It’s hard to argue that voluntary helmet use in BMX has been steadily rising over the last few years. For a lot of us, it can take a catastrophic injury to scare us onto the side of safety, like Van Homan landing himself in a medically induced coma or Shadow Conspiracy pro Mark Burnett fracturing his skull as a preteen; personally, a fractured eye socket & nasal cavity at Kona Skatepark years ago is what knocked some sense into me after years of not really worrying about head injuries. None of us are invincible, and even if you wear a helmet, you’re not guaranteed to get out of a bad wreck unscathed, but why is it that so many riders ignore the health risks and ride without dome protection? Well, first, let’s dismiss the “it looks dorky as hell” defense; folks, we’re jump little kids bikes off of shit & doing property damage a regular basis – lets not pretend that a large percentage of the worlds population doesn’t already look at us like idiots, helmets or not, so have a little bit of self awareness and put that pride away for a minute. Sure, we live in a country where many states don’t have motorcycle helmet laws, but just because you can do something that dumb & put your life at serious risk, doesn’t mean you should. To me, the real reasons have to do with style & comfort – many riders stick with their older, non-certified skate helmets that were “designed to absorb multiple impacts”, but in reality, don’t help a damn bit of good in even minor accidents; others feel that many of the current certified helmets don’t fit properly, are heavy, or don’t have adequate ventilation. Some people find peace of mind in wearing non-certified helmets, with the belief that “something is better than nothing”, but Shadow’s new Featherweight In-Mold helmet aims to solve all of the perceived problems helmetless riders have with the currently selection of brain buckets on the market.
The Shadow Conspiracy is no stranger to the world of safety gear, being one of the first brands to popularize “slim” knee pads in the early days of their existence, so their inclusion of helmets into the fold a few years ago was no surprise whatsoever. With the Featherweight, the end goal was to create a helmet that was both comfortable and lightweight, yet also more fashionable that anything else available. My personal biggest gripe with many certified helmets is that many of them look like they sit anywhere from 2-4″ off the top of your head, which I still don’t understand. Why do the helmets need that much padding at the very top? If you’re landing literally on the top of your head, you’ve probably got bigger issues to worry about, so why not put that extra protection on the back/front/sides where it might actually do some good? The Featherweight helmet is designed to sit lower on your head, also lowering the sideburns & rear lip, offering more protection where it makes sense to have it. The guys in the Shadow product development department designed the inner foam padding to fit seamlessly with the outer plastic shell, creating a helmet with no extra room or extra weight, further allowing it to sit as closely to your head as possible. Ventilation is another important aspect of the Featherweight, as the helmet features 9 holes in assorted spots, most featuring the signature Shadow coffin to further stylize the look & set them apart from any impostors. Finally, we can’t disregard weight, and the Shadow Featherweight lives up to its name sake, tipping the scales at just over 10oz, which is lighter than even the most popular non-certified skate helmets and is about 25% lighter than their Classic helmet.
The Shadow Conspiracy Featherweight In-Mold Helmet is available now from The TSC webstore and all Shadow Conspiracy retailers. Take your pick of matte black or gloss white styles for only $64.99, in either Small/Medium or Large/XL sizes, both of which come with multiple sets of padding inserts to customize your fit. For info on the entire line of Shadow safety gear and the rest of their parts & softgoods, point your browser to TheShadowConspiracy.com now and be sure to give the brand a follow on Instagram @theshadowconspiracy.