Gear Hot Pot Lifestyle

UPDATED: Hot Pot Of Lax: The New Easton Lacrosse Helmet; Is It Going To Be Good Or Bad?

easton-lacrosse-mike-lowe
Mike Lowe of Easton.

We’re narrowing the Hot Pot Of Lax to one day per week, meaning the pot is going to be SCOLDING.

This week’s Hot Pot victim: the Easton Raptor Lacrosse Helmet

InsideLacrosse has been getting the best access to the new Easton helmet… well, better than everyone else at least.  They’ve shown off some photos of the lid and done a written review or two, without pictures.  But that’s really all the public has seen so far.  On April 3rd, at IL’s Big City Classic, they’ll show off the whole thing.  So with these teasers, the question that Easton obviously wants everyone thinking is, “what’s different about this helmet”?

We saw parts of the facemask and the ear holes and some other part of the shell/visor and my response to that is… who cares?  Gait and Warrior/Brine have come out with a number of helmets, in all different shapes and sizes but when it comes down to it, the look only mattered so much.  The proof has always been in the pudding.  And the pudding is the padding, not the shell.

I’ve heard the plastic that Easton uses is super strong and thin.  I guess that’s good.  Maybe the helmet will be lighter.  Of course, they’re pretty light already.  And from the photos on IL, it doesn’t look that different style-wise from what is currently on the market.

So how can Easton pull people over to their brand, especially from Cascade?  This is the question every helmet manufacturer should be asking themselves.

The answer is comfort and/or protection.  Preferably both.  Cascade helmets are incredibly comfortable.  Their CPro7, CPX-R, and even their M11 Hockey Helmet set the bars for comfort.  I own all three and have worn a lot of other lids in my day and I can say this with conviction.  The padding isn’t just a layer of foam, and once the helmet is adjusted correctly, it doesn’t feel like it’s just sitting on top of your head.  It feels right and works for most people who don’t have Kyle Dixon sized domes.

If Easton (or any other company for that matter including Brine, Warrior, etc) really wants to get into the helmet game, they’re going to need to focus on comfort, fit and a higher level of safety.  Right now, lacrosse helmets are required to prevent intercranial bleeding and skull fractures, but not concussions.  Riddell was able to make a decent dent in the helmet market simply because of their increased protective qualities, even with their bulky design.

If Easton wants to do the same, and become a real player in the lacrosse helmet market, they’ll need to have a comfortable and protective padding system first and foremost.  The outward appearance of the helmet must be secondary.  I’m not sold that this is the route Easton has taken, since they are really focusing on the look of the lid with their teasers, but they are part of a company that has access to a pretty solid helmet research facility (Bell Bike Helmets), so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.  Excited to try one out and see for myself what the padding (the important stuff!) is really like.

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Mike Lowe of Easton.

Photo courtesy Laxleader.com

Flashy looking helmets have come and gone, but the ones that stick around are comfortable (and safe) above all else.

From a VERY well-trusted (but for now, anonymous) MCLA source, “I’ve seen it and worn it.  I think it has the potential to completely revolutionize the lacrosse helmet market.  I don’t know if it will sell or not with Cascade’s complete domination of the market, but if any helmet has the potential to make a really serious dent in the market, this is the one.”

This conversation is heating up nicely!

Remember kids, when the going gets tough and your week is getting rough, the Hot Pot will be here for you.

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About the author

Connor Wilson

Connor is the Publisher of LacrosseAllStars.com. He lives in Brooklyn with his better half, continues to play and coach both box and field lacrosse in NYC as much as possible, and covers the great game that is lacrosse full-time. He spends his spare time stringing sticks and watching Futurama.

12 Comments

  • The thing I’ve noticed about the Easton products that have come out so far is they are really expensive. Maybe the F1 Launch is worth a benjamin and isn’t a gimmick that they stole from the Brine Pulse, but I’ll wait for someone who doesn’t work for Easton to say so.
    I’d predict that the new Easton helmet is going to be really nice, but too expensive, but I hope I’m wrong.

  • It will just be another helmet. If it manages to be as protective as a Pro7 or CPX-R then it will have do one or both of two things to steal a significant market share from Cascade: (1) be less expensive; and/or (2) be aesthetically on par or superior. It will just be another helmet.

  • Don’t forget that Easton also owns Riddell, the biggest football helmet manufacturer. They’ve also been researching and patenting lacrosse innovations for a couple decades before anyone realized they were going to start a lax brand. Between Riddell, Bell, and whatever patents they’ve been drawing up, this should be a pretty good helmet, as long as they can make it look sweet

  • It looks like it will fail the sticker test. A lot of the helmet market is made up of kids who buy their own helmet, but have to put team stickers on it. Brine and Ridell were very accomodating of the old stripes, and even the backpanels almost worked. In my opinion, they’re the only non-cascade helmets to succeed. This will not be the case with the Easton from what I can see, and I think it will kill a lot of their chances for success.

    • not only will it fail the sticker test, but from what i have seen on insidelacrosse.com, it is a very ugly helmet anyways. cascade pretty much owns the helmet market. no one makes them better looking or safer. guess we will have to see when the “raptor” (stupid name) is released

  • The problem is colleges are sponsored by cascade or warrior, rather than the school buying the helmet the kids want or need like they do in football (many schools have different brands and styles of helmets). If we can get rid of helmet manufacturers sponsoring schools, then we’ll see much more of a variety of lids on players. No one should ever force you to wear a helmet that you do not like.

  • Plenty of other companies have made an attempt to tap into the expanding lacrosse market, and many have failed (shock doctor, for example). Unless their is a new technology innovation that is going to enhance concussion prevention, then I don’t see a lot of people switching from Cascade (in large part, as Cam mentioned) due to potential sticker pack issues initially. But, it’s possible they aren’t going after Cascade initially…they may be looking to take that segment of the market away from Brine and Warrior, and maybe even Riddell. Without knowing exactly what Easton is thinking, we wont know. My question is, which team is wearing them this weekend, if this is the big unveil. Normally you don’t plan something like this without a team on the field sporting them. Like others, I think they have saturated one market (hockey) and they are hoping to get into another, and may not be ready to be in it for the long haul.

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