Equipment Guide for Beginners
Buying lacrosse equipment for the first time can be bewildering, and it's easy to end up spending more than you have to. Our recommendations should help you track down what you need without spending a lot of money.
If you're going to play full-contact lacrosse, then you're going to need the following gear:
- Stick, helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, elbow pads, cup and mouth guard
Where to buy:
You have several options for buying (or renting) new or used lacrosse gear:
A quick and easy way to get a full set of gear (minus cup and mouth guard) is to order a starter kit. Many lacrosse stores sell complete starter kits (stick, helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, and elbow pads) for $170-180, which can be a savings of up to $60. Google "lacrosse starter set" to see some examples.
Your best bet is to try on protective gear in a store so you can see what size fits you the best. Alternatively, you can use an online sizing chart like this one.
Narrowing down your choices:
The internet is your friend! If you choose from gear that has several positive user reviews (at online lacrosse stores like SportStop, LacrosseMonkey, etc), then there's a good chance you'll end up buying quality gear. And cheap doesn't mean bad, especially since models from previous years will be marked down significantly!
Stick ($25+ new):
Any inexpensive $25-40 boys stick should work just fine as long as it's a real stick, not a "mini" stick. The brand/model of the head and the shaft don't matter much - the key is to make sure you have a high-quality, well-strung pocket. Most factory-strung sticks have bad pockets, usually due to the use of cheap materials and/or an improperly strung pocket. A bad pocket will hinder skill development and playing success significantly.
- Pocket material:
Semi-soft or semi-hard 10-diamond performance mesh is a great choice (good ball control, easier catching, etc):
- Pocket stringing:
- See our Stick Tech page for advice on stringing your own pocket, or...
- See our Local Stick Stringers page to have someone string your pocket for you
- Any head that's both NFHS and NCAA legal should be fine
- Any metal, composite, or wood shaft should be fine for most players
- More aggressive, older players (U13 and above) should avoid the weaker 6000 and 6065 alloy series shafts
- Complete, game-ready stick:
- See our StringKing Store for a great deal ($60!) on their game-ready, "Complete" stick
- Legal stick lengths:
- U10 and younger: 37-42"
- U11: 37-42”, 47-54”
- U12 and older: 40-42”, 52-72"
Gloves ($20+ new):
Choose gloves that are comfortable and provide good protection, grip, and flexibility. A snug fit is preferable, just make sure the tips of your fingers don't extend beyond the ends of the padded glove fingers.
Shoulder pads ($15+ new):
Choose a comfortable shoulder pad that includes deltoid/biceps protection.
Elbow pads ($15+ new):
Get arm guards, not arm pads, since they're longer (covering more of the upper arm and forearm) and offer more protection.
Helmet ($85+ new):
The brand/model helmet you choose doesn't matter as long as it is a NOCSAE-approved lacrosse helmet (look for the NOCSAE label). Be sure you get a helmet that's comfortable and fits your size head (measure your head!). Most players get a white helmet. If you're about to go into high school, you might want to check with your high school program to see if they require a certain color/brand/model of helmet.
Cup ($10+ new):
Pick a supporter and cup that's comfortable. Goalies should get a hockey goalie cup/supporter for extra comfort and protection.
Mouth guard ($2+ new):
Get a colored mouth guard (makes it easier for referees to see that you're wearing one).