What are the HPA safety standards?
Following a comprehensive review the HPA Stewards have approved a future amendment to the rules for Protective Equipment (Rule 2.3b of the 2016 HPA’s Rules and Regulations) that, from 1st January 2018, all players shall wear a helmet that is Kite Marked and Certified to PAS 015:2011 standard as minimum.
Before 1st January 2018, the HPA recommendation is that all players wear Kite Marked helmets that do meet the PAS 015:2011 standard which is already compulsory for Pony Club players.
How does the Instinct Polo helmet meet these standards
The Instinct helmet passes the Equestrian safety standard – PAS 015:2011 and has been awarded the Kitemark for its control and manufacturing methods. Tests include impact against both flat and acute angled surfaces and penetration from a sharp object. Furthermore, with revolutionary new materials and a unique design, the Instinct helmet has minimised dangerous recoil after an impact – which significantly decreases the chances of brain damage or concussion.
Between two shells – a carbon inner and a specially woven impenetrable carbon composite outer, is a super lightweight aluminium honeycomb core. Unlike EPS it retains no heat and has no recoil. It crushes uniformly down to a fraction of its size – absorbing and decelerating impact as it does so.
The size and shape of the traditional polo peak has created a significant danger to players due to its distance from the spine and the extra leverage created. Flexible peaks can only lesson this risk. However the Instinct helmet has a unique removable and crushable peak which on impact actually cushions a fall and reduces the forces of an impact. In a moving accident the peak will detach further reducing the chances of neck injuries.
Everything inside the helmet can either be washed or wiped clean. The padded headbands come in three thicknesses and are made from a super soft sponge covered in Coolmax material. By choosing the correct headband, the adjuster at the back and the three point harness, a tight fit is always assured.
Instinct Sports Ltd was created by Jonathan Hardy, who left Masuri cricket helmets in 2014 – a brand he created in 1989.
With over 25 years experience in the protective helmet business, supplying the majority of the world’s top players – Jonathan embarked on a new project – to make the best equestrian polo helmet. Alongside his similarly experienced manufacturing partner, Silvio Perna, they embarked on an intense testing and development process that took three years to produce a helmet that they were satisfied would revolutionise players comfort and safety – and still have the traditional polo helmet appearance.