[pullquote]Remember helmets are like seatbelts – you should wear ’em but you really don’t want to be utilizing them – Chris Terins[/pullquote] Protection: The Lifer helmet uses specially formulated EPS Fusion Foam (hard foam) and offers up to 5x the protection of a soft foam helmet.
Fit: Lifers have a “Deep Fit Design”, it sits lower on the head allowing for a better fit.
Quality: S1 tests every production run to ensure every helmet meets safety standards in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Review: Chris Terins of S1 sent me one of their Lifer helmets to test out. Chris and I had several conversations about helmets and why people (especially kids) don’t wear them. I was never a big proponent of helmets until I had kids; I made them wear one, so I started wearing one. Since I started wearing a helmet, I’ve had two occasions where I could have been seriously injured. I was snowboarding at Winter Park and was hit from behind by someone who was totally out of control; long story short, I caught my back edge and hit my head hard enough to split my helmet in half. That was a game changer for me, and I’ll never ride without one again.
The construction of this helmet is solid, and the level of fine detail really sets it apart. Even the rivets have the S1 logo on them.
I tested the Lifer for about a month, and I have to say I was amazed at how comfortable the helmet is. It sits quite a bit lower than the other helmets I’ve tested, but this offers added protection. Chris also sent me a helmet liner sizing pack, which allows you to really make sure the helmet fits properly. Fortunately, I never slammed hard enough to test out the protection. I went back and looked at some of the other helmets I have and realized most helmets actually have a warning that says they are only intended for recreational, non-advanced use. You’ll find great comfort in all the safety standards the Lifer meets. S1 has a great impact testing video that is really kind of scary, the soft foam helmet fails on the first impact.
Lester Kasai is sponsored by S1, I asked him why he uses the Lifer. His response? “Well, I have a couple of friends who have had major head injuries while skating, and they have suffered irreversible brain damage. They are not the same mentally anymore. I’m 49 now, and I insist on the best protection I can get for my noggin, so I wised up and switched from a soft-foam helmet to the hard-foam Lifer helmet.”
EPS Fusion Foam (hard foam)
Amazing customer service from S1
none – you get to keep your marbles man!
(4.5 / 5)
(5.0 / 5)
(5.0 / 5)
(4.8 / 5)
If you’re not sold by now, here is some background info on S1 from my conversations with Chris Terins.
How long have you been in business?
We started S-One Insoles twenty years ago in 1995. They were super absorbent replacement insoles for skate shoes. We had a rad skate team … Peter Smolik, Dan Drehobl, Lavar McBride, Quim Cardona, Paulo Diaz … And then in the late 90s, Osiris put them in all of their shoes for a few years. That was the biggest check I had ever received. And Tony Mag from Osiris invited me to go over to Korea (all the skates shoes were made in Korea in the 90s in the old Nike factories – Nike had left Korea to go to China and Vietnam), and I had a few days solo in Korea and I was just cruising around and I found a helmet factory ! I grew up skating vert, and always wore a helmet skating vert, so I was instantly stoked.
Why did you start making helmets?
I always wore a helmet skating vert, so when I found the helmet factory I was like “yeah – this is rad.” There was only Protec and TSG at the time. So we started making helmets and calling skate shops. We started making helmets in 1999 or 2000. We were advertising in the skate mags and doing rad collab helmets with pros, so that all helped launch things fast. We ran a lot of ads with Slap, Big Brother, Transworld and Skateboarder magazine.
Who started S1?
My partner Dan and I met in college at Pepperdine University in Malibu. I grew up in NJ and was raised on backyard vert ramps, and he was from Ventura CA and grew up bombing hills, playing in punk bands and skating the streets. We started S-One right after college in our early twenties, and it has always been very DIY.
What makes you different?
In 2010 we noticed that a lot of vert and bowl skaters were getting knocked or worse in traditional soft-foam skate helmets, so we set out to make a better helmet. We made the S1 Lifer Helmet. The Lifer fits deep on your head like a soft-foam helmet, but it’s 5x more protective. The S1 Lifer Helmet really separated us from our competition. Guys that have been skating vert all of their lives truly understand the importance of a quality helmet… Lifers.