In testing the theory and parts we planned to use, I jumped at any chance to fabricate for Mishimoto’s needs. It’s a perfect segue to put Arkane prototype gear to the test. The more unique the situation, the better. Anticipating possible problems well before they happen is big for me in development, going back to the racing days. Solving a potential failure on a racecar well before it fails in competition creates a greater chance of winning. Identify the weak link before it breaks; it’s a code I carry into Arkane products.
2015 was the year I really learned about plastics, materials, composites, epoxies, headgear geometry, weight offsets on the human head, and more. I had to learn it and learn it fast, and I took that trial-and-error playbook right in to Arkane. Coming from the motorsports industry, I knew that lighter is better. This is especially true if you have to wear a helmet all day, but you also need strong protection. My carbon fiber hoods were a smash hit; they are light and strong, and they look cool. But, they are expensive. (Everyone loves carbon fiber until they have to pay for it!) While it’s still an option for Arkane products, I needed to explore alternatives. We have a standardized list of acceptable materials and their safety ratings, but that was not good enough for me, as I wanted materials to exceed the minimum requirements. We have analyzed many materials from other industries to determine if they exceed standard protection specs. But fancy laboratory tests and guys in lab coats aside, I take pride in conducting my own “tests,” jumping at the opportunity to break something by any means possible! Fear not, these will be posted on an ongoing basis.