From the best-selling Proton family, we have the STX Proton Power. The head features STX Forward Cant technology, a new aerodynamic design and a scoop which allows for extra flex when shooting. It has the perfect shape for maximum ball control with pin point accuracy when shooting and catching the ball. The head is NFHS compliant only.
Weighing in at 132g (4.7oz) puts it in the light category. It's not as light as a STX Super Power (127g / 4.5oz), or a Warrior Noz X (122g /4.3oz), but it falls well below the Brine Clutch 2 (146g / 5.2oz). We really liked the weight primarily because it was so easy to tell when we had the ball.
Taking a close look at the scoop, there’s no excessive bulk or lips at the back. These can lift the tip off the ground when going for ground balls. The back side is also smooth enough to give you a wide enough angle to approach the ball at. The scoop is reportedly different to the previous Proton model, so if you're upgrading from a Proton, there may be a small period of adjustment.
The tip of the Proton Power finds a good balance between being ground ball friendly and accurate. We found it's forgiving enough if you going for a pickup slightly off centre. Any flatter and we feel you'd have to do a lot more work with your stringing to get a good channel. We found this head to be extremely accurate when passing and shooting.
The scoop is quite bendable, but this is where the extra flex for shooting comes in. Combined with the Forward Cant, you'll feel a bit of a whip with your cranks. It felt a bit odd at first when we felt the flex, but soon got used it to. If anything, it felt weird going back to our trusty PL66.
STX Proton Power Lacrosse Head - You can really see the forward cant in this shot
An interesting thing with this head is the stringing holes. Most of the modern lacrosse heads have a plethora of stringing holes, but not this head. The stringing holes are reinforced like on the STX Super Power, so we're unsure why they didn't have more. Still, there's enough to string a great pocket.
The stringing holes are quite tight. When stringing the head, I don't remember ever thinking "Gee, this is easy". But once the pocket is set and the sidewall laces tied off, they don't move. We strung a mid-pocket, which worked really well for us. The ball felt really nice, and it was very smooth when changing from cradling to winding up for a shot. A higher pocket, or "shooter pocket" is recommended, but we didn't try it. A low pocket is not recommended for this head. We go into more detail about this in the throat section.
The pinch is quite nice and offers a good hold for a mid-pocket. As always with heads that have a tight pinch, you need to make sure it doesn't pinch too much and make it illegal. You can put a piece of wood slightly wider than a lacrosse ball between the sidewalls where they pinch to keep it legal.
We do love the odd stick trick and it is unfortunate that you can't roll the ball along the outside of the sidewalls. You know the trick where you throw the ball up and catch it on the side wall and throw it up to the other side? If you're a bit of a show off, like us, you will be disappointed.
STX Proton Power Lacrosse Head - A closer view of the throat and where the sidewalls attach
One glance at the throat and you'll see it doesn't have that long pronounced channel that you get from NCAA heads. But the gradually diverging opening works very well in creating a great channel.
We found our initial stringing of the head was illegal. The ball wouldn't roll out of the throat of the head when held upright and tilted forward. We had to make stringing adjustments to the bottom sidewall strings to ensure they didn't interfere and also change the bottom strings to ensure the ball didn't get caught behind the ball stop. These were minor adjustments, but with the potential for extra pinching from general wear and tear this may end up being something you'll need to address regularly. Stringing a low pocket is not recommended.
If you do string traditional kits, you'll be disappointed to know that there are only two holes at the bottom. You'll have to double up with the leathers or be creative in coming up with other options. We strung mesh and found the bottom sidewall holes compensated well.
We're unsure what the specific goal of the island ball stop is. We weren't able to identify any real advantage.
The throat does give birth to a great pocket channel. Our passing and shooting was spot on. This head loves releasing the ball.
The sidewalls are attached lower on the throat, which increases stability and strength. The head is quite flexible and we'd hate to see how stiff it would be (or not be) without this.
The STX Proton Power is not the stiffest head going around. The scoop has been designed to have an amount of flex to it, so if a stiff head is what you feel you need, this is not the head for you. Likewise, if you like to poke check or have a bit of agro about you, look elsewhere.
You may get some bend if you go aggressively at a ground ball and won't hold its shape for long in a faceoff. But the head is easily bent back into shape, if it doesn't go on its own.
STX lacrosse heads seem to be a tighter fit on lacrosse shafts than the others. It's tight on an STX handle, and may be a bit trickier to get on shafts from other brands. Generally, all heads fit on all shafts, but you may have to use a bit more force with this one.
We found this head to be too flexible for defence. It felt a bit too flimsy. But it's not designed with defence in mind so we don't see this being an issue. If you play long stick midfield you could consider this, but with the flex in the scoop we just can't see it being a good decision.
If you find you take the odd face off, this will hold up well. The streamlined sidewalls get you close to the ground, which is a nice bonus. The lack of stiffness means you won’t be able to take the most aggressive face off, but more agile face off manoeuvres should be fine.
The STX Proton Power is designed for attackers and midfielders. It's designed to shoot goals and give accurate feeds. Nuff said.
How can you not love this head? There are other heads lighter, stronger, stiffer and all that. But the STX Proton Power epitomises that which is lacrosse. It is a goal scoring head.
It's not manufactured with ACP (All Climate Protection) so be mindful if you're playing in the heat or the cold. The lightweight factor and the extra flex may affect its durability. But aside from that, this is a sensational lacrosse head.
"STX Proton Power Lacrosse Head - Packing raw power into your shots"
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