A great lacrosse player is not only always going the extra mile on the field, but also willing to get their hands dirty outside to take their game to the next level. One of the best ways to immediately boost your gameplay is to cut your lacrosse shaft as it can result in many advantages.
In this post, we will explore topics around why cutting your shaft is a good idea, how to cut a lacrosse shaft, and necessary precautions to keep in mind.
Per NCAA ruling, an attack and middie shaft needs to measure between 40 and 42 inches whereas a defensive and defensive middies’ shaft ranges from 52 to 72 inches. A goalie shaft can be anywhere between 40 and 72 inches. As long as your shaft stays within the legal range, you are free to make it however long based on your preference.
If you are curious why some players use longer shafts, you can learn about it here.
Why Cutting Your Lacrosse Shaft Is A Good Idea
As lacrosse shafts are made to the same size depending on your position, cutting your shaft helps to match it with your own height and level of experience more properly so that you gain more hand control and shooting accuracy.
As an attacker, having a shorter stick gives you an edge over your counterparts as shorter sticks are easier to doge checks and make passes. After many years of playing lacrosse and messing around with different gears, I realized best gears are the ones that allow players to make proper adjustments based on their own playing style.
Therefore, if your current shaft seems a bit too long for your liking, it’s time to consider cutting it short.
Some additional reasons to consider cutting a lacrosse shaft are the following:
- Don’t throw away an old d-pole or goalie shaft but turn it into a shorter shaft
- Saves you money from buying a new shaft when you can cut an old one
- Easier to teach fundamentals to younger players with a shooter stick
Read also: Best Lacrosse Heads in 2022, Best Lacrosse Shafts in 2022
Lacrosse Shaft Size Explain
When people refer to a lacrosse stick, it typically includes a shaft and head together. But, if we consider only the shaft, the shortest it could go is:
- Attacker/Midfielder: 30 inches
- Defensemen: 42 inches
- Goalie: 40 inches
As there are many differences between different gender groups and age groups, let’s take a look at each group and how they differ:
Length Guide for Men’s Lacrosse
For an adult player, the shaft’s length depends on the position. While attackers and midfielders often choose the shortest sticks for speed and ball security, defensive middies and defensemen choose short or long shafts based on various factors, 1. The longer the shaft, the more clearing area it covers 2. The shorter the shaft, the easier it is for hand control. Hence, depending on your position and the type of player you are, it’s key to find the right balance.
The same goes for goalies, the length varies based on their preferences. A longer goalie shaft clears better; a shorter goalie shaft lets you react quickly.
- Attackers: 40-42 inches
- Goalies: 40-72 inches
- Midfield players: 40-42 inches (short stick midfielder); 52-72 inches (long-stick midfielder)
- Defensemen: 52-72 inches
Not sure what is the best complete stick in the market?
Learn more about the best beginner complete sticks in 2022
Length Guide for Women’s Lacrosse
Similar to men’s, women’s lacrosse players should apply the same logic to their approach in regards to how many inches they want to cut off of their lacrosse shafts. However, be very careful not to cut more than it’s needed to maintain a minimum length of 35.5 inches.
- Attacker: 35.5-43.5 inches
- Goalies: 35.3 – 52 inches
- Midfield players: 35.5-43.5 inches (approx)
Learn more about the Best Women’s Lacrosse Sticks in 2022
Length Guide for the Youth (Age Under 10)
A good rule of thumb is that the lacrosse shaft length should not exceed the height of a young player. In the case of boys, the length should be adjusted as per the height. Likewise, the stick length should be analyzed for girls by measuring the arm length from the shoulder back to the index fingertip. Simply put, the youth players should feel comfortable while using the stick.
- Attackers: 37-42 inches
- Goalies: 37-54 inches
- Midfield players: 37-42 inches (short stick midfielder); 47-54 inches (long-stick midfielder)
- Defensemen: 47-54 inches
Check out this video from STX where they explain how long your stick should be:
Tools and Materials You Need To Cut a Lacrosse Shaft
Before you make adjustments to the lacrosse shaft, let’s check out the tools you may need for the process. Most of them are available in your regular toolbox:
- Hack saw: to cut the shaft
- Miter box: to guide the hack saws for making appropriate cuts
- Vise: for keeping the shaft in place
- Measuring tape: to make measurements
- Permanent Markers: to mark the measurements
- Sandpaper: to smooth out the rough surface after shafting
If you don’t have a vise, make use of any weight to keep the lacrosse shaft in place. This will prevent any movement or twitching of the shaft. Considering the negligible updos after cuts, these tools will also avert any unevenness or irregularities in the measurement.
How To Cut A Lacrosse Shaft
By now, we explore what could be the ideal length for your lacrosse shaft along with the necessary tools. It’s time to note down the required measurement on paper. So, let’s move on to the first step of the cutting process:
#1 Measure the Length You Want to Cut
Take your shaft and measure its length. Then, collate the shaft length with the required length. Make sure you use a measuring tape while taking the measurements. Once done, mark the length that needs to be cut (through a permanent marker or a piece of tape for even better illustration).
For example, if the ideal length for the shaft is 30 inches and your shaft ranges 35 inches or more, mark the portion that carries extra 5 inches. Always check for any potential measurement mistakes twice before cutting.
#2 Use a Vise to Keep the Shaft in Place
The role of a vise in shaft cutting is to hold the device during sawing. Check for any cracks or damages before using the vise. It should be able to hold the shaft properly and not strain it. Make sure that the shaft is close to the jaw as it prevents any vibration while sawing. After that, move on to the cutting process.
#3 Start Cutting the Lacrosse Shaft
Before you start cutting the shaft, choose a blade with small teeth as more tooth counts make the cuts finer. So, take time and select accordingly.
Cut the shaft slowly through the marks and speed up the cutting once you hit the mid-point. Cut the shaft at a perpendicular angle. It should be straight towards the shaft and straight up and down. To prevent snapping once you reached the mid-point, people would recommend flipping the shaft over and cutting from the opposite side. The most important lesson is to focus more on your speed rather than strength for best results.
#4 Sand the Edges to Smoothen Them Up
Once the shaft is cut, use sandpaper to smooth out the edges. It helps to remove any imperfections and gives an even finishing to the shaft.
Check out this super helpful video from Epoch that demonstrates how to cut a shaft step by step:
By following these easy steps, you are now able to cut your lacrosse shafts smoothly and easily. I hope this guide has provided helpful tips and information you need to understand why cutting your shaft is important and how to properly cut your shaft. Most importantly, stay assured of the necessary precautions while cutting the shaft. Always first familiarize yourself with the steps, wear safety gloves and tie back any loose hair before the actual cutting.