A lightweight fashion roller skate, capable of reassuring beginners and exciting pro riders while reducing the risk of heel tear.
These helmets embodied the REKD values and have become recognisable across Europe.
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.
REKD focusses on using angular shapes that appear strong, as well as a modern, clean and minimal approach.
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.
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.
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.
The inner head shape changed to a more comfortable fit for the European market.
Designs created for the ability to utilise manufacturing methods to create both an ABS and PC outer shell.
The designs were given a lower profile, making it look more natural on a user's head, while also conforming to testing standards.
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.
Groves were designed to increase the airflow around the helmet to keep the user cool.
New materials were introduced for the liner with anti-bacterial properties.
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.
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.
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.