A few years ago, the helmet scene at WEF was pretty standard. A survey would have been useless because the answer would have pretty much been “GPA” across all three rings.
This year? Not so much!
There are more competitors on the market (I call it the Euro invasion) and the styles do seem to vary more from ring to ring than I have noticed in years past. Of course, these are all just my observations from my few days spent at the show. The pie charts I’m about to show you are not at all scientific, but were taken from me counting the types of helmets I saw in the 600+ photos I took at WEF during week 10.
But there are pie charts, and pie charts are awesome. So, you’re welcome.
The hunter ring isn’t a huge surprise. A bit more traditional means a large number of Charles Owens in the mix. Did I see GPAs? Sure. Did I see any really flash euro style helmets? Not really. Also you have to remember that I definitely didn’t see every hunter class of the week, so this sampling could be a bit off.
The big eq ring was even more conservative than hunters, but again this could have just been a strange sample because a lot of the girls had on white since they were coming from or going to the jumper ring. Do they switch helmets for eq as opposed to jumpers? Maybe! This was definitely the ring where I saw the fewest GPAs of the whole show.
Speaking of GPAs, the only models I noticed were Speed Airs and First Ladies. Didn’t see a single skunk stripe during my entire visit.
As you would imagine, there was definitely a lot more variety in the jumper ring. It seems like Charles Owens and Samshields still rule the day though. I think part of the reason that GPA’s are dwindling in numbers is that the fancy euro type brands (One K, KEP) are taking part of their market share. This is purely speculation though.
One thing I was truly disappointed in, is that I couldn’t identify an IRH helmet the entire time I was there. I know they got their reputation as the “knock off” helmet brand, but I’ve been an IRH wearer for years and genuinely like them. They’re well made, at a great price point and protect my head!
The Grand Prix class/International ring is where I saw the most variety. I attribute that to sponsors! While I’m sure not every Grand Prix rider is sponsored, many are.
Finally overall based off of what I saw and documented. Moral of the story in my opinion? Buy a helmet that fits your head, you can afford and one that you like!
I’m probably going for a Charles Owen the next time I make a helmet purchase, but who knows! What’s your favorite helmet out of these charts?