Functioning attire and personal style are two of the strongest forces driving the development of new products for the river sports industry. As this avenue of self expression becomes more and more popular, the average consumer is no longer looking for pure function; but something that is going to do its job and help them stand out from the crowd. Something that catches the eye and creates conversation; “did you see that kayaker with the… blah blah blah” or “Man, that rafter’s blah blah blah was sweet!” When it comes to creating your own style on the river, nothing does you justice like a shiny, new dome piece (that thing you wear on your head). Function is a highly desired quality, especially now that protecting your head is cool again and quickly becoming a legal requirement most everywhere. Because of this, companies that specialize in protective headwear for outdoor sports are seeing a surge in sales. Thus the market, and your options are growing. Whether your craft of choice is a kayak, raft, IK, or SUP, I believe the WRSI Trident is one of the best helmets to accomplish both function, and style.
First, let’s talk function. The WRSI (Whitewater Research Safety Institute) Trident sports a carbon composite shell with three layer impact absorption. An EVA foam liner and a polyurethane sub-shell to boot, you’re getting the best impact protection the market has to offer. WRSI also includes it’s Interconnect retention system, a self adjusting unit, which holds the helmet in place during periods of intense hydraulic pressure (your a** in a hole). This along with the O-Brace Harness which rests against the back of your neck, resisting forward pressure, you’re guaranteed a helmet that will stay where it’s suppose to.
Now, on to comfort. Updated this year, the Trident sports a new breathable vented internal liner, making it one of the most comfortable helmets out there for river sports. The new liner, while breathable, also acts as a great source of insulation on those colder days. Comfort is one of the most important qualities of a helmet for many customers. Ensuring a helmet will be comfy after hours of paddling in addition to providing top notch protection is key when purchasing a new helmet.
On the looks side of things, the Trident is a winner. It’s got just enough of a brim to keep the sun off your face, but not enough to create a bucketing affect when in a hole or strong current. The outside edge serpentines back and forth giving you adequate temple protection as for your Cranio-cervical junction (where the skull meets the spine).
Words by Aaron Formby