Most advanced lacrosse players buy separate heads and shafts so they can fully customize their sticks to their liking.
There are way more individual head and shaft combinations than there are complete sticks—which are often targeted more at beginner-to-intermediate players.
The problem is, having so many options can make it difficult to decide which option is the best. Especially when it comes to lacrosse shafts that are all generally the same shape.
To help, I created this guide covering what I think are the best lacrosse shafts available today for all positions. You can also learn more about what to look for in a shaft later in the guide.
Note: This guide covers men's shafts. If you need one for the girls' game, check out our guide to the best women's lacrosse shafts.
Best Lacrosse Shafts
To find the best lacrosse shafts, I created a database of all shafts on the market today and researched information—such as weight, material, and durability—to find pros and cons for each.
I did this by reading customer reviews, watching videos, and visiting the manufacturers' websites. I then traveled to my local sporting goods stores to feel as many in my own hands as I could.
From there, I narrowed down my list to the best 10 shafts for each position. In this guide, you can see the top 4 attack/middie shafts, defense shafts, and goalie shafts. Soon I'll be publishing shaft guides by position with all of my top picks for each.
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Attack & Midfield Shafts
1) STX Sc-Ti Series (Multiple Options)
STX's Sc-Ti shafts are the company's top-tier metal shafts and are made of a scandium/titanium alloy.
There are 5 different options with varying weights and shapes, allowing you to find your perfect fit, as well as a variety of colors.
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 Attack
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 I've been able to find in my research, but doesn't lack strength.
The shaft uses SymRail technology, allowing it to flex to increase shot speed, making it a great option for all offensive players.
3) ECD Carbon Pro 2.0
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 2 variations: Speed and Power. The Speed version has a higher flex point allowing for a quicker release while the Power version has a lower flex point allowing for more power.
4) StringKing Metal 3 Pro
If you are in the market for a metal shaft, the StringKing Metal 3 Pro is an amazing option.
It comes in a variety of weights depending on your age/skill level and you have the option of a black or white shaft.
Aside from the great performance of these shafts, I love the clean, minimalistic decals.
1) STX Sc-Ti Defense Series (Multiple Options)
STX also offers Sc-Ti long poles that have the same great benefits of the shorty shafts.
They are strong, durable, and come in 4 different weights/shapes depending on your playing style.
If you prefer a metal shaft, you can't go wrong with this classic from STX.
2) Warrior Burn XP Carbon Defense
Just released in October 2021, the Warrior Burn XP Carbon Defense is one of the best shafts for both defensemen and LSMs currently available.
It is designed to strategically flex to provide more power on shots and long passes as well as checks.
The dot matrix grip gives you a good feel of the shaft in your gloves but won't tear them up like many other shafts.
3) StringKing Metal 3 Pro Defense
The StringKing Metal 3 Pro Defense comes in a variety of weights to best suit your age and skill level.
It is lightweight without sacrificing strength and durability, making it a great choice for heavy-handed defensemen and LSMs alike.
Best of all, StringKing offers a 6-month warranty should you shaft break, bend, or develop any major dents or cracks.
4) Epoch Dragonfly Elite II Defense
Drip Level: 4.8/5
Epoch just released the Dragonfly Elite II Defense in late 2021 which improves upon the already popular shaft line.
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.
1) StringKing Metal 3 Pro Goalie
Drip Level: 5/5
As you can probably tell by now, many of the best lacrosse shafts are made for a variety of positions—and the StringKing Metal 3 Pro is no exception.
The Goalie version features the same great features of the Attack and Defense shafts but measures in at 36 inches, the standard goalie length.
2) ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 Goalie
Drip Level: 5/5
If you are a goalie that prefers composite shafts, you can't go wrong with the ECD Carbon Pro 2.0 Goalie shaft.
It is very light and should have no problem holding up even when deflecting the hardest of shots. If for some reason it does break, there is also a 6-month warranty allowing you to get a replacement.
3) StringKing Composite Pro Goalie
StringKing also offers a composite shaft line and the goalie version is our favorite.
The StringKing Composite Pro comes in 2 weights: 142 grams for those 14 & under and 162 grams for those over 14.
You also have the choice between black and white, and it features similar minimalistic decals to the Metal 3 Pro shafts.
4) STX Sc-Ti O Goalie
Drip Level: 4.8/5
STX's Sc-Ti series is one of the longest-running and best shaft lines available today.
The shafts are made out of a lightweight yet tough titanium/platinum alloy and have a great finish providing great grip on the shaft. The Sc-Ti O Goalie has an octagonal shape that STX has determined is the ideal shape for goalies.
How to Choose the Best Lacrosse Shaft
Not sure what to consider when buying a lacrosse shaft? Here are 7 of the most important things to think about that can help you find your best fit.
The first step in choosing a lacrosse shaft is figuring out what size you need, which is mainly based on your position and (possibly) age.
Let's start with position.
Attackmen and midfielders (excluding LSMs) always use 30-inch shafts. Defense shafts are always 60 inches long when bought new, but some players may elect to cut a few inches off to get better control. Finally, goalie shafts can be anywhere from 30 to 40 inches depending on your preferences. If you like a 30-inch shaft as a goalie, you can use any attack shaft.
If you or you child is younger (around 12 or under), you may elect to go with an even shorter shaft than the above sizes. You'll find that many “youth” shafts are a few inches shorter and sometimes have a smaller diameter to help younger players control them better.
Young defensemen, especially, often use shorter shafts than the standard 60-inch pole. A good rule of thumb is to not use a stick that is any taller than you. So, for example, if you or your child is 5 feet tall, you shouldn't use a shaft that is any longer than 4'2″ since most heads are around 10 inches long.
Though durability is hard to judge just by looking at a picture of a shaft or even feeling it in your hands, it is important to consider.
The best way to do this, in my opinion, is by reading customer reviews and watching YouTube videos created by players after they've used the shaft for awhile.
This can help you get an idea of how well the shaft holds up over time. If you see that a shaft has a lot of complaints about breaking, dents, bending, etc., then you may want to look for a different option.
Almost as important as durability is weight. Having a lightweight shaft allows you to move your stick faster, improving your shot speed, quickness, dodging, checking, and more.
Unfortunately, weight and durability work against each other for many shafts. Typically, the lighter a shaft, the less durable and strong it is.
In the past decade, however, lacrosse companies have developed advanced metals and composite materials that provide great strength while still being light.
This is often the biggest difference between the best lacrosse shafts (like those listed above) and cheaper shafts that are either light and weak or strong but very heavy.
There are two main types of lacrosse shafts available: metal and composite. Historically, most shafts were made of metal (besides the OG wooden shafts, of course).
In the past decade or so, companies have started developing composite shafts, often made of carbon fiber, that 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.
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 carbon fiber/composite shaft. Many 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 are 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.
There are a few common shaft shapes including concave, rounded, and rigid. The STX Sc-Ti series, for example, includes 5 versions: concave (Sc-Ti X), rigid (Sc-Ti R), shift (Sc-Ti S), octagon (Sc-Ti O), and extreme concave (Sc-Ti X+).
Like the metal vs. composite debate, there is no “best” shape for a lacrosse shaft. I recommend feeling a few different shafts—either in a store of by testing out some of your teammates' shafts—to see which feels the best to you.
Be sure to feel the shafts with your gloves on as this is what you'll be playing with in a game.
You should also consider the finish of your lacrosse shaft. By finish, I mean the grip or what the outer material of the shaft feels like.
Most shafts aren't perfectly smooth—and that's a good thing. You want some kind of texture on the shaft so you have a better grip on them. For example, some shafts have a sand blasted finish that give you some traction while others use a rubber grip.
This is something else that you'll have to test out for yourself to figure out what you prefer. Try different shafts to see which feels the best in your gloves to decide which to go with.
Which lacrosse shaft is best for you also depends on how much you want to spend. Top-of-the-line shafts can cost well over $100—especially for d poles which start to push $200.
There are many quality shafts for all positions, however, that cost under $100.
If you are trying to save on your lacrosse stick, I actually recommend going with a cheaper shaft and more expensive head. I think there's a larger difference between the best lacrosse heads and cheaper/less advanced options than shafts.
In my career, I think I've only broken one shaft, and I don't find that a slightly heavier shaft makes much of a difference. At the end of the day, all shafts have the same basic shape and weight doesn't fluctuate that much compared to heads.
In the future, I hope to make an article highlighting my favorite cheap lacrosse shafts to help players looking for more affordable options.
Standard Lacrosse Shaft Sizes
Here are the most common regulation shaft sizes by level of play and position. Note that “Adult” refers to high school and higher.
28" – 30"
28" – 60"
30" – 60"
28" – 40"
30" – 40"
Complete Your Stick
Need a new head to go with your shiny new shaft or a nice bag to put it in? Check out our other guides that can help you find your perfect fit: