Innovation Lab: Ultimate 360 Helmet
Product Designer Paul Jenkins talks us through the new Ultimate 360 Helmet.
What are the features of the new helmet?
In terms of what you’ve come to expect from Gray-Nicolls, it’s got a hard EPS outer, which means it’s going to deflect most of those naughty impacts, with a contoured peak as well so the balls can hopefully just skim off on areas which make sure that you’re minimising the risk of exposure to the head. Inside of that you’ve got an EPS liner which means that you’re actually beng able to diffuse a lot of the energy of the impact. Cut into that is an interflow vent system, which means that you get a lot of airflow keeping you cool at the crease with these vents themselves. Obviously a lot of hot conditions internationally playing cricket, we need to make sure as a brand that we’re doing everything that we can to keep you comfortable at the crease. One of the most important things that we looked to do with the grille is to make sure that it was as comfortable for the wearer as possible, so when you’re into your batting stance, ergonomically it’s very very comfortable and not inhibiting your style in any way. We’ve introduced contouring around the jawline, but at the same time we’ve increased the actual areas of protection. You’re getting huge areas of 360 protection, meaning that the helmet itself is going to give unrivalled protection at the crease.
How much development goes into the design of new helmet?
It’s such an important area of the game, we’ve seen so many so many high profile instances with people being injured, and as a consequence the industry has reacted to make sure that there are an awful lot of safety measure in place and standards that we have to meet in order to be certified for players to wear it. If we don’t pass those standards, it doesn’t get to market and therefore people are only wearing stuff which which is lab tested to be safe. So from a design aesthetic point of view, from an ergonomic functional point of view and from a standards point of view, these have to go through an awful lot of design phases and testing processs to make sure that they’re absolutely where they need to be from a performance, from a look and from a technical safety point of view.
How has feedback from pro players developed your helmet design?
We’ve talked to the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Alastair Cook, and we’ve been able to make sure that we’re creating a helmet which is really fit for purpose, so the consultation process with them is absolutely invaluable.