The journey starts in Wrexham, North Wales. a purpose-built factory is where every Charles Owen riding helmet is designed and made by hand.
The process of making the safest possible helmets has been continuously refined since Charles Owen himself made his very first protective helmet in 1911.
They produce approximately 180,000 riding helmets a year to protect horse riders around the world, including the Royal Family. That’s pretty impressive!
Check out the impressive full range of Charles Owen products on our website
Step 1: Design and testing
Before a new riding helmet model hits the production line, it has gone through an extensive amount of design and testing.
The research and development of a helmet is a process that takes up to 12 months.
Step 2: Expanded polystyrene (EPS)
The EPS layer of the helmet is critically important in protecting the brain from a fall.
EPS is comprised of microscopic beads that act like bubble wrap for your head. These burst upon impact to absorb and dissipate the energy.
In our quest for making our helmets ever safer, Charles Owen now manufactures its own EPS using an ultra-refined recipe to produce the finest bubbles possible.
The state-of-the-art machinery is cooled using rainwater collected from our factory roof.
Every EPS mould is weight checked to ensure it offers maximum protection.
The fibreglass material used for the helmet’s shell is first cut to size using templates.
It is then set hard before being trimmed by hand with precision using a diamond-tipped router and sander.
Next, the shells are pre-drilled with ventilation slots and holes to prepare them for attachment of the harness.
The painting of shells is skillfully done by specialist spray-painters wearing protective equipment in a highly ventilated booth.
The shells of jockey skulls have a special texture hand-applied during painting. This rougher surface helps a rider slide across the ground during a fall and reduce twisting of the brain.
Please watch this great video from Charles Owen to give you a little glimpse of the very impressive factory.