Whether they’re your favorite or not, at some point in your life, I guarantee you suited up with a lacrosse helmet from Cascade. Maybe that bucket even became your all-time favorite that will forever sit on your mantle at your home, maybe it didn’t.
Whatever the case may be, the fact is that Cascade has been in the helmet business for years and come out with a helmet or two over the decades. Let me briefly break down and educate you on where the Cascade lacrosse helmets began and where they are today.
The Evolution of Cascade Lacrosse Helmets
It all started with the Original Cascade helmet. It was an upgraded version of the leather bucket helmets of the years past. This new helmet from Cascade was sleek and trim for the time. It had a facemask that went further down and offered far more protection than anything before. This helmet was revolutionary when it was released and really started the Cascade trend of helmets we see today.
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Then came the C2 and CLH2. The C2 was the next in the line of Cascade evolution. It was an upgraded take on the original Cascade helmet that also began to introduce the more modern shape of lacrosse helmets. The C2 also had a visor piece that was often a different color. I thought this was a pretty neat aspect of design in the helmet for the era.
The C2 was quickly pushed aside by a more modern version called the CLH2. This helmet was sick. I can remember having one of these when I first started playing. The CLH2 was the first helmet of most players I ask today. This was a recognizable start of the modern helmet era with it’s sleek design that looked far more streamlined than past helmets.
The CPro was next in the Cascade line. This is one helmet that I feel like was truly just an updated CLH2. It had very similar design features and aspects. Nonetheless it was still an upgrade. It offered new and flashy colors to continue to push lacrosse helmets into the modern era.
Down from the heavens came the CPX. The CPX was one clean helmet with an aggressive facemask that dipped down lower, giving a very aggressive effect. While it still had a similar two-piece shell design to past helmets, it was truly a lot cooler looking. I still see CPX helmets floating around today, and each time I see one, it reminds me how much I loved that helmet.
The true modern era of lacrosse came about with the Cascade CPX-R. We all know this gorgeous helmet. It was only a handful of years back that you could walk to any high school game and see half the team rocking these. These were a hot commodity when I was growing up. We all wanted what the pros wore, and this was it. I still remember a photo of Casey Powell rocking a CPX-R with a visor and immediately wanting to do the same thing. This helmet was a shift to a longer helmet shape with a more aggressive flare and fin in the back of the helmet. This was a clear starting point for the helmets we use today.
The all time favorite Pro-7. The Pro-7 is a helmet I think many people wish Cascade would’ve upgraded to use today. This was closely released to the CPX-R, which created a bit of a helmet rivalry within the company.
Growing up at my high school, we had the option to pick between the two. I can remember a lot of defensive players preferring the Pro-7 because of it’s one-piece helmet design and sturdier mask. I personally loved both for their own reasons, but I still think to this day that the Pro-7 was one of the best built helmets out there. However, I think anyone who used it can agree the strange dial on the side to adjust the size was a bit funky.
The Cascade R helmet. This helmet is so recent that I don’t have too much to say. From what I understand, It was released to be a safer and more technological version of the CPX-R. It was really the turning point for all helmets. It came with more colors and offered a much safer experience, and what more could you need? Oh, and it also came in stock matte colors.
There are still a lot of these being used today, and they have surprisingly held their value from what I’ve seen. I loved this helmet a whole lot and never imagined anyone could improve on what the R offered. I was wrong.
The Cascade S helmet. The holy grail. The Cascade S is still very recent. In fact, almost everyone but the pro players are using S helmets as of now. I personally switch between two for college and like them a whole lot. However, they seem to have a much more narrow head shape than the R helmets. I’ve noticed that this has led to fewer people wearing them.
Whether you like them or not, this helmet is so slick. From the modern shape to the cool factor, this helmet has it and will have it for many years to come.
The newborn baby…the XRS. I have yet to try these on or even hold one in my hands, so I don’t have much comment for them. From what I can tell from images, this is an upgraded version of the S helmet. This is supposed to be the safest helmet ever to be made. The safer the helmet, the safer our game becomes. I’m all for this helmet evolution and safety improvements. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these helmets.
I hope this Cascade history lesson has brought back some good memories or educated you about a lacrosse helmet you never knew about. When will the next helmet be released? One can never truly know. Just know that the evolution of helmets has not even gotten close to an end. We are only at the start.