At Rock-It Pocket we recognize that the mesh and in particular the 'hard mesh' style of pocket have become very popular in men's lacrosse. We have offered our version of a 'built in' type of mesh pocket as an option for several years now.
Mesh makes for a lightweight pocket, the highest of priorities for many players, and the mesh piece is easy to put in and or replace in the stick head.
All Mesh-keteer pockets by Rock-it Pocket are strung to the head with the finest woven nylon and polyester string in ways that limit 'pocket change' as much as possible.
Mesh pocket options: Hard mesh, Soft mesh, Six-diamond mesh, and more.
We recommend regular hard mesh that stretches out at the slowest mesh rate. We cross in three sturdy laces, and one thinner, adjustable shooter.
We offer three mesh pocket placement choices, High, Middle, and Low.
HIGH POCKET MESH
The ball sits high in the head for great hold and greater speed on shots. If the ball is set right on the backswing the feeding and touch passes work well, too. In general these tend to be high performance and also high maintenance types of pockets.
Heads we recommend for high pocket aficionados:
MID POCKET MESH
The ball sits in a spot that is centrally located in the head with the Middle pocket. This placement allows for a high level of consistency with mesh, and combines features that work to hold the ball well while maintaining a quick stick release. Three laces and one shooter give maximum versatility, and we again recommend hard mesh unless you are sure that you want soft mesh, Canadian mesh, six-diamond mesh, etc. There are many to choose from and they are all a little different.
MOST ALL heads can work well with the middle pocket placement.
Heads we recommend for middle pocket
LOW POCKET MESH
This pocket has the 'meat' of the pocket down low for players who like to keep the stick in a vertical position and cradle the ball close to their body. The ball release will happen lower in the head, too, and for the most part more quickly with a low 'pocket central' place.
The low pocket will work pretty well with soft or hard mesh, and is generally the easiest kind of mesh pocket to maintain, as it will stretch a little less quickly than the other two placement picks.
X models with more open throat areas and are legal for all levels of play make a good choice for the Low Meshketeer Pocket, but the low pocket is versatile and will work well with lots of heads.
Highly skilled offensive minded NCAA college players should choose some sort of X6 model and there are several. The Evo. X6, for example, with a low pocket is going to be a quick, accurate stick set-up without too much pocket maintenance.
FURTHER MESH REVIEW…
THE MESHKETEERS - PROS
We try to customize mesh for different players with differing styles and different performance expectations.
Our goal with mesh, as it has always been with any pocket we have ever strung at Rock-it Pocket, is to have the ball find its quick and consistent release point in the pocket every single time while also maintaining good pocket depth for maximum catch and hold capability. This is the completeness every player wants in his stick.
At Rock-it Pocket our pocket crafters are working hard to make the mesh pockets perform to their highest potential. We are taking into account the differences of the many head models and what pocket styles fit which heads best.
An important factor to take into account with all mesh is that the standardized mesh pieces fit a little differently in each of the different head makes and styles. Some shapes are just more suited to having the pocket a little higher or a touch lower inside the head, etc. Using the same method of pocket installation for every head style or model does not insure equal performance because they have little quirks and or variations that the mesh pocket installer needs to account for. These different elements include but are not limited to the number and placement of holes drilled in the head for attaching the pocket, the shape of the sidewall, the width of the head, and its overall length.
Part of our plan for the building of the better mesh pocket is that we are always working on the trick of getting them to perform equally well in any playing conditions.
We are building mesh pockets in an effort to limit the amount of stretch and change that take place as the pocket wears or when it gets wet. These techniques we are using will help to make the mesh more predictable and useable for anyone while also being more versatile and capable of meeting the needs of the very demanding player as well.
MESH POCKET DOWNSIDE
The mesh pocket has some drawbacks. It can stretch out of its original good shape more quickly than one might like, and when it stretches it is not always in a consistent way. Stretch in a lacrosse pocket, even a little, can alter the amount of 'whip' in that pocket a great deal. As the mesh diamonds get bigger, the throws, and especially the shots, can get more easily hung up in the pocket causing the ball to be pulled to one side. This is widely referred to as, “too much whip”.
Mesh pockets can get slick. The ball can slide in the pocket and that makes the release less predictable. In the same way balls get slick after being played with for not too long and players don't like to play with the slick balls as much as new ones that have a little friction on the surface.
Mesh pockets can change when wet or it is raining, and even sometimes when the humidity goes up or down, even just a little. They stretch when wet. This can lead to unpredictability that can be very frustrating to one who inherently needs to put a great deal of faith and trust into his version of the lacrosse player's most important tool, his stick.
At the end of the day at Rock-it Pocket we want to help stick and player live in harmony and happily ever after, or at least until the head breaks or a 'better' one comes on the market.
MESH UPDATE - March 28, 2012
Team Rock-it Pocket shoots to make things easier for guys choosing the right components for their stick/weapon. It's not easy to keep track of your modern day head model list unless one is a total gear junkie guy. There are plenty of them out there (heads, that is) to be had. When talking heads Rock-it Pocket tries to limit somewhat the vast number of names and choices available, and hopefully narrow things a little to some of what we think are the very best options. Even with that effort there still are 58 heads to choose from today on the Rock-it Pocket web site alone, and that does not include the 7 goalie heads we offer. There are literally hundreds of head models on the market being manufactured by lots of different, or sometimes even the same companies, but that is another story. Whatever the model of lax head we string up, we aim to have the pocket sit in it comfortably, and not to force some preconceived notion on an unsuspecting head or player.
PLAY GREEN with MANY COLORS
Rock-it Pocket is very fortunate to have players at CSU as well as the Fort Collins Viper, the Thompson Valley boys, and the thriving Windsor programs locally to help us find out which heads players like more and less and why. These guys see and tell us which heads break and which ones don't, and that is crucial bit of ongoing information out there to be found on the information highway. What makes one player swear by an STX Proton U, while another of the same position thrives with a Warrior Cobra? They are so unlike in attitude. Handle feedback helps, too. Which handles ding and which ones don't (as easily). We try to use what we learn about stick components wisely to guide stick seekers to find just the right stick to suit their style of play. That is our goal for goalies as well. Different positions and roles impact stick choosing in many obvious and different ways.
SERVE AND VOLLEY
We have been trying to advance our method with mesh and the material that goes in and around the weave. There are new and newer types of synthetics being used, and they are manufactured in various thicknesses. There are always mesh diamond number choices for pocket users to make, too.
X MARCS THE SPOT
Marc (Canadian) Mesh has been around 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. Several players and coaches around here have tried and or really used/tested the Marcs out in a variety of head models. There must be something great about them or so many Canadian players wouldn't be such ardent Marc Mesh loyalists.
NINJA SNEAKS IN?
We are currently test-driving the new Ninja style of mesh and their ten-diamond option in a Warrior Evo 3. 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' great. It is extremely lightweight for one thing. We like the versatility it 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 stays new looking longer, too, that's for sure. Ninja does not let grit and grime in as quickly as 'regular' mesh does. We really like this one in many ways and so far.
GOOD OLE' JIMILAX
Many who have used some of the other styles of custom mesh often 'return' to regular hard mesh with 10 diamonds because of the feel they get with that mesh set up just the way they like. Discussion on the pros and cons of mesh of different sizes and hardness appear around the site. Feel free to poke around.
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 mesh 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 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 mesh piece. 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, a teenaged lax rat to be sure, ripped 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.
We have tried lace segments that come in from the side but stop so the ball tracks through that opening space on the mesh in the center. Rock-it Pocket has done some of the horseshoe style laces, but also thinks they make for a 'sloppie', less consistent pocket.
KEEPING YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT
For us, mesh-fits-the-head-right is our first step. Heads tell the stringer where the pocket works best. Or, the player has a style of play that calls for a special head design that works extra well using a certain pocket placement.
We have fooled around with having just the mesh piece strung to the shape of the head, and with no cross strings or laces at all to start with, proceeding to throw the ball endlessly at our angled, high bounce concrete rebound wall that we have inside these Rock-it Pocket walls, looking for a feel, a channel with every toss, adding laces, etc. as needed.
WHAT WE DO
We do indeed like to do the mesh extra snug, especially at the top along the scoop for good release touch, and we make accommodations where needed to help protect the strings when scooping. The pockets here are made to flirt with illegal danger in the depth level for the ball, and sometimes the diamonds must move a little to help the overall depth cause, but the mesh always must retain enough fiber to really let go of the ball precisely when the player needs it to. We always use ten-diamond hard mesh unless a different option is requested. We weave 2 short laces in a V, then, we add two (2) more laces woven across the pocket just above that V. Up top there is a crossing shooter of tightly woven nylon that is adjustable. Tweaking that will make a difference in release point and with ball control during the ball's release from the stick. The bottom of the mesh is strung fairly snug to the head, again for throwing consistency. It is anchored to the throat with the same string used to attach the sidewalls. The string can't slide around the holes, preventing an unwanted side effect factor that can be a cause of more rapid pocket wear and ultimately tear.
ONE GOAL TENDER FOR THE ROAD
We love goalies, and for goalies we strongly suggest the 12-Diamond GoalEx pocket. It stretches much more willingly than does the hard mesh type of mesh. 'Save' some time to check out our goalie stuff.
Rock-it Pocket and Mesh Materials: - We use a high quality nylon string for the middle part of our Rock-it Pockets and the sidewall/trim of our mesh pockets.
Mesh Materials: - Jima Lax supplies us with colored hockey laces we use on mesh pockets. These laces can be used on Rock-it Pockets, but we recomend our high quality (white) laces.
Mesh Materials: - We carry a variety of hard, soft, 6 diamond, goalie hard and 12 diamond mesh. The mesh we use is the most common type of mesh used in the game.
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