Tired of dealing with stiff lacrosse mesh that's difficult to control? Is your lacrosse game suffering from it? If so, you need help softening lacrosse mesh quickly and effectively.
With this guide, you can learn how to soften lacrosse mesh in under 10 minutes - no more struggling with an overly stiff pocket!
This ultimate 2023 guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to break in, stretch out, and ultimately make your lax stick feel like new.
So if you're serious about improving your performance on the field and making sure that your stick is up to scratch, read on!
Take Away Key Points:
Table of Contents
- Top 5 tips on softening a mesh
- Why do you need to soften a lacrosse mesh?
Top 5 tips on softening a mesh
1. Use fabric softener
The fabric softener method is a great way to quickly soften the entire lacrosse mesh.
The fabric softener mentioned method is by far the most effective. One such way will help you get the correct manipulation from your new stick and have the ball sit anywhere you want in the pocket.
Add 1-2 cups of quality fabric softeners to a bucket of half-hot water, and let the solution soak for approximately 30 minutes. This method will ensure proper pocket performance.
After nearly half an hour, remove the mesh from the fabric softener solution and allow it to dry completely before using it. Once the soft lacrosse mesh is dry, you should notice that it is much more flexible and softer than before. For an even softer mesh, you may want to repeat this process a few times until you achieve the desired level of softness.
If you used the fabric softener correctly, you should have a softened mesh in no time without serious effort! You can also try the standard method of pounding the mesh with the actual lacrosse ball. The mesh finally softens once it has received enough punches.
2. The press & pound method
The press & pound method is an effective way to soften a lacrosse mesh.
To use such a method, you will need a large flat surface, such as a table or countertop, and a hard object or a small tool called a lacrosse pocket pounder.
First, place the lacrosse mesh onto the flat surface and use the hard object to gently press and pound at it, making sure to strike evenly across the entire mesh surface. This might be a slow process, but your lacrosse mesh should be significantly softer and more pliable after several minutes.
Another method to soften a lacrosse mesh is using a lacrosse ball, which is the classic and traditional approach.
Start at one end of the mesh and use your hand to press the ball against the fibers, gradually covering the entire inner surface area. This could take several days, but you should be able to achieve the desired level of softness over time.
3. Stretch the mesh while it's wet
Stretching the mesh while wet is another way to help soften a lacrosse mesh.
- First, soak your lacrosse mesh in hot water for 10-15 minutes. This will help loosen up the fibers within the mesh, enabling more accurate stretching when you begin the process.
- Once thoroughly soaked, place your mesh onto a flat surface such as a table or countertop. Make sure that all four corners are securely attached to the surface so that they don't move during the stretching process.
- Starting with one corner of the mesh at a time, use your hands or a stretching tool to slowly pull and stretch out each corner until you have achieved your desired result - usually, 1-2 inches of stretch per side is recommended. Work carefully and slowly to ensure an even stretching process throughout all four corners of your lacrosse mesh!
- Finally, after stretching out each corner of your lacrosse mesh, allow it to dry completely before using it in gameplay. This will help ensure the fibers stay in place and provide enhanced ball control during use!
4. Use a mesh softening tool
Mesh softening is a great way to customize the feel and performance of your lacrosse mesh. You can soften your mesh with the right tools to give it a softer, more responsive feel. Here's how to do it:
- Start by selecting a mesh softening tool designed specifically for lacrosse meshes. You'll want one made of durable hard plastic with rounded edges so that it won't damage the fibers in your mesh.
- Place the tool on top of the area of the mesh you want to soften. Gently press down on the tool and move it in small circles while applying pressure until you have achieved the desired level of softness.
- Once you have softened your mesh, stretch it out to retain its new shape and texture. To do this, use a stretching device with corner softening tools attached to each mesh corner. This will help ensure your mesh stays in place as you stretch it evenly across all four corners.
- Finally, once your mesh has been stretched out, use a smoothing tool or modifier in Blender or MeshMixer to further refine its shape and texture. This will give your lacrosse mesh an even smoother finish and make sure that it retains its new shape for longer periods!
5. Add edge loops
It involves using a series of connected "loops" along the edges of the mesh that provide the perfect amount of traction for improved ball control and increased accuracy. Here's how to do it:
- Begin by selecting the area on the mesh where you want to add edge loops. Then, use scissors or a craft knife to carefully remove any excess material from this area, leaving behind just the edges.
- With your craft knife or scissors, create a small loop around each of the edges of your lacrosse mesh - these loops should be approximately 1/4-inch in size. Make sure that all the loops are connected and evenly spaced out so that they form one complete circle when you finish cutting them out.
- Finally, use an adhesive such as hot glue or fabric glue to secure each loop and prevent them from undoing during gameplay. Once all of your edge loops are securely glued down, use a smooth object such as a rolling pin or an empty canister to press against each loop, helping it conform naturally to the shape of your lacrosse mesh and providing extra softness and enhanced ball control!
Why do you need to soften a lacrosse mesh?
Lacrosse mesh is a crucial piece of equipment for any lacrosse player. A lacrosse pocket typically arrives with a hard or semi-hard mesh that you break into a soft mesh before the game.
It's generally made from nylon, but the hardness varies between soft and hard grades.
Why does it matter?
The soft mesh can be stretched and manipulated to help you catch and throw the lacrosse ball more evenly. In contrast, harder meshes will likely bounce and spin the lacrosse ball off in unpredictable directions. The catching style will affect the actual game, while the mesh threads will manipulate the top and lower edge of your lacrosse pocket.
Having a softer mesh also gives you better control over how hard or soft you're throwing, allowing you to make more precise shots throughout a game. In contrast, harder meshes can be stiffer and harder to move around, which impacts your overall accuracy level.
A hard mesh is one that has not been softened or has dried out over time; this results in rock-hard fibers that won't give when pressure is applied, resulting in significantly increased chances of injury due to its rigidity.
A soft mesh involves treating the mesh with a substance that loosens up the mesh. It's always best to use a soft lacrosse mesh to stay safe while still having plenty of speed with your passes and shots.
Even if the skill level is identical, different levels of softness on lacrosse mesh can result in different outcomes on the field.
1. Can lacrosse mesh get wet?
Yes, lacrosse mesh can get wet!
The best way to prevent cold or hot water from affecting your pocket is to ensure it's coated with a waterproof spray before playing in wet conditions. This will help protect the mesh from damage due to exposure to moisture and ensure that you don't end up with a soggy pocket during your game.
Additionally, it's essential to dry the mesh out entirely after each use, as this will help it last longer and remain durable throughout its life.
2. How often should you replace lacrosse mesh?
You should replace your lacrosse mesh annually to ensure optimal performance and prevent damage or wear and tear.
In addition, if you play in wet conditions, you may need to replace the mesh more often, as it can deteriorate more quickly due to exposure to moisture.
Inspect your mesh regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or torn strings, to determine when it's time for a replacement.
3. What is the difference between soft and hard lacrosse mesh?
Soft lacrosse mesh is designed to be more forgiving and provide less lacrosse ball resistance, which makes it an ideal choice for beginners.
Hard lacrosse mesh is firmer and provides more lacrosse ball control, making it the choice of experienced players who require a higher level of performance.
While both types of mesh offer excellent control and accuracy in their play, the hard mesh will typically last longer due to its higher-quality construction.
4. What are the benefits of hard mesh?
Hard lacrosse mesh fibers offer a more controlled and accurate playing experience, allowing experienced players to easily make precise passes and shots.
The tight weave of the hard mesh and stiff mesh also prevents the lacrosse ball from slipping out during a pass or shot, which can improve the overall accuracy of play.
Additionally, the hard mesh is more durable than soft mesh, meaning it will typically last longer and require less frequent replacement.
Once your lacrosse mesh is softened over time and ready to go, nothing stops you from hitting your stride and taking your gameplay to the next level!
All in all, softening lacrosse mesh can be relatively easy to do with simple methods that require minimal effort. But, of course, when softening a lacrosse mesh, the time it takes to soften may vary depending on the type of method used.
Let us know if you have your own unconventional solution on how to soften lacrosse mesh!