Wolf Athletic’s first shaft, the Ghost is was made of bulletproof polycarbonate plastic, making it very flexible (read my review of the Ghost and it’s optional LED Lax kit here). With their second offering, the Phantom, Wolf Athletic took the polycarbonate shell of the Ghost and inserted a seamless Grade 9 Titanium rod inside of it, which made for two quite interesting products. The gents over at Wolf Athletic challenged me to test both their new Phantom long pole as well as their 30″ version to test out.
The Phantom has the same shape to it that the Ghost has, with very concave sides. Although this shape might not be everyone’s first choice, it does give you a very good grip on the shaft, which could definitely help defenders out.
Since the Ghost was released, customers have been asking Wolf Athletics for a D-pole version. The issue with this is that because of the way the Ghost was made, if they simply made a 60″ version, it would have waayyyy too much flex for a defender to be able to control the stick well and it wouldn’t have been able to let a defender still throw hard checks which is expected out of any D-pole. Wolf Athletics spent over a year trying to find the right balance of strength, flex and durability and came up with the 60″ Phantom.
When I first picked up the Wolf Athletics Phantom Defense Pole, the first thing that I noticed was how light the pole felt. As a box player, who usually just plays attack if he plays field, I don’t have too much experience with long poles, but the only other one I own (an old AL 6000 Pro from about ten years ago that I use when coaching young defenseman), felt super heavy compared to the Phantom.
The first thing I noticed when I first picked up the Ghost was how much flex it had, but the Phantom on the other hand felt quite solid in my hand. But as soon as I put a head on it (my old Warrior Revo X) and started throwing with it, I really felt the flex in the pole, which I think is what really sells this long pole. It didn’t have as much flex as the Ghost, but enough for it to really give some extra speed and distance to throws and shots. This is a huge advantage for defensive players that are making long clears of the ball and for LSMs and defensive players that occasionally like to come up the field and shoot. It definitely adds some extra speed to your shots, even breaking the record for the world’s fastest lacrosse shot (see the video here). Pretty impressive!
As an attackman, I definitely wouldn’t want to see a defenseman defending me with one of these poles. It still has the stiffness on it to throw some pretty hard poke checks, but the thing I’d be more worried about is wrap checks coming from one. With the extra flex, these have to hurt (didn’t really want to test that out the hard way).
Attack length (30″)
The attack length of the Phantom shaft is a good offering from Wolf Athletics, which I have come to like a lot. It is a bit heavier than some other metal and carbon fiber shafts on the market, but significantly lighter than full titanium sticks, which a lot of box players use. I used it shooting around and playing wall ball as well as in two box games and was pretty impressed with the performance of the shaft. I would put the flex of the Phantom between a solid metal shaft and a typical carbon fiber shaft, which I though was a nice amount. I could only feel the flex a very minimal amount when passing and felt it a decent amount on shots, but not too much, making it very easy to transition to from a stiff metal shaft, and still giving me a little bit of an increase in shot speed. It also was pretty solid while I was playing defense. I was able to throw some hard, really solid, cross checks with it. I think the Phantom is a good choice for box players that would like a shaft that has some flex without having to give up the durability of heavy titanium shaft.
Because of the strong titanium insert and the bulletproof polycarbonate shell, the Phantom is very durable and I can’t really see one breaking. Like the Ghost, Wolf Athletics backs both the 60″ and 30″ versions of the Phantom with an absolute industry best five year warranty.
The Phantom comes in just one color of the raw silver of the titanium pole, with the clear polycarbonate surrounding it. It has minimal graphics, with just a small Wolf Athletics logo on the upper half of the long pole. I like the look a lot, as it is very clean and matches with pretty much any color head or stringing. And there’s just something about the polycarbonate shell that makes it look really cool.
The Wolf Athletics Phantom sticks are very interesting and I like them both a lot. I’d especially recommend the long pole to clearing defenseman or LSM’s that come up the field and shoot, as I think it is the best pole on the market for passing and shooting with, as well as still being a solid defensive threat. There’s really no other shafts like these on the market and I’d really recommend players try them out to decide if they are right for them.