STX spent a lot of time developing a faceoff head in order to do it right. The STX Duel was hyped
quite a bit on social media and so far it has lived up to the test. In the early 2000’s STX used a
throat plug with the Liquid with mixed results, the throat plug used on the Duel is a much
improved version for sure. Not the first company to try to make a faceoff specific head, but
definitely the first to do it in a way that the head is usable for more than just facing off.
STX made a specific Scandium Duel handle to go with the head as well. It is a solid handle with a
couple changes from the standard STX handle. Not one of their premier market handles but as a
compliment to the Duel head it is a great handle. More detail on the shaft is in the video
posted. If you are looking for a complete stick combo or want to use the side screw easily on
the Duel head I would highly recommend the shaft as well.
Shape 9 out of 10
The Duel is definitely designed towards a Mid to Mid-Low pocket. I used StringKing 2s in the
duel with easy results for sure when it came to stringing. It only took one shot to get a great
pocket in this head that performs well out in the field. Normally when I pick up a head
marketed towards faceoff guys it’s so onset that compared to a normal head it feels wrong out
in the field. The Duel is the direct opposite, it doesn’t have a large offset but it has just enough
that out in the field I feel like I could use it without even being a face off guy and have no issues
going to goal. My only concern is it has brought back some of the “KeyHole” shaping of the
Bionic from years past which is thinner towards the middle, some love it some hate it I am
indifferent to the KeyHole.
Scoop 10 out of 10
Facing off is all about the groundball these days with the NCAA changing the rules every time
the wind blows and now almost every level making it illegal to carry the ball of the faceoff. The
scoop on the Duel does not disappoint I’ve picked up balls on the run one handed, two handed,
under pressure, and at full sprint with no issues. The Duel is a ball hog when it comes to getting
it up off the ground definitely happy with the end result.
Stiffness 8.5 out of 10
Hey it’s a face off head so it needs to be flexible. Definitely no head for a LSM who faces off but
it can still hold up in a decent slap or poke check. In a fight at the X it seems to hold up very well
for the grind but a stiffer head can sometimes be used to push through and take the ball. The
bottom rail of the Duel could be a little stiffer in order to prevent some warping but honestly
the stiffness on the head is perfect when it comes to locking the ball in the throat and getting a
good pop without throwing the ball too far or too short.
Stringing 10 out of 10
One shot on a new design to get a perfect pocket, this doesn’t happen often. Look actual high
pockets in the top 3rd of the head aren’t that common and really for a faceoff guy they aren’t
very helpful so the way the Duel strings up is perfect. There are enough holes to get variety of
channel and position for your pocket. If you can’t string the Duel I’m surprised.
Durability/Warping 9 out of 10
Warping is the big issue on a faceoff head along with the base of the head cracking. I’ve been
using the head in SoCal in 100 degree plus weather and its held up like a champ on the turf. The
bottom rail does warp in some here and there but honestly I have been able to pull it right back
on the field in between faceoffs with no issues whatsoever. The head doesn’t have any visible
weak points especially at the throat it is so beefed up that I will be shocked to see a Duel break
here. The base hasn’t kinked on me in over 200 faceoff’s (practice and about 10 live) it doesn’t
have a string hole at the pressure point either which is a smart move on STX’s part. Durability
shouldn’t be an issue but honestly faceoff guys are used to replacing their heads anyway.
Faceoff’s 10 out of 10
Forward, backward, fighting it out doesn’t matter the Duel kills it. I have heard from a lot of
guys who used prototypes who expressed that they thought it could be improved and honestly
the production model looks like STX took all the criticism and made fixes for it. Popping the ball
forward almost always landed about 3 feet in front of me, behind I could control it 3 feet easy
and a touch more pressure to hit my wing in stride, the fight for the ball in a tie up is where
heads live or die though. I went against a pole that had size and muscle on me easy and who
was using a Revo 3 one of the stiffest heads on the market, he tried it all to dig the ball out of
my Duel and couldn’t get it away from me. The Duel is definitely a top level head at the X.
Hand position is the key to this head since it lets you get all the way up the shaft almost and
closer to the ball. I love this feature and it is perfectly executed.
STX added a side screw for the shaft in this head which I am not currently using as I felt it was a
little too noticeable. But when the head gets loose from battling it out this screw will be perfect
with a little tape to cover it in order to take out any rattle that could happen.
Overall the Head is a 9.4 out of 10.
The STX Duel is a top level faceoff head and should be in every faceoff guy’s arsenal. It is a nice
change from the normal faceoff heads and the ability to get your hand closer to the ball is a
feature that brings an unparalleled advantage from the heads on the market. I would put the
Duel in the same level as the CEO, Super Power, and NOZ and I would put it above the Tribe 7
since it actually works well to play once you win the ball.
Photo Credit on the ULAX Photo Michael Bell Films Los Angeles, California