Behind the Brand: S-One Helmets
|Founders||Dan McCashin & Chris Terins|
|Disciplines||Skateboard, Longboard, BMX, Scooter, Roller Derby|
When prospective company owners choose to start up a new deck brand or wheel company, their primary focus is often to have fun. For those who choose to launch a brand of helmets, the name of the game is providing quality protection that could prove to be the difference between life and death. To be at the top of this game, those in this space must be both different and superior. In the case of S-One Helmets, this is precisely what they have accomplished through the release of their flagship, S1 Lifer Helmet.
From the beginning, S-One started off on a similar trajectory to other brands in the protective gear space. Though they have been making certified helmets since 2002, S-One as well as every other helmet brand in the industry focused their efforts on non-certified, soft foam helmet manufacturing. The problem here was that public perception suggested these helmets were effective while lab testing proved that the impact energy from these helmets actually permeated through the helmet and rattled the brain. However, the extensive R&D process to come to this conclusion took time to reach a point of maturity that would only surface eight years later in 2010.
At that point Co-Founder, Dan McCashin, felt confident in his conclusion of having made the ultimate certified helmet, dubbed the S1 Lifer Helmet. Acting on his claim, S-One went on to cease production of all their other non-certified helmets. Nevertheless, the skate shop community was reluctant to abandon their current offering of non-certified helmets as the manufacturers continued to produce them and consumers continued to buy them. Speaking on these misconceptions, McCashin said,
“Most consumers and skate shop owners did not know what made a certified helmet certified and what the difference was between the two. Nor were they able to decipher one from the other. The real issue was that no helmet manufacturer, up until us, ever attempted to explain the differences to people in terms that they could understand.”
In response, S-One launched a media-based effort to educate skaters, parents and members of the general public on those critical differences. Starting in the lab, the team tested the S1 Lifer against soft foam helmets from other major brands and proved how they stood up to impact ratings in both the the High Impact/CPSC test and the Multiple Impact/ASTM test. In both cases, S-One Helmets were proven to reduce 5x more impact energy to the head and brain.
To explain the specifics of this helmet, diving straight to the middle is the best place to start. Doing away with the proven ineffective soft foam, S-One pioneered its signature FuS1on Foam to take its place. Serving multiple purposes, this foam is designed to be soft enough to disperse energy across multiple impacts but thick enough to disperse the energy of high impact situations. With a proprietary blend of low, medium and high density beads to comprise the inner layer of foam, a hard plastic outer shell locks everything in place and provides an exterior layer of security. With the aforementioned passage of both CPSC and ASTM testing, the S1 Lifer helmet is scientifically proven to be the safest helmet in the skateboarding world.
Nevertheless, these discoveries have been made in a world where the perpetuated image of a skateboarder is one where helmet use is nonexistent and the general consideration for helmet awareness a takes a back seat. Acknowledging this, S-One knows that they cannot force skaters to wear helmets. Instead, they remain keen on positioning themselves as a reputable provider of knowledge in the safety department and making “really high quality, thoughtfully designed products that are comfortable to wear and work at an exceptional level when tested” as McCashin articulated. Regardless, McCashin remains encouraging of skaters seeking out their helmets advising,
“Open your mind, be true to yourself and don’t be bullied by the public opinion created by a non-discerning industry that does not have your best interest in mind. Your brain is your hard drive and you only get one so treat it well.”
In publicizing messages like these, the minds behind S-One remain focused on creating a community of skateboarding “lifers.” As the namesake behind their hallmark product, the concept of being a lifer is best described as one who commits their lifetime to their endeavors and does whatever they can to ensure a lasting future in their given pursuits. For skaters, this means strapping on a helmet to expand their lifespan on the board. As McCashin summed it up, he said “We see the Lifers as the people who love, breathe and live their passions every day and want to be there for the long haul to experience them all. Get a Lifer. Be a Lifer.”
To grab one of S-One’s premier helmets from our online shop, feel free to do so here or reach out to us directly here for any helmet-related comments, concerns or other questions.