Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sure, they're pretty...

I randomly stumbled across these this evening. (Weird things wash up on my Internet shoreline.)

These are helmets created by a designer called Coyle. Tree Piece Helmets, they're called. I think they're gorgeous (check out his site for some more pics) but something makes me wonder how safe they are. I had it pretty much drilled into me that bike helmets were made to break up on impact, like the crumple zone of a car. I used my bike helmet for rock climbing, reluctantly, for a couple of months, and it freaked me out before I went out and got a separate helmet to climb in, one that was much more like a hard hat and would stand up better to falling rocks and impact with cliffsides. Bike helmets are for reducing force without transferring it to your body: climbing helmets are for resisting pinpoint impact.

Anyway, wood seems to me to have way more potential for unexpected flaws, weaknesses and break points. It doesn't disintegrate like a bike helmet, and it would certainly get dinged up to hell if I wore one of these climbing - at least I assume so.

Yet they're gorgeous. And according to the maker, they've actually been tested and found to be up to standard. Now the question is, who's got $350 for a helmet?

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