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Friday, October 8, 2010

Confirmed - Easton Will Have a Helmet!

While looking over Inside Lacrosse earlier today, I noticed this article. As I have been following Easton's progression into lax equipment, I found it very worthwhile. This article not only gives something of a projected launch date, it also confirms one of my boldest predictions thus far: Easton will make a lacrosse helmet.
You may remember my original prediction:
My biggest question revolves around Easton's corporate sibling, Riddell (former makers of Onyx lacrosse gear). Both are owned by Fenway Partners; keeping both brands active in the sport seems unnecessary. Although the Onyx line of equipment died, the Riddell helmets continue to be worn primarily by schools wearing Adidas. The helmets are regarded as one of the ugliest and bulkiest in the game. With the success of the Stealth helmet in hockey and the reset opportunity this move provides, I have a hard time believing that Easton will not jump a chance for a new lid. An subtly edgy design that incorporates the classic grace of Cascade's popular helmets - similar to the Stealth - adorned with the familiar diamond logo could be an instant success.
Here is the proof that not only is the company designing a helmet, but that actual physical examples already exist:

They’ve also been working intensely on a new lacrosse helmet that’s being designed with direct influences from the other sports Easton-Bell and Giro work on in Scotts Valley...
The trick with helmets is they need to be light and stylish but also safe — not the easiest combination to pull off. I got a sneak peek at the helmet Easton’s working on, and I can assure you it’s going to accomplish all three. You can see influences from their other helmets in the lacrosse model — props to designer Genia Harbunova on the look of the new lid — and it’s crazy how light it is.

The article makes no mention of Riddell's future in the sport. But one would think that Easton Bell would do I as previously suggested and discontinue the XR. The only negative side effect for the company would be losing schools like Notre Dame, Brown, and Michigan that currently use their helmet. It is quite conceivable that they would not adopt the Easton helmet due to its new position as a competing brand. Of course, Adidas and/or Reebok may have a helmet of their own somewhere in the pipeline...
So far no pictures have surfaced of the new helmet - or of anything other than the test shafts at the Bowhunter Cup. It looks like the production models will not be too drastically different from those used by Casey Powell:
But I can assure you that "EASTON" will be written big down the shaft, and the familiar Talon eagle will transfer over as the logo.
Speaking of Casey Powell, the article says that Easton has signed three laxers. I have seen no images of the other two as of yet. However, they will be officially introduced next week. It is also expected that the shafts and possibly the heads will be publicly unveiled at that time as well.I did not copy them, but there are some interesting pictures of prototype heads in the article. These heads were created in 2003 - long before the Talon purchase. Why they came about is something of a mystery, as is why it took so long for Easton to make a serious move into the lax industry.

Tribe 7