Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.
As promised, I am delivering a review of the Ovation Deluxe Schooler Helmet. I ordered mine from Dover’s (the link will open in a new window), and it got here in about 5 days with standard shipping. My favorite thing about this helmet is its appearance. It looks like a much more expensive helmet. It’s streamlined, minimalist, and sits low profile. My second favorite thing is that it’s impossibly lightweight. I rode in it yesterday and literally forgot it was there. It fit snug (thanks to the dial system) without pinching my head, and the nylon harness system has a chin pad that is soft and cushy. I’m not sure the purpose of the visor’s maneuverability (you can flip it up so it gives the appearance of a skull cap with a cover–like we wear on cross-country), but it’s not bothersome. Some of the reviews mentioned that it didn’t do a good job of fitting very round heads, but I’ve found that even within brands, certain models fit differently than others. When they fitted me for my skull cap, I ended up having to go with the most expensive model (of course) because it was the only one that fit correctly.
My only gripe about this helmet is the inner liner. It’s going to get warm around my forehead in the summer, and it doesn’t appear that it will be very sweat-wicking. A CoolMax liner would be awesome, but I understand the lack thereof to keep the price of the helmet low. At $49.99, you cannot beat this helmet. It’s cheap enough to replace if you crash in it (come on, I’m not the only one who’s taken a dump in a helmet and kept on wearing it), and it looks good enough to wear to a schooling show. No mushroom head like you see in other cheap schoolers, and it’s offered in fashionable colors. I am particularly fond of the gray. Thankfully I have no report on its durability in a fall, but it’s ASTM/SEI certified, so I would hope it’s more than capable of keeping my melon from splitting open.
In other news, today is a jumping day for Johnny. It’ll be his first in a few months, so I’m anxious to see if old habits will return. We’ve really focused on shifting his power to his rear end this week, so I’m hopeful he’ll stay balanced and not feel like he needs to fly. And, I’m going to be yelling at myself not to throw my upper body forward. If you’re just getting started, I cannot stress enough the importance of a good trainer or any knowledgeable eyes on the ground to help keep you on track. It is a long and painful road to unlearn bad habits…