The overall design of a lacrosse head has been fairly static the past decade with most products on the market sharing similar shapes and profiles. This is about to change.
Last year at the US Lacrosse convention Lacrosseplayground.com was invited to a private suite at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown to get a sneak peak at new head concept, code named “Project Hawk” Epoch Lacrosse had been working on. The “Project Hawk” design was strikingly different than any other head we had previously seen. As we listened to Epoch’s team review each of the unique design elements and how they “fixed” or “improved” on some of the “issues” inherent in todays conventional heads we knew we could potentially be looking at the future of what a lacrosse head could and or should be.
When we first learned of “Project Hawk” we were sworn to secrecy, but fast-forward almost a year and Epoch Lacrosse has officially launched The Hawk. (see press release below) Designed in collaboration with the legendary Flip Naumburg, The Hawk has the potential to be one of the most significant product advancements the game has seen in several years. The Hawk boasts promising features such as its high pocket design and laid back profile.
Epoch’s research has indicated that over 75% of players who have their heads professional strung request a mid/high pocket, therefore creating a head with a shape specifically for a mid/high pocket is catering to the evolving playing style in todays game.
The Hawk’s laid back profile is another unique feature of that Epoch claims “keeps the ball tucked under the shooting strings when cradling and dodging for maximum hold.” The team at Epoch has stated the laid back profile will feel and play like a conventional off-set head, but the improved design will increase the performance benefits such as providing an “optimal release point, improving ball trajectory…when passing and shooting.”
Epoch is widely known for their composite Dragonfly shafts, so it came as no surprise to us to see a propriety composite polymer as their material of choice for the Hawk. Epoch believes using a composite polymer is an industry first and will allow them vary the flexibility of The Hawk and provide a stiffer or softer head depending upon the players desired feel.
The Hawk is Made in the USA, and comes with a 1-year warranty making the $100 price point well justified when compared to the market.
Be sure to read the official press release below;
The Hawk Has Landed
Epoch Lacrosse introduces their new head, The Hawk.
Minneapolis, MN; December 20, 2013; Developed in collaboration with the legendary Flip Naumburg, Epoch Lacrosse is proud to introduce their first head, The Hawk.
Designed from the ground up, for today’s evolving style of offensive minded players, The Hawk offers a high-pocket design coveted by the top scorers in the game. The Hawk is manufactured with pride in the USA and comes with an industry best 1-year warranty.
The laid back profile and lowered scoop keeps the ball tucked under the shooting strings when cradling and dodging for maximum hold. Additionally, it provides an optimal release point, improving ball trajectory vs. conventional offset heads when passing and shooting. The Hawk is universal spec and is legal for high school and college play.
“The game has evolved from being played with a vertical one-handed style to the modern two-handed style in which players hold their sticks more on a horizontal plane,” said Ryan Hurley, Partner at Epoch Lacrosse. “This new style has changed the way in which players prefer their stick to be strung. Our retail partners have educated us that over 75% of players who ask for their stick to be professionally strung, ask for a mid-high pocket. The Hawk caters directly to this need,” he added.
“We didn’t design The Hawk for everybody and we didn’t want to create a utilitarian head that fits all styles of play,” said James Miceli, Principal at Epoch Lacrosse. “The Hawk is an advanced head designed for players who desire a high pocket. It is designed for the modern style of play,” he added.
The Hawk is constructed using state-of-the-art materials and utilizes an industry first proprietary composite injected polymer, providing not only optimal strength and durability but also maximum energy transfer for improved velocity. Epoch has led the way in the adoption of advanced materials, such as carbon fiber, with their Dragonfly line-up of shafts. With The Hawk, they have introduced composite material into lacrosse heads.
Epoch understands that players may prefer a different feel or stiffness for lacrosse heads based on their playing style or position. They have borrowed the Flex iQ system from their industry leading Dragonfly shafts and introduced it to The Hawk, which has a Flex iQ of 5. “All too often we see players forced into playing with a specific head based on their position. Many defensemen who desire a stiffer head buy a head marketed specifically to defensemen, but that added stiffness usually comes with a wider profile and is less suited for making the switch from defense to offense,” said James Miceli. By using their proprietary composite polymer, Epoch can increase or decrease the stiffness of The Hawk by altering the materials used in manufacturing. This will allow defensemen to have the same profile and shape head as an offensive player but with the added stiffness they desire. Epoch plans to launch a iQ5 (mid-flex), iQ1 (Stiff) and a iQ10 (Soft) version of The Hawk.
Epoch’s exclusive dual layer architecture ensures The Hawk remains light and strong (durable) by removing material and weight from non-essential parts and increasing the strength throughout the essential structure. The trusted trestle sidewall is a proven design providing increased lateral, torsional and vertical compression resistance, in addition to overall stiffness.
The Hawk ($100 US) is available for pre-orders at Epoch Authorized dealer locations and approved e-tailers. Please visit www.epochlacrosse.com/buynow to find one near you.