E-Lacrosse invited all of the lacrosse manufacturers to submit their latest equipment or products for review during the pre-season. We are reviewing the materials in the order that they are received.


We received our first deBeer Phantom a few weeks ago, strung with a hard mesh and "V" style shooting string. This is our favorite configuration these days. We really liked the way the Phantom threw, caught and scooped with almost no tweaking and absolutely no baking or bending. Within a week we had our second Phantom in the office. This one had one of Van O'Banion's X-Pockets installed. WOW! We really love this head with a traditional rig too. The X-Pocket is a wide and loose traditional that makes the Phantom sing beautiful music! Shots and passes are ripped to their target with little thought as the Phantom head tested very well for trajectory, accuracy and easy transition from catching to throwing. It's also stiff enough for face-offs and serious checking with an impact. Designed by Paul Gait, the Phantom is the continuation of the deBeer offset style. Paul Gait's offset concept is based on his personal experience with bending shafts. Most common offset heads turn the head parallel to the shaft once again after the offset turn in the plastic. The deBeer offset features a gradual back tilt that never straightens out. It emulates the bending that many box and field players achieve by banging the shaft against a goal pipe about a thousand times, just as Paul did for years. Beyond saving you the thousand strokes against the goal pipe, the Phantom or Arch make this bending style legal, whereas the self-bending method is entirely illegal.

    


The whole deBeer offset concept is not achieved without putting this head on one of deBeer's slightly offset shafts. Last year's extremely popular and innovative deBeer Triax shaft was the model for the new and cheaper Alloy Phantom shaft, which comes as standard equipment with a complete Phantom Stick! The combination is comfortable, light, very strong, and a joy to wield in battle. Just watch Tom Ryan play. He's having fun!


The shaft enters the head at a slight angle!

Standard Equipment: The Phantom Alloy Triax

We talked to Tom Ryan about the new Phantom in February of 2001. His Philiadelphia Wings had just taken second place in the NLL and he was heading off to the Loyola Women's Pre-Season Tournament where he's a Loyola assistant coach.


E-Lacrosse: What stick do you currently use?

Ryan: I am currently using the new Phantom head with an offset Triax handle. The Phantom I have been using is mesh, but I am about to string up a traditional as well.


E-Lacrosse: What do you like about the Phantom?

Ryan: The Phantom is the lightest stick I have ever used. Often times when you have a light stick with an open sidewall, the stick becomes flimsy. Despite the Phantom's weight, it retains an amazing level of stiffness for checking. Paul Gait designed the Phantom to channel the ball when shooting or passing... which translates into accuracy. On a lot of offset heads, I find that the ball can slip out of the top of the stick when cradling low. The phantom has helped me retain the ball better than any stick I have used in the past.



E-Lacrosse: Is there anything else unique about the Phantom?

Ryan: The Phantom was designed to be used with one of deBeer's offset shafts. The fact that the head is offset in part due to a 5 degree cant in the shaft means that the head is offset starting at the very base of the head. Because this happens sooner than other sticks (i.e. ones that gradually offset), this translates into more weight being below the traditional horizontal line and more of an "offset" feel.


E-Lacrosse: Which shafts are designed to go with the Phantom?

Ryan: The C555, C405 Triax, 7000 series D-Pole, or the Alloy Phantom shaft are all perfect matches for the Phantom.


TR has been very busy this early spring. Catch up with his adventures in E-Lacross's On The Road with Tom Ryan!



Reinforced holes prevent stress point breakage

A nice aesthetic touch - inlayed logos

The first thing you notice about the Phantom is that the top of the head isn't flat. The new Women's Apex from deBeer takes this concept to the next level. We'll review that one soon! The second noticeable innovation is the reinforced string holes. The stick features a recessed string groove on the scoop and attractive cut or inlaid logos. Fill these with glue when dying the head and the logo will remain white, no matter what color you dye the head. With this head deBeer enters the mainstream of lacrosse manufacturers, as the popular shockwave had limitations in the marketplace due to a unique design and look that may have scared some young buyers off. While the Shockwave and Aftershock are still available and have cult followings, especially in the box game, the Phantom is an easily viable choice for any consumer who is considering any of the popular sticks hanging on the walls of retail stores like the Evolution, X2 and Cyber.

BUY A PHANTOM NOW FROM E-LACROSSE!


The release of the Phantom this year was accompanied by the introduction of the Icon Gloves. Elastic vented cuffs with partitioned padding underneath provide comfort and flexibilty in even the oddest movements of the hand. Armadillo overplating on the fingers and thumb remain from the innovative line of deBeer 1999 protective called "Armadillo".


The new deBeer Icon gloves!

The top of the gloves feature the ventilation holes found in most gloves these days. The Icon gloves are covered with soft leather and feature solid construction throughout. The ties on the gloves are fastened with durable plastic locks that are very adjustable on the fly.


Armadillo overplating on the fingers and thumb

Elastic vented cuffs


One of the two top vents

The plastic string lock

There are some other new deBeer products we really dig. The plastic arm guards, which are made primarily for box use but are excellent on any surface, won't be hyped or seen alot on college fields but deserve a look when you're in the store. The Enigma shoulder pad is lined with CoolMax covered and with relisient cloth and mesh. They are quite comfortable even with the shoulder pads, which are optional. They have a sternum protector and fasten with easy velcro and plastic fixtures. The Enigma arm pads are also excellent and come in an attractive white with black trim.


The plastic arm guards

The Enigma arm guards

Look for many more players on college fields to choose the Phantom this year and for those plastic arm guards to start showing up on some of the tougher kids in local leagues and high school fields. And, of course, keep track of Tom Ryan's adventures on E-Lacrosse all year long!   



The deBeer Shockwave site!



Next Review: STX Ignitor Series and the X2 head!