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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 



Starter Sets 

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. Beginning in 2021, the high school requires players to wear a red Cascade S helmet with a pearl white mask, a white chin and washer, and a white chin strap. Bulk orders for these will be placed semi-annually and are a good deal. 


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 S- If you do not mind spending the extra money, your head is big enough, and you are committed to the sport, a red Cascade S with a pearl white mask, a white chin and washer, and a white chin strap 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. Be careful not to make a mistake when if you customize it and do not purchase it through us on a bulk order. If your player plans on participating in lacrosse at Steamboat Springs High School, a Cascade S customized as described above is recommended so that only one helmet must be purchased. $200+


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  with questions). 



-look for Cascade CS Youth or CPV (unless above U-15, then get Cascade R or S). 

-Used is okay as long as it is not damaged (scratches ok) and is one of these models (others are likely too old)

-If a different color 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.


Shoulder Pads 

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. (any color)


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. 


Arm Pads 

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)


Rib Pads (Optional but recommended)

Rib pads can be nice for an attackman or any player that tends to be a ball carrier - the more you carry the ball, the more likely you will get checked in the rib area. The Under Armour Spectre Box Lacrosse Kidney Pads (around $50) are a nice option.



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, gloves that are too big will make it very difficult for beginners to learn stick skills. 


(black, white, grey, red work best)


Good Brands- Warrior, 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.


While we have not tested them, the folowing gloves come highly recommended: Maverik M4, STX Surgeon 700, Under Armour Bio Fit



-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 do 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. 

StringKing makes a great complete stick option that are priced well and work well, the Complete 2 Jr., and the Complete 2 Int


The stick that you purchase 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.



Some factory strung mesh sticks can be adjusted into a good lacrosse stick.


***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).



-Email  to discuss any goalie-related equipment questions.




Boomerang Sports Exchange (870-3050)


Front Range- 

Lacrosse Unlimited Highlands Ranch (303-927-7577) 

Dick's Sporting Goods