The Warrior Warp – Evo & Next. Great New Innovation Or Gimmick?

The Warrior Warp comes in the more advanced Evo line in low, mid, and high pockets, and now in the Next line for the developmental lacrosse player.  Its selling point is that the pocket is pre-strung, Kevlar-bonded, and made of water-resistant polypropylene.  The Warp supposedly puts stick doctors and the lacrosse’s subculture of stringers on notice: Nylon mesh, which gradually in large measure replaced traditional leather as the prevailing lacrosse pocket material in the 1980s, would one day join its predecessor as antiquated, irrelevant, and  relegated mostly to nostalgic hobbyists.  Warrior believes strongly in this technology’s potential to grow the game by eradicating perhaps the biggest variable that make it difficult to pick up for some: variations and lack of consistency in pockets.

To be sure, kids that are new to the sport and have no sense of a the feel of a pocket (nor any ability to make adjustments to the pocket) and how it facilitates or debilitates their own unique throwing, catching, and cradling styles, often have a hard time simply because their pocket stinks.  As a coach, I commonly conclude that the biggest deficiencies for young players’ stick skills emanates from bad pockets and I thus commonly direct parents to the local store to have heads restrung with an appropriate pocket with decent mesh and strings.  Even then, it is not uncommon to see even experienced players have their games compromised by bad pockets, some that are too shallow because a player does not want to take any velocity out of his shot (but instead sacrifices ball security and accuracy); while others have way too much lip on their shooters for better ability to throw fakes and have better ball security (but instead sacrifice shot velocity and accuracy).  Then there is the reality that all players face in when we have attained the most perfect pockets: no matter how high quality the strings and mesh are, they always eventually stretch and distort, especially in wet weather and muddy conditions.

The Warp seeks to solve this problem of pocket discrepancy and lack of consistency.  Although I was a child of the nylon mesh generation and currently hold Hero Mesh nearest and dearest to my heart, I decided to have an open mind and give it a shot when a Warrior rep gave me a loaner Warp tp mess around with and see what I thought.

My first impression was that the mid pocket accuracy (mid pocket is my preference) was solid, BUT, I could not stand that the ball hit off the scoop of the head!  It drove me nuts!  The Warrior rep assured me that this was a minor obstacle to overcome, one born of generational influence where the notion of the ball hitting off the scoop was just unacceptable.  He said that market research is clear that even old dudes like me over time not only adjust but begin to embrace the ball hitting off the scoop in light of the pocket’s consistency and complete lack of necessary maintenance; while eventually realizing that the aversion to hitting off the scoop is a mental one born out of habit which is easily overcome.  He stated that younger players without such ingrained scoop hitting aversion quickly adjusted and forgot about it and went onto thrive for all of the Warp’s innovations that bring it ready to play with no need to ever adjust or restring.

I remained far from convinced as I threw and shot with it over and over again; I simply could not stand it!  But I digress, perhaps I am just being an old dude.  As far as the rest of the experience with the Warp head, I will say that ball security, ability to throw fakes, and scooping were as good as any manually strung head I have used.

The price point is also bound to make consumers a little bit uneasy.  The Evo Warp retails at $249, while the Warp Next (the developmental model) retails at $100.  Warrior explains away the high price point by pointing to the fact that mesh and strings (nor stinging services) need to be purchased, and replacement of mesh and strings will never be necessary.  Maybe they are right….but the ball hits off the scoop!

Anyway, I would  be interested to see other opinions on this head for those who have tried it and used it for any significant length of time.  I am sure my readers would appreciate an opinion other than my Generation X tainted view of lacrosse technology.

Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms.  In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport.  He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health  blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.