UX / UI Designer. Product Visual Designer. Pizza Lover. Breaking Bad Fan. Soccer Fanatic.

Rekd protection

A lightweight fashion roller skate, capable of reassuring beginners and exciting pro riders while reducing the risk of heel tear.

REKD Protection
Develop REKDs first custom mould helmets Elite 2.0 & Ultralite
Lead Product Designer

Creating an icon

REKD Protection had broken into the market using an off-the-shelf helmet mould and soft goods protection. Once it had established its position, it was time to create REKDs own custom mould helmets that would incorporate its brand values and stand out against competitors with a unique, recognisable look. For this project, it was vital to work alongside with REKDs brand manager and deep dive into ergonomics and user feedback to create two new helmets.

Both the Elite 2.0 and Ultralite helmets were born. Both use the same design but different technologies. The Elite was created to offer maximum protection at a lower price, using an EPS core with a solid ABS shell. The Ultralite used in mould technology fuses an EPS core with a thin layer of Polycarbonate, that offers great protection at a much lighter weight, made to compete at a higher price.

These helmets embodied the REKD values and have become recognisable across Europe.

A multi-sport helmet

Part of this brief was to create a helmet that suits several sports. While BMX was a focus, this "street" style helmet has been adopted by many extreme sports. This style of helmet is a staple for any extreme sports protection company. This style is usually the biggest seller and so needed to be designed to pass certification that would allow it to be sold across many sports categories.

The Brief

To create a new street-style helmet based on the existing Elite helmet. It must suit a European head shape and be capable of having a PC and ABS outer shell, so that two separate products could be created. The helmet must have a street look and pass the required CE certification. It should incorporate the REKD branding and not surpass a set pricing target for this product.

The problems:

The first version of the Elite helmet used an open mould available to other brands. It was vital to develop our own shape and counter some of the issues from the original helmet.

  • Users said our first helmet looked too large on their head, even when wearing the correct size. Therefore, it was important to create a snug, lower profile helmet.

  • Having only used ABS outer shells before, REKD wanted to create both an ABS and PC shell to create two different priced helmets that offered great protection but at different weights.

  • The original Elite was designed for the Asian market, which has a different ergonomic profile that our targeted European market. The original had space on the upper sides of users' heads where the EPS did not touch their heads, making it less comfortable.

  • We had feedback that the Elite helmet was very hot, so we wanted to create better airflow through the helmet to keep users cool.

  • Whilst users should wash their helmet liner many don't, which can build up bacteria.

The Opportunity

REKD had established itself in the market but needed to build its brand and image within its products. The opportunity was to create the first set of in-house designed helmets that incorporated the REKD styling, making its second ABS shell helmet, and its very first PC shell, that would compete against other brands at a higher price. It was also a chance to improve on the existing design of the original Elite 1, by solving the outlined problems we had been given from user feedback.

Helmet Shape

The Design

Collaborating with the REKD Brand Manager to create designs suited to the REKD aesthetic, looking to address the low profile, and inner head shape and creating it ready for both manufacturing processes.

  • When working through initial sketches I worked closely with the REKD brand manager to ensure that he felt that it looked like a REKD product and followed the brand values.

    This then developed into creating 3D mock-ups, where we could test a new head shape fit on users, as well as ensure all sizing was correct.

    Once we had strong concepts our factories were consulted to ensure we could utilise different manufacturing methods as well as ensure that the helmet would reach testing standards.

Prototyping Result

A new low profile and more comfortable European fit, ready for an ABS and PC shell.

  • During this phase of prototyping, it was important we developed a new inner head shape for the helmets. REKDs previous helmet was designed for the Asian market, where ergonomically head shapes are more round than oval compared to the European market. Several variations were made and tested with users in three different sizes.

    It was important to also design this helmet in collaboration with the factory to use their expertise in mould design so that we could create a design that would work using two different material shells, ABS and PC. This would make it possible to have two price points for the same helmet, offering different technology and weights.

    These concepts were also checked they would conform to the global helmet standards for the sports in which they would be used. We used these test results to determine how we could control EPS thickness to create a slimmer, more snug profile for the user, to avoid the helmet looking large on their head.

Airflow & Liner

Prototyping Result

Better airflow with anti-bacterial properties.

  • Several concepts were developed where we added grooves in the inside of the helmet to guide the air through the vent holes and out the rear exhaust. We gained knowledge on how our new shape would change the airflow and how users felt wearing the helmet for prolonged periods of time.

    The research was done to find several anti-bacterial padded inserts to place inside the helmet. We sampled several of these and tested them for comfort and longevity. Once we had a chosen final material, the inserts were designed to work with the airflow, and follow the aesthetic of REKD, without being visible through the vents, and to ensure maximum comfort.

Ergonomics & Human Factors

Understanding user habits and providing a well ventilated, bacteria preventing helmet

  • User surveys were conducted to see how often users washed the liner of their helmet. Less than 8% had ever washed it. This was a key insight that led to the addition of an anti-bacterial liner. This, in combination with the increased airflow, resulted in a helmet that stayed "fresh" by actively fighting bad user habits.

The Result

A comfortable and breathable, park helmet that can be manufactured for different price-points.

  • Increased and more surrounding head airflow to create a breathable and sweat reducing helmet, that can be manufactured with an ABS or a lightweight PC shell. A new inner cavity head shape to ensure a comfortable European fit, with antibacterial liners to account for users failing to wash the liner.

REKD Elite 2.0 & Ultralite

Our most successful helmet yet. These helmets have been our most popular selling and have achieved our intention of being used in a range of sports. We achieved solutions to the products that we had outlined, and were able to produce the design in both the ABS shell and the lightweight PC shell. This project needed successful collaboration between myself as a product designer, the brand manager, and our factories. From the success of this helmet, we have managed to re-invest profits to create more helmets that have specific sports.