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There is no way to sugarcoat it: lacrosse is an expensive sport. So, if you are looking to cut costs, it’s important to know where going cheap won’t make you pay on the field.
When it comes to your lacrosse stick, going with a cheaper shaft is a lot less of a risk than pinching pennies on your head. Shafts stick (no pun intended) to the same general design and have similar weights, making the differences between budget options and top tier shafts less of a jump.
The best lacrosse heads tend to be lighter and have better stiffness and durability compared to cheaper lacrosse heads, creating a noticeable gap between elite and cheap products. These differences could greatly affect the quality of your play and send you reaching for your wallet again and again and again.
If you are looking to save money on your stick, here are some cheap shafts to consider.
Cheap Attack Lacrosse Shafts
1) ECD Carbon
The Carbon shaft from East Coast Dyes (ECD) is an excellent cheap stick option for an attackman or middie. Even at its cheaper price point, this shaft does not skimp on durability or grip, with a carbon fiber construction and a classic octagonal shape.
The grip is the highlight of this product; texturing along the normal hold areas gives the shaft a slight sandpaper feel that makes tape unnecessary. The shaft also has a concave angle that gives you more control.
The biggest knock on this shaft comes from its compatibility with some heads. Users have noted the difficulty of finding correct head fits and the difference in connection is significant enough to where usual MacGyver tactics (tape, etc.) cannot solve the issue.
Still, the durability, feel, and a favorable six-month warranty makes the ECD Carbon shaft a great cheaper option for your stick.
2) Epoch iD Vision C30
The Epoch iD Vision is a great entry-level shaft for players new to the game at a favorable price point for a first stick. It is a durable, balanced shaft perfect for discovering your natural pass and shot motion.
The iD Vision’s grip is another highlight here with an anodized finish for a textured handle that further emphasizes control thanks to its concave geometry. The grip spares none of the frills and its feel is familiar to more elite-level shafts.
The major drawback to the Vision is its alloy material. Although lightweight and durable in its own right, it doesn’t have quite the same sturdiness as Epoch’s other composite shafts on the market.
Epoch has a growing footprint in the sport of lacrosse and, with the Vision, it has made a terrific first shaft option for younger and new players.
3) Brine Triumph
Brine has always prided itself on having a steady output of affordable shafts. The Triumph shaft is an extremely low priced addition to this family of handles.
Raised rubber sidings that replace the need to tape up and alloy material give the Triumph a lightweight, traditional feel to help a new player get comfortable with the game without breaking the bank.
Still, you are getting what you pay for with this stick—questions definitely come into play when it comes to durability not just of the body integrity but the handle texturing. Some solid checks and prolonged use will wear this handle down.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the questionable warranty policy for Brine products. Since their addition to the Warrior Lacrosse family, the coverage for handles has become a bit muddled. You may want to double-check with Brine/Warrior as to the warranty length as this may change without notice.
4) Brine 6000 Shaft
Another entry level stick from Brine, the 6000 may look familiar to you if you’ve found yourself in a Dick’s Sporting Goods as of late. This popular retail stick is one of the cheapest shafts on the market, so temper expectations when it comes to prolonged use of it.
The Brine 6000 does not have any standout features. It has an aluminum octagonal body that has no extra built-in grip so be prepared to tape up if you like more grip. The aluminum also leaves this handle vulnerable to dings and dents which may be behind the lack of any warranty specific to this shaft.
Still, the Brine 6000 is great for any prospective player who you think may be prone to cold feet when it comes to sticking with the sport. This is a great way to expose a newbie to the feel of a lacrosse stick without breaking the bank.
Cheap Defense Lacrosse Shafts
1) Warrior Burn Kryptolyte
Drip Level: 4.4/5
- Material: Alloy
- Weight: 14 oz
- Shape: Concave
- Grip/Finish: Diamond grip
- Colors: Black, Silver
- Warranty: 6 months
Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for the Warrior Kryptolyte line as it was the first long pole I purchased starting out. But this also means you can trust me when I say that it is easily one of the best sticks I’ve ever bought.
The Burn Kryptolyte is extremely lightweight for a pole but does not sacrifice much in terms of durability thanks to its concave design of sturdy alloy. This handle can easily withstand a steady stream of slap checks, making it worth every penny.
The only notable drawback is the lack of a true finish to the shaft for extra grip if that’s something you’re into. You can always add tape to give yourself some more grip, however.
The Burn Kryptolyte is a great introductory stick to any new long pole, especially for younger players given its lighter weight.
2) STX Hammer 7000 Defense
Drip Level: 4.2/5
- Material: Alloy
- Weight: 15.1 oz
- Shape: Concave
- Grip/Finish: Mild Sandblast
- Colors: Platinum, Black
- Warranty: 6 months
We finally have an STX entry into the cheap lacrosse shaft game with the Hammer 7000. Its lightweight alloy and concave octagonal design help it keep pace with the more elite shafts in the STX family tree.
A mild sandblasted finish at main grip points gives this long pole increased handling without the added weight of tape.
The major drawback appears to be the weight as the stick carries a bit heavier than other shafts on the market at a similar price point. But weight does equate to some extra durability to the handle and gives the Hammer 7000 a bit longer shelf life for most.
The Hammer 7000 is still a worthy stick to consider for entry-level D-poles trying not to break the bank out of the gate. And it’s not a terrible stepping stone to STX’s more elite (and expensive) Hammer 700.
3) STX 6000 Defense
We’re back to the local sporting goods store aisle with the STX 6000. This is another shaft you can find in your local retail store, meant solely for entry level players and not high-level usage.
The best asset to this stick is the cheap price point which isn’t extremely inexpensive for a relatively traditional grip and feel, perfect for familiarizing yourself to life as a long pole.
Otherwise, weight and durability are both major issues. At 17.8 ounces, this is easily the heaviest stick on the market. Still, all that weight does not equate to durability as some users have bent this shaft with barely any use. That structural vulnerability may be why STX does not cover the 6000 in their warranty.
The STX 6000 is a decent first stick if you’re curious about the feel and play of a long pole in a non-competitive capacity but we would advise finding an alternative when it comes to taking the field for higher levels of play.
Cheap Goalie Lacrosse Shafts
1) STX Outlet
I bet you thought we’d forget about the goalies…well, we’re starting off strong between the pipes with the STX Outlet.
The Outlet fires on all cylinders when it comes to the needs of the goalie, shown in the teardrop design to the shaft meant for an ergonomic feel with total control over stick spin and position.
Texturing along the shaft in the main grip areas alleviates the need for added tape to keep this stick light in the goalie’s hands. They really have thought of every need in terms of feel and play.
The main drawback of the Outlet comes in its length of 34 inches. Some older, more experienced goalies favor a longer shaft to increase their save range. If you are ok with a 34-inch shaft or shorter, however, the Outlet is one of the best budget options currently available.
2) ECD Carbon Goalie
ECD’s goalie version of their Carbon shaft is a worthy affordable stick to consider. It sports all of the positives of the ECD Carbon attack shaft including a textured, concave body of very durable carbon fiber.
Similarly to the attack shaft, the Carbon may not fit all goalie heads on the market so you should research compatibility to your preferred head before you purchase.
The Carbon body is cut from the same shape as its attack and defensive counterparts so there are no goalie-specific features to this shaft beyond the length.
Overall, the ECD Carbon is a high-quality option when it comes to cheaper goalie shafts and is worth considering, especially if you prefer a carbon fiber handle.
3) Warrior Analog A6 6000 Goalie
Drip Level: 3.4/5
- Material: Alloy
- Weight: N/A
- Shape: Straight Edge
- Grip/Finish: Smooth
- Colors: Chrome
- Warranty: None
The Warrior Analog A6 6000 is another entry from the alloy family—a similar metal that’s made an appearance in our short and long pole sections.
The 6000 does stand out for its straight edge shape that provides a unique feel compared to most shafts nowadays that have concave grips.
But, as with the entries from Brine and STX, the Warrior 6000 goalie stick is a soft metal with a smooth finish that leaves the shaft vulnerable to denting and bending.
The greatest asset to the 6000 is its very cheap price, making it a solid stick for those new goalies looking to take some shots in net outside of competition.
Who Should Consider Buying a Cheap Lacrosse Shaft?
Beyond looking to cut costs, there are certain types of players where going with a cheaper shaft option makes sense and perfectly meets their needs.
Young players make up the most likely users of cheap shafts for good reason. First and foremost, youth leagues do not have the intensity or physicality of higher levels of lacrosse, so a cheaper stick has a much greater likelihood of survival than say in high school or college.
Also, younger players may not be into the sport long term and are more likely to get cold feet when it comes to sticking with lacrosse. This makes a cheap shaft the perfect stepping stone to a more elite handle once they mature physically and in their love and understanding of the game. Save that splurge on a shaft for high school.
Another solid demographic for cheap shafts is the older crowd—those over-the-hill competitive players who may not be taking the field anymore but still have a hankering to pick up the spoon for some catch or maybe to teach a younger player the game.
The biggest rule of thumb for cheap shafts generally is the lower the price, the lower the life expectancy of the product and the more you may want to avoid competitive uses.
Differences Between Expensive & Cheap Shafts
This section covers some of the key differences to consider when it comes to comparing expensive and cheap shafts in three key areas: durability, weight, and grip.
Kind of the no-brainer here…the more expensive the shaft, the more durable it likely is.
Most of the cheaper options covered above employ an alloy body. Although strong and lightweight in its own right, alloy is a softer, malleable metal when it comes to the shaft market, leaving it more vulnerable to dents and bending. This leaves your shaft extremely vulnerable at the higher, more physical levels of lacrosse and could send you digging into your pocket to buy a replacement very quickly.
The best lacrosse shafts are typically made of carbon fiber, a titanium/scandium alloy, or another more advanced metal which helps increase durability.
Pretty much the exact opposite of what the blood-sucking lawyer in Jurassic Park says: if it’s heavy, then it’s probably cheap and you may want to put it back.
Alloys and other materials on the cheap shaft market tend to run noticeably heavier than their more expensive counterparts. This comes into play if you plan to employ your cheaper shaft on the field—a couple of ounces here or there may greatly affect the speed of your stick whether passing, shooting, checking, or simply moving around.
Cutting down on weight also cuts down on the awkwardness and strain of carrying a heavier shaft the many miles you may run in a given game. This means fresher legs and arms when it counts: crunch time in the fourth quarter.
Last but not least is the grip. Luckily, we’ve given you some solid options above that employ at least some form of texture and concave shapes to mimic more expensive shafts.
Still, generally across the board for cheaper shafts, less care is paid to the little differences that pay big dividends when it comes to stick control. You may get some texture, but it could lack the durability of a more expensive shaft. You may get concave sides but at such a slight angle, that the sides may as well be flat.
Having a great grip isn’t the most important thing in the world since you can always use tape, but adding tape does add weight which, as well talked about before, can slow you down.
Lacrosse Shaft FAQs
1) Will XYZ Head Fit Onto This Shaft?
Most heads typically fit onto any shaft. This is true even if they are different brands.
At most, you may have to drill a new hole in the shaft, but that’s usually it.
The one caveat is if your head has a throat plug. If you’re using a solid (not hollow) composite shaft, 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 or Goalie Shaft Length?
Yes, as long as you cut your metal shaft down to the legal length (30 inches for attack or 30 to 40 inches for goalie), 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, specifically, is that you can get two shafts out of it since a d-pole is typically 60 inches long.
3) What is the Standard Shaft Length?
Here is the breakdown of typical lacrosse shaft lengths:
- Attack: 30 inches
- Goalie: 30 – 40 inches
- Defense: 60 inches
Some shafts designed for younger players may be a few inches shorter to give them better control. Additionally, you can cut down d-poles to shorter lengths if you prefer.
Photo credit: Flickr