What's the benefit of a custom helmet? Any one who has ridden a custom bike or had custom skates made for them knows the answer. There's a reason the pros have their equipment dialed in for their specifications - it makes a difference in comfort and performance. Whether it's dialing in your reach or stack in cycling or stick length and flex, you want to minimize your risk of injury and maximize your performance.
When it comes to the most important part of your body, you can shoehorn your head into a limited number of sizes or you can have your helmet made-to-measure. The technology was once prohibitively expensive, but KAV fabricates every helmet here in the USA and are comparably priced with other high end helmets so why wouldn't you invest in a KAV? Here's a quick hit list of benefits:
- Comfort and fit
- Weight reduction
- Aerodynamic benefits
- Bragging rights
Comfort and fit are the most obvious benefits. When you have limited sizes, you take the bathrobe approach to fitting. Your helmet is bigger than you need and then you cinch it to secure it. Sizing is a bit of a crapshoot, especially if your head shape (round vs oval) and head circumference are not exactly in the median of the population. And if your head is particularly small or large good luck. Made-to-measure is like getting a tailored suit or dress. A fitted helmet makes you look and feel great.
Reduced weight is another benefit. If you're like me and are in between sizes and have to go up a size, that costs you up to 55 grams in a bike helmet and while everyone agrees that rotating weight is the worst, I guarantee that less is more on your neck. In hockey the difference is closer to 100 grams or the difference between the flagship and entry level hockey stick. Eliminating the need for a fit system saves another 15-20 grams and is one less thing to break or malfunction.
Lower drag from a reduced frontal-section. Just as with weight, a custom-sized helmet reduces the frontal cross-section of the helmet which results in a proportional reduction in drag.
Protection. The old adage is, "The best helmet is the one that fits". A custom helmet will stay on and perform more consistently in that we're able to reduce the variation in the impact scenarios. A custom-fit helmet will naturally want to be positioned in the correct location and is less likely to shift and not dependent on a separate fit mechanism to perform.
For simplicity, we discussed comfort, weight reduction, less drag, and more protection in the context of what you're currently wearing. This is before accounting for the superior materials, manufacturing, and design of the KAV helmets, but that's okay we can talk about that next time...