Deep South Lacrosse CL Ace Goalie Head Review
With the original CL 18 goalie head, Coach Richard Shassian from Deep South Lacrosse set out to make an extremely stiff goalie head for the athletic minded goalie who loves to handle the rock outside the crease.
The triangle face shape creates a better channel in the goalie head and gives us keepers better handles when carrying the ball up the field.
The crosse was also super reinforced and the scoop angled inwards to eliminate the worst case scenario where the head folds back to high velocity shot.
Those are both awesome qualities but the head did come with some drawbacks like heavy weight and a cumbersome throat piece.
Coach Sash took the feedback to heart and set to create version 2 that improved upon its predecesor weaknesses.
In 2023 Deep South Lacrosse launched the brand new CL Ace goalie head.
In this post we’ll do review of the CL Ace looking at things like weight, cost, face shape, where to buy and the heads other features.
Before starting the review know that the CL Ace is approved for ONLY the men’s game. Both the CL 18 and CL Ace are not approved for women’s lacrosse. Not sure why, but them’s the rules.
CL Ace: Weight
My biggest knock against the CL 18 was its heavy weight. The thing was built like a tank.
And my personal preference for my goalie stick setup is ALAP – as light as possible.
With the new design Deep South Lacrosse shaved off some serious weight with the CL Ace.
Obviously we’re not comparing apples to apples since they are strung with different mesh but the new version (pictured left) weighed in at 126 grams less than my CL 18 (pictured right).
Looking at the sidewalls in the pic above you can see how they were able to achieve that. The new throat design which I’ll discuss in detail below also reduces the weight.
Reducing the weight of the head by about 25% is awesome for a guy who is pure ALAP.
For comparison the STX Eclipse 3 head I have (with mesh) weighed in at 426 grams so the CL Ace is lighter than that head by 5 grams.
Here’s another comparison of the redone sidewalls of the CL Ace:
CL Ace: New Throat
The next upgrade to the new CL Ace goalie head comes in the form of a redesigned throat.
A new throat was drastically needed as the old model had a thick and difficult to use throat that nearly eliminated the possibility of gripping the plastic with your top hand setup.
The new throat design is sleeker and also now grippable for those goalies who like to get that top hand on the plastic in their stance.
The side of the throat has cutouts to reduce the head’s overall weight.
The throat was a little wobbly on my particular shaft (StringKing Metal 3 Pro attack, 135 gram edition) when I first put it on. However I put a revolution of tape on the shaft before attaching the CL Ace and that seemed to solve it.
Overall the new throat is awesome and exactly what goalies need nowadays – sleek and grippy.
CL Ace: Face Shape
The most interesting and eye catching element of the CL Ace is its triangle face shape.
The face shape is unchanged from the previous CL18 model but its so unique it’s worth calling out in this review again.
Given that the face shape resembles an attack head, it’s often tricky to judge just how big this goalie head is.
But seen side by side to the STX Eclipse 3 you’ll see that the CL Ace is identical in top to bottom length.
You do get a touch more surface area on the sides with the STX Eclipse 3 when comparing the two goalie heads:
The STX Eclipse 3 does have the slight edge in overall surface area as the CL Ace gets narrower towards the bottom.
While you do give up a little surface area, the narrower channel of the CL Ace does allow goalies to do some things with ball handling that are nearly impossible in the spoon designs. Exhibit A:
The ultimate CL Ace marketing ploy is going to be getting video of a goalie going coast to coast, juking a few attackman along the way and ripping the top corner.
Like the Eclipse 3, the CL Ace also offers a top throat that is slanted inwards thereby “funneling” shots that hit the top plastic into the crosse as opposed to folding back and yielding a goal. This also aids in scooping up ground balls off the grass.
At the moment the CL Ace comes in just white but you can always give that baby a sweet dye job.
CL Ace: Stiffness
The CL Ace retains the same level of stiffness as the predecessor.
One of Coach Sash biggest pet peeves is when a goalie gets solid contact with the shot and the goalie head bends.
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The CL Ace was designed to eliminate that scenario and so with this product you get an extremely stiff goalie head.
I would love to see some lab tests testing the stiffness of all goalie heads against high velocity shots. My guess is the CL Ace would rank amongst the top.
CL Ace: Price
One of the really cool features of the CL 18 goalie head was its amazing price. A new CL18 could be yours for just $50 meaning you give it a try without the huge financial commitment.
The CL Ace price (unstrung) is set at $100.
Would have been cool if the new one was also $50 but I don’t pretend to understand the finances behind a gear company and I’m sure R&D and production costs are factored in here.
Still the CL Ace does fall on the cheaper end of the spectrum compared to the other goalie head options out there today:
Buy the CL Ace for $100 here on Bardown Lacrosse.
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CL Ace: Overall Thoughts
I think the biggest challenge the CL Ace will face is general acceptance from the goalie community.
Whenever a new product breaks the mold of what goalies are used to it often takes awhile to gain acceptance.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, due to the unique face shape its often tough to gauge how big it is because our goalie mind says “that’s an attack head”. So breaking the stereotype of being a “small goalie head” will be the CL Ace’s challenge.
Coach Sash will even be the first to tell you that the CL Ace isn’t for everyone. But for the right goalie, the CL Ace can be an incredible option.
Goalies are often a superstitious bunch and don’t randomly switch their wands when things are going well.
My advice is give the CL Ace a try and see if it has a place in your goalie game.
Anytime a lacrosse company tries to break the status quo of goalie gear, I’m a huge fan.
It’s the only way we end up with products like the legendary Big Nasty:
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Some products are huge successes and some are big flops.
Whether the CL Ace goes into the former or the latter camp remains to be seen.
But what you get with the CL Ace is a goalie head with top level stiffness, great weight, a well designed throat, and nice scoop.
For the right goalie, the narrower channel gives you the ball handling capaciticlities to go coast to coast, ping a corner and change the momentum of the game.
For the other goalies, the difference in face shape is just too much to overcome?
Which goalies are you?
Until next time,
PS – Anyone use the CL Ace goalie head? Leave me a comment down below with your thoughts!
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