Will it be the STX Crux, Debeer Fierce or Brine Amonte 2? The big guns from each of the women’s companies are on the market now, and with the holidays we should have a pretty good idea of who is going to rule the roost in the women’s market for 2011.
First we have the STX Crux. While this is also available in a 10 degree version, we will focus on the direct offset sticks. One look at the Crux and the phrase that comes to mind might be “Game Changer”. When looking at the scoop on up, one thing is clear…this stick is something different.
Once the pocket is shaped and broken in to be playable, you will find out just how much hold and control the STX Runway pocket offers. If you are a player who likes to shoot from low to high, prepared to be amazed. The ball sits very nicely in the upper portion of the head and is ready to burn the tips of the turf when released as a low shot. The Crux also offers a nice curve in the scoop which will promote accuracy. But be patient…the Crux needs a bit of love and time to become proficient. But once you get relaxed with it the Crux will be a go in to your quiver of sticks. Note also that STX installs a sidewall string as a stock feature it helps make the head much more playable.
The deBeer Fierce hits the market as the hybrid stick of 2011. This is a combination of the latest version of the NV3 with attributes of the Fierce, which was released last year. deBeer hits us in a feel good way since they are offering all their sticks as direct offset this year rather than the TOS version. As for price points, the Fierce doesn’t hit too hard and offers a nice package for the money.
While not as radical as the Crux, the Fierce offers a nice, tight catching face profile to allow for minimal ball rattle when cradling. The Fierce is designed for the more traditional player who wants optimal control and hard shot speed but without all the men’s style whip or worm burner shot angles. Not too flexy and not too stiff, the Fierce will impress you with it’s well-curved scoop and long throat/channel area. And while the Runway pocket for STX has tons of hold, the deBeer gripper pro pocket is one of the easiest to string in any stick on the market and also provides the potential to make a sweet channel when custom strung. In addition, it does not seem to get any build up of dirt on the gripper section, which keeps the stick in good shape to control the ball once caught.
The downside is that custom stringing this stick is your best option. Debeer does not install a sidewall string here and it can be tough to get the pocket to drop properly for the experienced player. It is worth getting the string work done to get maximum playability with the Fierce. One last note: deBeer brings their recessed top string to the game, which saves a lot of frustration replacing top strings in the early part of the season or even over the life of the stick.
Brine’s Amonte or Amonte 2?. In one thought you could say the name carries the stick. But once you play with an Amonte, whether it is the Warrior version from way back, the Brine version 1.0 which was radical at it’s release, or version 2.0 with it’s two color molded head which offers a custom feel right out of the box, you’ll know you’re in good hands. Not to mention…here comes the Chrome. And not only Chrome, a Chrome Fade, no less. It is a bit surprising to not see more colors. Come on, it’s the women’s game for goodness sake, colors are paramount!
At any rate, the Amonte, regardless of version, never seems to disappoint on the field. It is a good shape that excels pretty much at whatever position it is used. And with Brine working on a new pocket design the aging TXP pocket will probably find it’s retirement date arriving quickly. Again, the Amontes don’t come with sidewall strings and do benefit from a custom strung pocket. Hard curves in the scoops of either version of the Amonte don’t leave you guessing where your shot or pass is headed. The Amonte is now a stick that is acceptable for players in middle school on up, and can be purchased as a first time stick for many. All versions are solid performers
The sleeper stick of the year dut dutta dahhh. The Epic 2. This head is crazy light and stiff enough to get the job done anywhere. This may seem like we are sneaking an extra stick in on you but check this baby out. The price is great for the basic package, and you can do a custom string job without wrecking the wallet. Stick the Epic 2 head on a Brine women’s scandium handle and go stretch some nets.
In the end, I don’t think it matters what brand of stick you are favored to. No stick line this year will disappoint you. They are all showing up with legit equipment. The only thing we could say about Nike’s 2010 line is BOOM!
Mike Rinier, 9 Year Lacrosse coach for both men’s and women’s. Enjoys coaching Goalies the most. Mike enjoys participating in downhill mountain biking, road bike and cyclocross as well as distance trail hiking and finding ways to bring the lacrosse style to sports that may not be used to it. Custom stringer for Longstreth Women’s Sporting Goods. He will bring you the latest and greatest in what is new in the women’s game for both equipment and shoes. Hopefully we can cue you in to some cool stuff on the way.