Blatant Lacrosse, a company that has been making their wax coated Blatant Mesh, went to the drawing board and spent about a year developing their own proprietary blend of fibers that acted exactly as they wanted. They recently released this new Empire Mesh performance mesh and challenged me to give it a try.
When I first took the piece of mesh out of the box, it feel a lot thicker than most other new performance meshes on the market right now. It also felt harder than other performance meshes that I had used. For my review, I strung it up in an Maverik Optik U that I did a Buffalo Bandits dye on last year for my cousin (he needed a re-string). I had no issues stringing up a really nice mid low pocket with minimal whip and decent hold on it.
The first few reps I took with it playing wall ball, the mesh still had a pretty hard feel to it, but as I played wall ball a little bit (not too long), it softened up a little bit to develop the feel of old broken in hard mesh. When I was younger I’d always use hard mesh and go through a ton of effort to make sure it broke in exactly how I wanted and it felt great, but hard mesh at the time had tons of issues. When wax meshes and other performance meshes came out, they corrected these problems but none really felt like that old broken in hard mesh. This new Empire Mesh from Blatant does, but is weatherproof, is way more consistent and has all the benefits of new performance mesh. It was also way quicker to break in.
Empire Mesh also has slightly bigger diamonds and a rough texture, which help give a good amount of hold and feel on the ball. With the harder feel to the mesh, it also feels great to throw with.
Another big benefit to Empire Mesh is the durability. Because of the thicker material, this mesh is very durable and should last for several seasons in all weather conditions with no issues, staying consistent.
I’d recommend Empire Mesh to anyone who likes the feel of a hard mesh pocket but wants to have all the benefits of performance mesh.