MESH UPDATE - March 16, 2012
DOIN’ MESH TESTS
We have been trying to advance our method with mesh and the material that goes in and around the weave, as well as keeping current with whatever the next thing might be. There are new and newer types of synthetics being used, and mesh pieces are manufactured in various thicknesses as well as the number of diamonds can affect how stretchy the mesh is in a big way.
X MARCS THE SPOT
Marc Mesh is has been around as a Canadian company for almost 5 years. The claims are weather resistance, and that MM catches and holds like a soft mesh but still has the accuracy of hard mesh. The mesh is thick and soft for really great hold if you are looking for ball control characteristics as the top pocket priority.
‘Canadian mesh’ is generally defined as mesh that is thicker than the widely used hard mesh, but it is softer. It has a feel to it that some players really like. Sometimes Canadian mesh is coated with something to help in wet weather.
Several players and coaches around here have tried and or really used/tested the Marcs/Canadian styles out in a variety of head models. Many use them. There must be something great about the Marcs or so many players wouldn’t be such ardent Marc Mesh loyalists.
NINJA SNEAKS IN?
We are currently test-driving the new lightweight Ninja style of mesh and the ten-diamond option in a Warrior Evo 3, and others, too. This raw mesh has a waxy feel, as if the mesh were dipped in warm wax mixed with varnish, and then, when it cools and dries, it has almost a sticky feel to help the mesh surface get a good grip on the ball. You can smell it coming. When you rub the mesh a sort of stinky resin gets on your fingers and on your hand.
PAPER OR PLASTIC
The Ninja pocket material just looks like it sheds water like a duck.
The Ninja ‘performs’ very well. It is extremely lightweight for one thing.
In terms of being soft for hold and consistent in how it releases the ball. It is not the quickest release, and hard shooters will play that to their advantage.
We like the versatility a Ninja gives a player to perhaps use a little heavier handle while still maintaining an ultra light feel and balance in the stick.
It is possible that hot and cold temperatures affect this mesh more than rain or wind will. It is a little like plastic. It stays new looking a little longer, but white pockets will still eventually become darker, dirty, and that will soften it up more over time and use.
We really like this one in many ways and so far.
We wanted to find out how regular 10-diamond hard mesh patterns would do if we really emphasized attaching the mesh in the scoop region of the head as tightly as we possibly could. We eventually ‘stretched’ that point to where we pulled the hard mesh 10-diamond the most in the center part of the scoop, even up onto the scoop, and the diamonds in the center became elongated or more ‘vertical’ at the top of the pocket, a ploy to help to lift the ball at release. There was some goalie-type technology used so that the mesh would be anchored tightly to the head on both the front and back sides of the scoop. The theory would add that there would be less pocket sag, too, and all of this might lead to more consistency throughout the life of any given piece of mesh.
There was some extensive ‘research’ done on this mesh method with one particular Warrior M-80. It played great, and it had great hold right in the center middle of the head for winding up, and it could also fire quick wrist passes from the ear, too. There seemed to be great promise. Not that far along, however, the tester, and he is a teenaged lax rat to be sure, so it was used and played with intensely and constantly. The pocket eventually ripped at the top of the mesh in the middle of the scoop, so we had our answer. The way it tore was definitive and it happened far sooner than we had hoped. Careful what you stress for.
Mesh stress and wear happens differently in various places in the pocket, that’s for sure….