Riders are looking for flexibility and comfort, as well as protection. In order to be fitted with the correct level of protection – make sure you find the BETA Level 3 (Purple label) which offers the highest level of protection and is suitable for all normal riding activities, competitions and high risk situations.
We find it is helpful if the rider brings the saddle that they ride in to the shop so that we can fit them sitting in the saddle. Often body protectors are fitted far too long, and then knock the back of the saddle which then in turn, puts the rider off balance. There is a fine line between getting as much protection at the back and front without causing any interference. Generally we find most people are better off in a shorter back length but every fitting is tailored to the individual.
We are able to work from detailed measurements, so that fitting can be done at home with the guidance of our measurements.
Generally we find that for riders that want more flexibility within a body protector, the Racesafe RS2010 is the one that tends to meet these requirements. It is made of up to 80 independently hinged foam sections to ease movement and airflow. There is adjustability at the sides which are laced and we have found that they can be made to fit almost anyone and are available in any colour.
On the air jacket front, we have stocked the Point Two Pro air jackets since their inception and are now also stocking the Treehouse Air Jacket by the original manufacturers of air jackets, Helite. The air bag system that Helite invented has taken safety to the next level. The benefit of the air jacket is that they are so light and easy to wear and can be worn on their own or with a body protector underneath.
Designed to inflate within 0.1 second, the Treehouse Air Jacket systems has the market’s quickest trigger time. Designed when inflated, to withstand up to a tonne of weight, it is the only product that will give the rider protection from a crushing injury for example from a rotational fall where the horse may well land on top of the rider.
The benefits of fitting an air jacket, mean that we can ensure that the spine has total coverage as it is made of a soft material which won’t interfere with the back of the saddle. It’s only when inflated that it supports the length of the spine from beneath the hat at the nape of the neck right down to the coccyx.
We strongly advise wearing an air jacket with a body protector, and this is mandatory for competing purposes. Again, when it comes to fitting we have had the most success with the Racesafe RS2010 which fits snuggly under the air jacket.