By Chris Tomaselli, Commonwealth Lacrosse (Franklin, MA)
It is a well-known fact that lacrosse is the fastest growing game on two feet. Along with the publicity has come a flurry of trends and fads in style and gear. The newest up-and-coming gear trend is the use of waxed mesh. While waxed mesh has been available to the public for quite some time, it has only recently become a bit more popular.
Waxed mesh was initially used in indoor lacrosse; rather than use the mesh for its water resistant qualities, players used the wax grip to make up for the humidity lost from the outdoor game. As more and more players indoors began using it, it began to catch on in the MLL. Players of every position –even goalies– began giving waxed mesh a whirl. Fast forward to today, and waxed mesh is the new thing a few stores out there are carrying. At the moment, ComLax carries all Jimalax mesh, but not JimaWAX mesh. We are looking at and evaluating the potential for carrying it, but we’d love to hear how feel about it first.
I was able to get my hands on a sample and I can tell you a little bit about it here.
I had the opportunity to sample a piece of Carolina Blue JimaWAX mesh on the CEO, Nike’s top-of-the-line head. To be honest, I was really excited to test out both the mesh and the head. Waxed mesh is something I’ve never been able to get my hands on and the CEO is one of the top heads on the market designed for attackmen.
My first impressions of the mesh were its smell and texture. It smelled like wax; no chemicals, no dye, no fresheners….just wax. The JimaWAX mesh was also interesting because I expected it to be really stiff and hard to stretch out. It was actually the opposite – it took me three easy pulls for the mesh to be as stretched as I needed it to be to string. The only annoying part about stretching the mesh was the waxed flakes that fell onto my lap, but you have to give a little to get a little, so I can’t complain. I simply put a towel on my lap while I was stringing to avoid being covered in little pieces of wax.
With the technical stringing of the CEO, the head has unusual top string holes. There are eight holes total split in half by the part of the scoop displaying the Nike symbol. I strung up a regular 10D top string, but instead of stringing every other hole on the scoop, I had to do the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th holes due to their spacing. I also started the top string on the 2nd hole down on the sidewall in order to pull down the mesh. I started the sidewall stringing on the 3rd hole down, skipped a hole, and then double interlocked. This creates a good channel so that the ball releases out of the head on a straight route. The channel also affects the hold and whip of your head, so it is important to create a channel that suits your game. From the double interlock, I doubled up on the mesh once and then strung every other hole on the head until the 14th hole. From there I strung every hole the rest of the way down. I put in a tight bottom string and ended up with a mid pocket, perfect for a feeder from X.
At this point, you see where the JimaWAX mesh plays its part. The wax coated mesh has the distinct ability to memorize where you hold the ball in your stick and how you throw and shoot. Because of this, the pocket will reform and hold every time you get the ball in your stick. JimaWAX is also significantly lighter than any other weather resistant mesh. Waxed mesh is not fool proof, however. It does have the tendency of “bagging out.” This means that you need to make sure you keep your sidewalls and bottom string tight and shooters loose so that the mesh does not get too whippy. Since I chose to make a tight channel, I decided not to install a U or a V because the ball would get caught up before releasing. Instead, two straight shooters were put in just above where the ball sits in the pocket. To add on an extra lip when the ball releases from the head, I wove a nylon above the straighties.
Overall, this setup is ideal for an attackman who specializes in feeding. Lots of hold, smooth release, a fairly stiff head with a long throat, and very durable mesh are perfect for the position. In addition, I would recommend the JimaWAX mesh is perfect for any player of any skill or position from the cage to X. Its weather resistance and durability put it a notch ahead of any other type of mesh. JimaWAX gives you the grip and feel of traditional stringing, but also the same old reliability and hold of a mesh pocket.
…but what do YOU think? Have you used this stuff? What are your thoughts? Let’s hear it!