Monday, May 19, 2014

Helmets: Less Stick, More Carrot

Wanna know a secret? Of course you do. C'mere.

No, closer.


Ok, too close. Back up.

I'll tell you something, but you must never ever tell the Helmet Fanatics. Ok? Ok.

I like wearing my helmet. No, really. I do. I love my AYR8, the way it looks, the way it feels, the whole thing. When the time comes that I have to replace it (sometime in the next year or so), I'll most likely get the exact same thing. I LOVE that helmet.

That's why it takes no pressure for me to put it on. There's nothing holding me back. It's comfortable, stylish, and sleek. I love the the way it completes the whole picture, while giving me extra bonuses of sun visor and vents. I LOVE that helmet.

Which is another one of my big frustrations with the Helmet Fanatics. They see helmets as an obligation and a chore, something you because you have to, not because you want to. And I think that's a big mistake. You don't sell something by saying it's a burden and it sucks, but you do it because of insurance premiums and you love your family and THE CHILDREN THAT NOBODY (BUT YOU!!!!!) THINKS ABOUT!!!111!!1!!!!!1ELEVENTYONE!!!!!!! Ugh, what a drag.

You know what's not a drag?


That's Charlotte Dujardin, double gold-medalist from the 2012 Olympics. But look at that helmet. I'm not a particular fan of the smooth leather helmets (I'm a suede lady myself), but doesn't that helmet look amazing? Much much better than a top hat. She looks like an athlete, not a weird throwback to an 18th century gentlemen. Now, that's how you sell helmets.

I've noticed a trend when it comes to a large portion of Helmet Fanatics. There's a lot of sighing and moaning and tsking when it comes to How Dare You Not Wear A Helmet When I Deem It Necessary, but lot of them would gleefully check them off at the slightest provocation. A show? Photographing a sale ad? Riding in a big name clinic? Off goes the helmet, quick as you please. You can call it hypocrisy, but I think it goes deeper than that. When you constantly make the argument that helmets are Just A Thing You Gotta Do But Really Everyone Hates Them, it's not a stretch to say that you may really believe that. So, take the opposite track. Helmets are awesome, and they make you look awesome. Don't you look great in that GPA/CO/One K/Samshield? Doesn't it fit your head like a glove? Why wouldn't you want to look and feel that fabulous?

This is also where the helmet companies need to step up. Right now, there's a wide variety of choices when it comes to English helmets, but western-style helmets are few and far in between. So, I think it would be majorly helpful if they could design some more western-friendly helmets, pay professional barrel racers and reiners and the like to wear them, and market the crap out of them. Make cowboy hats the equivalent on hunt caps: traditional, a throwback to the roots of the sport, but best left for exhibitions and award ceremonies. Make helmets become the cool thing, not the dork signifier.

More Carrot, Less Stick.

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