Giro: New Ideas to Enhance the Ride

Giro: New Ideas to Enhance the Ride

At the New Zealand Winter Games last year, during a halfpipe run in horrible conditions, Olympic silver medalist Mike Riddle landed switch, hooked an edge and fell backwards. He slammed down at the bottom of the pipe, taking a hit to the head that was so hard it cracked his helmet.

“When you see someone go down like that, they’re almost always knocked out,” says Giro team manager Todd Kupke. “He skied to the bottom and was a little shaken up, but was okay. It was definitely the first time I’d seen the helmet get put to the test to that extent.”

The helmet that Riddle put to the test was the Giro Combyn. Made with Giro’s Soft Shell Construction, the helmet pairs a proprietary, flexible outer shell with a patent-pending, impact-absorbing liner made of dual density foam called Vinyl Nitrile (VN).

“I like the Combyn because it protects my head like no other, and I like the way it looks,” says Riddle, who also uses Giro helmets to mountain bike and road bike. “With how light and comfortable they are these days, and given the low-profile look, there’s no reason not to wear them on the hill every day.”

Like all of Giro’s helmets, the Combyn was designed at a facility called “The Dome,” which is located at the company’s headquarters in Santa Cruz, California. The Dome is the backbone of Giro’s R&D and houses the brand’s industrial designers, engineers and masters of the helmet creation process.

20140423_barkerfoto_1333Justin Dorey with the handplant. Photo by Ashley Barker

In addition to hard science, the brand also looks to its athletes for feedback. Skiers like Daron Rahlves, Ingrid Backstrom and Riley Leboe visit Giro headquarters or meet on location to test new product concepts and give feedback on fit, function and prototype designs.

Drawing upon input from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences, Giro brings the new Discord helmet to the table this season. Aimed at all-mountain and backcountry skiers, it incorporates features such as the self-adjusting Auto Loc 2 Fit System and Thermostat Control, an adjustable venting system for adapting to changing temperatures. Like the Combyn, the Discord utilizes dual density Vinyl Nitrile (VN) foam liner and a proprietary flexible outer-shell material. Both helmets manage high-and-low-energy impacts and provide unmatched durability. Whether your helmet is getting tossed in the back of a truck or banging against your skis while hiking the pipe, it will stand up to the everyday wear and tear that’s all part of the game.

Giro’s R&D doesn’t stop with helmets either. On the goggle side, the brand’s EXV goggle technology creates increased peripheral vision and offers an overall expanded field of view while keeping the goggle frame compact and wearable.

In addition to the model that started it all, the spherical Onset, EXV extends throughout the line for the 2014-15 season. In addition, EXV technology can be found in a slightly more compact model called the Compass, and its women’s-specific counterpart, the Field. The team-designed Blok goggle also packs EXV tech in a retro looking cylindrical design at a wallet-friendly price. All these goggles offer premium Lenses by ZEISS and Seamless Compatibility with the entire line of Giro Helmets.

Whether it’s the aforementioned engineers developing prototypes of new product concepts or athletes like Mike Riddle putting the gear to the ultimate test, Giro continues to draw upon remarkable talent to produce innovative products – ones that truly enhance the ride and provide more enjoyable days in the mountains.

Giro Combyn


“The low-profile, skate-inspired Giro Combyn helmet is purpose-built to withstand imminent impacts encountered in freestyle riding with…” Click for full review.

Giro Discord 


“Giro’s second foray into the world of soft shell helmets, the Giro Discord helmet utilizes a dual density Vinyl Nitrile (foam) liner that absorbs high-energy impacts…” Click for full review.

Giro Field


“The Giro Field goggles are an all- new women’s-specific design that adds another option to Giro’s EXV Collection. The clean aesthetics…” Click for full review.

Giro Compass


“New for 2015, the mid-size Giro Compass goggles are a fresh addition to Giro’s EXV collection and features a spherical dual lens by ZEISS optics…” Click for full review.

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