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There is nothing quite as intimidating as stepping out on the lacrosse field for the first time. The equipment, the movement, the concepts—it can all be overwhelming for new players just getting introduced to the sport.
To make it easier on those new to lacrosse, many companies offer very functional and affordable complete sticks designed for children and older beginners.
This guide goes over those options and explains what to look for in a beginner lacrosse stick to help you find the perfect fit for you or your child.
Best Boys Youth Lacrosse Sticks
As always here at Lax Drip, we research every product we cover, considering things such as design, price, and player feedback to find the best options available.
Here are the best youth and beginner lacrosse sticks currently available for boys:
1) StringKing Complete Junior Boy’s Youth Lacrosse Stick
If I had a child just starting to learn the game of lacrosse, I would go with the StringKing Complete Junior Boy’s Youth Lacrosse Stick.
Though StringKing is a newer company, they have quickly caught up to the top companies in terms of the quality of their heads and shafts.
This stick comes with a wide head for easier catching and a narrower and lighter shaft to account for the smaller hands and lower strength of young players.
Finally, even though this head has a narrower and lighter shaft than standard sticks, StringKing also adjusted the weight of the head to make sure the overall weight distribution is equal to a full-sized stick.
2) STX Stallion 50 Youth Lacrosse Complete Stick
Similar to the StringKing stick above, this complete lacrosse stick by STX was designed with younger players in mind. It comes with a wide head and thin/light shaft so smaller kids can handle it better.
If you have a smaller budget for a lacrosse stick, this is a solid option that is very affordable. It can be used for all positions besides goalie including attack, middie, and defense.
One of the biggest downsides of this head is the inconsistent string job it comes with. Many customers noted that the pocket was great for throwing and catching while others explained that it was so deep or narrow that the ball wouldn’t even come out.
3) TRUE Temper Youth Cadet Junior Boy’s Lacrosse Stick
TRUE has carved out a niche within lacrosse when it comes to producing quality, specialized equipment to under-served corners of the sport. The Cadet complete stick is no exception to this rule.
The Cadet is a great first lacrosse stick because it combines intermediate designs in an accessible form, shrinking down certain parts to make the stick easier to handle for young players.
This Cadet’s scoop makes it especially easy to scoop ground balls and the wide face shape is great for learning to catch. The shaft is 2” shorter than full-sized shafts, making it easier for young players to control.
The rub on the Cadet is that its shrunk down length makes its use only applicable to the youngest levels of lacrosse, mainly 10U or under. This is not a stick to grow into or that would be able to be employed at the high school and college levels. Additionally, the Cadet is relatively new and does not have a wealth of performance feedback at this time.
4) Warrior Evo Warp Next Lacrosse Stick
Warrior tackles one of the most difficult aspects of youth development with the Evo Warp Next complete stick: not having to worry about the pocket.
The Warp pocket is built into the head and stays consistent over time and in bad weather. The pocket is also better than many factory-strung heads that have “tennis racket” pockets.
The downside of the Warp pocket is that your child can’t start learning how to string sticks or at least adjust the pocket. While this isn’t crucial in early years, it’s always good to know in case something happens to your stringing in the middle of the game.
Outside of the pocket, this stick is a great option for new youth players, especially those on the smaller side, as it is extremely lightweight. The wide-angle scoop also makes picking up ground balls easier.
5) Warrior Burn Jr Plus Lacrosse Stick
Warrior’s Burn Jr. Plus takes the Junior part in its name very seriously as it is designed with players 10 and under specifically in mind.
The 6000 Alloy handle is lightweight, making it easy to control. The EZ-Scoop head promotes success on ground balls while the pro strung pocket makes it easier to hold onto the ball.
The main knock on the Burn Jr. is superficial – buyers note an inconsistency in the color of the shaft and head that arrive when purchased online. There have also been mentions of durability issues especially at more physical levels of the sport.
Overall, this is a great first stick for a very young player to build confidence with before graduating to more advanced levels of the game.
Best Girls Youth Lacrosse Sticks
Since the girls' game has different rules than the boys' game, there are different equipment requirements—including sticks.
Girls' lacrosse sticks can’t have as deep of pockets as boys' sticks, so the heads are often shaped differently to provide better hold onto the ball. They also often come in “traditional” pockets that use leathers and more string as opposed to mesh.
Here are some great girls beginner lacrosse sticks worth considering:
1) Maverik Erupt ST Girls Beginner Stick
Drip Level: 4.6/5
- Head: Erupt ST
- Pockets: Mesh runner
- Shaft: 28″ Erupt aluminum
- Key features:
- Thinner shaft makes it easier to control
- Wide face shape helps with catching
- Mesh runner pocket provides consistent release
The Maverik Erupt ST is one of the most popular beginner girls lacrosse sticks on the market today.
It features a wide face shape to help with catching, a mesh runner pocket that provides good control and an accurate release, and a thinner metal shaft that is easier to control than full-width shafts.
This stick meets US Lacrosse U10 rules, making it a great option for young players to grow with.
One big difference between the Erupt ST and other beginner girls sticks is the aggressive head shape. There is a dramatic offset towards the top of the head, much like more advanced heads have.
This is great for getting used to the style of stick that girls will use longterm but may be a bit harder to get used to than other options.
2) STX Lilly Beginner Lacrosse Stick
- Head: Lilly
- Pockets: Mesh runner
- Shaft: Shortened with 7/8″ diameter
- Key features:
- One of the most popular beginner sticks
- Wide face shape makes catching easier
- Shortened shaft is easier to control
The STX Lilly Beginner Girls Lacrosse Stick is one of the first sticks many girls use thanks to its beginner-friendly design.
Its wide head makes it easier to catch the ball and, unlike many other beginner sticks, actually comes with a decent pocket.
The shortened ⅞” diameter shaft is easier to control than full-sized shafts, making it great for younger girls with smaller hands.
We recommend the STX Lilly for girls playing U10 or under. For higher levels of play, you may be better off going with a full-sized stick in order to stay competitive with other players.
3) Brine Dynasty Warp Jr Girls Complete Lacrosse Stick
Drip Level: 4/5
- Head: Dynasty Warp Jr
- Pockets: Warp Pocket
- Shaft: Brine Dynasty
- Key features:
- Features Warrior’s unique Warp Pocket
- Decent amount of offset giving good control
- Wide face shape makes catching easier
The Brine Dynasty Warp Junior Girls Complete Lacrosse Stick is another great option for beginners thanks to its wide face shape, lightweight, and unique Warp pocket.
The Warp pocket is built into the head and requires no adjustments over time. While this makes for easy maintenance, it doesn't allow girls to begin learning how to string and adjust their pockets over time.
Unlike some beginner sticks, the Dynasty Warp Jr has a decent offset which can help beginners more easily transition to intermediate and advanced shafts later on.
The Brine Dynasty Warp Jr comes in two color schemes: a black head with a black, pink, and blue shaft of a white head with a blue and white shaft.
4) STX Lacrosse Fortress 100 Complete Stick
The STX Fortress 100 complete stick is a great option for any beginner female player with an eye for defense.
Its wider face design makes this a vacuum in the air and on the ground. Its Crux mesh pocket is responsive to throwing and catching without the “racket effect” that frequently characterizes complete beginner sticks.
But, that strength is also a liability as the Fortress 100 pocket is prone to wearing down. The top strings are especially prone to tearing given their exposure and the pocket can drift out of legal specifications after extended use.
If you decide to go with this stick, just be prepared to make adjustments to the pocket over time—which is much easier to do with mesh than a traditional pocket—or have a friend on speed dial that knows how to do so.
5) STX Lacrosse Crux 100 Complete Stick
- Head: Nova
- Pockets: Mesh
- Shaft: 6000 Alloy
- Key features:
- Flexible scoop for ground balls
- Raised ball-stop for retention
- Precision pocket for throwing accuracy
Another STX entry makes the list with the Crux 100 complete stick; an attack oriented option that prioritizes throwing accuracy.
The Crux 100 is an ultra lightweight option with reduced heft in the Nova sidewall design and 6000 Alloy handle.
Also, the Crux mesh pocket meets FIL specifications with the same give the Fortress 100 is known for.
But, as with the Fortress 100, the pocket does experience noted wear after its prolonged use. Be sure to check it from time-to-time and tighten it up if needed.
Beginner Lacrosse Stick Buying Guide
We hate to pigeonhole you to just the sticks on our list so, as always, we’d like to provide you with some tools and things to consider when it comes to buying a beginner lacrosse stick.
1) Girls vs. Boys Sticks
Girls and boys lacrosse might look the same at first glance, but there are differences (around the head mainly) that fit separate rules and equipment specifications.
Girls’ sticks have much shallower pockets that do not hold onto the ball as well as boys’ pockets since there is less checking allowed. Boys’ lacrosse sticks use a baggier pocket and tend to have a heavier, more durable shaft to withstand the contact in the game.
Given these differences, sticks are not interchangeable between girls’ and boys’ sides of the sport.
2) Head Shape
Beginner heads tend to feature wider designs that make it much easier to catch the ball. They also often have scoops that make picking up ground balls easy. These are two of the hardest things for youth and beginner players to learn, so finding a good head shape is crucial.
As a player advances in the sport and gets more comfortable in these two areas, heads do narrow to help with better hold and accuracy while sacrificing the surface area for catching.
3) Shaft Length
Youth shafts tend to be a bit smaller (26” to 30”) than the standard shaft size (30” to 32”) and also a bit thinner. This allows young players with shorter arms and smaller hands to control the stick easier.
At the youngest levels of boys lacrosse, short sticks are usually used by players of all positions before defensemen begin using long poles. The general rule of thumb is that the stick shouldn’t be any longer than the player is tall.
4) Stick Weight
Younger players aren’t as strong as older players, so they need a lighter stick. The lesser the weight, the more control your player will have.
Look for a stick that is light enough for your child to easily carry and move around in the air. Just remember that less weight typically equals less strong shaft.
5) Pocket Type
The pocket is the netting that holds the ball in the head.
Virtually all boys lacrosse sticks that hit the market these days have mesh pockets. They are easy to maintain and are typically consistent. While you can transition to traditional pockets later on, mesh pockets are great for developing fundamentals.
For girls, there is a bit more differentiation between pockets at the beginner level. There are traditional pockets that use a combination of leather and strings, mesh pockets that are like boys’ pockets just shallower, and mesh runner pockets that are a mix between the two.
I generally recommend that youth girls go with a full mesh pocket. They are easier to maintain for someone new to the game and are becoming more and more popular at the older levels.
6) Customer Reviews
Always consider the customer reviews and player feedback available for a product before clicking to buy. Some of the complete sticks on the list lack the wealth of feedback at this time thanks to them being relatively new to the market.
Be sure to check and double check retail sites and other reviews (as we’ve done to create this guide) for customer feedback and pointers on pros and cons of the product. Do your own research and look for feedback wherever you can because a first stick is an investment not to take lightly.
And as always, be sure to pay it forward—leave your own feedback for purchased gear and don’t be afraid to amend it as you use it more and more.
Youth Lacrosse Stick Size GuideThe following table is meant to provide a specific length range each type of stick should aim for depending upon it being for the boys or girls game and the offensive or defensive side of the ball.
|Boys Youth Offense Stick||36” to 42”|
|Boys Youth Defense Stick||36” to 72”|
|Girls Youth Lacrosse Stick||35.5” to 43.25”|
When It Makes Sense to Upgrade from a Youth Lacrosse Stick
The first and foremost answer to this question is comfort…
Your player should be comfortable with the fundamental elements of the sport (throwing, catching and cradling) and have physically developed to the point where the added weight and length is not difficult for them to control.
There may be a learning curve at first, but as long as your player isn’t clearly struggling with the increased size, he or she should quickly get used to it.
Also, keep in mind that wider heads on beginner sticks are great for learning catching and scooping but they leave you vulnerable to losing the ball and are also not set up for advanced shooting. As your player can consistently catch and scoop ground balls, moving on to developing your throw will require an upgrade to an advanced, narrower head.
Products to Consider Alongside Your Lacrosse Stick
When you're new to the game of lacrosse, practicing is essential to getting comfortable with the game. Here are some products that can help take your game to the next level.
Here are some you may want to consider:
- Starter set: If you or your child is brand new to the game and needs all of the required equipment, a starter set is a convenient way to buy it all in one shot. Check out our picks for the best youth lacrosse starter sets here.
- Balls: A lacrosse stick isn’t very useful unless you have lacrosse balls. While they are all fairly similar, we do have our favorites. Check out the best lacrosse balls here.
- Mesh/stringing kits: If you buy a complete lacrosse stick with a poor factory string job, you may want to restring it. In my opinion, it’s worth buying a new stringing kit as opposed to using the mesh that comes with your stick. See the best lacrosse mesh here.
- Lacrosse bag: You'll need something to carry around your stick and other gear. Most even have stick holders and separate compartments for wet gear. See the best lacrosse bags here.
- Lacrosse backpack: There are many backpacks designed with straps to hold your lacrosse stick as well as your other equipment. Check out our favorite lacrosse backpacks here.
- Rebounder: Playing wall ball is the best way to quickly develop stick skills. If you don’t have a brick or concrete wall that you can throw off regularly, buying a rebounder is just as good, if not better.
- Goal: Once you have passing and catching down, learning to shoot is the next step in development for offensive players. What do you need to shoot besides a stick? A goal of course! Check out my favorite lacrosse goals here.
- Backstop: If you end up getting that goal, you may also want to consider a backstop to stop any misses from hitting a window or flying 50 yards away.
- Helmet: A helmet can be a good idea if you're just starting out, even if you haven't started playing on a real team yet. Using a helmet when learning to play can protect your head in case you miss the ball or it deflects off your stick. Check out the best lacrosse helmets here.
- Girls Lacrosse Goggles: Though girls lacrosse players don't have to wear a full helmet, goggles are still required. You can check out our picks for the best girls lacrosse goggles here.
Photo credit: Flickr