I have now had a Skook (small shell) for approximately four months and so have had a good while to get to know the ins and outs of the helmet. I’ll be reviewing the design in four main sections: construction/safety, outfitting, look, and availability/price. I’ll also be comparing it to a few other helmets I know of.
According to the happy-2b website all of their helmets are made out of “composite material reinforced with: carbon, aramid and fibreglass”, which seems pretty standard for most composite lids. However, this doesn’t mean all helmets constructed this way are bombproof. In the case of the Skook, which does meet EN CE 1385 standards (www.happy-2b.com/html/news/ce.html) there is significantly less flexibility when compressed as compared to for example the Happy-2b 12b helmet (which incidentally is pending meeting the EN CE 1385 standard).
The actual design of the helmet in terms of which bits of your head it covers seems slightly more protective as compared with other playboating lids such as the Sweet Strutter and the Shred Ready Shaggy, with better coverage of the temples and good coverage of the back of the head. However, when comparing it to a helmet more geared towards river running such as the Sweet Rooster/Holy Diver there isn’t really that much comparison because a helmet that covers more bits of your head is generally going to be more protective.
Since owning the helmet I’ve hit my head badly once, which has resulted in some slightly weak spots appearing on the inside of the helmet. I was incredibly fortunate that I was wearing a composite lid compared to a plastic lid, because I’m fairly convinced a plastic helmet would not have given me the same protection.
To get a helmet that fitted me properly has always seemed a bit of a mission due to having a small head, with the Skook however I managed to get a good fit without putting in any extra padding. The outfitting consists of mini cell foam which really keeps your head nice and warm, a velcro style (kind of stronger and isn’t affected by wetness) “occipital lock” which means a strap of velcro on the forehead and the same on the back of the head, which you can tighten to get a solid fit, although you do have to make sure you press hard when connecting the velcro because it can come off if its not on properly. The webbing can be tightened from two separate places, one is the standard bit near the chin and another buckle sits behind the ear, which can be tightened to get a really good fit.
There’s no getting away from it, in my opinion the Skook looks really cool, and whats better is that its not the uber popular Sweet Strutter! Although North Wales, can be pretty remote, I still haven’t seen anyone else with a Skook!. The fact that it’s a Happy-2b lid also means that you can pretty much design the graphics yourself and they are pretty willing to go with whatever you ask them to do. I asked them to suggest anything they thought might look better, they suggested a slight change, and it probably looks better for it. Although it was mighty tempting to emulate some of the fabled helmets from the film Top Gun, I decided to go with a fairly subtle design.
With there being no distributors in the UK for Happy-2b, I had to order mine from the Happy-2b website and it took approximately 3 weeks to arrive. I paid via paypal (www.paypal.co.uk) which was ok, but it meant I had to wait for the registration process to sort itself out before I could buy the helmet. I’d much rather have gone to a shop, been able to try it and then bought one, it would have made it cheaper because I wouldn’t have had to pay postage from the Netherlands, which I think was about £15. All in all it cost £96 which in my opinion is a good price for a good quality helmet, as the Strutters cost around £125, and the Shaggy costs around £99. In my opinion you get what you pay for with helmets, and as its there to protect your head its worth spending a bit extra to at least get a composite helmet.