Steamboat Youth Lacrosse
Boys Equipment Buying Guideline
This is a guideline only. Purchasing proper equipment is the responsibility of the parent and player. Steamboat Lacrosse LLC is not responsible for any dissatisfaction resulting from the purchase of any products mentioned, the use of any of the vendors mentioned, or the recommendations in this guideline. A full set of lacrosse equipment includes a lacrosse helmet, lacrosse shoulder pads, lacrosse arm pads, lacrosse gloves, a lacrosse stick, a mouthpiece, cleats (lacrosse and football are fine, soccer cleats are ok but less desirable if they lack cleats near the toe), and an athletic cup.
If you have any questions please call Andy Flax at (970) 846-0651 or email
A lot of vendors offer a starter set (all or most pieces of equipment needed sold together). These are generally fine for the new player as long as everything fits reasonably well. These starter sets can be found in every brand, and typically offer good savings. If a player shows dedication to the sport, you can always upgrade pieces of equipment over time.
Equipment Details/Starter Equipment Recommendations
Below are details on all pieces of equipment. Within these are notes on what models are good for beginners putting their own gear together (please look carefully, some of this stuff is advanced equipment and not intended for beginners).
General- Any current helmet, as long as it fits well, is sufficient. HELMETS MUST BE NOCSAE CERTIFIED. As of the day this was written, the high school required players to wear a silver helmet (with silver visor and black chin-guard); therefore, a silver helmet may be able to be worn more years and could have a better resale value.
Fit- A good way to see if a helmet is a good fit is to try it on without the chin strap buckled. If you move the helmet slowly from side to side, the skin on your face should move. It should not be so tight, however, that it feels uncomfortable.
Cascade CPXR/R/S- If you do not mind spending the extra money, your head is big enough, and you are committed to the sport, a silver “CPXR”, “R”, or ”S” (with silver shell/silver visor, black chin/black chinstrap, chrome mask, probably black mohawk/black rear panel) could be a good option as it has great adjustability, it can be worn all the way through high school, and it could have a good resale value. $200+. The SSHS high school team uses Cascade helmets. It is possible that a Cascade helmet will be required for use at the high school for the reason of having a uniform looking team at a competitive level of play. If your player plans on participating in lacrosse at Steamboat Springs High School, a Cascade brand helmet is recommended so that only one helmet must be purchased.
Cascade CS, CS-R, CPV-R, S Youth - Good youth helmets, sometimes adjustable. Most players will not be able to wear this helmet as they approach high school as the shell size is too small to provide adequate protection. Even larger players at younger levels will want to make sure this helmet fits and will offer adequate protection. $100+
***Note*** ALL (beginner-advanced) high school aged players (above U-15) need one of the adult-sized helmets, as their size and the size of their opponents, as well as increased game speed, demand more protection.
***Note*** Helmets are designated as current and usable by a national organization called NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards of Athletic Equipment). Every so often, old helmets and other equipment are considered obsolete and no longer allowed for play in lacrosse. Do not try to use very old equipment, especially helmets, due to this (used equipment just a couple years old is usually okay, email
-look for Cascade CS Youth or CPV (unless above U-15, then get Cascade CPXR, R, S.
-Used is okay as long as it is not damaged (scratches ok) and is one of these models (others are likely too old)
-Get a silver shell and a silver visor with a black chin guard and black chin strap (facemask is usually silver or black which is fine, no crazy colors). If you plan to use the helmet for high school play, it will have to be this color. Any stickers/decals will likely have to be removed.
-If a colored helmet is your best-available option, that is okay. We just like to use the same colors as the high school so that equipment can be used for both programs. Also, we prefer a uniform team look.
General- As with helmets, spending more money on shoulder pads will probably get you a nicer pair, but it is advisable to spend the money on other pieces of equipment (helmet).
Fit- Ideally the shoulder caps should fit right over the shoulders. Unlike a helmet, shoulder pad fit is not as critical and they can be purchased to allow room for growth.
Good Brands- Warrior, Gait, Brine, Maverik,
Price range- $30 (beginner, younger) to $150 (only high school/advanced players look at this end of the spectrum)
*Some shoulder pads aimed at higher levels of play do not provide deltoid muscle protection (side of the shoulder) or bicep protection (as larger, more advanced players opt to give up protection for mobility). Youth players are required to wear deltoid protection, bicep protection is required by SYL until high school play. Both are recommended for high school players, though not mandatory.
*Rib pads are not required but are recommended.
General- The more a player plays an offensive position in which heʼll be carrying the ball, the more heʼll want a more protective arm pad. If a player plays attack(only offense), he may want protection from his shoulder pads all the way to his gloves, so no skin showing. Arm pads are mandatory for youth lacrosse. Arm pads have varying degrees of protection in addition to varying coverage along the arm.
Fit- Arm pads need to fit snugly on the arm to prevent slippage. If they slide down the arm after every pass, they can become quite a nuisance. This is a good one to be able to try on to ensure proper fit and to ensure the proper coverage that youʼre looking for.
(black, white, grey, red work best)
Good Brands- Warrior, Gait, Brine, Maverik,
Price range-$25 (beginner, younger) to $125 (only high school/advanced players look at this end of the spectrum)
General- If you had to spend more money on equipment, gloves would arguably be a good place to do so. While a great lacrosse player is still going to be a great player with bad gloves, more expensive gloves usually offer more flexibility, greater dexterity, and greater protection. That being said, many college programs don’t even use $200+ gloves and you will see several models in this price range. There is a wide range of value in gloves and we would be happy to help you figure this out.
Fit- Gloves should fit like any gloves-fingers should come close to, if not to, the end of the glove fingers. Gloves will not fall off if they are a little big, so they could be purchased with a little room for growth. However, too big of gloves will make it very difficult for beginners to learn stick skills, as they are clunky.
(black, white, grey, red work best)
Good Brands- Warrior, Gait, Brine, Maverik, Nike
Price range- $40 (beginner, younger) to $200+ (only high school/advanced players look at this end of the spectrum)
*Any player that plays Goalie specifically may want to look for goalie-specific gloves that provide more protection around the thumb. These sell for about the same price, sometimes a little higher.
-More money spent here is a good idea for protection/dexterity, but stay away from crazy colors/designs to save a buck.
General- If you don not have a lacrosse stick and are looking for one, a "Steamboat Special" would be ideal for you. Contact Neill Redfern at 970-819-2756.
A basic $40 complete stick is ok for the new player. Obviously it needs to be a menʼs stick, not a womenʼs stick. Do not get a toy stick or a “Fiddle Stick!” Do not cut the shaft+head below 40” which is the minimum size for High School and College. The most important part of a lacrosse stick is the stringing job-if you spend a fortune on a head and it does not throw or catch well, it is not a good lacrosse stick. The "Steamboat Special" solves the stringing job conundrum.
Generally, a factory strung mesh stick can be adjusted into a good lacrosse stick. Hard Mesh is recommended if possible as it is more durable than soft mesh and it can be made into a better throwing, catching and carrying stick than soft mesh. While there is nothing better than a well-strung traditional (leathers and lacing) stick, itʼs hard to find someone to string one well and they need a lot more maintenance than mesh.
***Note*** Steamboat Youth Lacrosse can string quality lacrosse heads. Email us for availability (generally in-season) (
As previously stated, a really nice and expensive head is worthless if it does not have a good stringing job. A nicer, more expensive head could be a place to spend more money. A nicer head will probably be lighter, and will probably throw, shoot, and carry the ball better (with proper stringing, remember). It is advisable to avoid anything that looks “gimmicky.”
Youth players must use NFHS or "Universally" legal lacrosse heads. No NCAA-only heads. This information should be readily available from wherever you purchase a head.
You probably get what you pay for, for the most part. As price increases, durability may increase as well. As price increases, weight may go down. As price increases, durability may increase and weight may go down. It is advisable to avoid anything that looks gimmicky. No opinion on brands-all manufacturers make inexpensive all the way up to expensive heads and shafts. We find that the best value is around $60 for advanced players, but cheap aluminum shafts work great for beginners. Shafts WILL be “checked,” or hit, by other players. This will often cause dents. Small dents do not warrant buying a new shaft. If the shaft is bent or broken, it must be replaced.
Youth players may not use "off-set" shafts - or shafts with a bend at one end. Shafts must be 100% straight (excluding slight wear-and-tear).
to discuss any goalie-related equipment questions.
Boomerang Sports Exchange (870-3050)
Lax World (Littleton 303-779-4494 Denver 303-320-9499), (303-322-6336)
Dick's Sporting Goods