If you got a chance to watch my video from the 2014 National Lacrosse Convention, you might have seen Flip Naumburg introduce a new head called the Hawk. Innovative and strategically thought out, the Hawk is a perfect example of what Epoch lacrosse is becoming known for: challenging conventional thinking to create products that work better for today’s lacrosse player. The latest release from Epoch furthers this reputation. Otter Mesh is a new and different take on the mesh game, and looks to improve what most players use every time they step on the field.
When you get Otter Mesh in your hands, the first thing that you’ll notice is the weight. Epoch’s biggest selling point of Otter Mesh has been its ridiculously light 18 gram weight, and to their credit it makes a big difference. Have you ever put an unstrung head on a shaft and waved it around? You know how it feels like there’s no wind resistance or extra weight of any kind? A stick with Otter Mesh felt a lot like that to me when I got it strung up.
I put some in a Reebok 9K I had on hand, and could immediately tell a huge difference between it and traditional mesh. The weight of the ball was so directly translated to my hands it was like I was feeling the ball differently than I ever had before. The mesh itself is soft overall. Very pliable, yet sturdy when you stretch it. With a ball in it, you can feel exactly where in your pocket the ball is. It’s hard to explain, but I took two sticks out to the wall and I could definitely notice the enhanced feel in the Otter Mesh.
My test drive was done over the course of about a week, and the weather was kind enough to provide me an opportunity to test this stuff in the snow. You might have caught a couple pictures of this stuff covered in snow on my instagram feed, because I really tried to push it to the limit. I hit the wall and took shots both before and after covering it in snow and water, and couldn’t tell any difference at all when it came to release or hold. One less thing to blame all the bad passes on, I guess.
The soft mesh effect will be a great asset for face off guys that are looking to avoid having the ball get stuck in between their mesh and their head after a clamp. I can’t measure this, but it feels like Otter Mesh is thinner than normal mesh – which would certainly help explain the drastic weight difference. The mesh moves with the ball, so it won’t get stiff and create the shell that traps the ball. I tried a couple of draws and thought it worked well in this regard.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Meshbusters articles, you’ll know that I’m all about evidence these days when it comes to mesh. So while I can’t speak on the important question of Otter Mesh’s durability, I can say that what I’ve seen so far is enough to impress. The mesh feels unlike any other piece I’ve ever tried before, and the weight alone will convince you it’s something special. If you’re looking for a piece of high performance mesh for your game, I recommend that you give Otter Mesh a chance.