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  • The Importance of End Caps

    Which style do you prefer?


    Every stick needs one.  We wouldn’t be able to play without them.  Butt-ends, also known as end caps, are necessary to play lacrosse mainly for safety reasons.  Without them, the sharp metal end of the lacrosse stick would be exposed, posing a harmful threat to other players.  But besides safety, butt-ends are great to help you keep your hands on you stick and to even get some extra power on shots.

    There are different varieties of butt-ends from many different manufacturers: STX, Brine, Warrior, Maverik, Under Armor, and Gait.  Most of them take on the same shape, the standard end cap that a lot of sticks come with, while others are more unique.  The Gait Cork end cap is special because instead of sitting over the shaft it locks in from the inside.  It also features a ring-like molding along the bottom;  it gives your hands something to push against when you’re shooting so you can get a little more torque!


    Under Armour also has a similar product but with more a flared out molding. It also locks from the inside when you tighten the screw. The rubber molding covers the bottom of the shaft from the outside.


    Back in my playing days, we didn’t have sophisticated end-caps like this.  I was always stuck ripping and wrapping tape around my shaft so I could get the ring-like butt-end.  Only problem with this is that it took awhile and it was very annoying.  Also, once you put that tape ring on you’d have to take it ALL off if you want to adjust it.  It made me never want to re-tape my stick, which is actually very important.


    But now, we’re in luck!  Maverik just released their new Adjustable Butt-End, or ABE for short.  Currently only available on their new 2015 shafts, the ABE features a movable plastic ring that tightens with a mini screw! You can slide this ring anywhere you want to so you can get the most out of your stick.

    Ring type butt-ends aren’t for everyone and that’s all right.  Everyone’s different.  But if you’re like me and want a little something for some extra power, the ring butt-ends are probably your best bet.

  • Lacrosse Goalie Gear for Beginners

    Beginner Goalies

    One of the first things that a head coach worries about at their first coach’s meeting, usually  months before the regular season starts, is ‘who is our goalie going to be?’ Especially at the youth level, filling this position can be extremely hard. However, there are a few very brave players out there who end up loving the position of goalie! Once the season is over, usually players want to continue at camps to improve their skills but once the regular season is over, recreation town teams collect all the equipment. This is when it can get tricky and expensive if you don’t know what you are looking for, so here are a few tips:

    #1-Right Helmet Fit

    With all of the different helmet models today, it can confusing as to which helmet to get. If you are a youth player, start off trying on the Cascade CPV. This helmet comes in sizes and is adjustable. If the largest size of this helmet is too small, then move up to the one size fits all helmets: Cascade CPX-R, Cascade Pro-7 or the Cascade R. All of the Cascade helmets can be ordered in team colors if you can wait about a week for it to arrive. (Don't forget the throat guard!)

    cascade-r-lacrosse-helmet-matte-gray-chrome-side    blackthroatguard

    #2-Chest Protector

    Again, there are a lot of different models of these by different manufacturer. Some of the more popular ones are: STX Cell II, STX Women’s Sultra, Maverik Rome NXT, Brine Eraser II, and the Warrior Lockdown. The best thing to do is to try one one, get into your goalie position and move around to see if the pads are flexible enough to your liking or you may prefer a hard, stiff sternum protector. All chest protectors have a hard piece in front of your heart, but some come with an extra bubble (that is removable) to add extra protection.


    #3-Goalie Pants

    Odds are that most boys do not want to wear goalie pants whereas girls will. Boys see this as not being tough enough and they love showing off their bruises. However, when you start to move up in grades, the shots start being much faster-average 8th grade boy can shoot around 65-70 mph. Not all goalie pants are huge, bulky pads like everyone seems to think. Some goalie pants have thinner pads and are more breathable than others.


    #4-Shin Guards

    This is all about player preference! If a player has been wearing them for years, they are most likely not going to be afraid of the ball and will step to it when the shots are being fired. If a goalie gets hit really hard in the shin, it can be extremely painful and really deter the player from being aggressive in the goal in the future. I think that having a confident goalie, wearing all the pads, is better to have on my team than someone who is scared to get hit because they want to “look cool and tough” by not wearing all the padding.



    Having your own equipment allows you to play in the off season so you can always be on top of your game. There is nothing better than walking into preseason with the confidence that you haven't lost any of your skills and are ready for whatever comes your way!

  • Rain vs. Mesh

    Can You Beat the Storm?
    East Coast Dyes May Have Your Answer!

    Mother Nature can be a cruel, mischievous lady. One minute you’re enjoying perfect lacrosse sunshine then BOOM, torrential rain to ruin your game. Nothing is worse than having to play a big game in bad weather. Your gear gets soaked and smelly, and worst of all your stick turns into a gigantic bag. We have a few good stick maintenance tricks that will help you keep your stick in order.

    From my experience in high school, college, and after, one of the easiest ways to take care of your gear is to stuff everything with paper towels or newspaper. It’s a pain to do when you are on the way home and your soaking wet but its worth it. Just throw it in there and let everything sit over night. Make sure its OUT OF YOUR GEAR BAG. The biggest mistake you can make with your wet stuff is to leave it in a closed bag for an extended period of time. If you do that you not only lock in the wet, but the funky smell as well.

    Other ways to fight the weather is to use lax products that are made to resist the rain. East Coast Dyes Mesh is one of the best in water resistant mesh on the market now. It not only has a quick break in time, but it’s wax coating keeps the water from absorbing into the mesh making it sag and bag. When your pocket increases in depth it will throw differently and that can change your shot accurate.


    ECD has also released a product called Pocket Polish that allows you to add the same wax they provide on their mesh to ANY kind of pocket. It doesn’t matter what kind of custom stringing you using, whether it’s already East Coast or any other kind of mesh, the Pocket Polish works for everything. It can also replace any of the waxy coating that may have worn off over time on your ECM.


    Whether you use any of the waterproof products out there or don’t its up to you to keep your gear in line. Trust me blaming the weather on a sub-par performance is one of the last things your coach is going to want to hear. When it rains, it pours. And when it pours, we still LAX!

  • FOGO

    Face-Offs are Changing.  Can You Keep Up?


    Face-offs are a HUGE part of our game.  Always have been.  Always will be.  It seems like every couple years the NCAA Rules Committee tries to mix it up.

    This time the biggest uproar with rule changes are at the X. What has been proposed, and now officially passed, makes it so a player can no longer carry the ball in the back of their stick.  By doing so the Rules Committee is trying to make face-offs more balanced.  It’s going to make it more of a battle for the ground ball instead of who has the fastest hands on the draw kind of competition.  Fast hands are still going to be extremely important to win but it’s just that those fast hands are going to need to figure out other ways to get the job done.  I think that there are going to be some fierce wrestling matches without the finesse inspired “plunger” move. This might also produce a larger breed of FOGO’s and eliminate that smaller, quick on their feet technical face off player.

    To me that’s one of the greatest aspects of the sport that I love. Adaptation.  When you think of the Lacrosse Greats like the Gaits, the Powells, the Thompsons etc., you need to remember that they were and still are great, not because of how good of an athlete they were but because of what they could do.

    That’s what lacrosse comes down to.  Seeing how the bits and pieces are working together and then taking the results to make the right play.  You have to adapt to survive.  It’s true in both lax and life. For those faceoff players who have become masters of their craft it is back to the drawing board. I anticipate a lot of collegiate faceoff guys that were in the top 25 will drop out this year because of their lack of ability to evolve. I would also place a bet on the bigger more physical faceoff guys excelling up through the rankings.

    So we won’t be seeing any crazy backward-stick goals this season.  So what?  We still got one of the Thompson brothers up at Albany to provide all the craziness we will ever need.  The game of lacrosse is about change.  Nothing ever goes right, and it’s up to you guys to take what they have and make the best of it.  When life gives you lemons right?

    I think the custom stringing specifically for the Faceoff player is going to be even more important moving forward. We are taking a close look at the FOGO pocket over the next few weeks. I will let you know what we come up with.


  • Behind the Scenes "The Rabil Tour"

    “The Rabil Tour”

    Paul is working through an injury right now and he is still finding time for his fans. He makes 10+ stops all over Lacrosse hot areas to visit with his fans and promote the RABIL 2 head. He is one of the most aggressive, talented athletes that our sport has ever seen and when you meet him in person he will make you feel like his team mate. He is truly a man of the people.

    We heard that the tour was planned to be longer but was cut short with Paul’s foot fracture. As a former All-American from Hopkins he is no stranger to great medical staff and he is not missing and rehab. He tallied 54 points this MLL season before he called it with his injury. We have all seen his explosive split dodge from up top and with his down-hill middie dodging style the power through his legs is both impressive and imperative to his success. We have no doubt he will be back on two feet for the season of 2015 and we are excited to have the change to hang with him this wed @universallax Freehold NJ.

    He should be onsite at 6pm and judging by our event in 2012 at our Universal lacrosse store in Raritan we will have quite the line. The good news is our store in Freehold is right next to one of NJ finest pizza places. My advice is get there early, grab a slice from Baco’s and enjoy your fellow lax enthusiasts.



    images-2        warrior-rabil-2-x-lacrosse-head-16.gif


  • Rabil 2 head Review

    The latest head released by Warrior is the predecessor to the signature Paul Rabil Head. Here is my take on the new design.


    Face Shape: The original Rabil head was knocked for being too pinched up towards the top of the head. The new face design allows for a bit more room for the ball so it does not get stuck if the head warps.

    Stringing: This head has 19 sidewall holes so any stringer that can get creative. The degree of the offset allows for the pocket and ball to sit perfect in the middle where most offensive players like to keep it.

    Sym-Rail Twist: The new sym-rail twist does make the head feel lighter but probably doesn't make much of a difference aside from looks. The head is aesthetically more sleek and smooth.

    Scoop: The head has a flatter scoop to allow for better performance on groundballs. This original Rabil was a bit too pointed and was not the best for groundballs.

    Overall: The Rabil 2 is a great new head for offensive performance that defiantly captured key improvements from its original version.

  • New CS-R Helmet

    First of its kind: The Elite Youth Helmet


    For the past 3 years, I have been fitting players of all ages in helmets. I have seen younger players wanting the newest latest and greatest helmets but usually the players head is too small. I'm very excited that Cascade has finally come out with the CS-R Helmet that not only looks great and has the newest technology but also will fit the smaller players properly. This new helmet features Poron-XRD Foam liner and a memory side foam fit that provides elite level protection for younger players.


    When compared to its predecessor, the original CS Helmet, the new liner system performs better on linear impacts. This new liner is a combination of Gen3 EPP and Poron XRD foam. Poron XRD is a pliable material and offers the maximum amount of comfort as well as elite protection for impacts sustained at the U12 levels.


    With the extremely popular look of the Cascade R helmet with its fin in the back, the CS-R has the same side profile. The CS-R's FutureStar Mono R Shell is a one-piece shell and visor, sized for the youth player that creates a more rigid system to better manage frontal impact hits. The CS-R's chin piece is color matched and the 3-bar face mask is designed to be lighter and increase vision.

    Proper Fit:

    The upgraded Full-Pivot System is designed smaller so that the back of the helmet adjusts inward to stay snug against the back of the players head. The ear pieces have plenty of foam so that, when fitted properly, it should just touch the sides of a players face.


    I am very excited to have another helmet option for this coming season that will fit the younger players. It can be hard when a young player sees the Cascade R or CPX-R and wants to wear it so badly to look cool but they don't quite fit into it yet…they are heartbroken. But now they can wear the Cascade CS-R and look just like the older players and still have the proper fit for their size. I've lost count of how many times younger/new players come in with wrong fitted helmets-either way too  big or way too small-but now with another option, hopefully all players will be safe.

  • Best New Gear Tech For 2015

    As you may have noticed, Universal Lacrosse is giving our players what they want: a look at what gear is coming out next year.

    In light of our peak into the future, we are going to explain some of the most innovative and impressive new gear that will be be available soon.

    One of the new products that is breaking the mold in this upcoming year is the new Warrior EVO glove. This glove features new D30 Aero foam and Cage FLX backhand for low-profile protection. This backhand padding flexes open when your hand opens which allows the glove to have an unprecedented flexibility and feel. When the glove closes around a stick, it wraps back over the backhand and knuckle to seal up the protection. This innovative new feature may have the potential to change gloves forever.



  • As The Dust Settles

    As the dust settles with the mayhem and magic surrounding the Thompson bothers we took a close look at the I6 for Universal Lacrosse Stores this season.
    Every stick has its pros and cons, so we will be straight up with you in reviewing this new head.
    The Good:
    This head was built for great stinging. The scoop is designed to stretch mesh in perfect dimensions and protect from premature wear of strings and leathers. 18 sidewall holes allows for experienced stringers to get creative with their design and placement. besides stringing, this head as a great stiff flex that increases durability and avoids warping. Besides the specs, The Iroquois Flag sidewall pattern adds some flavor to the head.
    The Bad:
    This head is a bit heavier than some of the newest heads that have come out but if you like the feel of a heavy ball in you stick that can actually be a good thing. The I6 only comes in one version. It is legal for all levels of play, but does not offer a HS legal version only.
    A great product for a new company that can be placed as a top tier head going into next season. It is unique in that it carries a story and a period in time when a family of laxers captivated a nation and connected its roots all at once. Not many products in any sport can do that.
    Universal Lacrosse has brought in this head for this season because AS ALWAYS, we want to get our customers what they are asking for.
    To conclude, I give you this beauty, strung with ECM fade purple to white, legal shooters and a tasty high pocket.

    i6nunezi6n2 i6n3 i6n4 16n

  • Whip vs No Whip

    Love it or hate it, everyone has an opinion.

    The whip debate is one that has been around since the beginning of lacrosse sticks. This article will outline some of the benefits and problems that whip and lack of whip will cause for a player. For those of you who do not know what whip is, I will start with a definition of what whip is.

    WHIP:  In a lacrosse stick, when the ball is hooked by the mesh, shooting strings, pocket, or plastic it will leaves the stick early. When a stick has a high amount of whip, and the player follows through overhand to the target with his stick, the ball will be hooked and throw down or low. The higher the amount of whip, the higher the degree of hook. In a stick with no whip, the ball will throw directly at the target the stick is pointed towards.

    This chart displays the pros and cons that a player experiences from using or not using whip in their stick:



    It is easy to see that there are many factors that need to be considered when deciding if you want whip or not. Here are some rules and tips to help players decide and maintain their whip:

    1)      New players should always begin and learn with no whip so they can develop a full and accurate throwing and shooting motion.

    2)      Offensive players should use some degree of whip so they can have increased hold and harder shots.

    3)      Defensive players and goalies should try to use less whip or no whip so they can throw long, cross-field clearing passes.

    4)      Players should get used to the amount of whip they like and STICK WITH IT! Changing your stick around means changing your mechanics as well.

    5)      ALWAYS have your backup ready with the same amount of whip that you like so it is game ready if you need it.

    6)      Not sure what to do? Ask for a medium amount of whip to try the best of both worlds.

    Universal Lacrosse provides custom stringing by professional stringers with any amount of whip or pocket placement preferred.. just ask! Any questions, comments, or added tips? Please feel free to comment below!

    IT’S ALL U,
    Dennis Jordan

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