Our Top Pick for 2019: Maverik Lacrosse Optik Universal Unstrung Head
When playing a sport as physical and precise as lacrosse, it is important to have a high quality head on your lacrosse stick to ensure crisp passes, accurate shots, and that will be able to withstand the brunt force that is involved in the sport. The position you play on the lacrosse field may change the importance of certain aspects of the lacrosse heads listed. If you are accustomed to taking a majority of the face-offs, it is important to have a head that is very flexible and will not break when put under incredible strain. If you are playing as a long pole mid fielder or defender, it is important to get a strong head that will withhold while giving and receiving checks from opponents, while also being capable of passing over long distances with great accuracy. No goalie lacrosse heads are covered in this list, as it is filled with primarily heads that can be used to function as both attacker, midfielder, and defender heads, with some that focus on a certain position more than the others.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
#1. Maverik Lacrosse Optik Universal Unstrung Head
The Maverik Optik is an excellent lacrosse stick head that provides utility as well as function and is a capable head for any position on the field. The head is built with high caliber attack positions primarily and is designed to have incredible precision and accuracy without sacrificing the power and strength of the shot. The Maverik Optik is designed with an innovative two strut design allowing for greater flexibility while applying a significant amount of pressure on the head of the stick such as when performing face-offs and fending off opponents. The stiffness of the head comes in handy during various aspects of the average lacrosse match and allows you to have complete control of the ball while curling it, as well as greater feeling of the position of the ball while in your possession. The narrow throat of the Maverik Optik allows you to keep the ball in your possession while it is constantly being hit and poke checked by defenders.
The Maverik Optik is designed with 17 stringing holes on each side of the head allowing for a variety of different stringing options and allows you to string your head the way you want in order to completely have control over the ball while it is in your possession. The Maverik Optik is fully licensed and accepted in all high schools as properly built to play, and is also acceptable for use in the NCAA division of lacrosse. The Optik takes advantage of its level 2 bottom rail that supports a mid to low pocket after stringing the head. This provides quick and smooth release of the ball, as well as added power. Weighing in at only 4.5 ounces, by removing the excess plastic in the inner walls of the head, Maverik has been able to provide an incredibly light lacrosse head that does not sacrifice power.
The Optik also comes in a variety of different colors allowing you to choose your specific type of flair that will allow you to stand out on the field and your teammates will know whether or not you are ready to receive the ball. The overall speed of the Optik is unparalleled and can be seen when scooping up ground balls, shooting at specific corners, or when rounding tight turns to avoid defenders. The Dual Scoop design allows for extremely fast and accurate scooping of ground balls, so you will be able to avoid the mosh that normally runs towards a ground ball. The Optik is covered by Maverik 6 month warranty that covers almost all possible faults including cracks, breaks, or warping of the plastic.
If you wish to pinch the head more than normally allowed, the old method of baking the head will void the warranty and possibly break the Optik.
#2. Warrior Rabil X Unstrung Lacrosse Head
The Warrior Rabil X lacrosse head was designed specifically for and inspired by Major League Lacrosse player Paul Rabil. Rabil is one of the greatest all around lacrosse players to have played in the major leagues. This head was designed using his expertise of the sport and for his ideal uses, in particular. This head is designed for the advanced attacker or midfielder and is unparalleled when it comes to the release of your shot as well as the velocity of your shooting. The maximum pinch that is legally allowed in high school and college lacrosse comes naturally in this beautifully designed lacrosse head. The tightness of the neck of the head, and the confined space within the channel allow for you to have a better grip and understanding of where the ball is within your pocket, and it also allows for greater accuracy while shooting or passing the ball.
The Warrior Rabil does have its setbacks however. Due to the lightweight design and engineering of the Rabil it is not recommended for players who frequently faceoff. For continual face offs, it is possible that the head will become warped and the plastic will bend creating an illegal head that will disqualify the player from any game in any league. For those who do not perform face offs often, the face off clamp compression will not be an issue at all and they will experience the full benefits of the superior shot power and greater pinch in the Rabil head. The mid-level 3 bottom rail is perfect for those who prefer to keep a pocket in the middle of the head that will allow for great control of the ball.
The maximum Truoffset design coupled with the long bottom sidewall rail curve create a deep pocket that allows for protection of the ball at all time while under your control and allow for the perfect release point for shooting and passing due to the very deep pocket that this technology creates. This will give you the deepest pocket physically allowed within the rules and as all lacrosse players know, the deeper the pocket, the better the ball control, and the harder the shot will be. Weighing in at 5 ounces the head is light and still sturdy enough to withstand any amount pressure put on it from the great strain that playing lacrosse will create.
The Rabil is built with Sym-Rail Technology. This technology allows for the lightest head possible while maintaining stiffness and strength through the bending of the materials of the sidewall when assembling the structure of the head. The head is fitted with 21 sidewall holes that make it very easy for anyone to string, it also allows the player to string their head in their desired fashion. If standing out and being noticed on the field is what you prefer, the Warrior Rabil comes in 9 different stock colors assuring that your stick will be unique compared to the various others available on the market. The technique by Warrior called 2-shot allows you to inject two or more colors directly into the head giving you a completely customizable look.
Warrior markets all of their products with a 6 month warranty that covers any possible problems that may occur with the stick during normal use. The Rabil head uses the new technology created by Warrior that allows them to directly inject nitrogen gas into the plastic of the head which creates the lightest lacrosse heads on the planet, without any significant changes to the overall durability and stiffness of the head.
#3. STX Lacrosse K18 Universal Unstrung Lacrosse Head
The STX K18 is designed for advanced youth players and is no longer legal in NCAA use. The head has a 10 degree design that allows for a quicker release for any offensive player. This quick release can prove all of the difference during a game as it could mean the difference between scoring a shot and missing, as well as the difference between making a crisp clean pass, and throwing a sloppy ball to a teammate.
Weighing in at 5.2 ounces, it is heavier than the previous heads reviewed but does make up for it in durability and the sturdiness of the head. This head is also very multifaceted allowing defenders, attackers, and midfielders alike to properly get all of the function out of this head. Popularized by the famous Kyle Harrison in the Lacrosse Major Leagues, this stick was once the number one choice for all collegiate athletes and advanced youth players.
The K18 comes with the STX patented Forward Can’t design. This design forces the ball into the sweet spot of the head and will drive the ball right into the pocket of your head that allows for you to release the ball quicker when passing and with more accuracy while shooting the ball. The K18 is an offset compatible head with the ability to keep the pocket lower down the head towards the throat. This offset allows users greater feel of the ball while it is in their possession and also allows for greater accuracy when shooting and passing. This offset is not seen in every head and is often preferred by more experienced players who wish to have a better control of the ball at all times.
The compatibility of the K18 is lacking however since it will only work with shafts that have a similar 10 degree design, these shafts are all primarily made by STX but can be found within shafts made by other companies. STX designs a variety of different shafts from defenders long poles to light weight midfielder poles that are compatible with the K18. The materials used to design the K18 are the patented dual shot materials that STX is known for, in this process they directly inject one of the materials into the other when building the sidewalls of the head. This creates a stability and versatility that is not seen in other heads made by different companies.
All K18 heads that are bought new and from the dealer themselves comes with a 60 day warranty that will allow you to return the head if any cracking or warping occurs within that period from normal lacrosse use.
#4. Easton Stealth Core Unstrung Lacrosse Head
The Easton Stealth lacrosse head uses a patent pending box beam sidewall construction that maximizes the stiffness of the lateral parts of the head while keeping the overall weight of the head very low. Easton’s patented Reflex Technology is incorporated into this head as well as every head produced by this company. This technology for the first time ever allows the player to adjust the head angle and the overall pinch of the sidewalls.
These quick adjustments can prove the critical difference during any game by allowing you to adjust the stick to the type of play you are currently involved in. As the screw is turned clockwise in the head the lower sidewalls will pull inwards until you reach the desired pinch of the head. This is a new technology that completely eliminates the old method of baking the head for maximum pinch. When the head is fully pinched it will still release the ball perfectly every time allowing you a stress free experience of knowing that the ball will never get stuck in the head of your stick again. The head also has the maximum punch allowed within NFHS and NCAA regulations.
Weighing in at only 4.8 ounces, this is an extremely lightweight and versatile head that will prove to be completely useful and adequate enough for any collegiate player or advanced youth player. Easton Engineers have broken barriers with their innovative bottom stringing hole at the ball stop. Every other manufacturer produces their lacrosse stick heads with vertical stringing holes to secure the bottom of the pocket to the ball stop, what Easton has done is changed their bottom stringing holes to horizontal.
This small change allows for a plethora of more stringing options, easy adjustments in game to a critical area of the head, and completely eliminates any hang ups from the pocket strings so that your head stays legal throughout your entire duration of play. The top half of the Easton Stealth allows for flexibility and durability making picking up ground balls extremely easy, while the bottom of the head is clean and only has stringing holes on the outside walls so that there will be a clear channel for the ball to come in and be passed out of.
It is very important to consider the position you are playing while deciding on which lacrosse head you wish to use. Attackers, defenders, and midfielders all require different things when it comes to choosing a head and choosing the wrong head for your position could drastically set back your abilities and could even prove to be detrimental towards your entire team.
Note that many different heads are versatile and can be used in a variety of positions, while some heads are designed for specific positions such as defender heads which are built to be very stiff and durable while providing an excellent range for passing. In choosing a head for your position it is also very important to make sure that the head you choose is legal for use in your leagues division whether it is high school, collegiate, or professional.
The amount of pinch that comes with your head is very important as it will determine the amount speed you have in your passes, the amount of ball control you are able to possess at all times, and the amount of power you have in your shooting. The pinch of the head is an attribute that effects players of every position and different positions require different amounts of pinch.
A fast and agile attacker will want a head with the most pinch legally allowed so that they can efficiently grip the ball while moving and dodging defenders. A defenseman will require less pinch since they are primarily used for passing. The less pinch on a defenders stick will also allow them to more easily scoop up groundballs that may come loose from the attackers. It is important to find the right amount of pinch that suits your particular game style and that will improve your play.
One of the most popular types of heads available on the market, the offset heads that many manufacturers now develop are extremely popular and have its own advantages and disadvantages. An offset lacrosse head drops down towards the throat of the shaft and this lower position allows the ball and the pocket of the head to be lower. This gives the user more feel and control while carrying the ball, while also creating greater ball retention and accuracy while passing and shooting.
Many of those who are more accustomed to the traditional head may find that using an offset head may prove to be difficult to get used to. More experienced players often choose a head with offset and a narrower throat to enable them to throw the ball quicker and with more precision.
Stiffness vs Flexibility
The stiffness and flexibility of your head are often one of the most compared aspect of all new heads. The stiffer the head the easier it becomes to check your opponent and potentially grab a loose ball. A stiffer head will often times be more durable than their more flexible counterparts, but will not bend and turn as fast as those that are more flexible.
Attackers and midfielders tend to favor heads that are more flexible since it provides them with more control of the ball, where defenders oftentimes will choose a stiffer head to check their opponents better, since they do not need as much control over the ball. Finding a balance between stiffness and flexibility proves to be a daunting task that effects even professional players. It is important to find a middle ground that will suit your particular play style.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
With such a wide array of options when it comes to choosing a lacrosse head it is easy to get lost in all of the new information. By evaluating all that you are looking for in a new head, and ensuring that the head you are purchasing fulfills all of these requirements, you will be sure that you are purchasing a head that will fulfill all of your needs.
When it comes to cost often times the price will reflect the quality of the product, lacrosse heads are no different, but it is possible to achieve a head that suits all of your needs without breaking the bank. For younger players or those just learning the sport it is recommended to not spend too much money on your first head as it will most likely deteriorate and break over time as you get used to the sport and the harsh physicality involved.
Checking over all of the specs that are involved in a new lacrosse head will greatly improve your ability to pick a head that will suit all of your needs. The perfect lacrosse head does not exist and every player will find a different lacrosse head more beneficial than others. Finding the correct head that suits your particular style of play is the most important thing to consider when searching for a lacrosse head. Although that search may take a long time, by taking all of the information and compiling them into a well thought out and researched choice, choosing the right head will become a much easier task.