Icaro2000 USA

Protect Your Head!

Icaro2000 began making extreme sports helmets in 1998 begining with the classic Skyrunner. All Icaro2000 helmets possess a sport specfiIc E.N. safety certification and are designed and manufactured in Italy.

About Our Helmets

E.N. Certification

The European Union (EU) has sport specific helmet certification standards. Each sport has its own characteristics, and therefore the design of the corresponding helmet is specifically tailored to the relevant EU safety requirements and rigorously tested to meet the applicable E.N. standards. This includes E.N. 966 for free flight sports such as hang gliding and paragliding; and E.N. 1077 for snow sports. All Icaro2000 helmets are tested and certified by CSI, a third party company recognized by the EU.

Principals of Head Protection

A helmet provides protection by reducing the rate of deceleration of the head during an impact. This is achieved by absorbing kinetic energy. In the case of very minor bumps, the rate of deceleration is reduced by the gradual compression of the innermost polyurethane padding layer. In the case of a more abrupt jolt, deceleration is attenuated by the permanent deformation of the inner shell, made of expanded polystyrene. When the amount of energy to be absorbed is much higher, as in a violent impact, the only way of offering protection is by the controlled breakage of the rigid outer shell. A helmet shell that is too robust will not necessarily offer the best protection, and on the contrary it may actually worsen the situation by increasing the rate of deceleration through the rebound effect. The controlled breakage principle determines the optimal shell material and thickness, so that, in the case of a violent impact, it breaks while absorbing the maximum amount of kinetic energy. This same principle is used in the car industry. In the event of a crash, the front or rear part of the car will progressively collapse, absorbing the impact energy and maintaining the inner area of the car intact, protecting the passengers. Therefore, it is normal that the helmet's outer shell should break on strong impacts in order to absorb the shock and prevent its transmission to the head. This is why, even though it may seem a contradiction in terms, a helmet must be handled and used with great care. During storage, it must not be exposed to strong pressure. Most importantly, chin protection and side areas, which are where the helmet should progressively break in order to provide the necessary protection in case of high impact.

The Structure of a Helmet

Outer Shell: Thermoplastic or composite fiber material. These materials give the external shell high perforation resistance, strength, elasticity, and lightness.

Crushable Foam Inner Shell: Expanded polystyrene. It is damaged even by a minimal blow, and in this case the helmet should be replaced. Polystyrene is easily deformable, and in this context its function is to absorb shock by means of deformation and/or partial destruction. A more rigid material would not have the effect of dissipating impact energy, and so it would transmit all the shock energy to the head.

Comfort Lining: Expanded polyurethane breathable non-allergenic textile. Its purpose is to adapt the helmet to different sizes, while also guaranteeing comfort and hygiene. It may be removable and washable.

Vents: provide internal ventilation and air circulation.

Chin Strap: This usually has a rapid fastening system. It was designed for controlled breakage.

Visor: Anti-abrasion thermoplastic material; it may also be anti-fogging. It should be replaced when vision is impeded by small scratches on the surface. In a free flight helmet, a visor has beenshown by wind tunnel tests to be necessary to obtain the best possible aerodynamic efficiency. Studies demonstrate that a helmet with just an aerodynamic tail, without a visor, offers only a very small reduction in wind resistance. The visor also not only increases the helmet's passive safety characteristics, but also its active safety, by increasing the width of the field of vision when compared to the use of any type of sunglasses.

Using Your Helmet

Once you have chosen the most suitable helmet, make sure that you wear it correctly. For safety, it should always fit snugly, and the strap should be tightly fastened. Remember that the helmet should be worn at all times when practicing your sport. Though it is true that a helmet can never guarantee total protection, there is no excuse to forego wearing a helmet. Do not use the helmet without fastening the strap. An unfastened helmet will fall off during an impact, leaving your head without protection in the case of successive impacts. If you keep your helmet in your harness or backpack, don't sit on it, and ensure that it is not exposed to pressure under the weight of other packs and bags. Never modify your helmet, whatever the circumstances. The helmet can be seriously damaged by paints and varnish, types of chemical solvent, and by excessive heat. Do not add painted decoration; do not wash with petrol or solvents; and do not leave your helmet exposed to the sun. A helmet does not have a fixed lifespan. In the absence of any minor or major impacts, a helmet will continue to offer optimum protection for many years. However, it is a good rule to replace your helmet every five years, so that you can benefit from the additional protection provided by the latest generation of helmets.

If your helmet undergoes an impact, whether minor or major, it should be replaced even if there is no visible damage. The inner shell may have suffered a degree of permanent deformation, because it has absorbed the impact. Likewise, if the helmet suffers a sudden blow – such as falling from a table onto a hard floor – microscopic cracks may develop in the outer shell, reducing its capacity for absorbing amore serious impact at a later date.

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