PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGETOWN ATHLETICS

Georgetown defenseman Will Bowen, a Lax.com athlete, plays with Maverik Tank 2 head and Caliber shaft.

Pro Picks (NIL Edition): The Top Men's Lacrosse Sticks of 2022


Lax.com presents “Pro Picks,” a guide to the top sticks on the market and survey of what products the best players are using.

Given the groundbreaking NCAA decision to allow athletes to capitalize on their name, image and likeness — and the flurry of endorsement deals — we’re turning our gaze to the college game. Shout out to Lax.com athletes Asher Nolting, Meg Carney, Will Bowen, Stelios Kroudis, Kit Arrix, Brian Cameron, Max Waldbaum and Kevin Lindley​, as well as the STX and Warrior athletes who participated in this exercise.

Look out for these sticks this spring and get your own at Lax.com.

STX X20

Position: Defense/LSM

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair with: STX SCTI X Defense shaft ($159.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket: Mid-high

The successor to the famed X10, the X20 is made for the elite close defender or long-stick midfielder. The all-new strike plates on the sidewall allows for harder checks, while the reinforced stiffness allows for ease in ground balls and stepping down from distance while in transition.

NIKE L3

Position: Attack/Midfield

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair with: Nike Vapor Elite shaft ($119.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket: Mid-low

Used by arguably the game’s best player, Lyle Thompson, and some of the best college players, the L3 offers the perfect balance of weight, stiffness and control. If you are a do-it-all player, the L3 is a top choice for you in 2022.

WARRIOR BURN XP-O

Position: Attack

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair With: Burn XP Carbon shaft ($139.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket: Mid-low

Used by some of the very best shooters in lacrosse, the Burn XP-O is designed for the elite finisher. Perfect for the player who loves to play in tight or the one who can step down from 8-10 yards out.

NIL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT
JACK HANNAH, DENVER

School: Denver
Year: Graduate
Position: Midfield
Weapon of Choice: Warrior Evo QX-O head ($99 unstrung on Lax.com) with Fatboy Evo Qx shaft ($139.99)

How does this stick suit your style of play?

The shaft allows me to play both ways. I never worry about my shaft breaking. The head strings the why I like it for shooting and passing on the offensive end.

What’s your pocket setup?

I use a mid pocket, three shooters and a nylon above the top shooter. I like as much hold as I can have without compromising a smooth release.

What advice do you have for choosing the right stick?

String a stick without much whip or hold to develop ball skills, and most importantly be able to pass accurately with a stick. You pass far more than you shoot. Learning to shoot with low whip develops wrist control and accuracy.


“You pass far more than you shoot. Learning to shoot with low whip develops wrist control and accuracy.”

— Jack Hannah


ECD MIRAGE 2.0

Position: Attack/Midfield

MSRP: $89.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair With: ECD Carbon 3.0 shaft ($99.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket: Mid/mid-low

Super stiff with a tight face shape, the Mirage 2 is lethal in the hands of a midfielder or attackman who loves to shoot from the outside. Used by PLL pro Bryan Costabile, this head is one of ECD’s best to date.

MAVERIK TANK 2

Position: Defense

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair With: Maverik Caliber Defense shaft ($174.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket Setup: Mid-high

Wide, strong and reliable, the Maverik Tank 2 took what was great about the OG Tank and made it even better. For those just starting out to the most elite players, the Tank 2 is perfect for the close defenseman.

NIL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT
BRIAN CAMERON

School: Rutgers
Year: Graduate
Position: Attack
Weapon of Choice: Maverik Kinetik 2 head ($99.99 unstrung on Lax.com) with Union shaft ($129.99 on Lax.com)

How does this stick suit your style of play?

The Kinetik has a lot of sidewall holes, so it is very easy to find a good pattern that I like. It is also meant for more of a higher pocket, but I found a great pattern that allows the ball to shift down when I handle it vertically.

What’s your pocket setup?

I use StringKing 4x Mesh. I like a mid-low pocket with a good amount of hold and whip. I love to feel the ball click off the top of the plastic. I use one shooting string and keep it very loose. I have the three best stringers in the game hands down. Lars Keil aka Sidewall Jedi, Matt Clemmons and my brother, Sean, who plays at Princeton.

What advice do you have for choosing the right stick?

For youth players, having a wide head is very important. Catching will be the hardest thing. For high school players, find a head that feels the best and get a knowledgeable stringer to do it exactly how you want it.








STX DUEL 3

Position: Faceoff

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pocket: Low

Pair with: STX SC-TI S shaft ($99.99 on Lax.com)

Combining the best features of the Duels from past years, the all-new Duel 3 is the premier head for the face-off, stay-on athlete. With improved durability and warp resistance, you will spend more time facing off than worrying about the condition of your head.

STX STALLION 900

Position: Midfield/LSM

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair with: STX SC-TI X Shaft ($99.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket: Mid

The newest iteration of one of the top lines from STX, the Stallion 900 checks all the boxes for a midfielder: durable, versatile and reliable. Great for step-down shooters or feeders or long-stick midfielders who love to push transition.




PHOTO COURTESY OF RUTGERS ATHLETICS

Rutgers attackman Brian Cameron, a Lax.com athlete, plays with a Maverik Kinetik 2 head and Union shaft.


MAVERIK OPTIK 3
ASHER NOLTING-APPROVED

MSRP: $99.99 (unstrung) on Lax.com

Pair with: Maverik Hyperlite shaft ($149.99 on Lax.com)

Pocket: Mid-low

Lethal for the elite playmaker on offense, the Optik 3 suits the jack-of-all-trades attackman who can initiate from X, finish on the crease and do everything in between.

NIL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT
WILL BOWEN

School: Georgetown
Year: Graduate
Position: Defense
Weapon of Choice: Maverik Tank 2 head ($99.99 on Lax.com) with Caliber shaft ($174.99 on Lax.com)

What do you look for in a stick?

I look for a durable and wide head with a U-shaped mouth to help pick up ground balls. In my shaft, I look for flexibility and no tendency to bend, but lightweight.

What about this stick separates it from competitors?

The head is very wide and durable. The shaft is light but also has great grip and has not bent for me in eight months of use.

What’s your pocket setup?

I use StringKing mesh with a mid-pocket and one shooting string.

This article appears in the April edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join USA Lacrosse today to start your subscription and help fuel the growth of the sport.