Company: StringKing Lacrosse / Product: Performance Mesh Kit / Price: $25.00
I was more than happy to oblige when the guys over at StringKing asked if I would test out some of their new performance mesh. The StringKing team spent around two years perfecting their mesh, and when you put that much dedication into your product, it’s bound to show. Krieg definitely said it best in his initial gear showcase that this mesh just feels differently than other mesh pieces, and that is a good thing.
So on to the tests. I sent over an Easton Stealth Core to the StringKing team and I received the strung-up head during the last week of my season. Because I didn’t want to go away from my gamer in the final two games of the season, including our big rivalry match-up with USC, I wasn’t able to use the newly strung stick in a real game. However, I threw around with the stick plenty before and after practice, and have been hitting the wall and using the stick during coaching over the last few weeks. I even tried to do a weather test, but the rain in Southern California only lasted a few hours, so I had to improvise. But more on that later…
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StringKing strung one of their “L1” pockets for me since I like a low pocket. The first time I threw with it, it felt great, and the pocket broke in after one round of playing catch. StringKing also strings “M1” and “H1” pockets for mid and high pockets, respectively, as well as “Pro” pockets to replicate professional players. With all of these options, they should be able to string a stick for every player. I am, however, knocking them a half point here because they keep their specific pocket stringing styles a secret, and in order to get one you have to have it strung by one of their retailers.
Ball Control… +7.5
Due to the difference in material, the ball feels a little bit different with this mesh. The mesh feels very smooth, but that isn’t due to there being a lack of ball control. I haven’t had any huge problems with ball control, it just takes a little getting used to the different feel when the ball is in your pocket.
I have been using this mesh for a couple of weeks and haven’t had any problems. One issue that may come up is with the use of shooting laces for bottom strings. While I haven’t seen any issues, a few of my teammates had been using similar bottom strings this season and both saw issues with their bottom string stretching once we get towards the end of the season, causing their pockets to deepen. This isn’t a huge issue, though, as with any pocket there is a little maintenance needed now and then, but just something to keep an eye on.
StringKing claims on their website that their mesh has “optimal all-weather performance” and that the mesh is “engineered for ultimate consistency.” Now as I mentioned I tried going for a wall ball session in the rain, but the SoCal weather wasn’t having it. So I decided to do a water test by soaking the mesh in water for a few minutes before heading to the wall. I was amazed by how the water seemed to almost run off the stick, and it was almost completely dry midway through my wall ball routine. Consistency was not an issue at all. Obviously I wasn’t playing in constant rain or any sort of snow, but if Yale uses this as their team mesh in New Haven then it must hold up well.
I think StringKing has done a great job with the mesh kits the have developed. They are definitely a different feeling mesh, but a great product nonetheless. The mesh is a bit expensive, though, with mesh kits ringing in at $25 and individual mesh pieces at $20.
StringKing is a company on the rise, with guys all around the country using their mesh, including reigning MLL Rookie of the Year, Matt Gibson. Anyone who has a chance to take StringKing mesh for a spin, should.