Ask yourself this, how long have you had your current riding hat? How many tumbles has your hat encountered? What you must remember is that damage is not always visible to the eye, and you could in fact be putting yourself at risk from serious injury.
Official riding hat standards are a great way to gauge your level of safety, but the standardisation does not differentiate which hats are better equipped for high risk sports. Some hats are more technologically advanced than others… This is where the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) comes into play. To the equestrian world this concept is fairly new, but it has long been established in other sports such as skiing and bike racing. Founded in 1996 by a Swedish Neurosurgeon, MIPS was proven to protect your brain against rotational damage and was found to limit strain on the brain. It has now found its way into the equestrian world.
Charles Owen's MIPS research - does MIPS really make a difference?
Charles Owen have put extensive effort into conducting research around equestrian falls and the impact these falls have on riders’ heads. Their study focused on jockeys and how falling at speed, on grass or sand, could cause serious brain injury. They compared a standard riding hat against a riding hat with integrated MIPS technology in the lining. The results highlighted a clear difference when the jockey fell at speed. The standard helmet offered protection to some extent, but the high impact still caused the brain to rotate more – consequently increasing the likelihood of brain damage and injury to the head. The images below depict how the MIPS technology limited the amount of rotational motion when the fall occurred.
How does MIPS work?
In brief, when you fall and knock your head, the brain rotates due to the impact. The scalp of the rider can only stretch with the movement to a certain extent, therefore once the scalp has reached its elastic capacity the brain will continue to rotate – potentially causing arteries and veins on the brain to bleed. The effects of such brain injury can be life-threatening. MIPS is essentially extra elasticity in the helmet, there to reduce the rotational movement of the brain on impact. Studies have concluded that the rotational liner in MIPS helmets give the head an extra 10-15mm of rotational motion when a fall occurs. This amount may seem small, but the 10-15mm covers the front, back, sides and top of the helmet– reducing the movement of the brain significantly.
The MS1 Pro Jockey skull is available today online and in-store - get yours by clicking here!
Did you know, we also offer a free hat fitting service in-store? Ensure you get the perfect fit and pop into your nearest R&R Country store!