The Best Youth Lacrosse Sticks: For the Newbies
What’s going on new laxers?
Today’s post is for those who are just kicking off their lacrosse journey and are in need of some insight.
In this article, we are answering the question…“What’s the best lacrosse stick for beginners?”
Plain and simple you will be learning two things in this article today:
1) What makes a lacrosse stick the “Best Beginner Lacrosse Stick”
2) What are the “Best Beginner Lacrosse Sticks?”
Let’s get into it!
Maybe you are interested in reading up about our shoulder pads for youth players?
What Makes these Lax Sticks the “Best” for beginners?
1. Cost-effective –
Lacrosse is an expensive sport to start out. There is a lot of gear needed to play (we added a list for you right below), and the last thing you want is to make a huge investment, and then you, or your child quit on the sport in a year (although we really hope you/they don’t!)
List of Gear Needed to Start Playing Lacrosse
- Stick: comprised of the shaft (handle), the head, and the mesh
- Shoulder pads
- Arm pads
- Mouth guard
2. Highly Reviewed –
This is extremely important for ALL of the gear we recommend on our site. The best possible information on any piece of lax gear is from laxers whom have used it themselves.
To have all this feedback is even more important when you are starting out.
Let’s be honest, upon starting out, it’s really difficult to be able to tell a good lax stick from bad (that’s why we wrote this article), having some quality, informative reviews from previous users is the best way to make early decisions on lacrosse gear.
Most of the research generated for this article was gathered from all the customer reviews we could find.
3. Durability –
Pretty simple, you don’t want your stick to feel like a toy in your hands.
Granted, whether you are starting out in youth play, or a beginners’ league, the play should not be all too physical. However, having gear that feels like it may quit, break, or snap on you at any second really limits the learning process of the technique and feel to the game.
4. Built for the Learning Player –
To continue a little off of the last point, the stick you buy needs to have been designed with the purpose of learning the technique of the game in mind.
The most basic of skills in lacrosse, are throwing and catching. If you buy a stick that was created with the intention to contribute to the learning process of your basic “stick skills,” you are or lacrosse player will be able to build a solid foundational ability to play the game. This is critically important.
Alright, let’s get into what exactly is the “best lacrosse stick for beginners.”
From our digging for research, we have two sticks for you here (both we highly recommend), but we felt we have to differentiate between which stick we feel is truly the “best” for a beginner and other which came in at a VERY close second.
Again, we highly recommend both sticks, we will just provide you with some potential drawbacks and benefits to each, which helped to set them apart.
#1 The “Best Lacrosse Stick for Beginners” – STX Stinger Jr. Lacrosse Complete Stick
Manufacturer Information (Specs) –
- 14.4 Ounces all together
- Please Note! – This handle DOES NOT meet the NCAA/High School qualifications
- Head with Wide Face – A lacrosse head with a “wide face” will make sharpening basic catching skills a lot easier.
- From Stx.com – “Molded with softer material for forgiving response and enhanced learning experience”
- Platinum Attack/Midfield Length STX Lacrosse Shaft – Defense shafts are normally a bit longer than the shafts for the attack/midfield positions. At the youth level, the position specific shaft lengths are critically important, it’s common for beginners to use the same shaft for all positions.
- Hard Plastic Lacrosse Head – At the youth level of play, the hard plastic will be durable enough, and also perfect for a young player learning the basics of scooping ground balls.
For basics on “scooping ground balls” check out the video below…
Learn a little about “cradling” with the video below.
- Open Sidewall Design – (a brief definition for what is an “Open Sidewall Design…” – Opening or multiple openings within the sidewalls that make the head of the lacrosse stick lighter (better for handling), while maintaining a high level of durability).
- V Shaped Head – The V Shaped lacrosse heads are built with just about the most room to catch balls in comparison to any other head design.
- Soft, Deep Mesh – With soft mesh, you don’t need to do much work to “break-it-in” like you would with hard mesh. The softer, deeper mesh is a lot more forgiving to a beginning level player. With harder mesh, the lacrosse ball will bounce off it often if you don’t have the higher level of catching skill.
Benefits to Buying this Stick –
- Durable Aluminum Shaft – From what we gathered, this STX model has had no problem standing up to the youth levels of lacrosse play. Don’t worry, this stick is no “toy.”
- Lacrosse Head (and Mesh) Made for Learning to Catch – The features to the STX Stinger Jr. really promote the learning process of catching.
A couple of the features to be specific:
- Soft, Deep Mesh – As mentioned before, this type of mesh is more forgiving for a beginning player.
- V Shaped Lacrosse Head Design – The V Shape makes for more area to catch. Simple, but valuable design trait.
- Wide Faced Lacrosse Head – Very similar to the last point, the wide face allows for more space to gather an incoming pass.
- Dynamic Shaft for a Wide Range of Ages – As long as you are a player who DOES NOT NEED TO MEET NCAA/HIGH SCHOOL SPECIFICATIONS, this shaft has been used by 5 year olds, 13 year olds, and parents who want to practice with their kids!
- Looks that Can Pass for A More Expensive Model – Lots of previous users really took a liking to the look of the STX Stinger Jr. Some even made the note that other players could not tell the difference between their rather inexpensive shaft, and other more expensive models.
- LOTS AND LOTS OF AWESOME REVIEWS – Like we said, this is huge for picking lacrosse gear when you are starting out. All you really want to know is if other laxers have used this stick before, and if the stick has done the job needed. The reviews for the STX stick really piled up, and that’s good news for you, and good news for us because we can feel confident giving this stick our highest recommendation.
- Great Price – Of all the sticks we surveyed for beginners, with the quality of reviews, the quality of the stick itself, it was hard to find a deal that could be the one of this STX.
- Warranty…From STX.com “60 Days from the date of purchase of lacrosse heads (excluding chrome), handles [shafts] (excluding AL6000 series) and goggles”
- Comes in White, with Black Mesh
(Potential) Drawbacks to Buying this Stick –
- ONE REPORT of a Stiffer Mesh than Advertised – Out of all the reviews we found, there was only one report of the mesh being a little harder than they expected. The nice thing though, the same customer said they picked up a good pocket stretcher (you can get one here if you like), worked the mesh in a little bit and the mesh loosened up quickly to be ready for play.
- Not Many Drawbacks to Speak of… Sorry if it seems like we are not giving you enough information here in the “Drawbacks” section! We honestly could not dig up all too much, great stick, very high quality.
Overall Value – $36 off of Amazon.com
The STX Stinger Jr. gets our highest recommendation in the “Best Lacrosse Stick for Beginners” race. It has an awesomely cheap price (very important with all the gear you have to pick up), it has come with tons of great reviews, and as we have shown you, the stick is designed with the new players’ learning and development process in mind.
#2 The Runner-Up for the “Best Lacrosse Stick for Beginners” – Brine Recruit X Complete Lacrosse Stick
Manufacturer Information (Specs) –
- Comes in Black & Royal Colors
- 15 Ounces
- Complete 40’’ Lacrosse Stick (30’’ Shaft / 10’’ Head)
- Wide Lacrosse Head Face – Like we mentioned with the STX Stinger, the wide face gives more surface area to the catching area of the head. Makes it easier for a new player to build technique.
- Brine’s “Ultra Mesh” – The Brine “Ultra Mesh” will start out for you as a “semi-hard” mesh, definitely a bit harder than the STX stick. With a little working in however, the semi-hard will become just about identical to the soft mesh.
- Brine 6000 Alloy Shaft – The Brine 6000 Alloy shaft is made up of aluminum material.
- Offset Lacrosse Head Design – A definition of an “offset lacrosse head” for you…”An offset lacrosse head drops down at the throat (where the head meets handle). With a dropped head, the ball can be held at a lower position, made for better control when cradling and improved accuracy with passing and shooting.
- 6 Month Warranty…HEAD ONLY!
Benefits to Buying this Stick –
- Quality Brand in Brine – Brine is always a top level brand in the field of lacrosse gear. If we had to go “brand for brand,” we would have to stay Brine has a notch over STX. 6 month warranty (although head only) is not too shabby either.
- Meets Specifications for NCAA/High School Play – Although WE DON’T RECOMMEND taking this stick to the higher levels of play, it’s reassuring to know that it was built with the possibility of withstanding more physical play. Again, WE DON’T SUGGEST that you play with this stick at the higher levels, it’s most certainly better suited for youth play.
- Durability – Off of the last point, this stick was made to be used (in a limited sense) at higher levels of play, and the Brine 6000 Alloy is of very high quality and should more than hold up to some quality time at the youth level of lacrosse.
- Built for the Learning Process – Similar to the STX, we think this Brine model was well built for the new players’ development.
A couple features that point to that:
- Wide Face – More surface area to receive passes, perfect for development confidence and technique in catching.
- Offset Head – Makes for easier ball control and better ball retention.
- Lightweight Alloy Shaft – The lighter the shaft, the easier it is to handle. The last thing you want is a new player struggling to keep their hands on a stick that carries too much weight.
- Solid Collection of QUALITY REVIEWS – The Brine Recruit X has gathered a respectable amount of quality, satisfied customer feedback. The STX Stinger Jr. does beat the Brine model in this department with more high reviews in total, but the Brine still had quite the stack of reviews to file through. This instills a lot of confidence.
(Potential) Drawbacks to Buying this Stick –
- Doesn’t Meet the Stack of Reviews the STX Stinger Jr. had – As we just said, the STX model has collected a significant amount more quality reviews than the Brine. In differentiating the “best” versus the “runner-up” this was one of the deciding factors.
- One Report of Problem with the “Hold” – One previous user did not seem to love the “hold” they got with this Brine model. Just something to be thinking about, but really should not be much of a concern. A shaky “hold” can be fixed up with some added tape if needed.
Want another view of the Brine Recruit X? Check out the extra video below via Sportstop.com
Overall Value – $30.00 off of Amazon.com
The Brine Recruit X comes in a little cheaper than the STX Stinger. We have a TON of confidence in giving this Brine Recruit X a very high recommendation although we did not place it as the “best” lacrosse stick for beginners.
An extremely solid stick however, we feel the difference could come down to personal preference in deciding between the Brine or the STX. Both are extremely high quality models, and we give high recommendations to both (trust me, there were a lot of sticks we didn’t even consider posting about in this article).
Keep in mind, the only reason we stuck the STX ahead of the Brine was for the amount of high quality reviews that came in. STX’s stack was just a bit higher than Brine’s.
That’s all we have for you. We hope this information provided you with the insight necessary to pick up the best lacrosse stick for YOU, and get you or your new laxer started on learning this great game.