Ståle Norman Møller is educated industrial designer at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (2001). Grew up in Trysil and realized early on that he wanted to make a career in making professional sports equipment. Established the company Sweet Protection in 2000 together with local friends, including the snowboard legend Terje Håkonsen. Today, Sweet Protection from Norway is an internationally recognized brand.
In 1998 skateboarding was still prohibited in Norway. The Sweet Protection story started in Trysil, a mountain village in Østerdalen, Norway, when a group of keen river kayakers were missing the proper protection to push even harder at their sport.
Cross-Country Mountain Biking
After making its first paddle-sport helmets, Sweet Protection is today best known for its Dissenter MIPs all-around helmet for cross-country mountain biking. The company has also options for downhill bikers and road cyclists, not to forget the cool urban helmets.
In 2003 Sweet Protection made their first ISPO appearance, and immediately won the Brand New Award for the best newcomer. The products presented had close ties to the initial, homemade gear the boys used when exploring mountains in their youth. The importance of functionality and quality in the outdoors has from the very beginning been a core value of the company, and a cornerstone in the design principles. A seamless flow of feel and function, distinctive in design and style.
Until 2005 all helmet production was manufactured in Trysil, Norway. Due to capacity issues Sweet Protection moved the production to Italy, a necessary move to continue to grow. The technical clothing line continued to evolve and, in a period where all free-riders “needed” a one-piece suit; Sweet Protection introduced the most technical version ever made with the Crusader Flightsuit in 2006. Inspired by the Formula 1 race cars a new category within protection was entered with the first version of the Grinder back protector in 2007.
Free-skier and snowboarder
In 2009 Sweet Protection launched a new line called Autonomy made for the free-skier and snowboarder. The same year technical paddle wear was introduced with the best waterproof membrane from Gore-Tex, great comfort and range of movement, it soon became a favorite within the paddle sport community.
In 2012, the company developed a helmet for ski racing where it used all the new technology utilizing the most advanced materials and production processes it possessed. The company wanted to make everything they had learned about helmets since they started 12 years ago and did not take costs into account. The result was the Rooster Corsa.
Sweet Protection continues their growth step by step and bike is becoming a bigger part of the product range. In 2017 Sweet Protection introduces a new single-track bike helmet named the Dissenter and the iconic Falconer helmet for serious road bikers.
The Falconer Aero Helmet is a top-of-the-line helmet for fast-paced cycling. With an aerodynamic geometry developed to also provide great ventilation, the result is a quicker and more comfortable ride. The helmet comes equipped with additional Aerocovers™ to lower the aerodynamic drag even further.
Related: Mountain Biking in Norway
Gratitude for Sweet Protection
In the summer of 2019, Sarah Sheehy took a spill off her mountain bike while on a downhill flow. She scraped her head on the side of a cliff and broke her fall face-first on the smooth dirt of Sun Valley’s famed single-track. With her heart racing, her adrenaline pumping, and blood dripping steadily from a gash in her lip, her first thought was of gratitude for her Sweet Protection Dissenter MIPS helmet Her whole body hurt, but her brain was mercifully unharmed.
After a crash like that, she knew it was time to replace her helmet. Helmets are designed to absorb impact, and even if they don’t look particularly damaged, they really only have one good crash in them. She thanked her helmet, disposed of it, and started looking around for her next brain-protector.
According to Møller a good helmet is a combination of protective properties, fit, low weight and low volume. Combining these qualities is always a challenge.
All images © Sweet Protection
Sweet Protection From Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg