POC’s Protection School
Hobnob: Imagine us to be new at this, like we’ve never skied with helmet before. Sell us a helmet!
POC:First of all, it’s a great decision to consider using a helmet. It is the first and most important step towards being safer in the slope and on the mountain.
What you want to look at when choosing your helmet are some different aspects. For instance, what type of skiing are you doing? Are you a weekend skier? More freeride or perhaps a ski racer? Depending on what type of skier you are there are different models.
Some key factors that are good to look at
- Fit – We are all unique, and the shape of our heads are no different. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and finding the correct fit is the single most important aspect to consider as the helmet will work better if it sits correctly, but most importantly you will be more likely to use and enjoy it when it is comfortable.
- Try many helmets on to find the one that you fit best – some helmets will help with a good 360 degree adjustment system where you are able to adjust the helmet to sit perfectly on your head. Precision tuning to your unique needs.
- Design – We all know that design plays a big part when choosing your helmet. Go for one that you feel good in.
- Certification – All snow sport helmets are tested to certain standards, and for use on snow. If you want to consider racing then an FIS certification is worth considering as it is a higher standard than average helmets due to the speed of competition skiers.
- Technology – Helmets can do a lot more than protect you in a fall. With the right technology and design it can work for you before, during and even after an accident. At POC we refer to this as our ‘Whole Helmet Concept”. ‘Before’ could be the colour to avoid collisions or ventilation to maintain focus. ‘During’ is the moment we all wish to avoid but when the shell and inside (liner) perform by absorbing the energy of a fall, or as in the case with Mips, reduces rotational impact. And then there is ‘After’ when you could be unconscious or unable to communicate properly. This is where digital technology such a Recco allows you to be searchable and a twICEme® NFC medical ID chip will allow first responders to use your helmet to gain your essential medical data via a mobile phone to help your treatment.
Hobnob: Goggles are literary the extension of our eyes which may be our most valuable organ in the slopes, how do you work to make it even better? Can good goggles change the way we ski?
POC: Clarity is our own innovative lens program which we have developed with Zeiss, who are the world leaders in vision technology. And the name ‘Clarity’ is all about that clarity of senses and focus which make all the difference on the slopes and in competition.
The simple starting point has always been to enhance a user’s safety and performance, a helmet is often thought of predominantly for an impact, but vision will help avoid impacts with an obvious pro-active approach to safety.
The more you see, the better you see will all lead to enhanced reaction times, greater confidence and more fun. Clarity heightens the senses by working on very precise color profiles in the lenses, especially the blue and red wave lengths, which will enhance in the structure and definition of snow and the environment around you, in all types of light condition.
Hobnob: What are the most important things to think about when choosing back protection?
POC: Besides protecting your head, it is important to protect your back. Choose a back protection that fits your need and sits comfortably on your back. A material that we use in our back protectors is VPD (Viscoelastic Polymer Dough). It is a special material as it molds with body heat to take the shape of the user and will feel very flexible and comfortable. But, when it is called up it will protect you as it hardens immediately in the case of an impact. So, it means you can have all the comfort and flexibility you need, combined with the highest levels of certified protection, all in a personalized package!
Hobnob: Any specific back protection vs no back protection statistics you can share with us? What kind of accidents will a good back protection preserve you from?
POC: Accidents often happen when you least expect them, so protection is often not based on a specific race or line you have in mind. What we know is that the first priority is to protect the brain, hence the importance of helmets. Second to a helmet is a back protector as after the brain we know that damaging the spine can be incredibly serious. Arms, legs, knees can all be hurt badly, but usually with time they can be fixed, or you can lead a pretty normal life. But the brain and spine are too important to leave to chance and that’s why we place so much focus on both those areas as we know it has the best chance of making a big difference.
Meninx Apophyllite Green Matt