Warrior’s new Trojan helmet will be hitting store shelves soon and is already creating a buzz since it is a huge change from Warrior’s current Venom helmet. The Trojan has a distinctly different look, and is also lighter than the Venom.
Helmets are arguably the most important piece of equipment you own. A helmet protects one of the most vulnerable parts of your body (your head) but is also one of those pieces of equipment that needs a cool design for your team to look fly. We spoke to David Livingston, Product Manager for Warrior Sports, about the design process.
“The Trojan was made to compete head to head with our competition at the team level,” said Livingston. “When tasked to revamp the helmet category for the company we really took our time to get feedback from all around the country and everyone wanted the same things: improved performance, fit, and price. From the players to the coaches and the retailers everyone wants a new alternative, but they want something ‘better’ than they were getting today. Our task was to make something that fit today’s look and to improve the protective system at a better price.”
So what does that mean? For Warrior, it meant working on five key areas when designing the Trojan:
- An improved protective system
- A one size fits most sizing system
- A look that could blend in with other helmet styles on the same team
- A fit system that let the player customize the fit for their head shape
- A weight target of 2 lbs
“We knew the look we needed to hit so that took a little tweaking to get things just right, but the look wasn’t the hard part. The spot where we spent the most time was the overall shell size,” said Livingston. “The biggest issue was trying to make the helmet bigger without looking ‘big.’ With all helmets, regardless of sport, the further the shell is from the player’s head the more protective material we can get inside, so we really tried to push the size until we felt we got too much push back from players.”
Warrior was able to reach a size big enough to provide strong protection, but not so big that players feel the helmet is bulky. After reaching the current shell size, Warrior worked on the helmet materials inside the shell to try to create a better fitting and lighter helmet. The helmet weighs a light 1013g, just slightly more than two pounds.
The final step for Warrior was developing the fit system so players could customize the fit to his or her head. The result is a three-piece fit wedge system, with two pieces for the ears and one for the rear of the head.
“This system enables everyone to customize what they need for their own fit,” said Livingston. “You can adjust the fit front to back with the pads in the back (three thicknesses provided) and same thing with the ears (three thicknesses provided) for jaw rattle.”
We asked Livingston about the most important part of designing a helmet. He told us it wasn’t the look, but the protective system and coming up with unique and innovative materials.
“When we started the project I would have told you it was all in the look, but the more I get out with players, coaches and retailers the more that seems to be changing,” he said. “The community at large is ready for a change in helmets and helmet design right now. So we’re already working on our next models and we’re really working from the inside out on these. I actually had a meeting with some NASA guys two weeks ago and we started looking at all kinds of crazy new materials that don’t even exist on the market yet. We know where we want to be in the end, but the protective system is driving the design. So to answer your question directly the most important part is the protective system and materials.”
And of course, then there’s the name. For those of you with your minds in the gutter, knock it off. Warrior says the name is inspired from protection and going to battle.
“I knew we would catch some grief from some people about [the name],” said Livingston. “When you think of a military helmet what comes to mind? Most people think of a Viking’s helmet and the Spartan / Trojan helmet with the horse hair plume on top. So calling it the Trojan makes sense in that regard and we already had the Viking. The other reason for the name was the tale of the Trojan horse. It isn’t what’s on the outside that counts it’s what is on the inside that means the most in the end.”
The Trojan comes in a full range of colors for the shell, chin, and visors, and the option of white or black chin straps. Warrior designed custom decals with ProTuff that are available for order. The helmet is not yet on Warrior’s Web site, but will be released soon.
Some pretty good competition will be wearing the Trojan helmet next year. Among the teams donning the lids include Team USA, Princeton, Denver, and Duke.