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CYCLING

Inflatable bicycle helmet doubles sales in Denmark

It might look like many Danes are wearing a cross between a scarf and a belt around their necks this summer, but the accessory increasing numbers of cyclists across the country are taking to is in fact an inflatable helmet.

Inflatable bicycle helmet doubles sales in Denmark
Photo: Jonas Ingerstedt/Hövding/Creative Commons

One supplier in Copenhagen is seeing sales of the Hövding inflatable helmets amount to half a million kroner each month, newspaper BT reported in July.

The helmets, which resemble outsize collars around the wearer’s neck, are activated by powerful movements, inflating to form large inflatable bags around the head, thereby protecting against potential falls.

The success of the innovation has since been further confirmed, with the Swedish company’s results for the second quarter of 2018 showing sales in Denmark to have doubled, Swedish media Dagens Industri reports.

The company’s turnover for the quarter reached 25.2 million Swedish kronor.

17,000 helmets were sold during the quarter, an increase of 102 percent, according to the report.

“June was a particularly good month with 7,605 helmets sold,” Hövding CEO Frederik Carling said.

The helmets cost around 2,000 kroner and cannot be re-used after being activated.

The Danish Traffic Safety Council (Rådet For Sikker Trafik) told BT in July that it did not wish to comment on the inflatable helmet from Hövding, but was positive about the apparent increased number of bicycle helmet wearers.

Hövding’s airbag helmet became an approved and certified product in the EU in 2013. Studies have suggested that inflatable helmets may offer better protection than traditional versions in some cases.

READ ALSO: Danes want to make bicycle helmets the law

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‘The Vikings also wore helmets’: Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad

The Danish Road Safety Council has put the Scandinavian country's Viking past to a hilarious new use: convincing macho Danish men to wear cycle helmets.

'The Vikings also wore helmets': Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad
Svend the Viking does not want to ruin his braids. Photo: &Co

The council’s new advert, “Helmet has always been a good idea”, brings together two somewhat incongruous aspects of Danish life — the country’s love of cycling and its Viking past, using humour to show up some of the silly reasons people give themselves not to wear cycle helmets. 

The advert starts with the imposing Viking chief Svend rousing his men for their next invasion of England. To rhythmic chanting and the blowing of horns, he mounts his steed, brandishing his thick and heavy sword. 

Then, suddenly, his young son comes running bearing his helmet. Svend ignores him, and utters a cry: “To the ships!”. 

After a pause, one of his men nervously asks: “shouldn’t you have a helmet on, Svend?”. 

“No, it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch,” Svend responds sheepishly. 

“I’m a careful rider,” he adds, slightly desperately.

“What do I do when I get there? Run around in a silly helmet?” he adds. 

Then he roars, “It ruins my braids!” 

It’s only when his wife comes out that he finally dons his gleaming headpiece and with the cheers of his fellow marauders all around him makes his way to the longships. 

Then the slogan — “A helmet has been a good idea for all time” — appears on the screen in rune-like writing. 

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