Back in December, we along with the rest of Europe’s Snowboarding media were invited to join a Zoom presentation to learn about the two new Wavecel helmets that are available from the 14th Jan in Eu/ 20th Outside EU from Anon. We were also send the Anon Merak helmet to try and out and test.
I’ll say this from the start, I am not someone that usually wears a helmet. I know that is foolish but I have never found one to be comfortable, didn’t make my goggles steam up and also didn’t make me feel like I had a bowling ball on my head. It’s obviously safer to wear one but every time I have worn one in the past, I’ve felt so aware that I have this new thing on my head, that is affects my snowboarding and I quickly go back to wearing a beanie.
A few days after I received the Anon Logan helmet, I actually hit my head pretty hard riding, enough to give me a mild concussion and finish my riding for the day. I figured this was a pretty good time to actually wear the helmet I had been sent to try and here is what I discovered.
Firstly what is Wavecel?
Wavecel is a collapsible structure that is comprised of individual cells that go inside of the helmet. Under an impact, these cells absorb the force of the blow and this is what protects your head in the result of a crash. Similar to a crumple zone in a car, the cells flex to reduce the impact and then the Wavecel glides to help redirect the force away from your head.
I received a sheet of Wavecel to play with and it is indeed very flexible, it shapes around an object and you can feel that it’s strong when you hit it against something. Wavcel has been used previously in Cycling helmets but Anon are the first company to use the technology for snow helmets.
How does the Helmet look?
There are two Anon helmets with Wavecel Technology, The Merak and The Logan. The Logan is the less expensive and more freestyle oriented version of the two, with a more skate helmet appearance, with less ventilation than The Merak which has closable ventilation going across the top of the head.
We received the Merak helmet, which is the more expensive model and designed with freeriders in mind rather than the park styled Logan helmet. Initially, when I opened the box, I wasn’t that keen on the styling of the helmet, this was due to the earflaps that came attached onto the helmet and it’s something I wouldn’t wear myself. Once I removed the earflaps, I liked the look of the helmet a lot more and it now looks closer to the other helmets you see people ride with in parks or contests.
Through the ventilation you can see the Wavecel material in bright green, there will also be versions where this material is black.
How does it feel on the head?
So as I said before, I am traditionally not a helmet wearer dude to the fact they felt too heavy and cumbersome on my head, sometimes to the point where it put me off my riding. The Anon Merak Wavecel instantly feels different. Firstly, it’s incredible lightweight, obviously heavier than a beanie but after a few minutes I genuinely forgot I was wearing it. It doesn’t give you that “I’m wearing a helmet, this feels weird” feeling that I have had in the past.
Secondly, with the Boa system in the back of the helmet, you can micro adjust the fit of the helmet until it fits snugly on your head. This I think is such a game changer to the feeling of wearing this helmet and it really made it more comfortable than the others I have tried.
What makes Wavecel different?
As I previously mentioned, we were invited to watch a zoom presentation from the creators of Wavecel as they talked about the technology, which involved lots of videos of eggs spinning around in jam jars full of water. The eggs we were told symbolised the brain inside the skull and that when the head hits an object hard, the brain rotates and this the cause of most head injuries. In Wavcel’s words “Wavecel is designed to help reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. However, through WaveCel’s collapsible cellular material, the WaveCel structure is able to Flex, Crumple, and Glide, to help reduce the effect of oblique head impacts that generate rotational forces that may cause onset trauma to the brain” You can watch the egg video here
How does the Helmet perform?
I have been wearing the helmet without the earflaps and with a beanie and goggles underneath for the past week and I never thought I would say this, but I do enjoy wearing this helmet. It fits really well, doesn’t feel like I have a bowling ball on my head and it’s so light that I actually forget that I am wearing it after a run. I really like that you can adjust the size with the Boa on the back and the chin strap has a quick release system that uses magnets called Fidlock, this allows me to take it off even with mitts on, something I have struggled with on previous helmets. I’ve used this helmets on really cold days and so far my goggles haven’t steamed up whilst using it, another plus.
Whilst I can’t back up any claims from Wavecel or Anon about how strong the helmet is or if it will protect my head better than other brands of helmet, it’s certainly better for my head than wearing a beanie and this is the only helmet I have worn out of choice for more than a day. If anon’s partnership with Wavecel stops more people getting brain injuries than this can only be a good thing.
The Anon Merak and The Logan are available now from www.burton.com/anon
Whilst we received this helmet from Anon, we have not been paid by either Anon or Wavecel for this review.