An Intro to the best type of Lacrosse Mesh for your playing style

In recent years, the lacrosse market has blown up causing many different brands of lacrosse mesh to pop up. More choices with lots of different technologies and methods. What was once an easy choice between a few lacrosse companies has become an overwhelming task for some.If you rather not waste your money on a piece of lacrosse mesh that you will never end up using then I would advise you to continue reading.

Wait, so what’s the best lacrosse mesh? Well, It Depends on many different factors, which I will go into in a moment. First, you have to understand that all lacrosse meshes are not created equal. Depending on what style of player you are, certain types of lacrosse mesh can excel your game or work better than others. Just think about it, have you ever picked up a friends stick and asked yourself how he plays with it?

Rather than ask yourself, “What’s the best lacrosse mesh?” You should ask yourself, “what’s the best lacrosse mesh for me?”

Questions to be considered when choosing a piece of mesh:

  1. What do I want out of my lacrosse mesh?
  2. Do I value hold over consistency?
  3. What skills do I need for my position? Does the mesh enhance those skills?)
  4. What do I want to do with my current mesh that I currently can’t do?

Lacrosse Mesh Styles: Performance Lacrosse Mesh

Due to a majority of companies jumping on the term of “performance mesh” after String King announced it, there isn’t really a concrete definition to describe it. Companies then, in turn, use the term to describe “higher quality mesh” that is made with better materials. Until the shift to performance mesh, almost all lacrosse mesh was made out of nylon thread.

Advantages of Performance Lacrosse Mesh

Performance Mesh is a style of Mesh that is relatively new in the Lacrosse world and it has become the most widely used style of mesh. Performance mesh is just like Hard Mesh or Soft Mesh and comes in those varieties, but it is made from superior materials.

All Mesh is made from knitted fibers that are woven together on an industrial loom. When mesh makers began to experiment with fibers that were resistant to weather, impact, stretch, and overuse they created Performance Mesh. This style of Mesh has become the most widely used style of mesh because of its consistency and variability that allows players to excel no matter what their position or style of play.

Disadvantages to Performance Lacrosse Mesh

The biggest problem that is associated with Performance Mesh is the price of the mesh. You can get a piece of Hard Mesh or Soft Mesh for around $5, yet a piece of performance mesh can be anywhere from $20 to $45. This discourages players from buying this Mesh considering that their stick likely ran them $120+ and they don’t want to invest more money in something that they don’t understand.

Besides the price, the other main downside of Performance Mesh is that there are so many kinds that offer a different purpose. There is Performance Mesh designed for harder shooting, better passing, longer lasting, and overall PERFORMANCE. Having so many options can lead players to choose something that isn’t quite perfect for them, so doing research is necessary before you buy.

Who is Performance Lacrosse Mesh For?

Everyone! Even inexperienced players can use Performance Mesh because it comes in so many forms that are so versatile. There is soft, hard, wax, and varying size diamonds of Performance Mesh. The hardest part as I said, is choosing which one is best for you.

Your pocket is the ball’s home! Besides the goal of course. And the only way to get the ball to the goal is with your pocket! By using the correct pocket you can become a better player that has a higher chance of being successful. There is a pocket for every player, and the only way to find it is by recognizing what you need as a player.

Lacrosse Mesh Styles: 6 Diamond Lacrosse Mesh

6 Diamond Mesh that only has 6 diamonds across the row, rather than the usual 10 diamonds. This mesh was originally created to act like a traditional pocket, but sadly never yielded the benefits it promised. At the time it was created, there was only hard and soft mesh. This hindered the functionality of the mesh, taking the function out of a good theory. This was because the knuckles of the mesh didn’t allow for the pocket to shift like a traditional lacrosse stick.

Since then, times have changed and the invention of performance mesh has become the norm. Six diamond lacrosse mesh has been recreated by Lax Room, who was able to create a piece of performance 6 diamond mesh that was thinner and shifted well and promised the benefits of a traditional. I actually used this piece of mesh on my gamer this year and absolutely loved it.

Advantages of Six Diamond Lacrosse Mesh

6 Diamond Mesh has fewer holes in the mesh than most other forms of mesh.  Most standard Mesh comes with 10 diamonds per horizontal row and using bigger diamonds is meant to mimic traditional stringing. The bigger diamonds allows for a much greater feel of the ball than mesh with more diamonds.

This mesh also has a relatively quick break-in period that means you can use this mesh in a game soon after stringing. 6 Diamond Mesh can be broken in so easily because of the size of the diamonds that can be formed easier since there is not as much mesh to work with compared to other meshes.

Using 6 Diamond means having a natural hold on your stick no matter your pattern or pocket. This also means having some natural whip. Both of these come from the large diamonds that “wrap” around the ball when it rests in the pocket. A tight channel and taught shooters are very unneeded for a consistent stick withhold and whip.

Disadvantages of Six Diamond Lacrosse Mesh

6 Diamond Mesh is unconventional to string and for someone who is un-experienced they might have a very difficult time working with the mesh. Stringing this mesh on ahead with many sidewall holes can be a daunting task because of the variability with stringing the mesh.

Another reason that some people avoid 6 Diamond Mesh is the appearance. It is a look that turns off players that are used to 10 Diamond Mesh and some would rather just avoid it because they can get the same desired result with mesh that is not as different looking

Who is Six Diamond Lacrosse Mesh for?

Many different types of players enjoy using 6 Diamond Mesh because it can help both offensive and defensive players excel.

For offensive players, 6 Diamond is primarily for dodgers and outside shooters that want to be able to hold the ball well and rip it too. Offensive players can utilize 6 Diamond mesh because they will be able to run through checks and still have great control over the ball. They also will be able to get enough torque on their shot to have significant power due to the diamonds grabbing onto the ball.

The same advantages apply to defense, but with a long pole you normally have less control and 6 Diamond Mesh gives you enough to be able to play with the ball confidently. Big Diamonds give you more handle and after a ground ball, you will be able to get a solid clear going, rather than throw the ball away or lose it to an attackman.

Lacrosse Mesh Styles: Wax Lacrosse Mesh

Is just plain lacrosse mesh that is coated or infused with wax at a low temperature. There are multiple types of wax that can be used, such as microcrystalline, paraffin (refined or fully refined) or beeswax. There are two main sizes of wax mesh which are 15 & 20 millimeter. The majority of most lacrosse mesh is 15 mm, which Greg from East Coast Dyes describes as the standard diamond size for the majority of players.

On the other hand, 20mm lacrosse mesh is something that you don’t see as much, especially at the younger level. Due to the larger diamond sizes, it typically is harder for a beginner player to string, but provides many benefits if strung properly. I never really saw many players using 20mm wax mesh until I started playing in college. Since then I have become a big fan of 20 mm.

Why Wax Lacrosse Mesh

  • Wax Mesh can either be soft or hard. It is a mesh that has been coated in wax (often beeswax) that gives the mesh a tackiness that can improve the way that the mesh grips the ball. Much like Hard Mesh, Wax Mesh is very good for all types of weather because water does not saturate the mesh. This means more consistency during play, but with added hold and whip in most instances.
  • More whip and hold can translate to being a huge threat with the ball. Being able to hold onto the ball better means fewer turnovers and more opportunities to make plays. The wax on the mesh also can improve shot speed because it creates resistance against the ball, turning into a harder release and faster shot.

Disadvantages to Wax Lacrosse Mesh

  • While Wax Mesh can increase the hold on your stick and can also add to the whip, this doesn’t mean it will always improve those parts of your game and it can hurt some player’s game.
    Increased whip is not the answer for any offensive player that is trying to be a quick release feeder. The waxiness of the mesh can limit the quickness of your release and also can mean a downward throw with an “un-true” release.
  • Having a “true” release is often desired by many players and those looking for that release should likely stay away from wax mesh because it creates an altered throwing motion in most cases to account for the inherent whip that the mesh causes. This also doesn’t even bring the stringing of the mesh into account.
  • Stringing Wax Mesh can be a difficult task to ensure a smooth release (if that is the desired result), but another issue the comes from stringing Wax Mesh is how it can cling to the sidewall. The waxiness of the mesh means it is sticky and can cling to the sidewall in ways that you don’t want to over time and after play. While adjusting you stick after playing with it is normal; the bagging out, sticking, and shifting of this mesh can all create problems if not maintained well.

What Players Should Use Wax Lacrosse Mesh?

  • Any player that craves superior hold should consider Wax Mesh because they can get the hold they want without using lots of shooters or an overly tight channel. The mesh will do the work rather than the stringing, which means more consistency and fewer errors.
  • This is the same deal with whip which can be gained with shooters or a channel, but Wax Mesh can provide a “natural” whip. A “natural” whip will not be as severe as whip that you string purposely and just adds a little more mustard to your shots and passes. AIM HIGH WITH WHIP! ALWAYS!
    Since there are many versions of wax mesh it can be used for many styles of players. More often than not though it should be used by outside shooters, dodgers, players in bad weather, those who need more ball security, and players that enjoy some whip for their wild side.

Lacrosse Mesh Styles: Soft Lacrosse Mesh

Advantages to Soft Lacrosse Mesh

Soft mesh is one of the “Original Two” styles of mesh that evolved from players re-purposing minnow nets and using them to string their sticks. Like the name says, Soft Mesh is well…soft. It comes out of the package ready to string and play with because it is easily manipulated for the desired result.

The mesh is not only easy to string, but it is ready to play with immediately as well. Unlike Hard Mesh, which takes some break-in time, Soft Mesh is instantly going to perform and hold the ball in a snug way to help with control. Soft Mesh performs like a well-broken-in traditional that shifts with the ball when you play.

The ability for soft mesh to provide amazing feel, superior control and instant performance made soft mesh a popular choice in Box Lacrosse. The mesh lets players always know where the ball is in their stick because of the “flimsy” quality of the mesh; but, this does come with some downsides.

Disadvantages to Soft Lacrosse Mesh

Every piece of mesh has some negatives and Soft Mesh is no exception. The mesh is normally untreated, or barely treated, compared to other styles of mesh such as Hard Mesh. This means that the mesh has no coating, which allows for the soft feel and “flimsy-ness”. The downside to this is that the mesh does not last well in the outside elements; this is why it became more popular for Box, which is played inside.

Soft Mesh also does not retain its shape and will stretch or “bag-out” over time. This means that there will be more maintenance needed for a soft mesh stick over time than Hard Mesh or Performance Mesh. The desired shifting of the pocket that soft mesh provides will make it move out of place and require some restringing the more you use it to keep the pocket that you want. This means inconsistency if you are not always keeping your stick in tip-top condition.

Who is Soft Lacrosse Mesh For?

As I said before, Soft Mesh is very popular in Box Lacrosse. If you play Box Lacrosse then checking out Soft Mesh would be a great idea for killer fakes and a better feel in your stick. Soft Mesh will allow you to be an offensive threat that can handle the ball much better than you could with a much harder mesh.

This being said, infield lacrosse Soft Mesh would be better for an offensive player that is looking to be a finisher/dodger or a defensive player that needs more ball security. The consistency of Soft Mesh is not one of its strong qualities so using this as a feeder, outside shooter, or a player that is looking for a role would not be recommended.

If you are a parent/coach that is looking to teach very young kids the proper mechanics and fundamentals then Soft Mesh would be a great choice for the young players. The mesh will help with their ability to catch, ground ball, and cradle at a young age so they can potentially move on to a different mesh once they have those skills down.

Lacrosse Mesh Styles: Hard Lacrosse Mesh

Hard mesh is like a fine wine that takes time to mature into a wonderful pocket. This mesh lasts too. If you look at college or pro players that use Hard Mesh you can even notice that throughout a season they will restring their stick with the same mesh, but different sidewall strings because the mesh outlasts the strings. I have even used Hard Mesh that outlasted the head I put it on, and had to transfer it to another stick.

Disadvantages to Hard Lacrosse Mesh

  • While Hard Mesh does give a very consistent pocket, it does also have some disadvantages that can hinder the play of certain players.
  • Hard Mesh not only takes time and patience to break in, but it also can not give players the control they desire. The harder your pocket, the less it will shift with the ball. This means that you will have a hard time naturally feeling where the ball is in your stick. Not knowing where exactly the ball is in your stick can mean low confidence in your ability and also misguided passes or shots because the ball was not sitting right in the pocket.
  • Another disadvantage that Hard Mesh can have is that it can be difficult to string for a solid pocket and hard to handle the ball with if you are inexperienced. The rigidness of the mesh makes it difficult for players that don’t have a lot of skill to catch or pick up the ball because it doesn’t have the “give” that Soft Mesh does. This factors into who the mesh should be used by.

Who Should Use Hard Lacrosse Mesh

  • Hard Mesh is a piece of Mesh that should be used by players that have some experience with the game. This is because Hard Mesh takes some time to break in and also some skill to harness. Using Hard Mesh as an experienced player gives you an extremely consistent level of play and a long lasting piece of mesh that can survive elite levels of play.
  • If you play in rain, snow, or varying weather you need Hard Mesh or some type of performance Mesh that will not be affected by the weather. Anyone that is playing Field Lacrosse should pick Hard Mesh over Soft Mesh if they think that they will be playing in poor conditions so that they can still be consistent.
  • Players that are strong dodgers, feeders, outside shooters, and players that need consistency should pick Hard Mesh in order to perform at the highest level that they can.

Lacrosse Mesh Buying Guide And Different Lacrosse Positions

A detailed guide to the best meshes for specific play styles is coming soon! Keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram for updates; but for now, we have a great look into the mesh for “Average Joes”. Also, keep in mind that those “Average Joes” can become incredible players with some hard work, experience, knowledge, and using the correct mesh!

The Best Lacrosse Mesh for Beginners

When you are new to the game of lacrosse, or still learning the fundamentals, the last thing you need to worry about is finding the best mesh for your playing style. To simplify things for new players to the game, I have narrowed down the selection to two choices. Luckily, I was able to provide a cost-efficient suggestion and an average priced suggestion which, both I have used during my college lacrosse career.

Lax Room Prototype 5x Lacrosse Mesh

  • This mesh is very soft which will make catching easier
  • It’s hard to add whip when stringing which for beginners is perfect
  • It’s CHEAP! Only $7.50
  • Better than traditional lacrosse mesh and is weatherproof

String King 3s Lacrosse Mesh

  • Very high-quality performance mesh that will last a long time
  • Also very soft which will make catching easier
  • When it comes to consistency, String King prides themselves on it
  • It is more expensive though, coming in at $24.99
  • It has a 3-month warranty which, I guess is better than nothing

Best Lacrosse Mesh For Defense

When it comes to picking mesh for a defensive player, ball security is your primary objective. When the ball is in your stick you have to worry about clearing it without dropping it and having consistent passes to your teammates. For this, there are two solid choices of lacrosse mesh that I have narrowed down the search to.

 String King 3x Performance Mesh

  • This is a high-quality piece of mesh that will last you up to two seasons
  • Semi-Hard Mesh
  • Most Texture out of String Kings product line
  • More Rigid and Focused Pocket
  • Smooth Release but extra hold!

East Coast Dyes Semi-Soft Wax Mesh 

  • Coated in wax for extra hold and ball security
  • Though you do get extra hold, wax mesh tends to be inconsistent
  • Also, I have had bad batches of wax mesh where they get really hard or bag too much

Best Lacrosse Mesh For Attackmen

When looking for mesh for offensive players you should look for consistency, feel, and ball security. For this reason, I almost always stick with performance mesh and I’ve tried the majority of them. The ones that I have had the best results with and believe that they are a good starting point for any offensive player in Middle School or High School are outlined below.

String King 3x Performance Mesh

  • Solid review here
  • This is a high-quality piece of mesh that will last you up to two seasons
  • Semi-Hard Mesh
  • Most Texture out of String Kings product line
  • More Rigid and Focused Pocket
  • Smooth Release but extra hold!

Throne of String Fiber Mesh

Lax Room 6 Diamond Mesh

East Coast Dyes Hero Mesh

  • Super Soft and has a lot of hold
  • Nice feel when shooting and passing
  • Vey nice ball security when running through traffic
  • BUT, after 3 months heavy use I believe it gets pretty inconsistent and have tried three pieces to test my theory

I hope that this article was able to provide clarity for those of you who are looking to buy a new piece of lacrosse mesh. No matter what piece you end up choosing they are all great options and made with great materials. Don’t forget that you can always email us at StringersSociety@gmail.com, Tweet us, or Comment Below if you have any questions.

Up Next: Lacrosse Shooting Strings Explained

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