Product: Assorted Wood Shafts
Company: Blackfeet Lacrosse
Price: from $45
Last winter we did a Gear Review on a Woody Shaft by Blackfeet Lacrosse. Little did we realize, that Blackfeet had much more to offer than just the Pine shaft that we checked out, so our good friends over at Blackfeet Lacrosse sent us their whole line of wooden shafts to check out. Since we’ve already reviewed them, we knew the only way to give these babies the limelight they deserved was to do a gear showcase on them.
Since there are several different types of wood and shafts, we are going to break it down first by the type of wood being used, and then the shaft weight within each type. The main four types of wood shafts offered by Blackfeet Lacrosse are: Warpath, Pine, Ash, and Girls. They also offer up a pretty nifty butt-end attachment for metal shafts, we’ll check that out as well.
5.1 oz. Warpath
“We enthusiastically embraced the 2012 US Lacrosse Rules Modification allowing U9 & U11 to play with a 3″ shorter shaft for all the advantages this brings to young players regarding stick skills development. This shaft is maximum short, the lightest shaft on the market (5.0 – 5.9 ounces) with a modified handle grip; smaller in circumference at the butt-end, gradually returning to full dimension at the head for superior grip. This shaft is definitely easier to play Lacrosse with for these reasons and because its wood.”
This is a pretty cool concept by Blackfeet Lacrosse. On their site they bring up how Jim Brown used to play with a cut down stick and I know of many D poles that cut down their sticks. I will be the first to admit though, I’ve never really thought about a younger player using a cut down stick, but it makes perfect sense and it’s legal for U9 and U11 play! I think this is a great idea for a shaft and for $40, why not?!
The Pine shafts are next. Pine is a more flexible and lighter shaft and are directed at kids in their early teens. The shaft we reviewed last February was also a Pine, as mentioned in the introduction. While these are great for younger kids, they aren’t quite durable enough for higher levels of lacrosse.
Available in both Featherweight and Medium weights, Pine shafts weigh in from 6.4 to 7.5 ounces depending on the weight of the wood you choose.
6.4 oz. Pine
“Featherweight medium density Pine is our lightest full length attack shaft weighting between 6.4 and 6.9 ounces. We recommend this shaft to players of approximate middle school ages (12 – 14 yrs. old).”
The lightest of all the normal shafts, the Featherweight Pine is the perfect woody to help you get started in lacrosse.
7.5 oz. Pine
“Medium weight Pine is our heavier range of medium density pine, 7.0 to 7.9 ounces. This shaft provides optimal competitive shaft characteristics to players of the approximate ages 13 – 15 yrs old. Middies appreciate these additional few 10ths of ounces which contribute to takeaways.”
The medium weight Pine looks like a great find for the more experienced younger players and midfielders looking to gain some power on defense.
Next up are the Ash shafts. These are much more durable and are ready to dish out some real pain.
The Ash shafts are available in Stout, Medium, Featherweight, and Taper, weighing anywhere from 8.2 to 11.5 ounces depending on the weight of the wood you choose.
8.3 oz. Ash
This is the stuff we should never have gotten away from. Lightweight Ash is very strong and very competitive, its just relatively rare and requires additional selection to get right. Featherweight Ash shafts range from 8.0 to 8.9 ounces. We direct these to high school players and above.
This shaft falls into the Featherweight category and offers a great amount of strength for how little it weighs. The handle, as with all Ash handles, doesn’t have anywhere near the bend of the Pine handles and just feels sturdier in your hands.
8.7 oz. Ash Taper
The purpose of the Tapered shaft is tactical grip. Shaft diameter is reduced at the butt-end gradually returning to full size to receive the head, all done by hand. Sleek and purposeful this custom shaft design works well within all hands and all players.
The taper is a very interesting concept. I haven’t gotten a chance to play with this one but I’ve heard great things. With the amount of tape people put on their butt-ends these days, it makes sense to take a little weight out of that area. It also shouldn’t affect your throwing too much as compared to taking it out of the top.
9.0 oz Ash
Our Medium Weight Ash Attack (9.0 – 9.9) is directed at indoor lacrosse players of high school age and above where maximum strength is required yet light enough to let ‘em fly.
I think this could also be a great shaft for high school field lacrosse, if nothing else for training during the off season. The mid-range weight is a little heavier but is much stronger than the lighter ones and will help you with really powering through shots, checks, passing under pressure, etc.
10.2 oz. Ash
Stout Ash Attack (10.0 – 12.0) is for the player who does not want to come off the (indoor) field due to breakage. Big middies like this weight when ‘holding’ a yard sale.
This is the big daddy, the one that’ll keep you in the game and ready to take on whatever comes your way. In reality, 10.2 ounces really isn’t a whole lot and if you are indoors, the close quarters require much more finesse than they do power so I think it’s a great trade-off for the amount of durability and rigidity you are getting in this shaft.
Blackfeet Lacrosse also offers wooden handles for girls lacrosse. Made out of Pine, these are both light and strong, perfect for the girls game.
8.4 oz. Girls shaft
Currently our Girl’s shafts are provided in the 7 ounce range made of medium density Pine. As large in diameter as a guys shaft at the butt-end and the head, the body of this shaft is reduced in diameter concurrent with most Girl’s shafts on the market. Measuring 31 1/4″ long this wood handle is everything any player could ever want in a superior shaft – light, strong and flex enough to push up the shot clock.
While I am no expert in girls lacrosse, I can definitely say that this is a very cool handle. The Pine is a great, lightweight handle that offers enough strength for the girls game, while keeping things on the lighter side so you can fly up and down the field. The Horse Blanket finish on the girls handle we received was absolutely beautiful and gave the handle a very classic look.
Now onto the accessories! Butt-ends have always been a nuisance and can never seem to stay on. Which makes it even worse considering you have to have one. While many people try to get around the rules of having to use an annoying rubber butt-end, innovative ones like these become a great alternative.
There is something inherently special about these butt-ends, for being as simple a concept as they are. They offer a great, sturdy butt-end, that won’t slide out of your shaft, no matter how hard and often you are pulling on the butt-end. I was a doubter myself until I threw one on a shaft I was reviewing just to see and was pretty impressed with how well it performed.
Blackfeet Lacrosse also offers up D poles, which are essentially featherweight, medium, and stout attack shafts, just twice as long.
All in all, everyone should own at least one woody. If nothing more than to goof around with or use casually, they just look good. I’ve known quite a few people throughout my time playing lacrosse that have benefited from, or prefer wood handles to metal. Maybe they just like way it feels or it takes them back to lacrosse’s roots. Ready to check out your own wood handle? Head over to BlackfeetLacrosse.com and check out their whole collection!
Editor’s Note: Since this isn’t your typical piece of gear, we didn’t want to use our traditional 10-point scale. Occasionally we will come across products like that which are hard to rate, at the time, we will include it in our Gear Showcase series. Please know that just because it doesn’t have a 10-point rating, doesn’t mean we haven’t thoroughly checked it out. Enjoy!