Our Gen3 Nutcase Lumberjack helmet is classic, yet with a couple of our characteristic twists.
We started out with the absolutely requisite bit of carmine red-and-black plaid on the helmet’s sides.
This pattern harkens back to the early days of exploration and forest clearing when a trader named McCluskey brought his Scottish clan's red and black tartan blankets to trade with Indians. Eventually the black and red checks were called Buffalo plaid.
Around 1850 the Woolrich Woolen Mills adopted Buffalo plaid - the distinctive checkerboard that became beloved of those in the woods every day felling the trees.
Oregon-based company Pendleton Mills began mass-producing woolen shirts with different colors of plaids starting in 1924. Paul Bunyan may be the most famous plaid-wearing lumberjack, and the shirts became a staple of many outdoorsy types. Our founder Michael Morrow wore them all through his growing-up years in Corvallis, Oregon.
"As a teenager my standard uniform was Levi's jeans, Pendleton plaid lumberjack button up shirt, black hi-top Converse, and my grandpa Duke’s red wool 1950 Washington state champions softball jacket," says Michael.
In designing the Nutcase Lumberjack, Michael added a favorite sports motif via an emerald green middle panel and sunshine yellow stripes.
"Dark emerald green is a marquee color in Oregon - a stand-in for our forests, tall city trees, and lush rain-soaked environment. And green and yellow are the school colors of the University of Oregon Ducks, as well as the Portland Timbers soccer team," he said.
"Lumberjack plaid has a rich legacy in Oregon, Washington and the entire Northwest from the mid-20th century when logging was a bigger industry," Michael said. "It has been in style from a retro perspective for some time, and we wanted to bring it into the Nutcase fold."
Paul Bunyan photo courtesy brxO via flickr. And though he's no lumberjack, our cover model (above popping a wheelie) and Nutcase spokesperson Ryan Leech is the strongest and most nimble BMX trick cyclist you could meet. Read his latest interview here.