Lacrosse mesh comes in many different styles and colors. Depending on if you are a field player (attack, middie, defense) or a goalie, different styles of mesh will be available to you. In most cases when we refer to mesh we are discussing mesh for standard lacrosse heads, not goalie heads. So unless we explicitly say goalie mesh, expect that we are talking about mesh for field players.
On the market today there are over 10 basic styles of mesh available for field players. If you are new to lacrosse the top three most popular types of mesh are 10 Diamond Hard Mesh, 10 Diamond Soft Mesh, and 6 Diamond Mesh. This popularity ranking is true throughout the entire sport amongst all age levels. New players should play with 10 diamond hard and soft mesh. Let me say that again, new players should play with 10 diamond mesh. While 6 diamond mesh is interesting to play with, it creates more harm than good for a new player.
How Lacrosse Mesh is Named
Lacrosse mesh is typically named based on the maximum number of diamond in one row. Ex: 10 diamond hard mesh alternates between rows of 10 diamonds and 9 diamonds. 10 is the maximum number of diamonds in one row so we call it 10 diamond. 10 diamond mesh is also called standard or traditional mesh. Hard mesh vs. soft mesh depends on if the mesh is coated. Coated mesh is called hard while un-coated is soft. Soft mesh is pure nylon. The nylon on hard mesh is coated with a special layer to add rigidity, durability, and water resistance.
Details on Mesh Types
The basic types of lacrosse mesh are below. Each style of mesh has also been categorized into what we will call a mesh family. Depending on the mesh family you will string the mesh differently.
10 Diamond Hard Mesh – Standard Mesh
Most popular of all mesh types. 10 Diamond hard mesh started the mesh revolution. New players should play with either 10 diamond hard mesh or 10 diamond soft mesh. I personally recommend 10 diamond hard mesh for new players but soft mesh is always an option. Standard hard mesh offers good ball control, a quick release, fast shot, and good water resistance. 10 Diamond hard mesh is the best mesh to learn to string with.
10 Diamond Soft Mesh – Standard Mesh
Same as standard hard mesh without the hard mesh coating. Soft mesh is raw nylon. The benefit of soft mesh is that it offers incredible ball control in the pocket however, soft mesh has a slow release and does not do well in inclement weather.
5 Diamond Mesh – Monster Mesh
5 diamond mesh is a variation of 6 diamond monster mesh. 5 diamond mesh is not very popular. Most players who are looking for a larger diamond size will choose 6 diamond mesh.
6 Diamond Mesh (Monster Mesh) – Monster Mesh
6 diamond mesh was the first of the monster mesh family to market. 6 diamond mesh is also called monster mesh. While the other big diamond mesh types are in the monster mesh family, they are named after the number of diamond. An educated stringer means 6 diamond mesh when he says monster mesh. 6 diamond mesh is interesting in that it tries to mimic traditional stringing without all of the hassle and maintenance of traditional stringing. From experience, I can confidently say that 99% of players I have strung a 6 diamond stick for will eventually return to 10 diamond mesh.
7 Diamond Mesh – Monster Mesh
Seven diamond mesh has similar characteristics to 6 diamond mesh except the diamond size is slightly smaller. The smaller diamond allows for a minimal quicker release.
8 Diamond Mesh – Monster Mesh
If I were to play with a mesh in the monster mesh family, I would play with 8 diamond mesh. Why? Well 8 diamond is a nice blend between 10 diamond and 6 diamond. A quick release can still be achieved if 8 diamond mesh is strung properly. While it might be nice to play around with, 10 diamond hard mesh is still king.
Canadian Hard Mesh – Standard Mesh
Canadian mesh is twice as thick as standard mesh (10 diamond mesh). Canadian mesh has a super fast release and handles well in poor weather. The downside of hard canadian mesh is that it takes a while to break in and tends to lack ball control.
Canadian Soft Mesh – Standard Mesh
Just as Canadian hard mesh is twice as thick as hard mesh, canadian soft is twice as thick as soft mesh. Basically, canadian soft is Un-coated canadian hard. If I was a faceoff expert, canadian soft mesh is something I would seriously consider. Canadian soft has great ball control and allows for a quick rake. For a FOGO who does experiment with soft canadian mesh, be sure the ball does not get stuck in your stick. Since soft canadian is twice as thick as regular mesh you may need to make some minor adjustment to how you string your sidewalls and bottom string to stop the ball from getting stuck.
Micro Mesh – Specialty Mesh
Micro mesh has very limited popularity. The diamonds are very small and the mesh is left un-coated… it is a soft mesh. Some FOGOs may want to experiment with micro mesh but, 10 diamond mesh is typically a better choice.
Ruby Mesh – Standard Mesh
Ruby mesh is modeled after 10 diamond mesh. The difference in ruby mesh is an elongated diamond. At the time being I see no need to switch from 10 diamond mesh. 10 diamond hard mesh is just that good.
Brine Fresh Mesh – Standard Mesh
Fresh mesh was a great concept but more or less a failure. Brine took regular 10 diamond mesh and used a synthetic plastic instead of nylon. The mesh took forever to break in and wore out very quickly.
STX Rail Mesh – Standard Mesh
In my opinion, rail mesh was designed by a marketing team. STX has a weak mesh presence in the stringing market and rail mesh was an opportunity to gain market share. It is a hybrid between mesh and traditional. Like fresh mesh, rail mesh never took off. Rail mesh is clumsy and does not handled the ball as well as regular 10 diamond mesh.
Lacrosse Mesh Families
The styles of lacrosse mesh can be classified into three main mesh families. A mesh family makes is easy for a stringer to string many different types of mesh using the same basic techniques.
Standard mesh has alternating rows of 10 diamonds and 9 diamonds. Once a stringer learns to string one mesh in the standard mesh family they can quickly learn to string all the mesh types in the standard family. The most popular type of standard mesh is 10 diamond hard mesh. It is recommended that all stringers learn to string 10 diamond hard mesh first. The techniques use to string 10 diamond mesh can be used to string all other types of mesh.
Monster mesh has fewer diamonds in each row than 10 diamond mesh. The techniques used to string monster mesh are also used to string most goalie mesh types. A lax doctor should first master stringing standard mesh before moving on to monster mesh. It is always good to experiment with stringing different types of mesh however, we find that stringers are far more successful in stringing all other mesh types if they can string a great 10 diamond pocket.
Specialty mesh is mesh that does not fit the standard mesh or monster mesh category. Specialty mesh uses stringing techniques from both standard mesh and monster mesh.