Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

This Week's Leaders

Members of LaxAllStars.com now receive 15% off at COMLAX.COM!

Wood Shafts what Wood to Choose

taschembtaschemb Michigan
edited April 2013 in Gear Talk
Hello for sometime I have been looking at getting a good wood shaft for the fall box lacrosse league, but I ran into some problems right away. Both HIKSTIK and Blackfeet Lacrosse make lacrosse shafts with different woods from common ash from Blackfeet, to exotic woods like apê wood from Hikstiks and their more common hickory shafts. My question boils down to what is the strongest wood a person can buy. Factoring weight in doesn't matter to me, I play long pole the rest of the year.

Comments

  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    I always like Hickory. Had 1 different pole last me 2.5 years playing collegiate and summer ball. Still going strong save a small surface chip. However, we've broken 2 or 3 wood poles from the same woodworker this year on the team I coach. Seems kind of hit or miss on quality.
  • socolax2socolax2 CT's finest
    Bill detwigged me with that wooden d-pole, hahahaha... Quality stick though. I used a common ash in HS, served me well for a few years, never broke. Gave it to a buddy of mine to use back in 2005.
  • taschembtaschemb Michigan
    Thanks for the information! I emailed the Hikstik crew and they said they have never tested the ipê wood shafts but think it is most likely just as strong as hickory or stronger. But I will definitely be getting a 32 inch shaft from them soon.
    southocheese
  • scearleyscearley Cascadia
    As long as you use a bamboo or hardwood where the grain goes the length of the shaft you should be good.

    Also - you say it doesn't but weight does make a difference. Your checks will be slower, your play on loose balls will be slower. Maybe it's slight, but imagine consistently being 0.05 seconds too late for each ground ball.

    Someone makes a bamboo shaft wrapped in carbon fiber. I can't seem to find it now but I know I was just looking at them earlier this week. Maybe someone else here know what I'm talking about.
    Piotr Stalmach
  • At the risk of being "not chill", here are my thoughts on wooden shafts. Personally (and I don't think I'm alone) I am offended when I play against some using a wooden shaft in a serious game. There is no advantage to using a wooden shaft except that you can more easily hurt an opponent when you hit them with it. An opposing playing that defends me using a wooden shaft is basically saying "I'm not out here to win/play the game, I'm here to physically hurt you". Using a wooden shaft is bad sportsmanship, detrimental to your game, and just paints a target on your back. If you use a wooden shaft, don't be surprised if some guys come after you.
    jrubinRyan Mulvaneytriggertravspanishsprings52198Piotr Stalmach
  • scearleyscearley Cascadia
    scriff said:

    Using a wooden shaft is bad sportsmanship, detrimental to your game, and just paints a target on your back. If you use a wooden shaft, don't be surprised if some guys come after you.

    pls explain how using the wooden shaft is bad sportsmanship, but ganging up on someone for using a woodie is not.

    spanishsprings52198
  • Ganging up on someone is bad sportsmanship. Unfortunately sometimes you have to "fight fire with fire". Using a woody is overtly attempting to injure your opponent. This makes the person using the woody the aggressor and a dirty player. Any attempt to stop the aggressor is either self defense or defending your teammate.

    If you can explain to me one good reason why you would use a woody in a real game for anything other than malicious intentions, I'll concede and withdraw my comments.
    spanishsprings52198
  • bsigmund90bsigmund90 Grove City, PA
    Easy. Stopping power. I don't have the hand speed to set up & throw speedy takeaway checks, but i know that if i get stick with a woody, i'm putting the ball down. You don't get that with an aluminum pole - there's just not as much force to transfer to dislodge the ball. I went from an aluminum pole to a woody and it changed my game and made me a better player. F=ma and when the delta m gained is 5x more than the delta a lost, its a simple choice for me.

    If you're a positional stay at home defenseman and not a takeaway defenseman who is extending out onto guys, in my opinion, a heavier stick gives you the best chance to be a better player.
    scriffRyan Mulvaneyspanishsprings52198Piotr Stalmach
  • Hey be aware of that ipe. I tried it specifically for a fall box league two years ago and it was a bit of a disaster. It honestly didn't take very long for it to get an internal crack. I thought as a defenseman, it would be ideal with the high strength and weight. As far as feel goes, there's really nothing like wood and I'm sure many people would attest to that, but given the intensity of box lacrosse I'd consider hickory if you're going wood here.
    spanishsprings52198
  • A heavier stick (a higher m) would increase the F, however the heavier the stick the slower you'll be able to swing it (a lower a). So the force generated from a check would need to be determined on a case by case basis. The only way to "stop" a player with a check is to hurt them so that they willingly turn around. When you consider the mass of a person versus that of a stick, the acceleration you need need to generate to actually "stop" that person with a check would exceed the critical strength of the material itself, thus it is impossible.

    I would think as a defenseman, (especially one with admittedly slow hand speed) a lighter stick would be better thus allowing more check over a set amount of time than a heavier stick. The more checks a defender can throw the better off he is. This is why poke checks (more frequent softer checks) are taught and are more effective than slaps checks.
    spanishsprings52198
  • I like the feel of a woody. They have a more solid feel than aluminum with just a little flex that gives you better feedback. I have used hickory in the past but now I am using an ash pole. You can't go wrong with either. The weight difference is too small to really matter. I haven't tried a bamboo pole yet, but they look like they should be pretty stout.
  • oglaxrat27oglaxrat27 Turners Falls, MA
    I love wooden shafts. I still have an old STX Crooked Arrow D pole that has survived 20 years. I see no harm in playing with or going up against someone with a wooden shaft. I grew up playing with them and against them. I have a friend that played with his native stick when we had aluminum and titanium. I think the wood pays tribute back to our sports heritage. A person who is out there to injure another player with a wood stick is likely to be trying to injure someone no matter what stick they are using. Don't blame the tool, blame the player in that case.
    scriffspanishsprings52198Piotr Stalmach
  • I like the idea of honoring the game and sticking with traditions. Like I said previously, if you want to use a woody in a fun/pick-up/meaningless game with no/limited contact, be my guest. I've done it. I found the first model of STX's plastic head, and decided to string a traditional in it and put it on a woody. When the stick was all done, I played a few pick-up games. I did it for fun and as a throwback tribute.

    The point I've been unsuccessfully trying to make, is simply that there is no benefit to using a woody in a serious game. If there was, some college and professional players would use one. The only true benefit to a woody, is that it hurts more when you hit with it. Therefore, a player using a woody during a serious game, is a dirty player.

    A person who is out there to injure another player with a wood stick is likely to be trying to injure someone no matter what stick they are using. Don't blame the tool, blame the player in that case.

    oglaxrat (love the name btw) , you are completely correct. This is like the old NRA argument of "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". However, someone intent on killing would have a much easier time with a gun.
    spanishsprings52198
  • I am a attackman and when I play outside in late fall, I prefer a woodie because they do not get cold. I have NO intent on hurting anyone. I am a old school player, if you can't take the checks don't play the game and this is coming from someone who has been on the receiving end his whole life. BONUS POINTS you can make your own and be even more connected to the game
    spanishsprings52198Piotr Stalmachjohnnieblack1taschemb
  • edited October 2013

    I am a attackman and when I play outside in late fall, I prefer a woodie because they do not get cold. I have NO intent on hurting anyone. I am a old school player, if you can't take the checks don't play the game and this is coming from someone who has been on the receiving end his whole life. BONUS POINTS you can make your own and be even more connected to the game

    If you want to handicap yourself, that's your perrogative. Toughness is irrelevent, it's the intent that matters.
    Post edited by scriff on
    etv13spanishsprings52198
  • If your sole purpose is to snap someone else's shaft hardwoods like hickory, red oak or Ipe are good. I prefer the flex in an ash or bamboo shaft for shooting and absorbing checks. Ash is still the best all around wood for a shaft imo.
    Scriff, you sound like a whiner. A number of people have explained their legitimate reasons for using wood. I don't switch to girly sticks when I don't want to be serious. I use what I consistently use in all situations including practice. I've never hurt anyone with a wooden shaft because it's never been my objective. I'm short, light and fast and spend most of my time trying not to get checked.
    A few college and professional players do use wood though most players at that level get their name brand alloy shafts for free, prefer light weight or in many cases because younger lacrosse players tend to be elitists who have to have the latest newest shineyist fad and graphics.
    Someone intent on killing someone might have an easier time with a gun. A gun is not a universally correct tool so it depends on the circumstances. I most certainly do not but if I did want to kill someone I would like to have access to a m1 abrams.
    spanishsprings52198
  • @scriff "If you want to handicap yourself, that's your perrogative. Toughness is irrelevent, it's the intent that matters."

    my point is that I am a attackman, I have no intent on hurting anyone with a wood shaft, I use a custom prototype shaft, whole stick,shaft, head,pocket and tape weighs less than a pound, so I do not think I am handicapping myself. I use it because I like the feel of the ball with it and the snap that I get with my shots, bonus it will not freeze your hands in the cold New England Fall or spring, allowing you to have a better feel for the ball in cold whether, creating a advantage not a disadvantage.

    scriff
  • edited October 2013
    etv13 said:


    Scriff, you sound like a whiner. .

    Haha, true! Just like a lot of good athletes! See: Tom Brady, Casey Powell, Sidney Crosby.
    Post edited by scriff on
    spanishsprings52198
  • edited October 2013

    I use a custom prototype shaft, whole stick,shaft, head,pocket and tape weighs less than a pound

    What is this custom prototype shaft? Is it actually wood or is it composite with a wood-like veneer? I used a talon shaft for a bit that looked like wood until it broke. It was different, and I don't have a strong opinion on it either way. I'm interested to hear more about the custom shaft you're talking about.
    Post edited by scriff on
  • Along the lines of a Talon but with real wood, it is something we have been working on for some time now.
  • Very cool. I'd be interested to see what that looks like and try one out. Can you post some stuff?
  • Piotr StalmachPiotr Stalmach Warsaw, Poland
    I would say that 10% maybe even 20% of players in the Polish Lacrosse League have used or are using wooden shafts. I sell them, I should know ;) My woodshop makes some killer ash shafts. They take care to make sure there's a straight grain, that everything is nice and smooth and oiled. I've sold them as poles, although their lifespan is usually shorter than the 30". At a circa $15 price point for the ash shorties they were much more sensible and durable than 6000 series aluminum. With care and attention they last about a year of league play.
    I believe wood durability is a function of the player and his understanding of the material. If you can imagine that when it bends it'll snap, much unlike aluminum that you can usually bend back, it'll last you longer.
    The part about hit and miss with wood is true too. It's a natural product, not factory tested industry grade alloy that took a bunch of engineers to design and years to "perfect". I've seen bamboo composites snap into smithereens and I've seen Scandium shafts snap in half equally as dangerously. Back to the point, a tree is the work of Nature, God, the Creator, call it what you like. The more the woodworker knows about wood, the better the shaft can be, but no guarantees of perfection. I've sold shafts that had termite holes, and work just as good, and I've sold shafts that have some serious discoloration and snapped on the first check right on the color border. The more you know, the better the product. But there will always be things that you can't guess. Hence the usual 50% refund warranties on wood.
    As to woods, I've used hickory from Hikstik, Red Oak from Blue Magic, my own Ash, Oak and Iroko. My love of wood started with guitars, I own a cedar classic (still smells beautiful after 15 years) an American Spruce acoustic, a Sapele bass. I like to surround myself with wood furniture and imitations. It's warm, natural and I love it. I can't wait to get my hands on a wooden traditional!
    Sure, you can argue that wood doesn't give you any real competitive advantage. I usually tell people they are more a practice tool to improve muscle memory thanks to it's increased weight. But if it works for some players on the field, in games, then great! I could care less if someone is out there with wood to hurt people, he'll just as well hurt someone with a scandium or composite shaft. It's more of a fright factor I think with wood, but I tend to run away from defenders whatever the shaft they're using ;)
    A well made hickory shaft will be the best bet I think. Ash if you want more flex and impact absorption. But use your imagination and it'll last longer. Cheers!
    stringershackscrifftaschemb
  • Check out the best of both worlds, carbon fiber-wood composite shafts from www.sargentsticks.com. They make "The Natural". Its a carbon fiber tubed core shaft with a wood overlay. It looks and feels like wood but is only about 6 oz which is a fraction of the weight of any wood lacrosse shaft and way stronger than any wood shaft out there. I coach the University of Montana team and have 4 kids on my team who use it and rave about it. They are only $119.99 and come with a year warranty.
    scrifftaschemb
  • edited November 2013
    @grizlax Holy wow if you like really expensive shafts. Personally I've never needed to spend more than $20 on wood or a good 405 off ebay.
    If I ever win the lottery I'll come watch you guys play. My retirement target locs are Missoula/Kalispel or Anchorage. The east coast is poisonous.
    Post edited by etv13 on
    scriff
  • You should take a look at Tomahawk Lacrosse at tomahawk-lacrosse.com/.

    They sell exotic Belizian hardwood lacrosse shafts that pack a punch and have a ton of flex. I bought a Poisonwood shaft a couple weeks ago and it's sick! My friend bought a Granadillo attack shaft and has been laying hard checks all summer. Check them out. On the website they go into a lot of detail explaining why their woods are stronger and more flexible than the others out there.

    The woods they offer are Mayan Cherry, Granadillo, Poisonwood, Tigerwood, and Ziricote. They sell all of them in attack and d-pole sizes and will probably do goalie shafts on request.
Sign In or Register to comment.