How do you pick and measure for the right Equestrian Body Protector?
Body protection cannot be under estimated and safety garments are and equestrian reality – they are here to stay. So, How do you pick and measure for the right Equestrian Body Protector? Innovation and developments in design should be embraced as through time, this will lead to better garments offering more comfort and higher levels of protection, something we all want to achieve.
How does KAN perform so well?
Most BP’s are made from PVC Nitrile foam, which is made of lots of closed cells (bubbles) this means when it is hit it deforms locally absorbing some of the energy, but is permanently damaged. However, the KAN incorporates the advanced “smart foam” technology that has been developed by leading motorcycling body armour manufacturer Knox. The material is a unique Polyurethane foam mixture that has both closed and open cells which compress on impact, allowing the energy to be both absorbed and spread. Its chemical properties mean that it can be moulded to shape which provides several design advantages to the wearer:
it provides support yet is lightweight and flexible, it doesn’t restrict movement in any way
the wearer can breathe deeply which will reduce heart rate and maintain oxygen levels in the blood stream, optimising riding performance
a curved shape is stronger than a flat shape, this feature of the KAN increases protectivity as well as making it more comfortable to wear
the shoulder protection on the KAN is relevant to the point of shoulder and collarbone and does not rely on the arm to hold it in place
the foam edges at the front are actually anchored in place over the sternum and cannot be separated without unzipping
Knox’s foam will not be affected by increasing temperatures (unless extreme) unlike PVC Nitrile foams, which soften in heat.
What are the most important features regarding body protection (what they are and what they do):
The human rib cage is our bodies natural protection of our vital organs, so by further encasing this part of our bodies with a layer or armour, it can withstand significantly more impact should we fall of suffer an isolated blow to that part of our body. Therefore the most important feature of any body protector is that it provides maximum coverage to the ribcage and spine with adequate overlaps at the side and underarm. The Kan body protector offers this supreme protection and the technological foam, which has been developed by motorcycle protective wear experts Knox, is designed to really absorb impacts, also it will not indent if forced upon stones or tree roots, for example.
Protection that allows top performance
Body protectors must fit well and should not be restrictive; otherwise the rider’s performance will be impeded. The KAN body protector is engineered so that it allows the wearer to take a full diaphragmatic breath (necessary to reduce stress levels and bring oxygen into the blood stream). It has a very secure centre front with foams that meet edge to edge giving fantastic protection over the sternum. The shoulders are moulded with the thickest part of the protector over the vulnerable collar bone area. The unique moulded nature of this garment means that it offers “accommodation” of the bust and it entirely follows the shape of the small of the back. When worn it is entirely lightweight.
Do you tailor different products to different areas of the market, eg leisure riders, children, competitors?
The innovative Kan body protector is styled for female riders, from young teenagers to adults. It conforms to BETA level three so is suitable for the highest level of competition and is now being worn by some of the top event riders in the UK and worldwide such as Jeanette Brakewell, Nicola Wilson and Liz Halliday Sharpe. All level of riders who want comprehensive body protection are choosing to wear the Kan.
What size range does KAN fit?
The Kan body protector is very simple to fit comes in sizes 8 to 16. We can offer different back lengths and offer customised garments at no extra cost.
How do you ensure that the KAN is fitted correctly?
The KAN team are committed to building the reputation of a safety brand and we take training and sales support very seriously indeed. We take time with the end user and can explain the benefits that the Kan body protector can bring. The KAN is quite different to standard body protectors though is remarkably easy to fit. The service that we offer is personal and consistent. We will answer all queries and have a policy where nothing is too much trouble.
How to take your measurements
Your known height in Feet and Inches
Usual dress size
UK size eg size 12. This serves only to gain an overview of your shape and size, the following measurements give an accurate torso dimension.
Your band and cup size eg 34 B
Run a tape around the narrowest part of your torso – between the ribs and above the hips.
Nape to Waist measurement
Measure from the base of the neck at the back to the natural waist. The nape is the prominent bone (at the base of the neck) where the line of a classic styled T shirt or necklace would sit. The waist line is the narrowest part of the torso, approximately in line with the belly button.
Nape to Sacrum
This is the same start point as Nape to Waist, run the tape to the last bone that you can feel in your spine.
Nape to waist measurement
How to check that the fit is good : –
The effort of zipping up does take a bit of getting used to and yes I’m afraid there is a knack, watch the video below to help you master this.
- The first thing to do is hook your thumbs into the armhole of the KAN and push the panels towards each other – you will actually lift the foam fronts off your chest and push towards your centre front – they should meet without squeezing you, but you should feel a little effort. The garment is supposed to be close contact but must not make you uncomfortable. Please ask someone to zip you up for the first time as we would prefer you to focus on fit rather than getting the knack of the zip at this stage!
- If the fronts don’t meet at the base, where the zip begins – it is simply too small, but you do need to stretch the material of the cover when lifting the fronts to try to make them meet.
- Once successfully zipped take a very deep diaphragmatic breath and feel your ribs push out against the foam shell – you will feel it expand (unless it is too big of course). The feeling of pushing into the shell should be reassuring and good. The elastic cover lets the foams tighten and relax with each breath. Ensure that “the shell” covers the entire rib cage and drops 1” below the bottom ribs. The KAN that we would send to you, will never been tried on before, so it will feel tight at the start; however please bear in mind that your KAN will stretch after a very short space of time. It is designed to be very close contact – similar to the fitting of your riding hat. If you suffer from asthma we would always recommend a larger size, hopefully all that has been established in the fit stage, please call if you are unsure.
- Our moulded foam parts which make up the shock absorbing layer in the KAN have been manufactured by Knox – motorbike armour specialists, based in Cumbria, U.K. The fact that the panels are contoured to the body ensures fantastic fit and ultimate protection. So the next thing to check is that the shaped back foam panel matches the curves of your back i.e. in the small of your back you feel a supporting shape of the Knox back panel particularly in the hollow. Please don’t focus on the back length yet, which is the easiest adjustment of the lot. If the small of your back does not feel a match with the moulded back, adjust the shoulder to ensure that the contact is good.
If it all fits then you are good to go – we ask you to trust that the length of this body protector can be longer than others. Obviously we will send a KAN to you in good faith that it will not hit the cantle of the saddle while riding, but if it did– then you can call or email – this is SO EASY to fix.
Take a look at our product range here.
For more Kan Teq Video be sure to visit our YouTube site here.