is the most popular finish that adds little to no weight to the shaft. It also provides a unique feel all over the lacrosse stick. This shaft finish is highly recommended among offensive players, but is known to deteriorate the palm of the gloves quicker.

For Example: STX Surgeon SC TI Lacrosse Shaft

For Example: Warrior Warrior Burn Pro Diamond Lacrosse Shaft

Tactile Grip with “Rubberized inserts” is preferred by long range shooters who like to have strategically placed grip on the lower end of their shaft for better hold over the shaft while shooting.

For Example: Maverik Wonderboy Lacrosse Shaft

For Example: Brine Triumph Lacrosse Shaft

Different Shaft Materials and Durability

The durability of a shaft relates directly to the materials the shaft is made out of and the thickness of the shaft wall. The thicker the material, the more durability the shaft will have. Unfortunately the only way to relatively determine the strength of a shaft in the store is by reading the description and using the price as a guide to determine quality.

Aluminum 


Aluminum is a low cost material used mainly by youth lacrosse players that are just picking up the sport. Aluminum shafts are mostly constructed out of a thin 6000 series alloy that you see being sold in complete stick setups.  Aluminum is a good option for entry-level players but will dent easily at higher levels. (Not Recommended for advanced play) 

  • Not as durable as other advanced materials
  • Does not have advanced grip
  • Perfect for young players

For Example : Nike Vapor U LT Complete Lacrosse Shaft

Alloy 


Alloy is constructed out of a mix of metals. These metals are usually Vanadium and C405. Alloy shafts are very lightweight, making them great for offensive players who desire a decent strength to weight ratio.  Alloy shafts are heavily used at the middle school and high school level. 

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably priced
  • Perfect for young entry-level players

For Example: Warrior Burn Lacrosse Shaft

Scandium 


Scandium is becoming the most desired shaft material in the sport of lacrosse.  Scandium offers the top strength to weight ratio and it is stronger than the traditional alloy.  Scandium is a great shaft for all positions making it an excellent choice. 

  • Long lasting durability and strength
  • Light enough for offensive dominance
  • Perfect for elite-level players

For Example: Maverik A1 Lacrosse Shaft

For Example: STX Surgeon SC Lacrosse Shaft

Composite 


Composite shafts are very versatile due to their flex profiles. They are similar to hockey sticks where they come with different levels of flex. With added flex comes added velocity on your shot. Bigger stronger players are encouraged to try stronger flex profiles so they can shoot harder. Composite shafts are made from carbon fiber and are great for offensive minded players. 

  • Unique grip
  • Manufactured for intermediate and advanced athletes
  • Flex release provides unrivaled shot velocity

For Example: True Composite SF 4.0 Lacrosse Shaft

For Example: East Coast Carbon Lacrosse Shaft

Blends 


Manufacturers are taking the popular materials such as; alloy, titanium, scandium and are mixing them together to create the perfect strength-to-weight ratio to fit your style.  Blends can provide a comparable durability of a Titanium shaft, but have the light weight feel of a scandium alloy shaft. Blended shafts have the best of both worlds but fall around the middle of the pack when it comes to weight. These shafts are perfect for midfielders. 

  • Lightweight and Strong
  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Midfielders dream shaft

For Example: Maveriik Union Lacrosse Shaft

Based on weight and position, you can select the perfect shaft.

Everyone seeks out lighter shafts in order to be more efficient on offense, but a heavier shaft is more effective while on defense and will have a longer life span.

Attackman: Alloy shaft or composite shaft that weighs between 5.5  and 7.0 ounces

Offensive-minded players always tend to lean to something lightweight and dent resistant. They need the lightest shaft possible to rip high velocity shots at their full potential. Alloy shafts are some of the lightest on the market, making them perfect for sharp shooting attackman. Durability is, for the most part, measured by price. For example, $100 alloy shafts will be significantly more dense/durable than the average $60 alloy shaft. Expensive alloy shafts will more than likely have reinforced concave walls making them more dent resistant.

Another material that is becoming increasingly popular in lacrosse is composite. Composite shafts are considered to be more versatile than the typical alloy shaft due to the “FLEX FACTOR”. Composite shafts provide more release power and snap in your shot. They also provide a variety of flex options for you to choose.

Midfielders: Scandium alloy or blended shafts that weigh between 6.0 and 7.0 ounces

Scandium alloy is taking over the sport due to its versatility for both offense and defense. Midfielders are the true athletes of the sport and they need a shaft that can withstand the abuse from playing both offense and defense. Scandium alloy and blended shafts will provide this need. With the combination of both titanium and alloy, midfielders can have that happy medium they are searching for that is best suited for their game.

If you are more offensive-minded then it is recommended to use a lighter scandium or alloy shaft like attackman. If you are strictly a defensive specialist, then it is recommended to get a blended shaft with a lot of titanium in it. This material will be more dent resistant and will not warp or bend. Blended shafts with titanium in them are predominantly used by players in the MLL and NLL due to how strong they are.

Close Defensemen: Scandium and blended shafts that weigh between 14.0 and 17.0 ounces

Long Pole Midfielders: Alloy shafts that weight between 12.0 and 14.0 ounces

When it comes to close defensemen and Long Pole Midfielders, weight and durability are the most important characteristics to look into. Over the years the manufactures have realized that titanium long poles are too heavy. Players have sacrificed strength by using the lightest shafts possible in order to make aggressive stick checks. Alloy shafts will provide the greatest lightweight advantage, but will be the most vulnerable to denting and breaking. Scandium alloy shafts and blended shafts will be the most ideal for defensive warriors.

Handle Shapes

Handle shapes are all about personal preference. It all depends on which handle shape fits in your hand the best. The most common handle shapes are seen below.

Concave Octagon Traditional Shape Speed Shape Octagon

Maverik Signature Shape 

STX Concave Octagon

Warrior Power Die Shape

Warrior Speed Die Shape 

Maverik Traditional Shape

Maverik Speed Shape 

STX Octagon 

Gait Octagon

Your lacrosse stick is a reflection of yourself; use what you know, trust your first instinct, and you will select the best shaft possible. If you have any questions about the process of picking a lacrosse shaft feel free to contact any of our experts at one of our Monkey Sports superstores or contact a customer service agent at Lacrossemonkey.com

 



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