POC unveiled its latest race helmet, the Skull Orbic Comp, at the Ski World Cup Opening in Sölden. Following FIS rule changes and recent findings of the forces the brain is exposed to during giant slalom racing, POC has pushed the boundaries of innovation and safety to bring helmet performance to a new level.
For the 2013/2014 ski racing season the International Ski Federation, FIS, has announced new helmet rules for all Downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom events on World Cup and Continental Cup level. The new rules are an attempt to improve ski racing safety and was applied at the Ski World Cup Opening in Sölden.
The World Cup premiere in Sölden also marked the official launch of POC’s new race helmet - the Skull Orbic Comp. The helmet has been designed and produced to conform to the new rules from FIS and is engineered with a new approach to protection.
By studying alpine skiers with high-speed cameras, POC could see that some used their helmets to deflect gates in order to find the shortest, and ultimately quickest, line. Also, when examining the helmets used by World Cup alpine racers they were worn out in the front caused by repeated impacts from the gates.
POC contacted Richard M Greenwald, an american biomedical engineer with over 15 years of experience in research and development in sports and orthopedic biomechanics. POC used his testing system, mounting accelerometers inside ski helmets, and had skiers do numerous runs through GS courses with everything being monitored and measured.
– “Our tests revealed repeated impacts and forces as high as 70 g during one single run, equal to the force of two American football players colliding helmet to helmet at full speed. We were struck by the results and immediately realized that we had to re-invent ski racing helmets in order to keep alpine racers safe”, says Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder.
POC initiated a collaboration with Mid Sweden University and the Swedish National Winter Sports Research Center and developed customized lab-testing methods to test the performance of different material combinations, shells and liners in repeated tests and scenarios.
The Skull Orbic Comp is the result of extensive tests, collaboration with leading sports science centers and POC’s experience in developing high performance race helmets. By applying innovative materials and solutions POC has been able to develop a helmet that meet the demands that come with higher speeds, more violent impacts and the repetitive impacts caused by hitting gates.
Skull Orbic Comp has a patent pending deflector panel with multi-impact EPP and POC’s VPD 2.0 compound in the front, which allows gates to be deflected with reduced energy transmission to the head. The VPD, combined with the multi-impact EPP, decreases the transmitted energy from hitting gates by as much as 50% compared to existing race helmets. The deflector panel also protects the liner of the helmet, which maintains the integrity of the helmet and ensures it performs when you need it most; during a real crash.
– “We salute the new rules from FIS which are in line with the Skull Comp DH helmet that we launched in 2011, for improved safety. Skull Orbic Comp is a further refinement of the Skull Comp DH and is certainly another milestone in ski racing safety for us”, says Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder.
The POC Skull Orbic Comp was introduced at the SIA and ISPO trade shows 2013 and the helmet was one of the winners at the prestigious ISPO Award.
Click here to get to the Skull Orbic Comp product page.