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Old 08-17-2005   #1
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
World's safest whitewater helmet??

I just bought one of these to see how it works. The story in a nutshell (as I understand it) is this:

Man looses son to WW accident involving head injuries. He goes on a crusade to create the safest helmet possible, designed specifically for whitewater. He creates a company (non-profit?) for his project called "White Water Research and Safety Institute" (WRSI) In conjunction with a bunch of enginerds from fancy universities, they create this new one-size-fits-all helmet. They are selling it at or very near cost of about $60-70 (cheaper than all but the most ghetto helmets). Anyways, I ordered one to check it out. If anyone is interested, check out

I found it an interesting site, and I'm very curious to test drive this helmet (I spend lots of time dragging my head down the bottom of rivers due to my weak kayaking skills). Also good price for extra helmet for rafters, teaching new boaters, etc.

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Old 08-17-2005   #2
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Eagle County, Colorado
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Looks pretty sporty, too:


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Old 08-17-2005   #3
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Reno, Sierra Nevada
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I just ordered this one its sweet and its a full face!

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Old 08-17-2005   #4
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Eagle County, Colorado
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I think a combo of the two would be best...horns on the new fancy one would deflect rocks when flipped, and would do a number on any inflatables that pose a threat...
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Old 08-17-2005   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
This actually looks like a very well thought out helmet design.

1) Surlin shell which is much tougher than typical plastics on kayak helmets and possibly tougher then some of the fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and thermosets.

2) The Subshell looks like well thought out design with the eva foam liners it will reduce blunt force impacts to the head

3) Straps look well positioned to prevent the helmet from sliding back on your head preventing forehead exposure.

It seems at first glance to be a much better design approach to helmets then I have see currently on the market. Whats out there now is cheap plastic crap that might crack with a sharp rock hit or the typical make it out of kevlar or fiber-reinforced thermoplastic and call it super strong without any engineering design.

I am very curious how the helmet will fit my misshaped egg head. If it fits as well as its engineered it will have the first steps of being a great kayak helmet.

Long term durability of the helmet will be useful info too.

Best of luck to the Turners

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Old 08-17-2005   #6
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
I personally wouldn't go upside down without kevlar on my crown. Grateful Heads offers an "extreme layup" with more layers than usual. Get it in the Hard Hit or Drop Zone and you have the most bomber helmet ever. Period.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 08-18-2005   #7
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
I've been looking for a new helmet for years due to that fact that mine is way to old, but I have yet to find a good helmet that I like. This could be it. 9 other people wana go in on a pack of 10 with me?

I can't buy a Grateful Heads since I've been boycotting them since 1998 or so. I saved the owner and his boat on the upper Yough and not only would he not give me a pro-deal (because I only had one season of guiding under my belt at the time), but he was a flat out dick about it. None of their helmets fit me right anyway. Glad to see some fresh ideas coming out.
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Old 08-18-2005   #8
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
I emailed them to ask if they plan to make a helmet with face protection. Here was their reply:

We have been working on the face protection and should have it refined early
next year. It will be attachable to the existing helmets using the two
front rivets now holding the retention system. Thanks for your interest and
certainly would like to see your ideas if you are able to email that to us.
As well, the ear protectors are in the prototype stage and should be
available early next year.
Gil Turner
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Old 08-18-2005   #9
Web Developer/Programmer
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 105
So what is the difference or pros cons of composites vs plastic helmets? These new helmets look good for the price, but I've been thinking I need to upgrade to a composite although I'm not sure why.
Damn I Look Good.
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Old 08-18-2005   #10
Engineering Student
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 18
You definitely have to give us a full report when you get this helmet. I may be getting one if you have good words about it.

As far as plastic versus composit,

composits are (in general, or at least the ones they are using for helmet design) much tougher than plastics. Tougher in the sense that they were better, do better with abrasion and such.
they are also much harder and more rigid than plastics which makes them deform less on impact with rock and therefore protect better.
they also have a higher tensile strength and will not be punctured by really sharp rocks(or rebar, arrows, big horn sheep, blowdart guns or any other sharp object) as easily as plastics. in addition, plastics break down substantially over time when exposed to UV radiation. so, unless ur helmet stays in the closet all year (which it shouldn't !!!) it is getting weaker every time you wear it in the sun.

Note - I am a mechanical engineering student - not a material science major, so my materials knowledge is pretty good, but definitely not the final word. If there are any other mechanical or material engineers out there, please correct me where i am wrong. thanks

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