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.
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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Lacrosse Video of the Week:
Highlights from the American Lacrosse League featuring the Washington Lacrosse Club vs. The Bullets: