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Helmet Maker Kali Protectives Takes Unwavering Stance on Safety - Velo News

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“Would you rather get hit in the head with a pillow or a hammer?”

The California-based lid brand is focused on safety over style.

Kali Protectives’ Bryan Mason asked that rather daft question last week to prove a highly salient point: though most would quickly pick the pillow, Mason believes that many accidentally pick the hammer during a helmet purchase.

It’s not totally our fault; the marketing machines of helmet manufacturers don’t use protection bywords like “low-density foam,” “low-speed impact,” or for that matter, “safety.” And the reason they don’t is simple: talking about saving our brains when we crash isn’t sexy; we don’t want to hear about, and it doesn’t sell helmets. We want low weights, cooling, and good looks.

But buying a helmet on these attributes is like picking a restaurant because you like the cutlery. Everyone loves a nice fork, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Kali Protectives owner and principle founder Brad Waldron is in the business of selling helmets, but he’s an engineer by trade and a father at heart. A father of children who play impact sports, cycling included, Waldron, formerly of Specialized Bicycles, is trying to design helmets that do what they’re intended to do — protect our brains from going splat inside of our skulls when we take a digger. It’s obvious when chatting with Waldron about his work that he wants to build a better and safer helmet.

It’s not an easy task, as most of the market is concerned with aerodynamics, ventilation, and weight.

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