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Equestrian Safety First : Why It Matters?

Freejump Equestrian Airbag Safety Vest "Zip'In 2" Standalone

There has recently been a spat of random accidents of horse riding. Fortunately, most of these incidents have been trivial.

The sport of horse riding (show jumping in particular) has become faster with better horses and better riding ability in general. The bar is being raised constantly. Add to that, the complexity of the variations in the footing. The courses are becoming more and more technical. All these changes add variables that may alter the possibility of accidents.

Lately, there have been some tragic accidents in the sport. While it is hard to say specifically what caused these accidents, what is clear is the critical need for safety equipment. Other active motion sports such as motor cycling and car racing have had safety implements in place for decades now. The stricter safety standards adopted by the regulatory bodies governing these sports have played a positive role in increasing safety overall. There has been a drastic reduction in injuries and the severity of the injuries. You do not see a car racing driver without proper safety gear and equipment. Same goes for football players, motorcyclists etc.

Why should it be any different for horse riding? If no safety options are available, there is nothing to argue. However, we have been selling Safety Stirrups, Safety Helmets for years. Starting earlier this year, we have introduced Airbag Safety Vests that offer body protection from injuries.

The time, cost and energy associated with injuries can be debilitating. It does not have to be. With proper safety equipment, we can all contribute to making the equestrian sport a bit safer.

Safety Stirrups

The top rated safety stirrups were introduced by us to the Americas back in 2013. Since then, Freejump has become synonymous with “safety stirrups”. The branch release system invented by Freejump was revolutionary. Since 2013, lots of other brands have attempted to launch safety stirrups. However, Freejump has been the clear winner. When it comes to foot positioning, balance, shock absorption, the Soft Up Pro Plus and Soft Up Classic

Helmets

With such a large range of helmets, we have difficulty listing even a few. In no way, is this list all-inclusive. WE have listed some of our top safety helmets.

Safety Vests

If you are interested in reading about the details of how these airbag safety vests work, here are a few links:

First, let us clarify what these vests do. They are not meant/designed to protect you from every possible accident. What they do offer is protection for your full spinal column (top of the neck to your tailbone) in the event you are launched off your horse. The airbag safety vests work off a simple principle based on body weight and tension. The lanyard that attaches to your saddle, when extended away and outward with enough body force (exceeding 78 lbs), will deploy the airbag.

Over the last year or so, we have had immense positive customer feedback about these airbag safety vests. While some people were initially hesitant about these vests, most have grown very accustomed to this vest as part of their must-have equipment. Several of our clients have said they now would not ride without these airbag safety vests. Simply, the ability to walk away from an injury is invaluable.

Conclusion

We hope with this post, we have convinced you to at least start thinking about safety. There is equipment that has proven to reduce injuries and downtime. Why not use it ? As always, it is your turn now. Let us know your thoughts, whether related to general safety vs specific concerns about a certain type of equipment. Do you own any of these products? What do you think? Write below in the comments.

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What’s New From Charles Owen – 2021 (MIPS and more)

Charles Owen has always enjoyed a strong reputation in the helmets space. They have a long tradition of producing helmets that meet stringent safety requirements. Charles Owen has taken a giant leap in helmet technology and comfort with 2 new MIPS ready helmet. Officially, these helmets arrive in April 2021. We are super excited to share this news with you, as lots of our customers have been eagerly awaiting a MIPS model from the major helmet manufacturers.

Welcome “Halo MIPS” and “Luna MIPS” helmets from Charles Owen

We are pleased to introduce the newest lines of MIPS ready helmets by Charles Owen. Before we delve into the specific features and differences of these 2 helmet models, let us first cover the common base.

  • Both “Halo” and “Luna” are MIPS ready
  • Both “Halo” and “Luna” are ASTM, SEI and PAS015 compliant.
  • Both “Halo” and “Luna” have removable and washable inner liners.
  • Both “Halo” and “Luna” are lightweight helmets with attractive design elements.

Now for the differences:

  • Halo is the higher end helmet, Luna is mid-end. Halo Pricing starts at $540, Luna starts at $275
  • Halo has the high end real soft non-allergic chin-strap, Luna comes with the regular chinstrap.
  • Halo features a leather application on the underside of the brim of the helmet

In short, we are super excited to be introducing this helmets. Not only has Charles Owen taken a huge leap in helmet design, it is also leading on the forefront of helmet safety by adding MIPS capability to all their helmets.

Why is “MIPS” important?

While MIPS is not a safety standard or rating, it serves as an additional layer to provide safety to the head. MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. It provides added protection from angled impact to the head. Detailed information about MIPS can be obtained at mipsprotection.com.

Halo Helmet Models (optionally with MIPS)

The following helmets are available from the Halo line .

Luna Helmet Models (optionally with MIPS)

Just like the Halo line, the Luna is available in regular/standard brim/peak as well as wide peak.

Get Ready to Ride Free and Safe with Charles Owen “Halo” and “Luna”

These 2 new models were introduced by Charles Owen at WEF 2020-2021 during 2 weeks in February. So dramatic was the response to these helmets, that they sold out of all their inventory. We are eagerly awaiting our order of these helmets. We are the first in the Americas to get these helmets. We want to hear from you. If you have any questions/comments, please write below in the comments.

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Airbag Safety Vests: Care and Maintenance

Airbag Safety Vests are the new “must-have” safety equipment of 2020. And it is not without good reason. So far, all our customers love the look, comfort and most importantly, safety of the Helite and Freejump airbag safety vests. The track record (although they have only been out for less than 1 year) has been impressive. First hand accounts from our customers confirm that the vests really deliver on their promise.

In this post, we attempt to answer your questions related to the care and maintenance of your airbag safety vests. If you have questions, please feel free to Contact Us or write your question/comment in the Comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

Can I wash these airbag safety vests?

NO. That is a BIG NO. These airbag safety vests are NOT Machine Washable. Washing them will void the warranty coverage. The built-in airbag system may get damaged in the washer.

If I can not wash them, how do I keep it clean?

Simple. Just wipe clean and let it air. Take a damp cloth and wipe the inside and outside carefully. Please be careful to not let water seep into the cartridge socket at any time.

Do they stretch a bit after use?

Yes, slightly. The built-in airbag upon expansion, does cause the airbag vest to stretch a bit. That is the reason, we insist that on a snug fit when buying.

Can I dry clean these?

Because the inside of the safety vest contains an airbag system, we recommend against dry cleaning as well. The dry clean process may damage the airbag mechanism.

How do I clean the cartridge socket?

Just wipe it clean of any dirt and debris. Do not hose it down as the cartridge mechanism can get damaged and rusted, thereby disabling the airbag entirely.

My airbag will not inflate fully. What happened?

It is best to contact the manufacturer (Helite) to address all warranty issues. If you are in Wellington, Florida, feel free to bring the airbag to our store on Pierson Road. We can help you.

I have more questions. Who can I contact?

Contact Us or leave a comment below. We will respond to you ASAP.

Is the maintenance for Freejump vest same as Helite?

Yes

My vest stinks. What do I do?

There is no simple answer to this. Actually, it is simple. Get more than 1 vest. Since you will be using these vests everyday and for competition, you will need more than just 1. We recommend starting with atleast 2 and then adding on.

Conclusion

We hope we have answered your questions related to Helite/Freejump airbag safety vests. If you still have questions or have a tip to share, please enter in the Comments section below. As always, do not hesitate to contact us for any questions. We are here to help.

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Helite vs Freejump : Airbag Safety Vests Comparison

You may already have noticed a lot of your fellow riders are wearing the airbag safety vests. If you are on the fence about these vests, we are here to help. In this blog post, we specifically compare the 2 airbag safety jackets side-by-side to help you with your decision making.

First, let us start with what is common between the airbags

Helite Airbag Safety Vest with Full Protection "ZipIn2"
Helite Airbag Safety Vest with Full Protection “ZipIn2”
Freejump Equestrian Airbag Safety Vest "Zip'In 2" Standalone
Freejump Equestrian Airbag Safety Vest “Zip’In 2” Standalone

Technology

The underlying technology is the same. By “same”, we mean identical. In fact, the Freejump airbag safety vest is also manufactured by Helite. That is correct. Both the Helite and Freejump vests are made by Helite in France. As you may know, Helite is a world leader in airbag technology. Their expertise is deep in the airbag space, regardless of sports/activity. Whether it is cycling, motorcycling or equestrian, they incorporate the latest airbag technology in their products. So you can be rest assured that with either of these vests, you are getting the very best in airbag safety technology.

Manufactured In France

Both the airbag vests are manufactured by Helite in France. The materials used for manufacturing the airbag as well as the outer shell are identical.

Now that we have covered the common ground between these 2 top rated safety vests, let us discuss the differences.

Show Jacket Compatibility

So far, we offer the 2 models from Dada Sport that are airbag-compatible. There are currently no airbag compatible show jackets for Men. Both the models from Dada Sport are designed for women. The two models are :

Since the underlying airbag technology is the same, the show jackets that are approved for use with Helite are also approved for Freejump. The converse holds true as well. There is a small point to note here:

The Freejump Airbag Safety Vest is called “Zip-Free”, whereas the Helite Vest is called “Zip’In 2”. The “Zip-Free” implies that the vest does not need to be zipped inside of a show jacket or outer vest. i.e. you can simply wear a compatible show jacket on top of your Freejump vest.

The Helite vest has a zipper bordering the lapel and collar. This allows it to be “zipped in” to a compatible show jacket or another vest. Keep in mind, you do not have to “zip in” to a show jacket. You can simply wear the show jacket on top without any loss of safety.

Care and Maintenance

These airbag safety vests are not machine washable. The airbag will get damaged, if washed. We have another post on how to care and maintain your safety vest.

Sizing

In general, the Freejump vest is a bit more athletic fitted than Helite’s vest. Of particular difference is the cut around the shoulders area. The size charts for both vests are shown below for easy comparison.

Size Chart for Freejump Airbag Safety Vest

Freejump Airbag Safety Jacket Vest Size Chart in Inches
Freejump Airbag Safety Jacket Vest Size Chart in Inches

Size Chart for Helite Zip In 2

Zip In vs Zip Free

The Helite safety vest is called a “Zip In”. This implies that the vest can be zipped inside of a compatible show jacket. Please note that the zipping it is NOT required. The “zip in” design is essentially to keep the new safety vest backwards compatible with the airbag-compatible show jackets by Dada Sport.

For those customers that have the original 2-piece Zip In from Helite, the outer garment can be zipped onto the Zip In 2 vest easily.

Conclusion

Do you own either of these vests? What has been your experience? We want to hear from you, so leave us a comment below. Are you in the market for a safety vest? Did you have a question we can answer for you? Ask us your question below.

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What’s New for KASK Equestrian in 2021?

We have been super excited about the KASK brand in general, ever since they first stepped into the equestrian market back in 2015.

A few new notable changes are coming for KASK in 2021.

Sizes 60 (US 7 1/2) through 63 (US 7 3/4) available in KASK Dogma Star Lady Helmets

KASK is introducing 4 new sizes for its most popular helmet line: The KASK Star Lady helmets (including Star Lady Shadow, Star Lady Chrome, Star Lady Hunter) will be available in sizes 60, 61, 62 and 63. Until now, the Star Lady line of helmets was limited to sizes 51 through 59.

Because of higher demand, KASK is introducing these larger sizes. We have these helmets in stock in the newer sizes. We are very excited about this move as the Star Lady line of helmets is the most popular KASK line.

These new sizes are available in all the Dogma Star Lady Helmets (wide brim)

NEW Equestrian Styled Groom Bag Backpack

KASK is also launching a new product: an equestrian backpack in 2 different sizes. This is new teritorry for KASK as they traditionally have a background in safety helmets. We are super thrilled to start carrying these backpacks as well. If we were to describe these backpacks in one word, it would be “SLEEK”. The backpacks are available in 2 different sizes: 22 Litres capacity and 26 Litres Capacity.

Chinstrap Cover designed for ultra-comfort

A few people have sensitive skin under their chins. This causes rashes or allergies from the rubbing of the chinstrap. Worry not anymore! KASK Equestrian has just launched a very small and thin helmet chinstrap cover that envelopes the existing chinstrap of your helmet.

Shhh….A new line of helmets from KASK is coming soon

For obvious reasons, we can not disclose all the details here. Just note that we are super excited about a new line of collection from KASK is going to hit the market in a month or so. These new helmets are Made In Italy as well. Stay tuned for more updates.