Welcome to another installment of Lacrosse All Stars Gear Reviews! Every item is scored on an overall scale of 1 to 10 based on 5 categories, which can be awarded up to 2 points each. Next up, East Coast Mesh by East Coast Dyes.
Company: East Coast Dyes / Product: East Coast Mesh / Price: $15.00
We squared off their product, which is dipped in a mixture of beeswax and other materials, against classic hard mesh. Their process is advertised to make water bead right off the mesh, preventing that rain bag we’re all so familiar with.
After reading 24seven Lax’s Most Comprehensive Mesh Review Ever, where East Coast Mesh absorbed less water and stretched less than any other product, we felt it was necessary to compare these two mesh items as both a stringing medium and for their on-field performance, especially in wet weather.
The first thing I immediately noticed about this product after pulling it out of the envelope was how soft it was. It feels like semi-hard mesh that someone dropped a melted candle on. The shape it takes in the photo below is exactly how it came out of the envelope, save the fold. Then I went to my local Sling It Lacrosse, where the fine gentleman behind the counter helped me brainstorm my color options. I had an easy time stringing it up with no real complications and the pocket turned out just the way I’d hoped.
What surprised me is how firm the pocket became once I strung it. Not stiff, like hard mesh, but it really holds its shape if left uninterrupted. Granted, I also pull the top half of the sidewalls down extremely tight, so I don’t think the mesh has much choice.
Unlike some of the wax mesh in 24seven’s review, this wax DID NOT flake off the mesh at all when I pulled on it. It seems as though the guys at East Coast Mesh have already stretched the stuff out before dipping it. Attention to detail!
Bottom line, this mesh was all the things I wanted without the break-in time of hard mesh. I’m buying in so far…
The wax on this mesh, while sort of smelly (especially after a lot of use), grips the ball in a way that you can feel all the way down the stick. Unfortunately, at least for the one stick I strung up, this also gave it a bit more whip. I string the exact same pocket on the exact same head, so there’s very little variation in how they end up throwing from stick to stick as long as I keep my materials consistent. Although this stick has a bit more whip than I’m used to, it MORE than makes up for it in the consistency department. I’ll demonstrate…
To test East Coast Mesh’s claim that it really does wick water away, I took two sticks strung exactly the same out to the field on a rainy day. I took ten shots with each stick–five time and room, five on the run–aiming far pipe high to test the consistency of the two pieces of mesh as they get wetter. After ten shots with a wet ball and ten ground balls to pick it up, these sticks would get wetter with each run.
The results were almost laughable. The East Coast Mesh never wavered from start to finish. In fact it was almost dry when I was done. On the other hand, over the course of the ten shots I took with the yellow hard mesh, it started pulling away from the cage, as sticks often do in the rain. I did not expect such consistency from the East Coast Mesh. I was a skeptic, which is why it gets a +2 in the Ball Control department. Although rudimentary, this test was pretty conclusive for me. Maybe you had to be there.
The same characteristic that made this mesh good in the Ball Control department takes away a half-point in the Durability department. The wax is plain sticky, which is great for carrying the ball. Not as great for staying clean.
Over the few weeks I’ve been tossing around with this stick, it has picked up a good amount of dirt, darkening in inside of the mesh faster than I expected. Also, instead of smelling like beeswax now like it did when I opened it, it smells like dirt stuck to beeswax.
As far as actual durability goes, however, the wax is still intact and the mesh shows no signs of giving out on me any time soon. My gamer has been alive for more than two years now though, so durability is expected.
Talking colorful mesh is a mixed bag. Obviously it looks cool to have two-tone mesh, but it’s illegal in most high school and NCAA play. Sure it comes in plain colors too, but it’s just a shame that East Coast Dyes has the capacity to make a cool fade like the one they did for us, but folks can’t go use it on the field until they graduate from college.
We’ve seen better mesh dyes, but we’ve seen much worse ones too. We’re confident the guys at East Coast Dyes do these pieces of mesh by hand, so props for that…but not for the green spot where the yellow bled into the blue.
If you’re looking for something comparable to Marc Mesh, but for half the price, East Coast Mesh is a good option. Obviously there are other options, but priced at a cool $15 bucks, there’s nothing holding back a 5th grader from getting this for good grades. You hear that kids? Get good grades!
That being said, it’s still more expensive than a lot of mesh. When you consider the benefits both 24seven and I have illustrated though, it’s probably worth a try to see if you might prefer it.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
When all is said and done, this wax mesh is #trending right now. If you’re content with the setup you’ve got, my stringing rule is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But if you’re one of those guys still searching for the pocket that’s just right for you, this mesh is different enough and offered at the right price point to give it a shot.
I’m pretty particular about my mesh pockets, almost irrationally so. From what I’ve seen, I’m absolutely willing to give this stick a shot in my next pick up game. If its the championship game and everything’s on the line, I’ll probably stick to my well-worn gamer until I build some confidence in this thing.