NRS Acquires WRSI Helmets

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Founded upon the principle that every watersports athlete deserves access to affordable protective headwear, the helmet gurus at Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI) have signed over their multi-patented product footprint to NRS — leading manufacturers and distributors in the paddling industry — with the dream of bringing their top-quality, modestly priced helmets to a larger market.

“I am proud of what WRSI has done to help change the paradigm on whitewater helmets. NRS is an ideal partner to help WRSI to continue to expand that legacy. Our customers, retailers and friends will all benefit from a more efficient supply chain and NRS’s deep commitment to whitewater and river recreation,” said Nick Turner, WRSI President. “NRS has likely done more to make whitewater accessible and enjoyable to the public than any company in history, and WRSI is proud to be part of that legacy.”

WRSI began their crusade to increase paddling safety after family member, Lucas Brandon Turner, passed away on a dangerous river in Idaho. After Turner’s death, his family rallied and vowed to build the safest helmet possible, at a price point that the general public could afford.

With the help of Dr. Andrew H. Conn, the Mechanical Design Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University, the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and inventors Chang Lee and Michael Cordeiro, WRSI produced the 2006 WRSI water sports helmet, the “safest whitewater helmet in the world,” according to WRSI.

In partnering with WRSI, NRS hopes to increase distribution, production and therefore, availability, of the revolutionary helmet as it aligns with their current line-up and dealer/retailer account base.

“NRS has been following the WRSI mission since Gil Turner first envisioned and then pioneered a safer, better helmet for the paddling industry. After years of engineering and testing, a new industry standard for impact and anti-rotational safety was introduced into the market,” said Bryan Dingel, NRS vice president. “NRS was one of the original supporters of the new helmet company and we’re excited to now have a larger role in WRSI’s future growth and expansion.”

The two companies have agreed to terms and began the transition at 2013 OR Summer Market.