How To's, Gear Guides

How to choose a lacrosse stick

Whether you’re brand new to the sport, or you’re a seasoned player, buying a lacrosse stick can be a daunting task. The good news is that you have thousands of head and shaft combinations to choose from. While this is a nice problem to have, so many choices makes the ultimate decision of which lacrosse stick to purchase more complicated than you may think. Here, we’ll outline the basics and point you in the right direction for how to buy the lacrosse stick that’s best for you.

Lacrosse sticks by position

One of the main things that determines which lacrosse stick you should buy is what position you play. Lacrosse sticks vary greatly in length and design depending on what position you are on the field. For offensive positions such as attack and midfield, you'll want a shorter stick to help you weave and dodge around big defenders as you try to find your way to goal. For defenders, a long pole is a must, as your chief objective is to check the ball and regain possession back from the opposing attack.

Lacrosse stick length

Lacrosse stick length chart

Stick length refers to the combined length of a lacrosse shaft and lacrosse head. For attack and middies, a shorter stick is preferred. Complete attack or midfield sticks can be as short as 40 inches in total length. For Long Stick Middies (LSMs), a defensive stick is the move. Defenders and LSMs must have sticks that are no longer than 72 inches in combined length.

Lacrosse head regulations

Over the years, the NCAA and the NFHS have come up with a standard sizing specification for lacrosse heads. These regulations mandate how wide a head’s scoop and throat are allowed to be. This chart, borrowed from US Lacrosse, best explains the regulations for men’s lacrosse heads:

(Courtesy of US Lacrosse)

Lacrosse head regulations

Best lacrosse heads

You probably want to know which lacrosse heads have been making headlines this year, right? Here are some of the top-selling lacrosse heads on the market today, all of which you can find on SidelineSwap:

  1. Under Armour Command
  2. Nike CEO
  3. STX Super Power
  4. Maverik Optik
  5. STX Stallion 700
  6. Nike Lakota 2
  7. Maverik Centrik
  8. STX Proton Power
  9. East Coast Dyes Mirage
  10. Warrior Evo 4
  11. Warrior Warp Pro

Best lacrosse shafts

If you’re planning to buy your head and shaft separately, don’t worry -- it’s a really common thing to do. To help you narrow your search, here’s a list of some of the most popular lacrosse shafts.

  1. Maverik A1
  2. Epoch Dragonfly
  3. Warrior Burn Pro
  4. STX Surgeon Sc-Ti
  5. Nike Vapor Elite
  6. East Coast Dyes Carbon Pro
  7. TRUE Alloy SC 4.0
  8. East Coast Dyes Carbon
  9. Maverik Wonderboy

Youth lacrosse sticks: What do the experts say?

As we said earlier, if you’re new to the sport of lacrosse, you’re probably looking for as much advice as possible when it comes to buying lacrosse equipment. We asked our resident lacrosse gear experts for recommendations of their favorite sticks that are on the market right now. Specifically, if you’re a parent shopping for a youth lacrosse player, here are a few expert stick recs:

“For youth players, I would recommend a standard stick with very low maintenance such as the Warrior Evo Warp Next complete lacrosse short stick. This stick is very sturdy and durable. The Evo Warp lacrosse head comes with sewn-on mesh, meaning that it will never have to be replaced, an attractive feature for beginner players as stick stringing is a very tedious part of maintenance. This stick is very standard and will help youth players learn to play the game.” -- Nick S., college lacrosse player

“I would recommend looking into StringKing Complete Sticks. For a beginner, these sticks will do the job just fine, and they are relatively inexpensive. StringKing offers three kinds of complete sticks: the Complete 2 Jr (Ages 9 and Under), the Complete 2 INT (Ages 10-14), and the Complete 2 Sr (Ages 15+).” -- Robert G., high school lacrosse player