What is a riding helmet made of?
The first layer of your helmet is the Outermost Layer. This is the layer that you can see, touch, and customise with bespoke options like our Ayr8® With Piping. The types of finishes include leather look, microfibre suede, velvet, jockey skull paint finish and matte paint finish. This layer isn’t just on your helmet for cosmetic reasons – it helps to reduce impact during a fall by allowing the rider to continue movement forward by slipping across the surface of the ground!
Beneath the outermost layer is the Fiberglass Shell. This layer of the helmet provides initial protection against a concentrated impact, such as being struck with a hoof or falling against the sharp edge of a jump. It is able to spread the force of impact before it reaches the next layer, which is the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).
The EPS layer is comprised of energy-absorbing beads that are full of air to form a microscopic bubblewrap for the head. This thick layer is crucial for absorbing and dissipating the energy of an impact. Each time you fall, the micro-bubbles that make up the EPS layer burst when struck to protect the skull. This is why it is so important to replace your helmet after you’ve had a fall: once those beads have burst, they will be unable to offer the same level of protection if you hit your head in the same place again.
The final layer of the helmet is the Headband. This layer is the part of the helmet that moulds to the your head as you wear it and is made of comfort padding and sizing foam. The headband not only adds comfort and precise fit to the helmet, but also mimics the scalp and allows the scalp to use its natural mechanism of protection: slipping across the skull to minimise the forces that induce brain shear.
Together, these four layers offer heavily researched and high technology protection to you across a wide array of possible accident scenarios.