The Great Head Debate: Eclipse vs. Nemesis
By Coach Damon on August 31, 2016
Today’s article is a guest post from Paul Burke in Alpharetta, GA and a freshman at the University of South Carolina. If you’re interested in contributing guest posts to LaxGoalieRat email me: [email protected] with the subject “Guest Post” and your idea for the article in the body.
The STX Eclipse and the original Warrior Nemesis are the Coke and Pepsi of goalie heads.
Us goalies know that we’re limited to less than a handful of heads to choose from, and the two heads to emerge as the most popular among lacrosse goalies everywhere are the STX Eclipse and Warrior Nemesis.
In this post we’ll compare and contrast these two popular goalie heads to see which is right for you.
Note: We’re talking about the original Warrior Nemesis in this post, not the Warrior Nemesis 2.
Eclipse vs. Nemesis: The Nitty Gritty
The STX Eclipse, pictured in black, weighs 11.3 oz. as compared to the Nemesis, white, weighing .9 oz more at 12.2 oz.
The Eclipse has a max width of 11 5/8 inches and a height of 15 3/4 inches, giving it an average surface area of around 183 inches. The Nemesis has a max width of 12 inches and a height of 16 in, giving it an average surface area of 192 inches.
The Eclipse has 11 sidewall holes and 11 topwall holes, whereas the Nemesis has a slightly different setup with 13 and 7.
When it comes down to it, the specs of the head are virtually identical and, for the most part do not play a significant role in the performance in the head.
However, there are a few notable differences that some goalies live and die by when comparing the two, one of those being the .9 oz advantage the Eclipse has on the “bulky” Nemesis. While .9 oz may seem to be insignificant, I believe it does give the head a different feel when making saves.
Coach Damon: In a previous post I wrote a full STX Eclipse goalie head review.
Eclipse vs. Nemesis: Shape
Even at first glance it is extremely easy to distinguish the difference in the Nemesis and the Eclipse.
It’s the difference between a circle (Nemi) and an oval (Eclipse).
The Eclipse has an elongated shape and gives the head a streamlined look allowing for a channel to be easily strung into the head, while the Nemesis has a more circular design offering a more even and balanced feel in the hand.
Each design is unique and gives the head its own identity separating itself from the other. So, which shape is better?
Like I said before, the Nemesis feels more balanced once you get it onto a shaft, whereas the Eclipse, while its lightness counteracts this to some degree, seems to be rather top heavy.
The Eclipse, does however (even with the calculated surface areas of the head) give off a larger image, showing more mesh to shooters as a result of the lack of flared sidewalls.
The Eclipse is also easier to string. Even a beginner goalie, with a few hours, can put together a pocket with a nice channel.
Eclipse vs. Nemesis: Sidewalls
The Nemesis has flared sidewalls. What this means is that the back sidewall is more pinched than the front, giving a “funnel” appearance to the plastic of the head.
Between the two sidewalls the Nemesis has 2 sturdy “bars” of plastic to support the head. The Eclipse has even sidewalls with a lightning like pattern between the two for support.
The sidewalls on the Eclipse are much more thin allowing for the head to be slightly lighter.
This, in my opinion, is the determining factor of which head is better than the other.
The Eclipse has thin sidewalls and an overall more flimsy construction, as compared to the Nemesis.
With the Nemesis’s simple two support design, coupled with thick and sturdy flared sidewalls, it is much less likely that a ball will hit the plastic of the head, bending it back and allowing the ball to go into the goal.
Overtime, I have found that the Eclipse also has a tendency to either warp or become too flimsy to be used in a game time situation, whereas the Nemesis holds its shape and stiffness for a longer period of time.
The Nemesis may be heavier than the Eclipse, but with the advantages that accompany the extra .9oz, I find the weight to be worth dealing with.
Eclipse vs. Nemesis: Offset
For those who don’t understand what offset is, it’s pretty much a fancy way to say “bent”. Think of the way a spatula is offset so you can flip burgers without scraping your hand on the hot grill.
The Nemesis has it, the Eclipse doesn’t. Yet another difference in design that can lead to a change in the way the heads perform and stack up against each other.
The Nemesis has a forward leaning offset, designed to allow the head to flex back more while maintaining control of rebounds.
The Eclipse has a “straight up and down” design with even a slight backward leaning offset on the back sidewall.
What does all of this mean?
With everything taken into account, what we have here are still two of the top goalie heads on the market, and no matter what head you choose to use, it comes down to your skills and the head simply being an addition to those skills.
The Eclipse is a lighter and more flexible head that allows for an easy stringing and an overall solid intermediate to beginner head.
The lack of offset and stability in the sidewalls tends to allow more shots to deflect off the plastic and into the twine, something no goalie wants to see.
With the head being shaped the way it is, there is a top heavy feel when using it, causing balance issues when in the cage.
The Nemesis is of more sturdy and solid construction, down to the throat being one solid piece in comparison to the Eclipses void where the shaft meets the head.
With the combination of the forward leaning offset, and sturdy flared sidewalls, the Nemesis controls more shots off the plastic and “funnels” the ball into the mesh.
If you’re young, facing shots under 80 mph, and looking for a light head that can zip around the cage, go with the Eclipse.
If you’re playing at a top high school or college and seeing high velocity shots you might opt for the Warrior Nemesis, although MLL goalie and user of the Eclipse John Galloway might disagree.
Both are solid goalie heads and you can’t go wrong selecting between these two. At the end of the day it’s going to come down to personal preference.
Thanks to Paul for the guest post. Like I said, if you’re interested in writing for LaxGoalieRat.com, shoot me an email.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Are you an STX Eclipse or a Warrior Nemi kind of goalie? Let me know in the comments.