While I am a lax rat, I’ve never really been a gear rat. I mean just look at that photo of me above, I still use the Cascade C2 helmet from my college days. I hardly ever get excited about a new piece of gear.
When they announced the STX Eclipse II goalie head – I got excited.
And why shouldn’t I? The original STX Eclipse is my go-to goalie head. But that original was released in 1999!
18 years ago! Making this updated STX Eclipse II well over due.
Anyways as soon as the STX Eclipse II became available for pre-sale I ordered it. Then I impatiently waited until July 4th when they shipped out.
I’ve now played around with this new goalie head for a few weeks and in this post I’ll share my thoughts with a review of the STX Eclipse II.
STX Eclipse 2 Unboxing
First of all, I made an unboxing video when I first received my new goalie stick in the mail.
If you haven’t seen that, you can check it out here:
That video gives a little intro to the stick head and captures my reaction after seeing the STX Eclipse II for the first time.
STX Eclipse II – Stiffer Than The Original With Light Weight
One of the biggest criticism of the original STX Eclipse is that it’s too flimsy or flexible.
When high-velocity shots hit the corners of the head it can bend or deform in shape. Sometimes to the point where the ball enters the goal even though the goal gets a solid piece of the stick on the shot.
While some goalies dislike the flexible nature, others goalies love it.
MLL goalie All-Star John Galloway favors the STX Eclipse. Look how he drives that flexible head into the ground to secure low saves and then uses the flexibility of the head for a quick ground ball pickup.
The STX Eclipse II is definitely stiffer!
In this version of the Eclipse, STX updated the sidewall geometry to make the head stiffer while adding minuscule weight.
As I took shots with the Eclipse II you can feel the difference in stiffness. Shots that hit the sidewall or top corners of the head have a noticeably different feel with this new goalie head.
Even flexing each head against the ground you can notice that the Eclipse II is definitely stiffer.
The “not adding much weight” is also crucial because the original Eclipse is one of the lighter heads on the market and the STX Eclipse 2 is equally as light. Which is great.
The stiffness is closer to the STX Shield (albeit I’d say the Shield is still stiffer) while being much lighter.
For those that have used the Under Armour Headline I’d say the stiffness is comparable. Which is why people called the Headline, Eclipse 2.0 long before STX released this new goalie head.
For goalies who cannot stand getting a piece of the ball and having the shot bend your head, you will really like the updated stiffness that STX has put into this goalie head.
Different Stringing Holes Setup
The STX Eclipse II features a different stringing hole setup than the original.
Starting with the top, they’re reduced the number of holes to 7.
This actually isn’t that big of a deal because every time I string an STX Eclipse original head I use just 7 holes along the top anyways, as you can see on the right side of this photo:
I think STX realized nobody was using those top 4 holes so they did away with them in the II. Smart move as this actually makes things much simpler and gives the head more stiffness.
The STX Eclipse II contains a lot more sidewall hole options. While the original has 12 sidewall holes, the STX Eclipse 2 has 20 sidewall holes.
This gives advanced stick stringers a lot of options when it comes to determining the proper pattern to get a great channel.
I didn’t string this but just look at this beauty of a pocket in my new STX Eclipse II:
For the novice stick stringer (of which I put myself in this group) the addition of more sidewall holes makes it more complicated to string. Hence I anticipate lots of requests like this on Reddit (and IG) of Eclipse II stringers seeking advice.
So you’re going to have to up your goalie stringing game if you want to this new head.
New Scoop Design
Another feature that the STX team touts on the new Eclipse II is a refined scoop to enhance GB pickups.
Truth be told, I didn’t notice a difference between the STX Eclipse II’s scoop and the scoop of its predecessor. But that’s a good thing.
The thin top plastic on the STX Eclipse makes scooping ground balls incredibly easy. I have found that I can scoop from such sharp angles that I have no problem jumping in on a ground ball battle, as I am able to quickly scoop and start a fast break up the field before attackman can catch up.
In picking up groundballs with the STX Eclipse 2 I’ve found that the thin scoop is still there. So I wouldn’t say its enhanced but it was kept as is on this new goalie head.
When you try to pickup a ground ball with a Nemi or Nemi 2, you’ll feel the difference. The Eclipse 2 has a great design for scooping up GB’s or when you give up the occasaional rebound.
New Ergonomic Throat
The original STX has a wide throat meaning its near impossible to grip the throat when you setup in your stance.
I know goalies who setup that way with the OG Eclipse and I could never understand how that was comfortable as the throat is so wide.
The STX Eclipse II features a new ergonomic throat that could be gripped by the goalie when they setup in their lacrosse goalie stance.
I emphasize “could be” because I actually don’t like setting up gripping the throat so this “improvement” didn’t really effect me whatsoever.
While playing with the STX Eclipse II I still setup with my top hand on the shaft but touching the bottom part of the plastic. Like this position in the image below (albeit a looser grip when in my stance).
I do know a lot of goalies out there who prefer to have their top hand as close to the pocket as possible and prefer the grip of the new throat. But I’m not one of those goalies so this feature didn’t really apply to me.
For the goalies that prefer option #1 in the post below, the STX Eclipse II new throat design will be a very welcome change for you.
The back of the throat also comes with 2 holes to attach the head to the STX Outlet shaft. Although STX only includes 1 screw (damn) in the package. Anyways the additional connection is nice to ensure the head is firmly attached and no rattling starts to happen.
STX Eclipse 2 – The Specs
Here are some of the specs of the STX Eclipse II, compared to the OG.
While much stiffer, the STX Eclipse II is not that much heavier than the original.
Here are the factory weights of the two unstrung heads:
STX Eclipse II – 11.6 oz (329 grams)
STX Eclipse – 11.4 oz (323 grams)
Both my STX Eclipse II and the original were already strung with a pocket so I can’t get a true apples-to-apples comparison on my home scale.
But weighing with the strung up pocket is close enough.
Clearly the 12 diamond mesh that the II has weighs a little more.
That slight difference could be in the pocket weight but it’s nice to know that STX Eclipse didn’t drastically increase the weight to make this head stiffer.
I find sticks like the Nemesis (OG and 2) and STX Shield to be too heavy for my liking. I prefer the lightness of the Eclipse and that continues with their new model.
While taking shots with the STX Eclipse II, I didn’t notice any drastic difference in weight and that’s great.
Height and Width
The STX Eclipse II has the same face shape as the original.
Thus it makes sense that the height and width of the new head are essentially identical to the original.
Overall little was done to change the face shape of this new model. I’ve always thought that the Eclipse had the best face shape in the game and apparently so does the STX team.
The Shaft – STX Outlet
Until September, STX is only selling the full stick combination. If you want to get an Eclipse 2 head, they are making everyone get the full stick before they release the head only in the fall.
So I might as well say a few words about the shaft sold with the head – the STX Outlet.
The first thing that I noticed is the shape of the shaft. The front is a hexagon, similar to any lacrosse shaft I’ve played with. But the back of the shaft is a circle, completely smooth.
I’m not sure if this is used in other lacrosse shafts but it was my first time experiencing it.
It was a different feel that took a little time to get used to. But I really like it. The rounded shaft sits nicely in your palm as you setup in your lacrosse goalie stance.
The shaft is shorter in length at 35″ but that’s how I prefer it. I actually have an attack shaft length on my STX Eclipse original.
STX Eclipse II Stringing Pattern
Lots of goalies email me asking for a stringing pattern on their new STX Eclipse II head. Unfortunately, while I may be good at coaching goalies, I’m bad when it comes to stringing heads.
But here are a few good videos that show STX Eclipse II stringing patterns –
Where to Order the STX Eclipse II?
You can get the new Eclipse II at any online lacrosse goalie equipment vendor.
Whether you call it the STX Eclipse II or the STX Eclipse 2 – when this bad boy dropped to say I was hyped is an understatement. After not coming out with a revised goalie head for 18 set up, STX finally dropped a revised version of the goalie classic.
Overall I really like the new STX Eclipse II goalie head. It’s stronger and more versatile. While some of the features STX claims may not be relative for me there’s little doubt this is a better goalie head than the original.
From my conversations with STX sponsored goalies like Adam Ghitelman the pro’s are also really liking the new STX Eclipse II too.
Some of the new features touted by STX on their site like an updated scoop seem the same. But I’m fine with that as I think the original STX scoop is great for GB’s. The updated throat also didn’t apply to be based on how I setup with my top hand in my stance.
The biggest upgrade is that the frame is stiffened up while coming in at roughly the same weight. I think the end result is a stiffer and versatile goalie head that you’re going to like.
I guess we’ll see you again in another 18 years for the STX Eclipse III.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Anyone else tried the new STX Eclipse II? What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment down below.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.
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