Year: 4th Year Project.
Duration: 16 weeks.
Brief: To design a unique snowsports helmet that offers superior protection from the elements, and that tackles a variety of problems faced by the majority of participants. Many problems derive from the use of a balaclava or buff (used by 57% of helmet wearers) to cover the lower face, which causes fogging in the goggles, as well as discomfort / irritation around the lower face due to cold, damp conditions.
Proposed Solution: The Valkyrie helmet features a detachable, adjustable mask, that offers the user protection across the lower face from sun damage, wind chill and eliminates the need for a buff / balaclava to cover the nose and mouth. It also protects from minor impacts such as a collision with a ski pole, or tree branch.
The mask piece is made from 'Polyurethane (20% Talc)’ which allows the piece to be flexed and stored in a pocket. The mask houses a removable liner that provides comfort and warmth and can be easily removed for washing when required. The mask piece connects to the helmet via a Fidlock SLIDER which combines a magnet and snap fastener that can be easily opened by sliding laterally and attaches automatically. This means the mask can be easily be re-attached without having to remove any gloves.
Q: How is this helmet different from a Ruroc helmet?
A: There are a number of key differences between the Valkyrie helmet and a Ruroc helmet. One such difference is the availability to use any pair of goggles with the Valkyrie, rather than a specific fitted pair. The Ruroc mask is made from a rigid plastic and cannot be easily stored in a pocket when not in use, while the Valkyrie mask can flex and be stored. The Fidlock SLIDER fasteners on the Valkyrie, allow quick mask removability (full or partial) and can easily be re-fastened without having to remove gloves. The Ruroc mask connection is more difficult to remove, and must be fully disconnected.
Q: Why is the goggle strap hook not already attached to the helmet?
A: Some users prefer to wear their goggles under the helmet shell, and have no use for the hook. Some of these users attempt to remove pre-fitted hooks which can weaken the structural integrity of the helmet shell, reducing its safety benefits. By providing the goggle hook but not attaching it, the user can chose whether to (or not to) attach it, depending on his / her desires.
If you have any further questions about the Valkyrie helmet, please contact me via this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concept Boards: Using a Wacom sketching tablet and Sketchbook Pro, I produced three unique digital helmet concepts. Each digital sketch differed aesthetically as well as functionally. I presented these concepts to a variety of potential users and gained feedback based on their responses to each design. My final design took aspects from each concept.
Concept one: A rigid connection between the mask and helmet offers high impact protection and sits away from the users face.
Concept two: A semi-rigid fastening mechanism between the mask and helmet offers mild impact protection and sits snug against the users face.
Concept three: A flexible fastening mechanism between the mask and helmet offers low impact protection and sits snug against the users face.
I recorded a time-lapse video of the process from start to finish for Concept three which can be viewed on this page (RIGHT) or by clicking here.