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No matter how good your lacrosse head is, you can't have an elite stick unless you have a strong, lightweight shaft to go along with it.
Shafts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and there are countless options to choose from including both metal and composite handles.
To help you decide which lacrosse shaft to go with, I put together this guide that goes over my 7 favorite attack/middie shafts, two budget options, and what you should look for when choosing.
Best Attack Lacrosse Shafts
To find the best lacrosse shafts for attackmen and middies, I started off by creating a database of all available handles on the market including as much info about each as I could find including price, weight, material, flex points, etc.
I then read customer reviews and visited my local sporting goods to get more insight into how strong they were, how they felt, and what they looked like in person.
From there, I narrowed down my list to the 8 best that are included below.
Best Shafts for Attackmen & Middies:
1) STX Sc-Ti Series (5 Shafts)
- Material: Scandium/Titanium alloy (metal)
- Weight: 4.94 – 6.7 oz
- Shape: Varies based on choice
- Grip/Finish: 2 mil steel shot grip finish
- Colors: Platinum, Black, Gunmetal, Blue Steel
- Warranty: 6 months
Throughout my high school and college lacrosse career, I almost always used an STX Sc-Ti Pro. They were lightweight and held up extremely well. I actually don't think I ever broke one or even had any major dents or dings in them.
Now, STX offers 5 different versions of the Sc-Ti shafts which all vary based on shape and weight. The variety of offerings helps STX take the top spot on our list because you can find a shaft that fits your preferences while knowing it's going to perform well.
STX's Sc-Ti shafts are the company's top-tier metal shafts and are made of a scandium/titanium alloy. They come with a 2 mil steel shot finish to give you better grip and control.
If you prefer metal over composite shafts, you'd have a hard time finding a better option than an STX Sc-Ti shaft.
2) Warrior Burn Pro Carbon Shaft
- Material: Carbon composite
- Weight: 4.41 oz
- Shape: Octagonal
- Grip/Finish: Grit grip
- Colors: Black, White (both w/ orange accents)
- Warranty: 6 months
The Warrior Burn Pro Carbon shaft is our top pick of composite attack shafts due to its durability and light weight. It is the third-lightest shaft that we've been able to find in our research, but still seems to hold up well based on customer reviews.
The shaft uses SymRail technology, allowing it to flex to increase shot speed, making it a great option for attackmen and middies. It has a traditional octagonal shape as opposed to being more concave or rigid.
On the downside, the grip on this shaft isn't the best in my opinion. It has a “grit grip” finish but I would need to add some extra tape if I were using this shaft. In addition, there is a lot going on with the design which may turn off some players who prefer minimal decals and colors.
3) ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 (2 Shafts – Speed & Power)
ECD took the best features of their original Carbon shaft and implemented new features to make the Carbon Pro 2.0 even better.
It comes in two variations: Speed and Power.
The Speed version—mainly tailored for attackmen—has a higher flex point allowing for a quicker release. It also features a raised texture grip towards the top of the shaft to give you better control with one-handed cradling.
The Power version—mainly tailored for middies/outside shooters—has a lower flex point allowing for more power on outside shots. Its raised texture is towards the bottom of the shaft to give you more control during those outside bombs.
Both versions have fairly minimalistic designs featuring some text and logos as well as a sleek gold band.
4) StringKing Metal 3 Pro Shafts (4 Options)
The second metal shaft to make our list of the best A/M shafts is the Metal 3 Pro from StringKing. It comes in 4 different variations which differ in weight. The table below can help you decide which option is best for you.
The grip on the Metal 3 Pro feels like most other metal shafts and it has a slight concave shape that gives you good control of the shaft. It comes in silver and black and features minimalistic decals giving the shaft a great overall look.
The biggest downside of this shaft is the weight of the versions designed for more advanced players (175 g and 195 g). While these aren't super heavy, there are lighter metal shafts available.
5) Warrior Evo QX Carbon Attack
Drip Level: 4.8/5
- Material: Carbon fiber
- Weight: 4.59 oz
- Shape: Concave
- Grip/Finish: Extra grip on important areas
- Colors: White
- Warranty: 6 months
The newest shaft from Warrior for 2021 is one of its best yet.
The Evo QX Carbon Attack is a hollow carbon fiber shaft that is one of the strongest in the game. Its unique hollow carbon design helps it stay very lightweight at only 4.59 oz without sacrificing durability.
One of the other favorite parts about this shaft is the Tactical Grip located on key areas of the shaft to provide more grip. Best of all, this extra grip is designed not to tear up your gloves as we've seen with some other gritty shafts.
The Evo QX Carbon Attack shaft comes in a clean white design with light blue accents. It's by far one of the best-looking shafts in the game and is sure to look great with your head of choice.
6) Maverik Hyperlite
- Material: Carbon fiber
- Weight: 4.8 oz
- Shape: Slight concave
- Grip/Finish: Smooth matte finish
- Colors: Black, White
- Warranty: 6 months
Another carbon fiber shaft makes our list; this time the Maverik Hyperlite. It's one of the lightest shafts on the market today (and the lightest shaft Maverik has ever created), weighing in at only 4.8 oz.
Unlike some other carbon fiber shafts, the Hyperlite is designed not to flex. If you are used to metal shafts but want to try out a carbon fiber shaft, this may be a good option instead of jumping straight to a shaft designed to flex.
The Hyperlite has a slight concave shape and a matte finish for a smooth feel. It comes in black and white, both of which have blue accents and a checkered pattern on some (white) or all parts (black) of the shaft.
One of my favorite parts of the Hyperlite is the adjustable butt end that you can move on the shaft depending on where you prefer it.
7) StringKing Composite Pro Faceoff
The StringKing Composite Pro Faceoff may be the most unique shaft I've ever seen. StringKing took its popular Composite Pro shaft and adjusted the grip towards the top to provide better grip for the top hand during faceoffs.
As you can tell from the images above and to the side/below, the top fifth of the shaft has an asymmetrical shape that gives you more leverage for clamping.
I've tested this shaft out myself and can tell you it really does give you better grip and leverage as compared to a normal shaft.
In addition to the unique shape, the StringKing Composite Pro Faceoff shaft comes with 6 holes for screwing your head in, and the shaft works with almost all popular faceoff heads.
The rest of the shaft has a slight concave shape like all other StringKing shafts. It doesn't have much grip on it so you may need some tape if you prefer your shaft to have a better feel.
8) Epoch Dragonfly Elite Series (3 Shapes + 4 Flex Options)
- Material: Carbon fiber
- Weight: 5.8 oz
- Shape: Concave, Extreme Concave, Asymmetrical Concave
- Grip/Finish: Slip/Grip top coat
- Colors: Black, White, Gold
- Warranty: 1 year
Epoch's Dragonfly Elite series is another top-tier line of shafts with various options so you can find one that matches your playing style and preferences.
There are 3 shapes available, the C (concave): a traditional concave shape, the E (ergonomic): an asymmetric concave shape, and the X (extreme concave): concave shape on the corners but flat on the sides.
You also have the choice among 4 flex options which differ based on if your playing style is more power or speed-based. Here are the variations from stiffest to lightest: Flex iQ2, Flex iQxl, Flex iQ5, Flex iQ9.
Another way in which the Epoch Dragonfly Elite shafts stand out is that they come with a 1-year warranty whereas most other shafts only come with a 6-month warranty (or less).
Budget Attack/Middie Shafts
If you are looking for a cheaper attack/middie shaft, there are some good options to consider. Here are two options you may want to consider:
Before ECD came out with the Carbon 2.0 and Carbon 2.0 Pro shafts, they sold the original Carbon shaft.
While it's not as good as the updated versions, it's still a great cheap shaft that should hold up well for you.
If you prefer a carbon fiber shaft but don't want to shell out $100+ for one, the ECD Carbon is a smart choice.
If you have a very young child who is just getting into the game or if you're looking for a super cheap shaft just to mess around with, look no further than the Brine 6000.
It is a very basic metal shaft that often comes on complete sticks for beginners. I don't recommend it for higher levels of play since it dents/breaks easily, but it's a full-sized shaft that is fine for young children or backyard play at an extremely affordable price.
How to Choose an Attack/Middie Lacrosse Shaft
Arguably the most important thing for attackmen and midfielders is to find a lightweight shaft that won't slow down their shot and other movements crucial to offense.
I generally recommend looking for a shaft that's at least under 7 ounces and preferably under 6 ounces. Most elite attack shafts nowadays weigh between 4 to 6 ounces. Once you get much higher than this, your shaft may be noticeably heavy.
While it's important to find a lightweight shaft, you don't want to sacrifice durability. Your shaft will be no good if it breaks or has massive dents in it that make playing with it awkward.
The easiest way to judge durability is by reading reviews from customers that have used the shaft for awhile (like I have done to create this guide) to see if there are any issues with breaking or denting.
You can also check to see what kind of warranty the shaft comes with. Most shafts come with a 6-month warranty—which is decent—but now some companies offer up to an entire year which can be a huge difference maker, especially since you'll get a few seasons out of it if you play year round.
The main types of lacrosse shafts are metal and composite/carbon fiber.
Once lacrosse shaft manufacturers moved away from wood, most shafts were made of metal alloys. In the past decade or so, however, companies have started developing carbon fiber shafts that typically perform just as well and, in a lot of cases, better than metal shafts.
So which is better?
There’s no right answer. It really depends on your personal preference.
Composite and carbon fiber shafts typically have a higher strength-to-weight ratio and flex more than metal shafts. The flex, especially, can take some getting used to when switching to a composite shaft from a metal shaft. It can feel a little odd when first shooting with one, even if the flex isn't noticeable to the naked eye. As you see above, companies even offer shafts with different flex points allowing you to find a shaft tailored to your game.
Metal shafts, on the other hand, don’t flex much and switching from one metal shaft to another should feel pretty natural. Metal shafts get dings and dents in them more easily than composite shafts—but these don’t make them unusable like composite shafts once they crack.
Composite shafts are more prone to catastrophic failure than metal shafts because they shatter instead of just getting a few small dings. So while an average carbon fiber shaft may hold up better, once they break, they are pretty much useless.
As you may have also noticed above, lacrosse shafts are made in a variety of shapes. Most of them are some variation of an octagon. Some are strict octagons with straight sides while others may be curved inwards (concave) or rigid with multiple curves on each angled side.
Like the material of the shaft, there is no one best shape. It all comes down to your preference.
I recommend testing out some of your teammates' shafts with you gloves on to see which feels the best to you.
Another thing that changes from shaft to shaft is the outer material of it.
The finish or grip of the shaft, for example, may be smooth, sandblasted to make them a little rougher, or have a kind of rubber grip.
While you can always add tape to a shaft to give it more grip, finding one that feels good with no tape can be helpful incase your tape comes off during the game or you need to put your hand on a spot of the shaft with no tape.
Last but not least, you always have to factor in your budget when deciding on a shaft. While there are certainly elite shafts that perform better than the rest, your game won't be severely impacted by using a cheaper shaft.
If you have to decide between choosing a cheaper shaft or head for your attack stick, I recommend going with a cheaper shaft.
At the end of the day, all shafts are generally the same shape and size. In addition, the weight difference between one shaft to the next is less noticeable since you are directly holding it in your hands, as opposed to a head that is further away from your hands.
The best lacrosse heads, on the other hand, are noticeably different than mediocre heads. They often have better face shapes, are more durable and stiff, and have superior scoops.
With that being said, if you are trying to find a cheaper lacrosse shaft, I recommend looking at older models. Often these are discounted as new versions come out despite there being little difference from generation to generation.
FAQs About Attack Shafts
1) Will XYZ Head Fit Onto This Shaft?
Most heads typically fit onto any shaft—even if they are different brands. You may have to drill a new hole in the shaft so you can screw the head in, but that's usually the extent of work required.
The one caveat is if your head has a throat plug and you're using a solid (not hollow) composite shaft. In this situation, you may want to find a hollow shaft (or head without a throat plug) to make sure they will fit.
2) Can I Cut Down a D-Pole to An Attack Shaft Length?
Yes, as long as you cut your metal shaft down to the legal length (30 inches), then it is perfectly legal to cut a d-pole down.
I bolded metal above because you definitely shouldn't cut down a carbon fiber shaft. The shaft will splinter and will be unusable.
One of the great benefits of cutting down a defensive shaft to an attack size is that you can get two shafts out of it since a d-pole is typically 60 inches long.
3) What is the Standard Attack Shaft Length?
Most attack shafts are 30 inches long. The only exception is some shafts designed for younger players that may be a few inches shorter to give them better control.
Photo credit: Flickr