This is part of a series of articles that looks at entrepreneurs hoping to get their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding. At the time of writing, each of these innovations is currently seeking funding.
Every year, emergency rooms are filled with the tens of thousands of young people who fail to land that skateboarding trick, or lose their balance cycling. Often, the damage is made worse by a refusal to wear a helmet, for fear that the clunky headgear is just too uncool. We’ve previously written about innovations in helmet design which try to change that attitude, such as the Hövding, a wearable airbag for cyclists which makes head protection fashionable. Now a California-based fashion label Impact Reduction Apparel (IRA) have created a product that caters to the entire sports market.
The company’s first offering is the Skull Cap, an inner lining for regular baseball caps which offers a layer of protection for injury prone areas of the head. IRA says the liner is for athletes of all callings, “from skiers and snowboarders, to baseball players and skateboarders”. The design is such that the wearer can simply slot it under any hat or helmet, to ensure they remain protected and stylish.
The liner is made from a range of materials, from a firm layer of performance foam to an impact dispersing polycarbonate. The part of the Skull Cap which sits directly on the athlete’s head also has built in ‘moisture wicking’ functions, keeping foreheads dry in skate parks the world over. As well as being lightweight, firm and durable, the Skull Cap is fully washable and snaps flat for easy transportation.
The team are currently seeking support on Kickstarter, where they are selling the first batch of Skull Caps for a reduced price of USD 45, with a sticker pack and website shout out thrown in. Their mission is to create a safety enhancing product that is appealing to “the style conscious, extreme athlete”; could other companies begin incorporating safety into clothing to achieve the same results?